2013 Fall TV: How’s Everything Shaping Up?

We’re well into November, so I figured now is as good a time as any to check-in on the TV season thus far. Let’s jump in!

NEW SHOWS

I’m not sure if this is the case for a lot of people, but heading into this season, I was incredibly cautious about all the new shows. There were some that I was legitimately excited about/looking forward to, there were some that I knew I wanted to steer clear of, but there were A LOT that I wasn’t sure about. Trophy Wife was one of the shows that felt like it could have went either way for me. The more I watched it though, the more I fell in love with it. Misleading title aside (think along the lines of Cougar Town), the show is a different take of a “modern family” and the cast just have incredible chemistry and comedic timing (which includes the kids). I’m still not sure how I feel about The Crazy Ones, a pretty funny series especially when the cast gets to bounce off each other (which happens a lot), but there’s a little something missing for me. Sean Saves the World and The Michael J. Fox Show have their funny moments, but there’s nothing big that ties me to them and makes me want to watch. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the people working on both shows but I find myself watching it whenever, and not necessarily seeking it out to watch it. Must see TV they are not.

The shows which I was unsure of and subsequently dropped after watching a few episodes? Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Reign, Back In the Game, Super Fun Night. With Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, I was already disappointed that they had decided to make it an actual series and part of the primetime lineup, instead of their original plan to air it during flagship OUAT’s winter hiatus. As I watched the first two episodes, I just found myself incredibly bored and the CGI incredibly distracting. OUAT’s VFX were never great (pretty good though with the budget they’re working with), but because it’s used sparingly, I can deal with the occasional green screen scene. For Wonderland, it is seemingly all green screen special effects and thus incredibly distracting. I honestly had no intention on watching Reign in the first place, which in itself is surprisingly considering I usually love watching historical/period dramas. I think people labelling it as “Game of Thrones meets Gossip Girl” just completely turned me off. Then hearing a good number of critics/journalists actually liking it, I figured I should at least give it a try. After watching the pilot, I didn’t change my mind about it – I just didn’t like it. Back In the Game had a feeling that harkened back to older sitcoms, while trying its hardest to feel completely modern; therein lies the problem. While trying to be yet another take on the “modern family,” there was nothing that seemed fresh about it. As for Super Fun Night, I tried really hard to like it because of Rebel Wilson, but I didn’t find it funny at all.

One show that I was legitimately excited to watch this season was Dracula and unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations and I found it kind of boring. Then there’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Above almost all the other new shows, this one had the most buzz and anyone who is a fan of the Marvel universe was excited to see this one. The pilot episode was great, but after that, it took more than a few episodes before the show found its footing. I was more than happy to stick with it and see how they were going to develop it, despite some inconsistencies and blah moments, but I know a lot of people let it go as well. It’s not that it’s a bad show; I personally think we all may have had such high expectations for the show that when it didn’t deliver to those standards, we inevitably got disappointed. I was excited to watch The Tomorrow People because it’s another take on the humans with superpowers story we’ve heard/seen in various movies and TV shows before it, which ultimately could’ve proved to be too familiar. While not amazing (I’m still bothered by the fact that they made Robbie Amell’s Stephen a high school-er and the triangle set-up between him, Cara, and John), the show has still managed to make us care about these characters and what they’re doing. It helps that they gave backstories to Cara, John, and Russell so early (in episodes 3, 4, and 6, respectively).

But enough with the negatives. Let’s talk about the shows that I was excited to watch and then invariably impressed. Sleepy Hollow. Wow. Without a doubt one of the best new shows this season. It gave the original story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman a supernatural twist, but it also knows not to take itself too seriously by infusing some humourous moments. Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, as our two leads, have chemistry in spades, though contrary to popular opinion, I’d rather them stay platonic a la Sherlock and Holmes on Elementary. Also, the supporting cast in Orlando Jones and guest stars Lyndie Greenwood and John Noble just make the show work on so many levels. It might be a little bit early for me to say this but I love Almost Human. As of posting, the show had only aired 2 episodes, and I had already seen the pilot at SDCC. The pilot for me wasn’t perfect, but it set the ground work for the series. Episode 2 was pretty much what Fringe fans loved, but in a new show: drama, humour, heart, against a ridiculous backdrop (in this case – sexbots). Adding to the FOX love, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has delivered on the laughs every episode. With Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher fronting the show as the smart man-child detective and the serious Captain of the precinct, and the Park and Recreation guys in charge, it had to be funny. What made it great was that the entire supporting cast works so well, you’d have thought that they have all worked together prior to the show or that it wasn’t a freshman series at all.

