Tuesday, May 16, 2017

ABC Upfront 2017-18: Fall 2017 Schedule; ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Downward Dog - Premieres Wednesday (May 17)

ABC 2016-17

Fall 2017


Mondays
8:00PM Dancing with the Stars
10:00PM The Good Doctor (NEW!)

Tuesdays
8:00PM The Middle
8:30PM Fresh Off the Boat
9:00PM black-ish
9:30PM The Mayor (NEW!)
10:00PM The Gospel of Kevin (NEW!)

Wednesdays
8:00PM The Goldbergs
8:30PM Speechless
9:00PM Modern Family
9:30PM American Housewife
10:00PM Designated Survivor

Thursdays
8:00PM Grey's Anatomy
9:00PM Scandal
10:00PM How to Get Away with Murder

Fridays
8:00PM Once Upon a Time
9:00PM Marvel's Inhumans (NEW!)
10:00PM 20/20

Saturdays
8:00PM Saturday Night Football

Sundays
7:00PM America's Funniest Home Videos
8:00PM To Tell the Truth 
9:00PM Shark Tank 
10:00PM Ten Days in the Valley  (NEW!)

New unscheduled, Mid-Season 2017:
DRAMA: The Crossing, Deception, For the People
COMEDY: Alex, Inc., Splitting Up Together, Roseanne revival
REALITY: American Idol, The Bachelor Winter Games, Dancing with the Stars Junior

Returning Series:
DRAMA: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Quantico
COMEDY:
REALITY: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette

Notes: Two Live Musical Event Specials, The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! and Rolling Stone 50, along with new alternative series The Bachelor Winter Games and Dancing with the Stars Junior have also been announced for the 2017-2018 Season.

Discuss ABC's 2017-18 lineup and also you can view complete program information.


Great News

Downward Dog - Tuesdays at 8:00PM ET/PT on ABC
Special Preview Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Vincent

Downward Dog follows the day-to-day life of Nan, as told by her increasingly lonely and philosophical dog, Martin. Nan attempts to juggle her tumultuous personal life with a stressful career, unjustly supervised by her self-obsessed boss. Having her story told from the canine perspective provides a uniquely unfiltered point of view that helps us laugh and cry about what it means to be a human being in the twenty-first century. It's a show about a dog and the girl he adores, and even at their worst, Nan and Martin just might be best for one another.

Cast Details:

Allison Tolman as Nan
Barry Rothbart as Kevin
Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Jenn
Lucas Neff as Jason
Mo Collins as Kim
Samm Hodges as the voice of Martin

Allison Tolman (Nan) is an actress best known for her role in FX's acclaimed drama series Fargo. She has also appeared in shows such as Drunk History and Review. Barry Rothbart (Kevin) is a comic actor who has appeared in television shows such as Punk'd, @midnight and Adam Devine's House Party.

Kirby Howell-Baptise (Jenn) is a comedic actress who has appeared in shows such as Love, House of Lies and The UCB Show.

Lucas Neff (Jason) is an actor best known for his lead role on the cult favorite sitcom Raising Hope.

Mo Collins (Kim) is a comedic actress best known for her long-running stint on the sketch comedy series MAD TV, as well as her recurring roles on beloved comedy series Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation. She has also appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lady Dynamite and According to Jim.

Samm Hodges (the voice of Martin) is a writer, filmmaker, and actor. He is known for his editing work on the TV documentary Footnote and for writing the documentary short Illusions.

Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (Airs Wednesday, May 17 at 9:30PM ET)

Martin battles loneliness and the need for Nan's unconditional attention, while she struggles with a breakup and Martin's recent bad behavior as he reacts to her newly busy work schedule.

Analysis:

I'll just put it bluntly: Downward Dog is a really, really weird show. Weird isn't a bad thing, and Downward Dog certainly distinguishes itself from the pack – mockumentaary sitcom from the perspective of a dog is certainly a concept that no one has thought of before. I was fairly engaged with the show through-out each episode, just because there's nothing on TV quite like it. It terms of originality, the show certainly gets a few brownie points just for being fresh and original. Still, a show needs to have more than just an original concept to totally work and, frankly, if your concept is reading the thoughts of a dog as if he's a character on The Office, you need to sell it. So does Downward Dog sell it? Sometimes it does, but much of the time the show's tone feels a bit too muddled and confused to land as much as it could.

The biggest problem with Downward Dog is that it feels a little bit like three different shows in one. One part of the show is a silly, almost children's programming level of light-heartedness, following the adventures and inner thoughts of a dog whose mouth literally moves when he talks. Another part of it is a quirky workplace sitcom, focusing on a dysfunctional workplace with parodies of millennials and modern corporate culture that we've seen on countless shows in the past five years or so. And the last part – and perhaps the most successful – is one that feels like an indie movie made for TV, about a troubled woman's relationship with herself, her ex-boyfriend, and her dog – and how all of those relate. This is, frankly, when the show seems the most comfortable, and when it wrings the best performances out of its talented cast. Considering the show got a run at Sundance this year, it's clear that indie movi may be what the show is most aiming for. And it's that tone that does the concept of dog mockumentary most justice. If the show can tone down the quirkiness of the talking dog (who right now feels a little bit too much like isn't it weird that a dog is saying these things?!), include as little of the frankly grating workplace scenes as possible, and continue to nail the emotional beats of its main (human) character and her relationship with her dog in a way that feels honest and mirrors her relationship with everyone else in her life, Downward Dog could be a winner. That's a tall order, especially for a summer sitcom on network TV, but if it could pull it off, it could be something quite unique indeed. Conclusion:

