2014 Upfronts: These Are the 5 Most Promising New Shows

At last week’s upfronts, each of the major networks presented their fall 2014 lineup, touting their returning successes while showing off their new stuff. Some of the new shows look terrible and will be canceled almost immediately, but some of them look great. Here are the five most promising new shows.

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

What would ABC even be without Shonda Rhimes? For her newest obsession, she teams up with Academy Award nominee Viola Davis who plays a tough as nails lawyer/professor. This thing looks like it might be even crazier than Scandal, if that’s possible, and it’s definitely going to be edge-of-your-seat intense. Dare we say, How To Get Away With Murder is fall 2014’s most anticipated new show?

Gotham (Fox)

Second only to How To Get Away With Murder, Gotham is one of the more highly anticipated shows coming this fall. But from the looks of the trailer, it also looks good. The show is an origin story for Commissioner Gordon and picks up at the murder that orphans young Bruce Wayne, the boy who will become Batman. While the trailer is perhaps a bit heavy on the “baby superheroes and baby villains” angle, hopefully that’s just to hook viewers and the show will focus more on the grit of Gotham, a city in desperate need of a superhero who is still years from maturity, and the people who are working to keep it from coming apart at the seams.

American Crime (ABC)

Perhaps the best thing to say about American Crime is that it looks like something that would air on cable, and not network TV. That is to say, it looks honest and raw in a way that network television rarely dares to be. American Crime comes from John Ridley, fresh off an Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave, and explores race relations in America in a way that looks much more like Do the Right Thing than Crash. Hopefully it lands with audiences.

Marry Me (NBC)

Pairing Casey Wilson and Ken Marino is, first of all, brilliant. Add to the mix David Caspe, the man behind the brilliant but canceled Happy Endings, and you’ve got yourselves a hit. Admittedly the plot, about a couple who can’t get their proposal right, seems like the sort of thing that would be difficult to stretch into a full series, but certainly there’s a plan in place and we’ll be on board.

Stalker (CBS)

At its upfront presentation, CBS called Stalker the scariest show it’s ever broadcast and, from the looks of the trailer, it’s easy to see why. Yes, this is a cop procedural, but it looks fresh and, once again, f**king terrifying. Plus there’s Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott, who should make for a great on-screen team. This could make for some great X-Files-style watch-with-the-lights-on television.