RETURNING SHOWS

I wanted to talk about returning shows mainly for one reason: Arrow. It’s first season was great, with establishing the characters, Oliver’s story from when he was on the island and how that affected him to become this vigilante/hero, and all the action. This season, DC has seemingly given the show and its writers an all-access pass to characters in the DC universe, and they are just running with it. Just when you think they can’t get any better, they do. Twists, revelations, further character development (hello, Thea Queen for being the most improved), wonderful guest stars. The writing is top notch and they are just firing on all cylinders.

Revenge got a lot of flack for its convoluted second season, but this season has been a return to form. Is it nearly as awesome as its first season? No, but they’ve done an admirable job in trying to make us forget the mess of last season. Flagship Once Upon A Time seems almost like a spin-off of its own show with the focus being primarily on the core characters and their journey through Neverland to save Henry. Another ABC show, Scandal, continues to be the epitome of CRAZY awesome storytelling. Sometimes I forget Shonda Rhimes is in charge of Scandal, because obviously she’s still attached to Grey’s Anatomy (which I stopped watching years ago). The Mindy Project is as funny as ever, and it’s been great to see Adam Pally (who’s practically playing a straight, only slightly more professional version of his Happy Endings‘ Max) join the cast.

How I Met Your Mother, now in its final season, has been hit and miss with this idea to make the season take place over the entire weekend of Barney and Robin’s wedding. There’s been the usual HIMYM antics, which are still funny. However, the whole storyline with Marshall traveling with Sherri Sheppard’s character just didn’t do anything except keep Marshall away from the rest of the gang. The good part though? Getting to see more of The Mother.

What new shows have you gotten hooked on? What’s been surprisingly good or surprisingly disappointing? Which returning shows are still making your time worthwhile? Let me know in the comments!

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Fall TV 2013: New Shows to Look Forward To

The new TV season is just around the corner! Don’t get me wrong, this summer has been unusually full with things to watch from returning favourites like Suits, Covert Affairs, True Blood, and Breaking Bad; to new shows like Camp, Graceland, Under the Dome, and Hollywood Game Night (watching celebs get drunk and competitive playing games – not a bad way to spend an hour on Thursday nights). But I’m ready to go into crazy TV watching mode (the good, the bad, and the frustratingly annoying of it all) with the new fall TV season! So happy and excited to get my regular shows back: Arrow, Hart of Dixie, Grimm, Scandal, Parks and Recreation, the final season of How I Met Your Mother. I’m intrigued to see if Revenge and Once Upon A Time can come back after a ‘meh’ second season, and I’m even a little interested in this season’s cast of Dancing With the Stars (Saved by the Bell actresses! Bill Nye the Science Guy!). I also cry a little that I no longer have Fringe or Happy Endings and in complete denial that Nikita is ending this season (whenever The CW decides to air the final 6 episodes), while I part ways for good with Glee and The Vampire Diaries. Of course, with a new TV season means new TV shows that may or may not become a mainstay in my schedule.

With that, the new shows premiering this fall I’m most looking forward to (in no particular order)!

1.) MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (premieres Tuesday, Sept 24th @ 8 on ABC)

CHLOE BENNET, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, IAIN DE CAESTECKER, CLARK GREGG, MING-NA WEN, BRETT DALTON

OK, let’s just be real here – anyone who is a fan of Marvel, whether it be from the comic books or the movies, is excited for this show. It was the most high profile show during pilot season, so expectations are undoubtedly high. Sure, the focus is more on the regular humans running the agency, as opposed to our superhero Avengers, but who cares? With the Whedonverse in control of the show, this will do just fine to hold us over until the next movies.

2.) DRACULA (premieres Friday, Oct. 25th @ 10 on NBC)

Dracula - Season 1

It seems a little counterproductive to have yet another show featuring vampires, but we are re-visiting a classic character. Plus, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as the titular vamp – need I say more? Can’t wait!