Downward Dog gets considerable points for originality, and there are moments when the show feels honest, heartfelt, and interesting. The show's cast is incredibly talented and when they get great moments to work with, they do excellent work. However, there's a sort of cartoonish and ironic detachment to parts of the show that sometimes threaten to drag it down, most notably in the workplace scenes and in the characterization of Martin the dog. If the show can better integrate its more sensitive indie side into the rest of the series, it has the potential to live up to its fun and intriguing premise.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Downward Dog Photo Gallery

    Preview:


  • Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Saturday, May 25

    Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Kerry Washington joins “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” the live sitcom special coming from late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and television icon Norman Lear. Washington is set to play Helen Willis in the special, airing live WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (8:00-9:31 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. This historic event will take viewers down memory lane, recreating an original episode from each of the Emmy® Award-winning series “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.” This legendary night of television will be hosted by Lear and Kimmel, directed by 10-time Emmy winner James Burrows and produced by Sony Pictures Television.

    Previously announced stars include Woody Harrelson (Archie Bunker), Marisa Tomei (Edith Bunker), Jamie Foxx (George Jefferson), Wanda Sykes (Louise Jefferson), Ellie Kemper (Gloria Stivic), Will Ferrell (Tom Willis), Justina Machado (Florence Johnston), Ike Barinholtz (Meathead), Sean Hayes (Mr. Lorenzo), Amber Stevens West (Jenny Willis Jefferson), Jovan Adepo (Lionel Jefferson), Anthony Anderson (Uncle Henry), Stephen Tobolowsky (Mr. Bentley) and Jackée Harry (Diane Stockwell).

    All About "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    After the star-studded live sitcom special “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons,’” “Nightline” will take a special look at the cultural and historical significance of the two iconic series. Participants in the live sitcom special along with modern-day comedians, television stars and journalists reminisce about each show’s groundbreaking impact and legacy.“Nightline” Presents “All About ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’” airs WEDNESDAY, MAY 22 (9:31–10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.

    The prime-time special features interviews with “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” creator Norman Lear; host and executive producer Jimmy Kimmel and stars Anthony Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, Jackée Harry, Ellie Kemper and Kerry Washington; comedians and actors Raven-Symoné, David Alan Grier, Lil’ Rel and John Amos; original “The Jeffersons” cast member Marla Gibbs; and journalists Deborah Roberts, Chris Connelly, Marc Lamont Hill and Joe Levy.

    Game Shakers - "Bug Tussle" (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    After Dub goes to Vegas and leaves Trip behind, the Game Shakers take Trip to Dub's awesome apartment to show him a good time.

    Game Shakers - "Why Tonya" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    The Game Shakers are approached by a fan who demands that they make changes to one of their games.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 20)

    Friday, May 24

    • Dana Carvey (One of the Boys) - Watch Dana on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He talks about The Secret Life of Pets 2 on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • The Cast of The Big Bang Theory - Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch are guests on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Bill Hader (Barry) - Bill appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Kathryn Newton (Gary Unmarried) - Kathryn is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Adam Scott - Adam appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • John Travolta (Welcome Back, Kotter) - John and his daughter Ella Bleu are guests on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Jodie Sweetin (Fuller House/Hollywood Darlings/Full House) - Jodie guest co-hosts The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Logan Browning (Dear White People/Meet the Browns) - Logan stops by The Real, so check your local listings. She will also be on the BUILD Series at 5:30pm
    • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Bryan talks about Broadway's Network on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
    • Jackée Harry (Tyler Perry's The Paynes/The First Family/Sister, Sister/227) - Jackée talks about Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta on ABC's Strahan & Sara at 1pm and on People Now at 12pm.
    • Justin Long (F Is for Family/Ed) - Justin talks about Life is Short with Justin Long on Couch Surfing at 8am.
    • Beanie Feldstein (What We Do in the Shadows) and Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing) - Beanie and Kaitlyn talk about Booksmart on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell) - Tiffani is in the kitchen on Pickler & Ben, so check your local listings.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (March/April/May)

    Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season Alice - The Complete Ninth Season The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season Evening Shade - The Complete Collection Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons

    03/05 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Second Season (WBShop.com)
    03/12 - Alice - The Complete Ninth Season (WBShop.com)
    03/26 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
    04/02 - Archer: Danger Island - The Complete Season Nine
    04/09 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fifth Season
    04/12 - Evening Shade - The Complete Collection
    04/16 - The Big C - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    05/07 - Baskets - The Complete Season Three
    05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume One
    05/13 - My Three Sons - The Third Season - Volume Two
    05/14 - The Donna Reed Show - Seasons 1-5
    05/14 - Petticoat Junction - Seasons 1-3
    05/28 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Seventh and Eighth Seasons
    05/28 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Second Season (Blu-ray)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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    05/21 - Nightline Primetime Special Profiles All in the Family & The Jeffersons; Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader Premieres June 10 on Nick
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