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, February 17

    The Middle - "The Setup" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Frankie is tasked with being at her mom Pat’s (Marsha Mason) beck and call when she has to stay for a few days at the Heck house after coming down with an ailment. Meanwhile, just when it looks like Sean is about to ask Sue out on a date, Sue nervously blurts out that maybe they should both try to set each other up on a date with one of their friends; and Axl and Brick ponder what it is exactly that Mike does at the quarry.

    The Middle - "Eyes Wide Open" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Axl heads to Chicago to visit Hutch for the weekend but discovers that his friend, who has his own apartment and a job, is now acting more like a responsible adult than the free-spirited college student he once knew. Meanwhile, Sue’s excitement over having the apartment to herself over the weekend turns to horror when she is unable to sleep after watching “Silence of the Lambs”; and Brick enlists Frankie and Mike’s aid to help convince Lilah, a new student who doesn’t know anyone at school yet, that she and Brick would make a cute couple.

    black-ish - "Please Don't Feed the Animals" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Bow keeps in touch with Dre’s incarcerated godbrother, Omar, but when they find out he is being released from prison, Omar’s future sparks debate. Meanwhile, Ruby lets it slip to the kids that she’s been to jail and they push her to tell them more secrets from her past.

    black-ish - "Charity Case" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Dre is chosen to lead Stevens & Lido’s new charity campaign which helps people give back to their community. When Bow advises Dre that there is more to giving back than cutting checks, he decides to donate some of his clothes to a man in need. Meanwhile, Junior fails his driving test, so Ruby offers to chaperone a trip with him and the twins on an informative outing.

    The Thundermans - "Rhythm n' Shoes " (Nickelodeon, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Determined to meet a famous pop singer visiting Hiddenville High, Phoebe and Max devise elaborate schemes to insert themselves into her performance that quickly lead to disastrous results.

    Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn - "The Harper Quad-Jobbers" (Nickelodeon, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    The quads try to earn money for a pool so that their house can be the place everyone wants to hang out at during the summer.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of February 12)

    Friday, February 16

    • Sam Rockwell (F Is for Family) - Watch Sam on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On/Starved) - Laura appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Tiffani Thiessen (Alexa & Katie/Good Morning, Miami/Saved by the Bell/Saved by the Bell: The College Years) - Tiffani chats on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper/For Your Love) - Holly and her husband Rodney talk about the Hallmark Channel original series Meet the Peetes on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Becki Newton (Divorce/Weird Loners/The Goodwin Games/How I Met Your Mother) - Becki chats about Divorce on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori appears on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December/January)

    The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

    11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
    11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
    11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
    11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
    11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
    11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
    12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
    12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
    12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
    12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
    12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
    12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
    01/09 - Girlfriends - The Complete Series
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest