Rating the New Fall Shows: ABC Has ‘Inhumans’ and Doctors

Antonia Thomas as Claire Browne and Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy in ABC’s ‘The Good Doctor’ (Credit: ABC/Liane Hentscher)

ABC unveiled its fall schedule on Tuesday. Its new shows include yet another Marvel Comics TV adaptation and a drama starring Freddie Highmore, fresh off his triumphant run starring in A&E’s Bates Motel. To those viewers upset that Tim Allen’s sitcom Last Man Standing was canceled, ABC is trying out a brand-new strategy for Friday: No more family sitcoms — it’s now fantasy night, with Once Upon a Time and Marvel’s Inhumans. Let’s look at the trailers for the shows and see what they reveal.

So far, ABC has only released this brief glimpse of Inhumans:

In The Good Doctor, Highmore plays a brilliant doctor with autism who joins a hospital surgical unit. The show is from David Shore, the creator of House.

The trailer is edited to seem both extravagantly emotional and shrewdly knowing, and it looks as though there’s a chance Doctor will veer into melodrama: Doogie Hauser With Complications. But, two things: Highmore is bound to give an excellent performance, and I’d bet the subject matter alone will guarantee a large audience for The Good Doctor.

Is The Mayor the first sitcom from the Trump Era? Tell me what you think, given the premise. In The Mayor, a rapper played by Brandon Micheal Hall decides to jump-start his career with a publicity stunt: running for mayor of his California town. Then he actually wins the election, and has to do the job.

Hall is extremely likable in this trailer, with solid comic timing. He may even hold his own alongside the always-terrific Yvette Nicole Brown as his mom.

Parenthood’s Jason Ritter is the title character in The Gospel of Kevin, starring as a self-absorbed jerk who is visited by what the network calls a “celestial being” and what you or I might call an angel. Whichever, it changes his life.

The tone here fits the definition of “dramedy” — seriously sentimental stuff alternates with goofy laugh lines. The warning-sign for me was the “one hug at a time” tagline: The more Gospel hugs viewers, the bigger audience it may attract… minus me, most likely.

Kyra Sedgwick returns to network television in Ten Days in the Valley, playing a hard-working TV producer and single mother. Her daughter goes missing and, well, this happens.

It looks as though the Law & Order ripoff show that Sedgwick’s character works on is going to be prominent in the series, which gives Ten Days the opportunity to be clever and wise about the TV industry. (Plus, Malcolm Jamal Warner seems to be a staff writer, so I’m sold on that.) We’ll see how well it does with that tricky proposition of a kidnapping story with a side of industry satire.

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