Fall TV Preview

NBC Trailers: Our Knee-Jerk Reactions to Law & Order True Crime, Rise From Jason Katims and More New Shows

NBC has unveiled its fall 2017 schedule, along with previews for its upcoming series, including the highly anticipated Will & Grace revival and the Edie Falco-fronted Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.

Here at TVLine, we immediately jumped at the chance to screen each trailer — some of which are available here; others were only shown to members of the press at the NBC Upfront on Monday — and we’re ready to divulge our totally unfiltered, brutally honest snap judgments. (FWIW: Trailers for midseason entries Good Girls and Reverie have not yet been made available to anyone — not even us.)

Below, Michael Ausiello, Matt Mitovich, Kimberly Roots, Andy Swift, Dave Nemetz, Vlada Gelman and Ryan Schwartz share their gut reactions to each new series based on the first footage released by the network, then turn it over to you to tell us whether you agree or disagree with our pithy reviews.

Keep in mind: The trailers we’ve seen are just a first glimpse and often are not wholly indicative of the series as a whole. As such, don’t take the following analysis to mean the series below will necessarily be good or bad. Previews can be deceiving — and we’ve all been fooled before.

Keep scrolling to see how Team TVLine reacted to each respective preview…

A.P. BIO (Midseason)
AUSIELLO | I would watch the immensely charming Glenn Howerton in a reboot of Cavemen. And I would love it. In other words, count me in.
MITOVICH | The conceit (disgraced Harvard prof fakes teaching biology?) seems like a leap, but the idea of an anti-Dead Poets Society is oddly appealing.
SWIFT | I love everyone involved, so I hate to say this, but the trailer feels more like a Saturday Night Live parody then an actual show to me — and Vanessa Bayer’s presence isn’t quieting that little voice in my head.
GELMAN | This looks like a good matchup of actor and character. But is anyone else wondering how those kids are going to pass the A.P. test at the end of the year?

THE BRAVE (Monday at 10/9c) [WATCH TRAILER HERE]
ROOTS | Military dramas generally aren’t my cup of tea… and this trailer doesn’t change my mind. Also, doesn’t it seem like the promo gives away the premiere’s ending?
SWIFT | Halfway through, I asked myself, “Didn’t NBC already do this with American Odyssey?” (Important note: I never actually watched American Odyssey — nor will I watch this.)
NEMETZ | The rah-rah patriotism in this military hostage drama made me roll my eyes more than once. It’s like Homeland, without the three-dimensional characterizations that make that show work.
SCHWARTZ | I can’t stomach this in the current political climate, but I’m sure it’ll be a hit.

CHAMPIONS (Midseason)
AUSIELLO | We’re getting a third season of The Real O’Neals after all?
MITOVICH | I feel like I’ve seen every element of this show before, elsewhere. Hope the child actor is more careful with his first Vulture interview.
SWIFT | No one’s reinventing the wheel here (holy gay stereotypes, Batman!), but given Mindy Kaling and Anders Holm’s collective history of making me laugh, I’ll at least give it a shot.
SCHWARTZ | J.J. Totah, who plays the teenage son to Anders Holm and Mindy Kaling’s characters, is going to be a breakout star.

LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS (Thursday at 10/9c) [WATCH TRAILER HERE]
MITOVICH | Trying so hard to be People v. O.J. Simpson, and a prestige lead actress in a distracting wig doesn’t help. And will people care quite as much?
ROOTS | Anyone else feel really jarred by that “chung chung” at the end? That said, true crime tends to suck me in, and I will probably watch the hell outta this show.
SWIFT | I’ll give it a shot (sorry) for Falco, but the beautiful imagery in the trailer feels a little disconnected from the Law & Order of it all. #IdentityCrisis
NEMETZ | Falco as the Menendez boys’ frizzy-haired defense attorney is a big plus, but the trailer for this transparent attempt to ride the People v. O.J. true-crime wave looks more exploitative than insightful.

RISE (Midseason)
AUSIELLO | Clear eyes, full hearts, count me in!
MITOVICH | “Glee meets Smash” seems a crowdpleaser, but the “Let’s Recruit the Star Football Player!” hook is going to bog it down with such comparisons.
GELMAN | Am I back in Dillon? Thank goodness.
SCHWARTZ | No offense to This Is Us (which I adore), but I’m betting on this show to actually fill the Parenthood-sized hole in my heart.

WILL & GRACE (Thursday at 8/7c) [WATCH TRAILER HERE]
AUSIELLO | They say Hollywood is out of original ideas, and I say THANK GOD BECAUSE OMG WILL & GRACE IS BACK!
ROOTS | Call me sentimental, but I did always love me some Karen and Jack. I’m in.
SWIFT | To borrow a phrase relevant during Will & Grace’s original run, this is all that… and a bag of chips. [Insert triple snap.]
NEMETZ | Jack and Karen, I’ll love you forever… but what the hell is this? A meta commentary on sitcoms? A musical? Or a straight-up revival? This confusing, belabored trailer just reinforces my belief that W&G should’ve stayed in the ’90s.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Kevin Tran says:

    I have high hopes on The Brave which should have a good lead-in with The Voice.

  2. Morgan says:

    NBC definitely trying to ride the OJ train. But I don’t give a damn about hearing any more about the Menendez brothers. Would rather have Chicago Justice back!!!

  3. I’m not an Ann Heche fan, so I think I will pass on The Brave.

    However, I have to laugh at the fact that some of the TvLine folks bashed the show based on it’s patriotic feel with Schwartz even stating “I can’t stomach this in the current political climate.” Since when is being patriotic for your country or having a TV show that explores the lives of those that defend our country / risk their lives to save others abroad, a bad thing?

