Anyone watching some of the trailers for the 2018-19 season who had the creeping feeling they'd seen some of this before — and not the 10,000 reboots happening, but the new series coming to screens this fall — would not be wrong. There's nothing new under the sun, and few places is that truer than on broadcast TV, where executives try to grab all the cash while avoiding all the risk as if inside one of those wind money machines on game shows. Bold, unconventional new series do get turned into series, but more often than not, networks work hard to lure viewers by hitting that sweet spot between familiarity and originality. With the fall schedule locked in and all the trailers ready to check out, Here are the new shows from the 2018-19 season that share some DNA with shows you loved.
If you liked: Touched by an Angel or My Name Is Earl
You might like: God Friended Me, Sundays at 8/7c on CBS.
What it's about: Brandon Micheal Hall is Miles Shiner, an outspoken atheist who wakes up one day to learn God friended him on Facebook. He's reluctant at first of course (because if he wasn't that would be pretty crazy, right?) but starts to become a change agent in people's lives — perhaps convincing them to take down personal information that can be used in upcoming elections. Kidding. He saves lives while gathering insights about himself and life, not unlike the angels on that beloved supernatural drama of the 90s-early 00s. It's got Earl vibes too, since the hero isn't exactly the nicest guy, but starts to have changes of heart.
If you liked: The Carmichael Show
You might like: The Neighborhood, Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.
What it's about: Cedric the Entertainer is Calvin, a rather cantankerous man in a mostly black Los Angeles neighborhood who's alarmed to find that the nabe's first gentrifiers have arrived - - namely Dave (played by Josh Lawson in the trailer, but will be replaced by Max Greenfield in the fall) and his wife Gemma (Dreama Walker); Martin and Everybody Hates Chris phenom Tichina Arnold, plays Calvin's wife Tina. Though the circumstances are different, the ways it takes on race with humor and grit recalls the best parts of Carmichael.
If you liked: Lost
You might like: Manifest, Mondays at 10/9c on NBC
What it's about: Disappearing plane? Check. Passengers presumed lost at sea? Check. Survivors who in this case return five years later but no time has passed for them and the crew, finding themselves wrapped up in a spooky mystery that nobody can explain? Please be sure your seat belts are fastened folks, we got ourselves another Lost successor — this one from executive producer Robert Zemeckis.
If you liked: The Wonder Years
You'll like: The Kids Are Alright, Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30c
What it's about: A traditional Irish family navigates social issues while keeping a house full of eight boys from going Lord of the Flies on each other. Like The Wonder Years, this coming-of-age story is set in a past, turbulent decade (the 1970s) and, if the trailer is to be believed, has an off-screen narrator too. There's also a love interest named Wendy, which sounds close to Winnie, as in Wonder Years' divine Winnie Cooper.
If you liked: Law & Order
You'll dig: FBI, Tuesdays at 9/8c on CBS
What it's about: Exactly what it sounds like, from the master of the government agency procedural, Dick Wolf.
If you liked: The Good Doctor
Then check out: New Amsterdam, Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC
What it's about: The Blacklist's Ryan Eggold is the new, headstrong director of a New York City hospital who grates everybody with his confrontational, my-way-or-the-highway style. He fights the power in service of his patients, though, making him everybody's favorite kind of maverick: the kind who gets things done. The catch: He's got cancer, a condition that complicates his job — which is not unlike The Good Doctor's Shaun Murphy, whose autism can lead to showdowns with staff but ultimately bring all the "Awws" when he saves the day.
If you liked: Castle
You're gonna be into: The Rookie, Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC
What it's about: Nathan Fillion reunites with Castle executive producer Alexi Hawley in this dramedy, in which John Nola (Fillion) packs up and moves to LA at the ripe old age of 40 to join the LAPD...with no experience! Think Castle with more drama and guns.
If you liked: Friday Night Lights
You'll fancy: All American, Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW
What it's about: High school football! In this one (which is based on the life story of pro athlete Spencer Paysinger) Daniel Ezra plays pigskin hotshot Spencer James, who's recruited to play at the fancy Beverly Hills High School, which is just a few miles away from his home in South Central L.A. but might as well be another galaxy. Just like Friday Night Lights, All American addresses issues including racism and economic disparity with high school football as the backdrop.
If you liked: This Is Us
You'll should check out: A Million Little Things, Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC
What it's about: After a friend's shocking suicide, a diverse group of adult friends find that their tepid bonds to one another aren't enough to sustain them through the challenges of adulthood, so they look to focus on what really matters in life like friendship. The trailer is full of Insta-worthy light New Age wisdom like "Life is fragile" and "Life is unexpected," and there's lots of crying too meaning there very well could be competition for your tear ducts this season — if they're not destroyed altogether after This Is Us.
If you liked: The Golden Girls
You'll love: Cool Kids, Fridays at 8:30/7:30c on Fox
What it's about: A bunch of rambunctious, totally inappropriate seniors at the Shady Meadows retirement home, which is a veritable dog whistle for the people who fondly remember Golden Girls' Shady Pines. Comedy greats David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan and Martin Mull star as mischievous old coots who love pulling hijinks at the home, but meet their match when a new woman, played by Vicki Lawrence arrives to upset the natural order of things. It's like The Golden Girls with diversity and bite, since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day, wrote the script.
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