3.) BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (premieres Tuesday, Sept. 17 @ 8:30 on FOX)

brooklyn-nine-nine

Without a doubt, one of the few new comedies I am legitimately excited about. It’s a workplace comedy based in a cop precinct, starring Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher, as a goofy cop (who presumably is still able to get work done) and his tough new boss. Oh, and it’s also coming to us from the Parks and Recreation people. On paper, this show has absolutely everything going for it. I feel like they would have to try really hard to make this crash and burn.

4.) ALMOST HUMAN (premieres Monday, Nov. 4th @ 8 on FOX)

almost-human

I already wrote about my thoughts on the pilot, after getting the chance to see it at Comic-Con. It’s from Joel Wyman, Bryan Burk, and J.J. Abrams, all of whom were responsible in some part for Fringe, which makes me fully supportive of this show. I said in my SDCC post that the pilot wasn’t perfect, but it did nicely set up the show and I can’t wait to see more. Plus, there’s something to be said about having more original ideas on TV, as opposed to just another procedural in a different location.

5.) SLEEPY HOLLOW (premieres Monday, Sept. 16th @ 9 on FOX)

sleepy-hollow

Another show that is brought to us by veterans of Fringe, this time it’s Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, who created the show alongside director Len Wiseman. Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman somehow show up in our modern world? Intriguing to say the least. Come November, Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow will be paired together on Monday nights, which makes this Fringe fan incredibly happy and excited.

6.) HOSTAGES (premieres Monday, Sept. 23rd @ 10 on CBS)

hostages-toni-collette-tate-donovan-cbs

Hostages stars Toni Collette as a doctor set to perform surgery on the President of the United States, but before that happens, her and her family are taken hostage by Dylan McDermott’s rogue FBI agent, who has ordered her to assassinate the president if she wants to save her family. The series is set for a 15-episode break-free run, which is fantastic because if the show makes good to be as thrilling as it seems, any break it would have had might kill momentum in storytelling.

7.) THE TOMORROW PEOPLE (premieres Wednesday, Oct. 9 @ 9 on The CW)

The Tomorrow People

To be honest, this is probably the only CW show that I’m excited for. The show follows Stephen (played by Robbie Amell), a teenager with superpowers, who learns he’s actually a part of a secret race of people with supernatural abilities. Of course, what would a group of superpower-ed individuals be without a different group of people trying to hunt them down? First, although we’ve seen this type of story play out before in other shows/movies, the idea of having supernatural abilities is something we’re always thinking about. The show is also in the very capable hands of Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Phil Klemmer (Chuck), who know a thing or two about working on shows that require just the right mix of drama, action, and humour. Plus, it being paired with Arrow (which stars Robbie’s cousin, Stephen) created the best in-house marketing at CW – Amell Wednesdays!

8.) THE CRAZY ONES (premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 @ 9 on CBS)

crazy-ones

Robin Williams returns to TV on this series, playing the owner of an ad agency who works alongside his daughter, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. For me, Robin Williams can be a little over the top in his comedic tendencies, so I’m hoping the show will use his craziness in just the right amounts. But the fact that it is Williams, alongside a cast that includes Gellar, James Wolk, Hamish Linklater, and Amanda Setton is what makes me excited to see the show. It also doesn’t hurt that their pilot episode features a guest starring role by Kelly Clarkson!

Those are the shows I’m really excited to watch, but notable mentions do include: Trophy Wife, Back In the Game, and The Michael J. Fox Show. Most of the other shows I’m looking forward to are actually on deck for midseason, which happens to be the case for the past couple seasons. So dear friends/followers, what new shows are you excited about seeing this fall season?

A First-Timer’s Account of San Diego Comic Con 2013 – Day 2

My reason for being at SDCC, the Nikita cast.

My reason for being at SDCC, the Nikita cast.

For years, I have wanted to go to the infamous San Diego Comic Con. The ultimate nexus of all things pop culture. This year, thanks to my cousin agreeing to go with me, I made my way. This is the account of my 4-day experience at the center of all things nerd.

DAY 2
Friday was the day that tested me. My cousin and I went our separate ways that day, as she went to tackle Hall H to see the Veronica Mars panel, and I tried my hand at the double whammy of the Nikita signing and panel. It was an early morning to get to the convention centre for the WB autograph signings. I had read a tweet the night before saying to get in line at 6:30 A.M; turns out that meant they were going to start the ticket raffle for your chance at wristbands at 6:30. I didn’t stand a chance. After finding out that all the wristbands for the Nikita signing were taken, I still stayed in line in hopes of maybe getting something else. My plan B, C and D were all gone by the time I reached the door. Lesson learned for next year!

