Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This fall looks like a good time to be a Geek!

We've got Doctor Who coming back. We've got Sleepy Hollow getting FIVE more episodes. We should have Walking Dead and / or Hell On Wheels. We'll have Agents of SHIELD. And look at all these new shows coming up!

It's hard to tell tone, but based on blurbs and geekiness, here's ones (reasons in bold) I'll be watching at least one episode of:

Astronaut Wives Club
ABC
From Gossip Girl producers Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz, the drama stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Azure Parsons, Zoe Boyle and Odette Annable as a group of women whose husbands are astronauts in the 1960s. Dexter's Desmond Harrington will also star.

  • Could be dumb, could be an awesome period piece; hard to tell. But there's astronauts, and that's a built-in dramatic point, right?


Backstrom
Fox
Based on the Swedish book series, this drama features offensive, irascible detective (Rainn Wilson) with self-destructive tendencies. Bones' Hart Hanson will write and executive-produce. Genevieve Angelson, Dennis Haysbert, Kristoffer Polaha, Thomas Dekker also star.

  • Swedes, misanthropes solving crimes AND Hart Hanson? I'm already there.


Constantine
NBC
DC Comics character Constantine (Matt Ryan) struggles with his faith as he is haunted by the sins of his past, but he is suddenly thrust into the role of defending humanity from the gathering forces of darkness. Batman Begins' David Goyer will executive-produce with writer Daniel Cerone (Dexter). Harold Perrineau, Lucy Griffiths and Charles Halford also star.

  • I'm not super-familiar with the Constantine story, but I love a comic book adaptation, and I especially love ones that are unexpected. I also love an antihero done well, and battles between good and evil where it's not stupid, so we'll have to wait and see on those points--it could totally bowl me over or it could ruin itself on those two points alone.


Emerald City
NBC
This Wizard of Oz-themed drama is described as a dark, modern re-imagining of the Frank L. Baum series of novels. Created by Siberia's Matthew Arnold and executive-produced by Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles' Joshua Friedman, the series will feature a 20-year-old Dorothy Gale who is thrust into an epic battle for Oz between warring kingdoms.

  • I'm a little over-saturated with Oz these last few years, but on the other hand, I loved Sarah Connor Chronicles. And a female epic protagonist is always on my plate. So will this overdo it? Or will it fall into the SCC trap of getting too wrapped up in its own mythos (even if that mythos is amazing)? Or will it prove that TV-people do learn lessons? (I'm hoping for that last one)


The Flash
CW
Scientist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is given the power of super-speed after a freak accident that transforms him into the Fastest Man Alive. The Arrow spin-off is based on characters published by DC Comics and omes from Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and DC Chief Geoff Johns. Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Candace Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Rick Cosnett, Carlos Valdes, Michelle Harrison, Patrick Sabongui and John Wesley Shipp will also star.

  • Another comic adaptation! I haven't managed to watch a lot of Arrow, but I like what I've seen of it, and with the Flash being automatically more fun than Oliver but still in the same world, it should be good.


Forever
ABC
Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd) is New York City's star medical examiner who studies the dead for a reason: He is immortal. With the help of Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza), the drama will peel back the layers of Henry's long, colorful life through their cases. Chuck's Matt Miller will write and executive-produce with Dan Lin (Terminator Salvation) and Jennifer Gwartz (Veronica Mars). Judd Hirsch, Barbara Eve Harris, Joel David Moore and Donnie Keshwarz will also star.

  • Despite his habit of being in dumb things, I like Ioan Gruffudd a lot, and I feel like he could make this work even if it's shaky and / or lame at the beginning. Especially if they get into strange stuff pretty early--I mean, it's a show about a dude who doesn't die. They're going to have to tackle strange stuff, or else it won't matter that he's immortal. 
  • Plus, you know, police procedural with an ME--I love me a procedural, and my favorite ones are where the partner is not a cop.


Galavant
ABC
Handsome Prince Galavant (Joshua Sasse) is on a quest for revenge against the king (Psych's Timothy Omundson) who stole his one true love (Mallory Jansen) in this fairy-tale musical. Dan Fogelman will write and executive-produce with Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken writing the music. Vinnie Jones, Karen David and Luke Youngblood will also star.

  • Most likely, this one is going to be a disaster. But just in case it isn't--if, say, they poke fun at the whole Disney-princess thing like Enchanted did or something--I'm so going to watch it.


Gotham
Fox
Based on DC Comics characters, this drama explores the origin stories of eventual Batman ally James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), a detective with the Gotham City Police Department, and his battle with the villains who made the city famous. David Mazouz (Touch) will play young billionaire Bruce Wayne. Mentalist creator Bruno Heller will write and executive-produce with Nikita's Danny Cannon. Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Cory Michael Smith, Erin Richards, Camren Bicondova, Drew Powell and Zabryna Guevara will also star.

  • I always liked Commissioner Gordon, for one, and you know, I kind of actually do "like everything about Batman except Batman", as Kimmel says. It's possible I'm literally the only person in the audience for this show.


