ABC Orders 9 New Series, Including an Alien Comedy and Connie Britton's Country Musical

By Tim Surette

May 12, 2012

ABC went a little crazy on Friday with pickups, ordering nine new series covering a really wide range of topics—including country singers, aliens, submarines, haunted apartments, and divorced moms. That's pretty much all the possible types of shows possible, if I'm not mistaken! Let's get to know them a little better.



Nashville

What it is: A musical drama set against the backdrop of country music. Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, American Horror Story) stars as an aging singer who is paired up with a teen sensation (Hayden Panettiere, Heroes) to revive her career. Connie Britton, you guys!

Initial reaction based on description alone: I'm not one for musicals, but Connie Britton, you guys!

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Listen, I'm always surprised by just how popular country music is, so I'm gonna say this becomes a success.

Where ABC might schedule it: Opposite Smash or Glee would be stupid, so let's say midweek or later.



Red Widow

What it is: A woman takes over her dead husband's role in organized crime to save her family. Capiche?

Initial reaction based on description alone: This was formerly titled Penoza, but I think the new title might only be slightly better. The premise sounds like a pretty awesome idea... for cable.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: There's potential here, but there's also a lot of room for this to be completely unspectacular. Because it's on network TV, I say the latter.

Where ABC might schedule it: 10pm any day!



Zero Hour

What it is: The editor (Anthony Edwards) of a conspiracy theory magazine gets involved in a real conspiracy when his wife is kidnapped.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Dumb.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Not good.

Where ABC might schedule it: I don't really see an appropriate place for this; it just doesn't seem to fall in line with the rest of what ABC is doing. It might end up on an island all by itself on Tuesdays at 10pm.



666 Park Avenue

What it is: A couple takes on the job of managing an old apartment building in New York City. Oh, we should probably mentioned that the building is really, really haunted. Lost's Terry O'Quinn stars.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Could be cool! This was one of the pilots I hoped would make it to series, hence the artwork above; I'd really like to see a horror series survive on network TV.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: If it's done right, great.

Where ABC might schedule it: Could Revenge move to Sundays and open the door for this to air on Wednesdays?



The Family Tools

What it is: This comedy is about a man who takes over the family handyman business from his dad. It was formerly titled Red Van Man and is based on a British series.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Sometimes the best comedies are those with the simplest concepts. ABC saw something in this, so I'm gonna guess it will be surprisingly good based on nothing but a hunch.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: It somehow pulls through!

Where ABC might schedule it: With The Middle, Suburgatory, Modern Family, Happy Endings, and Don't Trust the B---- all returning, this has to go somewhere other than Wednesdays, doesn't it? Maybe it gets held for midseason?



The Neighbors

What it is: A human family moves into a swank gated community, only to find out that it's populated by aliens disguised as humans.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Awesome. Alien comedies are right up our alley.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: This has a cultish quality, so I'll say it fights to get renewed for Season 2.

Where ABC might schedule it: See above, re: ABC's Wednesday problem.



How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest Of Your Life

What it is: Sarah Chalke stars as a divorced woman who moves back in with her fun parents. Multi-camera.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Ugh. Please, no.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Not that great. ABC's got a reputation for good single-camera comedies now.

Where ABC might schedule it: In its multi-camera Tuesday comedy block.



Last Resort

What it is: The crew of a nuclear submarine forms its own nuclear nation on a NATO outpost after refusing orders. From Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield and The Chicago Code.

Initial reaction based on description alone: Ten tons of awesome. Another one of the pilots I hoped would make it to series.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: High-concept. Critics will love it, but will the audience show up?

Where ABC might schedule it: This is another one of those shows that doesn't quite fit. Could ABC open up a new night of television for its more macho shows?



Malibu Country

What it is: Reba McIntire stars as a singer who moves to Malibu to restart her career after her husband cheats on her.

Initial reaction based on description alone: I'm sure someone will find this funny.

My guess at the show's chances of survival even though I haven't seen a second of footage: Not good.

Where ABC might schedule it: Wherever the just-renewed Last Man Standing ends up.


Surprisingly, all of these pickups means that Devious Maids, The Smart One, and American Judy likely won't see the light of day. We thought Devious Maids, a series from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry about four Latina maids working their way up the Beverly Hills social ladder, was a lock.


Do you like the sound of ABC's new series so far?


RELATED STORIES:
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ABC Renews Private Practice, Don't Trust the B----, Body of Proof, and Last Man Standing
ABC Renews Scandal, Cancels GCB



Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

  • Comments (45)
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  • chung_yeh77 May 21, 2012

    Love the preview of Last Resort!!!!

  • jagh55 May 15, 2012

    YES! =D Nashville has been picked up. I hope it is good, because it's the one I look forward to the most!

  • ted2332 May 14, 2012

    Last Resort sounds to smart for network tv.

    I will probably last a season on ABC when it would get five seasons on AMC/HBO etc.

  • pretty_sure May 14, 2012

    I think Family Toole's is for fall. I follow Leah Remini on twitter, she's in Family Toole's and she said "Good news! The pilot I shot for ABC 'Family Tools', formerly Red Van Man, formerly White Van Man has been picked up for Fall! Yayyyyy"

  • klod008 May 13, 2012

    I'll give Red Widow and Last Resort a chance, if I remember to check them out in the fall. ;) The Neighbors seems a bit corny to me, but maybe it's better than I think.

  • Catherine-Mary May 13, 2012

    The Neighbors = The Gates + aliens

  • AnoukvdZee May 13, 2012

    I would have liked Devious Maids to have been picked up, but won't loose sleep over The Smart One, considering both women are absolutely gorgeous which renders the premise completely void. I can suspend my disbelief just fine, but that is ridiculous.



    The Last Resort has a horrible title, but I can't wait to see what they make of this show! Ofcourse, I did say that of Alcatraz as well, and I couldn't even make it through the pilot alone. Soooooo, ending on this note of optimism: there can be some pretty good shows on this list.

  • ColinMeeker May 13, 2012

    When I read about "The Neighbors" it reminded me of "The Gates" (which I miss and thought was good) which is a gated community with the people living like humans.... Though that was drama, you think putting a humor twist and saying aliens are here is gonna make this one work. Probably not.



    I think anything Reba does will work out. "Reba" was a great show so I think "Malibu Country" will do great. Though the location I am not so sure about. I am with you though that it wouldn't fit in the Wednesday block so grouping with "LMS" would work.



    "666..." may be good if it is done right but where to place it is the question. I can see Wednesday, but afraid if "Revenge" moves to another night it won't have that same impact. Although personally I thing the Wednesday 10pm slot is a hard spot to fill. I am so glad "Revenge" is so good that it can handle it. With the comedy block so good, that is why that slot is hard to get a show to last. If they would have left "Ugly Betty" there (it being in the comedy field) it could have lasted a little longer and have the creator ended rather than ABC.

  • Cynycal May 13, 2012

    Last Resort is the only one that I really find interesting.

  • MikeScott25 May 13, 2012

    How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest Of Your Life and 666 Park Avenue might be good. Will check those out. None of the others seem too appealing as of now.

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