    • Kevin Tran says:

      When I watched the trailer on The Brave, it’s like a rip-off of Homeland.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you for this. I get so tired of people forgetting that there are real people behind these uniforms that are just doing their jobs. A job that none of the ridiculously judgmental reviewers could ever do. #proudamerican

  4. Morgan says:

    Probably right about The Brave doing well in today’s political climate but I won’t be watching as I think it will propel the idea of Americans=good, strong, honor vs. Muslims=bad, terrorist, evil. NO!!!!

    • Haz says:

      You’re saying that as if Hollywood hasn’t used that angle before. Since 9/11 both the film and television industry has used that angle for profit.

    • Mel says:

      Extremist Muslims are “bad”, no matter how much your and your silly, native, sheltered PC friends wish it weren’t so.

      • Angela says:

        ….yeah, nobody’s arguing that, that’s not the issue. The issue is that the media doesn’t always show a clear distinction between the extremists and the respectful, decent, non-violent Muslims. Rather, they have a tendency to lump ALL Muslims into the same “scary” boat. That IS a problem. More positive portrayals of Muslims on TV would be a welcome change.

      • Morgan says:

        Believe me, I am NOT silly, naïve (native …lol), or sheltered. And I am as angry as anyone when Islamic extremists murder innocent people. But the portrayal of ALL Muslims as bad and to be feared as propelled by this type of show and even worse, our own government, is WRONG. Why can’t there be a show that shows a positive image of a loving, contributing Muslim family?? So tired of the hate . . . .

        • I think the portrayal of Muslims has definitely shifted in the last 5 years. A good example is to compare the early years of 24 with the most recent run. Or on Prison Break, where C-Note is a devout Muslim and he enlisted many Muslims to help them in their quest to free Michael.

          I also think that most people understand the difference between radical Muslims (aka the “bad ones”) and normal Muslims that are peaceful and the majority. However, the fact is that radical Muslims are the biggest threat to the world today as they carry out terrorist attacks across the world and the Middle East is full of them. To not accurately portray that is whitewashing current events.

          Finally, I get that America isn’t perfect and our policies haven’t always been perfect. Heck, the perfect example is the whole Russia and their interference in our election. Everyone is up in arms about them hacking the DNC and “interfering” in our election, ytet America for decades has toppled regimes and interfered (sometimes violently) in elections across the world. Irony and hypocrisy at its finest.

      • Fan says:

        Extremist anything is bad ………. Tim McVeigh proved that. I wish they have a couple of Muslims as members of the regular teams/cast. I’ll probably watch it …. give it 2 or 3 episodes before I make up my mind.

  5. Aly says:

    I so hope that Will & Grace will be good. I need something good to happen this year!

    • Fan says:

      It will be hilarious, I’m sure. Going back and watching a few episodes of the original series made me realize the original series would fit in just fine, so I’m not worried about the upcoming one. So long as they stay true to the characters of the original series, it’ll be great.

      They have some of the same writers, I hope?

  6. Thomas says:

    Is Rise a musical? Or just about a non-musical drama club?

  7. Adam says:

    Can’t wait for W&G! Best tv news in years. Also looking forward to L&O:true crime. I’d watch Edie Falco read the newspaper.

  8. Joel Maurice says:

    Is NBC not releasing trailers for their midseason shows again?

  9. Katherine215 says:

    The current political climate actually makes me want to watch this show more than I normally would. I need something to make me love my country again after the last 6 months. Assuming it’s not completely heavy-handed and Muslim-hating, of course…

    • Morgan says:

      Will never stop loving my country BUT not currently proud of it… all the lies, backtracking, more lies, backtracking, etc. etc. There is nothing wrong with patriotism but there is more to it than revenge, hatred, intolerance which I think this show will equate it to.

  10. Laura says:

    At this point the only t.v. show I want to hear about is Chicago Justice. It was my favorite of the season and I think it deserves to be renewed!

  11. chadcronin says:

    Want to know who Edie Falcons looks like just search Google images for “carrie snodgress wild things”

  12. David Hambly says:

    could only find 2 trailers to watch
    RISE; dullsville
    LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS:this is rying to capitalize on the people vs. OJ Simpson craze. the menendez’s weren’t OJ (they were not famous to begin with) and dick wolf is not ryan murphy. 2 spoiled rich party animals who wanted their fathers money but not have him around. who cares? L& O brand is self contained plot driven procedurals. so who wants to see an 8 episode arc? character development is not Wolf’s strength. spoiler alert: they are guilty and no one cares.
    RISE: friday night lights meets GLEE.I’m in.
    WILL AND GRACE: it was not funny for the first 6 years.why bother?

  13. Joey Padron says:

    I’m excited to see Rise. Glad you all like the trailer for it.

  14. J.B. says:

    J.J. Totah’s performance in the film “Other People” was one of the best things I’ve seen from a young actor in years. He has the comedic chops for a sitcom however I doubt I’ll give “Champions” a go. It just sounds like Baby Daddy 2.0 which suffered from a lot of clichés.

  15. NEMETZ you are the only person who thinks that about Will & Grace. Clearly, this is a straight-up revival, but everyone already knows who Will & Grace (& Jack & Karen) are, so they don’t need to be (re)introduced in a trailer. This was just an opportunity for the cast to have fun, like they did with the popular Anti-Trump video that earned them a series revival.