In today’s world of TV overload, most people’s attention is drawn to streaming services. Gone are the days of everyone tuning into the same channel at the same time to experience a TV show together.
While streaming services are the “cool” event TV today, network TV will continue to exist, partly because of its accessibility and because they have plenty of programs that are well worth your time.
Abbott Elementary School
The breakout hit new show of 2022, ABC’s Abbott Elementary conquers the nation thanks to its recognizable comedy and lovable characters. Made by and starring Quinta Brunson, the show follows the exploits of a group of teachers at the titular Abbott Elementary, a Philadelphia public school whose lack of funding forces the teachers to be creative with their lessons.
What makes Abbott Elementary great is how it doesn’t try to smooth out the parts of a teacher that suck. Instead, it tries to show why someone would be willing to go through all that and still want to teach. It is a love letter to teachers and a show that emphasizes their importance. The show’s characters have a lot to offer: from Janine’s (Brunson) endless optimism to Miss Howard’s (Sheryl Lee Ralph) calmly wise attitude towards Principal Coleman’s (Janelle James) absurd but misplaced confidence. Spending 30 minutes with these characters will make you wish you were a kid again so you can go to Abbott Elementary.
Based on the British sitcom of the same name, Ghosts turns the traditional sitcom format on its head by casting the central friend group as different ghosts from different time periods. There’s a Wall Street tycoon, a hippie, a Prohibition era jazz singer, a Revolutionary War soldier, a Viking, and many more. It’s a creative way to put a new spin on one of the most popular TV formats.
One of the strongest parts of the show is the exceptional cast led by the underrated Rose McIver. After putting on several great performances for iZombie every week, it might seem like Ghosts is a bit of a step back for her, but that’s not right. Ghosts prove that McIver can carry the weight of a light, fun sitcom, something that’s a lot harder than it looks.
The ‘Chicago’ Universe
TV master Dick Wolf is known for creating episodic crime shows such as Law & authority that follow a fixed formula for each episode. That’s what the Chicago universe of shows such an ambitious undertaking for Wolf. Chicago fire, Chicago PDand Chicago Med tell a connected, serialized story in which you follow another group of hard-working Chicagoans who work to save the lives of those who need them most.
Often referred to as A Chicagothe Chicago universe of shows works to paint a complete picture of the city that previous images have represented. Chicago is so often written as a violent place that you wonder why anyone would want to live there. A Chicago fight to change that by showing the human side of the city and those who represent the best of the city.
After the popular Castle came to an end, ABC chose to be in the Nathan Fillion business by giving the green light the newbie, in which Fillion plays a middle-aged man who makes a late-stage decision to join the LAPD and become the Corps’ oldest rookie cop. As with most Fillion projects, the often serious plots are told with a lighthearted sentimental tone.
Thanks in large part to the appeal of Fillion and the rest of the charming and lovable cast, the newbie has proven to be a big hit for ABC, even spawning a spin-off, The rookie: FBI, starring Niecy Nash and will debut later this year.
The ‘9-1-1’ Universe
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have left an incredible mark on TV history and have co-created several iconic shows such as cheerfulness, American horror storyand Attitude. Of 9-1-1the two, along with co-creator Tim Minear, wanted to create a show that felt familiar, thanks to its format, but felt different from all the other police procedurals on TV. Instead of just following the police as they fight criminals, 9-1-1 follows a variety of first responders, including firefighters and 911 operators, as they tackle emergency after emergency throughout Los Angeles.
The show proved so successful that a spin-off was produced called 9-1-1: Lonely Star, taking the first responder format and moving it to Austin, Texas, where everything is bigger, including the threat of death. With visceral imagery, outrageous situations and the legendary Angela Bassettthe 9-1-1 shows are some of the most entertaining hours you’ll find on network TV.
we all know Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson takes over the world. He is the king of the box office, franchise magic and, if rumors turn out to be true, a future presidential candidate. If he becomes the leader of the free world, The Rock would somehow become the second president of the United States with an NBC show, thanks to his hit sitcom, young rock.
The show follows Dwayne Johnson at three different points in his adolescence as he matures into the world of professional wrestling. It also includes a wraparound segment in each episode set in the near future, in which Johnson plays himself on the campaign trail for president. Each flashback begins with The Rock reflecting on his life at this pivotal moment for himself and America in general. young rock is funny, poignant and perhaps a glimpse of the events to come as politics and entertainment merge.
The ‘FBI’ Universe
if you love Law & authority but wish the police could leave New York City then we have the series of shows for you. Dick Wolf’s FBI takes the classic formula he perfected on Law & Order and applies it to the agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These cops don’t just deal with murders; they cover everything under the sun from armed robbery to terrorist threats to tracking down the most dangerous criminals in the country.
the core franchise, FBIprimarily set in New York City, it follows Agents Bell (Missy Peregrym) and Zidan (Zeeko Zaki) because they take on a new case every episode. FBI: most wanted follows a team of agents across the country as they hunt down the criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The third and most recent spin-off, FBI: International, follows a group of agents who travel the world handling cases involving Americans abroad. Each offers its own little twist on the formula, keeping it fresh and still delivering that procedural comfort food that network TV is known for.
The workplace sitcom is one of those TV genres that never gets old. Whether it’s a paper company, an office in a park, or the writer’s room on a sketch comedy show, we’re endlessly fascinated by the lives of the people who work there.
the attraction of American cars is the recognizability of the characters in jobs that most of us have little to no knowledge of. We have not been managers of a huge car company. We didn’t have to meet deadlines to develop a new car design. But we all felt underestimated. We have all felt that we have no control over the way others see us. That’s the core of American cars. That central theme combined with a spectacular cast, led by the iconic and hilarious Ana Gasteyerand some of the funniest scripts on TV brands American cars have to watch TV.
Created by David E. Kelley and based on the book series by CJ box, big sky is a different kind of show for ABC. Rather than an episodic case of the week format, like most ABC detective shows, big sky tells one big story about a bunch of private detectives, played by Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury, fighting an organization of people smugglers in rural Montana. Designed with twist after twist to keep you hooked, big sky weaves an intricate and compelling crime story unlike any other on network television.
Network TV is often mentioned because it plays it safe and only produces programs designed to appeal to the most mainstream audience, but big sky is one of the more recent examples of a network risking expanding their appeal, judging by the reception to big skyit certainly pays off.
The ‘Law & Order’ Universe
The greatest police procedural show of all time, Law & authority is alive and kicking 32 years after its debut, with not one, not two, but three Law & authority shows currently running on NBC. Dick Wolf’s iconic franchise is one of, if not the most iconic TV show of all time.
The original recipe Law & authority has come back from a hiatus for season 21 and goes straight to season 22, bringing back the classic headline-ripped format that we all know and love. In the meantime, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit going strong since it debuted in 1999 and is arguably the most important entry in the Law & authority franchisee. The latest entry in the franchise, Law & Order: Organized Crime, brings something new to the franchise by swapping the episodic “case of the week” format that the franchise is known for in exchange for a more modern serialized story format, which tells one long story about the fight against crime in New York City.
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