Early morning shot of the Hall H line wrapping around the pier, while I was waiting to get into the WB autograph signing raffle

Early morning shot of the Hall H line wrapping around the pier, while I was waiting to get into the WB autograph signing raffle

With my attempt at getting autographs a bust, I made my way over to the lineup for room 6BCF, where the Nikita panel would be taking place. While in line, I met a fellow Nikita fan who had done the Con before, and helped me in my quest to properly meet any of the Nikita cast members. The unfortunate part of lining up so early ahead of a panel you want to see is that you’ll be sitting through panels you didn’t necessarily have in your plans. On the flip side, by sitting through these other panels, you get exposed to different things you didn’t know about. The panel I took in while waiting for Nikita was Stan Lee’s World of Heroes. Yup, I got to see Stan Lee in person. Also, did I mention that I was sitting in the second row?! World of Heroes is a YouTube channel featuring a multitude of different shows, and obviously with a focus on the nerd. For me, it was really cool to see/learn the type of programming and videos on YouTube that you wouldn’t necessarily have known about. I mean, it’s YouTube – there are A LOT of videos.

Stan Lee's World of Heroes panel

Stan Lee’s World of Heroes panel

After Stan Lee, was my moment of truth – the NIKITA panel! For three years, I have tried and failed miserably to meet the cast in Toronto (and the rare time that they’ve filmed in Cambridge), so to sit no more than 10 feet away from my favourite people ever was a big deal! I was sitting there in awe of being in front of Maggie, Shane, Lyndsy, Aaron, Melinda, Noah, and Craig. I was so excited to hear them talk and just be in their presence that I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. And then they started asking for fan questions. Let’s remember here that I am an awkward person, who doesn’t talk a lot. Before the panel (I’m talking days), I tried thinking of one REALLY good question I could potentially ask. While in that panel, my sense of fear of embarrassing myself started sinking in. Then at some point, I got up the nerve and just said to myself “F*ck this! I’m going up there! This will probably be my only chance to talk to them!” The fear and panic came back when the person in front of me essentially asked the same question I was about to, so I had to think quickly on my feet. Let it also be known that I sometimes don’t do well under extreme pressure (it’s why I always hated tests in school). So there I was standing at the mic, trying to get my words together to talk to this cast whom I have complete love and respect for. This is what went down:

Me: “Hi my name is Thi. I’m actually from Toronto and I have been dying to meet you guys for three years…”

Lyndsy (I’m fairly certain. It all seemed so surreal to be talking to them and to have them even acknowledging my existence): “And you came all the way here to see us?! Aww! ”

Me: “YES! I came here to see you!”

Melinda: “Don’t worry we’ll be back Monday!”

Me: *laughing nervously, trying to collect myself* “So we know you guys obviously love hanging out together offset, any favourite memories from behind the scenes? Offscreen?”

To which Aaron answers first by saying they’re all just on Twitter when they’re not filming and then Lyndsy and Maggie start talking about all the dogs around set. After asking my question, I stepped to the side to hear their answer and not really knowing what to do I started going back to my seat before they even finished. (Toldya I was awkward…) When the panel ended, lots of people rushed to the front to get autographs/pictures from the cast before they left. My new friend on the other hand, rushed me to get out of the panel room. I wasn’t sure why but I followed her anyway. Turns out she was leading me to the door where the cast was exiting the panel room and heading into a break room (I think that’s what it was because they weren’t in there for long?). Before I knew it, Lyndsy was standing right in front of me, and just as I was going in for a picture with her (which she was totally nice about), Jeff Tobler, their PR guy rushed her away saying that they were on a tight schedule. So we waited by the break room for the cast to come by again and when Maggie came through, my friend yells out “Can she [pointing to me] get a picture? She’s the one from Toronto!” We could honestly see Maggie thinking about it, but then she had to apologize that she couldn’t because they had to go and were being rushed out to meet with press. I understood but at the same time, I couldn’t help but think “Screw the press! You’ve got fans here who want to meet you!” (I am sorry to all those critics/journalists/members of the press whom I respect dearly. I was being a selfish fan.)

Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca having a laugh. Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?

Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca having a laugh. Have I mentioned how much I love these guys?

Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Noah Bean, creator/EP Craig Silverstein

Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Noah Bean, creator/EP Craig Silverstein

The whole Nikita experience behind me, I parted ways with my friend and made my way to the line for Ballroom 20, the second largest panel room. I knew ahead of time that there was no way I’d make it into the Agents of SHIELD panel (too popular for its own good, being a new show and all lol), but waited out the length of that panel to get in for what came after it. As expected, as soon as SHIELD let out (which I honestly was disappointed to not get to see that pilot), I made my way into B20 and settled in for a row of consecutive panels. The Following was first and they started it off by showing a video clip of the final minutes from the season finale and what happened after the screen went black, revealing the fate of Kevin Bacon’s Ryan and Natalie Zea’s Claire. I’m not one to spoil things for others, but I must say just seeing that end moment again, I had the same feelings I had when I watched it the first time. Then seeing it fully play out? That was a great bonus. What I love about seeing these panels is that you get some sense into not only what’s ahead for the next season, but also how the producers and cast felt about the previous season. After it’s highly buzzed about pilot episode, anyone who saw the show through its first season run can attest to a feeling of exasperation that the FBI were always a couple steps behind Joe Carroll and his cult. Executive producer Kevin Williamson admittedly said that he recognizes that the FBI were a little dumb last season and promises that in season two, with a one year time jump, the show will focus less on the FBI and more on the characters.

L-R: James Purefoy (who made a "surprise" appearance), Valorie Curry, EP Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, EP Kevin Williamson, Shawn Ashmore

The Following panel. (L-R): James Purefoy (who made a “surprise” appearance), Valorie Curry, EP Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, EP Kevin Williamson, Shawn Ashmore

After The Following was a panel that I was really excited about, and that is for Almost Human, a new show from Joel Wyman, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk. The panel included a screening of the pilot (which for the record, it is totally awesome to get to see something months in advance), followed by a short Q&A. My initial thought on the pilot is that like the Fringe pilot, it isn’t perfect but it certainly sets up everything needed to continue on with the series and hooks you in. Wyman even said himself that the show came about partially because he “wanted to keep Fringe fans happy.” Watching it, you do get the sense that the show was created by the same people who worked on Fringe, between the futuristic sci-fi elements and the mixture of procedural and mythology, with a dash of humour/light moments, but it is its own show. The panel talked about how the show will examine all things technical, but that for the series to work, everything comes back to the human condition, and seeing how human beings deal with the relations of the future. I would highly recommend seeing this show when it premieres in the fall.

L-R: Writer Naren Shankar, Lili Taylor, Minka Kelly, Michael Ealy, Karl Urban, EP/Creator Joel Wyman

Almost Human panel. (L-R): Writer Naren Shankar, Lili Taylor, Minka Kelly, Michael Ealy, Karl Urban, EP/Creator Joel Wyman, Moderator Damian Holbrook

Breaking from the typical show panel, next up was TV Guide’s Fan Favorites panel, their yearly tradition of bringing stars of a multitude of shows, new and old to just talk. When this panel was initially announced for this year, among the panelists were Yvonne Strahovski, Candice Accola, and Katie Cassidy, whom I was really excited about seeing (especially Yvonne!), but as it came closer, others were added and those three were unfortunately not going to be on the panel. The final crew of panelists included: Blair Underwood (Ironside), Henry Ian Cusick (The 100), Emily Bett Rickards (Arrow), Giancarlo Esposito (Revolution), Kristin Bauer (True Blood), Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf), Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead), Clark Gregg (SHIELD), Julie Plec (EP of The Vampire Diaries), and Joseph Morgan (The Originals). As far as the panel itself, it was fun hearing all these actors talk about their various characters and what not. Some fun moments:

