I've spent the past week in New York, attending the broadcast networks' unveiling of their fall schedules to advertisers. This process is decidedly antiquated — a leftover remnant of a time when broadcast TV was the only TV game in town — but it's also a great opportunity to get a sense of what the television industry thinks about the culture at large, which trends it's tapping into, and what it thinks will be important in the year to come.
To that end, it's worthwhile to check out some of the trailers for the 2015-'16 season's new shows. Judging a TV series based on its pilot is bad (and difficult) enough; judging one based on its trailer is just ridiculous. So don't consider these final verdicts in the slightest. But based on what I saw this week, here are seven shows I'm looking forward to this fall — and three I'm dreading.
These fill me with anticipation
Crazy Ex Girlfriend (Mondays at 9 pm on The CW)
What can I say? I'm a sucker for an elaborate musical sequence.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow (coming to The CW in 2016)
DC is leaning heavily into glorious goofiness with its burgeoning superhero slate, and this newest entry — featuring a time-traveling man named Rip Hunter who works to preserve the space-time continuum — looks like just my kind of ridiculousness.
The Family (coming to ABC Sundays in 2016)
How will this show continue past one season? It probably won't, but the assembled cast is crackerjack, and the final image of this trailer is nicely creepy.
The Grinder (Tuesdays at 8:30 pm on Fox)
It takes a lot to get me to laugh. It takes even more to get me to laugh at a trailer. I laughed at this one — where Rob Lowe plays a TV lawyer who decides his small-screen courtroom experience is enough qualification to be a real one — a bunch. Well played, Fox.
Life in Pieces (Mondays at 8:30 pm on CBS)
I'm taking this one on faith. It has a great cast, and I like the idea of every episode consisting of a bunch of smaller stories that connect into one larger one. Unfortunately, the trailer makes it look more like a Modern Family clone than anything else.
Minority Report (Mondays at 9 pm on Fox)
I don't know that I need another sci-fi cop show, but at least this one is based on a sci-fi cop movie. Plus it sure looks like the Washington Monument has been transformed into a glittering space laser, which is a great idea that Congress should absolutely prioritize.
The Muppets (Tuesdays at 8 pm on ABC)
This one just looks like so much fun. Tell me I'm wrong.
These look pretty bad
Code Black (Wednesdays at 10 pm on CBS)
A lot of people whose opinions I trust thought this was a great trailer, but I found it horribly soporific and boring. That might be because the original pilot starred Maggie Grace — and this version is cut to make Marcia Gay Harden the lead, as she will be when the show hits the air.
The Frankenstein Code (coming to Fox in 2016)
Does everything need to be a cop show?
Heartbreaker (Tuesdays at 9 pm on NBC)
There are plenty of terrible trailers out there — particularly for ABC's Dr. Ken and NBC's People Are Talking — but in surveying this year's lot, none were as bad as this one. Heartbreaker feels like NBC attempted to Frankenstein its own version of Grey's Anatomy from a stitched-together version of the long-running drama's abandoned plot lines.
We'll see if any of these shows live up to their potential — for good or ill — next TV season.