Progress Report: End of Season Scorecard for Shows Covered By CPU! (Long-Running), 2019

Based on reliable sources, including TVLine, the A.V. Club, and Wikipedia, here are the statuses of shows currently covered by the CPU! Podcast Universe ™.  This list does not include up and coming shows to be reviewed from this past season’s pilots list because we covered that last week!  In fact, this is the second of the Summer Series Progress Reports! 

This particular list comprises the End of Season Scorecard for Long-Running shows covered by and/or requested for coverage by the CPU! Podcast, with current statuses, upcoming premiere dates (if known), and other helpful information.  Shows that ended this year or recently that we have already covered via podcast or blog have been removed from the list, except for any that we missed in our last Progress Report. Also included is a complete list of network renewals and cancellations, some cable, premium, and streaming networks included, at the bottom.  If your show is not being covered by CPU!, and you want it to be, leave a comment or contact us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com (or via Facebook/Twitter).  We would probably find a way to make it happen!

The CPU! “What We’re Currently Watching” List

Supernatural (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 15, which will be the final season (the heavens will truly break the day of the series finale). Season 15 premieres on October 10, 2019.

Arrow (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 8, which will be the final season. Season 8 premieres on October 15, 2019.

The Flash  (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 6, which will premiere on October 8, 2019.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 5.

Supergirl (PODCAST) – CW

Renewed for Season 5, which will premiere on October 6, 2019.

Orange is the New Black (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 7, which will be the final season. Season 7 will be released on July 26, 2019.

Gotham (PODCAST) – Fox

Ended. Season 5 is the final season. Goodbye review on the podcast coming soon.

Marvel’s The Punisher (PODCAST) – Netflix

Canceled; Season 2 is the final season. The Marvel’s Defenders Series panel’s review of the final season coming soon on the podcast.

The Good Place (PODCAST) – NBC

Renewed for Season 4, which will be the final season. Season 4 premieres on September 26, 2019.

Grace and Frankie (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 6.

Fuller House (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 5, which will be the final season.

Game of Thrones (PODCAST) – HBO

Ended; Season 8 is the final season. Two-part goodbye miniseries on the podcast coming soon.

Stranger Things (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3. Season 3 releases on Netflix on July 4, 2019.

iZombie (PODCAST) – CW

Ended; Season 5 is the final season. Goodbye review on the podcast coming soon.

American Horror Story (PODCAST) – FX

Renewed for Seasons 9 AND 10. Season 9 (“1984“) premieres on September 18, 2019.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (PODCAST) – Netflix

Canceled; Season 3 is the final season. Season 3 released on June 14, 2019. The Marvel’s Defenders Series panel’s review of the final season coming soon on the podcast.

Will & Grace (PODCAST) – NBC

Renewed for Season 11.

Doctor Who (PODCAST) – BBC/BBC America

Renewed for Season 12.

The X-Files (PODCAST) – Fox

Ended for now, and CPU! has already posted its goodbye review, but the messaging has been somewhat confusing…

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (PODCAST) – ABC

Renewed for Season 7.

Schitt$ Creek (PODCAST) – Pop

Renewed for Season 6, which be will be the final season.

The Crown (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

13 Reasons Why (PODCAST) – Netflix

Renewed for Season 3.

How to Get Away with Murder (PODCAST/Jumped the Shark) – ABC

Renewed for Season 6.  CPU! Jumped the Shark. If you would like us to resume podcast coverage of this show, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Sherlock (PODCAST) – PBS

Series 4 aired from January 1-January 15, 2017.  Though possibility of a fifth series is being contemplated, no announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has yet been made.

The 100 (PODCAST/Jumped the Shark) – CW

Renewed for Season 7. CPU! Jumped the Shark. If you would like us to resume podcast coverage of this show, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Fargo – FX

Renewed for Season 4.

The Mindy Project – Hulu

Ended 2017. If you would like us to cover this show in a podcast episode, please contact us via the Guestbook, social media, or at our email address (couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com); review otherwise coming soon.

Sleepy Hollow – Fox

Ended 2017.  Review or podcast to come.

Madam Secretary – CBS

Renewed for Season 6, which will be the final season.

Bones – Fox

Ended 2017.  CPU! will be covering this show in a future “Looking Back” podcast episode. Stay tuned!

Revenge – ABC

Ended 2015.  Review (either blog or podcast) to come.

Reign – CW

Ended 2017. CPU! will be covering this show in a future “Looking Back” podcast episode. Stay tuned!

About a Boy – NBC

Ended 2015.  Review (either blog or podcast) to come.

Network Shows and Other Shows Mentioned by CPU!ers

(does not include this year’s freshman series, currently covered shows, shows we’ve already covered and eliminated, or game and reality shows)

By Popular Demand

ABC

American Housewife (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

black-ish (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

Bless This Mess*
Renewed for Season 2.
*This show was not listed among season new entries last summer. Upon review of the trailer, critical consensus, and considering the fact that it was co-created by Elizabeth Meriwether (New Girl, Single Parents) and stars Dax Shepard, CPU! is officially picking this comedy up, even if it seems to be a Green Acres update featuring Millennial characters.

Fresh Off the Boat (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

The Goldbergs (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 7.

The Good Doctor (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Grey’s Anatomy (CPU! jumped the shark)
Renewed for Seasons 16 AND 17.

Modern Family (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 11.  Season 11 is the show’s final season.

Speechless (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Splitting Up Together (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Station 19 (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Take Two*
Canceled. Season 1 is the show’s only season.
*This show was not listed among season new entries last summer. Given the quick cancellation and relatively understated premiere (read: we’ve never heard of this one), CPU! is officially passing on this show (in the most well-timed way, of course).

CBS

The Big Bang Theory (picked up by CPU! late)
Ended. Season 12 is the show’s final season.

Blue Bloods (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 10.

Bull (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Criminal Minds (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 15. Season 15 is the show’s final season.

Elementary (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 7 is the show’s final season.

The Good Fight (All Access; passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Hawaii Five-O (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 10.

Life in Pieces (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 4 is the show’s final season.

MacGyver (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Man with a Plan (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Mom (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Seasons 7 AND 8.

NCIS (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 17.

NCIS: Los Angeles (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 11.

NCIS: New Orleans (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6.

Ransom (passed by CPU!)
The Season 3 finale aired on May 25, 2019. There has been no announcement regarding renewal or cancellation.

Salvation (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Star Trek: Discovery (All Access; picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

S.W.A.T. (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Young Sheldon (passed by CPU! for now)
Renewed for Seasons 3 AND 4.

FOX

9-1-1 (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 3.

Bob’s Burgers (animated)
Renewed for Season 10.

Empire (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 6. Season 6 is the show’s final season.

Family Guy (animated)
Renewed for Season 18.

The Gifted (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Last Man Standing (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 8.

Lethal Weapon (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.

The Orville (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

The Resident (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

The Simpsons (animated)
Renewed for Seasons 31 AND 32.

Star (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.

NBC

A.P. Bio (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

The Blacklist (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 7.

Blindspot (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5. Season 5 will be the final season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (added to the CPU! list)
Renewed for Season 7.

Chicago Fire (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 8.

Chicago Med (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

Chicago P.D. (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 7.

Good Girls (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Law and Order: SVU (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 21.

Marlon (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Midnight, Texas (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Reverie (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 1 is the show’s only season.

Superstore (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 5.

This Is Us (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Seasons 4, 5, AND 6.

Timeless (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled.  Season 2 is the show’s final season

Trial & Error (passed by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

The CW

Black Lightning (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Burden of Truth (passed by CPU!…just now)
Renewed for Season 3.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (picked up by CPU!)
Canceled. Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Dynasty (passed by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 3.

Jane the Virgin (added to the CPU! list)
Canceled. Airing Season 5, the show’s final season.

The Outpost (added to the CPU! list…just now)
Renewed for Season 2.

Riverdale (picked up by CPU!)
Renewed for Season 4.

Current/Ongoing Shows – Cable, Premium, Streaming – Requested
by CPU! Regulars for the Podcast

PBS

Call the Midwife
Renewed for Series 9.

BBC America

Killing Eve
Renewed for Season 3.

FXX

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Renewed for Season 14.

FX

Feud
Renewed for Season 2.

Archer
Renewed for Season 10, which premiered on May 29, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Netflix

The OA
Season 2 was released on March 22, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Peaky Blinders
Renewed for Series 5.

House of Cards
Canceled. Season 6 is the show’s final season.

Anne with an E
Renewed for Season 3.

Master of None
Season 2 premiered on May 12, 2017.  No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

GLOW
Renewed for Season 3, which will premiere on August 9, 2019.

Arrested Development
Season 5 was released in two parts; Part 2 was released on March 15, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Altered Carbon
Renewed for Season 2.

Mindhunter
Renewed for Season 2.

The End of the F***ing World
Renewed for Season 2.

Santa Clarita Diet
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Black Mirror
Season 5 was released on June 5, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

BoJack Horseman
Renewed for Season 6.

Designated Survivor
Season 3 was released on June 7, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Lucifer
Renewed for Season 5. Season 5 is the show’s final season.

American Vandal
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Insatiable
Renewed for Season 2.

Ozark
Renewed for Season 3.

Travelers
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.

Big Mouth
Renewed for Season 3.

Frontier
Renewed for Season 3, which premiered on December 7, 2018. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

One Day at a Time
Canceled. Season 3 is the show’s final season.
EDIT: Renewed for Season 4 by cable network Pop!

Derry Girls
Renewed for Season 2.

The Protector
Renewed for Seasons 3 AND 4.

Tales of the City
Miniseries; no renewal is expected.

Bodyguard
Series 1 premiered on August 26, 2018. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Showtime

Billions
Renewed for Season 5.

Shameless
Renewed for Season 10.

USA

Mr. Robot
Renewed for Season 4. Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Starz

Outlander
Renewed for Seasons 5 and 6!

American Gods
Renewed for Season 3.

Power
Renewed for Season 6, which will premiere on August 25, 2019. Season 6 is the show’s final season.

AMC

Better Call Saul
Renewed for Season 5.

The Walking Dead
Renewed for Season 10.

SyFy

The Magicians
Renewed for Season 5.

Wynonna Earp
Renewed for Season 4.

Van Helsing
Renewed for Season 4.

Channel Zero
Canceled. Season 4 was the show’s final season.

Happy!
Canceled. Season 2 is the show’s final season.

Amazon

The Man in the High Castle
Renewed for Season 4. Season 4 is the show’s final season.

Brittania
Renewed for Season 2.

The Expanse
Canceled by SyFy but renewed by Amazon for Season 4.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Renewed for Season 3.

Fleabag
Ended. Series 2 is the show’s final season.

Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale
Renewed for Season 3, which premiered on June 5, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Castle Rock
Renewed for Season 2.

Marvel’s Runaways
Renewed for Season 3.

Letterkenny
Renewed for Season 7.

Fosse/Verdon
Miniseries; no expectation of renewal.

HBO

Big Little Lies
Renewed for Season 2, which premiered on June 9, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Westworld
Renewed for Season 3.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Renewed for Season 10.

True Detective
Renewed for Season 3, which premiered on January 13, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Disney Channel

Raven’s Home
Renewed for Season 3, which premiered on June 17, 2019.

Cinemax

Strike
Renewed for Series 3.

Cartoon Network

Rick and Morty
Renewed for Season 4.

TV Land

Younger
Renewed for Season 6, which premiered on June 12, 2019.

Freeform

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger
Renewed for Season 2, which premiered on April 4, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made.

Discovery: Family

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Renewed for Season 9. Season 9 is the show’s final season.

YouTube Premium

Cobra Kai
Renewed for Season 3.

DC Universe

Titans
Renewed for Season 2.

History Channel

Vikings
Renewed for Season 6.

That’s it, fellow Couch Potatoes!  Next up in the Progress Report series: the 2019-2020 pilot review, coming in August 2019!  Stay tuned! 

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Progress Report: End of Season Scorecard, 2018-2019 Pilots

It’s time for the final progress report for the new pilots of the 2018-2019 season! Where are the new shows (that are left), and how are they doing nowadays?  Read below to find out!

Thanks as always to TVLine and to other sources for helping a girl out.

*Note: with the expansion of CPU!, these initial thoughts are based upon the CPU! Chief’s assessments.  As with last season, a growing number of CPU! members may find shows initially passed by the CPU! Chief and choose to review them.  CPU! readers will be informed if the show’s status changes regarding coverage as the season progresses through the handy CPU! Progress Reports, and all written reviews will be published!

*Second Note: Normally, we publish a Post-February sweeps Progress Report. It didn’t happen this year! We are expanding at a steady rate in some ways, and in some ways, the networks are becoming far less eager to cancel, at least considering current trends. There will always be a mid-season and end of season version, but intermediary check-ins might be sporadic. If you would really like to see them more often, though, drop us a line! We aim to give you the goods!

A Million Little Things

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, ABC

WHO: James Roday (Psych), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Romany Malco (Weeds), Ron Livingston (Sex and the City), Christina Moses (The Originals), Christina Ochoa (Valor, Blood Drive), Allison Miller (Incorporated, Go On), Stephanie Szostak (Satisfaction), Lizzy Greene (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn), Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0)

WHAT: They say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Welcome to the 2018-2019 CPU! network pilot review!  We start off on a strong note, with a pick up for this drama from ABC, but also with a guilty admission by your Chief CP (author of these annual reviews).  Honestly, I’m personally most interested in David Giuntoli and everything about him – outside of a Grimm context, that is – more than I am interested in the basic premise of this plot.  I think this is the Alphabet’s attempt at an answer to ratings juggernaut and NBC success This Is Us; on the other hand, the cast seems strong.  Watching these two minutes also inspires some The Big Chill nostalgia with a modern, Millennial set of characters at the forefront, dealing with the evolution and metamorphosis of friendships into adulthood.  That idea, punctuated by the suicide that starts the series off, connects strongly with this viewer, and I can see some of our other Couch Potatoes also finding some interest in and connection to it.  The trailer left me feeling hopeful for the series, at any rate, so let’s give this one a try, our first pick up for the year.  Hooray for good signs and strong starts!

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  ABC renewed this series for a second season on February 5, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on February 28, 2019. The first season is comprised of 17 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The podcast has received at least one request for coverage of this program, so this Pick Up is definite and permanent.  Not yet viewed.

Abby's

ABBY’S, NBC

WHO: Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation), Neil Flynn (The Middle), Nelson Franklin (Veep), Jessica Chaffin (Search Party), Leonard Ouzts (Master of None), Kimia Behpoornia (Modern Family, Adam Ruins Everything)

WHAT: Set in the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Without a trailer, this viewer is reluctant to get enthusiastically on board, but two things convinced me to take a look: it’s produced by Michael Schur – creator of The Good Place and Mose Schrute on The Office – and it’s filmed entirely outside.  Though it feels very Cheers-esque, with a female barkeep knowing everyone’s name, early upfront reviews seemed hopeful, so it’s worth a look.  A quick one, anyway.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  NBC canceled this mid to late season entry on May 30, 2019. The now series finale aired on June 13, 2019, with the show’s only season comprised of a total of 10 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: TVLine reports that this comedy proved to be NBC’s lowest rated comedy and second to lowest rated show, which never bodes well for any network series, even if the network wins the night with the show in question in the relevant time slot. Plus, Abby’s aired in one of NBC’s coveted Thursday night time slots, which the Peacock has earmarked for comedy since the Golden Age of Must See TV. The critics, on average, have been modestly positive about the comedy, and there’s still a certain amount of intrigue about the live-audience-and-everything-staged-outdoors gimmick. Thus, as a whole season exists, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

The Alec Baldwin Show

THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW, ABC

WHAT: The one-hour talker will showcase Baldwin’s in-depth conversations with compelling personalities.

__

PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The CPU! podcast does not talk about talk shows.  How do you feel about Alec Baldwin at the helm of a prime time talk show?

STATUS: TVLine and the Hollywood Reporter are both labeling this show as officially canceled, as of June 2019, though the cancellation, if truly official, was done quietly and without fanfare. In March 2018, ABC ordered ten episodes, of which eight have aired; the most recent episode aired on December 29, 2018. In November 2018, the network pulled the show from its late Sunday slot and rescheduled it for a late Saturday slot, which pretty much signaled a death knell for the freshman talker. The show was universally panned by critics and did not net remotely good ratings, despite Alec Baldwin’s love-em-or-leave-em hosting manner.

CPU! STATUS: It’s still a talk show, right?  We covered it here, as is our duty for new shows. We don’t feel the need to do more.

All American

ALL AMERICAN, The CW

WHO: Daniel Ezra (The Missing), Taye Diggs (Private Practice), Cody Christian (Teen Wolf), Samantha Logan (13 Reasons Why), Monet Mazur (Castle), Karimah Westbrook (Shameless, Aquarius), Michael Evans Behling

WHAT: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Crenshaw and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. Inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger.

__

PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite the presence of always gorgeous Taye Diggs, this sports-ball drama feels incredibly trope-y, including hashed and rehashed concepts of several TV and film properties past: poor, urban kid of color finding himself in a rich, largely white district; the story about a kid who has nothing but talent, heart, and a bit of luck with the offer to test his prowess on a suburban high school football team; and so on.  The trailer does not “wow” in its presentation of these recycled story concepts, and none of the actors apart from Diggs inspire confidence that this property will offer stellar production value beyond the typical good looks of a made-for-the-CW cast.  Plus, our current roster of Couch Potatoes has currently and definitely shied away from TV about sports.  Seriously, way more nerd types and way less jock types populate our own ever-growing cast.  If you want to change that, though, please drop us a line.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The CW renewed this series for a second season on April 24, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on March 20, 2019. The first season is comprised of 16 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We have heard zero buzz about this loosely-biographical sports-ball program.  Are you buzzing in an “All-American” way – or is it just Taye Diggs’ abs?  Let us know.  For now, we stay in the passing lane.

Charmed

CHARMED, The CW

WHO: Sarah Jeffery (Shades of Blue), Melonie Diaz (The Breaks), Madeleine Mantock (The Tomorrow People), Rupert Evans (Man in the High Castle), Ser’Darius Blain (Survivor’s Remorse, Jane by Design), Charlie Gillespie (Degrassi: Next Class), Ellen Tamaki

WHAT: After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy.

__

PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  Networks: “What do we want?” Answering themselves: “More reboots!” “When do we want them?” “Now! Because we literally have no other ideas!”  Charmed, the original starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and later Rose McGowan, was a WB staple for eight seasons, now airs frequently in syndication, and enjoys a healthy streaming afterlife.  Charmed has already been requested as a possible “Looking Back” candidate for the podcast because its loyal fan base endures to this day.  Charmed was a show that this viewer watched voraciously and enthusiastically in its original run.  It was a bit cheesy at times and occasionally suffered from the mismatch of acting talent among the women playing the Halliwell/Matthews sisters, but it was reliable, interesting, and sort of kooky in an entertaining way for a long time.  Like all the other major networks and some streaming outlets, WB offspring The CW could not wait to look into past properties for its own go at a rebooted show from an earlier success, so here, we have Charmed Redux with a new set of sisters exercising a new era of The Power of Three.  I can’t help feeling that this reboot is near blasphemy at its core, given that the original was pretty well loved and still enjoys a loyal, continuing fan devotion.  Plus, the actresses playing the sisters are nowhere near equal to the four who played the Halliwells/Matthews, even if the original four could not be described as amazing performers themselves.  This reboot also seems to be an even darker take, with mom’s death being characterized as outright murder from the jump.  Still, sheer morbid curiosity, a love of fantasy (and supernatural fantasy to boot), and a “can’t look away” feeling propel me to say that CPU! has little choice but to pick this up.  Though you better bet that this will be a “Look Back to Look Forward” setup, and that the two versions of the series will be hotly compared and contrasted by feisty and spicy Couch Potatoes.  Mark my words, gentle reader: the Power of Three may not set you free.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The CW renewed this series for a second season on January 31, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on May 19, 2019. The first season is comprised of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The podcast has received requests from Viewers Like You as well as some of our resident panelists to cover Charmed in a “Look Back to Look Forward” series, as I surmised would likely happen.  Expect a CPU! trademark look at Charmed and its varied and sorted history in the summer or fall of 2019.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

The Code

THE CODE, CBS

WHO: Anna Wood (Falling Water, Reckless), Ato Essandoh (Chicago Med), Phillipa Soo (Broadway’sHamilton), Raffi Barsoumian (The Vampire Diaries)

WHAT: The military’s brightest minds take on our country’s toughest challenges, inside the courtroom and out, where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine.

__

PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  There is no trailer, and there is scant information available for this drama, which, mind you, is a military drama and a seeming holdover from the rash of military dramas that debuted last season on the networks, most of which were ultimately canceled.  Plus, Mira Sorvino was attached to this program as its lead for awhile before leaving the role, which is not typically a great sign, and there is very little to be excited about when reviewing the cast list or plot synopsis, so we’ll leave this code non-cracked this season.

STATUS: Eight of twelve episodes ordered for this season have aired, with the series resuming its first-run broadcast on July 1, 2019. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has been made, though our friends at TVLine and other pundits are calling renewal unlikely or “a long-shot” at last check.

CPU! STATUS: We initially passed, literally no one has mentioned it, and it’s a military drama in a network sea rife with them currently. Plus, early critical reviews call this series one that does not set itself apart from said sea. Can you crack The Code I’m laying out for y’all?

The Conners

THE CONNERS, ABC

WHO: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman

WHAT: In the Roseanne spinoff, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before after a sudden turn of events. The iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. Last season, CPU! picked up the Roseanne revival based on the fact that several of our Couch Potatoes, the Chief among them, enjoyed the original series, more or less, and were curious to see how this particular family would weather the reboot/revival treatment.  Though many of us have not yet watched, the ratings seemed to speak for themselves – but then so did Roseanne Barr via her Twitter account.  All politics aside, Roseanne has always been an “x” factor, erratic and sometimes harmful to the public in how she has chosen to wield her influence, but no one can deny that Roseanne would not have been what it was without her.  Now, in a move that sounds, smells, and tastes a bit like “cash grab,” notwithstanding the advocacy for the jobs of those that would otherwise not have had them without Roseanne’s poor life choices (and prejudicial views) mucking up the works, the Alphabet is moving forward with what would ultimately be a spin-off, sans the titular matriarch.  On the one hand, it could be compelling: the rest of the cast are no slouches, especially Laurie Metcalf, and the character of Darlene, particularly, has always served as an interesting focal point for the show.  On the other hand, if the writers don’t hit this one out of the park straight from the dugout, it will not survive all of this melee and ado and will become a truly unfortunate, if not tragic footnote in entertainment history.  The real question is: would this footnote be any more unfortunate or tragic than the original ending, including Dan’s purported death following the family winning the lottery?  CPU! is willing to bet probably not, and we believe the network sees this whole game playing out the same way, so, in the end, we’re left asking “why not?”  Again, it could also be sheer morbid curiosity.  Time, and the rest of the Conners, will tell.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2! The Season 1 finale aired on January 22, 2019, after 11 episodes. ABC renewed this series for a second season on March 22, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: The interest in the various iterations of Roseanne and her family has been mild, but there is interest.  CPU! will cover all iterations at some point, though it may be later rather than sooner.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

The Cool Kids

THE COOL KIDS, Fox

WHO: Vicki Lawrence (Great News, Mama’s Family), David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show), Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace), Martin Mull (Roseanne)

WHAT: Three guy friends in a retirement community are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel whose ready to challenge their place.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. To cut to the chase, if it wasn’t for this cast, I am not willing to bet that either this viewer or fellow potential panelists would find this sitcom premise potentially amusing.  Most of us are not in the target audience, and there are some very flat moments in this trailer that should have offered more and better laughs with the players in this cast.  But, holy wow, look at this cast!  Vicki Lawrence! Leslie Jordan! David Alan Grier! And the erstwhile Colonel Mustard himself, Martin Mull!  They’re charming, they’re funny, they’re veterans – but do they have chemistry, and can a sitcom about residents of a retirement community be potentially appealing to the average and/or typical listeners of podcasts?  The conundrum we face here is why we are so hesitant to be as totally cool as these alleged kids.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  Fox retired this “senior” freshman sitcom on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on that date, with the show’s only season comprised of a total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: TVLine reports that the ratings demo for this Friday night sitcom paced this comedy only slightly better than Fox’s other freshman comedic entry, Rel, which was canceled somewhat quickly, as this season’s cancellations go. Yet, critical reception was on the positive side of mixed. As an ad-hoc TV reporter/follower myself, I would guess that two factors contributed to this comedy’s demise. 1) Even though Fox kind of had a good idea in debuting a show with, presumably, an older target audience on a Friday night, the older audience probably still had Friday night plans, too. 2) The ratings weren’t stellar, and the cast wasn’t unknown and was probably in a position, whether by contract or by status, to become more expensive more quickly. When juxtaposed against semi-middling ratings, it is logical to assume that Fox’s cancellation decision here was as much a business one as anything else. Given that a whole season exists, though, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Dancing With the Stars: Juniors

DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS, ABC

WHAT: The offshoot will pair celebrity kids with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel that will include renowned ballroom experts.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  CPU! does not dance along with reality competition shows on our podcast, at least for now.  But, this one’s new this year, so we list it.  Godspeed, DWTS fans!

STATUS: Officially canceled! The now series finale aired on December 9, 2018, after a total of 9 episodes. 

CPU! STATUS: It’s still a reality competition show, right?

The Enemy Within

THE ENEMY WITHIN, NBC

WHO: Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Morris Chestnut (Rosewood), Raza Jaffrey (Code Black), Kelli Garner (Pan Am)

WHAT: In spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite the presence of gorgeous Morris Chestnut, and even with a trailer, this particular mid-season thriller feels very hackneyed in terms of its premise, all around, and the snapshot of performances seen here falls sadly flat.  Some early reviews compare this show to Homeland or The Blacklist: Espionage, neither of which resemble current CPU! discussion subjects or ones requested by our panelists and potential panelists.  Really, it’s a show that I can see several of us wanting to like – because we’ve liked something like it before – but not being able to go the distance because it will not be as good as similar properties from which it is heavily borrowing its influence and tone.  If buzz or steam picks up around this mid-season entry, we’ll be open to reviewing our high standards, but for now, we pass.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Peacock canceled this mid-season entry on May 30, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 20, 2019, after a total of 13 produced episodes.

CPU! STATUS: If Morris Chestnut can’t get the buzz or steam picked up, the potentiality for which we allowed (because Morris Chestnut), we estimate that our initial assessment of said series was about as correct as it was going to be without having actually viewed a full episode. To that end, we’ll be the Enemy Without and wave it away. Until the next one, Morris. We have faith that there will be a next one for you.

Fam

FAM, CBS

WHO: Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Odessa Adlon (Nashville), Tone Bell (Disjointed), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Mr. Robot), Sheryl Lee Ralph (One Mississippi, Instant Mom)

WHAT: A woman’s dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  There is no trailer for this show and very little information to go on to determine whether or not this program is worth a watch; not even TV pundits with connections have been given a glimpse, but then again, it’s CBS, and they’ve become kind of idiosyncratic as far as the major networks go – and not in a good way.  A few of us at CPU! just spent the last few seasons of The Vampire Diaries NOT watching Nina Dobrev, so she certainly would not be the primary draw here, but as the situational premise of this situation comedy is pretty thin, I am not convinced that it would be enticing to most of the potatoes I know.  If they start talking about it positively, though, we can always rethink the logic.

STATUS: Officially canceled! CBS canceled the freshman comedy on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on April 11, 2019, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Fam, we have heard zero buzz about this comedy.  And now we know why.

FBI

FBI, CBS

WHO: Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue), Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Zeeko Zaki (Valor, 24: Legacy), Ebonée Noel (Still Star-Crossed), Sela Ward (CSI: NY)

WHAT: The Dick Wolf-produced drama explores the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite a decently packaged trailer and a potentially unusual and compelling turn by Missy Peregrym in the lead role, if Dick Wolf has his stamp on this, it will likely be a crime-of-the-week, neatly wrapped up in an episode (or two) procedural show, this time exploring the inner workings of one of the federal law enforcement agencies.  We are not covering procedural TV (much) here at CPU!, and when we do, we’ll have to recruit a reviewer or moderator to do it because this Chief CP likely won’t be watching, at least not without an interesting gimmick to make it seem different from others of its genre.  I can’t imagine this to be something entirely different than Law & Order and its franchise of shows, even if this series is, also, not entirely the same.  CPU! will pass for now.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  CBS renewed this series for a second season on January 25, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on May 14, 2019, after a first season total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The talk lines are silent.  Maybe our podcaster roster and/or listeners don’t want to be wiretapped?  Bad joke.  Procedural TV does not fare well in our corner currently.  If you want to change that, drop us a line.

The Fix

THE FIX, ABC

WHO: Robin Tunney (The Mentalist), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Ten Days in the Valley, Lost), Mouzam Makkar (The Exorcist), Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash), Merrin Dungey (Big Little Lies, The Resident), Scott Cohen (Gilmore Girls), Marc Blucas (Underground, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Rayner (Tyrant), Alex Saxon (The Fosters)

WHAT: Follows an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. Eight years later when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder, Maya Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this cast is teeming with familiar faces from large and small screen (was that Robin Givens in the trailer?), this show seems (un)remarkably like a romanticized version of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial given a fantasy makeover, wherein the put-upon district attorney who failed her job the first time gets a second chance to re-try the case, with a different fact pattern in which to dig her bared teeth.  Since the executive producer is Marcia Clark, one of the DA’s who lost the criminal trial of the disgraced ex-NFL star and, therefore, probably felt like she failed at life for many decades to come, the premise of this show, still more, smacks of the playing out of her own revenge fantasy, one in which she can finally take down the elusive defendant who broke her career and her spirit.  OJ was probably guilty, but hey, I guess the glove didn’t fit or something.  I lived through the debacle that was that trial, when it created and fueled the news glut we still enjoy today (without so much internet) and which divided the nation again/still by race and by class.  While the trial itself inspired a critical examination of the judicial system, I, frankly, do not need to live through a fantasized version of the same story, this time delving into an “It’s a Wonderful Life” concept of do-overs to redeem the poor, put-upon, plucky, but intelligent DA who couldn’t get her conviction in the end.  I also worry that the character played by the erstwhile Mr. Eko from Lost could become a caricature quickly if not handled properly and with sympathy, given the obvious parallel to real life that he presents.  All in all, suspension of disbelief would certainly be difficult for this particular potato’s personal palate, but if you watch and disagree, let us know.  My curiosity simply isn’t morbid enough to need this fix.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Alphabet network canceled the legal drama on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 20, 2019, after a total of 10 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: I think we’ll stand by the original pass. We’ve seen no reviews, heard no buzz, and the OJ Simpson echoes probably still reverberate hollowly. What can we say? We think the fate of this show was fixed from the start.