  • Clark Gregg knowing very well of the audience in front of him; elicits cheers just from dropping names (of people, shows, movies) – Buffy, Firefly, Thor, The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing. After a while, he had to stop himself from talking, just so time wasn’t wasted on us cheering at everything he said ahaha.
  • Kristin Bauer, who is honestly, always a fan fave, talks about how relationships are tested this season on True Blood. Seeing how well it worked out for Clark, she decides for good measure just to namedrop Alexander Skarsgard (It worked. We cheered.)
  • Giancarlo Esposito decides to use his time to plug the premieres of Revolution and Breaking Bad, and briefly talks about his return to Once Upon A Time, where his character Sidney will be going back to that world to win back Regina.
  • Stating the obvious, moderator Debra Birnbaum of TV Guide asks Emily Bett Rickards if her character Felicity has a crush on Oliver – “Come on, Oliver Queen. Stephen Amell.”
  • Blair Underwood, there to promote his new NBC show Ironside comes to the conclusion that “Maybe we should add some vampires or zombies”
L-R: Blair Underwood, Henry Ian Cusick, Emily Bett Rickards, Giancarlo Esposito, Kristen Bauer, Tyler Hoechlin, Danai Gurira, Clark Gregg, Julie Plec, Joseph Morgan

TV Fan Favorites. (L-R): Blair Underwood, Henry Ian Cusick, Emily Bett Rickards, Giancarlo Esposito, Kristen Bauer, Tyler Hoechlin, Danai Gurira, Clark Gregg, Julie Plec, Joseph Morgan

Last panel of the day (for me) was the Joss Whedon panel. Turns out, Whedon does this every year and it is pretty much him answering fan questions for an hour. Fun! I honestly didn’t take many notes during the panel, because I (like everybody else) was very much basking in the presence of awesomeness. I mean, this man gave us the legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dollhouse, and then moved onto to pretty much controlling the Marvel movie empire when he directed The Avengers. If us nerds needed to name someone as our master/king/god, Joss Whedon would probably be it (to be fair, it’s probably a toss up between Whedon and Stan Lee, but that’s another discussion). But I digress, it was really cool to hear Whedon talk so openly answering fan questions like that. Among the topics brought up (from what I can recall):

  • Since tackling a Shakespeare adaptation, after the heavy action of The Avengers, what other film genre would Whedon like to take on? Anything, except the family drama. And yes, that does include a musical (outside of Dr. Horrible). Dance battle over a special effects action sequence? Why not?
  • On whether he’d revisit Wonder Woman (Whedon, at one point in time, wrote a script for a new WW. Nothing was made of it.)? No. He doesn’t like going backwards, and would much rather go forward doing other things.
  • On the topic of remakes/adaptations – He thinks that Hollywood needs to get more creative, put out more original content. Realizes the irony of that, being someone who just did The Avengers and Much Ado About Nothing, but talks about how if they keep going on this cycle of remake of a remake, they’re gonna run out of movies to remake.
  • On whether he can actually be a feminist, without being female – He doesn’t care. He thinks feminism is more about equality, rather than a perspective. Awesome words from the man who has given us so many strong female characters in pop culture.
Joss Whedon, no big deal...VERY BIG DEAL!

Joss Whedon, no big deal…VERY BIG DEAL!

[UPDATE] After much prodding by Nikita fans, The WB has finally uploaded the panel in full. So I get to remember my full on awkwardness forever.

Upfronts 2013: FOX Schedules the 2013-14 TV Season

After NBC’s announcement, we now see how FOX is scheduling its lineup for next season. Everyone has been bagging on NBC’s rough year, but having almost just a bad a season was FOX. Despite adding 2 big name stars in Britney Spears and the younger Demi Lovato to The X-Factor, that show saw its already modest ratings dwindle. Add to that the former juggernaut that is American Idol becoming mortal and seeing other shows (from The Voice to The Big Bang Theory and even Scandal) beating it in the ratings and sometimes in the demo, FOX was showing signs of weakness. Hopeful for better luck with next season’s batch of new shows, FOX picked up 5 comedies and 4 dramas.

DADS [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: Seth MacFarlene continues his FOX dominance with this non-animated comedy starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as two successful guys in their 30s, whose lives are turned upside down when their dads move in with them. MacFarlene has kind of proven himself as a funny guy, so I wouldn’t count him out on this show.

dads1

ENLISTED [Comedy – Fridays @ 9:30]: Executive producer Kevin Biegel brings us this comedy, loosely based on his relationship with his own siblings, about three different brothers who work together in the Army. The show stars Geoff Stults (another actor who is need of a show to become a hit), Chris Lowell, and Parker Young.

