The Upfronts train keeps rolling on. Yesterday, ABC held their 2016 Upfronts in New York and released nine new shows. Of course, there are some winners and some automatic duds. Here's a look at the standouts of the line-up:
Still Star-Crossed -- period drama
It's amazing that no one ever thought of this concept before. Still Star-Crossed is the fourth Shonda Rhimes ABC show and it's centered on the aftermath of Romeo & Juliet's deaths. Rosaline (LaShana Lynch, Fast Girls) and Benvolio Montague (Wade Briggs, Yardbird) are both friends of the doomed couple, but they both opposed their union. As a result, the star-crossed lovers commit suicide and the Montague and Capulet families declare war on each other. It's decided by Prince Escalus (Sterling Sulieman, In Time) that Benvolio and Rosaline marry to appease both sides. The problem is Escalus and Rosaline are also in love. Rating: Must-see.
Designated Survivor -- political drama
Keifer Sutherland (24) is back, but this time he's the President. After the elected President and his entire staff are killed, cabinet member Tom Kirland (Sutherland) is sworn into office. Drama ensues as a panicked White House staff must pull together to support a candidate who has never been elected to any office. The drama looks compelling in this scary, entirely possible political nightmare. ABC is hoping that this show is its ace-in-the-hole and from the looks of the trailer, they're right. Rating: Must-see
Downward Dog -- comedy
Downward Dog is show aimed at people who love their dogs way too much. It's the story of Nan (Allison Tolman, Fargo) and her dog Martin from Martin's point of view. He narrates the entire story by breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. It's basically Look Who's Talking for dogs. While it may be sentimental for dog owners and kids might like it, this is a stretch. Rating: Seriously?
Time After Time - Sci-Fi drama
Time After Time has a really cool premise. It's based on the novel and movie of the same name and features The Time Machine author H.G. Wells' quest to stop Jack the Ripper's killing spree in New York. Ripper escapes in Wells' time machine to our time and now poses a threat to modern day women. Though it has been done twice before, it looks well done and interesting. Rating: Must-see
Conviction - legal drama
Fans of the now cancelled Agent Carter, can breathe a sigh of relief. Haley Atwell is back and this time she's a lawyer in modern day times. Her job is to overturn convictions of wrongfully convicted criminals while looking great. The show is standard fare in the myriad of legal drama shows, but if you're a fan of Atwell, this might be right up your alley. Rating: Try it out
Imaginary Mary -- comedy
Jenna Elfman hasn't been able to get a foothold in #Television since her 90's Dharma & Greg success. Unfortunately, Imaginary Mary looks like another flop. It stars Mary (Elfman) as the girl who's got it all together except that she hates kids, falls in love with a guy who has kids and has an imaginary friend CGI friend voiced by Saturday Night Live alum, Rachel Dratch. How this show was green-lit is a mystery. Rating: Seriously?