ABC's new pilots for Fall 2012

Upfronts are over, and the networks have revealed some first peeks at their new fall shows. ABC's new lineup includes lots of sex, death, and explosions, as well as a strange obsession with female country singers, and a show about aliens that is unlikely to make it past episode 3.

You can check out ABC's full schedule here.

Summaries and trailers after the cut.

Malibu Country

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziV_VcqBlQI&w=560&h=315] Official Summary: When Reba Gallagher (Reba) discovers that her husband, Bobby, (Jeffrey Nordling) a country music legend, has a cheatin' heart, her world is turned upside down. Reba dreamt of becoming a country star herself, but put her career on hold to raise a family. Now she's questioning all of that, big-time. With the ink on her divorce barely dry, Reba packs up her sharp-tongued mother, Lillie May (Lily Tomlin), her two kids and the U-Haul and heads for sunny California to begin a new chapter. Leaving Nashville in the rear view, they start over at their Malibu residence -- the last remaining asset they have.

The pros: A comedy about three generations of women, attempting to start a new life, and the story of a woman (who isn't young or naive) attempting to return to her dream career after giving it all up for a man.

The cons: The laugh track seems pretty painful.

Anticipation rating: 4/10.

 

The Neighbors

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_iJy5auBko&w=560&h=315]

Official Summary: Meet the Weavers, Debbie (Jami Gertz) and Marty (Lenny Venito). Marty, in hopes of providing a better life for his wife and three kids, recently bought a home in Hidden Hills, a gated New Jersey townhome community with its own golf course. Hidden Hills is so exclusive that a house hasn’t come on the market in 10 years. But one finally did and the Weavers got it! It’s clear from day one that the residents of Hidden Hills are a little different. For starters, their new neighbors all have pro-athlete names like Reggie Jackson (Tim Jo), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Toks Olagundoye), Dick Butkis (Ian Patrick) and Larry Bird (Simon Templeman). Over dinner, Marty and his family discover that their neighbors receive nourishment through their eyes by reading books, rather than eating. The Weavers soon learn that the entire community is comprised of aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children and everyone cries green goo from their ears. The Zabvronians have been stationed on Earth for the past 10 years, disguised as humans, awaiting instructions from home, and the Weavers are the first humans they’ve had the opportunity to know. As it turns out, the pressures of marriage and parenthood are not exclusive to planet Earth. Two worlds will collide with hilarious consequences as everyone discovers they can “totally relate” and learn a lot from each other.

Pros: In the right hands, it could provide a good way to poke fun at our weird suburban ways. Writer and executive producer Dan Fogelman provided the screenplay for Tangled.

Cons: It... doesn't look funny. At all. The trailer treats us to such hilarious jokes as "I am the man of this house, and you are the woman!" and "lolol pregnant man." In fact, I'll just dismiss it as "painful" now and never come near the show again.

Anticipation rating: 1/10

666 Park Avenue

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x91yps9mu0I&w=560&h=315]

Official summary: At the ominous address of 666 Park Avenue, anything you desire can be yours. Everyone has needs, desires and ambition. For the residents of The Drake, these will all be met, courtesy of the building’s mysterious owner, Gavin Doran (Terry O’Quinn). But every Faustian contract comes with a price. When Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), an idealistic young couple from the Midwest, are offered the opportunity to manage the historic building, they not only fall prey to the machinations of Doran and his mysterious wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams), but unwittingly begin to experience the shadowy, supernatural forces within the building that imprison and endanger the lives of the residents inside. Sexy, seductive and inviting, The Drake maintains a dark hold over all of its residents, tempting them through their ambitions and desires, in this chilling new drama that’s home to an epic struggle of good versus evil.

Pros: Based on a successful book series, the show has a tempting premise, with the potential for lots of fascinating character development and interaction. Stars the fabulous Terry O'Quinn from LOST, and the show's creator previously worked on Fringe and Life on Mars.

Cons: The special effects look kind of cheesy... taking it out of the realm of "creepy" and into plain old melodramatic silliness. The trailer's focus on sex -- and the note that the wife is a "sexy wife" in the summary -- makes me concerned that the women in the show will become sex objects not just to the inhabitants but also to viewers as well.

Anticipation rating: 4/10

Last Resort

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDSttA64KGU&w=560&h=315]

Official summary: 500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface, the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado receive their orders. Over a radio channel, designed only to be used if their homeland has been wiped out, they’re told to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan. Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) demands confirmation of the orders only to be unceremoniously relieved of duty by the White House. XO Sam Kendal (Scott Speedman) finds himself suddenly in charge of the submarine and facing the same difficult decision. When he also refuses to fire without confirmation of the orders, the Colorado is targeted, fired upon, and hit. The submarine and its crew find themselves crippled on the ocean floor, declared rogue enemies of their own country. Now, with nowhere left to turn, Chaplin and Kendal take the sub on the run and bring the men and women of the Colorado to an exotic island. Here they will find refuge, romance and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get home.

Pros: The show looks dark and intense, like a mashup of Battlestar Galactica and LOST. If done well, it'll be able to explore some interesting questions about duty, morality and human nature. Also, unless the trailer is misleading, they've included a female navy officer in a prominent role -- not bad!

Cons: No women on the executive producer team.

Anticipation rating: 8/10

 

Nashville

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB9WHtAv7ts&w=560&h=315]

Official Summary: Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who’s had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane. Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she’s not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna’s record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can’t wait to steal Rayna’s spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career?

Pros: A drama about two women, two rivals, at different stages in their music career, potentially exploring how women get pushed out of life and success as they age. Writer and executive producer Callie Khouri wrote Thelma and Louise.

Cons: The summary and the trailer seem to set up the young star as a manipulative, selfish, completely unlikeable creature. Hopefully the show will allow more depth to develop.

Anticipation Rating: 6/10

 

Red Widow

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6gdlcLQJV4&w=560&h=315]

Official Summary: When Marta Walraven’s (Radha Mitchell) husband is brutally murdered, her first instinct is to protect her three young children. Her husband’s business partners – Irwin Petrova (Wil Traval), Marta’s scheming and untrustworthy brother, and Mike Tomlin (Lee Tergesen) — were involved in an illegal drug business deal with rival gangsters, and Marta’s husband paid the ultimate price. She already knows the violent world of organized crime; her father, Andrei Petrova (Rade Sherbedzija), and loyal bodyguard Luther (Luke Goss) are gangsters too. She and her sister Kat (Jaime Ray Newman) had always wished for a safer life without bloodshed and fear. For a while Marta lived happily as a stay at home housewife in San Marta’s cooperation, FBI Agent James Ramos (Mido Hamada) now promises justice. Marta discovers a tenacity she never knew she had, and takes on the gangsters and the FBI to unveil the truth about her husband’s death. As she digs into this dark underworld, she’ll test her own strength, relying on her resourcefulness, determination and family ties like never before. To get out of this mob, she needs to beat the bad guys at their own deadly game.

Pros: Potentially interesting concept, with a badass female character driving the story.

Cons: Holy melodrama, Batman! The trailer also doesn't give us much idea of the story beyond her husband's murder, suggesting that there isn't much concrete beyond that.

Anticipation rating: 5/10