Photo: Image Group LA / ABC

TCA 2015: ABC Brings Us Murder And Child Killers, And Not Even In The Same Show

If you like creepy children, you're in luck!

American Crime


Like any good TV show, this one starts with a murder. But American Crime is all serious and stuff. Timothy Hutton will be sobbing. In short, if you're looking for a cuddly companion piece for Castle, keep looking. That being said, this looks crazy good. John Ridley, Oscar-winning screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave, has some license to do cool stuff like build complex characters, deal with sensitive issues of race and religion, and cast good actors. In short, it looks serious and challenging and will probably be canceled, so get it while you can. And get your tissues. "The DP would be crying during some scenes, which is really unusual," says star Penelope Ann Miller. If a DP cries, an angel gets their wings. Or it's a sign of the apocalypse. Seriously, cinematographers are kinda tough, you guys.

Fresh Off The Boat


This is kinda The Wonder Years meets Modern Family by way of The Goldbergs plus a dollop of Blackish. The family is Asian and it's set in the '90s and that's all great, but it'll take a big effort for me to shoehorn another family sitcom into my TV diet (though maybe I'm just resentful that Don't Trust the B---- In Apartment 23, creator Nahnatchka Kahn's last show, isn't still on the air). I'll give it a shot, though. "For so long, the Asian kid is the nerdy kid or the quirky best friend to the white girl," Khan says. "And they're just playing funny, relatable characters." Okay, fine. Sold.

Secrets And Lies


So Ryan Phillippe may or may not be a child killer. Broadchurch (or Gracepoint) much? Yeah, this is an adaptation of the Australian show Secrets & Lies, but I think I'm full up on this particular flavor of whodunit murder mystery. "Ours is so much better," Juliette Lewis says, joking, "I didn't see the one you're talking about, but ours is so much better." According to EP Barbie Kligman, she didn't even see Gracepoint until Christmas vacation for fear of plagiarizing. "Our show is a singular point of view, and for Season 1, it's of the prime suspect. We're not with Detective Cornell unless Ben is with Detective Cornell." Eh, tomato, tomahto. If I watch, I'll tune in for Juliette Lewis and KaDee Strickland, the latter of whom was damn fierce on Private Practice.

The Whispers


Okay, I really hate anything about killer imaginary friends and the little kids who love them. Creepy as shit, and (to me, at least) not in a good way. But EP Zack Estrin promises, "It's not going to be an 'evil kid of the week' show." That's good. Thanks for that. But it also doesn't help that this pilot was rejiggered, so the big reveal (which critics know) will not be revealed in the first episode, and might be different anyway. I'm always nervous when a show has been put back in the blender before airing, aren't you? Still, all these actors I love are in this show: Lily Rabe, Milo Ventimiglia, Barry Sloane. But every damn time I start thinking, hey, this might be interesting, someone on the panel starts talking about how this show makes them think about all their fears about parenting and how their kids are so vulnerable and the internet melts their innocence it makes me want to drive a stake through my eye because I do NOT need to watch a show that's going to make me crazier than I already am. So no, stop it, no.

Marvel's Agent Carter


I love, love the idea of this show. I want to get a little red fedora and a pencil skirt and geek out over this show. Girl power! In heels! But the execution...well, I dunno. I'm not in love. I thought the pilot was a little meh. There were things I liked, there were things I liked less. The show producers swear it's only going to get better, so maybe I'll get a hat anyway. "Marvel is all about have a feeling this is going to turn out okay," says EP Jeph Loeb. In other words, Peggy Carter is not going to blow up, which we knew. But, if you're wondering where this whole thing is going, the PTB (okay, specifically EP Christopher Markus) hints, "Hashtag, it's all connected." Which either means nothing or EVERYTHING. And Chad Michael Murray, who plays that asshole Agent Jack Thompson, says, "There have been so many fantastic Easter eggs [in the scripts I've read], if you're a fan of Marvel, stay tuned." So, okay.