Gracepoint
Fox
When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boy’s family into further turmoil and upends the lives of all of the town’s residents. Based on the British series Broadchurch, the event series stars David Tennant and Anna Gunn as the pair of cops investigating the case. Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who, Camelot) will adapt his original work with fellow executive producers Amy Epstein and Dan Futterman. The cast also includes Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, Jacki Weaver and Kevin Rankin.

  • I'm so confused about why this show even exists. I mean, My Future Husband David Tennant just made this show last year, and it was brilliant and strong and devastating. Will FOX allow it to be that powerful? What I've read says the first episode will be the same, but the rest will diverge, so I'm even more divided: why not just do a whole different show? vs Maybe the divergence is what makes it worth watching again?
  • However! I will watching anything and everything with David Tennant in it, and maybe this one will be the one that gets him more US gigs.


Hieroglyph
Fox
This action-adventure drama set in ancient Egypt tells the story of a notorious thief named Ambrose (Max Brown), who must navigate seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers when he is plucked from prison to serve the Pharaoh (Reece Ritchie). Pacific Rim's Travis Beacham will write and executive-produce alongside Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Fringe's Miguel Sapochnik, who will also direct the pilot. John Rhys-Davies, Antony Bunshee, Caroline Ford, Condola Rashad and Kelsey Chow also star.

  • Possibly also a disaster, depending on how they handle race, historical accuracy, women (seductive concubines, really?), and plot, but I like Egypt, and there's always the chance that FOX will produce something good and strong and not cancel it, right? Right? They got Sleepy Hollow right, after all, and this show starts with a thief, which always makes things more interesting, so...


iZombie
CW
A med student-turned-zombie (Rose McIver) takes a job in the coroner's office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity, but what happens when she starts inheriting the corpse's memories? With the help of her medical-examiner boss (Rahul Kohli) and a police detective (Malcolm Goodwin), she solves homicide cases to quiet the disturbing voices in her head. Veronica Mars' Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero will write and executive-produce the project, based on the DC Comics series. Robert Buckley, David Anders, Nora Dunn and Alexandra Krosney will also star.

  • Another comic book adaptation, another procedural, AND Rob Thomas? Where has this been all my life?


Last Man on Earth
Fox
Will Forte created and stars in this comedy series about two strangers who, after the apocalypse, must put aside their differences to ensure the survival of the human race. The Saturday Night Live alum will executive-produce the series along with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who will also direct the pilot.

  • This one is on my list mostly for Will Forte, and a little bit because we need some silly post-apocalypses on TV, what with the trend toward darker and darker dramas going on. I can see it getting stupid or wearing thin, though, so I hope there's a lot more going on than this weensy blurb lets on--and I hope it's basically a romcom like The Mindy Project.


Marvel's Agent Carter
ABC
Captain America's Hayley Atwell as the titular agent as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad in 1946. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance administrative work with secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life. Resurrection's Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas will executive-produce with Steve McFeely, Christopher Marcus and Jeph Loeb.

  • Basically, the only way I wouldn't watch this show is if I was blind. And I'd still listen to it.


The Messengers
CW

When a mysterious object crashes to Earth, a group of seemingly unconnected strangers die from the energy pulse, but then awaken to learn that they have assigned the task of preventing the impending Apocalypse. The Expendables producer Basil Iwanyk will executive-produce with Teen Wolf writer Eoghan O'Donnell. Diogo Morgado, Shantel VanSanten, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Jon Fletcher, Craig Frank, Lane Garrison and Joel Courtney will star.

  • Okay, it's CW, and they haven't had a great track record with their SF lately (it's mostly been too far on the side of moany, over-pretty teens, and not enough on the side of the weird), but I'm always up for a classic something-fell-from-the-sky-and-changed-people storyline!


Mission Control
NBC
This 1960s-set workplace ensemble in the tone of Anchorman examines what happens when a strong woman (Krysten Ritter) butts heads with a macho astronaut (Tommy Dewey) in the race to land on the moon. How to Be a Gentleman's David Hornsby will write and executive-produce with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Michael Rosenbaum, Malcolm Barrett, Julie Meyer, Eric Nenninger, Leah Renee and Jonathan Slavin will co-star.

  • There's a fine line that the Anchorman walks between incredibly stupid and secretly brilliant, and since they're invoking that movie's name, they'd better have that line down. But there's also astronauts, comedy feminism, and the 60s!


NCIS: New Orleans
CBS
The series features NCIS' New Orleans office, which handles cases from Pensacola, Fla., through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. New Orleans, with its rich setting of music, fun and debauchery, is a magnet for military personnel on-leave. And with the fun comes trouble. NCIS' Gary Glasberg and Mark Harmon will executive-produce. Scott Bakula, Zoe McLellan, Lucas Black, CCH Pounder and Paige Turco will star.

  • Procedural. NCIS, which is a great source of stifled shippiness in my life. CCH Pounder and Scott Bakula. And ethnic diversity, as well as one of the best cities in the world for stories to happen in!


