The upfronts are over and advertisers have had the opportunity to look at more than two dozen new show trailers to see where they want to spend their money. While there was a lot of the same from several networks -- especially CBS -- there were a few shows that really pushed the boundaries of storytelling, including a bold new comedy experiment by CBS, proving they can step outside the box every once in awhile.
Superheroes continued to be a thing, with both ABC, The CW and FOX all expanding their footprint in the genre, while police and medical dramas continued their television dominance. The current state of the country may have helped push military dramas onto the screen, with three different takes on the military making their way into the schedule.
“Marvel's Inhumans” on ABC was the only fall show that didn't have a trailer to unveil for the upfronts, but there were several mid-season shows that weren't represented either, like the two big returns on ABC, “Roseanne” and “American Idol.” NBC offered a slew of mid-season show descriptions as well, including game shows hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.
But those can wait. For now, we've ranked all 27 trailers we did get across the five broadcast networks.
1. Ten Days in the Valley
(ABC, Sundays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
While it might make sense in the context of the show, this name still bothers me for an otherwise very sharp-looking abduction mystery caper. Sedgwick is as good as you'd expect as the television producer mother whose daughter gets kidnapped. The trailer was formatted much like the show will likely be, with twists and new reveals every few moments that pull you further into the mystery. Sedgwick lies, suspects could be anywhere, her daughter doesn't want to be found? With solid performances from an all-star cast, this clunky-titled show could wind up a winner on Sunday nights.
Starring: Kyra Sedgwick, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kick Gurry, Erika Christensen, Felix Solis, Josh Randall, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Abigail Pniowsky, and Francois Battiste
2. Me, Myself & I
(CBS, Mondays @ 9:30 p.m. ET / / 9:00 p.m. ET starting 10/30) COMEDY
Three comedies in one, all of them about the same guy. Bobby Moynihan plays him in the present day, while Jack Dylan Grazer is 14-year old him, and John Larroquette portrays him in the future. The present looks to be the low point in his life, after he's found his wife cheating. Sharon Lawrence portrays his teenage crush returned in his future. It's an incredibly ambitious way to tell a story (hints of “This Is Us” here), but even in this five-minute trailer it works exceptionally well. There are moments of heart and humor in every era of his life that we see, and I find myself intrigued to see how this storytelling technique carries through an entire season. Moynihan will be missed on “Saturday Night Live,” but this is a mature and wonderful role for him to find in its place.
Starring: Bobby Moynihan, Jack Dylan Grazer, Brian Unger, Jaleel White, Kelen Coleman, Skylar Gray, Christopher Paul Richards, Mandell Maughan, Reylynn Caster, Sharon Lawrence, John Larroquette
Getting back into the medical field with their best-looking doctor show since “House,” FOX might have something really special with “The Resident.” The story of three doctors at different points in their career, with Matt Czuchry's Dr. Conrad Hawkins sandwiched between his new intern, played by Manish Dayal, and an older doctor who may need to start considering retirement, played by Bruce Greenwood. The tension was taut, but more importantly these characters were already fleshed out and compelling in a three-minute trailer. That's hard to do and something most of these fall trailers haven't been able to manage. Even Emily VanCamp as a nurse who aspires to do good got a few moments to shine. There are a lot of medical dramas on the air, but this one feels more grounded and human than most.
Starring: Matt Czuchry, Emily VanCamp, Manish Dayal, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Valerie Cruz, and Bruce Greenwood
4. For the People
(ABC, Mid-Season) DRAMA
Shonda Rhimes legacy is alive and well, with the latest Shondaland series bringing the same kind of tense excitement and character-driven melodrama that made hits out of “Grey's Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.” This story of hungry young lawyers being thrown to the wolves is just another lawyer show on the surface, but it's strength appears to lie in the competition that exists between the characters in the cut-throat legal world. A well-cast ensemble and well scripted, Rhimes likely has another winner on her hands with this one.
