We've looked at the dramas coming to US TV. We've delved into the new sci-fi and horror shows. Now, as the US TV networks present their 2016/17 seasons to advertisers at the annual upfront events, here's our selection of 15 upcoming US sitcoms hoping to tickle your funny bone, or at the very least, elicit some sort of eye roll. Fire up the laugh track!
Based on the web series of the same name, Downward Dog is about struggling millennial, Nan (Allison Tolman) – but from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin. After one session at obedience school, the duo realise that even at their worst, they may be the best thing for each other. Other stars include Lucas Neff, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Barry Rothbart and Mo Collins.
The Good Place
After she is struck and killed by a tractor-trailer carrying erectile dysfunction products, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) awakens to discover she has entered the afterlife. But when she is told by her mentor, Michael (Ted Danson), that she is in "the good place" because she did a good deed by helping get innocent people off death row, she realises that a mistake has been made and they think she is someone else. Stuck in a world where no one curses, gets drunk, and everyone is always nice, Eleanor finds herself caught between staying in the afterlife or trying to find a way to return to the mundane life she had back on Earth.
The Great Indoors
Long-serving star reporter for The Great Outdoors magazine Jack (Joel McHale) has climbed mountains, confronted bears, and led a life of excitement and adventure. But when he’s sidelined by an injury, he’s forced to take a desk job in the publication’s digital and social media department, surrounded by a team of millennials who view him as an exotic and ancient oddity from another place and time. The Great Indoors also stars Stephen Fry, Chris Williams, Shaun Brown, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Ko and Susannah Fielding.
Getting along with some colleagues can be rough, but working with your mother? That’s a whole other story. When Katie, an up-and-coming news producer, finds out her overbearing ma has rejoined the workforce as an intern at the station where her daughter works, it might just be the worst news ever. But, with her biggest cheerleader at her side, Katie might finally get the recognition she deserves. The cast includes Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Kimrie Lewis-Davis, John Michael Higgins and Horatio Sanz. Tina Fey is among the executive producers.
The focus of this show, a hybrid of live action and CGI, is on Alice (Jenna Elfman), a fiercely independent career woman whose life is turned upside-down when she meets the love of her life – a divorced father with three kids. This triggers even more upheaval when the slightly unhinged imaginary friend she created as a child suddenly reappears to help her navigate the transition from single girl to a woman ready for a family. Co-stars are Stephen Schneider, Rachel Dratch (voicing the title character), Nicholas Coombe, Matreya Scarrwener and Eric Tremblay.
Kevin Can Wait
Kevin James (whose previous sitcom was the long-running King Of Queens) stars as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to discover he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets. Co-starring are Erinn Hayes, Taylor Spreitler, Mary-Charles Jones, James Digiacomo, Ryan Cartwright, Leonard Earl Howze, Lenny Venito and Gary Valentine.
Computer science professor Dan Chambers (Adam Pally) has discovered time travel and has been transporting himself back to the 1700s to spend time with the colonial woman he’s fallen for. In the present, Dan is an unpopular nerd, but by claiming song lyrics, lines from movies and stand-up bits as his own in the 18th century, he’s absolutely hilarious. He gets the girl and makes friends. But Dan’s actions in the past are messing up the present: that woman he’s dating is Paul Revere’s daughter, Deborah (Leighton Meester), and Dan’s meddling in the past causes her father to delay his famous ride, which may have altered the outcome of the entire American Revolution. To set matters right, he enlists the help of history professor colleague Chris Parish (Yassir Lester), who’s now given the incredible opportunity to actually live the history he teaches. Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Written by Julius Sharpe.
Man With A Plan
Matt LeBlanc stars in a new family comedy about a contractor who learns that parenting his three young children may be the most difficult job he’s ever had. When Adam’s wife goes back to work, he’s overwhelmed by his new responsibilities at home, but with the encouragement of his wife and a few equally stressed-out parents, Adam regroups, lays down the law and starts figuring out his new world order. Co-starring Jessica Chaffin, Matt Cook, Grace Kaufman, Hala Finley, and Matthew McCann.
Loosely inspired by the real life of star Marlon Wayans, this update to the classic family comedy centres on a loving (but immature) father committed to co-parenting his two kids with his very-together ex-wife. While his misguided fatherly advice, unstoppable larger-than-life personality and unpredictable internet superstardom might get in the way sometimes, for Marlon family really does come first. Other stars are Essence Atkins, Notlim Taylor, Amir O’Neil, Bresha Webb and Diallo Riddle
The series revolves around the hard-living, foul mouthed Mickey (Kaitlin Olson), who moves to affluent Greenwich, Connecticut to raise the spoiled kids of her wealthy sister who has fled the country to avoid a federal indictment. The life that Mickey has wanted for so long is now within her reach — the mansion, the convertible, the swimming pool, the walk-in closet full of designer clothes — but as Mickey is well aware, nothing in life is free. The price? Transforming these outrageously spoiled children into honest, hard-working, decent members of society.
In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens plays Emily, a spunky young insurance adjuster specialising in 'regular people' coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult hero in her own right – even if it’s just to her group of quirky co-workers. Also starring Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk and Christina Kirk. Written by Ben Queen.
Son Of Zorn
A hybrid live-action/animated comedy featuring the voice of Jason Sudeikis, this is about an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean — where everything and everyone is animated — who returns to Orange County, CA to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. Zorn has fought in countless epic battles throughout his life, but may find the greatest challenge of all lies in suburbia. Also starring Cheryl Hines and Johnny Pemberton. Produced, again, by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver) is a mum on a mission who will do anything for her husband, Jimmy, and her kids Ray, Dylan, and JJ, her eldest son with special needs. As Maya fights injustices both real and imagined, the family works to make a new home for themselves, and searches for just the right person to give JJ his 'voice'. Also starring Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, Kyla Kennedy and Credric Yarbrough.
Trial & Error
In this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy, bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case. His mission? To defend an eccentric “rollercising” poetry professor (John Lithgow) accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife. Settling into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop and meeting his quirky team of local misfits, Josh suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty. Starring Nick D’Agosto, Steven Boyer, Sherri Shepherd, Jayma Mays, and Krysta Rodriguez.
Untitled Sarah Dunn Project
Katie Otto (Katy Mixon of the recently departed Mike And Molly), a confident, unapologetic, plump wife and mother of three, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with perfect mothers and their perfect offspring. She lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voiceover as she lives her life as the second fattest housewife in Westport. The series also stars Diedrich Bader, Johnny Sequoyah, Daniel DiMaggio, Julia Butters, Carly Hughes and Ali Wong. Written by Sarah Dunn.