Historically speaking, TV networks have sought to create original programming that will entice and enrapture viewers. The idea, of course, is to build a loyal following by offering shows that are entertaining, informative or some combination of both. As this loyal viewership increases in size, networks are then able to sell commercial airtime to other companies. These sales generate revenue that allows TV executives to pay their employees, make even more shows, and take home obscenely gigantic year-end bonuses. This is, more or less, how television works.
"But what if there were another way?", wonder the tastemakers at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), thoughtfully stroking their chins and staring out corner-office windows at the smog-covered Los Angeles skyline.
What if, indeed.
This is the trailer for Downward Dog, a show headed to ABC later this year. Based on a popular web series none of you have ever heard of, it's a dramedy about yoga. Haha! Just kidding. A dramedy about yoga is a stupid idea. This is a dramedy about a talking dog.
The show, which ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey calls "very special", combines the cutting-edge comedy of Beverly Hills Chihuahua with Fargo's Allison Tolman, who both deserves and knows better.
The trailer made me pray for the sweet release of death. Look for it midseason.
Speaking of the sweet release of death, remember when Romeo and Juliet both died horribly at the end of Romeo And Juliet? Have you ever daydreamed about what might have happened to that play's tertiary characters in the wake of that notoriously romantic (and hilariously unintentional) double suicide? Well, Still Star-Crossed is the show for you.
Based on a novel of the same name by Melinda Taub and overseen by Grey's Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Still Star-Crossed picks up where Romeo And Juliet left off, "charting the treachery, palace intrigue, and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers' tragic fate."
William Shakespeare may've been too much of a coward to provide us with this sequel, but not the people at ABC. Look for it sometime later this year.
Which brings us to Imaginary Mary, a thing I honestly cannot believe exists.
Starring Jenna Elfman, some totally kick-ass guitars, and a stained, fur-colored throw pillow voiced by Rachel Dratch, Imaginary Mary seems poised to revolutionize the television comedy landscape by providing users with a totally laugh-free experience.
Here is the official description, via the ABC YouTube channel:
Alice (Jenna Elfman) has her life turned upside-down when she ‘stupidly’ falls for the love of her life Ben (Stephen Schneider)— an adorable, quick-witted divorced father with three kids. But when she ignores her fears of commitment and her ability to mother, Imaginary Mary, her childhood invention (voiced by Rachel Dratch), comes back to life to express Alice’s deepest fears and add more chaos to the situation.
That sound you just heard was my skin crawling right off my body!
No word on when Imaginary Mary will grace us with its presence, but if you went ahead and cut the cord with your cable company right now you'd be way ahead of the game, and have nothing to fear. You'd also be displaying more foresight than anyone at ABC, who apparently believe that these shows have a chance to compete with the legitimately interesting shit happening on Netflix, HBO, and...well, just about anywhere else, really. Yes, even Crackle.
This post does not have a closing paragraph, because the material contained herein does not deserve one.