Starring: Ben Rappaport, Susannah Flood, Wesam Keesh, Rege-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, and Anna Deveare Smith
5. The Brave
(NBC, Mondays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
In the spirit of “24” and “Homeland,” the stakes could not be higher and the world more immersed in the grays between black and white than in this first look at “The Brave.” The series (or at least the pilot) chronicles the military strike to try and save an American doctor kidnapped to save the life of one of the world's most-wanted terrorists. It's all very high stakes and action driven, but what makes it stand out from so much of what we've seen before in this vein is the thread of compassion running through it. These are people first, on both sides of the gun, and these are real lives in the balance. Vogel gives a nuanced performance that looks like it could make this something special.
Starring: Anne Heche, Mike Vogel, Sofia Pernas, Tate Ellington, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Noah Mills, and Hadi Tabbal
6. Young Sheldon
(CBS, Thursdays @ 8:30 p.m. ET) COMEDY
What is obviously a cash grab attempt to squeeze every last viewer out of “The Big Bang Theory” actually looks like it's going to be a charming little show of his own. Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper has emerged as a classic sitcom character, and the depths that have been mined on the show with Laurie Metcalf as his Christian Texas mother have only hinted at what a struggle his childhood must have been for the both of them. This single-camera exploration of that has hints of “Doogie Howser,” but a voice all its own, even with the voice of Parsons in the narration. It also has heart, as young Sheldon has to learn that book smarts aren't the only kind of intelligence that matters. While he clearly remains somewhat stunted and awkward as an adult, it'll nevertheless be enjoyable watching his early years as his family tries to keep up with him and guide him at the same time.
Starring: Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Raegan Revord, Montana Jordan, and Jim Parsons (narrator)
7. The Mayor
(ABC, Tuesdays @ 9:30 p.m. ET) COMEDY
A high concept that is both fun and well executed, ABC might just have a winner on its hands. Brandon Michael Hall is “introduced” in this show as a young rapper who runs for mayor as a publicity stunt and winds up winning. Paired with “black-ish” on Tuesday nights, this feels like a guaranteed hit for ABC, but even better, it actually looks like it's both funny and has something to say about the black experience in America. Lea Michele seems a bit oddly placed as his campaign manager who stays on after he's elected, but she's a capable actress who will find her voice. Yvette Nicole Brown has just the right mix of sweet and oh-no-you-didn't to offer the motherly presence he'll need to succeed. One of the strongest pilot trailers seen during the upfronts.
Starring: Brandon Michael Hall, Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears, and Yvette Nicole Brown
8. Will & Grace
(NBC, Thursdays @ 8 p.m. ET) COMEDY
Kind of an anomaly in the mix, as this is a revival of a classic show. So instead of getting clips from the new premiere, we were treated to a broad musical number to help convince Messing the show was worth doing again. Props to Hayes and Mullally for paying Jack and Karen as if they didn't know they were doing a show. Certainly the tone didn't miss a beat and it seems clear the comedy will be about the same from the four. Will it look charming and antiquated on the modern television landscape, or will it be embraced as the fun escapism it's clearly trying to be? It certainly looks like fun, and I suspect viewers of a certain age will flock to it.
Starring: Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullally
As a grieving father, Jeremy Piven capably carries this latest twist on crime-solving. A tech millionaire, he resigns from his company and founds a new company that uses crowdsourcing to reveal evidence, find and track suspects in crimes. His intention was solely to help solve his daughter's murder, but quickly learns it can help with more than just that. Richard T. Jones is a solid foil as the police detective assigned to work with him. This is fairly standard procedural fare for CBS, but it looks well executed, and cleverly uses our modern technological world as a tool in its process, so I think it's going to do quite well. Also, can someone give Piven a note that he doesn't have to project and shout all of his lines.
Starring: Jeremy Piven, Richard T. Jones, Natalia Tena, Blake Lee, Jake Matthews, and Monica Potter
10. The Orville
(FOX, Thursdays @ 9 p.m. ET) DRAMA -- Jon Favreau (director, pilot)
There's something strangely compelling about this very grounded new series. While it looks like your “Star Trek” or “Babylon 5” space epic, the characters certainly don't act like that. Nobody is giving grand speeches, but instead talking about going to the bathroom and day drinking. I'd expect nothing else from MacFarlane, but then it surprised me how the show looked otherwise very slickly produced like it's both taking itself seriously as a sci-fi journey and a broad comedy piece. It's an unusual pairing, but that makes it somewhat fresh. Plus, while MacFarlane's lead wasn't particularly compelling, I found myself enjoying the banter among his support staff on the Orville. I think it's in big trouble with that timeslot, but it just might be a fun show.