Proof
TNT
Executive-produced by The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick, the drama stars Jennifer Beals as Dr. Kathryn Russo, a brilliant surgeon who begins investigating supernatural phenomena including resurrections, out-of-body experiences, and hauntings. In her personal life, Russo is grappling with the loss of her teenage son and trying to salvage her strained relationship with her daughter. Weeds' Matthew Modine, Scandal's Joe Morton, Callum Blue, Edi Gathegi, Annie Thurman and Sean Gleeson also star. Murphy Brown alum Rob Bragin wrote the pilot and will serve as an executive producer with Jill Littman, and producer Tom Jacobson.

  • You had me at supernatural phenomena, though this could easily fall into the melodrama hole of taking itself WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. On the other hand, it could be so powerful. And there are so many ways a show like this could go right off the rails in the best way possible.


Scorpion
CBS
An eccentric genius (Elyes Gabel) and his international network of super-geniuses form the last line of defense against the complex threats of the modern age. Sleepy Hollow creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will executive-produce the project from Prison Break's Nick Santora. Katharine McPhee, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Ari Stidham and Robert Patrick will also star.

  • Kurtzman and Orci are pretty trustworthy, TV-wise, and generally create stories I like to see. Plus, we haven't had a show about nerds solving crimes since Num3rs, that I've seen, and there's potential for it to sort of veer into Person of Interest / Intelligence territory in a new way. All good things.


Selfie
ABC
A self-obsessed, twentysomething woman (Karen Gillan) is the subject of a viral video made after a humiliating public breakup. When the video makes her an Internet celebrity for all the wrong reasons, she hires a marketing expert named Henry (John Cho) to help restore her image. Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek will write and executive-produce the project inspired by My Fair Lady. David Harewood, Tim Peper, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Allyn Rachel will also star.

  • So much potential for stupid, but also so much for awesome! My Fair Lady is a solid plot for reimagining and has created good things in the past, John Cho is always awesome, Karen Gillan does bold-woman-with-appealing-vulnerability very well, and it's written by the lady who made Suburgatory, which was so sweet and silly.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
NBC
This comedy from 30 Rock duo Tina Fey and Robert Carlock stars The Office's Ellie Kemper as the titular character who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts her life over in New York. Titus Burgess, Sara Chase and Lauren Adams also star.

  • Yay! Something new from the creators of 30 Rock! It's probably a stretch to put this on the list unless the "doomsday cult" is a major part of the plot, but I'm really just happy to see it.


Utopia
Fox
Based on the hit Dutch series of the same name from John de Mol ( Big Brother, The Voice, Fear Factor) this social experiment challenges 15 contestants to build a perfect world. The players will live in an isolated, undeveloped location for an entire year as they build a civilization from scratch — unless they are exiled and replaced by new contestants from the viewing audience.

  • I am disheartened by the idea of people getting kicked off the show. I was hoping it would literally be people having to deal with each other, and I sort of hope the fans vote consistently to keep everyone and subvert that system. But it sounds sort of like The Colony, which is still one of my favorite reality social experiments ever, so I'll give it a shot.


The Whispers
ABC
A race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world using our most precious resource against us. Juno's Soo Hugh will write the project from Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV. Barry Sloane, Milo Ventimiglia, Lily Rabe, Derek Webster, Brianna Brown, Kylie Rogers, Catalina Denis and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf will star.

  • I think this'll depend on what "our most precious resource" is--if it's something dumb, or if they withold that info, it'll probably ruin the show, but if it's something really cool, it'll carry through a lot of other suspension-of-disbelief issues. Also, it'll matter whether ABC goes whole-hog with the aliens, or if they go, like, The Event on the issue and water it down by looking at the wrong people through the whole story. 
  • It does have Steven Spielberg associated with it, though, so there's hope.
Also, there's a few midseason shows:

  • Extant: Female astronaut comes home pregnant to her weird husband and possibly-robot son. Depending on whether the group that's Extant is a previously-lost alien race, or, like, us. Might suffer from Takes Itself Too Seriously To Be Enjoyable. 
  • The Leftovers: 2% of the whole world population disappears. This could be really, really good, if it's about how people handle it, and how they make sense of it. It would be really, really annoying, if it's actually about how only 2% of people are pure and everyone else is in hell.
  • The Strain: Vampire-virus pre-apolcalypse! Also, Guillermo delToro. Nuff said.


So, basically, this fall is going to be all about aliens, the 60s and comics, and that's not even mentioning all the fun-looking inter-racial and ethnic comedies that are coming out but don't look SF&F-y. I'm always optimistic and always let down, but this year is making me more optimistic than ever!

Let's see if it holds up.

The Stats:

  • Aliens - ||
  • The Sixties - ||
  • Comics - |||| 
  • "Darker reimagining" - |
  • Good vs Evil - |||
  • Astronauts - |||
  • Immortality - |
  • Procedural - ||||
  • Fairytales - ||
  • Ancient Egypt - |
  • Undead - ||
  • Apocalypse - |||| 





NOTES:
http://www.tvguide.com/special/fall-preview/new-shows.aspx
http://www.businessinsider.com/summer-tv-shows-2014-2014-5?op=1
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