God Friended Me

GOD FRIENDED ME, CBS

WHO: Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor), Joe Morton (Scandal), Violett Beane (The Flash), Javicia Leslie (MacGyver), Suraj Sharma (Homeland)

WHAT: Questions of faith, existence and science are explored in this dramedy about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he is “friended” by God on social media. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Now, maybe I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, but I teared up at the trailer, which means this one got to me in 3-4 minutes, and that’s not something to sneeze at when doing the quick math here.  Properties with pure religious motifs have not fared well on prime time network television in recent years, but perhaps what makes this one a bit different is that the show will attempt to explore the tough but meaningful subject of faith and the spiritual through more of a focused dialogue, beginning with the main character who runs a podcast about atheism.  Adding in the social media spin for today’s modern audiences, this premise teases something potentially fresh and original without becoming too preachy.  In fact, the show may become the kind of feel-good comedy – and discussion of hope – that today’s audiences crave in these testy times of geopolitical conflict.  Plus, I found the main characters to be largely winning – one of them is the sometime Jessie Quick from CPU! fave The Flash – so, all in all, it feels like this program deserves a leap of faith.  Friend request accepted.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  CBS renewed this series for a second season on January 29, 2019.  The Season 1 finale aired on April 14, 2019, after a total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: There has been at least one request for CPU! to cover this show on the podcast, so this Pick Up is definite and permanent. Not yet viewed.

Grand Hotel

GRAND HOTEL, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: June 17, 2019

WHO: Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids), Demian Bichir (The Bridge), Chris Warren (The Fosters), Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Shalim Ortiz (Heroes), Denyse Tontz (The Fosters), Bryan Craig (General Hospital), Lincoln Younes (Home and Away), Justina Adorno (Seven Seconds), Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why), Feliz Ramirez

WHAT: Set in the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Produced by former Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, this new sudsy soap screams telenovela for the now, with sex, sex, sex oozing from its Miami infused pores, a regular scandal (no, not that Scandal) in the making for the Disney-owned Alphabet network.  This will probably be a guilty, or not so guilty, pleasure for quite a few viewers, with an attractive cast, a colorful backdrop, and shocking secrets regularly revealed to appalled but enthralled gasps, but unless requested otherwise, CPU! will back away slowly, since soaps we cover are few and far between.  We will instead remember that the real Grand Hotel is on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  Granted, the clientele is probably very different all around.  All jokes aside, though, this show honestly has potential for success but is not the typical fare that appeals to too many of the CPU! Couch Potatoes.  Maybe they will surprise me, though.  You can request our coverage too, though, viewer – and did you know that you, too, could become one of our panelists?  Sign our guestbook to inquire as to how.

STATUS: This show literally premiered last night!

CPU! STATUS: This is the very definition of “too early to tell.” Please note our initial “grand” pass above, but let us know if this summer sudsy soap is worth the talk from our United Couch Potatoes. We are okay to be proven wrong…or, at least, too quickly judgmental. Sometimes.

Happy Together

HAPPY TOGETHER, CBS

WHO: Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl, Happy Endings), Amber Stevens West (Ghosted, The Carmichael Show), Felix Mallard (Neighbours), Stephnie Weir (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Parnell (Grown-ish, SNL), Victor Williams (The King of Queens)

WHAT: A 30-something couple, tired of their mundane life, start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when a young pop star who is drawn to their super normal suburban life, moves in.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Canned laughter.  Pauses for the canned laughter.  Pregnant pauses.  Dozing.  That last one was me; I’m the one dozing.  This new sitcom seems like a one-note joke that cannot possibly sustain over 22 episodes, much less several additional seasons, and will probably get old in one.  It’s clear that this new program wants to rely on Damon Wayans, Jr.’s considerable charm and comedic timing, but he simply doesn’t have THAT much charm and comedic timing to overcome the ham and cheese on rye flavoring this bland soupy sauce of a sitcom is serving up.  Sure, we all want to be young and hip again, but how tired is the “we’re boring, so this cool rock star will make us cool too” trope?  I did not laugh once watching the trailer, and with such a recycled and rehashed premise, I don’t see anyone at CPU! (or beyond) requesting our in-depth discussion about this show.  Look, Damon’s dad had to try a few times to get a sitcom that lasted too.  Genetics or something, right?

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Eye canceled this comedy on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on January 14, 2019, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Frankly, I am surprised that the show lasted that long.

I Feel Bad

I FEEL BAD, NBC

WHO: Sarayu Blue (No Tomorrow), Paul Adelstein (Private Practice), Zach Cherry (Crashing, Search Party), James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Johnny Pemberton (Superstore), Aisling Bea

WHAT: Emet is a mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter who is just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  First, the executive producer is Amy Poehler.  Win.  Second, sure the situations in this comedy probably have been done (and done, and done) elsewhere, but how many times have they been done honestly, with the kind of in-your-face humor that resonates?  Also win.  The Peacock has really made a comeback recently, at least in the comedy department, by choosing smart comedies with familiar premises but fresh elements developing those premises to something better than they might otherwise be.  Sarayu Blue and Paul Adelstein have clear chemistry; her parents will no doubt be the comic underdogs; and the social commentary will be relevant and up to date, unlike the last sitcom we reviewed in this pilot entry.  Perhaps, this “pick up” is somewhat inspired by a trailer that made me laugh, as opposed to the one that just failed at that basic task, but isn’t that what a sitcom should be – a show that makes the viewer laugh?  It’s worth a look, at least, because I can tell that this show already has a better chance of sustaining beyond one season than most in its genre.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Season 1 finale aired on December 27, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes. NBC canceled the struggling sitcom on May 10, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: We are surprised and not surprised by the news.  Despite the fact that there has been some modest positive feedback from the CPU! inner circles, and while the show has been labeled “not as funny as some,” the general reaction is that it is still funny.  The Peacock initially indicated that it would make a decision at a later date regarding renewal, which signals that it likely all came down to money and potential next season pilots in the end.  Since a whole season exists, though, and since one of our Potatoes (or two) also gave it a chance, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

In the Dark

IN THE DARK, The CW

WHO: Perry Mattfeld (Shameless), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Kathleen York (The Client List, The West Wing), Derek Webster (NCIS: New Orleans), Brooke Markham (Foursome), Keston John (My Kitchen Rules)

WHAT: A blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The trailer was apparently only screened at up-fronts, but this not-so-connected viewer needs a trailer to make an unbiased assessment of this show.  Without one, and given the above premise description, it sounds like a schmaltzy hodgepodge of lovable dog, inspiring tale of rising to meet the challenges of adversity, and murder-mystery procedural rolled into a saccharine goo.  Plus, there is no one in the cast that offers a draw, and it’s on the CW, which struggles outside of the fantasy/science fiction genre sometimes.  If buzz, accolades, or steam say this dark show is full of unexpected light, we might reconsider, but right now, this viewer offers a solid “meh,” and we unitedly move on.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The CW renewed all of its freshman series, including this one, on April 24, 2019. Eleven of thirteen ordered episodes have aired as of the publication of this post.

CPU! STATUS: Honestly, we’re pretty in the dark about this one and passed based upon a review of premise alone, as noted above. How do you feel about In the Dark? Drop us a line, and let us know if it’s worth a CPU! review!

The InBetwen

THE INBETWEEN, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: May 29, 2019

WHO: Harriet Dyer (Australia’s Love Child), Paul Blackthorne (Arrow), Anne-Marie Johnson (In the Heat of the Night), Cindy Luna (The Last Ship), Chad James Buchanan (Star)

WHAT: Cassie Bishop can see and communicate with the dead, helping them with their unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not. When her longtime friend Det. Tom Hackett and his new partner, former FBI Agent Damien Asante, need help solving a darkly puzzling murder, Cassie agrees to use her abilities. Despite her reluctance, she may have found a way to keep her demons at bay, all while solving some of the city’s most challenging cases.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  This new drama sounds like a cross between The Sixth Sense and garden variety procedural crime/murder mystery television, but new fantasy appears to be rather limited this season, and that’s what the CP’s live for around here (this Chief CP does, anyway).  Plus, Paul Blackthorne left CPU! covered Arrow to come be on this show, so we’ll give it a chance.  If the bend is more procedural than serial drama, though, we might lose interest, but we’ll see how this one shakes out in the end.

STATUS: Three of ten ordered episodes have aired as of the publication of this post. No announcement regarding renewal or cancellation has yet been made, as it is generally too early to make those kinds of decisions with such a late premiere at work.

CPU! STATUS: We have heard nothing (yet) to dissuade us from our initial Pick Up of this show. We do like Paul Blackthorne around here, after all. Have you been following our DCTU Series, specifically covering Arrow? We highly recommend it.

The Kids Are Alright

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, ABC

WHO: Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Caleb Foote (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Giani Versace), Christopher Paul Richards (Me, Myself & I), Jack Gore (Electric Dreams), Sawyer Barth (Public Morals), Sam Straley, Andy Walken, Santino Barnard

WHAT: Set in the 1970s, the ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The Wonder Years meets That 70s Show with a dash of Modern Family and maybe All in the Family as well as Eight is Enough thrown into the mix to become The Kids Are Alright, which, incidentally, was the working title of That 70s Show. Though I wanted to like what this teaser trailer was serving, this new sitcom boasts much in the way of ham-fisted nostalgia, in spades, coupled with forced parallelism to our modern times, while depending on what seems to be a lackluster cast of mostly unknown quantities trying, hard, to elicit laughs.  It even has voice-over narration in the way Daniel Stern’s Kevin Arnold talked over the younger Fred Savage version of the character’s antics in The Wonder Years.  Perhaps, there is potential to appeal to viewers hungry for this type of on-the-nose comedy, and if there is something we’re missing here, you can always tell us, but again, nothing struck as particularly funny as much as “all been done before” while watching the trailer, so we’re not willing to say this one’s alright, at least for now.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Alphabet network canceled this series on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 21, 2019. The available season is comprised of 23 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: This is a cancellation that seemed to mildly shock the internet when the decision was made; yet, no one in our personal circles has talked about it, requested podcast coverage, or otherwise made mention.  I don’t know if these kids are alright are not, but I have not been convinced to pass the “pass.”  There have been several opportunities, though…feel free to take one yourself by commenting on this post.

Legacies

LEGACIES, The CW

WHO: Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries), Danielle Rose Russell (The Originals), Quincy Fouse (The Goldbergs), Kaylee Bryant (Santa Clarita Diet), Jenny Boyd

WHAT: The Vampire Diaries and Originals spinoff follows the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, including Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be — or the villains they were born to be?

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  CPU! includes fans who talked for several episodes about The Vampire Diaries and another panel will be finishing up ongoing water cooler coverage of The Originals in the very near future, now that the series has recently ended.  I imagine, therefore, that a chunk of us will want to check out this spin-off of the Vampire Diaries universe, if for no other reason than that any one of us might have a tough time letting said universe go for good.  Still, it would be a tall order to imagine that any of these characters, or their portraying actors, will be as interesting as the leading casts of either TVD or The Originals, but since the theme of the season seems to be morbid curiosity, we’ll just carry that with us as we give this new entry in the annals of vampire/supernatural fantasy fiction a try (and even if Alaric’s school is the supernatural Hogwarts).  Plus, we might see guest appearances by anyone from either of the two casts, so, morbid curiosity for the win!

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The CW renewed this series for a second season on January 31, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on March 28, 2019. The first season is comprised of 16 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, primarily because our fans of The Vampire Diaries universe expressed in the last related podcast episode (The Originals, Season 5/Looking Back) that they felt somewhat burnt out by this corner of their various fandoms. Still, after time passes…who knows?

Magnum P.I.

MAGNUM P.I., CBS

WHO: Jay Hernandez (Scandal, Last Resort), Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadful), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings), Stephen Hill (Luke Cage, Boardwalk Empire)

WHAT: An update of the classic television series set in Hawaii, the show follows Thomas Magnum, a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Do you see Tom Selleck anywhere?  Do you?!?!  The answer to this question is the same answer to the question, “Will you be watching this latest reboot?” From the network that also brought us reboots of Hawaii Five-O and MacGyver – and, hell, of the entire 1980s – we now have a reboot of Magnum PI. Rebooted theme song included.  I didn’t watch much of the original and can’t imagine watching a less awesome actor than Tom Selleck taking on the part of the titular Magnum.  Call me crotchety, but this reboot madness is, well, madness.  Of course, wait until you read just a bit further.

We pass, by the way.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The network renewed this series for a second season on January 25, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on April 1, 2019.  The first season is comprised of 20 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We have had one request to talk about this show, which may later spark a “Look Back to Look Forward” series about this latest reboot/remake.  There is no clamoring currently, but Jay Hernandez seems to leave viewers weak in the knees. Still, with this request, that means we must change the status to “Very Hesitantly Pick Up, not yet viewed.”  We are a podcast by the people, for the people, after all. 

Manifest

MANIFEST, NBC

WHO: Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time), Melissa Roxburgh (Valor), J.R. Ramirez (Jessica Jones, Power), Athena Karkanis (Zoo), Parveen Kaur (Beyond), Luna Blaise (Fresh Off the Boat), Jack Messina

WHAT: When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Though the Peacock network may yet be trying for its next Lost, like so many other networks, ABC included, have tried before it, and though the trailer was not the best packaged presentation to tease the mystery being offered here, this new drama does offer some areas of interest, though this viewer’s immediate question was: “Did they fly over the Bermuda Triangle?”  Our Once Upon a Time panelists might be interested in the quick return of top-billed Josh Dallas, the once upon a time Prince Charming from the recently ended ABC fantasy.  Our Marvel’s Defenders panel may recognize J.R. Ramirez from the second season of Jessica Jones.  Ultimately, though, the core mystery is intriguing: where did the plane go, and why didn’t they age?  Though my vote is Bermuda Triangle voodoo, or maybe alien kidnapping, I’m intrigued enough to want to watch to learn the answers.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2! NBC renewed this thriller on April 15, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on February 18, 2019. The first season is comprised of 16 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Manifest has been requested as a podcast candidate, and there has been some fairly emphatic buzz about this show – not Lost level buzz but unmistakable buzz, nonetheless.  Expect to see a Manifest podcast panel in the future.

Murphy Brown

MURPHY BROWN, CBS

WHO: Original stars Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud, plus Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Jake McDorman (Limitless, Greek), Nik Dodani (Atypical)

WHAT: Bergen reprises her role as the investigative journalist, who returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news, and a very different political and cultural climate.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  It’s madness, I tell you!  But, hey, do you see Candice Bergen?  Do you?!?!  Well…that is the question, you got your answer, and so on, etc. que sera, fin. Of all the reboots to reboot, this one couldn’t be more appropriate or timely for today’s geopolitical circus, which, frankly, depresses this CP regardless of on which side of the aisle you prefer to hang your hat.  Back in the day, Murphy Brown was a hard-hitting situation comedy that challenged the tenets passing for the conservatism heading the country and the bumbling silence of the liberal answer, all while also holding the media complex, then far less complex, accountable for their contribution to the insanity.  Now, the world is a lot more insane, and, frankly, I could use Murphy’s brand of loyalty to the truth and skewering sarcasm to make me feel better about the state of things.  Though the reboot moves on without the inimitable Charles Kimbrough and the now deceased Robert Pastorelli, two ingredients we might end up missing more than we think, I believe the world is more ready for an older, sassier Murphy than they are for a Magnum PI who is not Tom Selleck.  Dan Quayle, eat your heart out!  Mike Pence: brace yourself!

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Season 1 finale aired on December 20, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.  The Eye canceled the reboot on May 10, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: Honestly, with initial reviews from both trusted sources and trusted critics not being entirely promising, we are not surprised by this cancellation. How could this show possibly be the same as it was in its heyday? Most quick critiques of the show suggested that it seemed to find its stride as it progressed, but it took some readjustment to account for the change in times, which amount to some decades after the conclusion of the original series. After all, the Bush Sr. and Trump eras are not in any way equal. The media complexes of each contemporary time frame are not the same, either.

In the end, though, some of our CPU! faithful did check into this one and might have something to say about it, for better or for worse. Plus, the original series is definitely worth the Look Back for what it accomplished at the time. Since a full revival season exists, and since one or two of our Potatoes gave it a chance, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

The Neighborhood

THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CBS

WHO: Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls), Sheaun McKinney (Great News), Marcel Spears (The Mayor), Tichina Arnold (Survivor’s Remorse), Hank Greenspan

WHAT: The nicest guy in the Midwest moves his family into a tough neighborhood in L.A. where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  With only a 30 second teaser available to assess this new comedy, this viewer is not particularly hopeful or confident that things will be all that good in this neighborhood.  Still, Cedric the Entertainer is reliably funny, and Max Greenfield’s sense of comedic timing (the erstwhile Schmidt on recently ended New Girl, of course) could be the winning ingredient, while lightly poking fun at some sociological phenomena of this day and age that will cross some important social and cultural boundaries.  Or, it could just be a hot mess, since Max was a last minute recasting, particularly if it relies on a traditional sitcom format, laugh track included, to elicit viewer laughs.  Still, we’ve given other pick ups to shows with less going for them, so why not?

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  CBS renewed this series for a second season on January 25, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on April 22, 2019.  The first season is comprised of 21 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The CPU! Podcast received a request to cover this show in podcast format, so this Pick Up is definite and permanent.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

New Amsterdam

NEW AMSTERDAM, NBC

WHO: Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist), Janet Montgomery (Salem), Freema Agyeman (Sense8, Doctor Who), Anupam Kher (Sense8), Tyler Labine (Reaper), Jocko Sims (The Last Ship)

WHAT: Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, the medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Okay, I’ll grant you: it’s another medical drama, which CPU! doesn’t cover much, and there are few genres that rely so heavily on formulaic tropes as the medical drama (outside of procedural TV).  Yet, there’s something a bit different about this medical drama, at least given what was presented in the trailer.  And NBC is on fire this coming season with some intriguing pilots and orders to season that sort of break mold – so why shouldn’t their selection for a medical drama be different, even if they might be looking to find their next ER, which was a tent pole staple of evening TV on this very network for nearly two decades.  The doctor in the lead has cancer, is appointed director of medicine at the oldest hospital in the nation, and wants to disrupt the system enough to get the hospital to return focus to actual medicine and not upon speedy service and expensive billing.  And really – isn’t that what we all want? Sure, this one could descend rapidly into schmaltz, but I don’t know.  There’s something a bit bolder here than the normal medical drama, and I think I’m here for it.  Let’s see if other Couch Potatoes feel the same.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  NBC renewed this series for a second season on February 4, 2019.  The Season 1 finale aired on May 14, 2019. The first season is comprised of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The CPU! Podcast received at least one request to cover this show in podcast format, so this Pick Up is definite and permanent.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

The Passage

THE PASSAGE, Fox

WHO: Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Pitch), Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), Brianne Howey (The Exorcist), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Saniyya Sidney (American Horror Story: Roanoke), Jamie McShane (Bloodline), Caroline Chikezie (The Shannara Chronicles)

WHAT: Based on author Justin Cronin’s best‐selling trilogy of the same name, the drama centers around a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race. The series focuses on a 10‐year‐old girl named Amy Bellafonte, who is chosen to be a test subject for this experiment and Brad Wolgast, the Federal agent who becomes her surrogate father as he tries to protect her.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up. Though this CP thinks she might actually want to read these books first after watching the trailer, I am all sorts of intrigued by the story – which feels very movie-like, by the way, in terms of tension and mystery – being presented by The Passage.  First, I think Zach Morris is no longer the worst, for reals, though.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar seems to be putting forth a compelling effort in the lead character role for this show and more of a compelling effort than I’ve seen him put forth recently.  Second, what a tangled web of moral ambiguity we’re about to watch!  No wonder these books were bestsellers.  This show presents a heck of a lot of science fiction fueled potential, and that’s what we love here at CPU!, so pick this one up we shall – seems like easy passage to me.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The network newly owned by Disney canceled Zach Morris’ new series on May 10, 2019. The now series finale aired on March 11, 2019, with a total of ten produced episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Two of the CPU! faithful requested this series as a podcast candidate, which means one might expect a “Canceled Corner/Looking Back” review at some point in the future. I wonder how they feel about this cancellation…if you would like to join this potential panel, drop us a line! You know what to do!

Proven Innocent

PROVEN INNOCENT, Fox

WHO: Rachelle Lefevre (Under the Dome), Russell Hornsby (Grimm), Kelsey Grammer (Boss), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Riley Smith (Frequency, Nashville), Nikki M. James (BrainDead), Clare O’Connor (Easy)

WHAT: A legal drama set in an wrongful conviction firm. Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, the team reopens investigations, putting their own lives in danger to exonerate the innocent that were “proven” guilty.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. There are medical dramas, and then there are legal dramas.  No TV season can be without 20 of each.  Though the trailer here presented a premise that promises to be manipulative and somewhat force-fed, this viewer is drawn to cast members this time out, particularly Russell Hornsby, who we loved on Grimm; Kelsey Grammer, who is more than a mere Boss; and Vincent Kartheiser, married to Alexis Bledel and sometime supporting star of Mad Men and Angel.  I will give this one a try for them, but if this drama falls into a nebulous sticky goo of manipulative feel-good lawyer-type stuff, it won’t last – for us or for the viewing public, at least not in an entertainment complex saturated with vehicles just like it.

STATUS: Officially canceled! Fox proved its guilt by canceling this series on May 11, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 10, 2019. The available season is comprised of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The critics, to put it directly, did not like this one. It’s rated “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, fared slightly better on Metacritic, and audience reception was lukewarm at best, which ratings generally reflect. Critical consensus suggests that a stellar cast was otherwise hampered by poor writing and story mapping. Legal drama or no, with a full season presumably out there, we’ll check this one out and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner” – very eventually, since our list is long.  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

The Red Line

THE RED LINE, CBS

WHO: Noah Wyle (ER), Noel Fisher (Shameless), Michael Patrick Thornton (Private Practice), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Ballers, Hand of God), Vinny Chhibber (NoTomorrow), Aliyah Royale, Howard Charles (The Musketeers), Elizabeth Laidlaw (Boss)

WHAT: After a white cop in Chicago mistakenly shoots and kills a black doctor, we follow three vastly different families that all have connections with the case as the story is told from each perspective.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass. There is no trailer available to watch for the TV pundits, so judging from the scant synopsis offered above, this particular new vehicle has the potential to be Crash, the TV show.  Or, perhaps it’s another go at Shots Fired, a limited series that aired on Fox and was canceled after one season of low ratings.  As easy on the eyes as Noah Wyle is, and as happy as we are to see him back on TV, there simply isn’t enough to go on to establish a connection beyond what seems visibly recycled.  If buzz, accolades, or steam start steaming up the joint, we’ll happily reconsider.  We’re really quite flexible around here.  There’s nothing preventing us from doing our yoga while we couch potato, you know.

STATUS: Though billed as a “limited” series, this show was officially given the “red line” of cancellation on June 7, 2019. All eight of its ordered episodes aired; the series finale aired on May 19, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: We initially passed because, based on synopsis alone, the show seemed derivative. The critics gave it some positive vibes, more or less, but no one we know (or don’t know) said anything about this program, Noah Wyle or no. Because the TV landscape is full of eye candy to consume, we will stay in the passing lane. If you feel passionately the opposite, you know how to get a hold of us!

Rel

REL, Fox

WHO: Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Sinbad (A Different World, The Sinbad Show), Jordan L. Jones, Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore

WHAT: Lil Rel, a prideful, self-made success who lives by the code to “always believe in yourself and great things will come,” finds that attitude put to the test when he learns his wife is having an affair with his own barber. He tries to rebuild his life post-divorce as a long-distance single father on the South Side of Chicago who’s on a quest for love, respect and a new barber.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass. Holy crap!  It’s Sinbad!  Sinbad aside, though, Lil Rel feels a tad, a smidge, a smudge, a whit, an iota….you get the drift….just like a wannabe Tyler Perry or maybe an Eddie Murphy, the one of Nutty Professor days, without actually being all that funny.  I might not be in the target audience for this comedy, which I can respect, but this viewer also thinks that this new comedy might be trying too hard for laughs like some other new sitcoms on this list.  Anyway, I only laughed once at the trailer – at Sinbad – and just don’t feel that this show’s worth the look, but if you can convince us otherwise, by all means.  Give it a go.

STATUS: Officially canceled! Fox canceled this comedy on April 17, 2019. The now series finale aired on January 13, 2019, after a total of 12 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The critics have not been kind to this sitcom, and the ratings were altogether poor.  Additionally, no one talked about this comedy around the United Couch Potatoes, so we think we made the correct initial call.  Feel free to talk us out of it – if you can.

The Rookie

THE ROOKIE, ABC

WHO: Nathan Fillion (Castle), Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter), Eric Winter (Rosewood, Witches of East End), Richard T. Jones (Wisdom of the Crowd), Mercedes Mason (Fear the Walking Dead), Afton Williamson (The Night Of, Banshee), Titus Makin (The Path, Pretty Little Liars), Alyssa Diaz (Ray Donovan, Zoo)

WHAT: Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives including his own. But if he can use his life experience, determination and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  As much as a return of Nathan Fillion to prime-time TV is a sight for sore eyes no matter how you slice and dice this particular puree, unfortunately, he’s returning in a cop drama.  And while it is a cop drama with a twist, where he plays an older rookie being judged by younger members of the police force (and command), the trailer seems to indicate that, ultimately, it’s still a cop drama.  I think people will watch this show for him – this viewer momentarily contemplated it – and it might even do well.  Unfortunately, apart from the erstwhile Captain Mal, the erstwhile Captain Hammer, and the erstwhile Castle, not a captain, there is very little that connects for this particular potato, and I’m pretty doubtful the current CPU! panelist lineup will fare much better.  With all that said, we wish Mr. Fillion all the best and may be influenced to change our minds with the right amount of water cooler buzz.  Or, just contact us!  We like that.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2! The Alphabet renewed this gorram cop drama on May 10, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on April 16, 2019, after a total of 20 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: One of our Couch Potatoes refers to Nathan Fillion as his man-crush. As a result, I am just going to change this to “Very Hesitantly Pick Up” based on that assessment alone. Because who can argue with that logic? Shiny! Otherwise, not yet viewed.

Roswell New Mexico

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO, The CW

WHO: Jeanine Mason (Grey’s Anatomy), Nathan Parsons (The Originals), Tyler Blackburn (Pretty Little Liars), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries), Heather Hemmens (Hellcats), Lily Cowles (BrainDead), Michael Vlamis (New Girl), Trevor St. John (Containment), Karan Oberoi (Notorious, NCIS)

WHAT: After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  Oh, hey, CW, I see you.  You’re beefing up, not one, but two of the WB’s oldest, most cult-adored properties for this coming season, eh?  Even though you’ve traditionally done better than your big brother networks at aiming for the original and then sticking with it until you’ve bled it dry?  Unlike Charmed, Roswell has more of a cult following even than some of the WB’s – and the CW’s – most cult-y audience favorites.  It lasted for only a few seasons in its original run, but those that are in the Roswell fan club speak highly of it.  While I never caught that one, though I can’t say why for sure, as Roswell is the kind of vehicle typically up this viewer’s normal alley of weird and wacky sci-fi TV, and considering that this potato and CPU! in its early days gave Star-Crossed, a very Roswell-like science fiction romance that was canceled quickly by the CW, a chance, I do know that a few of our resident Couch Potatoes are big fans of the first version of this alien love story.  Will they be of this reboot?  Well, we will very hesitantly pick this one up and have what will, no doubt, be another judgmental look back to look forward series.  We may even talk about the Charmed reboot and this one in succession.  I will say that what this reboot has going for it more than anything else: Nathan Parsons.  He has romantic lead potential not fully tapped or explored so far, typically because his characters are short-lived, and he has acted in other popular genre entries like True Blood and The Originals.  So, the show is worth a wary look.  A very wary look.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  The CW generously renewed all of its freshman series, this one included. The decision was made final on April 24, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on April 23, 2019, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We have requests to talk about the original series, so I think my estimated Look Back to Look Forward Roswell multi-parter is in the cards for CPU! Stay tuned! We haven’t yet watched this one, though.

Schooled

SCHOOLED, ABC

WHO: AJ Michalka, Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen (The Goldbergs)

WHAT: Set in 1990-something, the Goldbergs spinoff follows the hilarious teachers of William Penn Academy, who, despite their eccentricities and crazy personal lives, are heroes to their students.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass For Now.  CPU! is not currently covering The Goldbergs, either on the podcast or in blog format, so before we consider even looking into a spin-off of said flashback comedy, which propels us from 80s to 90s, no less, we would want to take a look at the comedy that “schooled” this one into being.  We’ll keep an eye on it, though, given its spin-off status, and see how it fares.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2!  ABC renewed this spin-off on May 11, 2019. The Season 1 finale aired on May 8, 2019, after 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We still have to watch The Goldbergs around here. When we do, we will revisit schooling ourselves about Schooled. Sound fair, students?

