Why ABC is what to watch this Fall

Last updated on September 11th, 2015 at 04:38 pm

Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishurne star in Black-ish on ABC.

Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishurne star in Black-ish on ABC.

Viola Davis stars in How to Get Away with Murder on ABC

Viola Davis stars in How to Get Away with Murder on ABC

This is part two of our look at the Broadcast Five television upfronts. Last week we listed the networks’ programs that will kick off the fall 2014 schedule, both the new and returning programs. This week we will explore the new shows that are in that lineup, which we shared last week. Bear in mind that there are more programs waiting in the wings for midseason replacement, but for now our focus is primarily on the shows that will be on the air in September.

ABC is the most intriguing network for African Americans, especially on Thursday nights. Scandal returns, along with veteran Grey’s Anatomy, and they welcome a new show to the evening, How to Get Away with Murder. The cool thing about this night of drama is that all thee shows are the handiwork of the amazingly gifted and talented Shonda Rhimes. This prodigious lady has become the most powerful woman in Hollywood, and her latest creation features yet another dynamic African American female lead. Viola Davis stars in How to Get Away with Murder as a criminology professor who nicknames her course the eponymous title of the show, and the law professor gets wrapped up in a murder mystery with four students.

Marvel’s Agent Carter is derived from the Captain America milieu, and stars Hayley Atwell as covert operative Peggy Carter in 1946. Post World War II peace time has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark, all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers (Captain America). The pickup of Agent Carter and the renewal of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives Marvel two shows on the ABC schedule next season, with the new series serving as a bridge between the fall and spring portions of S.H.I.E.L.D. ABC Disney has been using Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to promote the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, which are also Disney properties.

On the comedy side of things, there is likely no more fascinating new half-hour sitcom this fall than ABC’s Black-ish. Anthony Anderson stars as an upper middle-class family man trying to give his children a sense of their African-American cultural identify against the obstacles presented by other family members, constant contradictions from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids. Playing his wife is Tracee Ellis Ross and Laurence Fishburne will play the father.

“Selfie,” from Warner Bros. TV, revolves around a self-obsessed young woman, played by fanboy favorite Karen Gillan (Doctor Who’s Amy Pond), trying to change her ways. Also new at ABC are American Crime, Cristela, Forever, Galavant, and Manhattan Love Story.

CBS’ new series include CSI: Cyber, The McCarthys, Madam Secretary, NCIS: New Orleans, Scorpion, and Stalker.

Candice Batton

Candice Patton

The CW welcomes new series The Flash and Jane the Virgin. On The Flash, Candice Batton’s character Iris West is Barry Allen’s fast-talking, quick-witted best friend and also the daughter of Detective Joe West, played by Jesse L. Martin.

Fox has the new series Empire, Gotham, Mulaney, and Red Band Society. Gotham is a DC Comics-based Batman origin story centered on Commissioner Gordon (Southland’s Ben McKenzie) who investigates the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and takes a particular interest in the the young orphan. Gotham features Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney, a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner with street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book; imposing and hotheaded, and not one to be crossed. Red Band Society is a teen soap set in a hospital wing that stars Octavia Spencer as Nurse Jackson. Empire is described as a unique family drama set in the world of a hip hop empire, starring Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Malik Yoba, and Gabourey Sidibe.

NBC has these new series: A to Z (with Lenora Crichlow as Stephie), Allegiance, Bad Judge, Constantine ( with Harold Perrineau as Manny) Mr. Robinson (Craig Robinson as Craig Rice and Larenz Tate as Kevin Rice), Marry Me, The Mysteries of Laura, and State of Affairs (with Alfre Woodard as US President Roberta Payton).