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Chad Coleman, and Norm Macdonald
11. Black Lightning
(CW, Mid-Season) DRAMA
The weakest thing about this superhero trailer was the voice-over work, but the show itself looks like a very promising and more mature take on the genre. Black Lightning is a hero who retired more than a decade ago to be a better father to his two daughters. He works at their school and has a good relationship with them. But when crime becomes too much, he puts back on the suit, and it looks like his daughters may have powers of their own. Unlike most of the DCW shows, this one looks like it's about family first, making it more similar to “The Incredibles.” With heart and love at its core, this is a welcome and refreshing take on the genre of the moment.
Starring: Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, and Christine Adams
12. The Gifted
(FOX, Mondays @ 9 p.m. ET) DRAMA
Marvel's X-Men are getting their second series, after “Legion,” and this one looks to be a lot more traditional in nature. Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker are the parents of two teenagers who begin to display mutant abilities, catapulting the family into a world of danger. There promises to be a lot more mutant mayhem, and even some familiar faces to fans of the original comic books, but the trailer and presumably early episodes keep the focus tightly on this family, and that's a smart move. The larger mutant world will thus be exposed for them just as it is for the audience, though Moyer's character apparently arrests mutants as part of his job. It's ambitious to take on the X-Men in a series, but this take feels like a great way to do it. I'm not completely sold on the young actors yet, but there's definitely potential for entertaining superheroics in an unexpected way here.
Starring: Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, Marcos Diaz, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford, Natalie Alyn Lind, and Percy Hynes White
13. Life Sentence
(CW, Mid-Season) DRAMA
What happens after the movie ends with the girl who had cancer finding out she's cured. Life happens, and that's what this new series is about. Lucy Hale is the girl who was dying for eight years, so she lived life to the fullest, and even got married. But now she's cured and it turns out living is much harder than dying. It also turns out people have been tip-toeing around her and keeping things from her because what did it matter if she was dying? At first, the premise seemed off-putting and I thought I'd rather see the story of her living life to the fullest in the face of impending death, but Hale's performance and the layers to her story that were revealed made it clear there is a lot of story to be told after the cancer. It may not be as exciting or fun, but it will be real and more rewarding.
Starring: Lucy Hale, Elliot Knight, Dylan Walsh, Gillian Vigman, Jayson Blair, Brooke Lyons, and Carlos PenaVega
14. The Crossing
(ABC, Mid-Season) DRAMA
Returning to the mysteriousness of “Lost,” ABC's newest drama features a group of refugees who appear to be running from a war nearly two centuries in America's future. But that's just the beginning of the mystery. I wish Steve Zahn would have had more to do in this trailer than say over and over again how he and the people of his town want to know what's going on, but the addition of Natalie Martinez and super-enhanced abilities promise that there is much more lurking beneath the surface. And with a little girl survivor at the heart, there were touches of “The 4400” in this, as that show also featured mysterious people with strange abilities showing up in our world. With room to breathe and tell its story, this might have the potential to get America talking like “Lost” and “Heroes” have done before it.
Starring Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez, Sandrine Holt, Rick Gomez, Jay Karnes, Marcuis Harris, Simone Kessel, Kelly Missals, Rob Campbell, Grant Harvey, Bailey Skodje, Jon D'Leo, Luc Roderique, and Tommy Bastow
(CW, Mondays @ 9 p.m. ET) DRAMA
Christina Ochoa plays an elite soldier who appears to be unraveling completely into sex and drugs to deal with the guilt of something that happened in Somalia. Lies and betrayal and death haunt her and her partner as they try to pick up the pieces and take on a mission to bring back POWs. The trailer was a little muddled as to the details of what was going on, but it was more trying to evoke a mood and it did that very well. The strangest thing about this military show is that it finds itself on The CW, and network more known for teen dramas and sci-fi/superhero fare. But maybe it's time The CW grows up a little, and “Valor” is here to help it do that.
