While the U.S. is currently at that point in the year where summer shows are taking over the TV screens — usually big-ticket items on cable and digital networks, and lighter scripted fare and game shows on the broadcast networks — critics (perhaps more than viewers) are already getting excited for the more robust crop of shows that are headed their way next year.
It’s impossible to ignore the nostalgia factor that will be taking over the U.S. TV screens during the 2017-2018 season. There is a Roseanne reunion on ABC (brought by Carsey Werner), and a Will and Grace reunion on NBC (brought by NBC Universal). In other words, the 1990s are back. But it’s not just the ’90s; the CW is going further back to the 1980s with a new version of Dynasty (from CBS Studios International).
As has become the case in recent years, superheroes are also back in a big way (it’s expected that the blockbuster success of Wonder Woman at the box office this summer will lead to more of this). There are six shows — both from the Marvel and DC Comics worlds — coming from the studios this year, including one show on Hulu, one on ABC, one on Fox, two on Freeform (one of which is actually a comedy), and one on CW.
As mentioned here before, two other themes have popped up: Military and faith (which may be a push for more conservative viewers’ eyeballs — the same types of people who helped elect Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency). Among those shows are SEAL Team, a CBS Studios International show for CBS about an elite group of Navy officers who execute the most dangerous missions (pictured above); Valor, another CBS Studios show but for CW, which takes place on a U.S. Army base with an elite unit of helicopter pilots; NBC Universal’s The Brave for NBC is about military heroes behind enemy lines and many more.
In the faith category, there’s The Gospel of Kevin, a Disney Media Distribution show for ABC about a down-on-his-luck man who’s tasked by God with a mission to save the world, and By the Book, a comedy about a man who decides to start living his life according to the bible.
U.S. television may also be able to thank the Trump administration and the 24-hour news cycle surrounding it for a large number of shows that dive into life in the CIA, FBI and elsewhere in Washington. Sony Pictures Television’s Absentia (for AXN) follows an FBI agent who must reclaim her life and prove her innocence after becoming prime suspect in a string of murders. In Warner Bros. International TV Distribution’s Deception, for ABC, a superstar magician moves to the FBI. In CBS Studios’ Instinct (for CBS), a former CIA operative-turned NYPD detective is the main focus.
There’s also quite a lot of dystopia and sci-fi out there. In Salvation, for CBS from CBS Studios, an MIT grad student and tech billionaire need to stop an asteroid from colliding with Earth.In The Crossing, from Disney for ABC midseason, refugees from a war-torn U.S. 250 years in the future show up in an American town. In Twentieth Century Fox’s Ghosted, “unexplained” activity starts taking place in L.A. Finally, in Fox’s The Orville, for FOX, we’re 300 years into the future, following an exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar fleet.
In other words: There really might be something for everyone in the new U.S. political and television landscape.