Upfronts 2016: PEOPLE Editors Preview Our Most Anticipated Shows

PEOPLE's TV team picks the best new shows announced at the network Upfronts

Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBCUniversal/Getty; NBC; Steve Wilkie/FOX

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This week, the major TV networks announced their upcoming fall and midseason shows. Here are the top 17 series PEOPLE’s own TV team is most excited to watch in coming months.

This Is Us

Stars: Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia
Why we’re excited: Grab your tissues! Moore is about to bring the feels (again), now the small screen. NBC’s new dramedy pulls together an ensemble of characters that initially share the same birthday but ultimately connect on deeper levels. Each one has a story to tell that is bound to make you both laugh and cry. The trailer wracked up a record-breaking 24 million Facebook views in its first three days – not surprising since Ventimiglia does strip down within the first few seconds. –Brittany King, Associate Editor

Mariah’s World (E!)

Stars: Mariah Carey
Why we’re excited: She may be a diva, but she’s no Cinderella – at least according to the eight-part documentary’s promo, in which the singing superstar says, “My life has not been a fairy tale.” Featuring private planes, sold-out shows and plenty of champagne, Mariah’s World promises to be an event. –Mollie Cahillane, Writer

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox)

Stars: Laverne Cox, Victoria Justice, Ryan McCartan, Tim Curry
Why we’re excited: Can you see us shivering with antici–pation? Cox is a legitimate triple threat who will snugly step into the fishnets and stilettos of Dr. Frank-N-Furter – and that’s without mentioning that the original Frank himself, Curry, is returning to the cult-favorite hit that launched his career. –Lanford Beard, Staff Editor


Stars: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr
Why we’re excited: Just when you thought Weatherly was gone from TV for good, the former NCIS star is tackling a fresh new role. Brilliant, cocky and charismatic, Dr. Jason Bull is based on the early work of the popular talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw. Yes, the Dr. Phil. We can already see Tony DiNozzo is the rearview mirror. –Brittany King, Associate Editor

Feud (FX)

Stars: Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange
Why we’re excited: Anthology series master Ryan Murphy brings us a dramatic retelling of the tumultuous real-life relationship between Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? costars Bette Davis (Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Lange). Murphy had us with the title and stars – but also because Sarandon recently told PEOPLE that the series will offer commentary on gender inequality in the film industry past and present. “In the examination of Hollywood through the time of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, the question is whether or not things have actually changed that much,” says Sarandon. “Do we pit women against women? Do the studios still have more power than individual women?” –Kara Warner, Staff Writer

Riverdale (The CW)

Stars: K.J. Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse
Why we’re excited: Executive Producer Greg Berlanti (Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill) promises a “subversive take on the wholesome town of Riverdale and residents Archie, Betty, Veronica, as well as Josie and the Pussycats.” On the teen-friendly CW, it’s a match made in comic-book heaven. –Lanford Beard, Staff Editor

Designated Survivor (ABC)

Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Maggie Q, Kal Penn, Natascha McElhone, Italia Ricci
Why we’re excited: As the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Tom Kirkman (Sutherland) has been deemed, you guessed it, the “designated survivor” (which is a very real thing we looked it up). Often a member of the President’s Cabinet, the D.S. is protected at a secure location while the President, Vice President, all members of Congress and the rest of the Cabinet attend the State of the Union. After an explosion kills basically the entire government, Tom is sworn in as president despite never having been an elected official. His speechwriter (Penn) and chief of staff (Ricci) have doubts but Tom’s wife (McElhone) stands by his side as an FBI investigator (Quinn) searches for who is responsible for the attack. The glasses make Sutherland look meeker than usual, but we all know he’s got 24‘s Jack Bauer hiding in there. –Patrick Gomez, Staff Writer

Prison Break (Fox)

Stars: Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies
Why we’re excited: Michael Scofield is alive! Need I say more? Full disclosure: when Prison Break premiered in 2005, I was hooked within seconds – remember full body tattoos that served as a blueprint for an elaborate prison escape? Now, seven years after the finale, the show is back- bringing all the major players – even the sadistically creepy T-Bag (Robert Knepper) – along for the ride. This time, they’re breaking Michael (Miller) out of prison, and we’re guessing there will be a few thrilling bumps along the way. –Aili Nahas, West Coast News Editor

New Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Why we’re excited: Since Donald Trump is just a little bit busy until at least November, Schwarzenegger has stepped in to decide the hirings and firings of a group of celebrities that includes Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Boy George, Laila Ali and Real Housewives Kyle Richards and Porsha Williams, to name a few. –Lanford Beard, Staff Editor