Single Parents

SINGLE PARENTS, ABC

WHO: Taran Killam (SNL), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Kimrie Lewis (Scandal), Jake Choi (Hawaii Five-O, Younger), Marlow Barkley, Tyler Wladis, Devin Trey Campbell, Grace Hazelett, Sadie Hazelett

WHAT: Follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this sitcom actually has some solid potential to sustain, and more than some of the other new sitcom entries on the season, given some welcome use of sarcasm and irony to tell the jokes, the people who will find this funniest will, no doubt, be in the group referenced by the title, or at least parents in general, which this potato cannot currently claim to be.  If any parental panelist sprung forward, though, and said that they would like to talk about this one, I would probably quickly change my mind about this “pass.”  Honestly, the funniest characters may be everyone but Taran Killam’s, but there were some sincere laughs in the trailer, and that bodes well for these single parents all around – just think what 22 minutes might bring.  This is not a hard pass; it’s merely a practical one, that a little peer pressure could probably turn around.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down, potatoes?

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season 2! The Season 1 finale aired on May 8, 2019. The first season is comprised of 23 episodes. ABC renewed the series on May 10, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: One CPU! panelist has offered an almost glowing recommendation (and request) to talk Elizabeth Merriwether’s new show on the podcast, and in the wake of the vacuum left by a departed New Girl, we cannot fight the logic.  Changing this status to “Pick Up,” not yet viewed.

The Village

THE VILLAGE, NBC

WHO: LorraineToussaint (Rosewood), Michaela McManus (Seal Team), Warren Christie (The Resident, Chicago Fire), Moran Atias (The Resident, Tyrant), Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy), Dominic Chianese (The Sopranos), Jerod Haynes (Southside With You), Frankie Faison (Banshee, The Wire)

WHAT: Follows the residents of a Brooklyn apartment building who have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah’s a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe’s a young law student who got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S.-born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick’s a veteran who’s returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  With no trailer publicly available, we of the lowly Michigan-based podcast have to rely on early reviews of the trailer – which are decidedly mixed.  What also seems decidedly true is that the Peacock might be searching for its next This Is Us, which would be great, if This Is Us wasn’t still on the air.  Honestly, maybe there are some feel-good or just feeling stories told well in this new drama, but, to this viewer and based on synopsis alone, it has the potential for saccharine, predictable storytelling that could descend into manipulative melodrama quickly.  If I am wrong, tell me.  I’m okay to be wrong.  We have to be ruthless with our choices around here, though, so unless buzz and water-cooler steam percolates from the hotness of this show, we will detour away from this village.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The Peacock shut down this series on May 30, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 21, 2019. The available season consists of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We believe that This Is Us lightning was never likely to strike twice, on the same network to boot. Critical consensus was middling to poor, and the series struggled in the ratings. This marks the opposite of buzz and steam, so we stay confident in passing by this village.

Whiskey Cavalier

WHISKEY CAVALIER, ABC

WHO: Scott Foley (Scandal), Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids, Ugly Betty), Tyler James Williams (The Walking Dead), Vir Das (Go Goa Gone)

WHAT: Follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super-agent Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier”). Following an emotional break-up, Chase is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune”). Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  I did not want to like this.  I did NOT want to like this.  It started off with some definite ham and cheese on rye with the overly fuzzy and tender-hearted main character who moonlights by day as an agent of the FBI – and oh my, how Scott Foley has aged (*fans self at the thirty second mark of the trailer*) – but as I continued to watch said trailer, I found that the presentation navigated into territory previously tread by, say, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Alias, Castle, and a pinch of The X-Files but in a way that felt fresh and new.  Plus, this show and Scott’s character have a catchy code name; it’s rare that the title charms, but charms it has done.  By the end of the trailer, I found myself ensconced in the witty repartee of the two main characters, who have real chemistry, even though I wasn’t expecting a high-octane government agent premise to be pockmarked with some sardonic romantic comedy.  It is because of this unexpected wit and twisty working that I find myself wanting to see more.  Go watch the few minutes worth of a sample, and tell me you don’t agree.  Is Mr. Foley married, though?

STATUS: Officially canceled! ABC canceled Scott Foley’s new series on May 12, 2019. The now series finale aired on May 22, 2019, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: This show is a definitive candidate for CPU!’s “Canceled Corner.” The announcement around this cancellation broke the internet for a few days. The critics gave this one high marks, but the ratings didn’t reflect the love, even if the show’s small but vocal fan base proved itself both small and vocal, with ABC waffling – somewhat publicly – about its initial cancellation decision. This preview was so promising, CPU! is still going to take a look and most likely will cover it in a “Canceled Corner” review.  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

LAST MINUTE NETWORK SQUEAKER!

Image result for blood & treasure

BLOOD & TREASURE, CBS

PREMIERE: May 21, 2019

WHO: Matt Barr, Sofia Pernas, Michael James Shaw, Katia Winter, James Callis, Oded Fehr, Alicia Coppola, Mark Gagliardi.

WHAT: Blood & Treasure centers on a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure. As they crisscross the globe hunting their target, they unexpectedly find themselves in the center of a 2,000-year-old battle for the cradle of civilization.

PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up. It all basically sounds like an Indiana Jones knock-off that CBS ordered late to beef up content for the Eye’s summer season schedule. Yet, of all the things to knock off, Indiana Jones ranks high on the list of potentially enticing candidates, provided it is done well. Does this series, however, with its lack of marketing fanfare and its very late-stage premiere as well as a somewhat derivative premise, stand a chance? The Chief CP at CPU! is willing to give it a try and to hope that said try is successful.

STATUS: Five of thirteen likely ordered episodes (only nine are confirmed, from what the internet tells me, however) have aired, though Episode 6 airs tonight. Pundits already believe that renewal chances are a “long shot” at best, given middling critical response, though ratings have been modestly average for a summer series.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The following is a link to all premiere dates for shows covered beyond the main networks: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/tv-premiere-dates

Non-Broadcast Network Pick-Ups

Disenchantment (Netflix) – They had me at “Futurama but for fantasy rather than sci-fi.”

The latest animated series from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is basically Futurama but for fantasy rather than sci-fi. Abbi Jacobson, Nat Faxon, and Eric Andre head a vocal cast that also includes Futurama vets Billy West, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille.

STATUS: The streaming giant ordered a full season of 22 episodes, 10 were released on August 17, 2018, with the remaining 12 slated to be released on September 20, 2019.  Netflix has already renewed this program for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Innocents (Netflix) – “British,” “supernatural,” and “teen drama” are all pretty much up the podcast’s alley.

Guy Pearce stars in this British supernatural teen drama.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on August 24, 2018.  There has been no word regarding the potential of renewal for additional seasons.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime) – All I saw was “The Office’s John Krasinski,” but I do enjoy a good Jack Ryan story.

In the first TV series based on Tom Clancy’s books, The Office‘s John Krasinski plays a modern-day version of the titular CIA analyst—previously portrayed on screen by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine—as he embarks on his first field assignment that finds him attempting to thwart a terrorist attack. Lost vets Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland created and produce the eight-episode series, which also stars Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directs the opening episode, while others are helmed by Dan Sackheim (The Americans). The series has already been renewed for a 2nd season.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on August 31, 2018.  Amazon renewed this series for a Seasons 2 AND 3!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, but this series was requested for podcast coverage, and with John Krasinski starring in it, how can I resist?  This Pick Up is definite and permanent.

Mayans M.C. (FX): The original “Sons of Anarchy” has been a recommended panel for some time, now, so we’ll keep an eye on this spin-off and see if our resident “Sons” fans feel as passionate about it.

Sons of Anarchy spinoff stars JD Pardo, Edward James Olmos, Clayton Cardenas, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, and Richard Cabral.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 6, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  FX renewed the Sons of Anarchy spin-off for a Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Purge (USA): Though we should probably make sure we’ve watched all of the movie franchise first…

Yes, it’s a series adaptation of the Purge movie franchise set within the same universe, where all crime is legal for a 12-hour period each year.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 6, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  USA renewed this series for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Kidding (Showtime): The Chief CP is a huge fan of Michel Gondry and has seen a few early teasers for this show.  I’m sold on all of the elements, from director to cast to premise.

It’s the first TV show from quirky film/video director Michel Gondry, who reunites with his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind star Jim Carrey (himself returning to TV as a regular in a scripted, non-sketch TV series for the first time since 1984’s The Duck Factory). Carrey plays Mr. Pickles, the increasingly troubled host of a beloved children’s television series that looks like a cross between Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Muppet Show. The terrific cast also includes Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, Frank Langella, and Justin Kirk. Gondry is a producer and directs multiple episodes of the series—you’ll definitely notice his handiwork in the trailer—which was created by Weeds writer Dave Holstein.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 11, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  Showtime renewed this Michel Gondry vehicle for Season 2! The second season is expected to premiere later in 2019.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The First (Hulu): Solid potential between premise and cast, and we like science fiction around here.

A co-production between Hulu and the UK’s Channel 4, the latest series from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon takes place in the near future as it follows the development of the first human space mission to Mars. Sean Penn (in his first regular TV role) and Natascha McElhone head a cast that also features James Ransone, Oded Fehr, Hannah Ware, and Lisa Gay Hamilton.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on September 14, 2018.  Hulu canceled this series on January 18, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: No one’s really talked about it over in the CPU! camp, but the cast and general curiosity will have us checking into it for “Canceled Corner” possibilities. Did you watch this series? What did you think?

Forever (Amazon Prime): Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph were two of the most solid SNL character players.  That reminds me, I need to catch up on “Portlandia.”

Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph star as a married couple attempting to break out of their boring, suburban rut in a new Amazon comedy series from Master of None co-creator Alan Yang and 30 Rock‘s Matt Hubbard. Catherine Keener and Noah Robbins also star.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on September 14, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation possibilities.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Camping (HBO): All I saw was “David Tennant.”  Hearts hearts hearts.  I don’t even care what it’s about. (I hope it doesn’t suck).  Though Jennifer Garner was Sydney Bristow, and that’s pretty good too.

This adaptation of the British comedy series about a group of old friends on a back-to-nature group holiday at a lackluster campsite comes from the team behind HBO’s Girls, including creator Lena Dunham and producer Jenni Konner. Jennifer Garner (in her first regular TV role since Alias) and David Tennant lead a cast that also includes Juliette Lewis, Arturo Del Puerto, Brett Gelman, Ione Skye, and Bridget Everett.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on December 2, 2018, after a total of 8 episodes.  HBO has not discussed the future of this series.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix): It’s the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” reboot, so there will probably be a look back to look forward series.  Plus, it’s got an early renewal.  That’s some brass, Netflix.

Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka stars as Archie Comics character Sabrina Spellman (aka Sabrina the Teenage Witch) in this Greg Berlanti-produced series that was originally developed as a spinoff from Riverdale for that show’s network, The CW. (Both shows were developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.) Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Bronson Pinchot, and Ross Lynch also star. Netflix has already renewed the show for a second season.

STATUS: Season 1, Part One, was released on October 26, 2018, with a total of 10 episodes. Netflix subsequently released a holiday special for this show on December 14, 2018.  In addition, Netflix renewed this wildly popular new take on the Sabrina Spellman character for a Season 2, and Season 1, Part Two, released on April 5, 2019. What’s more, as of December 18, 2018, Netflix renewed this series for Seasons 3 AND 4 as well (unless they meant the two parts of Season 2. Honestly, it’s kind of bewitchingly confusing…)!

CPU! STATUS: In our December 19, 2018, publication of CPU!, an episode devoted to A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2, it was announced that CPU! will officially be embarking upon a series devoted to one of the premiere Water Cooler shows of the year, coming soon (likely to be recorded spring or summer, 2019). It is my hope that the podcast series will a) be a “Look Back to Look Forward” affair, including the fluffier Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and that b) there will some cross-over potential with our, also, newly announced panel for Riverdale, which has been confirmed to be set in the same universe, both in the comics and on screen.  Stay tuned for all this nerdy, darkly comic goodness!

Homecoming (Amazon Prime): This has got a crazy good cast and stellar producer cred; plus, we’ll check out this podcast in solidarity.

Based on the hit Gimlet Media fiction podcast of the same name, this psychological thriller comes from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and stars Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Dermot Mulroney, Stephan James, and Alex Karpovsky. A second season will stream next year.

STATUS: The first season of 10 episodes was released on November 2, 2018.  Since Amazon ordered two seasons off the bat, this show was automatically renewed for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Kominsky Method (Netflix): Though Chuck Lorre needs to work on his overall sense of humor, at least for this couch potato’s edification, I think Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin earn a look.

The latest series from producer Chuck Lorre (who previously developed the short-lived Disjointed for the streaming service) is a single-camera comedy starring Michael Douglas as a Hollywood acting coach. Alan Arkin co-stars as his longtime agent and friend, while Nancy Travis plays a divorcée who enrolls in his acting class. Lisa Edelstein will also have a recurring guest role.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on November 16, 2018.  Officially renewed for Season 2 on January 17, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Added to the List!

Haunting of Hill House (Netflix): The Water Cooler show of Halloween 2018! 

In the summer of 1992, Hugh and Olivia Crain and their children – Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Nell – move into Hill House to renovate the mansion in order to sell it and build their own house, designed by Olivia. However, due to unexpected repairs, they have to stay longer, and they begin to experience increasing paranormal phenomena that results in a tragic loss and the family fleeing from the house. Twenty-six years later, the Crain siblings and their estranged father reunite after tragedy strikes again, and they are forced to confront how their time in Hill House had affected each of them.

STATUS: The “limited” season of 10 episodes was released on October 12, 2018.  On February 21, 2019, Netflix then rendered the series somewhat less limited by making it of the anthology format and officially renewing it for Season 2.

CPU! STATUS: This highly discussed and touted series – given Stephen King’s unabashed endorsement, no less – has also been highly requested at the podcast.  Stay tuned!

Good Omens (Amazon Prime): David Tennant and Michael Sheen star in a series adapted from a beloved Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman noveland when I say beloved, I mean by several of our resident Potatoes. Also David Tennant…hearts hearts hearts!

Set in 2018, the series follows the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), who, being accustomed to life on Earth, seek to prevent the coming of the Antichrist and Armageddon, the final battle between Heaven and Hell.

STATUS: The six episode “miniseries” was released to the Amazon Prime streaming service on May 31, 2019, (just under the wire)! Since it is being billed as a miniseries, there does not seem to be an indication that a second season is being contemplated.

CPU! STATUS: This miniseries has already been requested as a podcast candidate. Stay tuned!

Watership Down (Netflix): Another beloved book adaptation streams away; most of the word of mouth and critical press is positive, and it’s already won awards. To obtain the premise, read a book!

STATUS: The four episode “miniseries” was released to the Netflix streaming service on December 23, 2018, internationally! Since it is being billed as a miniseries, there does not seem to be an indication that a second season is being contemplated.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Sex Education (Netflix): Scully (Gillian Anderson) rivals Mulder’s “Californication” by getting sexy herself. These two should just get married in real life, am I right?

Socially awkward teenager Otis Milburn is ambivalent about sex, despite his mother being a sex therapist who is frank about all aspects of sexuality. After inadvertently assisting the school bully with his sexual performance anxiety, Otis sets up a sex advice business with Maeve—a confident but vulnerable classmate—to educate their fellow students in how to deal with their own sexual problems.

STATUS: The first season of eight episodes was released by Netflix on January 11, 2019. Netflix officially renewed the series for a second season in February 2019!

CPU! STATUS: This series has already been requested as a podcast candidate at CPU!, though surprisingly, not by any of our X-Philes. This is a definite conversation for our Potatoes at a later date.

A Discovery of Witches (AMC/BBC America): Our fantasy-loving CP’s root out all the best sleeper dramas. And this one’s British to boot (British fantasy clearly wins…always).

Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, unexpectedly discovers a bewitched manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. This discovery forces her back into the world of magic in order to unravel the secrets it holds about magical beings. She is offered help by mysterious geneticist and vampire, Matthew Clairmont. Despite a long-held mistrust between witches and vampires, they form an alliance and set out to protect the book and to solve the mysteries hidden.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 2, 2018, after a total of 8 episodes, at least in the UK. Information about the American airing schedule is conflicting. Sky One, the official UK network behind the series, officially renewed the series for Seasons (Series) 2 AND 3 in November 2018 (which will no doubt be forwarded to the American distributors simultaneously, more or less)!

CPU! STATUS: This series has already been requested as a podcast candidate at CPU! Our Couch Potatoes like escapism! And witches! (You know it’s true).

Kingdom (Netflix): It’s a Korean zombie thriller set in medieval times. You WOULDN’T watch it?!

Set in Korea’s medieval Joseon period, it tells the story of Crown Prince Yi-Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), who becomes embroiled in a coup/political conspiracy and is forced to embark upon a mission to investigate the spread of a mysterious undead plague that has beset the current emperor and the country’s southern provinces.

STATUS: The first season of six episodes was released by the Netflix streaming service on January 25, 2019. Officially renewed for Season 2, which will premiere on February 28, 2020!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed

Russian Doll (Netflix): Nicky Nichols from “Orange is the New Black” gets red – as in the Russian kind of red.

Russian Doll follows a woman named Nadia on her journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City. She dies repeatedly, always restarting at the same moment at the party, as she tries to figure out what is happening to her.

STATUS: The first season of eight episodes was released by the Netflix streaming service on February 1, 2019. Netflix officially renewed this series for Season 2 on June 11, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Another quick request from our resident Couch Potatoes signaled our respective radars automatically. Plus, the critical reviews have been stellar! This will be a podcast entry down the line.

PEN15 (Hulu): Adults play kids around kids. Honestly, the critics convinced us this time around.

PEN15 is described as “middle school as it really happened.” The leads play versions of themselves as 13-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds, where the best day of your life can turn into your worst with the stroke of a gel pen.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by the Hulu streaming service on February 8, 2019. Hulu officially renewed this series for Season 2 in May 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Miracle Workers (TBS): Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi! Come ON! That’s like Harry Potter meets Mr. Pink, am I right? Imagine the possibilities! Imagine the weird!

Miracle Workers follows Craig, a low-level angel responsible for handling all of humanity’s prayers, and Eliza, a recent transfer from the Department of Dirt. Their boss, God, pretty much has checked out to focus on his favorite hobbies. To prevent Earth’s destruction, Craig, along with Eliza, must achieve their most impossible miracle to date.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on March 26, 2019, after a total of 7 episodes. Officially renewed for Season 2 on May 15, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Weird City (YouTube): Jordan Peele created another sci-fi series, anthology format, featuring really cool famous people in its various episode casts, like Mark Hamill!

Weird City is set in the near future in the city of Weird, which has been physically divided into two halves and segregated by economic class: Above The Line, populated by Haves, and Below The Line, populated by Have-Nots. Each episode follows different individuals as they navigate life in the city.

STATUS: The first season of six episodes was released by YouTube Premium on February 13, 2019. No word regarding renewal or cancellation has yet been issued.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix): Another superhero show! Sign our entire internal Justice League/Assembled Avengers up (no, for real, though, they’re all already signed up)!

On October 1, 1989, 43 women around the world give birth simultaneously, despite none of them showing any sign of pregnancy until labor began. Seven of the children are adopted by eccentric billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves and turned into a superhero team through what he calls “The Umbrella Academy.” While putting six of his children to work fighting crime, Reginald keeps Vanya apart from her siblings’ activities, as she demonstrates no powers of her own.

In the present day, Luther is an astronaut, Allison is a famous actress, Vanya is a violinist, Klaus is a party animal with a drug addiction, Ben is a ghost only able to converse with Klaus, and Diego has become a vigilante with a penchant for trouble. The estranged siblings learn that Reginald has died and gather for his funeral. Number Five returns from the future, revealing that a global apocalypse is imminent. Meanwhile, the reunited siblings try to uncover the secret of their dysfunctional family.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on February 15, 2019. Officially renewed by Netflix for a second season in April 2019!

CPU! STATUS: We already have a SUPERSIZED panel and a WAITING LIST for this show. This is the singular most requested show of 2019, thus far, for our humble podcast, and you’ll be hearing our review sooner rather than later. Stay tuned!

Doom Patrol (DC Universe): If any of our Potatoes ponies up for any present or future Warner Bros’ offerings not currently on the CW, I imagine some “checking out” type of watching activity would happen here…

Set after the events of the Titans Season 1 episode “Doom Patrol,” the show follows Cliff Steele / Robotman, Rita Farr, Larry Trainor / Negative Man, Kay Challis / Jane as they are called into action by Victor Stone / Cyborg when their mentor Dr. Niles Caulder / The Chief is kidnapped by the supernatural super-villain known as Mr. Nobody.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on May 24, 2019, after a total of 15 episodes. No word on renewal or cancellation has been uttered, though DC Universe might be struggling to deal with financial fallout from other decisions…

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Order (Netflix): More fantasy, magic, and fantastical magic!

The Order follows college student Jack Morton as he joins the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret society that teaches and practices magic. As Jack goes deeper, he uncovers dark family secrets and an underground battle between werewolves and the magical dark arts.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on March 7, 2019. Officially renewed by Netflix for a second season in March 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

After Life (Netflix): Ricky Gervais deals with grief in a darkly comic way in the sleeper hit of the spring season!

After Life follows Tony, whose life is upended after his wife dies from breast cancer. He contemplates suicide but instead decides to live long enough to punish the world for his wife’s death by saying and doing whatever he wants. Although he thinks of this as his “superpower,” his plan is undermined when everyone around him tries to make him a better person again.

STATUS: The first season of six episodes was released by Netflix on March 8, 2019. Officially renewed by Netflix for a second season in April 3, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: This comedy proves to be another oft-requested entry for the CPU! podcast! This is a definite and permanent addition to our long list!

Love, Death + Robots (Netflix): Tim Miller and David Fincher do that voodoo that they do best, encompassing a variety of genres in a surreal, animated format.

The animated series consists of 18 stand-alone episodes, all under 20 minutes long, and all produced by different casts and crews, though some episodes may share certain crew members. The series title refers to each episode’s thematic connection to the three aforementioned subjects, though not every episode contains all three elements.

STATUS: The first season of 18 episodes was released by Netflix on March 15, 2019. Officially renewed by Netflix for a second season in June 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Shrill (Hulu): A Water Cooler show for spring 2019 gets early requests at Couch Potatoes Unite!

Shrill follows Annie, an overweight young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to make it as a journalist while juggling bad boyfriends, sick parents, and a perfectionist boss; yet, the world around her deems her not good enough because of her weight.

STATUS: The first season of six episodes was released by Hulu on March 15, 2019. Officially renewed by Hulu for a second season on April 15, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: A few of our resident Couch Potatoes! and Couch Potatoes! adjacent requested discussion of this brief series! How can we resist? This will be a podcast discussion down the line!

The Act (Hulu): The theater geeks at CPU! needed this one in their lives…

The series follows the story of Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), who is confined to her wheelchair due to an illness. Growing up, her relationship with her overprotective mother (Patricia Arquette) begins to sour as she increasingly insists on her independence. She rebels as her mother, who dedicated her life to her care, grows more protective, controlling, and abusive, particularly amid her attempt to explore her sexuality.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on May 1, 2019, after a total of eight episodes. No word related to renewal or cancellation has been covered; the series and network are currently facing a copyright controversy.

CPU! STATUS: A few of our resident Couch Potatoes! and Couch Potatoes! adjacent also requested discussion of this brief series! We aim to please.

What We Do in the Shadows (FX): A mockumentary about vampires...it’s like every vampire TV series meets “The Office” or something less workplace-oriented…unless these vampires work in their nest. Honestly, it sounds too wonderfully weird to pass up!

What We Do in the Shadows is set in Staten Island and follows four vampires who have been roommates for hundreds and hundreds of years.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on May 29, 2019, after a total of 10 episodes. FX renewed this series for a second season in May 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Hanna (Amazon Prime): Based on the film of a same name, a young girl becomes an assassin. Assassins are cool – the fictional kind are, I mean.

Hanna is a 15-year-old girl living with Erik, the only man she has ever known as her father, in a remote part of a forest in Poland. Erik once recruited pregnant women into a CIA program, code name UTRAX, where the children’s DNA was enhanced in order to create super-soldiers. When Erik falls in love with Johanna, Hanna’s mother, he rescues baby Hanna, and they flee. The CIA then orders their on-site agent, Marissa, to shut down the project and eliminate all the babies. After 15 years hiding in the forest in Poland, Erik and Hanna come to the attention of Marissa, who vows to hunt them down.

STATUS: The first season of eight episodes was released by Amazon on March 29, 2019. Officially renewed by Amazon for a second season in April 2019!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access): doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo…you’re in the Twilight Zone, man. Jordan Peele’s remake of the classic horror anthology series. There is no premise – that spoils the fun!

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on May 30, 2019, after a total of 10 episodes. Officially renewed for Season 2 on April 29, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: We’ve got at least one request! Expect a fun future podcast…in the Twilight Zone! Hehehehe.

No Good Nick (Netflix): Samwise Gamgee/Mikey the Goonie Who Never Says Die and Sabrina Spellman/Clarissa Who Explains it All do a comedy together along with other former child stars!

No Good Nick centers on 13-year-old Nicole aka Nick, a con artist seeking revenge on the Thompsons, parents of two teenagers, Molly and Jeremy. Nick blames the family for unknowingly ruining her life. She presents herself at their door and declares she is an orphan, and that they are her closest living relatives, successfully infiltrating her target.

STATUS: The first season’s first part, ten episodes of a prognosticated twenty, was released on April 15, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Gentleman Jack (HBO): Period drama gets period. In England.

Set in 1832, the brilliant, endearing Miss Anne Lister leaves Paris brokenhearted and heads to the lush landscape of Halifax, West Yorkshire, England to restore her uncle’s estate, which she has inherited. This androgynous and unusual Lady land owner and landlord encounters a potentially blossoming and dangerous romance with the fairer sex, which she records in a cryptic diary that no one can decode.

STATUS: Five of eight ordered episodes have aired as of the publication of this post. The BBC, the original producer of this series, has officially renewed this series for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Chambers (Netflix): Supernatural drama with she-who-would Kill Bill at the forefront.

Chambers follows the story of a teenager who, after receiving a heart transplant, is haunted by unexplained visions. As the visions grow more troublesome and happen more often, she begins to unravel the horrifying circumstances and conspiracy that led to the donor’s mysterious death.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on April 26, 2019. The streaming giant has not offered word on renewal or cancellation.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Dead to Me (Netflix): Another sleeper spring hit, with Christina Applegate, rings true for our couch full of CP’s.

Dead to Me is about a powerful friendship that blossoms between Jen, a tightly wound widow, and Judy, a free spirit with a shocking secret.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on May 3, 2019. Netflix officially renewed this series for a Season 2 on June 3, 2019!

CPU! STATUS: This is another radar-driven entry thanks to our Couch Potato Corps. Look for the CPU! podcast review in future episodes.

Chernobyl (HBO): This miniseries is the May TV event of the social media Watercooler!

Chernobyl dramatizes the story of the April 1986 nuclear plant disaster, which occurred in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Union), telling the stories of the people who caused the disaster and those who responded to it. The series depicts some of the lesser known stories of the disaster, including the efforts of the firefighters who were the first responders on the scene and of the teams of miners tasked with digging a critical tunnel. The miniseries is based in large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as told by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich, in her book Voices from Chernobyl.

STATUS: The five episode miniseries finished airing on June 3, 2019.

CPU! STATUS: Miniseries though it is, people were talking about it so much, they requested their friendly neighborhood podcast outlet to help. We cover scripted miniseries too (stay tuned)!

The Society (Netflix): “Lord of the Fliesreaches suburbia.

The Society follows the story of a group of teenagers who struggle to survive after they’re mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their hometown with no trace of their parents.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on May 10, 2019. The streaming giant remains mum regarding renewal or cancellation, currently.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

What/If (Netflix): Bridget Jones gets indecent. That is, more indecent…

What/If is a neo-noir thriller that explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.

STATUS: The first season of ten episodes was released by Netflix on May 24, 2019. Netflix is not usually this quick about renewal/cancellation decisions.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Swamp Thing (DC Universe): Touted new series controversially and quickly canceled due to budget decisions, which may become the next “Firefly”-level cult classic.

Abby Arcane returns home to Marais, Louisiana, to investigate a deadly swamp-borne virus, where she develops a bond with disgraced scientist Alec Holland. After Holland tragically dies, Arcane discovers the mysteries of the swamp, and that Holland may not be dead after all.

STATUS: Three of ten episodes ordered episodes have aired as of the publication of this post, though Netflix canceled this series one week after it premiered (on May 31, 2019), allegedly due to financial errors. What that means we can only guess at based upon various reports.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, but we know we have a cult fan base here at the podcast, so viewing is inevitable.

Others on radar: The Lord of the Rings series in development at Amazon; The Dark Crystal: the Age of Resistance at Amazon; The Witcher at Netflix; The Chronicles of Narnia at Netflix; The Wheel of Time at Amazon; His Dark Materials at BBC/HBO; The Watch (BBC); Conan at Amazon; The Dark Tower at Amazon; Cursed at Amazon; Criminal at Netflix.

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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Tomorrow, we’ll be “On the Couch With…” our most frequent and involved panelist, Kristen! Next week, Couch Potatoes Unite! will resume Water Cooler episodes, schedule permitting, with our review of Fuller House, Season 4. Plus, we will publish our progress report regarding long-running series, network and otherwise. Stay tuned – OhMyLanta!

Supernatural, Season 14A (MAJOR SPOILERS)

CPU! final-01

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at our website: couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in January 2019, our newly consistent panel of unabashed Super-Fans – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Jen S, Kelsey, Jeremy, and Jenn K – is back Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 14A (following the mid-season finale) of Supernatural, including the brothers (and mother) Winchester, angel Castiel, devil’s spawn Jack, and the looming threat of Apocalypse World Archangel Michael. If you have not watched any of Supernatural, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think, and/or if there are other shows you’re interested in CPU! covering, below; email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com; or check out our Guestbook at the website, our Facebook page, our Twitter (@cpupodcast), or our Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite).  Until next time, until next episode…buh bye!

Editor: Kylie C. Piette
Logo: Rebecca Wallace
Marketing Graphic Artist: Krista Pennington

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Supernatural” – The Season 14 Mid-Season Recap and Progress Report (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Supernatural” airs on network TV, specifically on the CW, Thursdays at 8:00 PM.

What: “Supernatural,” a drama depicting the tale of two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, respectively), who are “hunters” of all supernatural ilk, be they demons, monsters, or angels on high, in a quest to save the world from things that go bump in the night, things that cause apocalypses, and things that are generally just out to get them (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/supernatural/summary.html).

