Every spring brings networks’ fanfare-laden announcements of new shows for the coming season. A year later, some of those shows finally limp on the air.
For example, ABC drama Mistresses, meant to be a bench player during the regular TV season, will arrive on June 3; the network has actually tried to make its 13-episode run sound like a good thing, but it’s not in the ABC plans for 2013-14. And you should feel even less optimistic about the prospects for The Goodwin Games, which begins Monday at 8:30 p.m.
As part of a summer-schedule overhaul, Fox is putting Goodwin in a Monday comedy block with repeats of Raising Hope, New Girl and The Mindy Project, three shows due back next season. But Goodwin is not in the 2012-14 lineup, reportedly had its 13-episode order cut to seven before it aired, saw Fox put the pilot online days before the broadcast premiere — and co-stars Scott Foley, who spent more of the season as a recurring player on Scandal.
All that being said, the show had possibilities, including a loopy sensibility and time-shifting narrative that might remind some viewers of How I Met Your Mother. No surprise there, either, since the HIMYM team, including Shaker Heights native Carter Bays, is behind Goodwin and co-star Becki Newton played Quinn on HIMYM.
Newton, Foley and T.J. Miller play three siblings who have had very different lives; Foley is a prominent surgeon, Newton a would-be actress, Miller a spacy sort who has just finished a stretch in jail. Their lives have been shaped in part by their difficult relationships with their father (Beau Bridges), who has at times pitted them against each other.
He does so again when he dies, by leaving behind a fortune that one of the children can claim by winning games against the others. The games may be odd or traditional, and even include other players, but — judging from the pilot, at least — the games are also meant to deal with old issues and hurts in the family — and with other people from their lives.
The pilot was funny, although it felt as if most of the series’ premise had been sorted out by the end of that episode. Given a full season, the show might have figured out some new directions and established a long relationship with viewers. But as things now stand, it’s just a summer viewing fling.
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online blog, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or email@example.com.