vad3r -> RE: General TV Discussion (21/4/2011 2:52:25 PM)
Highly anticipated shows
Locke & Key (FOX)
The ever-busy Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are producing this comic book adaptation, and we're excited that Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) is the man crafting the story. The comic book has a lot of cool and dark material to draw upon, as a family moves into their uncle's home after the death of a loved one, only to find very strange and supernatural events occurring around them.
Update: The full cast of Locke & Key includes Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings) as the mother, Nina Locke and Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Being Human) as the father, Rendell, with Jess McCartney (Young Justice) as oldest son, Tyler, and Sarah Bolger and Skylar Gaertner as his siblings, Kinsey and Bode. Nick Stahl (Terminator 3) plays the kids' uncle, Duncan.
There are a surprising amount of high concept pilots this year, including this one, about a cop investigating crimes in a world populated by real life fairy tale characters. Yes, we're reminded of the comic book Fables, which unfortunately never came to be as a series. But Angel co-creator David Greenwalt being the man behind this project has us hopeful. Though as you'll see below, this isn't the only network pilot with a fairy tale concept this year...
Update: Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife) and Sasha Roiz (Caprica) are among the cast of Grimm.
17th Precinct (NBC)
Besides Grimm, NBC has yet another offbeat police procedural with a fantasy bent. The fact that Battlestar's Ron Moore is the man behind this story of cops in a world where magic, not science, is the norm, has our instant attention. Casting so far has included Stockard Channing and BSG alum Jamie Bamber.
Update: Moore decided to not hold back when it came to casting Battlestar alum in 17th Precinct, with Bamber soon joined by Tricia Helfer and James Callis, not to mention Caprica alum Esai Morales. Helfer tweeted the following photo of her, Bamber and Callis on the set.
Wonder Woman (NBC)
Look, we're nervous too, that's for sure. David E. Kelley is a talented man, but seems an odd choice to write and produce a new take on the DC superhero and a recent script report about the project didn't help. But we're crossing our fingers that the end product is something exciting and involving, and that Diana Prince gets a series worthy of her. Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) being cast as Diana is at least something we like the sound of.
Update: The cast for Wonder Woman soon grew to include Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers) as a villain and Justin Bruening (Knight Rider) as Steve Trevor. But the first officially released photo from the project has hardly made any comic book fans optimistic, with a much-criticized suit. Photos leaked from the set a couple of weeks later show a suit with some modifications, including swapping out the silly-looking vinyl/shiny pants. But suffice to say, Wonder Woman has a lot to prove right now.
There are a lot of big TV (and movie) names behind some of these projects, but the one name that inevitably pops up the most is Lost creator J.J. Abrams, who now uses his hefty clout to help produce ideas and concepts from former collaborators. This time he's teaming with Lost writer Elizabeth Sarnoff for Alcatraz, a series about a group of former prison inmates and guards who mysteriously vanished from "The Rock", only to reappear in the present.
"I don't want to give too much away about the show," Abrams told IGN, "but I will say that the premise of the show, while I love the premise, I love it, I will say that Liz Sarnoff took this very cool idea and made it into this just beautifully written, emotional, funny, deep, suspenseful script." Lost's Jorge Garcia is set to star as hippie-ish Alcatraz expert, Dr. Diego Soto, among a cast that also includes Sarah Jones and Jurassic Park's Sam Neill.
Person of Interest (CBS)
Truth be told, we don't usually get too excited about CBS pilots, but with J.J. Abrams backing a story and premise by Jonathan Nolan (Christopher Nolan's bro, writer of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige), we're extremely interested in Person of Interest. Yes, it's being made for CBS so the jury's still out on how much of a stand-alone "procedural" this series will be, but the concept of an ex-CIA hitman who teams with a scientist (or is that a billionaire? We've heard both) to prevent crimes before they happen has us frothing at the bit.
Update: Hard to fault the casting on this one, with Lost's awesome Michael Emerson joining the project, along with Jim Caviezel.
