Entertainment news has been dominated by one thing and one thing only this week ― the upfronts! As series are wrapping up in time for summer during May, networks start looking ahead at fall and revealing which shows they’re picking up for next season’s schedule.

Naturally, it’s a mixed bag ― a few of these shows we can’t wait to get our hands on, while some already seem destined for cancellation. This year’s crop of new shows brings Anna Faris and Rebel Wilson their own sitcoms, has Andy Samberg playing a cop (!), introduces a Vampire Diaries spin-off, and marks the TV return of Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s two biggest factors ― Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joss Whedon.

Want to see what’s in store? We’ve rounded up the most appealing of the new shows ― AKA the ones most likely to become your new obsessions once fall rolls around ― and rated them on just how obsessed we're likely to become.



Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

(Tuesdays, 8 PM)

Pretty much the big gun of the fall season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. easily has the most buzz and is probably the surest bet to attract a ton of eyeballs when it finally debuts. That’s because it’s a spin-off of the third most successful movie of all time, and it’s brought to us by someone who knows how to do superheroes right ― Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy and director of The Avengers. The trailer depicted the usual mix of action with above-average humor, plus the return of Clark Gregg as (formerly dead) Agent Coulson.

Upside: Um, The Avengers? Joss Whedon? Everyone wants this to work. It’s maybe the only show this fall that a lot of people are really, truly excited about it, and it has ABC/Disney, Marvel, and a very talented creator all gunning for its success.

Downside: It has some pretty big (Hulk-sized) shoes to fill. Audiences could potentially get frustrated at the cheaper, smaller scale of the show and lack of their favorite stars and decide to tune out after a week or two if it isn’t delivering Avengers-level entertainment. (That doesn't seem likely, though.)

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 10/10


Trophy Wife

(Tuesdays, 9:30 PM)

If you’re looking for a trophy wife, you could do a lot worse than Malin Ackerman, who is talented, beautiful, funny ― and now the star of her own ABC show. As you might expect, the show is about a young beauty who marries into a family littered with kids (and jealous ex-wives, one played by Marcia Gay Harden). Rather than going the snarky Desperate Housewives route, this one makes the trophy wife likeable and the exes pretty tolerable too.

Upside: Like many of this year’s pilots, a not-terribly-groundbreaking story depends on the charisma of its actors, and Malin seems totally game. (She previously proved she can do TV comedy on HBO’s brilliant The Comeback.)

Downside: There may not be enough of a hook to this show to prevent it from getting lost in the shuffle amidst splashier shows.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 6/10


Super Fun Night

(Wednesdays, 9:30 PM)

The title is bound to be apt ― when has Rebel Wilson ever not been super fun? The girl can make pretty much anything a laugh riot, and she has a couple less familiar funny ladies backing her up here. Rebel has proven she’s willing to go anywhere for a laugh, boding well for this show about a trio of misfits determined to have fun… even when the rest of the world has different ideas.

Upside: Who doesn’t love Rebel Wilson? Seriously ― is there anyone? It’s great to see an offbeat star like Rebel take the lead in her own show. This could be a refreshing change of pace.

Downside: If this were a two hour movie, we’d be wondering how they’d get such a thin premise to stretch that far. As a whole series? Well, it seems pretty light on story. So the comedy will have to be really funny. (Luckily, Rebel stands a good chance of making that happen.)

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 8/10




It’s the Cheers of the 21st century. A group of random singles heads out for a night on the town ― a very long night, as it turns out, since the entire first season will take place on this very night. Singles mingle and find potential romantic partners, and at least one of them vomits into a purse. So there’s that. If you're antsy for this one, though, keep in mind it won't debut until spring, replacing whatever ends up getting cancelled. (Namely, the new shows that didn't make this list.)

Upside: The writing looks decently clever, the cast decently appealing, and the premise decently original.

Downside: It already feels like one really long night, and we’ve only seen footage from the first episode. Like many gimmicky shows, this premise could wear thin awfully quickly. Haven’t these people ever heard of bar-hopping?

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 6/10



The Crazy Ones

(Thursdays, 9PM)

Well, here’s a pairing we never expected to happen. Robin Williams inevitably stars in his first sitcom since 1982 and this time the Mindy to his Mork is Buffy. After playing twins in the short-lived CW series Ringer, Sarah Michelle Gellar tries a sitcom on for size as Robin’s daughter who works with him in advertising. (What is it about advertising and shows with synonyms for “insane” in the title?) We never have asked for a sitcom version of Mad Men starring Mork and Buffy, but that’s what we’re getting, and it doesn’t look half bad. It even cracked up Kelly Clarkson.

Upside: This pairing is just crazy enough to work. Buffy gave Sarah a lot of comedy, so we know she’s up to the task, and Robin Williams and CBS seems like a perfect match. (Sarah Michelle Gellar and CBS we’re somewhat less sure about.)

