Post Mortem – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The seventh and final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired last summer, wrapping up in August on ABC.  The first series set in, but not completely part of, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it took a while to find its footing before eventually setting into a nice groove.  The connection to the movie franchise was stronger in the first season, with a couple cameos and events in the movies impacting the plot of the show, but that waned as the seasons went on, to the point that the blip caused by Thanos wasn’t even addressed.

With Marvel (and Disney) looking to more tightly integrate their television shows with the movies, they’ve shifted their internal reporting structure and cancelled all of their existing shows.  AOS, the first and longest running of those shows, was the final piece of that puzzle prior to the new offerings from Disney+, which will be much more tightly connected to the MCU.  That said, seven seasons is a good run (and much more than the Netflix shows received) and hopefully we’ll see some of these characters again.

Post Mortem – Utopia

Developed by Gillian Flynn and David Fincher and based off a UK series of the same name, Utopia debuted on Amazon’s Prime Video service in September.  It was cancelled in November when Amazon declined to order a second season.

The show was seemingly right up my alley, about a group of online comic fans who come together at a comic con and find themselves under fire for having seen a new graphic novel, that contains clues to a global pandemic.

I can see why the subject matter may not have been the best thing to attract viewers in the middle of an actual pandemic, but I think Amazon may have missed the boat here by giving up on the show so soon.

Post Mortem – Stumptown

A victim of the corona virus pandemic, Stumptown was originally picked up for a second season by ABC in May of 2020, but was subsequently cancelled in September when pandemic-related production delays meant a new season wouldn’t be available until April of 2021.   Based on the comic book series of the same name created by Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth, Stumptown starred Cobie Smulders as a military vet turned private eye who handles problems that the police can’t.

I would have liked to see more of Stumptown to see where they would go with the story.  It’s perplexing that other shows were able to find a way to come back earlier but, according to the reports, this one could not.  Funny that those cancellations from last summer and fall seemed to hit shows whose leads were women.  Oh well, I will look forward to whatever brings Cobie Smulders back to my television screen, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Post Mortem – Run

Run, starring Merritt Weaver and Domhnall Gleeson, debuted in April, about a woman who leaves her family behind to meet up with a college boyfriend after 17 years when she receives a text.  However, HBO didn’t see a lot of stamina for the show and announced they were ending it in July, shortly after the first season finished airing.  I can’t really say that I was left waiting for more.  I mean, I could, but that would be a lie.

The CW Upfronts

The CW has finally decided to expand to a 7th night of programming for the first time in their existence this fall, with 3 new shows added to the schedule.  Monday gets a brand new look, with the returning All American followed by 4400, a reboot of the USA show from the mid-2000s.  Tuesday brings the new seasons of Flash and Riverdale, while Wednesday leans in to the DC multiverse with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman.

Walker lead off on Thursdays, followed by Legacies.  Friday has Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Nancy Drew.  The weekends are given over to reality programming, with Saturday’s initial offerings being 2 episodes each of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and World’s Funniest Animals.  The Sunday night offerings are Legends Of The Hidden Temple, a reboot of a Nickelodeon game show from the 90s, followed by Killer Camp, a US version of the British competition where a mix of 13 campers navigate through new deadly twists and surprises while competing to expose the “killer” among them.

Waiting in the wings for midseason are All American: Homecoming, from the producers of All American, Naomi, the latest DC adaptation from the book created by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell, alongside returning seasons of Charmed, Stargirl, Dynasty, In The Dark, Kung Fu, Superman & Lois, and Roswell, New Mexico

Lost to the sands of time are Black Lightning and Supergirl.

CBS Upfront

Everything old is new this season at CBS, which brings 3 new entries from its collection of established procedural franchises along with 1 new comedy to the air this fall.  The week starts a comedy block of The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola, followed by 2 entries in the NCIS franchise: the OG, moving from its Tuesday timeslot for the first time in 18 years, and NCIS: Hawaii, where Vanessa Lachey stars as the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor.  Tuesday, CBS follows NBC’s playbook by turning the entire night over to Dick Wolf for his FBI franchise, with the OG leading off the night, followed by FBI: International, the new iteration that follows the elite operatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s International Fly Team, and FBI: Most Wanted.