Good Behavior (TNT)

Stars: Michelle Dockery, Juan Diego Botto, Terry Kinney
Why we’re excited: Lady Mary Crawley as a cunning con artist with a secret past? Yes please. Dockery is back in her first major role since Downton Abbey‘s series finale (sigh), this time as a decidedly un-Ladylike, fresh out of prison hustler who is out to stop a dangerous assassin. Just get used to her speaking with an American accent, and you’ll be fine. –Aili Nahas, West Coast News Editor

Pitch (Fox)

Stars: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Ali Larter, Mark Consuelos, Kylie Bunbury
Why we’re excited: This potentially potent, progressive drama revolves around the first woman to play Major League Baseball (Under the Dome‘s Bunbury) and how the world – the media, her teammates (Gosselaar) and her family – handles of the situation. Its major selling points so far include more Gosselaar on TV and executive producer Dan Fogelman – the man who helped cement our obsession with Ryan Gosling by writing Crazy, Stupid, Love. and who served as executive producer on NBC’s Galavant and Fox’s Grandfathered. Also, this tag line: “A true story on the verge of happening.” –Kara Warner, Staff Writer

Hairspray Live! (NBC)

Stars: Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Derek Hough
Why we’re excited: You can’t stop this beat. Fierstein reprises his Tony-winning role as gravelly voiced, kind-hearted mama bear Edna Turnblad. And though the actress playing heroine Tracy Turnblad is yet to be cast, the star power of Hudson, Short and Hough alone is worth the price of admission. –Lanford Beard, Staff Editor

Lethal Weapon (Fox)

Stars: Clayne Crawford, Damon Wayans Sr., Keesha Sharp, Jordana Brewster
Why we’re excited: Lethal Weapon is all about the chemistry between Riggs and Murtaugh, and though no one can replace Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Crawford and Wayans look like they have something special. The Fox series is also diving deep into Riggs’ (Crawford) psychology, painting him as a disturbed man with nothing to lose after the death of his wife. That psychological complexity is part of what made the 1987 film different from the typical action movie of the day, and could set this show apart. –Aaron Couch, Staff Editor

24: Legacy (Fox)

Stars: Corey Hawkins, Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smits
Why we’re excited: After his breakout role in Straight Outta Compton, Hawkins is stepping into the iconic franchise as the first person other than Kiefer Sutherland to headline the series. The trailer has the same split-screen flavor and looming terror attack fans know and love, but there’s an updated feel to the action that should give the new series the boost it needs to stay relevant 15 years after the original 24 debuted. –Aaron Couch, Staff Editor

The Good Place (NBC)

Stars: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson
Why we’re excited: Whoever decided to put Bell and Danson together was a comedic genius. Bell wakes up to learn that she has died and gone to heaven, but it’s all one big mistake – she doesn’t belong there. Actually, Bell’s character deserves to be serving time in hell for eternity, but thanks to a clerical mistake, she gets to hide out in “the good place.” The best part? There’s no swearing in heaven. This is bound to be comedy gold. –Brittany King, Associate Editor

Training Day (CBS)

Stars: Bill Paxton, Justin Cornwell
Why we’re excited: 2001’s Training Day remains one of the great cop dramas of this century, earning Denzel Washington an Oscar and an Oscar nomination for Ethan Hawke. Part of the magic of the film was that it literally is a training day as in one day. So how could this work as a TV show? The CBS series cleverly takes care of that problem by switching the training day convention on its head. Though the dirty cop (Paxton) believes he is training the young recruit (Cornwell), it’s the newbie that is hoping to train the older man – by rehabilitating him into being a good cop once again. The leads wisely aren’t simply doing impersonations of Washington or Hawke, but rather are making the characters their own, which gives it the potential to take on a life of its own beyond the film. –Aaron Couch, Staff Editor

American Housewife (ABC)

Stars: Katy Mixon, Diedrich Bader, Leslie Bibb
Why we’re excited: Katie Otto (Mike & Molly‘s Mixon) is a very busy woman. In any given week, the mom of three is juggling a Spanx-clad date with her husband (Bader), two overly social teenagers and a younger daughter with what appears to be O.C.D. on top of navigating the shark-infested waters of Westport, Connecticut’s mommy mafia. If the official trailer is any indication, Mixon is not just playing an American housewife, she’s about to be an American sweetheart. – Patrick Gomez, Staff Writer

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