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Fall fails



What to “look forward to” this fall from the broadcast networks.

It’s been a rough couple of seasons for broadcast network television. Programming competition from cable and streaming services is at an all-time high, resulting in the era of too many shows.

SON OF ZORN: L-R: Tim Meadows, Cheryl Hines and Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) in SON OF ZORN coming soon to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX

SON OF ZORN: L-R: Tim Meadows, Cheryl Hines and Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) in SON OF ZORN coming soon to FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: FOX

You’d think the answer would be to up the quality and imagination going forward into the new fall season and give viewers a reason to come back. Problem is, you’re thinking — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC… not so much. Not only have they given up on thinking, the networks have just given up, period. The majority of the proposed 2016-17 season new shows — a relative term, as there’s nary a “new” idea among them — look to be garbage. A sampling of what’s to come this fall:

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“Conviction” (ABC) A hot lawyer (Hayley Atwell) goes to work for a hot district attorney (Eddie Cahill). Glad ABC canceled “Agent Carter” so Atwell could do a legal show, a TV rarity.

“Notorious” (ABC) Oh look, a hot lawyer (Daniel Sunjata) and a hot news producer (Piper Perabo). It’s about “the unique, sexy and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media,” but more like “filler until ‘Scandal’ returns.”

“Designated Survivor” (ABC) A low-level cabinet member (Kiefer Sutherland) suddenly becomes the President of the United States. Hey, you asked “What could be worse than choosing between Clinton and Trump?”

“Frequency” (The CW) Remake of the 2000 movie, this time with a female cop (Peyton List) connecting with her dead dad in the past through a ham radio. Kudos to The CW for not updating it to a haunted Snapchat app.

“No Tomorrow” (The CW) An uptight girl (Tori Anderson) falls for a free spirit (Joshua Sasse) who believes the world is ending in eight months. An optimistic timeline, even on The CW.

Bull” (CBS) And another legal drama, based on “Dr.” Phil’s early days as a trial consultant. Michael Weatherly jumped off the “NCIS” money train for this?

“Kevin Can Wait” (CBS) Former awful sitcom star Kevin James returns from awful movies with an awful new family sitcom. It will run for 10 seasons on CBS.

“Man With a Plan” (CBS) A laugh-tracked family sitcom virtually identical to “Kevin Can Wait,” only with Matt LeBlanc in the stay-at-home-dad role. It will run for 10 weeks on CBS.

“Timeless” (NBC) A scientist, a soldier and a history professor race to stop a time-traveling terrorist from rewriting the past and, therefore, the future … or something. Maybe a bit “thinky” after “The Voice,” NBC?

“The Good Place” (NBC) Now-dead Eleanor (Kristen Bell) tries to be a better-ish person with the help of an “afterlife mentor” (Ted Danson). Is that Adult Swim weed making the rounds?

“The Exorcist” (Fox) This should go as well as Fox’s “Frankenstein: remake, “Second Chance”—remember that? Exactly.

“Son of Zorn” (Fox) Animated warrior Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) returns to the live-action suburbs to make peace with his ex-wife and son. Yeah, the Adult Swim weed is definitely making the rounds. CV

Bill Frost writes about television for Salt Lake City Weekly, talks about it on TV Tan Podcast (iTunes, Stitcher and, and tweets about it at @Bill_Frost.

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