enlisted

US AND THEM [Comedy – Midseason]: Based on the UK series, Gavin and Stacey, the show follows a couple trying to make it work in a long distance relationship, along with dealing with their eccentric families. Before we’ve even seen a minute of this show, one of the funniest qualities of it is the casting of Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel as the couple in question. For the unfamiliar, they have a common thread in Lauren Graham, who played Bledel’s mom in Gilmore Girls and love interest to Ritter in Parenthood, and the connections you can make are pretty funny. Can’t wait to see this one, though I’m hoping FOX doesn’t screw this one like The Goodwin Games (oh yeah, I went there).

us-and-them

SURVIVING JACK [Comedy – Midseason]: Bill Lawrence earns another comedy in next season’s lineup, this time with an adaptation of Justin Halpern’s book “I Suck At Girls”, the follow-up to “S*** My Dad Says”, which tells the coming-of-age story of a boy and his father. One of the biggest aspects of this show was that they managed to get Chris Meloni (best known for his long-running role on Law & Order SVU, and his short run on True Blood last summer). As I said with NBC’s Undateable, also from Bill Lawrence, I’m hopeful just because he’s involved.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30]: It’s a comedy based within a New York City cop precinct, which already makes it far more interesting than any other cop show. Most notable is that Andy Samberg lands his first TV gig after leaving SNL this season and Andre Braugher bounces back from last season’s short-lived Last Resort. Add to the fact that among the executive producers on the show is Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation), its safe to say I’ll be tuning in.

brooklyn-nine-nine

GANG RELATED [Drama – Midseason]: A gang member infiltrates the San Francisco Police Department and moves through its ranks, but then finds himself struggling to balance his loyalties to his crime family and to the SF Task Force, his “other” family. The show stars Ramon Rodriguez, Terry O’Quinn (also bouncing back from last season’s short-lived 666 Park Avenue), RZA, Jay Hernandez, and Shantel VanSanten. This reminds me a little of the movie The Departed (which of course was based on the Chinese films Infernal Affairs) and I’m quite interested in seeing how this show plays out.

gang-related

RAKE [Drama – Midseason Thursdays @ 9]: One of the biggest gets of the pilot season was the casting of Greg Kinnear in this series, based on an Australian series of the same name, about a brilliant criminal defense attorney, who has the inability to self-censor and be self-destructive. The way I see it, it’s a lawyer-version of House.

SLEEPY HOLLOW [Drama – Mondays @ 9]: Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci brings this modern-day supernatural thriller based on the stories of Sleepy Hollow. With such a known entity (similar to last season’s Elementary, telling a modern-day Sherlock Holmes) and with Kurtzman + Orci at the helm, I totally think that this could do really well.

sleepy-hollow

ALMOST HUMAN [Drama – Mondays @ 8]: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk & Joel Wyman team up again (Abrams & Burk executive produced Fringe, where Wyman was showrunner for most of its run) for this futuristic take on the buddy cop drama. In this show, all LAPD officers are paired with human-like androids. Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are paired up in this drama, and co-stars Minka Kelly, Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, and Mekia Cox.

almost-human

Notes about the schedule:

  • In case you haven’t noticed, FOX does some very odd scheduling, part of which is due to them airing baseball and World Series, right around the start of the TV season.
  • Bones, which currently occupies the Mondays at 8 slot, will start off next season in that timeslot, but after baseball, they will move to Fridays at 8. It will be joined by Raising Hope at 9 and new comedy Enlisted at 9:30.
  • Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow will premiere on Mondays after baseball is over (a whole two hours of shows by the same people who brought me Fringe?! SOLD!), with The Following coming back sometime midseason, similar to this year.
  • Glee starts off next season in its regular timeslot before taking an extended break, allowing new drama Rake to take over its timeslot. Glee will then return sometime in the spring, with its remaining episodes running into summer.
  • FOX also announced that it will be bringing back 24 as a limited series event titled 24: Live Another Day.
  • Also, FOX has the pleasure of airing the Super Bowl next year, so they also announced that New Girl will be getting the coveted post-Super Bowl episode.
  • On the American Idol front, news broke out last week that after 12 seasons, Randy Jackson would be leaving the show. Though execs have said that they will be returning to a three-judge format once again, no word on whether current judges Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Minaj will be returning (my guess is no).

That’s it from FOX! Tomorrow, ABC is up with their pilot pick-ups and schedule for next season. If you’re looking for a more detailed description of your potential new favourites for next season, head on over to Deadline.