When: Season 14 premiered on October 11, 2018, at 8:00 PM on the CW.

Where: The show is set in no specific locale; the brothers ride all over the country in a 1967 Chevrolet Impala and live out of hotel rooms via fake identities and money scams, though the Winchesters are originally from Lawrence, Kansas, and have, as late, holed up in a bunker, somewhere near their home town, formerly run by the Men of Letters, an organization of which they are legacy members.  The time is present day.

Why:  Oh so many seasons ago now, Chief CP Kylie followed Jensen Ackles–a fine, fine man–from Smallville to his new gig, which, at the time, seemed like a different spin on the X-Files, with two brothers versus two sexually tense FBI agents.  From the opening frames of the pilot, though, I knew that it was oh so much more or, at least, vastly dissimilar to the X-Files, and this show has surpassed so many expectations, including mustering the incredible ability to remain relevant and engaging long past the expiration of the initial story arc mapped out by creator Eric Kripke.  For CPU!’s ever-expanding podcast coverage of a growing number of shows, several CPU! members, all familiar voices to the CPU! loyal, jumped up to participate on this panel, even though many of them also express fatigue with the show from time to time.  How do they feel the show is faring nowadays, into its double digits’ worth of seasons?  Take a listen below.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

To catch up on our Super-coverage, click the embedded links below, or find the audio equivalents on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (links further below):

The Season 9 Premiere 

Seasons 9, 10, and 11

Season 12A

Season 12B

Season 13A

Season 13B

Our Super-CPU! panel has happily remained constant since its last meeting, and all panelists proved ready and raring as ever to talk about the first half of Season 14 with the force of an army of archangel-grace enhanced monsters.  Thus, Nick, Jen (S), Kelsey, Jeremy, and Jenn (K), along with your trusty Chief CP and moderator, hop into our ’67 Chevy Impala, always ready to ride until we, or Supernatural, die(s), and find ourselves at the CPU! Water Cooler, and/or the nearest purveyor of homemade pies, animatedly discussing major plot points from, and ruminating upon the success of, the first half of Season 14.  While our panel’s particular devotion and/or brotherly bond continues to be sometimes tested in Supernatural’s later seasons, though probably less so for some of our panelists nowadays (listen to the episode for details), we still have lots to think and to talk about and to gush over in this latest season.  Give us a listen, with your salt guns and holy water on standby, and see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts.

This podcast was recorded in January 2019, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first half of Season 14 of Supernatural. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, schedule permitting, our DCTU Series panel speedily returns to the Water Cooler with its annual Mid-Season Roundup of the four Arrowverse shows, Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) REPEAT QUESTION: How many miles are on the Impala after all this time?

REPEAT ANSWER: Still unknown.

2) REPEAT QUESTION: Will they ever get their happy ending?

REPEAT ANSWER: While the panel is in no particular rush for a series finale, although maybe that’s less true nowadays, it’s likely the brothers will not find peace until they are done.  That’s why Kansas tells them to Carry On, Wayward Sons.  “Lay your weary head to rest; don’t you cry no more.”

3) REPEAT QUESTION: If Lucifer (Mark Pelligrino) is out of the Cage, why can’t the archangel Michael, currently housed within long lost Winchester half brother Adam, escape from the Cage? Will we ever see Adam/Michael again?

NEW(ISH) ANSWER: Apocalypse World (AW) Michael is running around this dimension, and there is a potential if chancy return for Lucifer prognosticated, given that his second-favorite vessel Nick (Pelligrino) survives and prays to Lucifer’s sleeping essence in the Empty, which improbably seems to awaken our favorite Evil Archangel. As such, the chances seem to be growing and quite necessary for a return of this dimension’s Michael as well as the actor who played Adam, given the fact that Michael Prime is still lounging in a slightly mind-addled Adam in the Cage. After all, the introduction of AW Michael could foretell a convergence of some heavenly forces we have previously met in order to stay his anti-human agenda…

4) The perennial question: will we see John Winchester this season?  And played by whom?  And will he be alive or dead?

NEW (BEYOND EXCITED AND TOTALLY UNFETTERED) ANSWER: YES! YES! YES! It has been widely confirmed in the press that Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the original (and breathlessly handsome) face of John Winchester, will be making a grand return to Supernatural in Season 14 in the upcoming and much ballyhooed 300th episode, airing on February 9! I do not think we can undersell the panel’s magnitude of excitement for this news.  The speculation runs wild in the panel’s discussion. Listen to the podcast episode for details!

5) REPEAT QUESTION: A Prince of Hell named Ramiel held in his possession two intriguing items: Archangel Michael’s Spear or Lance and (wait for it) the Colt.  The Colt is currently broken, snapped in two by another Prince of Hell named Dagon, who Cas later snuffed.  Can the Colt be repaired?  By Sam?  How is the Colt powered?  Didn’t the Colt have a fixed number of bullets once upon a time?  More importantly, **where did the Colt go after Season 6?** How did Ramiel get a hold of it?  Why has the show not addressed the continuity of this gun?  Why was it brought back only to be broken?  WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS THING?!

REPEAT-ISH ANSWER: All questions currently without answers, including those about the Spear/Lance.  Though our panel, particularly panelist Jeremy, has a few theories about the Spear (listen to the podcast episode for details).

6) REPEAT QUESTION: Also, the Spear/Lance is broken, I believe with Crowley’s help in that instance.  Will it be repaired, since Dean pockets the fragments?  Is it usable by anyone besides Michael? Dean is still a predestined Michael vessel – can he use it?  We repeat – will we ever see Michael out of the Cage again?

REPEAT ANSWER: Though the Spear/Lance remains broken, and though Supernatural Prime world’s Michael is still housed in half-brother Adam in Hell’s Cage, it may yet come to play…which panelist Jeremy supports (listen to the episode)…

7) REPEAT QUESTION: The Vampire Alpha dies in this season, owing to some clever British Men of Letter work.  Does this mean that all vampires die?  I know this is not The Originals, but what happens to the rest of the vampires in the event of the death of their alpha?

NEW (FINAL) ANSWER (FOR NOW): We have decided that these questions do not matter much anymore.  Vampires seem to continue to exist, and with AW Michael feeding trace amounts of his grace to monsters for the purpose of “super-charging” them, thereby making them stronger and harder to eliminate by Prime World’s hunter forces, the concept of any Monster Alpha being important in the grand scheme seems moot.  So, unless the show revisits this concept in a meaningful way at a later time, we are content to let this one go. Don’t say we never give you anything, Supernatural writers!

8) REPEAT Will Sam’s powers return?  He continues to obliquely reference them…

REPEAT ANSWER: So far, Sam has not tapped into the allegedly dormant powers he received from Prince of Hell Azazel, but, with the current progress of AW Michael’s efforts, he might need to think outside of the box and use those powers for the good of the entire universe in the coming season(s).

9) REPEAT QUESTION: How much should we continue to care about the Empty?  Will it come back to haunt Castiel (Misha Collins) or any of the rest of our characters because Cas escaped?

NEW ANSWER: The Empty is back, and s/he/it is super pissed – still – that Castiel is awake and out of his/her/its clutches.  Plus, when Jack (Alexander Calvert) temporarily loses his life in this half season (listen to the podcast episode for details), and his soul first appears in Heaven, the Empty barges into the largely unguarded ethereal plane, given the near extinction of available angels to monitor its sterile white corridors and dreamy memory locations, looking to claim Jack’s soul due to his nephilim status.  Cas, however, offers himself back to the Empty in exchange for the Empty releasing its clutches on Jack. The Empty agrees to this deal but notes that the entity will return for Cas only when he is truly happy and would be truly hurt by the Empty’s act of returning Cas to the abyss. So, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “we do not care about the Empty in the slightest,” to 10 being “we must care because we know the Empty is about to start some next-level stuff,” we are probably at an 8.5 in the “caring about the Empty” spectrum.

10) REPEAT QUESTION: Has Death, as in The Horseman Of, died before the Winchesters killed off the Death we knew and awoke the Darkness?  Is Billie the second “Death” or one of many?

REPEAT ANSWER: Still questions that are without answers at this time.

11) REPEAT QUESTION: Why are the Winchesters “important,” in the end and apart from what we already know, as Billie aka Death told Dean in the first half of the season?

REPEAT ANSWER: We have a feeling that this answer is ultimately part of the endgame for the series, and that we will not know said answer until the show is about to be done.

12) REPEAT QUESTION: How are Jack and the previous “anti-Christ” who appeared in Season 5 related, if at all?  Is Jack truly an “anti-Christ?”

REPEAT ANSWER: Still questions without answers.

13) SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER….At the end of the thirteenth season, Dean offers himself, as Michael’s Sword, his true vessel, to AW Michael in order to have strength enough to defeat Lucifer, souped up on Jack’s grace, which he steals from his confused and betrayed son.  Despite a tenuous deal with the archangel, wherein Dean would retain control of his body and mind, AW Michael double crosses him and takes over his vessel fully, meaning as we start Season 14, the Dean we know and love is sublimated by AW Michael, who, at last check, was very interested in ending humans’ existence in Supernatural Prime World.  Is this still his plan?  What will he do first? How long will we see Dean as AW Michael?  Will Dean fight AW Michael, in an epic internal battle for his soul?

ANSWER: Yes, AW Michael is still Heaven-bent upon eradicating humans from existence, and he sees Prime World as a second chance to enact this grand vision, since he was not able to see his plan to a satisfactory completion in the AW.  While in Dean as his vessel, AW Michael starts Season 14 by using trace amounts of his own grace; mixing it with monster blood and venom from vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, djinns, and so on; and feeding this concoction to existing monsters, thereby super-charging their abilities and strengthening their resistances to the usual methods of elimination, such as silver for werewolves or wooden bullets for vampires.  In so doing, he effectively creates an army of Super-Monsters, which he plans to unleash first on Kansas City, Missouri (or is it Kansas City, Kansas?), kick-starting the next Apocalypse in this dimension, which our panel calculates to be the third since the show began.

So far this season, Dean has been occupied by AW Michael for three episodes: in Episodes 1 and 2, AW Michael stays in Dean and begins his grand master monster plan; however, as he explains later to Sam in Episode 9, AW Michael leaves Dean for a time after Dark Kaia, from The Bad Place, equipped with a spear that can hurt AW Michael, fends off Michael during his first attempt to steal this seemingly important spear from Dark Kaia by piercing him, inside Dean, in the arm.  In addition, Dean apparently struggles hard against allowing Michael full control of his meat suit, so the archangel temporarily vacates Dean, allowing the elder Winchester some time with his brother, mother, foster son, and angel best friend, before AW Michael reoccupies him in Episode 9, when Sam, Cas, Dean, and Jack walk into a trap set by Michael and are signed, sealed, and delivered via this trap by an ineffective spy, Hunter Turned Werewolf Garth. Thus, we presume Dean is going to try to fight Michael again from deep inside his own mind and soul – eventually – though Michael deals Team Free Will a pretty solid blow in that mid-season finale, which he reasons will be quite demoralizing for Dean. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

14) Dean as AW Michael also seems to definitively defeat Lucifer, his wings torched and all.  Is the Devil truly dead?  How can that be possible?

ANSWER: We think the Devil is truly dead – currently.  The clue comes from Lucifer’s former vessel, Nick, who prays to Lucifer, pining for his return, after he commits a bunch of murder and realizes that he enjoys this pastime, likely due to his prolonged former bond with his possessing erstwhile archangel.  Following this earnest prayer, a set of red eyes emerge from the rolling black abyss of the Empty. So, Lucifer may be where angels go to die, but our panel shares a universal and unanimous hunch: if Cas can find a way out, so too can that tricksy fallen archangel.

15) Sam is Lucifer’s true vessel and now does not have that option to defeat Michael. What can he do to save his brother?  Will he have to tap his Azazel powers? Can Rowena resurrect an archangel?  Will Sam lead the Angel Resistance on this side of the rift?  How will he get his brother back?

ANSWER: The answers to these questions seem to be unfolding with the progression of this season.  Dean is temporarily vacated by Michael, but Michael returns. Plus, the golden egg generator thing that the Winchesters used on Lucifer in Season 12 and Dark Kaia’s spear are both broken by a wily Michael.  The Winchesters may have to resort to other means of defeating this formidable foe. Sam could take on a newly resurrected Lucifer or call forth his dormant demonic powers. One thing we know for certain is that Sam is leading the Angel Resistance and scant hunter forces on this side of the rift from the bunker, forming an ad hoc Men of Letters organization in its own right, a role that seems to impress Mary, AW Bobby (sometimes), and Dean (reluctantly).  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

16) Is Jack powerless?  Will he regain his grace?  How?  Will his power be enough to save Dean? To save this world? To save Heaven?

ANSWER: Jack is currently powerless, but AW Michael assures him in the one scene that they have together that his grace will regenerate over time.  Of course, as the panelists discuss at some length, how long does it take for a nephilim to regain lost grace? Especially since nephilim are, according to a remark of Sam’s in Season 13, stronger than the angels (arch or otherwise) that sire them. After all, Jack would be a key player in the fight against Michael if he was able to get his groove back.

17) Are Mary and AW Bobby flirting?  Are they going to be a romantic item in future? Is that wise?

ANSWER: Since Mary suggests to Sam this season that “something might be going on” with AW Bobby, the panel assumes that a) yes, they are flirting; b) yes, they are going to be a romantic item in the future; and c) wise or not, it’s weird.  Also, when John Winchester returns for the 300th episode, will he find out about this new coupling, and will he bless it? We expect at least some conversation between the two about this new development, in any event.

18) Is the Shedim an abandoned concept, with the quick death of Asmodeus?

ANSWER: The panel votes that the writers forgot about the Shedim.  Of course, panelist Nick noted that the Shedim might be a tool in the tool box when it comes to battling Michael.  Still, we will keep asking the question until the writers track back to this tidbit of Asmodeus-inspired information.

19) Will they break this world’s Michael, still stuck in Adam the half brother and locked in Hell’s Cage, out of his prison?  Even though Lucifer drove him mad?

ANSWER: The answer to this question remains to be seen, though the panel is hopeful that Adam might make even a small cameo in the 300th episode.

20) Will the remaining angels join a fight for or against AW Michael?  Will AW Michael snuff out the rest of the angels?

ANSWER: So far, according to Naomi, the few remaining angels are having a hell of a time keeping unwanted beings and souls from entering Heaven, so if they join a fight on either side of AW Michael right now, they would probably end up extinct.  Still, we do not know Michael’s current company policy on angels lesser than himself, except for Cas, as the latter has aligned himself with the Winchesters. Thus, these answers remain to be seen.

21) Will we see Heaven collapse next season?

ANSWER: Heaven really seems to be in trouble, with open doors and few angels to guard those doors.  The panel is prepared to watch the unfolding season for many reasons, including to see whether or not Heaven itself survives the latest oncoming Apocalypse.

22) Will the show actually be able to convince Jeffrey Dean Morgan (JDM) to return, either in the event that we’re barreling toward the end of the show and/or if Heaven collapses, since he’s supposed to be up there somewhere?

ANSWER: Yes!  JDM is thoroughly convinced and will be returning in the twelfth episode of Season 14!  How? Well, there have been hints and allegations in the entertainment press, but most of the story structure is being kept pretty close to those flannel shirt pockets presumably worn by the series’ writers.

23) Without Princes of Hell, Crowley, or Lucifer, who’s in charge downstairs?

ANSWER: Though a demon named Kip tries hard to make a play for the Throne of Hell, he proves woefully incompetent in the art of negotiation with Sam, Cas, Jack, and some of their fellow AW hunters.  As a result, Sam declares that no one will be in charge of Hell. Of course, how often do demons listen to the Winchester brothers? The answer is: almost never. Also, demons fighting to be in charge of Hell feels pretty distracting when an archangel is poised to destroy both Heaven and the Earth.

24) How will they be able to defeat a super-charged AW Michael, made stronger by his perfect vessel, Dean?

ANSWER: This is a question with what we presume is an answer unfolding this season.

25) Will Chuck/God return to help arbiter these extra-worldly conflicts? He might have to return to create more angels, to resurrect any that have been lost, and/or to help quell the conflict with AW Michael.  Will Amara/the Darkness return with him?

ANSWER: The panel predicts that Chuck/God is going to be needed to help stop the madness, but, so far, no sign of Chuck or Amara has yet emerged.  Where exactly did they go, anyway?

26) Will the show explain how it is that nephilim are stronger than the angels (or archangels, in some circumstances) that sire them?

ANSWER: So far, the show has provided no further explanation surrounding Sam’s Season 13 research findings concerning nephilim.  The panel expects, however, that nephilim biology will become more important as AW Michael’s Apocalypse plans press forward.

27) Will we see any of the Wayward Sisters again, aside from Sheriff Jody and Sheriff Donna, i.e. Claire, Kaia, Patience, etc., despite the fact that the proposed spin-off was not picked up?

ANSWER: Dark Kaia finds her way to Prime World from The Bad Place in Season 14, and she is carrying a suspicious spear capable of hurting AW Michael, which she uses frequently on monsters, super-charged and otherwise, and on Michael himself.  News of Dark Kaia’s presence reaches Sheriff Jody’s radar, and it is she who calls the boys in – after AW Michael vacates Dean for a time – to help navigate the news of the existence of Dark Kaia. Listen to the podcast episode for details.

New Questions

1) The panel predicts that Lucifer’s return is all but guaranteed. How will this resourceful archangel emerge? Did he escape when the Empty’s back was turned, while the Empty was making deals with Cas in Heaven in exchange for Jack’s soul? Or, will he take a page from Cas’ book and piss off the Empty enough to convince the grumpy being to eject him as the Empty did Castiel? Or, are Nick and Lucifer connected in unexpected ways, given that Nick was possessed by Lucifer so many different times and for so long? Does Jack get his powers back quickly enough to help his expired father exit the deep dark? The possibilities as to the how feel endless, even if the panel sees Lucifer’s return as a foregone conclusion.

2) When will Sam be forced to end Rowena’s life, as Billie the Reaper aka the New Death prophesied in Season 13? Will we see this eventuality this season?

3) What does Naomi mean when she indicates that Heaven’s gates are open, including those closed in Season 9 via the Winchesters’ efforts? How many gates are there, and what function do they serve? Does this signal Heaven’s collapse, after all? Will human souls escape? Will monsters and/or demons try to get inside? Will Lucifer? Will AW Michael?

4) When Lily Sunder (played by Veronica Cartwright this season) casts the spell to resurrect Jack, we know the magic draws from her own soul. When she decided, in the end, to cast the spell, though she was reluctant to do so at first, did she need to use any part of Jack’s soul for the spell after all? This remains a point of confusion for our panel or, at least, for your main moderator and Chief CP.

5) Will the Empty come to claim Cas by the end of Season 14? What could make Cas so happy in that amount of time as to entice the Empty’s sense of vengeance against his nemesis, Castiel?

6) We know John Winchester will be talking to the boys and to Mary in the 300th episode, as this has been widely reported by the entertainment news media, which is devoting a fair amount of coverage to the landmark episode. Will John encounter any of the other typical characters, such as AW Bobby?

7) We also know that Angel Zachariah, as played by Kurt Fuller, will be making a return appearance in the 300th episode. What other long-gone characters might we see, then or at any other point in the season?

8) If AW Michael’s armies envelop the Earth, what will the demons do? Will they need a leader to do it? Will they elect one?

9) Will the Empty be destroyed? Will any other angels and demons escape? Will the Empty change to something else?

10) Will the Empty’s creation and/or manifestation as a being be explained?

11) Will Heaven be stabilized if it does not collapse?

12) How did Chuck/God and Amara/the Darkness come to exist? Will Supernatural tackle this divine subject?

13) Is Dark Kaia’s Spear the Spear of Destiny? Or, is the Spear the equivalent of Michael’s Spear that was broken in Prime World, as we learned in Season 12?

14) Is the Empty a version of Purgatory for angels and demons? Somebody needs to provide a better explanation for the Empty.

15) Does the AW or The Bad Place have an Empty? Or, is the Empty the same for all dimensions?

16) Seriously, what was The Bad Place?

PARTING SHOTS

Our Supernatural panel continues to present an increasingly diverse range of opinions about the most recent SPN half season.  The mysteries, story threads, and new spins on old horror tropes offered by the first half of Season 14 further divide our panel.  Some panelists find this season highly enjoyable so far, given Jensen Ackles’ opportunity to spread his proverbial wings and his acting range via his portrayal of AW Michael as well as the ongoing integration into the cast of Alexander Calvert’s Jack, both of which feel like modestly fresh new aspects to this long-running story.  Some continue to watch the series motivated by the curiosity that comes with needing to complete what was started, more than thirteen years ago.  Still others, particularly the Chief CP, are filled with a renewed excitement by the prospect of what’s to come, feeling that Dean’s specific Season 13 end of season fate became a true “game changer” designed to steer the series toward an epic conclusion, which is likely nearer than we would want or expect, though perhaps not as close as we initially predicted.  In any event, the fresh takes introduced this season, coupled with the usual elements that keep Super fans coming back for more, helped our panel to, on average, become newly invested in the show, even if reluctantly.  As such, the panel members continue to find compelling reasons to stick with the series, ups and downs aside, owing to the writing, acting, and quirks of the mythology (and the sheer beauty of its cast). Though we are in the acknowledged winter of the program’s longevity, there remains nothing like Supernatural on TV right now, and despite the panel members’ individual gripes and barbs about things that strike us as strange – even for such a strange world as we have been watching all this time – all panel members feel that the show is still entertaining, even this late in its lifetime. Carry On, Wayward Sons, as we move into the second half of Season 14!

LOOKING AHEAD

Supernatural was automatically ordered for a full season upon renewal, though notably for only 20 episodes for Season 14, and returned from its mid-season hiatus on January 17, 2019. Will it be renewed for a fifteenth season?  The February sweeps will no doubt provide a clear answer to that question, though chances seem pretty good, especially since the 300th episode will be airing during sweeps.  In the meantime, our Supernatural podcast panel will next reconvene following the fourteenth season finale, which will likely air in or around May 2019. As always, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional Supernatural coverage.  Stay tuned! Until then!

Progress Report: Mid-Season Report Card for 2018-2019 Pilots

It’s that time of year!  Call it CPU!’s Holiday Present to you!  Or a New Year present! Time to check in on the progress of shows and see which shows are surviving this season and beyond on the major networks.  Is your show on the list? Did it survive cancellation? Read below.

Thanks to TVLine and other sources for helping a girl out.

*Note: with the expansion of CPU!, these initial thoughts are based upon the CPU! Chief’s assessments.  As with last season, a growing number of CPU! members may find shows initially passed by the CPU! Chief and choose to review them.  CPU! readers will be informed if the show’s status changes regarding coverage as the season progresses through the handy CPU! Progress Reports, and all written reviews will be published!

Also, in another noteworthy TV year, the networks have proven slow to cancel, while the streamers, particularly Netflix, have been quite merciless with some of the cuts.  Let’s see how it all shakes out in the wash.

A Million Little Things

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, ABC

WHEN: Wednesdays at 10/9c

WHO: James Roday (Psych), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Romany Malco (Weeds), Ron Livingston (Sex and the City), Christina Moses (The Originals), Christina Ochoa (Valor, Blood Drive), Allison Miller (Incorporated, Go On), Stephanie Szostak (Satisfaction), Lizzy Greene (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn), Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0)

WHAT: They say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Welcome to the 2018-2019 CPU! network pilot review!  We start off on a strong note, with a pick up for this drama from ABC, but also with a guilty admission by your Chief CP (author of these annual reviews).  Honestly, I’m personally most interested in David Giuntoli and everything about him – outside of a Grimm context, that is – more than I am interested in the basic premise of this plot.  I think this is the Alphabet’s attempt at an answer to ratings juggernaut and NBC success This Is Us; on the other hand, the cast seems strong.  Watching these two minutes also inspires some The Big Chill nostalgia with a modern, Millennial set of characters at the forefront, dealing with the evolution and metamorphosis of friendships into adulthood.  That idea, punctuated by the suicide that starts the series off, connects strongly with this viewer, and I can see some of our other Couch Potatoes also finding some interest in and connection to it.  The trailer left me feeling hopeful for the series, at any rate, so let’s give this one a try, our first pick up for the year.  Hooray for good signs and strong starts!

STATUS: On October 26, 2018, the network ordered a full season of 17 episodes, of which 10 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits think renewal is a “safe bet” or “very likely” as a result of this show of support and modestly decent ratings.

CPU! STATUS: The podcast has received at least one request for coverage of this program, so this pick up is definite and permanent.  Not yet viewed.

Abby's

ABBY’S, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: Spring 2019

WHO: Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation), Neil Flynn (The Middle), Nelson Franklin (Veep), Jessica Chaffin (Search Party), Leonard Ouzts (Master of None), Kimia Behpoornia (Modern Family, Adam Ruins Everything)

WHAT: Set in the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Without a trailer, this viewer is reluctant to get enthusiastically on board, but two things convinced me to take a look: it’s produced by Michael Schur – creator of The Good Place and Mose Schrute on The Office – and it’s filmed entirely outside.  Though it feels very Cheers-esque, with a female barkeep knowing everyone’s name, early upfront reviews seemed hopeful, so it’s worth a look.  A quick one, anyway.

The Alec Baldwin Show

THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW, ABC

WHEN: Sundays at 10/9c

WHAT: The one-hour talker will showcase Baldwin’s in-depth conversations with compelling personalities.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The CPU! podcast does not talk about talk shows.  How do you feel about Alec Baldwin at the helm of a prime time talk show?

STATUS: In March 2018, the network ordered nine episodes, of which eight have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits believe renewal is a “long shot” or “very unlikely,” particularly given some legal troubles that titular talker Alec Baldwin has faced in recent months.

CPU! STATUS: It’s still a talk show, right?  We’ll cover it for this season in this Progress Report format only, however.

All American

ALL AMERICAN, The CW

WHEN: Wednesdays at 9/8c

WHO: Daniel Ezra (The Missing), Taye Diggs (Private Practice), Cody Christian (Teen Wolf), Samantha Logan (13 Reasons Why), Monet Mazur (Castle), Karimah Westbrook (Shameless, Aquarius), Michael Evans Behling

WHAT: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Crenshaw and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. Inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite the presence of always gorgeous Taye Diggs, this sports-ball drama feels incredibly trope-y, including hashed and rehashed concepts of several TV and film properties past: poor, urban kid of color finding himself in a rich, largely white district; the story about a kid who has nothing but talent, heart, and a bit of luck with the offer to test his prowess on a suburban high school football team; and so on.  The trailer does not “wow” in its presentation of these recycled story concepts, and none of the actors apart from Diggs inspire confidence that this property will offer stellar production value beyond the typical good looks of a made-for-the-CW cast.  Plus, our current roster of Couch Potatoes has currently and definitely shied away from TV about sports.  Seriously, way more nerd types and way less jock types populate our own ever-growing cast.  If you want to change that, though, please drop us a line.

STATUS: The network, in a cautious fashion, ordered a full season of 16 episodes, of which 8 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits give 50/50 odds to the possibility of renewal.

CPU! STATUS: We have heard zero buzz about this loosely-biographical sports-ball program.  Are you buzzing in an “All-American” way – or is it just Taye Diggs’ abs?  Let us know.  For now, we stay in the passing lane.

Charmed

CHARMED, The CW

WHEN: Sundays at 9/8c

WHO: Sarah Jeffery (Shades of Blue), Melonie Diaz (The Breaks), Madeleine Mantock (The Tomorrow People), Rupert Evans (Man in the High Castle), Ser’Darius Blain (Survivor’s Remorse, Jane by Design), Charlie Gillespie (Degrassi: Next Class), Ellen Tamaki

WHAT: After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  Networks: “What do we want?” Answering themselves: “More reboots!” “When do we want them?” “Now! Because we literally have no other ideas!”  Charmed, the original starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and later Rose McGowan, was a WB staple for eight seasons, now airs frequently in syndication, and enjoys a healthy streaming afterlife.  Charmed has already been requested as a possible “Looking Back” candidate for the podcast because its loyal fan base endures to this day.  Charmed was a show that this viewer watched voraciously and enthusiastically in its original run.  It was a bit cheesy at times and occasionally suffered from the mismatch of acting talent among the women playing the Halliwell/Matthews sisters, but it was reliable, interesting, and sort of kooky in an entertaining way for a long time.  Like all the other major networks and some streaming outlets, WB offspring The CW could not wait to look into past properties for its own go at a rebooted show from an earlier success, so here, we have Charmed Redux with a new set of sisters exercising a new era of The Power of Three.  I can’t help feeling that this reboot is near blasphemy at its core, given that the original was pretty well loved and still enjoys a loyal, continuing fan devotion.  Plus, the actresses playing the sisters are nowhere near equal to the four who played the Halliwells/Matthews, even if the original four could not be described as amazing performers themselves.  This reboot also seems to be an even darker take, with mom’s death being characterized as outright murder from the jump.  Still, sheer morbid curiosity, a love of fantasy (and supernatural fantasy to boot), and a “can’t look away” feeling propel me to say that CPU! has little choice but to pick this up.  Though you better bet that this will be a “Look Back to Look Forward” setup, and that the two versions of the series will be hotly compared and contrasted by feisty and spicy Couch Potatoes.  Mark my words, gentle reader: the Power of Three may not set you free.

STATUS: On November 8, 2018, the network ordered a full season of 22 episodes, of which 9 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits think renewal chances hover at 50 percent, however.

CPU! STATUS: The podcast has received requests from Viewers Like You as well as some of our resident panelists to cover Charmed in a “Look Back to Look Forward” series, as I expected would likely happen.  Expect a CPU! trademark look at Charmed and its varied and sorted history in the spring or summer of 2019.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

The Code

THE CODE, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Anna Wood (Falling Water, Reckless), Ato Essandoh (Chicago Med), Phillipa Soo (Broadway’sHamilton), Raffi Barsoumian (The Vampire Diaries)

WHAT: The military’s brightest minds take on our country’s toughest challenges, inside the courtroom and out, where each attorney is trained as a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, an investigator — and a Marine.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  There is no trailer, and there is scant information available for this drama, which, mind you, is a military drama and a seeming holdover from the rash of military dramas that debuted last season on the networks, most of which were ultimately canceled.  Plus, Mira Sorvino was attached to this program as its lead for awhile before leaving the role, which is not typically a great sign, and there is very little to be excited about when reviewing the cast list or plot synopsis, so we’ll leave this code non-cracked this season.

