TCA 2018 Winter Press Tour Impressions: ABCTCA 2018 Winter Press Tour Impressions: ABC
Impressions of the ABC presentations at the 2018 TCA Winter Press Tour TCA 2018 Winter Press Tour Impressions: ABC

Please note: Press Tour Impressions will not be posted for FOX or CBS as KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne was not able to attend for those days. Shows presented but not mentioned here are due to missing a panel because of separate interviews or events which prevented attendance at the presentation.

ABC still is the reigning champion of family comedies and female-driven dramas… they also have some genre favorites that are sadly aging. The network had a mixed Fall with huge returns for The Good Doctor but underwhelming results for Ten Days in the Valley, The Mayor, and Marvel’s Inhumans.

Here are some thoughts on ABC’s presentations at the 2018 TCA Winter Press Tour.

Jimmy Kimmel Presentation

The day started with Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and returning host of this year’s Oscars. Kimmel has gotten a lot of recognition for getting serious about healthcare after some serious and scary health concerns involving his newborn child.

Humor was made about last year’s Oscars snafu, of course, and Kimmel talked about his decision to bring people from a tour bus into the crowd during last year’s show.

The Crossing

Remember soon after LOST, when we had a good dozen LOST clones? One of them escaped 2006 and surfaced — no pun intended — in 2018.

We are told The Crossing is quite enjoyable; obviously, we still need to watch the screener over here at KSiteTV Central — but right now it seems like one of those shows that is super complicated and mysterious with a mystery that might not end up resolved once all is said and done. We’d love to be wrong, though. But in a world where a more straightforward concept like “people from the past come back” netted Resurrection only two seasons, will this one stand out?

The Crossing premieres Monday, April 2 on ABC.

Splitting Up Together

Remember what we said about ABC often being the best there is at family comedy? Splitting Up Together features Oliver Hudson and Jenna Fischer as a couple that had that spark… but after several years, they didn’t anymore. The couple is breaking up, but they choose to still live together, alternating parental duties and taking turns as to who gets to live in the main house. The show appears to have the right mix of character and situation comedy.

Splitting Up Together comes from Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres, who preceded the panel with a humorous video, and it premieres on Tuesday, March 27.

Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff

Why the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff does not yet have a title is unknown to us, as there are so many possibilities. In any event, the series takes place a few blocks away from the hospital, and will do for firefighters what Grey’s did for doctors, all from the Shonda Rhimes stable. I probably won’t be watching, as there is enough to watch in a given week, but if it can tap into the Grey’s audience, ABC will have a hit on their hands.

The Grey’s Anatomy spinoff has a two-hour premiere Thursday, March 22.

For The People

For The People will do for young lawyers what Grey’s… oh, never mind. The Shondaland formula applies to a group of young lawyers, in another show that is not my sort of thing. Britt Robertson (Life Unexpected) stars! Premieres Tuesday, March 13.

Deception

Deception — not a reboot of the Meagan Good series — has a likable lead in a concept that mixes procedural elements with illusion, as the main character, Cameron Black, is a master of such things. If executed well, this could be the Castle-like show that ABC definitely needs. Illusionist and co-producer David Kwong made the rounds at the ABC TCA party making card tricks.

Did we mention Deception comes from the creator of The L.A. Complex, Martin Gero? The show premieres Sunday, March 11 after American Idol.

Roseanne

ABC allowed press to screen two early episodes of the Roseanne reboot, and while we were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to reclaim the feel of the original series: They did it.

A lot was made at the panel of Roseanne’s support of President Donald Trump, both on the show and off, which sadly meant there wasn’t a lot of talk about the Conner grandchildren who are played so well. It’s a feat that the original cast was re-assembled for this new show, and despite the panel being divisive, Roseanne should be an asset to ABC’s winter schedule. In many ways, it’s the revival I didn’t even know that I wanted, but now that I’ve had it… I really like it. And, yes, there are jokes and commentary about how or why Dan is alive.

American Idol

I’m not as enthusiastic for ABC’s revival of American Idol. It hasn’t been so long since the end of the show’s run on FOX, but we also still have had that spot filled by shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent. While judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan seem like great people, part of what made American Idol special when it started was the biting criticism from Simon Cowell. Even later, I felt there were familiarities that would keep us coming back… and I don’t know for sure if the world is ready or interested just yet. It’s a big bet for ABC… but maybe this one should have waited for us to miss it, before coming back.

More TCA 2018 Winter Press Tour impressions can be found here.

Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.