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

    Tuesday, June 19

    The Middle - "Hecks vs. Glossners: The Final Battle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    It’s the Orson showdown of the century when the Hecks – along with the Donahues and Bill Norwood – wage a war against the Glossners after they steal Sue’s car.

    The Middle - "Thank You for Not Kissing" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    After Dr. Fulton (Dave Foley) calls Frankie and Mike into his office to inform them that Brick and Cindy have been making out all over school, Frankie tasks Mike into having a talk with his son to discuss dating etiquette. Meanwhile, Sue attempts to work up the gumption to give Sean the snow globe and confess how much she likes him; and after discovering a box full of unfinished thank you notes for gifts received over the years, Frankie orders Axl to finish and mail them all out.

    black-ish - "Juneteenth" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    The Johnsons go to Jack and Diane’s school play about Columbus Day, and Dre is dismayed by the historically inaccurate way that the holiday is portrayed. He feels like there aren’t enough black holidays, so he enlists Aloe Blacc at work to help him create a catchy song to raise awareness for a holiday worth celebrating, Juneteenth.

    black-ish - "Dog Eat Dog World" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    The family is divided over the idea of getting a dog after Dre and Bow promise Jack they can get one after he gets Straight A’s – and he does! Meanwhile, Bow’s brother Johan is in town and he doesn’t get the warm welcome he expects from Ruby.

    Younger - "The End of the Tour" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Liza faces complications on the Marriage Vacation book tour. Kelsey and Zane head to D.C. to court a speechwriter’s prospective memoir.

    Teachers - "Of Lice and Men" (TV Land, 10:34PM ET/PT)
    Ms. Bennigan wrestles with how far she’s willing to go sexually with Hot Dad, while Ms. Cannon learns how to drive in the midst of an apocalyptic lice outbreak at Fillmore.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

    Tuesday, June 19

    • Martin Short (Mulaney/The Martin Short Show) - Catch Martin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Michael Ian Black (The Jim Gaffigan Show/Ed) - Michael stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Tracy Morgan (The Last O.G./30 Rock/The Tracy Morgan Show) - Michael visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce/Sex and the City/Square Pegs) - Sarah appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Jennifer Lawrence (The Bill Engvall Show) - The Ellen DeGeneres Show has the best moments from the biggest stars in Season 15, so check your local listings.
    • Debra Messing (Will & Grace/Ned & Stacey) - Debra is a guest on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
    • Marlon Wayans (Marlon/The Wayans Bros.) - Marlon drops by Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) - Brian is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • BD Wong (All-American Girl) - BD talks about the off-Broadway production of The Great Leap on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

    Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

    06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
    06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
    06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
    06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
    06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
    06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
    06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
    06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
    06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
    06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
    06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
    06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
    06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
    06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
    06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest