Even coming off a year that seemed to include a new series premiere every week, including some major successes, ABC wasn’t shy about picking nine new shows on Friday (May 11) night, with more to possibly come.
On the drama front, ABC set “Zero Hour,” “666 Park Avenue,” “Red Widow,” “Nashville” and “Last Resort” to series.
On the comedy side, ABC ordered “Malibu Country,” “The Neighbors,” “Family Tools” and the sure-to-have-its-title-shortened “How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life.”
It’s actually 10 shows if you include ABC’s take on the British format “Mistresses,” which had already been ordered to series.
For now, it’s unclear which of the new shows will premiere in the fall and which will be held until midseason.
But here are some basic details about the new shows, starting with…
*** “Family Tools” – Formerly titled “White Van Man” and then “Red Van Man,” “Family Tools” is based on a British format and features frequently cancelled leading man Kyle Bornheimer as a man who takes over his father’s (J.K. Simmons) handyman business. Leah Remini and Edi Gathegi also star.
*** “How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life” – From Imagine Television, this single camera comedy stars Sarah Chalke as a recently divorced mom who moves back in with her parents (Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett). Orlando Jones, John Dore and Rachel Eggleston co-star.
*** “Malibu Country” – Reba McEntire plays a woman who divorces her husband and leaves Nashville for Malibu, accompanied by her mother (Lily Tomlin) and three kids.
*** “The Neighbors” – Previously just “Untitled Dan Fogelman project,” “The Neighbors focuses on a family (headed by Jamie Gertz) who moves into an gated community. Not so crazy, right? What if I told you that the gated community is actually a haven for aliens disguised as humans?
*** “666 Park Avenue” – Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor return to ABC as a couple who take a gig managing a history NYC apartment building. Not so crazy, right? What if I told you that the building was full of supernatural freakiness? Now you’re intrigued. Terry O’Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Robert Buckley, Erik Palladin and Mercedes Masohn are also part of the pretty cast.
*** “Last Resort” – Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan’s script focuses on the crew of a nuclear submarine that goes rogue after refusing a fire order and escapes to a tropical outpost and declares itself a nuclear nation. The ensemble cast includes Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Dichen Lachman, Bruce Davison and Max Adler. Oh and Martin “Casino Royale” Campbell directed.
*** “Nashville” – Did you see “Country Strong”? Good! Then this’ll be new to you. From “Thelma & Louise” scribe Callie Khouri, the pilot focuses on two singers — Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere — at very different points in their careers. Eric Close, Powers Boothe, Robert Wisdom and Jonathan Jackson also star.
*** “Red Widow” – Formerly titled “Penoza” — unclear if this is a better title — “Red Widow” is based on a Dutch format and stars Radha Mitchell as a widow forced to take over her husband’s job within a criminal syndicate for some reason. “Twilight” scribe Melissa Rosenberg wrote the pilot and “Arlington Road” helmer Mark Pellington directed. The cast around Mitchell includes Lee Tergesen, Luke Goss, Rade Sherbedzija, Suleka Mathew, Jaime Ray Newman and, in a guest role, Anson Mount.
*** “Zero Hour” – Anthony Edwards returns to TV playing the editor of a skeptics magazine who becomes involved in a conspiracy of his own. Written by “Prison Break” scribe Paul Scheuring, the pilot was directed by Pierre Morel (“Taken”).
What sounds interesting?