Starring: Matt Barr, Christina Ochoa, Charlie Barnett, W. Tre Davis, Corbin Reid, Nigel Thatch, and Melissa Roxburgh
16. The Gospel of Kevin
(ABC, Tuesdays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
Jason Ritter is determined to find a television star vehicle. He has the charm, good looks and acting chops to play it off, but can this be it? A quirky premise about a guy who may or may not be crazy, or maybe he really has an angel who's come down to protect him and encourage him to be a better person. Cristela Alonzo was a little off in the angel role -- too rough around the edges -- but she's going to be recast by the time the series hits the air, so it remains to be seen if that half of the lead duo can balance Ritter better. This has the potential to be a feel-good hit in a time when escapism is what viewers want, but it could also go the way of Jane Lynch's “Angel from Hell” from a couple years back.
Starring: Jason Ritter, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, J. August Richards, Chloe East, Dustin Ybarra, and India de Beaufort
(CW, Wednesdays @ 9 p.m. ET) DRAMA
There was so much soap in this trailer, I could barely see the screen through the bubbles. Everything that made the original a hit in the 1980s is back in this reboot of the classic franchise from struggles for power, secrets and even brutal hair-pulling fights between the two women leads. I mean, it may be 2017, but this is still “Dynasty” and cat-fights are a part of the fabric of the show. There's also an awareness of the state of the 1% in today's modern era, adding a new layer to this story of rich people vying for power, wealth and position. Trust no one, except that this may be the guilty pleasure of the fall.
Starring: Grant Show, Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley, James Mackay, Alan Dale, Sam Adegoke, Robert Christopher Riley, and Rafael de la Fuente
18. Splitting Up Together
A bit of an oddity, this one stars Jenna Fischer and Oliver Hudson as a couple that decides to get divorced and co-habitate. One will be off-duty in the garage while the other takes on the responsibilities in the house. This is just strange, and seems limited for a long-term show. The supporting cast wants them together, but the trailer really didn't sell me on the chemistry between Fischer and Hudson, so maybe it would be more fun to see them dating and going about their individual lives with this bizarre living arrangement. It's definitely a show that would need to settle into itself, as the high concept is the crux of the pilot, but the potential is there for this to be a uniquely funny take on trying to not lose yourself completely in parenthood and domestic life. So far, though, Fischer is the only cast-member that I feel compelled to watch.
Starring: Jenna Fischer, Oliver Hudson, Bobby Lee, Diane Farr, Lindsay Price, Olivia Keville, Van Crosby, and Sander Thomas
(CBS, Thursdays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
The coda at the end of this trailer added a bit of humor to an otherwise tense and serious four-minute look at Shemar Moore's star vehicle. Yes, it's another crime drama on the network that seems to do nothing but but it's well cast and slickly produced, with Justin Lin behind the wheel. It should do well with the CBS regulars, and it's great that it features a minority leader and isn't going to shy away from what that means in a black community, but it's not going to stand out from the crowd in any significant way that's going to earn it any extra ink from the press.
Starring: Shemar Moore, Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, and Peter Onorati
“The Odd Couple” may have been cancelled, but it is alive and well in this very odd paranormal/alien comedy with the pairing of Craig Robinson and Adam Scott. With the mix of humor and ghostly shenanigans, there's a definite high-tech “Ghostbusters” vibe, but I'm still not sure why a well-resourced organization would want to snatch these two for the gig. The success of the show is going to hinge on the chemistry of its leads, and while they're fun together, I'm not sure I see long-term greatness here. Robinson did a little too much screaming for my taste, and I think the relationship could start to grate. The premise might be a little too out there for this to find a large audience, but it could pair well with “The Last Man on Earth” on Sundays and settle into a nice niche for FOX there.
Starring: Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Ally Walker, and Adeel Akhtar
21. SEAL Team
(CBS, Wednesdays @ 9 p.m. ET) DRAMA
Ticking off every generic military drama checkbox along the way, this five-minute trailer was just riddled witch cliches. David Boreanaz is torn between home and work, but he makes it in time for his daughter's recital. They fail on their mission, but Jessica Pare is there with a speech about how they saved a woman's life and killed a bad guy. After two successful long-running series, Boreanaz may have found something that's just too bland to work. But CBS is a weird place, and it's military strike team adventures, so the audience may be all about it.