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Once upon a time (and as noted in our Grimm write up above as well), ABC was toying around with the idea of adapting the acclaimed DC/Vertigo comic book series Fables, about a hidden society living in modern-day New York made up of the real incarnations of fairy tale characters, for TV. As we all know now, and lament, that never panned out, and now that Disney's bought Marvel there's little chance of a DC property landing on the Disney-owned ABC. But along comes a project from Lost/Tron Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz -- about a woman with a troubled past arriving at a small Maine town where the magic and mystery of fairy tales just may be real -- and we see that the network was able to move forward with a fairy tale project after all.
Update: Notable cast members for Once Upon a Time include Jennifer Morrison (House), as the lead character, Anna, Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) as Snow White, Lana Parrilla (Swingtown) as the Evil Queen and Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe) as Rumplestiltskin.
Charlie's Angels (ABC)
Look, all we're asking for is something fun. The requisite eye candy part of this latest incarnation of the 1970s series is certainly already covered, with Minka Kelly, Rachael Taylor and Annie Ilonzeh playing the new batch of ass kicking gals. And for now, we'll reserve judgment on the casting of a much younger Bosley (Transformers 2's Ramon Rodriguez). Angels, 2011 edition, comes from Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.
With AMC's Emmy-winning Mad Men so in vogue at the moment, it's very likely that we'll all get hit with retro-vertigo if NBC's Playboy and ABC's Pan Am, both being series set in the 60's, get picked up for series. Would NBC (or any of the networks, really) be our first pick as host to a show that focuses on the New York City Playboy Club, during the club's heyday? Admittedly, no. But the casting of Amber Heard and Naturi Naughton (who played a Playboy Bunny in the NYC Playboy Club on Mad Men) doesn't hurt matters and until we see the finished product we can always do that thing where we hope that such a show will rise to meet our expectations instead of being typical "middle of the road" watered down primetime fare.
Extremely fond memories of Buffy have us excited to see Sarah Michelle Gellar's potential return to series TV. The set-up -- with Gellar playing a woman taking on the identity of her twin, while pursued by the mob -- sounds convoluted but potentially cool in the right hands. The casting of Lost's Nestor Carbonell is a nice touch as well.
Prime Suspect (NBC)
NBC might have goofy stuff like Harry's Law, The Cape and The Event populating its schedule, but it also has ratings-winner Law & Order: SVU – aka "the most depressing series ever made." So when we heard that the Peacock Network wanted to remake the award-winning BBC Helen Mirren detective series, we hoped it would be just as gritty and dramatic as the original. The concept is nothing new (a smart, determined female detective in NYC) so this show will have to stand out the way the British one did – with the layering and the depth of its main character. Maria Bello (ER) has been chosen to fill Mirren's shoes as a female cop who, every day, must come face to face with her own city's atrocities, her own department's sexism and her own alcoholism.
Sure, the real Edgar Allan Poe was a disturbed, fetishistic manic-depressive who married his 13-year-old cousin, but who says he can't be the charismatic, eccentric lead of a 19th century "steampunk" style crime buster series? Yes, ABC's making a pilot that will focus on Poe as the world's very first detective, as he uses unconventional methods to investigate dark mysteries in 1840s Boston. This isn't the only series in the works to feature pioneering detective fiction writer as a super sleuth though. Syfy is currently working on Among the Spirits, featuring the murder solving abilities of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Update: Chris Egan (Kings) has been cast in the title role, offering what seems to be a decidedly young, handsome take on the famous writer.
The fact that NBC REM pilot is being described by the network as an "Inception-like thriller" just makes us wonder how much *not* like Inception *at all* this show will be. But the story, from Lone Star's Kyle Killen, sounds interesting as it involves a police detective living in two realities, who must solve cases using clues from each of his lives.
Update: The effortlessly awesome Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) has been cast in the lead role of Mark Britten, with a supporting cast that includes Laura Allen (The 4400, Terriers), Wilmer Valderrama (That '70s Show) and Cherry Jones (24).
The Secret Circle (The CW)
The fact that Vampire Diaries has turned into such a surprisingly fun, addictive series has us curious about the prospects of Kevin Williamson (Scream) adapting yet another series of books from the same author – this one focused on a teenage girl who discovers she's a witch.
Update: Brittany Robertson (Life Unexpected) has been cast as lead character Cassie, alongside Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Natasha Henstridge (Species).