Wednesday night leads off with Survivor, followed by Tough As Nails and the new CSI: Vegas, the “sequel” to the original which brings back William Petersen, Jorja Fox, and Wallace Langham.  Thursday has another comedy block, starting with with Young Sheldon and United States of Al, followed by Ghosts, starring Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar as a duo who decide to convert a huge rundown country estate into a bed & breakfast, only to find it’s inhabited by the many spirits of deceased residents who now call it home, and B PositiveBull finishes off the night.  Friday starts with S.W.A.T. for a month, before giving way to TBD unscripted programming, followed by Magnum P.I. and Blue Bloods.  Sunday kicks off with 60 Minutes, followed by The Equalizer, NCIS: Los Angeles, and, for a month, SEAL Team before giving way to S.W.A.T.

On tap for midseason is Good Sam, starring Sophia Bush and Jason Isaacs as doctors fighting for the same position, and Smallwood, based on the life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood.

Gone and never to be seen again are All RiseMacGuyver, NCIS: New Orleans, Mom, and The UnicornEvil and SEAL Team will be moving to Paramount+.

ABC Upfronts

After a year dominated by the corona virus, ABC is taking a cautious approach this fall, with only two new series on the schedule.  The week gets off to a familiar start, with Dancing With The Stars followed by The Good Doctor on Monday nights.  Tuesday night starts with the latest version of The Bachelorette and then Queens, about four estranged women in their 40s who reunite for a chance to recapture the fame they had as a ’90s hip hop group.

Wednesday’s comedy block stays pretty much the same, with The GoldbergsThe Conners, and Home Economics returning and a new version of The Wonder Years, taking a nostalgic look at a Black middle-class family in late 60s Montgomery, Alabama.  A Million Little Things finishes of the night.  Thursdays look pretty much the same, with Station 19Grey’s Anatomy, and then the moved-over Big Sky.  Friday kicks off with Shark Tank, followed by two hours of 20/20.  Sunday stays mostly all reality, with America’s Funniest Home VideosCelebrity Wheel of Fortune, and Supermarket Sweep, followed by The Rookie.

On the bench for mid-season are Abbott Elementary, a comedy about dedicated teachers in a failing school, Maggie, starring Rebecca Rittenhouse as a young woman trying to cope with life as a psychic, and Women of the Movement, a limited series telling the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, who, in 1955, risks her life to find justice after her son Emmett is brutally murdered in the Jim Crow South.  Returning shows for mid-season include the final installment of Black-ish.

Cancelled shows never to be seen again are American HousewifeCall Your MotherFor LifeMixed-ish, and Rebel.

FOX Upfronts

It has been a few years now since I’ve watched anything on FOX.  This year’s schedule does not look like it will alter that any come this fall.  Monday starts off with the returning 9-1-1 followed by The Big Leap, revolving around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of Swan Lake.  Tuesday kicks off with the returning The Resident acting as the lead in for Our Kind Of People, inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book of the same name.

The Masked Singer leads off Wednesday nights, followed by yet another singing competition called Alter Ego.  Thursdays get turned over to the NFL starting in October, while Friday is the domain of the WWE.  Sunday’s animated block remains the same, with The Simpsons, The Great North, Bob’s Burgers, and Family Guy wrapping things up following football.

On tap for midseason is The Cleaning Lady, about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who comes to the US for a medical treatment to save her ailing son, Monarch, about the first family of country music, Welcome To Flatch, a comedy Inspired by BBC Studios’ BAFTA-winning This Country, Pivoting, starring Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Maggie Q as three close-knit childhood friends as they cope with the death of the fourth member of their group.  Returning shows planned for mideason include  9-1-1: Lone StarCall Me Kat, Duncanville, Housebroken, Beat Shazam, Crime Scene Kitchen, Domino Masters, Don’t Forget the Lyrics, Hell’s Kitchen, I Can See Your Voice, Lego Masters, Master Chef, Mental Samurai, and Next Level Chef.

Gone and mostly forgotten are Bless The HartsFilthy RichLast Man StandingneXt, and Prodigal Son.

Midseason Review – Fridays

old-tv-set1Our final look back at the new fall season gives us Friday’s amazing slate of shows.

7:00

The Blacklist – The show returns for an eighth season, which will need to pick up where the seventh was forced to leave off.

I’m about ready to move on, whenever they are.

In the spring, we can look forward to:

Blue Bloods – The 11th season keeps on keeping on, without addressing any of the problems with police that came to the forefront over the past year.