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ABC's New Fall Shows: First Clips, First Impressions
May 15, 2012  | By David Bianculli  | 5 comments

Tuesday was ABC’s turn to present its plans for the 2012-13 TV season. For the fall quarter, five new series are being introduced: three dramas, two sitcoms. Once again, we offer first impressions, and first tastes of video samples…

Of the three new dramas rolled out in the fall, the one given the highest-profile time slot, Sunday nights at 10 ET, is 666 Park Avenue, based on the book series by Gabrielle Pierce. It’s about a New York building owned, and influenced, by some devilish owners – played by Terry O’Quinn from Lost, and, as the wife, Vanessa Williams from Desperate Housewives. Here’s a taste:



Another drama with a high-concept premise is Last Resort (Thursdays 8-9 p.m. ET), starring Andre Braugher as a submarine commander who defies orders to fire nuclear weapons at an enemy. He and his crew become fugitives from their own country, and end up on a deserted island. It comes from Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, so expect something different, and edgy. Sounds complicated? It is. Sounds interesting? At first glance, it is. Here’s a sample:



The final new ABC drama for fall, scheduled for 10 p.m. ET Wednesdays, is more mainstream: basically, a country music version of All About Eve. Connie Britton, no longer starring on FX’s American Horror Story, is now the star of Nashville, playing a veteran country star whose agent attaches her, on a comeback trail, as opening act to a young singing star, played by Hayden Panettiere from Heroes. What elevates it, besides the cast?  For one thing, the show’s creator: Callie Khouri, who wrote Thelma & Louise. Once again, it’s an instance where the clip actually makes you want to see the show more, not less. See for yourself:



There’s a new ABC comedy that’s also centered on country music: Malibu Country (Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET), starring Reba McEntire as a country-singing “good wife” who decides not to stand by her man. Instead, she relocates to California, where her mother (Lily Tomlin) and her neighbor (Sara Rue) provide eccentric, but vocal, support. The sample doesn’t impress that much with the writing – but the cast makes a good first impression. Here’s a taste:



And finally, there’s The Neighbors (Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET), which stars Jami Gertz and Lenny Venito as a couple who move into a gated community populated entirely by undercover aliens – from outer space. It’s broad comedy in the vein of 3rd Rock from the Sun and Mork & Mindy. And, at first glance, may not deserve a second:



Feel free to register your own first impressions in our comment section.




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Malibu and Nieghbors both have promise but the duffices @ the networks only want top stuff,no time to grow, alla The Finder on Fox got the hook!
May 19, 2012   |  Reply
linda jarvis-walker
I love both Vanessa and Andre,but these seem more like " movie of the week"material. Reba and the aliens did make me chuckle..SEE YOU IN SEPT!!!
May 17, 2012   |  Reply
David Bianculli
Again, my emperor had no clothes. But really, honestly, thanks for trying to help. If TVWW had a home game, you'd get a copy...
May 19, 2012
None of these do much for me. ABC in general has been a black hole in my viewing in recent years.
May 16, 2012   |  Reply
(#2 of 2) One was created by Aaron Sorkin, fresh off "The West Wing", and it was the "it" program of the season. There wasn't much hope for the other, something called "30 Rock". Worth remembering when you compare "Nashville" and "Malibu Country".

BTW, these comments still cut off after 300-or-so characters. Your buffer needs to be expanded.
May 16, 2012   |  Reply
David Bianculli
We're working on the expanded-character thing. Meanwhile, I'm proud to say that in the year in question, I wrote my upfronts story identifying 30 Rock as THE show with the most promise that season, despite the fuss and lineage attached to Sorkin's Sunset Strip.
May 19, 2012
I give "The Neighbors" three episodes before it's cancelled.

But as for "Nashville", I agree, it looks promising. But remember a few (actually more than a few) years back, a network debuted two programs on the same topic in the same season. One was a highly-touted hourlong drama, and the other a sitcom... (#1 of 2)
May 16, 2012   |  Reply
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