It’s that time again. With the beginning of a new year, television networks are given a second chance to throw new series at audiences to see what sticks. Like is so often the case, most of what they showcase will fail.
You can’t blame them for trying though. And try they do. Among the new shows debuting from major networks soon are a comic adaptation where the Devil helps the LAPD solve crime, a biblical drama, some young adult fantasy stories and, of course, a new show from Shonda Rhimes.
There’s also a new cartoon from Seth Macfarlane and some other cop dramas we’ve seen way too many times before. With the pure amount of shows that debut in a year, it’s just simple math that they can’t all survive.
While there is no lack of effort on their part, it’s just a simple truth that most of what major networks debut tend to fail. Sometimes shows can’t find audiences, sometimes they just plain stink.
In celebration of these new shows debuting on a network near you, we take a look at ten shows unfortunately probably won’t make it to season two.
10. Second Chance – Is What This Show Won’t Get
Second Chance is yet another entry from Hollywood inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that really has nothing to do with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The series is about a retired, formerly corrupt LAPD detective killed in a robbery who is then given a (you guessed it) second chance at life when he is reanimated into a younger body.
Was titled The Frankenstein Code and then Lookinglass, Second Chance just looks like a show unsure of its concept. Not able to perhaps delve into the darker concepts that could make this an intriguing show, expect just another network cop drama with a small twist to set it apart. It just so happens that this twist banks on the name of a classic novel.
Second Chance will get its one and only chance on January 13th by FOX.
9. Lucifer – Devil Joins the LAPD
Lucifer is a series that most definitely does not belong on FOX. Based on a character created by Neil Gaiman, the series follows Lucifer, a.k.a the devil, as he walks the streets of LA collecting misguided and evil souls. It’s a cop drama…with a twist!
Knowing how this show was originally written by Tom Kapinos (Californication) and based off of a Vertigo comic book, it seems to have lost its teeth somewhere along the way. The original concept when announced by FOX mentioned nothing about Lucifer joining the ranks of cliche television and solving crimes. Kapinos’ name was mentioned and it seemed to be sold as a weird comedy-drama where Lucifer comes to the City of Angels to open a jazz bar.
Now, Jerry Bruckheimer is a producer, and Len Wiseman is directing the pilot. When will producers wake up and stick one of these darker comic books on a channel like HBO or Starz?
Lucifer will burn its way onto your television screen on January 25th thanks to FOX.
8. Shades Of Blue – Shades of Coming Cancellation
Shades of Blue has a couple things going for it. One is Jennifer Lopez, who people love. The other is Ray Liotta who everybody loves to hate (thanks to Goodfellas). Besides the cast, however, this is just another generic cop drama with a generic cop title.
The series is about a single mother (Lopez) struggling with financial issues and working within a corrupt task force. Fortunately, television has evolved. People want more from their shows, even cop dramas. Shades of Blue is going to have to walk a more grounded, character driven line to survive in today’s television landscape.
Unfortunately, the promotion for Shades of Blue thus far has not inspired confidence. The only reason to hope this succeeds is so Lopez and Liotta can grab some steady paychecks.
Shades of Blue premieres on January 7th on NBC.
7. Bordertown – This Will Solve The Immigration Debate!
Bordertown sounds like a funny concept. It might even be a funny show. Unfortunately, it’s about one of the hottest political issues in America right now: immigration. Even though satire is a wonderful way to break down barriers, these polarized times do nothing but turn on art that even seems politically incorrect.
Considering this series is produced by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy), expect both the right and the left to tune out as they both will probably take offense to the political humor. MacFarlane’s record also hasn’t been incredibly strong recently. Sure, he created one of the biggest animated hits ever and the popular comedy, Ted, but his other ventures haven’t always panned out. Cleveland Show was cancelled after four seasons and his last two movies underwhelmed audiences.
Bordertown is probably going to become a short lived, beloved by some series that most people won’t have the patience for.
Bordertown comes to FOX on January 3rd.
6. Cooper Barrett’s Guide To Surviving Life – But Not Surviving Ratings
Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life suffers from a few things. The first is a terrible title. The second is the generic storyline; it follows young people as they try and figure life out. The third is the fact that it’s a network sitcom trying to survive in a television field where comedy has grown and evolved.
