May 10, 2013



ABC is in need of a lot of help next season, and it’s ordered a ton of product for its shelves, with 5 new comedies and 7 dramas on tap.  (The network also renewed The Neighbors, Nashville and Suburgatory among the bubble shows, while canceling How to Live With Your Family, Happy Endings, Body of Proof, Red Widow and Malibu Country–although Happy Endings may still move elsewhere.)  Here are some bare facts about the new arrivals:


AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.   There are no sure things in TV, as the producers of CBS’s Beverly Hills Cop discovered when their pilot was passed over today.  But if there were a sure thing, Agents of SHIELD would be it–a spin-off of The Avengers, co-written (with longtime colleagues Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen) by Joss Whedon, and even featuring Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, rescued from his Avengers death.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND.  Another spin-off, with a premise that pretty much explains itself.  As with the parent show, the writers are Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.  There were reports that this would be a limited run series, to air at midseason between the fall and spring segments of Once Upon A Time, but that’s not confirmed.

MIND GAMES. One of the odder projects of the season, but then that term could describe all of writer Kyle Killen’s output to date, the series Lone Star and Awake and the feature The Beaver.  Killen will try to make his commercial breakthrough with this saga of brothers (Christian Slater and Steve Zahn) who use “the real science of human motivation and manipulation” to help clients.

KILLER WOMEN.  A female (Tricia Helfer from Battlestar Galactica) Texas Ranger, and Michael Trucco from BSG is on hand too.  Written by Hannah Shakespeare (The Playboy Club), based on an Argentine format.

RESURRECTION.  Another unconventional concept, as dead people return to their families–not as zombies, but as though they’d never died.  The cast includes Omar Epps and Frances Fisher, and it’s written by Aaron Zelman, most recently on The Killing.

LUCKY 7.  Queens gas station workers hit the lottery, and their lives change.  The ensemble cast includes Isiah Whitlock, Jr, and the writers are David Zabel (ER) and Jason Richman.

BETRAYAL.  It was a very good day for David Zabel, who also wrote this soap, with the juicy premise of a woman (Hannah Ware from Boss) who finds out the guy she’s been having an affair with is the defense attorney for the accused murderer her husband is prosecuting.


SUPER FUN NIGHT.  No one in comedy right now is hotter than Rebel Wilson, and after CBS passed on a version of this pilot last season, ABC grabbed it.  Wilson wrote the script herself, and also plays one of a group of friends determined to have the titular kind of time every Friday.

THE GOLDBERGS.  No, not the one with Molly, for the benefit of any elderly Jews in the area.  This is more of a Jewish Wonder Years, based on writer Adam F. Goldberg’s (creator of Breaking In) 1980s childhood.  The cast includes Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin and George Segal.

BACK IN THE GAME.  It sounds a lot like the recent Clint Eastwood movie Trouble With the Curve as a sitcom:  a single mother (Maggie Lawson from Psych) has to move in with her former baseball player father (James Caan), and the two bond when she starts coaching her son’s little league team.  It’s written by the Cullen Brothers, who worked with Caan on Las Vegas.

TROPHY WIFE.  Malin Akerman as the young third wife of Bradley Whitfield, who comes equipped with adult children and two ex-wives.  The cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden (I’m guessing as an ex) and Natalie Morales.  The writers are Emily Halpern (recently on Private Practice) and Sarah Haskins.

MIXOLOGY.  The writers of The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, can’t seem to stay away from alcohol, as this ensemble piece involves a number of singles in one Manhattan bar–with the entire season taking place, 24 style, in a single night.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."