DAVID BIANCULLI

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ABC's New Fall 2015 Shows: First Impressions
May 12, 2015  | By David Bianculli
 


The Muppets are coming! The Muppets are coming! ABC made other announcements about its new fall schedule – but nothing else got me psyched like the return of Kermit and company…

ABC has a very conservative new schedule for fall, in that it’s unveiling only five new shows. Most of them, however, continue ABC’s commitment to cast different ethnicities in major roles, which is a welcome and laudable strategy. Of the five new series coming this fall (lots more are saved for midseason), only three are intriguing enough in their initial previews to warrant a first taste here.

First and foremost, premiering Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET, is The Muppets. Can these lovable Muppets possibly be as entertaining and appealing as they were when The Muppet Show launched in syndication four decades ago? Absolutely. Watch this:



Another new ABC show worth sampling is Quantico, broadcast Tuesday nights at 10 ET. It stars Indian actress and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra as an FBI trainee who finds herself in the center of a terrorist attack – literally – and then framed for the result. Once she escapes from custody and seeks out the real guilty party, Quantico sounds like a post-9/11 take on The Fugitive – but there’s nothing wrong with that, if it’s done well. First impression? Maybe it will be…

 

Two of the other new ABC series, the sitcom Dr. Ken (starring Ken Jeong from Community) and the costume epic Of Kings and Prophets (an obvious attempt to crank out some sort of ABC Game of Thrones), don’t seem strong enough, at first glance, to warrant a second. So enough said there, until the full pilots arrive.

Meanwhile, the final new ABC entry, while also derivative, has an undeniable amount of style to it. Oil, placed in the all-important and ultra-competitive Sunday 9 p.m. ET slot, stars Don Johnson as the patriarch of a wealthy and dominating oil family. It’s not Dallas, though – it’s North Dakota, and it seems sprinkled with grace notes from Giant, Deadwood, even Empire. See what you think:

 

I don’t know what you think of Oil, but to me, based on that preview, it looks pretty slick...



 
 
 
 
 
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