Downside: As usual in a Robin Williams project, the trailer shows a lot of Robin acting manic, with everyone else playing the straight man and reacting. Hopefully there will be room for the supporting players (like Sarah) to get some funny stuff of their own to do.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 9/10



(Mondays, 9:30)

One major question arises in watching the Mom teaser ― is Anna Faris really old enough to have a daughter that age? (Yep, she’s 36.) Now that we’ve settled that, Anna plays a hot mess as usual… this time, a CBS-friendly mess… who is both struggling with her own mom (Allison Janney) and trying to raise her daughter to be a little less messy. This three-generations-of-women thing is something we’ve seen countless times, but what we haven’t seen is Anna Faris carrying her own TV show, so we’re curious.

Upside: Anna elevates anything she’s in, no matter how mediocre. Also: Allison Janney.

Downside: This is brought to you by the guy behind Two and a Half Men, which doesn’t bode well for actual laughs. This might end up being too middle-of-the-road for Anna Faris fans, and do people who watch a lot of CBS even like Anna Faris?

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 7/10



The Michael J. Fox Show

(Thursdays, 9:30)

Undeniably the standout series from NBC’s fall lineup, Michael J. Fox returns to the medium that made him a star, cashing in on the goodwill built up by Growing Pains and Spin City for a more personal sitcom that deals with his Parkinson’s head-on. While it doesn’t have the look of an old-fashioned three-camera sitcom, even the title is a throwback to Michael’s ‘80s and ‘90s heyday.

Upside: It’s brave of Michael to incorporate Parkinson’s into his show and find some humor in it, which is definitely something we don’t see a lot of in a standard sitcom. Basically, no one wants to see Michael J. Fox fail, so people will approach this sitcom with less cynicism than usual.

Downside: The trailer is solid ― but is this show playing it a little too safe? NBC is steering away from the edgier brand of comedy that created cult faves like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community (none of which exactly blew up in the ratings). That may be a smart business decision, but it’s not a particularly exciting one.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 8/10



Brooklyn Nine-Nine

(Tuesdays, 8:30)

A goofy cop squares off against his tough-as-nails police chief. Even in the ‘80s, this premise would have been dubbed tired, and yet there’s something about the offbeat humor of the trailer that has us not writing this off right away. Andy Samberg is so primed for a sitcom it’s a wonder he didn’t have one until now, though we never really imagined him as a cop.

Upside: Surprisingly, it’s Andre Braugher who comes off the best here. He’s gruff but not so gruff that he’s humorless, which is a slightly different spin on this archetype.

Downside: This kind of feels like a rejected Will Ferrell vehicle, and little of Andy Samberg being goofy goes a long way. The show will need to come up with something fresh to carve out its own identity if it wants to last longer than a typical SNL sketch.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 5/10


Surviving Jack


A period piece set in the early ‘90s, for some reason (nothing about the show seems to necessitate it taking place 20 years ago), this is a family comedy about a stern dad (Christopher Meloni) raising his teen son (Connor Buckley) with the usual awkwardness about coming of age, dating, and sex.

Upside: A couple of the characters managed to be endearing even in a three-minute trailer, particularly the teenage son. And it genuinely made us laugh a time or two, which is more than we can say for a lot of the "comedy" trailers from the big networks that debuted at the upfronts. Hopefully the 1991 setting will be used as part of the story rather than just a novelty.

Downside: There’s nothing about the story or characters that isn’t something we can see on other shows, so the writing will have to be really sharp to set this apart from the pack. Also: Fox should be airing this in the fall, instead of the painful-looking sitcom Dads, which is so dismal-looking it's practically already cancelled.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 6/10


Almost Human

(Mondays, 8 PM)

One of about 400 new pilots set in the future, this one shows us a world where human cops must be paired up with RoboCops ― err, android cops. Karl Urban is our hero, a guy who doesn’t much fancy his inhuman counterpart. Yes, this is basically just a spin on the buddy-cop genre where one of the cops is a malfunctioning robot.

Upside: J.J. Abrams tends to know what he’s doing on TV, and there’s no one hotter in the science fiction world at the moment.

Downside: As high-concept sci-fi ideas go, this one feels like it’s on the low end. This trailer doesn’t give us much reason to care either about these robots or the humans.

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 5/10


The CW

The Originals

(Tuesdays, 8 PM)

Don’t let the title fool you ― The Originals isn’t as original as you might think, since it’s actually a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. This one focuses on Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah Mikaelson, three of the world’s oldest ― AKA “original” ― vamps, as they get into the usual blood-sucking hijinks in New Orleans.

Upside: The Vampire Diaries is a huge hit for the CW, so it’s smart to capitalize on that. Plus, the public doesn’t seem to be tiring of vampires ― NBC also has a new vamp show, Dracula.

Downside: Well, it’s certainly not the most, um, original show out there…

Our Obsess-O-Meter Rating: 7/10

Which fall TV show do you think you'll obsess over?