ABC Upfront Review – Good, Not So Much, and Maybe

Posted on June 20th, 2012 by Candice Rotter

ABC has four new shows on the fall lineup and one of them might have the worst chance of survival out of all of the upfronts we saw today. I’m worried about the new show added to the comedy mix, The Neighbors. Even with one of the strongest lead ins you can get from any net (the ever-loveable Modern Family), I don’t think it’s going to last. The premise reminded me of a few seasons ago when they tried to use the Cavemen characters from an insurance commercial as anchors for a sitcom. That lasted for a couple shows before the end came swiftly and suddenly. I think The Neighbors has the same future. The story is about the fairly normal Weaver family who buys a new home only to discover that the neighbors who are all named after professional athletes,  are aliens whom apparently cry from their ears. The promo was not promising.
Ambition CastOn the other hand I also felt they had one of the most promising shows on the docket for fall as well. Nashville is a story about a country singer that had a successful career that over time started to unravel. She struggles to get back to the top, staying true to who she is while competing with young rising pop country divas.  It was well written and shouldn’t have a problem reaching it’s demo. I think it will win the time slot, it’s up against CSI and a new show on NBC called Chicago Fire. It also boasts a cast with great chemistry, including Hayden Panatierre and Connie Britton.
Last Resort is another ABC show I think I will give a try. The writers of The Shield bring a dramatic new action-thriller that is a mix between U-571, Lost and any government cover-up conspiracy. Normally I’m not into dramas but this had a unique and interesting storyline. I think it will do well, in the time slot – it’s competition are all comedies so it will have the chance to attract its own viewers.
The last one could go either way, I’m interested to see how the viewers digest this one. 666 Park Avenue is a dark drama, pretty intense and creepy. The show is set in The Drake, Park Avenue’s “most devilish address.” People lucky enough to be one of the 80 residents who inhabit the building can get everything they want – but it comes at a very high price. TERRY OQUINN VANESSA WILLIAMS HELENA MATTSSON MERCEDES MASOHN ROBERT BUCKLEY SAMANTHA LOGAN DAVE ANNABLE RACHAEL TAYLORSome members of our watch party said it was reminiscent of the FX show American Horror Story.  Promoting heavily at Comic-Con this summer and starring the incredible Terry O’Quinn as the secretive apartment building’s puppet master could be a big draw for this audience. I don’t think I will be watching it but I am interested to hear thoughts from those that do.
For ABC I was torn down the middle. I think two shows will be a hit, one I think will be a total flop, and one I’m still unsure about. The results could be better but also could be worse, as we’ve seen much worse offerings from individual nets in seasons past. Overall after what I saw today I’m looking forward to the fall season!
All photos courtesy of
Editor’s  note: Last year we did pretty well with our predictions. We predicted that Pan Am, Missing would get cancelled, and Revenge and Apartment 23 would be a hit. Unfortunately for them we predicted that the River and Once Upon a Time would be a hit and cancelled, respectably. The River is gone and OUAT is still going strong. So we were split with our predictions. However we all agreed that this year’s offerings were fewer, yet of far better overall quality.