Starring: David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Neil Brown Jr., A.J. Buckley, Toni Trucks, and Jessica Pare
(CBS, Mondays @ 8:30 p.m. ET) COMEDY
An engaging character piece in the way “Mom” is on CBS, this one explores what life is like for Mark Feuerstein as a former TV star who moves back home to live next door to his parents on one side and his brother and his new family on the other. Autobiographical in part for Feuerstein, I wish the comedy was a little smarter, in particular with the shrill overbearing mother Linda Lavin is playing and the clueless underwear-clad Elliott Gould. The show is supposed to be about family, but too many of these family members are more annoying than funny or endearing, and that can be a real problem. Also, I really, really hate that name.
Starring: Mark Feuerstein, Linda Lavin, Elliott Gould, David Walton, Liza Lapira, and Matt Murray
23. The Good Doctor
(ABC, Mondays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
While Freddie Highmore was a revelation as Norman Bates in “Bates Motel,” here I'm not buying him as the autistic savant surgeon that will carry a show. He's a brilliant actor, but I'm not sure he's found the voice of this character. I also wonder if the show isn't a little too treacly in its portrayal of his greatness. It's as if it's more interested in preaching how wonderful it is to be inclusive than remembering that this has to sustain itself as a show for years in order to be considered a success. I think the potential to get there is certainly present, and people love a good medical drama where one underestimated doctor gets to make everyone else look like idiots, but it's not there yet.
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Beau Garrett, Hill Harper, and Richard Schiff
24. Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
(NBC, Thursdays @ 10 p.m. ET) DRAMA
In the era of true crime dramas, it wa only a matter of time before Dick Wolf got involved, and he nabbed Academy Award-winner Edie Falco to help explore the story behind the Menendez brothers and the deaths of their parents. Following on the heels of the critically-lauded dramatization of O.J. Simpson's murder trial, it's a good time to be a true crime fan. The trailer didn't offer much except a reminder of the murder and narration by Falco, who will play Defense Attorney Leslie Abramson, but with a limited run and a gripping story at its center, expect this to be well-watched, but as trailers go, it didn't do much to make you need to watch this.
Starring: Edie Falco
25. Alex, Inc.
(ABC, Mid-Season) COMEDY
So far, this looks like a pretty generic comedy about a guy who throws his white-collar job away to start his own thing. It's been done a million times, and it doesn't look like Braff has anything really new to say about it. Tiya Sircar is playing the generic put-upon wife, and the laughs just aren't coming through, if there are any. The show is trying to be uplifting and earnest, and instead it's looking tired and trite. The closing moment where he runs away from the cops after saying he would never do that in front of his family was both completely obvious, and made no sense for his character or the scene. I know Braff knows what funny is, but it looks like he forgot here.
Starring: Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Hillary Anne Matthews, Michael Imperioli, Elisha Henig, and Audyssie James
26. LA to Vegas
(FOX, Mid-Season) COMEDY -- Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Lon Zimmet, and Steve Levitan
This new show doesn't have a place on the schedule yet, but FOX was maybe smart to save it for later when there's literally nothing else to put on the air. The show looks and sounds lazy and McDermott is not a comedic lead. The idea of spending the bulk of every episode inside a crowded airplane may sound fun, but it quickly felt too cramped and unpleasant, and that was from the comfort of the couch. There were so many failed attempts at humor throughout this trailer, it was like someone thought they could capture the charm of “Airplane” on a weekly basis. Now, that might be possible, but this isn't the show to do it. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have a big miss on their hands with this one.
Starring: Kim Matula, Ed Weeks, Nathan Lee Graham, Olivia Macklin, Peter Stormaire, and Dylan McDermott
(ABC, Mid-Season) DRAMA
Just when you think we're finally running out of twists on the tired crime-solving genre, a new one comes along. This one features a world-famous magician who magically gains the trust and resources of the FBI to help them solve crimes. And it looks awful. All three leads are annoying to different degrees, with Jack Cutmore-Scott looking weak and ineffective, Ilfenesh Hadera looking bored and stiff, and Amaury Nolasco just fanboying way too much. This is just another tired procedural with a stupid angle, and one that doesn't even feature compelling characters for us to get behind and root for.
Starring: Jack Cutmore-Scott, Ilfenesh Hadera, Lenora Crichlow, Amaury Nolasco, Justin Chon, Laila Robins, and Vinnie Jones