The Conners

THE CONNERS, ABC

WHEN: Tuesdays at 8/7c

WHO: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman

WHAT: In the Roseanne spinoff, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before after a sudden turn of events. The iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. Last season, CPU! picked up the Roseanne revival based on the fact that several of our Couch Potatoes, the Chief among them, enjoyed the original series, more or less, and were curious to see how this particular family would weather the reboot/revival treatment.  Though many of us have not yet watched, the ratings seemed to speak for themselves – but then so did Roseanne Barr via her Twitter account.  All politics aside, Roseanne has always been an “x” factor, erratic and sometimes harmful to the public in how she has chosen to wield her influence, but no one can deny that Roseanne would not have been what it was without her.  Now, in a move that sounds, smells, and tastes a bit like “cash grab,” notwithstanding the advocacy for the jobs of those that would otherwise not have had them without Roseanne’s poor life choices (and prejudicial views) mucking up the works, the Alphabet is moving forward with what would ultimately be a spin-off, sans the titular matriarch.  On the one hand, it could be compelling: the rest of the cast are no slouches, especially Laurie Metcalf, and the character of Darlene, particularly, has always served as an interesting focal point for the show.  On the other hand, if the writers don’t hit this one out of the park straight from the dugout, it will not survive all of this melee and ado and will become a truly unfortunate, if not tragic footnote in entertainment history.  The real question is: would this footnote be any more unfortunate or tragic than the original ending, including Dan’s purported death following the family winning the lottery?  CPU! is willing to bet probably not, and we believe the network sees this whole game playing out the same way, so, in the end, we’re left asking “why not?”  Again, it could also be sheer morbid curiosity.  Time, and the rest of the Conners, will tell.

STATUS: The network ordered a season of 11 episodes, of which 8 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits think renewal is a “sure thing” or “all but guaranteed,” as it was widely reported that ABC has entered into renewal negotiations with the show’s producers as of October 2018, and as the spin-off/sequel enjoys the network’s second highest ratings after Grey’s Anatomy.

CPU! STATUS: The interest in the various iterations of Roseanne and her family has been mild, but there is interest.  CPU! will cover all iterations at some point, though it may be later rather than sooner.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

The Cool Kids

THE COOL KIDS, Fox

WHEN: Fridays at 8:30/7:30c

WHO: Vicki Lawrence (Great News, Mama’s Family), David Alan Grier (The Carmichael Show), Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace), Martin Mull (Roseanne)

WHAT: Three guy friends in a retirement community are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel whose ready to challenge their place.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. To cut to the chase, if it wasn’t for this cast, I am not willing to bet that either this viewer or fellow potential panelists would find this sitcom premise potentially amusing.  Most of us are not in the target audience, and there are some very flat moments in this trailer that should have offered more and better laughs with the players in this cast.  But, holy wow, look at this cast!  Vicki Lawrence! Leslie Jordan! David Alan Grier! And the erstwhile Colonel Mustard himself, Martin Mull!  They’re charming, they’re funny, they’re veterans – but do they have chemistry, and can a sitcom about residents of a retirement community be potentially appealing to the average and/or typical listeners of podcasts?  The conundrum we face here is why we are so hesitant to be as totally cool as these alleged kids.

STATUS: On October 19, 2018, the network ordered a full season of 22 episodes, of which 9 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits think there is a “safe bet” that the show will be renewed.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Dancing With the Stars: Juniors

DANCING WITH THE STARS: JUNIORS, ABC

WHAT: The offshoot will pair celebrity kids with professional junior ballroom dancers to perform choreographed routines, which will be judged by a panel that will include renowned ballroom experts.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  CPU! does not dance along with reality competition shows on our podcast, at least for now.  But, this one’s new this year, so we list it.  Godspeed, DWTS fans!

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on December 9, 2018, after a total of 9 episodes.  There is no word yet as to whether this DTWS offshoot will be renewed, but the pundits say “long shot” or “very unlikely.”

CPU! STATUS: It’s still a reality competition show, right?  Still, we’ll track it for its first year.  It’s what we do. (Also, how many reality game shows do we really need?)

The Enemy Within

THE ENEMY WITHIN, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: February 25, 2019

WHO: Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Morris Chestnut (Rosewood), Raza Jaffrey (Code Black), Kelli Garner (Pan Am)

WHAT: In spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well.

Watch trailer here.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite the presence of gorgeous Morris Chestnut, and even with a trailer, this particular mid-season thriller feels very hackneyed in terms of its premise, all around, and the snapshot of performances seen here falls sadly flat.  Some early reviews compare this show to Homeland or The Blacklist: Espionage, neither of which resemble current CPU! discussion subjects or ones requested by our panelists and potential panelists.  Really, it’s a show that I can see several of us wanting to like – because we’ve liked something like it before – but not being able to go the distance because it will not be as good as similar properties from which it is heavily borrowing its influence and tone.  If buzz or steam picks up around this mid-season entry, we’ll be open to reviewing our high standards, but for now, we pass.

Fam

FAM, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: January 10, 2019

WHO: Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Odessa Adlon (Nashville), Tone Bell (Disjointed), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Mr. Robot), Sheryl Lee Ralph (One Mississippi, Instant Mom)

WHAT: A woman’s dreams of an upstanding life with her new fiancé and his upstanding family are dashed when her younger train wreck half-sister comes to live with her to escape their train wreck of a father.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  There is no trailer for this show and very little information to go on to determine whether or not this program is worth a watch; not even TV pundits with connections have been given a glimpse, but then again, it’s CBS, and they’ve become kind of idiosyncratic as far as the major networks go – and not in a good way.  A few of us at CPU! just spent the last few seasons of The Vampire Diaries NOT watching Nina Dobrev, so she certainly would not be the primary draw here, but as the situational premise of this situation comedy is pretty thin, I am not convinced that it would be enticing to most of the potatoes I know.  If they start talking about it positively, though, we can always rethink the logic.

FBI

FBI, CBS

WHEN: Tuesdays at 9/8c

WHO: Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue), Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Zeeko Zaki (Valor, 24: Legacy), Ebonée Noel (Still Star-Crossed), Sela Ward (CSI: NY)

WHAT: The Dick Wolf-produced drama explores the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite a decently packaged trailer and a potentially unusual and compelling turn by Missy Peregrym in the lead role, if Dick Wolf has his stamp on this, it will likely be a crime-of-the-week, neatly wrapped up in an episode (or two) procedural show, this time exploring the inner workings of one of the federal law enforcement agencies.  We are not covering procedural TV (much) here at CPU!, and when we do, we’ll have to recruit a reviewer or moderator to do it because this Chief CP likely won’t be watching, at least not without an interesting gimmick to make it seem different from others of its genre.  I can’t imagine this to be something entirely different than Law & Order and its franchise of shows, even if this series is, also, not entirely the same.  CPU! will pass for now.

STATUS: On October 11, 2018, the network ordered a full season of an unknown number of episodes, though it will be greater than the initial order of 13 episodes, of which 10 have aired as of the publication date of this post. The pundits think there is a “safe bet” or a “very likely” chance of renewal.

CPU! STATUS: The talk lines are silent.  Maybe our podcaster roster and/or listeners don’t want to be wiretapped?  Bad joke.  Procedural TV does not fare well in our corner currently.  If you want to change that, drop us a line.

The Fix

THE FIX, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: March 18, 2019

WHO: Robin Tunney (The Mentalist), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Ten Days in the Valley, Lost), Mouzam Makkar (The Exorcist), Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash), Merrin Dungey (Big Little Lies, The Resident), Scott Cohen (Gilmore Girls), Marc Blucas (Underground, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Rayner (Tyrant), Alex Saxon (The Fosters)

WHAT: Follows an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. Eight years later when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder, Maya Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this cast is teeming with familiar faces from large and small screen (was that Robin Givens in the trailer?), this show seems (un)remarkably like a romanticized version of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial given a fantasy makeover, wherein the put-upon district attorney who failed her job the first time gets a second chance to re-try the case, with a different fact pattern in which to dig her bared teeth.  Since the executive producer is Marcia Clark, one of the DA’s who lost the criminal trial of the disgraced ex-NFL star and, therefore, probably felt like she failed at life for many decades to come, the premise of this show, still more, smacks of the playing out of her own revenge fantasy, one in which she can finally take down the elusive defendant who broke her career and her spirit.  OJ was probably guilty, but hey, I guess the glove didn’t fit or something.  I lived through the debacle that was that trial, when it created and fueled the news glut we still enjoy today (without so much internet) and which divided the nation again/still by race and by class.  While the trial itself inspired a critical examination of the judicial system, I, frankly, do not need to live through a fantasized version of the same story, this time delving into an “It’s a Wonderful Life” concept of do-overs to redeem the poor, put-upon, plucky, but intelligent DA who couldn’t get her conviction in the end.  I also worry that the character played by the erstwhile Mr. Eko from Lost could become a caricature quickly if not handled properly and with sympathy, given the obvious parallel to real life that he presents.  All in all, suspension of disbelief would certainly be difficult for this particular potato’s personal palate, but if you watch and disagree, let us know.  My curiosity simply isn’t morbid enough to need this fix.

God Friended Me

GOD FRIENDED ME, CBS

WHEN: Sundays at 8/7c (beginning Oct. 7)

WHO: Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor), Joe Morton (Scandal), Violett Beane (The Flash), Javicia Leslie (MacGyver), Suraj Sharma (Homeland)

WHAT: Questions of faith, existence and science are explored in this dramedy about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he is “friended” by God on social media. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Now, maybe I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, but I teared up at the trailer, which means this one got to me in 3-4 minutes, and that’s not something to sneeze at when doing the quick math here.  Properties with pure religious motifs have not fared well on prime time network television in recent years, but perhaps what makes this one a bit different is that the show will attempt to explore the tough but meaningful subject of faith and the spiritual through more of a focused dialogue, beginning with the main character who runs a podcast about atheism.  Adding in the social media spin for today’s modern audiences, this premise teases something potentially fresh and original without becoming too preachy.  In fact, the show may become the kind of feel-good comedy – and discussion of hope – that today’s audiences crave in these testy times of geopolitical conflict.  Plus, I found the main characters to be largely winning – one of them is the sometime Jessie Quick from CPU! fave The Flash – so, all in all, it feels like this program deserves a leap of faith.  Friend request accepted.

STATUS: On October 19, 2018, the network ordered a full season of an unknown number of episodes; 11 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits give this series’ renewal chances 50/50 odds.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Grand Hotel

GRAND HOTEL, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: June 17, 2019

WHO: Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids), Demian Bichir (The Bridge), Chris Warren (The Fosters), Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Shalim Ortiz (Heroes), Denyse Tontz (The Fosters), Bryan Craig (General Hospital), Lincoln Younes (Home and Away), Justina Adorno (Seven Seconds), Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why), Feliz Ramirez

WHAT: Set in the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Produced by former Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, this new sudsy soap screams telenovela for the now, with sex, sex, sex oozing from its Miami infused pores, a regular scandal (no, not that Scandal) in the making for the Disney-owned Alphabet network.  This will probably be a guilty, or not so guilty, pleasure for quite a few viewers, with an attractive cast, a colorful backdrop, and shocking secrets regularly revealed to appalled but enthralled gasps, but unless requested otherwise, CPU! will back away slowly, since soaps we cover are few and far between.  We will instead remember that the real Grand Hotel is on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  Granted, the clientele is probably very different all around.  All jokes aside, though, this show honestly has potential for success but is not the typical fare that appeals to too many of the CPU! Couch Potatoes.  Maybe they will surprise me, though.  You can request our coverage too, though, viewer – and did you know that you, too, could become one of our panelists?  Sign our guestbook to inquire as to how.

Happy Together

HAPPY TOGETHER, CBS

WHEN: Mondays at 8:30/7:30c

WHO: Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl, Happy Endings), Amber Stevens West (Ghosted, The Carmichael Show), Felix Mallard (Neighbours), Stephnie Weir (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Parnell (Grown-ish, SNL), Victor Williams (The King of Queens)

WHAT: A 30-something couple, tired of their mundane life, start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when a young pop star who is drawn to their super normal suburban life, moves in.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Canned laughter.  Pauses for the canned laughter.  Pregnant pauses.  Dozing.  That last one was me; I’m the one dozing.  This new sitcom seems like a one-note joke that cannot possibly sustain over 22 episodes, much less several additional seasons, and will probably get old in one.  It’s clear that this new program wants to rely on Damon Wayans, Jr.’s considerable charm and comedic timing, but he simply doesn’t have THAT much charm and comedic timing to overcome the ham and cheese on rye flavoring this bland soupy sauce of a sitcom is serving up.  Sure, we all want to be young and hip again, but how tired is the “we’re boring, so this cool rock star will make us cool too” trope?  I did not laugh once watching the trailer, and with such a recycled and rehashed premise, I don’t see anyone at CPU! (or beyond) requesting our in-depth discussion about this show.  Look, Damon’s dad had to try a few times to get a sitcom that lasted too.  Genetics or something, right?

STATUS: The network ordered 13 episodes and declined to order more as of November 2018; 11 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits believe this series’ renewal chances hover at “long shot” or “unlikely,” given the network’s reticence to order more episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Frankly, I am surprised that this show has a shot at all.  No one has watched a first episode around here, but the preview kind of said it all, and, most notably, no one is talking about it.  Anywhere.

I Feel Bad

I FEEL BAD, NBC

WHO: Sarayu Blue (No Tomorrow), Paul Adelstein (Private Practice), Zach Cherry (Crashing, Search Party), James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Johnny Pemberton (Superstore), Aisling Bea

WHAT: Emet is a mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter who is just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  First, the executive producer is Amy Poehler.  Win.  Second, sure the situations in this comedy probably have been done (and done, and done) elsewhere, but how many times have they been done honestly, with the kind of in-your-face humor that resonates?  Also win.  The Peacock has really made a comeback recently, at least in the comedy department, by choosing smart comedies with familiar premises but fresh elements developing those premises to something better than they might otherwise be.  Sarayu Blue and Paul Adelstein have clear chemistry; her parents will no doubt be the comic underdogs; and the social commentary will be relevant and up to date, unlike the last sitcom we reviewed in this pilot entry.  Perhaps, this “pick up” is somewhat inspired by a trailer that made me laugh, as opposed to the one that just failed at that basic task, but isn’t that what a sitcom should be – a show that makes the viewer laugh?  It’s worth a look, at least, because I can tell that this show already has a better chance of sustaining beyond one season than most in its genre.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on December 27, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.  The pundits think this series’ renewal chances are a “long shot” or “unlikely.”

CPU! STATUS: Frankly, I am surprised that this show doesn’t have a better shot.  There has been some modest positive feedback from the CPU! inner circles, and while the show has been labeled “not as funny as some,” the general reaction is that it is still funny.  The Peacock indicated that it would make a decision at a later date regarding renewal, which means it all comes down to money and potential next season pilots.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

In the Dark

IN THE DARK, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: January 24, 2019

WHO: Perry Mattfeld (Shameless), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Kathleen York (The Client List, The West Wing), Derek Webster (NCIS: New Orleans), Brooke Markham (Foursome), Keston John (My Kitchen Rules)

WHAT: A blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The trailer was apparently only screened at up-fronts, but this not-so-connected viewer needs a trailer to make an unbiased assessment of this show.  Without one, and given the above premise description, it sounds like a schmaltzy hodgepodge of lovable dog, inspiring tale of rising to meet the challenges of adversity, and murder-mystery procedural rolled into a saccharine goo.  Plus, there is no one in the cast that offers a draw, and it’s on the CW, which struggles outside of the fantasy/science fiction genre sometimes.  If buzz, accolades, or steam say this dark show is full of unexpected light, we might reconsider, but right now, this viewer offers a solid “meh,” and we unitedly move on.

The InBetwen

THE INBETWEEN, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: Some reports say January 2019; others say Spring 2019

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Harriet Dyer (Australia’s Love Child), Paul Blackthorne (Arrow), Anne-Marie Johnson (In the Heat of the Night), Cindy Luna (The Last Ship), Chad James Buchanan (Star)

WHAT: Cassie Bishop can see and communicate with the dead, helping them with their unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not. When her longtime friend Det. Tom Hackett and his new partner, former FBI Agent Damien Asante, need help solving a darkly puzzling murder, Cassie agrees to use her abilities. Despite her reluctance, she may have found a way to keep her demons at bay, all while solving some of the city’s most challenging cases.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  This new drama sounds like a cross between The Sixth Sense and garden variety procedural crime/murder mystery television, but new fantasy appears to be rather limited this season, and that’s what the CP’s live for around here (this Chief CP does, anyway).  Plus, Paul Blackthorne left CPU! covered Arrow to come be on this show, so we’ll give it a chance.  If the bend is more procedural than serial drama, though, we might lose interest, but we’ll see how this one shakes out in the end.

The Kids Are Alright

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, ABC

WHEN: Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c

WHO: Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Caleb Foote (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Giani Versace), Christopher Paul Richards (Me, Myself & I), Jack Gore (Electric Dreams), Sawyer Barth (Public Morals), Sam Straley, Andy Walken, Santino Barnard

WHAT: Set in the 1970s, the ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The Wonder Years meets That 70s Show with a dash of Modern Family and maybe All in the Family as well as Eight is Enough thrown into the mix to become The Kids Are Alright, which, incidentally, was the working title of That 70s Show. Though I wanted to like what this teaser trailer was serving, this new sitcom boasts much in the way of ham-fisted nostalgia, in spades, coupled with forced parallelism to our modern times, while depending on what seems to be a lackluster cast of mostly unknown quantities trying, hard, to elicit laughs.  It even has voice-over narration in the way Daniel Stern’s Kevin Arnold talked over the younger Fred Savage version of the character’s antics in The Wonder Years.  Perhaps, there is potential to appeal to viewers hungry for this type of on-the-nose comedy, and if there is something we’re missing here, you can always tell us, but again, nothing struck as particularly funny as much as “all been done before” while watching the trailer, so we’re not willing to say this one’s alright, at least for now.

STATUS: The network ordered 22 episodes and ordered an additional episode in December 2018; 8 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits think renewal is a “safe bet” or “very likely,” given the network’s confidence so far in the series.

CPU! STATUS: There is tons of TV to watch right now, and no one has talked about it, requested podcast coverage, or otherwise made mention.  I don’t know if these kids are alright are not, but I have not been convinced to pass the “pass.”  There are several opportunities, though…feel free to take one yourself by commenting on this post.

Legacies

LEGACIES, The CW

WHEN: Thursdays at 9/8c

WHO: Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries), Danielle Rose Russell (The Originals), Quincy Fouse (The Goldbergs), Kaylee Bryant (Santa Clarita Diet), Jenny Boyd

WHAT: The Vampire Diaries and Originals spinoff follows the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, including Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be — or the villains they were born to be?

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  CPU! includes fans who talked for several episodes about The Vampire Diaries and another panel will be finishing up ongoing water cooler coverage of The Originals in the very near future, now that the series has recently ended.  I imagine, therefore, that a chunk of us will want to check out this spin-off of the Vampire Diaries universe, if for no other reason than that any one of us might have a tough time letting said universe go for good.  Still, it would be a tall order to imagine that any of these characters, or their portraying actors, will be as interesting as the leading casts of either TVD or The Originals, but since the theme of the season seems to be morbid curiosity, we’ll just carry that with us as we give this new entry in the annals of vampire/supernatural fantasy fiction a try (and even if Alaric’s school is the supernatural Hogwarts).  Plus, we might see guest appearances by anyone from either of the two casts, so, morbid curiosity for the win!

STATUS: The network cautiously and in a staggered fashion ordered a full season of 16 episodes; 7 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits give renewal odds in the 50/50 category, though the show is faring better than its parent spin-off, The Originals, did in its final season…

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, primarily because our fans of The Vampire Diaries universe expressed in the last related podcast episode that they felt somewhat burnt out by this corner of their various fandoms. Still, after time passes…who knows?

Magnum P.I.

MAGNUM P.I., CBS

WHEN: Mondays at 9/8c

WHO: Jay Hernandez (Scandal, Last Resort), Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadful), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings), Stephen Hill (Luke Cage, Boardwalk Empire)

WHAT: An update of the classic television series set in Hawaii, the show follows Thomas Magnum, a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Do you see Tom Selleck anywhere?  Do you?!?!  The answer to this question is the same answer to the question, “Will you be watching this latest reboot?” From the network that also brought us reboots of Hawaii Five-O and MacGyver – and, hell, of the entire 1980s – we now have a reboot of Magnum PI. Rebooted theme song included.  I didn’t watch much of the original and can’t imagine watching a less awesome actor than Tom Selleck taking on the part of the titular Magnum.  Call me crotchety, but this reboot madness is, well, madness.  Of course, wait until you read just a bit further.

We pass, by the way.

STATUS: The network ordered a full season of an unknown number of episodes on October 19, 2018; 10 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits think renewal chances are squarely at fifty percent.

CPU! STATUS: We have had one request to talk about this show, which may later spark a “Look Back to Look Forward” series about this latest reboot/remake.  There is no clamoring currently, but Jay Hernandez seems to leave viewers weak in the knees. Still, with this request, that means we must change the status to “very hesitantly pick up, not yet viewed.”  We are a podcast by the people, for the people, after all. 

Manifest

MANIFEST, NBC

WHEN: Mondays at 10/9c

WHO: Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time), Melissa Roxburgh (Valor), J.R. Ramirez (Jessica Jones, Power), Athena Karkanis (Zoo), Parveen Kaur (Beyond), Luna Blaise (Fresh Off the Boat), Jack Messina

WHAT: When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Though the Peacock network may yet be trying for its next Lost, like so many other networks, ABC included, have tried before it, and though the trailer was not the best packaged presentation to tease the mystery being offered here, this new drama does offer some areas of interest, though this viewer’s immediate question was: “Did they fly over the Bermuda Triangle?”  Our Once Upon a Time panelists might be interested in the quick return of top-billed Josh Dallas, the once upon a time Prince Charming from the recently ended ABC fantasy.  Our Marvel’s Defenders panel may recognize J.R. Ramirez from the second season of Jessica Jones.  Ultimately, though, the core mystery is intriguing: where did the plane go, and why didn’t they age?  Though my vote is Bermuda Triangle voodoo, or maybe alien kidnapping, I’m intrigued enough to want to watch to learn the answers.

STATUS: On October 18, 2018, the network ordered additional episodes, bringing the first full season grand total to 16; 9 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits believe it is a safe bet that the show will be renewed (and, to the extent that we wear the pundit mantle, we agree).

CPU! STATUS: Manifest has been requested as a podcast candidate, and there has been some fairly emphatic buzz about this show – not Lost level buzz but unmistakable buzz, nonetheless.  Expect to see a Manifest podcast panel in the future.

Murphy Brown

MURPHY BROWN, CBS

WHO: Original stars Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud, plus Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Jake McDorman (Limitless, Greek), Nik Dodani (Atypical)

WHAT: Bergen reprises her role as the investigative journalist, who returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news, and a very different political and cultural climate.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  It’s madness, I tell you!  But, hey, do you see Candice Bergen?  Do you?!?!  Well…that is the question, you got your answer, and so on, etc. que sera, fin. Of all the reboots to reboot, this one couldn’t be more appropriate or timely for today’s geopolitical circus, which, frankly, depresses this CP regardless of on which side of the aisle you prefer to hang your hat.  Back in the day, Murphy Brown was a hard-hitting situation comedy that challenged the tenets passing for the conservatism heading the country and the bumbling silence of the liberal answer, all while also holding the media complex, then far less complex, accountable for their contribution to the insanity.  Now, the world is a lot more insane, and, frankly, I could use Murphy’s brand of loyalty to the truth and skewering sarcasm to make me feel better about the state of things.  Though the reboot moves on without the inimitable Charles Kimbrough and the now deceased Robert Pastorelli, two ingredients we might end up missing more than we think, I believe the world is more ready for an older, sassier Murphy than they are for a Magnum PI who is not Tom Selleck.  Dan Quayle, eat your heart out!  Mike Pence: brace yourself!

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on December 20, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.  Though the network has gone on record to indicate that the Eye is considering renewal, chances are not good (“long shot,” “unlikely”).  The ratings have been erratic, and the political platform of this program, though well placed in the George HW Bush era, might not land as deftly in the Trumpian era of American politics and media, particularly given the public’s widely varying regard for the press, currently.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Neighborhood

THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CBS

WHEN: Mondays at 8/7c

WHO: Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls), Sheaun McKinney (Great News), Marcel Spears (The Mayor), Tichina Arnold (Survivor’s Remorse), Hank Greenspan

WHAT: The nicest guy in the Midwest moves his family into a tough neighborhood in L.A. where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  With only a 30 second teaser available to assess this new comedy, this viewer is not particularly hopeful or confident that things will be all that good in this neighborhood.  Still, Cedric the Entertainer is reliably funny, and Max Greenfield’s sense of comedic timing (the erstwhile Schmidt on recently ended New Girl, of course) could be the winning ingredient, while lightly poking fun at some sociological phenomena of this day and age that will cross some important social and cultural boundaries.  Or, it could just be a hot mess, since Max was a last minute recasting, particularly if it relies on a traditional sitcom format, laugh track included, to elicit viewer laughs.  Still, we’ve given other pick ups to shows with less going for them, so why not?

STATUS: On October 19, 2018, the Eye ordered the “back 9” and brought the program’s full first season episode total to 22; 11 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits say renewal is likely.

CPU! STATUS: The CPU! Podcast received a request to cover this show in podcast format, so this pick up is definite and permanent.  Otherwise, not yet viewed.

New Amsterdam

NEW AMSTERDAM, NBC

WHEN: Tuesdays at 10/9c

WHO: Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist), Janet Montgomery (Salem), Freema Agyeman (Sense8, Doctor Who), Anupam Kher (Sense8), Tyler Labine (Reaper), Jocko Sims (The Last Ship)

WHAT: Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, the medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Okay, I’ll grant you: it’s another medical drama, which CPU! doesn’t cover much, and there are few genres that rely so heavily on formulaic tropes as the medical drama (outside of procedural TV).  Yet, there’s something a bit different about this medical drama, at least given what was presented in the trailer.  And NBC is on fire this coming season with some intriguing pilots and orders to season that sort of break mold – so why shouldn’t their selection for a medical drama be different, even if they might be looking to find their next ER, which was a tent pole staple of evening TV on this very network for nearly two decades.  The doctor in the lead has cancer, is appointed director of medicine at the oldest hospital in the nation, and wants to disrupt the system enough to get the hospital to return focus to actual medicine and not upon speedy service and expensive billing.  And really – isn’t that what we all want? Sure, this one could descend rapidly into schmaltz, but I don’t know.  There’s something a bit bolder here than the normal medical drama, and I think I’m here for it.  Let’s see if other Couch Potatoes feel the same.

STATUS: On October 10, 2018, the Peacock ordered the “back 9” of this drama, marking a full season of 22 episodes; 9 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  Yet, there is no consensus about predictions related to chances of renewal.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Passage

THE PASSAGE, Fox

PREMIERE DATE: January 14, 2019

WHO: Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Pitch), Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), Brianne Howey (The Exorcist), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Saniyya Sidney (American Horror Story: Roanoke), Jamie McShane (Bloodline), Caroline Chikezie (The Shannara Chronicles)

WHAT: Based on author Justin Cronin’s best‐selling trilogy of the same name, the drama centers around a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race. The series focuses on a 10‐year‐old girl named Amy Bellafonte, who is chosen to be a test subject for this experiment and Brad Wolgast, the Federal agent who becomes her surrogate father as he tries to protect her.

Trailer available at Fox’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up. Though this CP thinks she might actually want to read these books first after watching the trailer, I am all sorts of intrigued by the story – which feels very movie-like, by the way, in terms of tension and mystery – being presented by The Passage.  First, I think Zach Morris is no longer the worst, for reals, though.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar seems to be putting forth a compelling effort in the lead character role for this show and more of a compelling effort than I’ve seen him put forth recently.  Second, what a tangled web of moral ambiguity we’re about to watch!  No wonder these books were bestsellers.  This show presents a heck of a lot of science fiction fueled potential, and that’s what we love here at CPU!, so pick this one up we shall – seems like easy passage to me.

Proven Innocent

PROVEN INNOCENT, Fox

PREMIERE DATE: February 15, 2019

WHO: Rachelle Lefevre (Under the Dome), Russell Hornsby (Grimm), Kelsey Grammer (Boss), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Riley Smith (Frequency, Nashville), Nikki M. James (BrainDead), Clare O’Connor (Easy)

WHAT: A legal drama set in an wrongful conviction firm. Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, the team reopens investigations, putting their own lives in danger to exonerate the innocent that were “proven” guilty.

Trailer available at Fox’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. There are medical dramas, and then there are legal dramas.  No TV season can be without 20 of each.  Though the trailer here presented a premise that promises to be manipulative and somewhat force-fed, this viewer is drawn to cast members this time out, particularly Russell Hornsby, who we loved on Grimm; Kelsey Grammer, who is more than a mere Boss; and Vincent Kartheiser, married to Alexis Bledel and sometime supporting star of Mad Men and Angel.  I will give this one a try for them, but if this drama falls into a nebulous sticky goo of manipulative feel-good lawyer-type stuff, it won’t last – for us or for the viewing public, at least not in an entertainment complex saturated with vehicles just like it.

