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

    Thursday, May 19

    Young Sheldon - "A Clogged Pore, a Little Spanish and the Future" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Sheldon struggles to cope with the first signs of puberty. Also, Mary and George Sr. hunt for new jobs, and Georgie and Meemaw take a business trip across the border.

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    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 16)

    Thursday, May 19

    • Alfonso Ribeiro (In the House/The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Catch Alonso on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Kenan Thompson (Kenan/Kenan & Kel) - Kenan is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
    • Mike Myers (The Pentaverate) - Mike appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Ricky Gervais (After Life/The Office) - Ricky is a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about SuperNature on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Jean Smart (Hacks/Samantha Who?/Center of the Universe/In-Laws/Style & Substance/Designing Women) - Jean appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali is a guest on Watch What Happens: Live at 9pm on Bravo.
    • Selma Blair (Anger Management/Kath & Kim/Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane) - Selma chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Renee Elise Goldsberry (Girls5eva) - Renee appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Brian Austin Green (Anger Management/Wedding Band/Freddie) - Brian will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.


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