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It wouldn't be a new television season in America if there wasn't a selection of shows designed to transport viewers from their day-to-day lives to more fantastical landscapes. With that in mind, we take a look at 13 new genre shows coming later this year that all fans of sci-fi, fantasy or horror should keep an eye on.
Directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes), The Exorcist, subject of the classic 1973 film of the same name, is a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. Father Thomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small but loyal parish in the suburbs of Chicago.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, another priest finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Caught in the middle is the Rance family, members of Tomas’ parish. In the end, both priests (as different as they are) find themselves as the only hope against an evil force that has been mobilising for centuries. Geena Davis, Brianne Howey, Hannah Kasulka and Kurt Egyiawan also star. Let's hope this demonic movie spin-off fares better than the recently cancelled Damien.
In the blink of a tornado's eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog are swept into a world far removed from our own: a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. This is not your parents' Wizard Of Oz or, for that matter, your grandparents'. Tarsem Singh directs all ten episodes of season one, with a cast that includes Vincent D'Onofrio as the Wizard, Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas, Joely Richardson as Glinda and Florence Kasuma as The Wicked Witch Of The East.
This series revolves around three strangers who realise they are dreaming separate parts of the same dream. Each of them is on a mysterious and highly personal quest, with one searching for his missing girlfriend, one searching for a lost child, and one looking to cure his catatonic mother. Serendipitously, it's the clues in their collective dream that guide them to what they're looking for. The deeper they dig, however, the more they come to realise that the visions might hold the key to the fate of the world. Which is either very bad or very good, depending on your point of view. Stars Lizzie Brochere, Will Yun Lee and David Ajala.
In this reimagining of the 2000 film, a female police detective discovers she is able to speak via a ham radio with her estranged father (also a detective) who died in 1996. They forge a new relationship while working together on an unresolved murder case, but unintended consequences of the "butterfly effect" wreak havoc in the present day. Starring Riley Smith, Mekhi Phifer, Peyton List and Lenny Jacobson. Written by Supernatural's Jeremy Carver.
The Good Place
After she is struck and killed by a tractor-trailer carrying erectile dysfunction products (what are the odds?), a woman named Eleanor wakes up to discover she has entered the afterlife. But after being told by her mentor Michael that she is in "the good place" because she did a good deed by helping get innocent people off death row, she realises that a mistake has been made and they think she is someone else. Stuck in a world where no one curses, gets drunk, and everyone is always nice, Eleanor finds herself caught between staying in the sanitised bliss of the afterlife or trying to find a way to back to her mundane life on Earth. Have we mentioned it's a comedy? Stars Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil and William Jackson.
Computer science professor Dan Chambers (Adam Pally) has discovered time travel (you'll have noticed a temporal theme among this year's crop of shows by now) and has been transporting himself back to the 1700s to spend time with the colonial woman he’s fallen for. In the present, Dan is an unpopular nerd, but by claiming song lyrics, lines from movies and stand-up bits as his own in the 18th century, he’s absolutely hilarious. He gets the girl and makes friends, but Dan’s actions in the past are messing up the present.
But the woman he’s dating (Deborah, played by Leighton Meester) isn't just any woman: she's the daughter of the famous Paul Revere. Dan’s meddling in the past causes her father to delay his famous ride, which may have altered the outcome of the entire American Revolution. To set matters right, he enlists the help of history professor colleague Chris Parish (Yassir Lester). Can Dan, Chris and Deborah save America as we know it? Produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
From Mr. Robot director Niels Arden Oplev, and based on the book series from True Blood author Charlaine Harris, comes this tale about a Texas town where no one is who they seem. From vampires and witches to psychics and hitmen, Midnight is a mysterious gathering place for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures from rowdy biker gangs, ever-suspicious cops and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form a strong and unlikely family. Stars include Francois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley and Arielle Kebbel.
In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens plays Emily, a young insurance adjuster specialising in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle disrupts her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult “hero” in her own right. Even if it is just to her group of quirky co-workers. Also starring Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk and Christina Kirk.
Set in the present day and based on the Archie Comics characters, this is a surprising and subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life with the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade. Starring Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, Ashley Murray, Luke Perry, KJ Apa, Madelaine Petsch, Camila Mendes, Marisol Nichols and Madchen Amick.
Son Of Zorn
A hybrid live-action/animated comedy featuring the voice of Jason Sudeikis, as He-Man knockoff Zorn – an animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean (where everything and everyone is animated) who returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. Produced (again) by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Son Of Zorn is heavy on the fish-out-of-water laughs as Zorn tries to transition from slaying monsters to climbing mountains of paperwork.
We're eight months away from its premiere and there is still so little known about the new Star Trek television series set to premiere this January. Bryan Fuller is serving as executive producer along with Alex Kurtzman; director/writer Nicholas Meyer is aboard as a consulting producer; it takes place in the prime universe rather than the timeline of the J.J. Abrams feature films; the first season of (presumably) 13 episodes will be a single storyline, with that storyline changing from season to season along the lines of Fargo. Outside of that....we've got a new teaser trailer.
Time After Time
Based on the novel by Karl Alexander and 1979 movie of the same name, this is a fantastical cat-and-mouse adventure through – yes, you guessed it – time where famed science fiction writer H.G. Wells is transported to modern-day Manhattan in pursuit of Jack the Ripper. Once H.G. arrives in NYC, he finds a world he doesn't understand and a young woman who captivates him, while Jack feels he's found a world reflective of his own sensibilities. Starring Freddie Stroma (H.G. Wells), Josh Bowman (John Stevenson/Jack The Ripper), Genesis Rodriguez (Jane) and Regina Taylor (Vanessa Anders).
From Eric Kripke (Supernatural), Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and the producers of The Blacklist comes this action-adventure series in which a mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine (oh yes, it's another one), intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. The only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, soldier and history professor, who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. Can this handpicked team uncover the mystery behind it all and end his destruction before it’s too late? Well, probably not in the first season. Starring Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter, Malcolm Barrett, Goran Visnjic and Claudia Doumit.