The creator is Jay Lacopo, who has a few hits to speak of and whose style of comedy has been ignored before. The show seems like just another sitcom that’s bound to end up in the pile of the rest of the many other generic sitcoms from the past.
It debuts on January 3rd on FOX, but you probably won’t be tuning in.
5. The Shannaara Chronicles – The Short Lived Chronicles
Young adult fantasy is a wild success when it comes to film. Studios put A-list talent in front of and behind the cameras. They give proper budgets and they promote, promote, promote. The Shannarra Chronicles wants to bank off this riding wave of success, but television may not be the best place for it.
Despite popular book material written by Terry Brooks and a strong creative mind in Jon Favreau, The Shannarra Chronicles had a trailer that really underwhelmed. It’s debuting on MTV as well which means the budget will be peanuts compared to the big budget blockbusters we see rule the box office like The Hunger Games.
Adapted by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (real hit and miss guys), The Shannarra Chronicles looks like on the B-level, something today’s youth won’t tune in for. Plus, people would probably rather just watch repeats of Teen Wolf or Catfish.
The Shannarra Chronicles debuts on MTV on January 5th.
4. Shadowhunters – Start Hunting For An Audience
Shadowhunters is yet another young adult fantasy series pitched to television audiences. It is the second adaptation of The Mortal Instruments book series by Cassandra Clare. The first was the film, City of Bones ,which wasn’t released that long ago. That movie wasn’t successful at all, which should tell you everything you need to know.
Debuting on ABC Family (or Freeform for the future), Shadowhunters will have the same issues as Shannarra. Sure, people love this young adult fantasy topic, but will they love it when the budget is low and the talent is second grade? They go to the movies to see these popcorn stories, but television screens seem like the wrong place for them.
Making matters worse, McG directed the pilot and people usually don’t respond well when he gets big budget franchises (Terminator Salvation).
Shadowhunters debuts on March 30th on Freeform.
3. Colony – No Ratings Will Be Colonized
Colony is about a world where America has been taken over by outside forces. Some give in to the occupying threat while others fight back. The series is produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost) and will debut on the USA Network.
Despite an intriguing concept banking on the paranoia of current times, Colony is a total risk. Carlton Cuse has had his hits (Bates Motel, The Strain), but he’s had his misses too (The Returned, that Amazon pilot no one watched). Josh Holloway also has yet to lead a successful show on his own. His last, Intelligence, was cancelled after one season.
This will be a hard concept to sell especially to the American public. It may be too political or too close to home to sell to some. Without the fantasy element of zombies, American audiences tend to turn away from apocalypse type fare or alternative history stories. Colony looks to combine the two.
Colony debuts on the USA Network on January 14th.
2. Of Kings and Prophets – Prayers Won’t Save This One
Religious audiences are the new prime targets for Hollywood. However, Hollywood seems to forget its boundaries with these audiences. They will swipe stories down with great vengeance and furious anger that attempt to adapt biblical stories with any sort of creative freedom (sorry, Noah).
Of Kings and Prophets is a series basing itself off of The Book of Samuel. It is about Saul and David, the successive kings of Israel and the politics they face in their time.
What’s so risky about this endeavor is religious audiences are known for going through biblical adaptations with a fine tooth comb and finding anything wrong with it. To have that happen week to week means you are set up to fail.
It’s also not a boost of confidence considering that the series was supposed to debut in the fall, but was pushed back due to “creative” changes. Not a good sign.
Of Kings and Prophets debuts on March 8th on ABC.
1. The Catch – Your Time Is Up, Rhimes!
Is there anyone more successful on television right now than Shonda Rhimes? The producer has an entire damn night dedicated to her hit programming! It’s like she can’t fail. However, if the Rocky franchise has taught us anything, it is that all heroes must fall.
The Catch is about a fraud investigator who could be a victim of fraud herself by her ex fiance. I know. Sounds kind of weak and boring, especially coming from the producer behind Shondaland. Shes previously owned the television world with Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal. This one sounds like it might be stretching the drama a little too thin.
Based on pure probability, Shonda Rhimes has to fail with this show. After all, if it succeeds, doesn’t that mean she’s some kind of mutant? Four hit shows. That’s just one too many.
The Catch debuts on March 24th on ABC.