The Red Line

THE RED LINE, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Spring 2019

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Noah Wyle (ER), Noel Fisher (Shameless), Michael Patrick Thornton (Private Practice), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Ballers, Hand of God), Vinny Chhibber (NoTomorrow), Aliyah Royale, Howard Charles (The Musketeers), Elizabeth Laidlaw (Boss)

WHAT: After a white cop in Chicago mistakenly shoots and kills a black doctor, we follow three vastly different families that all have connections with the case as the story is told from each perspective.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass. There is no trailer available to watch for the TV pundits, so judging from the scant synopsis offered above, this particular new vehicle has the potential to be Crash, the TV show.  Or, perhaps it’s another go at Shots Fired, a limited series that aired on Fox and was canceled after one season of low ratings.  As easy on the eyes as Noah Wyle is, and as happy as we are to see him back on TV, there simply isn’t enough to go on to establish a connection beyond what seems visibly recycled.  If buzz, accolades, or steam start steaming up the joint, we’ll happily reconsider.  We’re really quite flexible around here.  There’s nothing preventing us from doing our yoga while we couch potato, you know.

Rel

REL, Fox

WHEN: Sundays at 9:30/8:30c (beginning Sept. 30)

WHO: Lil Rel Howery (Get Out), Sinbad (A Different World, The Sinbad Show), Jordan L. Jones, Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore

WHAT: Lil Rel, a prideful, self-made success who lives by the code to “always believe in yourself and great things will come,” finds that attitude put to the test when he learns his wife is having an affair with his own barber. He tries to rebuild his life post-divorce as a long-distance single father on the South Side of Chicago who’s on a quest for love, respect and a new barber.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass. Holy crap!  It’s Sinbad!  Sinbad aside, though, Lil Rel feels a tad, a smidge, a smudge, a whit, an iota….you get the drift….just like a wannabe Tyler Perry or maybe an Eddie Murphy, the one of Nutty Professor days, without actually being all that funny.  I might not be in the target audience for this comedy, which I can respect, but this viewer also thinks that this new comedy might be trying too hard for laughs like some other new sitcoms on this list.  Anyway, I only laughed once at the trailer – at Sinbad – and just don’t feel that this show’s worth the look, but if you can convince us otherwise, by all means.  Give it a go.

STATUS: It looks as though Fox initially ordered 13 episodes; 10 have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits think renewal is a long shot.

CPU! STATUS: The critics have not been kind to this sitcom, and the ratings have been altogether poor.  No one is talking about this comedy around the united couch potatoes, so we think we made the correct initial call.  Feel free to talk us out of it – if you can.

The Rookie

THE ROOKIE, ABC

WHEN: Tuesdays at 10/9c

WHO: Nathan Fillion (Castle), Melissa O’Neil (Dark Matter), Eric Winter (Rosewood, Witches of East End), Richard T. Jones (Wisdom of the Crowd), Mercedes Mason (Fear the Walking Dead), Afton Williamson (The Night Of, Banshee), Titus Makin (The Path, Pretty Little Liars), Alyssa Diaz (Ray Donovan, Zoo)

WHAT: Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being an LAPD officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives including his own. But if he can use his life experience, determination and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  As much as a return of Nathan Fillion to prime-time TV is a sight for sore eyes no matter how you slice and dice this particular puree, unfortunately, he’s returning in a cop drama.  And while it is a cop drama with a twist, where he plays an older rookie being judged by younger members of the police force (and command), the trailer seems to indicate that, ultimately, it’s still a cop drama.  I think people will watch this show for him – this viewer momentarily contemplated it – and it might even do well.  Unfortunately, apart from the erstwhile Captain Mal, the erstwhile Captain Hammer, and the erstwhile Castle, not a captain, there is very little that connects for this particular potato, and I’m pretty doubtful the current CPU! panelist lineup will fare much better.  With all that said, we wish Mr. Fillion all the best and may be influenced to change our minds with the right amount of water cooler buzz.  Or, just contact us!  We like that.

STATUS: In November 2018, the Alphabet network ordered a full season, bring the first season’s episode total to 20; 8 episodes have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits think renewal is likely.

CPU! STATUS: No one’s requested or talked about this show yet.  We want to watch Nathan Fillion most of the time.  Give us reasons why this time should be no exception, cop show or no cop show.

Roswell New Mexico

ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: January 15, 2019

WHO: Jeanine Mason (Grey’s Anatomy), Nathan Parsons (The Originals), Tyler Blackburn (Pretty Little Liars), Michael Trevino (The Vampire Diaries), Heather Hemmens (Hellcats), Lily Cowles (BrainDead), Michael Vlamis (New Girl), Trevor St. John (Containment), Karan Oberoi (Notorious, NCIS)

WHAT: After reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, the daughter of undocumented immigrants discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: he’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.

Trailer available at TVLine’s YouTube channel (here).

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  Oh, hey, CW, I see you.  You’re beefing up, not one, but two of the WB’s oldest, most cult-adored properties for this coming season, eh?  Even though you’ve traditionally done better than your big brother networks at aiming for the original and then sticking with it until you’ve bled it dry?  Unlike Charmed, Roswell has more of a cult following even than some of the WB’s – and the CW’s – most cult-y audience favorites.  It lasted for only a few seasons in its original run, but those that are in the Roswell fan club speak highly of it.  While I never caught that one, though I can’t say why for sure, as Roswell is the kind of vehicle typically up this viewer’s normal alley of weird and wacky sci-fi TV, and considering that this potato and CPU! in its early days gave Star-Crossed, a very Roswell-like science fiction romance that was canceled quickly by the CW, a chance, I do know that a few of our resident Couch Potatoes are big fans of the first version of this alien love story.  Will they be of this reboot?  Well, we will very hesitantly pick this one up and have what will, no doubt, be another judgmental look back to look forward series.  We may even talk about the Charmed reboot and this one in succession.  I will say that what this reboot has going for it more than anything else: Nathan Parsons.  He has romantic lead potential not fully tapped or explored so far, typically because his characters are short-lived, and he has acted in other popular genre entries like True Blood and The Originals.  So, the show is worth a wary look.  A very wary look.

Schooled

SCHOOLED, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: January 9, 2019

WHO: AJ Michalka, Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen (The Goldbergs)

WHAT: Set in 1990-something, the Goldbergs spinoff follows the hilarious teachers of William Penn Academy, who, despite their eccentricities and crazy personal lives, are heroes to their students.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass For Now.  CPU! is not currently covering The Goldbergs, either on the podcast or in blog format, so before we consider even looking into a spin-off of said flashback comedy, which propels us from 80s to 90s, no less, we would want to take a look at the comedy that “schooled” this one into being.  We’ll keep an eye on it, though, given its spin-off status, and see how it fares.

Single Parents

SINGLE PARENTS, ABC

WHEN: Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c

WHO: Taran Killam (SNL), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Kimrie Lewis (Scandal), Jake Choi (Hawaii Five-O, Younger), Marlow Barkley, Tyler Wladis, Devin Trey Campbell, Grace Hazelett, Sadie Hazelett

WHAT: Follows a group of single parents as they lean on each other to help raise their 7-year-old kids and maintain some kind of personal lives outside of parenthood.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this sitcom actually has some solid potential to sustain, and more than some of the other new sitcom entries on the season, given some welcome use of sarcasm and irony to tell the jokes, the people who will find this funniest will, no doubt, be in the group referenced by the title, or at least parents in general, which this potato cannot currently claim to be.  If any parental panelist sprung forward, though, and said that they would like to talk about this one, I would probably quickly change my mind about this “pass.”  Honestly, the funniest characters may be everyone but Taran Killam’s, but there were some sincere laughs in the trailer, and that bodes well for these single parents all around – just think what 22 minutes might bring.  This is not a hard pass; it’s merely a practical one, that a little peer pressure could probably turn around.  Are you picking up what I’m putting down, potatoes?

STATUS: On October 17, 2018, ABC ordered a back ten, bringing the first season episode total to 23; 10 episodes have aired as of the publication date of this post.  The pundits think renewal possibilities are a safe bet.

CPU! STATUS: One CPU! panelist has offered an almost glowing recommendation (and request) to talk Elizabeth Merriwether’s new show on the podcast, and in the wake of the vacuum left by a departed New Girl, we cannot fight the logic.  Changing this status to “Pick Up.”

The Village

THE VILLAGE, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: March 12, 2019

WHO: LorraineToussaint (Rosewood), Michaela McManus (Seal Team), Warren Christie (The Resident, Chicago Fire), Moran Atias (The Resident, Tyrant), Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy), Dominic Chianese (The Sopranos), Jerod Haynes (Southside With You), Frankie Faison (Banshee, The Wire)

WHAT: Follows the residents of a Brooklyn apartment building who have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah’s a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe’s a young law student who got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S.-born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick’s a veteran who’s returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  With no trailer publicly available, we of the lowly Michigan-based podcast have to rely on early reviews of the trailer – which are decidedly mixed.  What also seems decidedly true is that the Peacock might be searching for its next This Is Us, which would be great, if This Is Us wasn’t still on the air.  Honestly, maybe there are some feel-good or just feeling stories told well in this new drama, but, to this viewer and based on synopsis alone, it has the potential for saccharine, predictable storytelling that could descend into manipulative melodrama quickly.  If I am wrong, tell me.  I’m okay to be wrong.  We have to be ruthless with our choices around here, though, so unless buzz and water-cooler steam percolates from the hotness of this show, we will detour away from this village.

Whiskey Cavalier

WHISKEY CAVALIER, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: February 27, 2019

WHO: Scott Foley (Scandal), Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), Ana Ortiz (Devious Maids, Ugly Betty), Tyler James Williams (The Walking Dead), Vir Das (Go Goa Gone)

WHAT: Follows the adventures of tough but tender FBI super-agent Will Chase (codename: “Whiskey Cavalier”). Following an emotional break-up, Chase is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: “Fiery Tribune”). Together, they lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  I did not want to like this.  I did NOT want to like this.  It started off with some definite ham and cheese on rye with the overly fuzzy and tender-hearted main character who moonlights by day as an agent of the FBI – and oh my, how Scott Foley has aged (*fans self at the thirty second mark of the trailer*) – but as I continued to watch said trailer, I found that the presentation navigated into territory previously tread by, say, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Alias, Castle, and a pinch of The X-Files but in a way that felt fresh and new.  Plus, this show and Scott’s character have a catchy code name; it’s rare that the title charms, but charms it has done.  By the end of the trailer, I found myself ensconced in the witty repartee of the two main characters, who have real chemistry, even though I wasn’t expecting a high-octane government agent premise to be pockmarked with some sardonic romantic comedy.  It is because of this unexpected wit and twisty working that I find myself wanting to see more.  Go watch the few minutes worth of a sample, and tell me you don’t agree.  Is Mr. Foley married, though?

The following is a link to all premiere dates for shows covered beyond the main networks: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/tv-premiere-dates

Non-Broadcast Network Pick-Ups

Disenchantment (Netflix) – They had me at “Futurama but for fantasy rather than sci-fi.”

The latest animated series from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is basically Futurama but for fantasy rather than sci-fi. Abbi Jacobson, Nat Faxon, and Eric Andre head a vocal cast that also includes Futurama vets Billy West, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, and Tress MacNeille.

STATUS: The streaming giant ordered a full season of 22 episodes, 10 were released on August 17, 2018, with the remaining 12 slated for some time in 2019.  Netflix has already renewed this program for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Innocents (Netflix) – “British,” “supernatural,” and “teen drama” are all pretty much up the podcast’s alley.

Guy Pearce stars in this British supernatural teen drama.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on August 24, 2018.  There has been no word regarding the potential of renewal for additional seasons.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime) – All I saw was “The Office’s John Krasinski,” but I do enjoy a good Jack Ryan story.

In the first TV series based on Tom Clancy’s books, The Office‘s John Krasinski plays a modern-day version of the titular CIA analyst—previously portrayed on screen by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck, and Chris Pine—as he embarks on his first field assignment that finds him attempting to thwart a terrorist attack. Lost vets Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland created and produce the eight-episode series, which also stars Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directs the opening episode, while others are helmed by Dan Sackheim (The Americans). The series has already been renewed for a 2nd season.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on August 31, 2018.  Amazon renewed this series for a Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, but this series was requested for podcast coverage, and with John Krasinski starring in it, how can I resist?  This pick-up is definite and permanent.

Mayans M.C. (FX): The original “Sons of Anarchy” has been a recommended panel for some time, now, so we’ll keep an eye on this spin-off and see if our resident “Sons” fans feel as passionate about it.

Sons of Anarchy spinoff stars JD Pardo, Edward James Olmos, Clayton Cardenas, Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, and Richard Cabral.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 6, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  FX renewed the Sons of Anarchy spin-off for a Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Purge (USA): Though we should probably make sure we’ve watched all of the movie franchise first…

Yes, it’s a series adaptation of the Purge movie franchise set within the same universe, where all crime is legal for a 12-hour period each year.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 6, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  USA renewed this series for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Kidding (Showtime): The Chief CP is a huge fan of Michel Gondry and has seen a few early teasers for this show.  I’m sold on all of the elements, from director to cast to premise.

It’s the first TV show from quirky film/video director Michel Gondry, who reunites with his Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind star Jim Carrey (himself returning to TV as a regular in a scripted, non-sketch TV series for the first time since 1984’s The Duck Factory). Carrey plays Mr. Pickles, the increasingly troubled host of a beloved children’s television series that looks like a cross between Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Muppet Show. The terrific cast also includes Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, Frank Langella, and Justin Kirk. Gondry is a producer and directs multiple episodes of the series—you’ll definitely notice his handiwork in the trailer—which was created by Weeds writer Dave Holstein.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on November 11, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.  Showtime renewed this Michel Gondry vehicle for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The First (Hulu): Solid potential between premise and cast, and we like science fiction around here.

A co-production between Hulu and the UK’s Channel 4, the latest series from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon takes place in the near future as it follows the development of the first human space mission to Mars. Sean Penn (in his first regular TV role) and Natascha McElhone head a cast that also features James Ransone, Oded Fehr, Hannah Ware, and Lisa Gay Hamilton.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on September 14, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation possibilities.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Forever (Amazon Prime): Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph were two of the most solid SNL character players.  That reminds me, I need to catch up on “Portlandia.”

Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph star as a married couple attempting to break out of their boring, suburban rut in a new Amazon comedy series from Master of None co-creator Alan Yang and 30 Rock‘s Matt Hubbard. Catherine Keener and Noah Robbins also star.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on September 14, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation possibilities.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Camping (HBO): All I saw was “David Tennant.”  Hearts hearts hearts.  I don’t even care what it’s about. (I hope it doesn’t suck).  Though Jennifer Garner was Sydney Bristow, and that’s pretty good too.

This adaptation of the British comedy series about a group of old friends on a back-to-nature group holiday at a lackluster campsite comes from the team behind HBO’s Girls, including creator Lena Dunham and producer Jenni Konner. Jennifer Garner (in her first regular TV role since Alias) and David Tennant lead a cast that also includes Juliette Lewis, Arturo Del Puerto, Brett Gelman, Ione Skye, and Bridget Everett.

STATUS: The Season 1 finale aired on December 2, 2018, after a total of 8 episodes.  HBO has not discussed the future of this series.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix): It’s the “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” reboot, so there will probably be a look back to look forward series.  Plus, it’s got an early renewal.  That’s some brass, Netflix.

Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka stars as Archie Comics character Sabrina Spellman (aka Sabrina the Teenage Witch) in this Greg Berlanti-produced series that was originally developed as a spinoff from Riverdale for that show’s network, The CW. (Both shows were developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.) Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Bronson Pinchot, and Ross Lynch also star. Netflix has already renewed the show for a second season.

STATUS: Season 1 was released on October 26, 2018, with a total of 10 episodes. Netflix subsequently released a holiday special for this show on December 14, 2018.  In addition, Netflix renewed this wildly popular new take on the Sabrina Spellman character for a Season 2, expected to release on April 5, 2019, and, as of December 18, 2018, for Seasons 3 and 4 as well!

CPU! STATUS: In our December 19, 2018, publication of CPU!, an episode devoted to A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2, it was announced that CPU! will officially be embarking upon a series devoted to one of the premiere Water Cooler shows of the year, coming soon (likely to be recorded spring or summer, 2019). It is my hope that the podcast series will a) be a “Look Back to Look Forward” affair, including the fluffier Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and that b) there will some cross-over potential with our, also, newly announced panel for Riverdale, which has been confirmed to be set in the same universe, both in the comics and on screen.  Stay tuned for all this nerdy, darkly comic goodness!

Homecoming (Amazon Prime): This has got a crazy good cast and stellar producer cred; plus, we’ll check out this podcast in solidarity.

Based on the hit Gimlet Media fiction podcast of the same name, this psychological thriller comes from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and stars Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Dermot Mulroney, Stephan James, and Alex Karpovsky. A second season will stream next year.

STATUS: The first season of 10 episodes was released on November 2, 2018.  Since Amazon ordered two seasons off the bat, this show was automatically renewed for Season 2!

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

The Kominsky Method (Netflix): Though Chuck Lorre needs to work on his overall sense of humor, at least for this couch potato’s edification, I think Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin earn a look.

The latest series from producer Chuck Lorre (who previously developed the short-lived Disjointed for the streaming service) is a single-camera comedy starring Michael Douglas as a Hollywood acting coach. Alan Arkin co-stars as his longtime agent and friend, while Nancy Travis plays a divorcée who enrolls in his acting class. Lisa Edelstein will also have a recurring guest role.

STATUS: The first season of 8 episodes was released on November 16, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation possibilities.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Added to the List!

Haunting of Hill House (Netflix) 

STATUS: The “limited” season of 10 episodes was released on October 12, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation possibilities, since it has been labeled a “limited series.”

CPU! STATUS: This other premiere Water Cooler series has also been highly requested at the podcast.  Stay tuned!

Others on radar: Good Omens and The Lord of the Rings series in development at Amazon; a “Narnia” series at Netflix; The Dark Crystal: the Age of Resistance at Netflix; Watership Down at Netflix; The Witcher at Netflix; The Chronicles of Narnia at Netflix; The Wheel of Time at Amazon; His Dark Materials at BBC/HBO; The Watch (BBC); Conan at Amazon; The Dark Tower at Amazon; Cursed at Amazon.

-*-

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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next week, Couch Potatoes Unite! with start the New Year 2019 with our first ever non-live “Vs.” discussion, pitting The Tudors v. Wolf Hall. Stay tuned for the royal madness and spicy-ethness!

Progress Report: Fall TV Preview and Selection for 2018-2019 Shows (2018)

At this point, the primary TV viewing season is over, the summer viewing season in all its limited glory is in full swing, and the calendar has struck the month of August…which means less than a month until the fall TV season begins again!  Thus, it’s time to shop for new pilots! Since up-fronts were held in May, new TV offerings by networks and some cable outlets (as well as streaming networks) have been announced. It’s time to examine them closely and choose which will be added to the extremely extended lineup covered by this blog!

Thanks to TVLine for helping a girl out.

*Note: with the expansion of CPU!, these initial thoughts are based upon the CPU! Chief’s assessments.  As with previous seasons, a growing number of CPU! members may find shows initially passed by the CPU! Chief and choose to review them.  CPU! readers will be informed if the show’s status changes regarding coverage as the season progresses through the handy CPU! Progress Reports, and all written reviews will be published!

A Million Little Things

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Wednesdays at 10/9c

WHO: James Roday (Psych), David Giuntoli (Grimm), Romany Malco (Weeds), Ron Livingston (Sex and the City), Christina Moses (The Originals), Christina Ochoa (Valor, Blood Drive), Allison Miller (Incorporated, Go On), Stephanie Szostak (Satisfaction), Lizzy Greene (Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn), Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0)

WHAT: They say friendship isn’t one big thing, it’s a million little things; and that’s true for a group of friends from Boston who bonded under unexpected circumstances. Some have achieved success, others are struggling in their careers and relationships, but all of them feel stuck in life. After one of them dies unexpectedly, it’s just the wake-up call the others need to finally start living. Along the way they discover that friends may be the one thing to save them from themselves.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube Channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Welcome to the 2018-2019 CPU! network pilot review!  We start off on a strong note, with a pick up for this drama from ABC, but also with a guilty admission by your Chief CP (author of these annual reviews).  Honestly, I’m personally most interested in David Giuntoli and everything about him – outside of a Grimm context, that is – more than I am interested in the basic premise of this plot.  I think this is the Alphabet’s attempt at an answer to ratings juggernaut and NBC success This Is Us; on the other hand, the cast seems strong.  Watching these two minutes also inspires some The Big Chill nostalgia with a modern, Millennial set of characters at the forefront, dealing with the evolution and metamorphosis of friendships into adulthood.  That idea, punctuated by the suicide that starts the series off, connects strongly with this viewer, and I can see some of our other Couch Potatoes also finding some interest in and connection to it.  The trailer left me feeling hopeful for the series, at any rate, so let’s give this one a try, our first pick up for the year.  Hooray for good signs and strong starts!

Abby's

ABBY’S, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation), Neil Flynn (The Middle), Nelson Franklin (Veep), Jessica Chaffin (Search Party), Leonard Ouzts (Master of None), Kimia Behpoornia (Modern Family, Adam Ruins Everything)

WHAT: Set in the best bar in San Diego, home to good prices, great company and, of course, Abby. This unlicensed, makeshift bar nestled in her backyard is the opposite of everything annoying about today’s party scene. As the oddball cast of regulars will tell you, hanging out at Abby’s is a coveted honor. But once you’re in, you’re family.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Without a trailer, this viewer is reluctant to get enthusiastically on board, but two things convinced me to take a look: it’s produced by Michael Schur – creator of The Good Place and Mose Schrute on The Office – and it’s filmed entirely outside.  Though it feels very Cheers-esque, with a female barkeep knowing everyone’s name, early upfront reviews seemed hopeful, so it’s worth a look.  A quick one, anyway.

The Alec Baldwin Show\

THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 14

WHEN: Sundays at 10/9c

WHAT: The one-hour talker will showcase Baldwin’s in-depth conversations with compelling personalities.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The CPU! podcast does not talk about talk shows.  How do you feel about Alec Baldwin at the helm of a prime time talk show?

All American

ALL AMERICAN, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 10

WHEN: Wednesdays at 9/8c

WHO: Daniel Ezra (The Missing), Taye Diggs (Private Practice), Cody Christian (Teen Wolf), Samantha Logan (13 Reasons Why), Monet Mazur (Castle), Karimah Westbrook (Shameless, Aquarius), Michael Evans Behling

WHAT: When a rising high school football player from South L.A. is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High, the wins, losses and struggles of two families from vastly different worlds — Crenshaw and Beverly Hills — begin to collide. Inspired by the life of pro football player Spencer Paysinger.

Trailer available at the CW’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite the presence of always gorgeous Taye Diggs, this sports-ball drama feels incredibly trope-y, including hashed and rehashed concepts of several TV and film properties past: poor, urban kid of color finding himself in a rich, largely white district; the story about a kid who has nothing but talent, heart, and a bit of luck with the offer to test his prowess on a suburban high school football team; and so on.  The trailer does not “wow” in its presentation of these recycled story concepts, and none of the actors apart from Diggs inspire confidence that this property will offer stellar production value beyond the typical good looks of a made-for-the-CW cast.  Plus, our current roster of Couch Potatoes has currently and definitely shied away from TV about sports.  Seriously, way more nerd types and way less jock types populate our own ever-growing cast.  If you want to change that, though, please drop us a line.

Charmed

CHARMED, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 14

WHEN: Sundays at 9/8c

WHO: Sarah Jeffery (Shades of Blue), Melonie Diaz (The Breaks), Madeleine Mantock (The Tomorrow People), Rupert Evans (Man in the High Castle), Ser’Darius Blain (Survivor’s Remorse, Jane by Design), Charlie Gillespie (Degrassi: Next Class), Ellen Tamaki

WHAT: After the tragic death of their mother, three sisters in a college town are stunned to discover they are witches. Soon this powerful threesome must stand together to fight the everyday and supernatural battles that all modern witches must face: from vanquishing powerful demons to toppling the patriarchy.

Trailer available at the CW’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  Networks: “What do we want?” Answering themselves: “More reboots!” “When do we want them?” “Now! Because we literally have no other ideas!”  Charmed, the original starring Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and later Rose McGowan, was a WB staple for eight seasons, now airs frequently in syndication, and enjoys a healthy streaming afterlife.  Charmed has already been requested as a possible “Looking Back” candidate for the podcast because its loyal fan base endures to this day.  Charmed was a show that this viewer watched voraciously and enthusiastically in its original run.  It was a bit cheesy at times and occasionally suffered from the mismatch of acting talent among the women playing the Halliwell/Matthews sisters, but it was reliable, interesting, and sort of kooky in an entertaining way for a long time.  Like all the other major networks and some streaming outlets, WB offspring The CW could not wait to look into past properties for its own go at a rebooted show from an earlier success, so here, we have Charmed Redux with a new set of sisters exercising a new era of The Power of Three.  I can’t help feeling that this reboot is near blasphemy at its core, given that the original was pretty well loved and still enjoys a loyal, continuing fan devotion.  Plus, the actresses playing the sisters are nowhere near equal to the four who played the Halliwells/Matthews, even if the original four could not be described as amazing performers themselves.  This reboot also seems to be an even darker take, with mom’s death being characterized as outright murder from the jump.  Still, sheer morbid curiosity, a love of fantasy (and supernatural fantasy to boot), and a “can’t look away” feeling propel me to say that CPU! has little choice but to pick this up.  Though you better bet that this will be a “Look Back to Look Forward” setup, and that the two versions of the series will be hotly compared and contrasted by feisty and spicy Couch Potatoes.  Mark my words, gentle reader: the Power of Three may not set you free.

The Code

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  There is no trailer, and there is scant information available for this drama, which, mind you, is a military drama and a seeming holdover from the rash of military dramas that debuted last season on the networks, most of which were ultimately canceled.  Plus, Mira Sorvino was attached to this program as its lead for awhile before leaving the role, which is not typically a great sign, and there is very little to be excited about when reviewing the cast list or plot synopsis, so we’ll leave this code non-cracked this season.

The Conners

THE CONNERS, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 16

WHEN: Tuesdays at 8/7c

WHO: John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Lecy Goranson, Michael Fishman

WHAT: In the Roseanne spinoff, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before after a sudden turn of events. The iconic family — Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. — grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns — with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. Last season, CPU! picked up the Roseanne revival based on the fact that several of our Couch Potatoes, the Chief among them, enjoyed the original series, more or less, and were curious to see how this particular family would weather the reboot/revival treatment.  Though many of us have not yet watched, the ratings seemed to speak for themselves – but then so did Roseanne Barr via her Twitter account.  All politics aside, Roseanne has always been an “x” factor, erratic and sometimes harmful to the public in how she has chosen to wield her influence, but no one can deny that Roseanne would not have been what it was without her.  Now, in a move that sounds, smells, and tastes a bit like “cash grab,” notwithstanding the advocacy for the jobs of those that would otherwise not have had them without Roseanne’s poor life choices (and prejudicial views) mucking up the works, the Alphabet is moving forward with what would ultimately be a spin-off, sans the titular matriarch.  On the one hand, it could be compelling: the rest of the cast are no slouches, especially Laurie Metcalf, and the character of Darlene, particularly, has always served as an interesting focal point for the show.  On the other hand, if the writers don’t hit this one out of the park straight from the dugout, it will not survive all of this melee and ado and will become a truly unfortunate, if not tragic footnote in entertainment history.  The real question is: would this footnote be any more unfortunate or tragic than the original ending, including Dan’s purported death following the family winning the lottery?  CPU! is willing to bet probably not, and we believe the network sees this whole game playing out the same way, so, in the end, we’re left asking “why not?”  Again, it could also be sheer morbid curiosity.  Time, and the rest of the Conners, will tell.

The Cool Kids

FBI

FBI, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 25

WHEN: Tuesdays at 9/8c

WHO: Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue), Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Zeeko Zaki (Valor, 24: Legacy), Ebonée Noel (Still Star-Crossed), Sela Ward (CSI: NY)

WHAT: The Dick Wolf-produced drama explores the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trailer available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Despite a decently packaged trailer and a potentially unusual and compelling turn by Missy Peregrym in the lead role, if Dick Wolf has his stamp on this, it will likely be a crime-of-the-week, neatly wrapped up in an episode (or two) procedural show, this time exploring the inner workings of one of the federal law enforcement agencies.  We are not covering procedural TV (much) here at CPU!, and when we do, we’ll have to recruit a reviewer or moderator to do it because this Chief CP likely won’t be watching, at least not without an interesting gimmick to make it seem different from others of its genre.  I can’t imagine this to be something entirely different than Law & Order and its franchise of shows, even if this series is, also, not entirely the same.  CPU! will pass for now.

The Fix

THE FIX, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Robin Tunney (The Mentalist), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Ten Days in the Valley, Lost), Mouzam Makkar (The Exorcist), Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash), Merrin Dungey (Big Little Lies, The Resident), Scott Cohen (Gilmore Girls), Marc Blucas (Underground, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Adam Rayner (Tyrant), Alex Saxon (The Fosters)

WHAT: Follows an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat when prosecuting an A-list actor for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in Washington. Eight years later when this same celebrity is under suspicion for another murder, Maya Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this cast is teeming with familiar faces from large and small screen (was that Robin Givens in the trailer?), this show seems (un)remarkably like a romanticized version of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial given a fantasy makeover, wherein the put-upon district attorney who failed her job the first time gets a second chance to re-try the case, with a different fact pattern in which to dig her bared teeth.  Since the executive producer is Marcia Clark, one of the DA’s who lost the criminal trial of the disgraced ex-NFL star and, therefore, probably felt like she failed at life for many decades to come, the premise of this show, still more, smacks of the playing out of her own revenge fantasy, one in which she can finally take down the elusive defendant who broke her career and her spirit.  OJ was probably guilty, but hey, I guess the glove didn’t fit or something.  I lived through the debacle that was that trial, when it created and fueled the news glut we still enjoy today (without so much internet) and which divided the nation again/still by race and by class.  While the trial itself inspired a critical examination of the judicial system, I, frankly, do not need to live through a fantasized version of the same story, this time delving into an “It’s a Wonderful Life” concept of do-overs to redeem the poor, put-upon, plucky, but intelligent DA who couldn’t get her conviction in the end.  I also worry that the character played by the erstwhile Mr. Eko from Lost could become a caricature quickly if not handled properly and with sympathy, given the obvious parallel to real life that he presents.  All in all, suspension of disbelief would certainly be difficult for this particular potato’s personal palate, but if you watch and disagree, let us know.  My curiosity simply isn’t morbid enough to need this fix.

God Friended Me

GOD FRIENDED ME, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 30 (at 8:30/7:30c)

WHEN: Sundays at 8/7c (beginning Oct. 7)

WHO: Brandon Micheal Hall (The Mayor), Joe Morton (Scandal), Violett Beane (The Flash), Javicia Leslie (MacGyver), Suraj Sharma (Homeland)

WHAT: Questions of faith, existence and science are explored in this dramedy about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he is “friended” by God on social media. Unwittingly, he becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

Trailer available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Now, maybe I’m feeling really vulnerable right now, but I teared up at the trailer, which means this one got to me in 3-4 minutes, and that’s not something to sneeze at when doing the quick math here.  Properties with pure religious motifs have not fared well on prime time network television in recent years, but perhaps what makes this one a bit different is that the show will attempt to explore the tough but meaningful subject of faith and the spiritual through more of a focused dialogue, beginning with the main character who runs a podcast about atheism.  Adding in the social media spin for today’s modern audiences, this premise teases something potentially fresh and original without becoming too preachy.  In fact, the show may become the kind of feel-good comedy – and discussion of hope – that today’s audiences crave in these testy times of geopolitical conflict.  Plus, I found the main characters to be largely winning – one of them is the sometime Jessie Quick from CPU! fave The Flash – so, all in all, it feels like this program deserves a leap of faith.  Friend request accepted.

Grand Hotel

GRAND HOTEL, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids), Demian Bichir (The Bridge), Chris Warren (The Fosters), Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), Shalim Ortiz (Heroes), Denyse Tontz (The Fosters), Bryan Craig (General Hospital), Lincoln Younes (Home and Away), Justina Adorno (Seven Seconds), Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why), Feliz Ramirez

WHAT: Set in the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Produced by former Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria, this new sudsy soap screams telenovela for the now, with sex, sex, sex oozing from its Miami infused pores, a regular scandal (no, not that Scandal) in the making for the Disney-owned Alphabet network.  This will probably be a guilty, or not so guilty, pleasure for quite a few viewers, with an attractive cast, a colorful backdrop, and shocking secrets regularly revealed to appalled but enthralled gasps, but unless requested otherwise, CPU! will back away slowly, since soaps we cover are few and far between.  We will instead remember that the real Grand Hotel is on Mackinac Island in Michigan.  Granted, the clientele is probably very different all around.  All jokes aside, though, this show honestly has potential for success but is not the typical fare that appeals to too many of the CPU! Couch Potatoes.  Maybe they will surprise me, though.  You can request our coverage too, though, viewer – and did you know that you, too, could become one of our panelists?  Sign our guestbook to inquire as to how.

Happy Together

HAPPY TOGETHER, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 1

WHEN: Mondays at 8:30/7:30c

WHO: Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl, Happy Endings), Amber Stevens West (Ghosted, The Carmichael Show), Felix Mallard (Neighbours), Stephnie Weir (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Parnell (Grown-ish, SNL), Victor Williams (The King of Queens)

WHAT: A 30-something couple, tired of their mundane life, start to reconnect with their younger, cooler selves when a young pop star who is drawn to their super normal suburban life, moves in.

Trailer available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Canned laughter.  Pauses for the canned laughter.  Pregnant pauses.  Dozing.  That last one was me; I’m the one dozing.  This new sitcom seems like a one-note joke that cannot possibly sustain over 22 episodes, much less several additional seasons, and will probably get old in one.  It’s clear that this new program wants to rely on Damon Wayans, Jr.’s considerable charm and comedic timing, but he simply doesn’t have THAT much charm and comedic timing to overcome the ham and cheese on rye flavoring this bland soupy sauce of a sitcom is serving up.  Sure, we all want to be young and hip again, but how tired is the “we’re boring, so this cool rock star will make us cool too” trope?  I did not laugh once watching the trailer, and with such a recycled and rehashed premise, I don’t see anyone at CPU! (or beyond) requesting our in-depth discussion about this show.  Look, Damon’s dad had to try a few times to get a sitcom that lasted too.  Genetics or something, right?

I Feel Bad

I FEEL BAD, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 4

WHEN: Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c

WHO: Sarayu Blue (No Tomorrow), Paul Adelstein (Private Practice), Zach Cherry (Crashing, Search Party), James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Johnny Pemberton (Superstore), Aisling Bea

WHAT: Emet is a mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter who is just figuring it out like the rest of us. Sure, she feels bad when she has a sexy dream about someone other than her husband, or when she pretends not to know her kids when they misbehave in public, or when she uses her staff to help solve personal problems. But that’s OK, right? Nobody can have it all and do it perfectly.

Trailer available at NBC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  First, the executive producer is Amy Poehler.  Win.  Second, sure the situations in this comedy probably have been done (and done, and done) elsewhere, but how many times have they been done honestly, with the kind of in-your-face humor that resonates?  Also win.  The Peacock has really made a comeback recently, at least in the comedy department, by choosing smart comedies with familiar premises but fresh elements developing those premises to something better than they might otherwise be.  Sarayu Blue and Paul Adelstein have clear chemistry; her parents will no doubt be the comic underdogs; and the social commentary will be relevant and up to date, unlike the last sitcom we reviewed in this pilot entry.  Perhaps, this “pick up” is somewhat inspired by a trailer that made me laugh, as opposed to the one that just failed at that basic task, but isn’t that what a sitcom should be – a show that makes the viewer laugh?  It’s worth a look, at least, because I can tell that this show already has a better chance of sustaining beyond one season than most in its genre.

In the Dark

IN THE DARK, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Perry Mattfeld (Shameless), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Kathleen York (The Client List, The West Wing), Derek Webster (NCIS: New Orleans), Brooke Markham (Foursome), Keston John (My Kitchen Rules)

WHAT: A blind woman is the only “witness” to the murder of her drug-dealing friend. After the police dismiss her story, she sets out with her dog, Pretzel, to find the killer while also managing her colorful dating life and the job she hates at the guide dog school owned by her overprotective parents.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The trailer was apparently only screened at up-fronts, but this not-so-connected viewer needs a trailer to make an unbiased assessment of this show.  Without one, and given the above premise description, it sounds like a schmaltzy hodgepodge of lovable dog, inspiring tale of rising to meet the challenges of adversity, and murder-mystery procedural rolled into a saccharine goo.  Plus, there is no one in the cast that offers a draw, and it’s on the CW, which struggles outside of the fantasy/science fiction genre sometimes.  If buzz, accolades, or steam say this dark show is full of unexpected light, we might reconsider, but right now, this viewer offers a solid “meh,” and we unitedly move on.

The InBetwen

THE INBETWEEN, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Harriet Dyer (Australia’s Love Child), Paul Blackthorne (Arrow), Anne-Marie Johnson (In the Heat of the Night), Cindy Luna (The Last Ship), Chad James Buchanan (Star)

WHAT: Cassie Bishop can see and communicate with the dead, helping them with their unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not. When her longtime friend Det. Tom Hackett and his new partner, former FBI Agent Damien Asante, need help solving a darkly puzzling murder, Cassie agrees to use her abilities. Despite her reluctance, she may have found a way to keep her demons at bay, all while solving some of the city’s most challenging cases.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  This new drama sounds like a cross between The Sixth Sense and garden variety procedural crime/murder mystery television, but new fantasy appears to be rather limited this season, and that’s what the CP’s live for around here (this Chief CP does, anyway).  Plus, Paul Blackthorne left CPU! covered Arrow to come be on this show, so we’ll give it a chance.  If the bend is more procedural than serial drama, though, we might lose interest, but we’ll see how this one shakes out in the end.

The Kids Are Alright

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, ABC

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 16

WHEN: Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c

WHO: Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Caleb Foote (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Giani Versace), Christopher Paul Richards (Me, Myself & I), Jack Gore (Electric Dreams), Sawyer Barth (Public Morals), Sam Straley, Andy Walken, Santino Barnard

WHAT: Set in the 1970s, the ensemble comedy follows a traditional Irish-Catholic family as they navigate big and small changes during one of America’s most turbulent decades. In a working-class neighborhood outside Los Angeles, Mike and Peggy raise eight boisterous boys who live out their days with little supervision. The household is turned upside down when oldest son Lawrence returns home and announces he’s quitting the seminary to go off and “save the world.”

Trailer available at ABC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  The Wonder Years meets That 70s Show with a dash of Modern Family and maybe All in the Family as well as Eight is Enough thrown into the mix to become The Kids Are Alright, which, incidentally, was the working title of That 70s Show. Though I wanted to like what this teaser trailer was serving, this new sitcom boasts much in the way of ham-fisted nostalgia, in spades, coupled with forced parallelism to our modern times, while depending on what seems to be a lackluster cast of mostly unknown quantities trying, hard, to elicit laughs.  It even has voice-over narration in the way Daniel Stern’s Kevin Arnold talked over the younger Fred Savage version of the character’s antics in The Wonder Years.  Perhaps, there is potential to appeal to viewers hungry for this type of on-the-nose comedy, and if there is something we’re missing here, you can always tell us, but again, nothing struck as particularly funny as much as “all been done before” while watching the trailer, so we’re not willing to say this one’s alright, at least for now.

Legacies4

LEGACIES, The CW

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 25

WHEN: Thursdays at 9/8c

WHO: Matt Davis (The Vampire Diaries), Danielle Rose Russell (The Originals), Quincy Fouse (The Goldbergs), Kaylee Bryant (Santa Clarita Diet), Jenny Boyd

WHAT: The Vampire Diaries and Originals spinoff follows the next generation of supernatural beings at The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted, including Klaus Mikaelson’s daughter, 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson; Alaric Saltzman’s twins, Lizzie and Josie Saltzman; and other young adults come of age in the most unconventional way possible, nurtured to be their best selves in spite of their worst impulses. Will these young witches, vampires and werewolves become the heroes they want to be — or the villains they were born to be?

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  CPU! includes fans who talked for several episodes about The Vampire Diaries and another panel will be finishing up ongoing water cooler coverage of The Originals in the very near future, now that the series has recently ended.  I imagine, therefore, that a chunk of us will want to check out this spin-off of the Vampire Diaries universe, if for no other reason than that any one of us might have a tough time letting said universe go for good.  Still, it would be a tall order to imagine that any of these characters, or their portraying actors, will be as interesting as the leading casts of either TVD or The Originals, but since the theme of the season seems to be morbid curiosity, we’ll just carry that with us as we give this new entry in the annals of vampire/supernatural fantasy fiction a try (and even if Alaric’s school is the supernatural Hogwarts).  Plus, we might see guest appearances by anyone from either of the two casts, so, morbid curiosity for the win!

Magnum P.I.

MAGNUM P.I., CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 24

WHEN: Mondays at 9/8c

WHO: Jay Hernandez (Scandal, Last Resort), Perdita Weeks (Penny Dreadful), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings), Stephen Hill (Luke Cage, Boardwalk Empire)

WHAT: An update of the classic television series set in Hawaii, the show follows Thomas Magnum, a decorated ex-Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator.

Trailer available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Do you see Tom Selleck anywhere?  Do you?!?!  The answer to this question is the same answer to the question, “Will you be watching this latest reboot?” From the network that also brought us reboots of Hawaii Five-O and MacGyver – and, hell, of the entire 1980s – we now have a reboot of Magnum PI. Rebooted theme song included.  I didn’t watch much of the original and can’t imagine watching a less awesome actor than Tom Selleck taking on the part of the titular Magnum.  Call me crotchety, but this reboot madness is, well, madness.  Of course, wait until you read just a bit further.

We pass, by the way.

Manifest

MANIFEST, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 24

WHEN: Mondays at 10/9c

WHO: Josh Dallas (Once Upon a Time), Melissa Roxburgh (Valor), J.R. Ramirez (Jessica Jones, Power), Athena Karkanis (Zoo), Parveen Kaur (Beyond), Luna Blaise (Fresh Off the Boat), Jack Messina

WHAT: When Montego Air Flight 828 landed safely after a turbulent but routine flight, the crew and passengers were relieved. Yet in the span of those few hours, the world had aged five years and their friends, families and colleagues, after mourning their loss, had given up hope and moved on. Now, faced with the impossible, they’re all given a second chance. But as their new realities become clear, a deeper mystery unfolds and some of the returned passengers soon realize they may be meant for something greater than they ever thought possible.

Trailer available at NBC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Though the Peacock network may yet be trying for its next Lost, like so many other networks, ABC included, have tried before it, and though the trailer was not the best packaged presentation to tease the mystery being offered here, this new drama does offer some areas of interest, though this viewer’s immediate question was: “Did they fly over the Bermuda Triangle?”  Our Once Upon a Time panelists might be interested in the quick return of top-billed Josh Dallas, the once upon a time Prince Charming from the recently ended ABC fantasy.  Our Marvel’s Defenders panel may recognize J.R. Ramirez from the second season of Jessica Jones.  Ultimately, though, the core mystery is intriguing: where did the plane go, and why didn’t they age?  Though my vote is Bermuda Triangle voodoo, or maybe alien kidnapping, I’m intrigued enough to want to watch to learn the answers.

Murphy Brown

MURPHY BROWN, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 27

WHEN: Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c

WHO: Original stars Candice Bergen, Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud, plus Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Jake McDorman (Limitless, Greek), Nik Dodani (Atypical)

WHAT: Bergen reprises her role as the investigative journalist, who returns to a world of cable news, social media, fake news, and a very different political and cultural climate.

Trailer available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  It’s madness, I tell you!  But, hey, do you see Candice Bergen?  Do you?!?!  Well…that is the question, you got your answer, and so on, etc. que sera, fin. Of all the reboots to reboot, this one couldn’t be more appropriate or timely for today’s geopolitical circus, which, frankly, depresses this CP regardless of on which side of the aisle you prefer to hang your hat.  Back in the day, Murphy Brown was a hard-hitting situation comedy that challenged the tenets passing for the conservatism heading the country and the bumbling silence of the liberal answer, all while also holding the media complex, then far less complex, accountable for their contribution to the insanity.  Now, the world is a lot more insane, and, frankly, I could use Murphy’s brand of loyalty to the truth and skewering sarcasm to make me feel better about the state of things.  Though the reboot moves on without the inimitable Charles Kimbrough and the now deceased Robert Pastorelli, two ingredients we might end up missing more than we think, I believe the world is more ready for an older, sassier Murphy than they are for a Magnum PI who is not Tom Selleck.  Dan Quayle, eat your heart out!  Mike Pence: brace yourself!

The Neighborhood

THE NEIGHBORHOOD, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: Oct. 1

WHEN: Mondays at 8/7c

WHO: Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls), Sheaun McKinney (Great News), Marcel Spears (The Mayor), Tichina Arnold (Survivor’s Remorse), Hank Greenspan

WHAT: The nicest guy in the Midwest moves his family into a tough neighborhood in L.A. where not everyone appreciates his extreme neighborliness.

Promo teaser available at CBS’ YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  With only a 30 second teaser available to assess this new comedy, this viewer is not particularly hopeful or confident that things will be all that good in this neighborhood.  Still, Cedric the Entertainer is reliably funny, and Max Greenfield’s sense of comedic timing (the erstwhile Schmidt on recently ended New Girl, of course) could be the winning ingredient, while lightly poking fun at some sociological phenomena of this day and age that will cross some important social and cultural boundaries.  Or, it could just be a hot mess, since Max was a last minute recasting, particularly if it relies on a traditional sitcom format, laugh track included, to elicit viewer laughs.  Still, we’ve given other pick ups to shows with less going for them, so why not?

New Amsterdam

NEW AMSTERDAM, NBC

PREMIERE DATE: Sept. 25

WHEN: Tuesdays at 10/9c

WHO: Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist), Janet Montgomery (Salem), Freema Agyeman (Sense8, Doctor Who), Anupam Kher (Sense8), Tyler Labine (Reaper), Jocko Sims (The Last Ship)

WHAT: Inspired by Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in America, the medical drama follows the brilliant and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, the institution’s newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care.

Trailer available at NBC’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  Okay, I’ll grant you: it’s another medical drama, which CPU! doesn’t cover much, and there are few genres that rely so heavily on formulaic tropes as the medical drama (outside of procedural TV).  Yet, there’s something a bit different about this medical drama, at least given what was presented in the trailer.  And NBC is on fire this coming season with some intriguing pilots and orders to season that sort of break mold – so why shouldn’t their selection for a medical drama be different, even if they might be looking to find their next ER, which was a tent pole staple of evening TV on this very network for nearly two decades.  The doctor in the lead has cancer, is appointed director of medicine at the oldest hospital in the nation, and wants to disrupt the system enough to get the hospital to return focus to actual medicine and not upon speedy service and expensive billing.  And really – isn’t that what we all want? Sure, this one could descend rapidly into schmaltz, but I don’t know.  There’s something a bit bolder here than the normal medical drama, and I think I’m here for it.  Let’s see if other Couch Potatoes feel the same.

The Passage

THE PASSAGE, Fox

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Pitch), Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), Brianne Howey (The Exorcist), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Entourage), Saniyya Sidney (American Horror Story: Roanoke), Jamie McShane (Bloodline), Caroline Chikezie (The Shannara Chronicles)

WHAT: Based on author Justin Cronin’s best‐selling trilogy of the same name, the drama centers around a secret government medical facility experimenting with a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or cause the downfall of the human race. The series focuses on a 10‐year‐old girl named Amy Bellafonte, who is chosen to be a test subject for this experiment and Brad Wolgast, the Federal agent who becomes her surrogate father as he tries to protect her.

Trailer available at Fox’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up. Though this CP thinks she might actually want to read these books first after watching the trailer, I am all sorts of intrigued by the story – which feels very movie-like, by the way, in terms of tension and mystery – being presented by The Passage.  First, I think Zach Morris is no longer the worst, for reals, though.  Mark-Paul Gosselaar seems to be putting forth a compelling effort in the lead character role for this show and more of a compelling effort than I’ve seen him put forth recently.  Second, what a tangled web of moral ambiguity we’re about to watch!  No wonder these books were bestsellers.  This show presents a heck of a lot of science fiction fueled potential, and that’s what we love here at CPU!, so pick this one up we shall – seems like easy passage to me.

Proven Innocent

PROVEN INNOCENT, Fox

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Rachelle Lefevre (Under the Dome), Russell Hornsby (Grimm), Kelsey Grammer (Boss), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), Riley Smith (Frequency, Nashville), Nikki M. James (BrainDead), Clare O’Connor (Easy)

WHAT: A legal drama set in an wrongful conviction firm. Led by a fierce and fearless female lawyer with a hunger for justice, the team reopens investigations, putting their own lives in danger to exonerate the innocent that were “proven” guilty.

Trailer available at Fox’s YouTube channel.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up. There are medical dramas, and then there are legal dramas.  No TV season can be without 20 of each.  Though the trailer here presented a premise that promises to be manipulative and somewhat force-fed, this viewer is drawn to cast members this time out, particularly Russell Hornsby, who we loved on Grimm; Kelsey Grammer, who is more than a mere Boss; and Vincent Kartheiser, married to Alexis Bledel and sometime supporting star of Mad Men and Angel.  I will give this one a try for them, but if this drama falls into a nebulous sticky goo of manipulative feel-good lawyer-type stuff, it won’t last – for us or for the viewing public, at least not in an entertainment complex saturated with vehicles just like it.

The Red Line

THE RED LINE, CBS

PREMIERE DATE: TBA

WHEN: Midseason

WHO: Noah Wyle (ER), Noel Fisher (Shameless), Michael Patrick Thornton (Private Practice), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Ballers, Hand of God), Vinny Chhibber (NoTomorrow), Aliyah Royale, Howard Charles (The Musketeers), Elizabeth Laidlaw (Boss)

WHAT: After a white cop in Chicago mistakenly shoots and kills a black doctor, we follow three vastly different families that all have connections with the case as the story is told from each perspective.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass. There is no trailer available to watch for the TV pundits, so judging from the scant synopsis offered above, this particular new vehicle has the potential to be Crash, the TV show.  Or, perhaps it’s another go at Shots Fired, a limited series that aired on Fox and was canceled after one season of low ratings.  As easy on the eyes as Noah Wyle is, and as happy as we are to see him back on TV, there simply isn’t enough to go on to establish a connection beyond what seems visibly recycled.  If buzz, accolades, or steam start steaming up the joint, we’ll happily reconsider.  We’re really quite flexible around here.  There’s nothing preventing us from doing our yoga while we couch potato, you know.

Rel

Progress Report: End of Season Scorecard, 2017-2018 Pilots

It’s time for the final progress report for the new pilots of the 2017-2018 season! Where are the new shows (that are left), and how are they doing nowadays?  Read below to find out!

Thanks as always to TVLine and to other sources for helping a girl out.

9-1-1

9-1-1, Fox

WHO: Angela Bassett (American Horror Story)

WHAT: A fast-paced exploration into the lives and careers of first responders — cops, paramedics, firefighters — the people who put their lives on the line to save others.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  A few thoughts on this first entry, numerically titled and, therefore, ahead of the alphabet. While we at CPU! are big fans of Ms. Bassett, being that we’ve watched her on American Horror Story for several seasons and greatly enjoy her contributions to the horror anthology juggernaut, the fact is that with so little information to go on for this mid-season entry on Fox’s new lineup, we are hard pressed to adopt this title for our pick-up list.  There is no trailer, the description is thin, and, frankly, it sounds potentially procedural in nature, if not a recycling and/or rehashing of medical and law enforcement dramas currently all over network and cable TV.  What we’re saying is: it doesn’t sound original, no matter how much caliber Angela Bassett may add to it.  So, we start with a pass.  Bodes well, eh?

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on March 21, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: There has been some modest percolation and rumblings of praise for this show, but no one has specifically requested it as a podcast candidate.  We’ll keep an eye on it.  The new season premieres on September 23, 2018.

9JKL

9JKL, CBS

WHO: Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains), David Walton (About a Boy), Liza Lapira (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23), Matt Murray (Rookie Blue), Linda Lavin (The Good Wife), Elliott Gould (Ray Donovan), Albert Tsai (Dr. Ken)

WHAT: A family comedy inspired by a time in Mark Feuerstein’s adult life when he lived in apartment 9K in the building he grew up in, sandwiched between his parents’ apartment, 9J, and his brother, sister-in-law and their baby’s apartment, 9L, and his attempts to set boundaries with his intrusive but well-meaning family.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  This feels like a very borderline situation for a situation comedy, in terms of actual, successful laughter, as far as this Couch Potato (CP) is concerned.  Though apparently derived from real-life sources, namely Mark Feuerstein’s real life, the teaser trailer offers several repetitive jokes and a mixed bag in terms of comedic presentation.  But for each low, including Mark himself, who keeps trying for comedy but somehow isn’t able to achieve it as easily as others, there is at least one or two highs, namely the actors playing his parents.  In fact, it’s the casting this time around that is giving me the urge to at least try an episode or two and see if a half hour is better than a couple of minutes.  David Walton’s brand of “dudebro” is extremely watchable, owing to the nuances of the underrated but erstwhile About a Boy alum’s particular oeuvre of comedic timing, and veterans Linda Lavin and Elliott Gould are money players in the comedy genre – they are bound to eke out a few laughs.  The trailer doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but there’s no harm in taking this one for a whirl and seeing what happens.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The now series finale aired on February 5, 2018, with a total of 16 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were generally low – in fact, it was kind of surprising that this show got a full season and is thoroughly unsurprising that the show was canceled.  Because a whole season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Alex, Inc.

ALEX, INC., ABC

WHO: Zach Braff (Scrubs), Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos), Tiya Sircar (The Good Place), Hillary Anne Matthews (New Girl)

WHAT: Based on the podcast of the same name, Alex Schuman is an inquisitive journalist, husband, and father who dives headfirst into the brave new world of entrepreneurship when he quits his stable job and starts his own business.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Honestly, much of this pick up is in podcast solidarity.  It’s a TV show based upon a podcast.  ONE CAN DREAM, RIGHT?!  In less selfish news, though the premise of this show may appeal most strongly to a narrow but cultivated set of hipster Millennials…Zach Braff.  Zach Braff is all you need to know.  Who doesn’t find Zach Braff funny? (If you answer “me,” I’m calling shenanigans!).  It’s time for his post-Scrubs TV revival to take shape, and what better time and with what better vehicle than this?  Also, this premise and dose of edgy observational humor is the kind of real life funny that actually plays as funny, even in a two minute trailer, though, perhaps, I’m jaded by the previous trailer.  Or, perhaps, I’m cautiously optimistic.  Then again, this could fail on its merits because podcasts are still fairly niche in terms of audience, and it’s hard to see how TV would build upon that.  Not that we know anything about that around here, or anything.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on May 16, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were middling at best, so we’re not entirely surprised by the cancellation.  Still – Zach Braff!  Poor Zach Braff.  Because a whole season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

A.P. Bio

A.P. BIO, NBC

WHO: Patton Oswalt (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Mary Sohn (Teachers), Lyric Lewis (The CW’s MADtv), Aparna Brielle (Grimm), Nick Peine (Office Christmas Party), Tom Bennett (Drunk History: UK), Jacob McCarthy

WHAT: A hilariously cynical Ivy League professor loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school biology teacher where he imposes his unorthodox teaching style and uses the kids to plot out revenge on those who wronged him.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  This is a new spin on the “reluctant school teacher” trope, but the premise outlined in the available trailer resonates like recycled sitcom, in many regards, with updated motifs like social media “cat-fishing” – encouraged by a teacher, no less – and possibly slightly more erudite potty humor. Describing the main character as “hilariously cynical” is being far too generous, however.  Apparently from the creative and collective former and current SNL minds of Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels, a brilliant but irascible teacher in the vein of the brilliant but irascible Dr. House (from House) fails to achieve tenure in the Ivies and ends up teaching high school.  The premise by itself is a struggle to buy into without more information but so is the likability of the main character – or even the UN-likability.  Mostly, the character is bland, and it’s hard to know how the audience should relate to the teacher when he’s so two-dimensional, at least until he develops his inevitable sensitivity and inspiration from teaching today’s advanced placement biology students – development not shown in the teaser, for the record.  In all honesty, throughout the viewing of this trailer, I kept thinking that teachers don’t need additional pressure from politicians and parents based upon a fictional representation that is more to hate than to love, and in these sociopolitical and cultural times, where the slightest of mascots can render unintended influences on those of us living real life, the entire joke behind the premise doesn’t quite land, at least not for this CP. If you take a gander and disagree, let us know.  We’re willing to change (and have)!

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 3, 2018, with a total of thirteen episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Some CPU! regulars have requested this comedy for podcast discussion (they are clearly Always Sunny fans), so we must now change this status to “hesitantly pick up.” One of them might be moderating said panel, but…

Black Lightning

BLACK LIGHTNING, The CW

WHO: Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie), Nafessa Williams (Code Black), China Anne McClain (House of Payne), Christine Adams (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

WHAT: Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  It’s a comic book show.  CPU!’s comic book core (or corps?) will likely step up to the plate for this one, particularly if it is folded into the crossover potential of the Arrowverse, making it a likely additional entry for our DCTU panel.  The trailer shows some influence by Marvel’s Luke Cage but also the broader, moodier tones of the DC film franchise as a whole, ringing with more gravitas than even Arrow when it first began.  How will it all come out in the wash?  We’ll be there to find out.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on April 17, 2018, with a total of thirteen episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.  The new season premieres on October 9, 2018.

The Brave

THE BRAVE, NBC

WHO: Mike Vogel (Under the Dome), Anne Heche (Save Me, Men in Trees), Tate Ellington (Quantico), Demetrius Grosse (Westworld, Justified), Noah Mills (2 Broke Girls), Sofia Pernas (Jane the Virgin), Hadi Tabbal, Natacha Karam

WHAT: A heart-pounding look into the complex world of our bravest military heroes who make personal sacrifices while executing the most challenging and dangerous missions behind enemy lines.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Military-themed dramas seem to be the type of show en vogue on network television this coming season.  More on that later.  While there could be some potentially tense and riveting drama rooted in The Brave (formerly For God and Country), whether this show decides to focus on missions by episode or over the course of a season, this program rings as somewhat procedural in nature given the fact that we would be watching military task forces or units solve potential international crises, short or long term. The question that comes to mind is how would that premise, in either framework, sustain, repetitively and over the course of a season?   It appears, from the trailer, that the driving force of the show will be “how do they do it?” rather than “how does it fit within the larger picture?”  Lacking a gimmick, like 24’s real time motif, the premise as it stands is underwhelming.  Plus, this CP is not an overall fan of Anne Heche, because reasons, and is also wary of how the “enemies” behind enemy lines might be portrayed, given current climates in our country. If this show earns some critical acclaim or popular steam, we may revise our stance, but for now, there is little likely to attract our merry band of podcasters.  If you watch and like this show and want us to cover it, send us a comment or an email (couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com).

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on January 29, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: No change.  Though military dramas seemed to be the trend of the season, most if not all of them are generally low-rated and are being canceled, with one exception.  There is no reason for CPU! to change its mind, and no one seems to be talking about this one.

By the Book

BY THE BOOKLIVING BIBLICALLY, CBS

WHO: Jay R. Ferguson (The Real O’Neals), David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Ian Gomez (Supergirl, Cougar Town), Lindsey Kraft (Getting On), Tony Rock (Everybody Hates Chris), Camryn Manheim (Ghost Whisperer)

WHAT: A modern day man at a crossroads in his life decides to live according to the Bible. Based on the bestselling book by A.J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Aside from the fact that there is no teaser trailer to expand upon this brief premise description, this sounds rather Hallmark channel at its core.  No judgments as much as cursory observations, and while this CP sees the potential of an audience for this program, especially given CBS’ core viewership, this is not the type of drama (is it even a drama?) that entices here at Couch Potatoes Unite!  If you want us to start covering it, though, let us know.  For now, we’ve got enough and better established TV watching commitments to keep us busy.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The now series finale aired on July 21, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were unmistakably low, and CBS pulled it from their schedule in April, though the network resumed airing the remaining episodes in July.  Also, as previously stated, we had heard literally nothing about it and believe our initial assessment to be accurate.  Since there seems to be no vote of confidence here, we think it’s time to move on, on all fronts, biblical or otherwise.

Champions

CHAMPIONS, NBC

WHO: Anders Holm (The Mindy Project), Andy Favreau (Aquarius), JJ Totah (Liv and Maddie), Nina Wadia, Mouzam Makkar, recurring player Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)

WHAT: The single-cam comedy centers on Vince, a charismatic gym owner with no ambition who lives with his younger brother Michael, a gorgeous idiot. Their simple life of women and working out is put on hold when the teenage son of Vince is dropped off on their doorstep by Priya (Kaling), one of his old high school flings.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Your CPU! Chief CP likes The Mindy Project; we’ve intermittently covered the show here at CPU! because I and a couple other Couch Potatoes enjoy the unique comedic chops of Mindy Kaling, the erstwhile Kelly Kapoor from The Office and Mindy Lahiri on the previously mentioned TMP.  It’s nice to see that she will land squarely on her feet upon conclusion of TMP, which is going into its final, Hulu-airing season, its sixth.  Still, this situation comedy does not spark interest, her presence and one of her former Mindy Lahiri beaus aside.  The premise is sort of like Three Men and a Baby, if there were only two men and if the baby was a teenager.  There is no trailer to judge writing or performance, and aside from Kaling, there isn’t much draw from a prior project side of the coin to entice in lieu of the pencil-thin premise.  It has the potential to be smart if Kaling writes for the show; it also has the potential to be a locker-room driven comedy, given the notion that the main character owns a gym.  There are too many “ifs” to inspire views.  As always, let us know if we are wrong.  I don’t think we are.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The now series finale aired on May 25, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were generally low and kept declining over the course of the season, with the finale hitting the lowest point (never a good sign).  As much as we love Mindy Kaling around here (or as much as the Chief CP does, anyway), we continue to pass on this sports-ball type comedy.

the-crossing

THE CROSSING, ABC

WHO: Steve Zahn (Mad Dogs), Sandrine Holt (MacGyver, House of Cards), Natalie Martinez (Under the Dome), Jay Karnes (The Shield), Simone Kessell (Of Kings and Prophets), Grant Harvey (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Kelly Missal (One Life to Live), Marcuis W. Harris (Vice Principals), Rick Gomez (Justified), Tommy Bastow (EastEnders), John D’Leo, Rob Campbell, Bailey Skodje, Luc Roderique

WHAT: Refugees from a war-torn country start showing up to seek asylum in an American town. Only the country these people are from is America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future. The local sheriff with a past, a federal agent, and a mother in search of her missing refugee daughter drive this allegory with a surprising conspiracy at the center.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  The trailer teases some interesting mysteries – what are these futuristic refugees fleeing?  How do they have powers?  Are they friend or foe?  Are they human?  There is some potential science fiction, making the premise potentially attractive to CPU! panelists.  There was nothing particularly impressive about the trailer presentation, yet the intrigue is palpable.  Plus, the description refers to both allegory and conspiracy.  Just what will we be watching?  Only one way to find out.  Interestingly, as the trailer started, this CP fleetingly thought, “This is like Lost, in reverse maybe.”  The trailer then connected the show to Lost by crediting the network as the broadcaster of both.  On the nose, then, ABC is seeking its next Lost.  There is nothing in the trailer suggesting that The Crossing will be such a contender to compare to the venerable and controversial preceding drama, but maybe today’s cynical TV audiences will be surprised.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on June 9, 2018, with a total of 11 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were middling at best, so we’re not entirely surprised by the cancellation, though science fiction shows are hard to come by.  Since the whole ordered season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Deception

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS, NBC

WHO: Edie Falco (The Sopranos), Anthony Edwards (ER), Miles Gaston Villanueva (The Young and the Restless), Gus Halper (Power, Public Morals), Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Julianne Nicholson (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Constance Marie (Switched at Birth), Heather Graham (Scrubs), Elizabeth Reaser (Grey’s Anatomy), Mark Moses (Mad Men), Larry Cedar (Deadwood), Kate Beahan (Mistresses), Carlos Gomez (Madam Secretary), James DuMont (American Horror Story, Treme)

WHAT: The inaugural installment of the eight-episode anthology series focuses on Lyle and Erik Menendez, brothers who were convicted in 1996 of murdering their parents and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Yawn.  Yet another entry in the Law and Order franchise.  Your Chief CP could not even watch the trailer – it’s clear that Dick Wolf and company want to get a crack at the popularity of the American Crime Story anthology series currently doing well on Fox/FX.  Also, there are too many procedural programs and not enough time.  We do have some slight interest expressed in Law and Order coverage, but it will take planning to cover the decades and spin-offs associated with this franchise.  Also, the Menendez murders are just not that interesting a concept.  If you would like to vote away our massive cynicism here, you need only comment, email, etc.

STATUS: Eight episodes were ordered by the Peacock for the first season of this anthology series; the first season finale aired on November 14, 2017.  No announcement regarding the show’s “true” future has yet been made; Law and Order mega-mogul Dick Wolf has described this as a limited anthology series while, at the same time, not ruling out future seasons.  Because of the mixed messaging, and because we already passed on this show, we’ll call it a day.

CPU! STATUS: Still yawning.

Life Sentence

LIFE SENTENCE, The CW

WHO: Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Elliot Knight (American Gothic), Dylan Walsh (Unforgettable), Gillian Vigman (New Girl), Brooke Lyons (iZombie), Carlos PenaVega (Grease: Live, Big Time Rush), Jayson Blair (Young & Hungry)

WHAT: When a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer finds out that she’s not dying after all, she has to learn to live with the choices she made when she decided to “live like she was dying.”

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  In many ways, the concept of this show feels like a tweaking of No Tomorrow, recently canceled by the very same network.  Instead, the person dying receives a new lease on life, rather than a guarantee of death and a need to fulfill a bucket list, and must deal with the aftermath of the trying times of poor health, including the effect of those times on family and loved ones.  There are many aspects to potentially like about this show, including unblemished, standard-beauty type members of the cast. At the same time, it also feels very by rote and potentially manipulative.  Perhaps, if the trailer had offered something in the way of darker edges or conflict other than the sheer buffoonery of the main character’s family, it would entice more.  As it stands, this show seems to be another chapter in the TV annals of “ain’t life funny” TV.  Still, I think it will probably find an audience, and, perhaps, people who have dealt with similar situations will find it funny.  We’ll keep an eye on it, to see if it gains traction or steam.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on June 15, 2018, with a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The show was low-rated, and given that a similar type show was canceled by the very same network the season before, it seemed like a tall order to expect that this new version would catch on with audiences better.  Life sentence?  More like sentenced to TV death, really.

Marvel's Inhumans

MARVEL’S INHUMANS, ABC

WHO: Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels), Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), Serinda Swan (Graceland), Ken Leung (Lost), Ellen Woglom (Outlaw), Eme Ikwuakor (Extant), Isabelle Cornish (Home and Away), Mike Moh (Empire), Sonya Balmores (Beyond the Break)

WHAT: The eight-episode series will explore the never-before-told epic adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Ramsey Snow/Bolton lives!  Just kidding.  The Chief CP does not know enough about Marvel to understand how this fits into the overall scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including story lines started on Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Still, with the overall interest in comic book adaptations from our nerdy core/corps of panelists, I can’t imagine us not podcasting about it someday.  The trailer is somewhat interesting – if somewhat confusing all at the same time.  But look!  Stories about enhanced people!  Our bread and butter, yes?

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on November 10, 2017, after a total of eight episodes.  

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were very low, and the show was never expected to be renewed.  Critics and viewers also panned it.  Still, given our superhero interests among our panelists and because a whole season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

The Mayor

THE MAYOR, ABC

WHO: Brandon Micheal Hall (Search Party), Lea Michele (Scream Queens), Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple, Community), Bernard Jones (Meet the Browns), Marcel Spears

WHAT: When an outspoken, idealistic rapper runs for office as a publicity stunt and actually gets elected, he surprises everyone (including himself) when he has a natural knack for the job and slowly transforms City Hall.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Quite honestly, this might be one of the most promising new comedies to hit network TV this coming season, and this is one of the shows the Chief CP is most excited about.  While I am no great fan of Lea Michele, I can’t think of a more timely, more relevant premise for a situation comedy than this.  Check it: a rapper runs for office as a publicity stunt, achieves it beyond his wildest expectations despite the fact that he’s probably not qualified for it, and political hi-jinks ensue.  Remind you of anything?  Only now, the jokes come from real life and from the other side of the widespread divide skewering American society.  This is not a political statement; if anything, it’s important to present both sides to all people, and fictionalized though this may be, I think it will find a cross-cultural, cross-generational audience, with a smart premise and decent satire bolstering it, who will see what is being reflecting in it and appreciate the voices informing it.  Bravo to the creators for putting it out there, and bravo to the Alphabet network for endorsing it.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The series finale aired on Hulu on January 25, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.  The series is only available to view on Hulu or at ABC’s website.

CPU! STATUS: Though the preview promised some laughs, the show was ultimately low rated, leading to an unofficial early ax for the sitcom. Because a whole season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

 

Me, Myself & I

ME, MYSELF & I, CBS

WHO: Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), John Larroquette (The Librarians), Brian Unger (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Sharon Lawrence (Rizzoli & Isles, NYPD Blue), Kelen Coleman (Big Little Lies), Jaleel White (Family Matters), Jack Dylan Grazer, Skylar Gray, Christopher Paul Richards, Mandell Maughan, Reylynn Caster

WHAT: A single-camera comedy examining one man’s life over a 50-year span. The show will focus on three distinct periods in his life — as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day, and a 65-year-old in 2042.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  As funny as Bobby Moynihan can be and as John Larroquette always is, this sitcom and premise feel like a comedic re-purposing of This Is Us for the Eye network. Nevertheless, in viewing the trailer, this CP nursed hope that there was something truly novel that would drawn the viewer in – personally, I think the target audiences that will likely resonate with this most are steeped in Baby Boomers and Generation X.  The Chief CP is a late-stage member of the latter, as is the Bobby Moynihan version of the character, but it’s hard to see what the show is going for beyond an examination of choices, regrets, and satisfaction, which I think someone with more life years lived will relate to best.  The trailer offered some smiles but not many, though it’s nice to see Steve Urkel out of retirement.  We’ll monitor its progress, but our initial impressions are lukewarm at best.

STATUS: Officially canceled! The now series finale aired on July 21, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The ratings were unmistakably low, and CBS pulled it from their schedule in October, though the network resumed airing the remaining episodes in July.  Still, with such a ringing endorsement by the Eye, we direct we, ourselves, and us toward other things to watch.

The Orville

THE ORVILLE, Fox

WHO: Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Penny Johnson Jerald (Castle), Scott Grimes (ER), Peter Macon (Shameless), J Lee (Family Guy), Halston Sage (Crisis)

WHAT: Set 300 years in the future, the hourlong dramedy follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet. Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, this motley crew of space explorers will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  Another intriguing comedic entry in Fox’s nerd-friendly comedy lineup!  In the grand tradition of vehicles like Galaxy Quest, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and every Family Guy parody of anything science fiction ever, Seth McFarlane has now created this Star Trek-like homage to futuristic space exploration.  It could very well be stupid – more of a Peter Griffin than a Stewie or a Brian, say – but it could also be uproariously amusing, and there are CPU! regulars who will likely gravitate toward the popcorn adventures of the ship to which the title refers.  The description of this program classifies it as a “dramedy.”  Hopefully, it is more “medy” than “dram.”

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on December 7, 2017, with a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Not all CPU!ers have viewed this new Fox show, but some resident CPU!ers already requested coverage of this show on the podcast, so this “pick up” is definite and permanent.  Stay tuned!  The new season premieres on December 30, 2018.

The Resident

THE RESIDENT, Fox

WHO: Manish Dayal (Halt and Catch Fire, 90210), Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife), Emily VanCamp (Revenge), Bruce Greenwood (The People v. O.J. Simpson), Shaunette Wilson (Billions)

WHAT: An idealistic young doctor begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern day medicine.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Here cometh another medical drama, this time to Fox, with Logan from Gilmore Girls and Amanda/Emily from Revenge in featured roles.  This feels like a watered down House, with a main character that lacks the deduction skills of Dr. House and plays more like the Burgess Meredith character from Rocky: tough but fair, brilliant but principled, honest but abrasive, and so on, who is there to motivate young residents as they get their toes wet in patient care.  Personally, this CP tires of the proliferation of medical dramas and, therefore, passes on this one, but if it merits another look, let us know.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 14, 2018, with a total of 14 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: It’s still a medical drama, right?  The new season premieres on September 24, 2018.

Reverie

REVERIE, NBC

WHO: Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest), Dennis Haysbert (24), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes), Kathryn Morris (Cold Case), Jessica Lu (Awkward)

WHAT: A grounded and dramatic thriller about a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  The hesitancy comes from two primary reasons: there is no trailer, currently, and Sarah Shahi just hailed from Person of Interest, all about an omnipresent and omniscient AI, a possible evolutionary step for VR.  After all, what does “advanced virtual reality program” mean?  Are we looking at something drawing from influences like Minority Report?  And really, answering these questions is the only reason, apart from the erstwhile Shaw, that we’d give this one a look-see, as it hints at a flavor of science fiction without being committal to the genre, popular with the CPU! roster.  If the vagueness and mystery do not pay off well, though, we’ll probably drop it like a rock.

STATUS: Nine of ten ordered episodes have aired as of the publication of this post, with the season finale slated to air on August 8, 2018.  There has been no word regarding renewal or cancellation.  We will post a footnote update in a later progress report.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Rise

RISE, NBC

WHO: Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Rosie Perez (Search Party, Lipstick Jungle), Marley Shelton (The Lottery), Rarmian Newton (The Family), Amy Forsyth (The Path), Casey Johnson (G.L.O.W.), Shirley Rumierk, Joe Tippett, Ted Sutherland, Taylor Richardson, Damon J. Gillespie, recurring player Shannon Purser (Stranger Things)

WHAT: Centers on a high school drama teacher and family man whose passion for the program and his students galvanizes the entire working class town. Based on Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High, which itself is based on real-life drama teacher Lou Volpe.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Hesitantly Pick Up.  I think we might be picking up shows too benevolently this season. Honestly, with so little to go on, this CP is feeling vibes of Glee, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dead Poets Society, and other, similar ilk with high school drama now as the central focus. Still, you may have noticed that the CPU! core is a theatrical bunch, so I feel compelled to look in on this one, even though the premise feels like a trope, based on a true life person or not.  Thoughts?

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The now series finale aired on May 15, 2018, after a total of ten episodes.  

CPU! STATUS: The ratings, while not spectacular, were actually somewhat decent on the whole (at least better than middling), so this cancellation is somewhat surprising.  Also, there were some early rumblings of praise from people near and dear to CPU! Because a whole season aired, we’ll still give it a look and determine if we want to cover it in “Canceled Corner.”  If you enjoyed this show and want to be interviewed for that feature, leave a comment in the guestbook, or contact us via social media or email: couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com.

Roseanne

ROSEANNE, ABC

WHO: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke

WHAT: An eight-episode present-day revival that will find the Conner family dealing with the economic challenges of living pay check to pay check in 2018.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pick Up.  What can we say?  Curiosity may yet kill this cat.  Roseanne is an acknowledged sitcom classic, even though the title star was/is notoriously “in your face” and uneven, most times at the same time.  Still, CPU! regulars have already requested this one, so expect to see a “Look Back to Look Forward” series akin to our “Full/er House” series some time in 2018.  At the very least, we want to see how the hell they explain away the presence of both Beckys and Dan’s status in general.  Plus, we expect some pointed political banter from our favorite Midwest family matriarch, as only she can deliver.  Expectations are high, Roseanne Barr.  Expectations are high.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 8, 2018, with a total of eight episodes.  NOT SO FAST/THIS JUST IN! – Roseanne was canceled abruptly on May 29, 2018, following a racist tweet that star Roseanne Barr published regarding a former Obama White House staffer. NOT SO FAST/THIS JUST IN! – ABC decided to green-light a spin-off called The Conners without the titular matriarch.  See our next Progress Report entry.

CPU! STATUS: As stated above, we have already had requests for podcast coverage, so a “Look Back to Look Forward” series is in the works; the controversy will also most likely be discussed because how can it not be with all of this upheaval?  Stay tuned!  The Conners premieres on October 16, 2018.

SEAL Team

SEAL TEAM, CBS

WHO: David Boreanaz (Bones), Jessica Paré (Mad Men), Max Thieriot (Bates Motel), Neil Brown Jr. (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), A.J. Buckley (CSI: NY), Toni Trucks (Franklin & Bash)

WHAT: Follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions our country can ask of them.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Very Hesitantly Pick Up.  This show is essentially CBS’ contribution to a small but marked military drama fad this season (see also The Brave).  Really, the only reason this CP is even considering checking in – as the drama feels much like a 24 situation or a story in which the patriarch works a dangerous job and is gone all the time – is David Boreanaz.  Once Angel/us, once Seely Booth, now a Navy SEAL; though the drama could become melodrama easily here, David earns the chance.  He’s very popular at CPU!  Or, maybe it’s just the Chief’s unabashed crush on him.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 16, 2018, with a total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed, but we will because several of us have permanent crushes on David Boreanaz (#AngelnBooth4lyfe).  The new season premieres on October 3, 2018.

Splitting Up Together

SPLITTING UP TOGETHER, ABC

WHO: Jenna Fischer (The Office), Oliver Hudson (Nashville), Diane Farr (Numb3rs, Rescue Me), Lindsay Price (Lipstick Jungle), Bobby Lee, Olivia Keville, Van Crosby, Sander Thomas

WHAT: Based upon the original Danish series created by Mette Heeno, the single-cam comedy is the story of a couple whose marriage is reignited by their divorce.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Pam’s back.  She’s not married to Jim.  She was married to Oliver Hudson (on the show).  Now, they’re getting divorced…which apparently gets them hot for being married to each other again.  The premise is somewhat bland, even if slightly influenced by our modern times, but it will require some winning performances by the two adult leads to work long term.  Unfortunately, this is not subject matter that entices your friendly neighborhood CP’s typically.  We’ll keep an eye on it, as there is some quality and thought behind it, but it’s not a comedy we are sold on just yet.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 15, 2018, with a total of eight episodes.

CPU! STATUS: No CPU! faithful have ever once mentioned this show, Pam or not.  If you think it should be covered by us, let us know, but we’re going to continue to say “pass” for now.  The new season premieres on October 16, 2018.

S.W.A.T.

S.W.A.T., CBS

WHO: Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds), Jay Harrington (Code Black, Better Off Ted), Kenny Johnson (Bates Motel), Peter Onorati (Murder in the First), Lina Esco (Kingdom), Alex Russell, Stephanie Sigman

WHAT: A locally born and bred S.W.A.T. sergeant is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles. Inspired by the film of the same name.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Hey, it’s Better Off Ted!  But seriously.  The Chief CP never watched the film on which this show is based and really has no interest in doing so.  This is a standard cop action drama, set in a standard metropolitan location (Los Angeles), with some standard high octane police-related tropes powering said drama and some possible social commentary powering the emotion (cops versus non-cops, etc.).  There is nothing remarkable about this trailer or any of the events and aspects contained therein; this show has a very specific target audience, most of which CPU! does not currently fall into, much as we try to expand our base and palate.  We welcome new members all the time and all suggestions, but currently, this show will not find a viewing audience here.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 17, 2018, with a total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: No CPU!er has once mentioned it.  We will continue to keep our palates tight on this one (did that sound dirty?  I think it did!).  The new season premieres on September 27, 2018.

Ten Days in the Valley

TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY, ABC

WHO: Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (American Odyssey, Hunted), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The People v. O.J. Simpson), Felix Solis (The Good Wife), Francois Battiste (The Family, The Good Wife), Currie Graham (Westworld, Longmire), Nelson Lee (NCIS: New Orleans, The Night Shift), Abigail Pniowsky (Arrival), Josh Randall (Pitch, Quarry), Ali Stroker (Glee), Ella Thomas (Ballers, NCIS: Los Angeles), Beth Triffon (Dr. Ken, The Middle), Mark L. Young (Code Black)

WHAT: The ten-episode series centers on TV producer Jane Sadler, whose young daughter goes missing, mirroring the cop drama she produces.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  Though this cast boasts some modestly heavy TV hitters, with the erstwhile “Closer” and Mrs. Kevin Bacon in the lead role, in some ways, this premise and story elements play like reality TV, though the plot is, as far as this CP knows, fiction.  This is clearly the type of show that will be trying for twists, even as they feel not as twisty as they should or, perhaps, over the top twisty and, therefore, tedious.  It may also be hard to sympathize with the main character if her poor choices and writing of teleplays based on dangerous information prompt some copycat to endanger the safety of her child.  Ultimately, the trailer suggests that this is yet another mystery based upon child kidnapping.  Take that as you will, but it does not entice so far.  It’s a limited series, but we’ll keep an eye on it, as we always do.

STATUS:  Officially canceled!  The series finale aired on January 6, 2018, after a total of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Sometimes, we just know how to call these things.

Grey's Anatomy Spinoff

UNTITLED GREY’S ANATOMY SPINOFF, STATION 19, ABC

WHO: Jaina Lee Ortiz (Rosewood). The cast also includes Jaina Lee Ortiz (Rosewood) as Andy Herrera, Grey Damon (Aquarius) as Jack Gibson, Barrett Doss (Marvel’s Iron Fist) as Victoria Hughes, Alberto Frezza (Dead of Summer) as Ryan Tanner, Jay Hayden (The Catch) as Travis Montgomery, Okieriete Onaodowan (Broadway’s Hamilton) as Dean Miller, Danielle Savre (Too Close To Home) as Maya Bishop and Miguel Sandoval (Medium) as Capt. Pruitt Herrera.

WHAT: Set in a Seattle firehouse, it follows a group of heroic firefighters, from the captain to the newest recruits, as they risk their lives and their hearts both in the line of duty and off the clock.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  So, it was probably inevitable that Shonda Rimes and the ABC Network would attempt to franchise (with spin-offs) the successful-still-beyond-belief Grey’s Anatomy, especially since the latter program is going into its fourteenth season, despite improbable odds and a rotational cast roster.  Unfortunately, CPU! will not be along for this ride.  The project has no title, no trailer, and very little information to go on.  Plus, we jumped the shark on Grey’s a few seasons ago.  Now, there are some CPU!ers who still watch and may revive our dormant Grey’s Anatomy coverage via podcast; if they do, and if this untitled projects gets off the ground in more than teasers and thin premise descriptions, we will cross the bridge of coverage.  For now, we are not interested, for all the logical reasons outlined above.

STATUS: Officially renewed for Season Two!  The Season One finale aired on May 17, 2018, with a total of ten episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Same.  Again.  I’ll just repeat the answer from For the People: “I mean…we are not covering any Shonda shows on the podcast right now, particularly since our How to Get Away with Murder panel recently – and unanimously – jumped the shark.  No one seems willing to talk about her TV right now here, so we would be hard pressed to change our initial verdict about this show at this time.  If you disagree with us, though, you know what to do.”  The new season premieres on October 4, 2018.

Valor

VALOR, The CW

WHO: Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow), Christina Ochoa (Animal Kingdom), Charlie Barnett (Secrets and Lies, Chicago Fire), Nigel Thatch (American Dreams), Corbin Reid (How to Get Away with Murder), Melissa Roxburgh (Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow), W. Tré Davis

WHAT: The boundaries between military discipline and human desire are tested on a US Army base that houses an elite unit of helicopter pilots trained to perform clandestine international and domestic missions. The drama unfolds in the present as well as in flashbacks to a failed mission involving one of the first female pilots in the unit, ultimately uncovering layers of personal and government/military secrets, and leading to a season-long plan to rescue a group of MIA soldiers.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass.  For our third military-related entry this season, the CW enters the foray with a more mystery-specific pass involving an army unit, layers of conspiracy, and potentially poor character choices, all with CW-young and beautiful faces populating the drama.  There are no known or well established acting quantities in this equation, and the drama feels somewhat hollow, even superficial, at best.  The only reason CPU! is checking in on one of these dramas is for its lead actor, which can be a determinate but is not applicable in this instance.  If this show gains some kind of traction or steam or acclaim, we will reconsider, but for now, this is a confident pass.

STATUS: Officially canceled!  The series finale aired on January 29, 2018, after a total of 13 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: The military dramas just aren’t making it, and we’re, frankly, kind of okay with that.

Will & Grace - Season 1

WILL & GRACE, NBC

WHO: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally

WHAT: Twelve-episode revival of the popular 1998-2006 comedy series.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Enthusiastic Pick Up.  Not only is the meta musical trailer (how fascinatingly satirical and relevant, she says in her best judgmental Karen voice – or maybe Will’s voice, I could see him commenting in this way) amazingly put together, showcasing a cast of four that reclaimed the exact beats of the characters they stopped playing in 2006, NBC has already ordered a few more episodes and a second season.  Plus, the Chief CP is a big fan, as are several resident CP’s and supporters.  We already have a few requesting it for podcast consumption.  On top of that, the original Will & Grace was years ahead of its time, normalizing LGBTQ+ conversations and culture in ways that will feel comfortable, even homey now, as the wider world, with the exception of some pockets, is more accepting.  At the apex of this exciting new revival among the fad of revivals: Jack and Karen.  I repeat, Jack and Karen.  They say what we’re all thinking because they’re drunk and/or high and/or rich and/or self-involved and/or, perhaps, not entirely sane and stable.  Sounds like the perfect time for their comeback, and for a “Looking Back to Look Forward” series at CPU! on the subject.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 10 AND Season 11!  The Season 9 finale aired on April 5, 2018, after a total of sixteen episodes.

CPU! STATUS: CPU! last week published the first part of a “Look Back to Look Forward” miniseries about this show and its revival, beginning with a look back at the original run of the show.  This week, we’ll publish the second part of the miniseries, as we hang out “Around the Water Cooler” and talk the revival Season 9.  Stay tuned!  The new season premieres on October 4, 2018.

Young Sheldon

YOUNG SHELDON, CBS

WHO: Iain Armitage (Big Little Lies), Zoe Perry (The Family), Annie Potts (The Fosters), Lance Barber (The Comeback), Raegan Revord (Modern Family), Montana Jordan, narrator Jim Parsons

WHAT: The single-camera Big Bang Theory prequel follows Sheldon Cooper at the age of 9, living with his family in East Texas and going to high school.

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PICK UP OR PASS?

VERDICT: Pass For Now.  No one can deny the popularity of Big Bang Theory; it’s been on a CPU! catch-up list for a while, and we have some interest in it percolating within the CPU! roster of panelists.  Yet, not many of us are ready to talk about it yet, so it seems premature to enter into watching a prequel about the popular character, played by Jim Parsons, and his particularly brand of eccentricity blossoming from a young age.  We will keep an eye on this show and possibly create a series coupled with BBT, but for now, we will wait and see how such a prequel spin-off fares while the parent show still airs.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on May 10, 2018, after a total of 22 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: We would want to watch and cover BBT on the podcast before visiting this spin-off; however, we’ll keep an eye on the freshman series’ progress this season.  The new season premieres on September 24, 2018.

The following is a link to all premiere dates for shows covered beyond the main networks: http://www.metacritic.com/feature/tv-premiere-dates

Non-Broadcast Network Pick-Ups

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS) – picked up when announced last season, but premiere delayed to Fall 2017.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2! The Season One finale aired on CBS Streaming Service “All Access” on February 11, 2018, after a total of 16 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: A Star Trek comprehensive “Look Back to Look Forward” series is being planned for 2018 or 2019, so this show will eventually be included as part of the line-up, in which CPU! will discuss all existing Star Trek programs in an extended series.  Stay tuned!

Mindhunter (Netflix) – David Fincher’s newest addition to the streaming service, with the following synopsis:

David Fincher’s latest Netflix original series (following House of Cards) stars Holt McCallany and Jonathan Groff as FBI agents who solve murders with advice gleaned from interviews of imprisoned serial killers. The 1979-set series also stars Anna Torv, and is based on the real-life work of FBI veteran John Douglas, who served as the inspiration for the Jack Crawford character in the various Hannibal Lecter books as well as for Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds. Fincher directs the pilot, Charlize Theron is a producer, and Joe Penhall (The Road) writes the adaptation of Douglas’s book.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2! Netflix released the entirety of Season 1 (10 episodes) on October 13, 2017.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Alias Grace (Netflix) – Netflix’s answer to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a Margaret Atwood adaptation:

The second major Margaret Atwood adaptation to hit the small screen this year (following Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale), this six-episode miniseries is inspired by the true story of a shocking double murder in a remote Canadian town in 1843. The series is written by Sarah Polley (Away From Her) and directed by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol). Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg (yes, the one you’re thinking of) star.

STATUS: Classified as a miniseries, Netflix released the six episodes of this program on November 3, 2017.  Because it is a miniseries, continuation is not expected, but we will keep an eye on any news regarding this program for this TV season.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Future Man (Hulu):

Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Hulu’s new comedy series follows a janitor (Josh Hutcherson) who suddenly finds himself charged with the task of traveling through time to save the human race. Eliza Coupe, Derek Wilson, Haley Joel Osment, Keith David, Glenne Headly, and Ed Begley Jr. also star.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  Hulu released Season One (13 episodes) on November 14, 2017. 

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu): There is very little information about this property other than some limited internet chatter, but we are comic book prone.

Adapted from the comics by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona, Hulu’s first Marvel series comes from Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and centers on six diverse teenagers who unite around a common foe: their parents.

STATUS: Officially renewed for season 2!  The Season One finale aired on January 9, 2018, after a total of 10 episodes.

CPU! STATUS: Not yet viewed.

That’s it, fellow Couch Potatoes!  Next up in the Progress Report series: the Fall Preview of 2018-2019 pilots.  If you’re interested in seeing what’s on the horizon for network TV, you’ll definitely want to Stay Tuned for our annual preview! 🙂