I Have Missed... on several occasions this winter how new shows would fare:
1) Empire - nobody saw the huge ratings coming but I was skeptical if it would work at all. Instead, it's TV's biggest hit in years
2) Fresh Off the Boat - I loved the potential for this show but I didn't think it stood a chance on Tues nights. But it's likely to come back next fall after surviving against tough competition all on its own.
3) The Odd Couple - Even after Big Bang, I thought it would not do enough. But right now, it's doing even better than Mom was
4) The Last Man on Earth - I thought it would be DOA but it had a surprisingly strong start that seemed to help the whole FOX Sunday night
Maybe I'm getting pessimistic about new show's chances, but these are all surprising midseason successes!
Looking Ahead to Next Year....
Here are my top 10 pilot possibilities for 2015-16 based on what we know so far. In my early analysis, ABC looks like a clear winner.
1) Boom (ABC, drama) - the biggest oil discovery in American history sends everyone to North Dakota in a modern day "wild west" drama. I think this is a very unique idea, maybe the most unique of anything I've seen for next year.
2) Untitled Judah Miller (ABC, single camera sitcom) - Two artsy parents (including Broadway star Megan Hilty) don't know how to handle themselves in the sports world when their child is a naturally gifted athlete. A funny twist on a fish out of water concept that could fit in nicely with ABC's family comedies.
3) LA Crime (ABC, drama) - an anthology crime series with season one set in the 1980s Sunset Strip and starring Erika Christensen. We need more anthologies on network TV as they have had success on cable with shows like American Horror Story and True Detective.
4) Unveiled (NBC, drama) - A drama from Roma Downey about guardian angels. It could be a contemporary Touched by an Angel and I think there's a place for a show like that as long as it's not too sappy.
5) The King of 7B (ABC, single camera sitcom) - Craig Ferguson is a recluse who comes outside for the first time in 20 years. Sounds odd, but I love Craig Ferguson!
6) The Grinder (FOX, single camera sitcom) - Rob Lowe plays a TV star whose show has come to an end so he moves home and butts heads with his brother, played by Fred Savage. Two likable stars!
7) The Catch (ABC, drama) - A woman is about to get married and conned, but she's not all she claims to be. Sounds like an average ABC drama but this comes from Shonda Rhimes' company and I know that means there's a lot of potential for more TGIT fun.
8) Delores & Jermaine (ABC, multi-camera sitcom) - A comedy about a millenial who moves in with his grandmother, played by none other than Whoopi Goldberg. Interesting!
9) Strange Calls (NBC, single camera sitcom) - Starring Danny Pudi as a young cop assigned to a tiny coastal town with bizarre paranormal activity. I'd yawn about this concept if it was a drama, but it's a comedy! So I'm intrigued.
10) Criminal Minds Spinoff (CBS, drama) - OK, I know Criminal Minds is not great TV but I like it and I'm intrigued by a spinoff focusing on abroad cases. Maybe it'll be a little like my summer 2013 guilty pleasure Crossing Lines.