Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Talkback: What new show are you most excited about?

One of the perks of working in the entertainment business and having friends who work in the entertainment business is that you end up seeing a number of pilots well in advance of their airdate. The reactions often range from "I can't wait to see this series!" to "They picked up this crap and passed on the awesome pilot my roommate was a writer's assistant on?!"

If you're lucky, you see some of these pilot soon after the Spring upfronts, well before the hype and the commercials start. This way, you can go into the show fresh and unbiased. I've not seen every new show from this season. I will say that NBC is holding back two of its most interesting and original shows until midseason. Smash, which deals with the staging of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe, is nothing short of fantastic. Awake, which is a complicated procedural about a man who finds himself shifting realities after a car accident. In one version, his son is dead and in the other, his wife was killed in the crash. I worry that the pacing is a bit too deliberate and that audiences might struggle with the complex premise, but it's one of the more original shows I've seen.

As far as the fall shows, ABC's Revenge looks to be a lot of fun, featuring Everwood's Emily VanCamp as a young woman returning to the Hamptons to take out the elite who framed her father 15 years ago for a terrorist crime he didn't commit. VanCamp was one of the best things about Everwood and often was the only reason I tuned in to Brothers & Sisters, so I'm excited to see her carrying a show.

If you're a fan of Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle might be right up your alley. This series about a young girl who discovers she's the last member of a coven of witches is from the Vampire Diaries producers, which gives me hope that even though the pilot is heavy on mythology and has to lay a LOT of pipe, it'll soon find a balance. Even Vampire Diaries took about a third of a season to find itself, and with Life Unexpected's Britt Robertson heading up a strong cast, I'm confident it'll earn its spot on my DVR.

And if sitcoms are more your speed, check out NBC's Free Agents and Up All Night. But enough about what I think, what shows are you excited to see?


  1. I wanna see the Bitter Script Reader's series - seven award-winning seasons!!! Bring it! America needs you! Most of the new programs are just garbage and I wonder how many reality shows are on the bench waiting to replace by October.

  2. *slips TVsBucketofBolt $10* From your lips to God's ears.

  3. Awake -- yup can't wait. Thanks for the heads-up on Smash.

    Revenge -- definitely. Hopefully it's a little dark and twisted like a modern day Profit.

    Speaking of Profit, the other new show I'm looking forward to is Grimm -- David Greenwalt's baby.

    I'll give Ringer a try -- just more Buffy loyalty more than anything else.

    The two shows I'm on the fence about are Alcatraz and Person of Interest. Great pedigrees, but there's something about the trailers that make me a little... wary.

  4. Well, I saw Ringer and I'm loathe to post much of a review about it because there were recastings after the show was picked up. Thus, several scenes had to be reshot and it wouldn't surprise me if they took the opportunity to tweak other scenes as well. I really wanted it to be awesome and it was just... okay. The pacing felt a little bit slow, but I'm pretty sold on the cast. I'm willing to give it some time to develop.

    I was less taken with Grimm. And that's a real shame because I loved David Greenwalt's contribution to the Buffyverse.

    The Abrams shows are on my list to check out, but neither one has me hooked on premise alone. Has anyone seen either of those?

  5. While attending SD Comic-Con 2011 I saw the full previews of the following pilot episodes:

    The Secret Circle which appeared to be a let down for me after the well produced and much hyped promo spots that have been airing on The CW over the last couple of months.

    Person of Interest was absolutely fantastic for the first episode and it has the feeling of watching a well produced feature length film. I high look forward to watching this show develop on television.

  6. 'Grimm' appears to be a TV series version of the ace 'Fables' comic book in all but name, but it does concern me a little that it doesn't seem to acknowledge this anywhere so far, which is making me think it's a bit of a rip-off. Hopefully not tho!

    I've got some shows on my list that look interesting (Alcatraz, Awake, Once Upon A Time), some that may be okay, may be rubbish (Terra Nova), some that are guilty pleasures (2 Broke Girls), and some that will almost definitely be arse and I'm watching a few episodes out of morbid curiosity (Charlie's Angels).

    My TV schedule is jam-packed as it is so I have to impose a 4-episode rule on new shows to hook me in these days - if I'm not feeling it by then, chances are I never will!

  7. Smash is my #1 must see new show for next season. That and Awake look the best to me, hands down. Not sure how well Awake will pan out beyond the first few episodes, but we’ll see.

    I’ll also probably tune in to Person of Interest just to see Michael Emerson on my TV again.

  8. Bitter you were $20 shy, but no worries - I slipped him a Ulysses - so get it! #nextgentvwritingmagic

  9. Monster Zero,

    there's no need to acknowledge Fables, because the Grimm fairy tales came first. About 200 years earlier.

    And Fables isn't the first time someone set a fairy tale in modern times. The Cinderella comic book was awesome, though.

  10. Definitely Awake. Been telling friends about that one all summer.

    Up All Night. Free Agents. Hoping that The Playboy Club and Pan Am are well-written. Hoping.

    Too many to list, really. I'm going to watch a lot of shows and likely stop watching 90% of them after one or two episodes.

  11. "Alcatraz" pilot has a pretty strong opening sequence set back in the 50's/60's (whenever Alcatraz was shut down for good)that simply sets up the central mystery for the series.


    When we cut to present day though, it goes kinda flat. Part of it I think has to do with the more procedural element of recapturing a prisoner per week format. But it's a pilot, so I'm willing to cut it some slack there... you find your footing with that type of thing in time.


    More troublesome for me was the casting of the lead actress who plays a detective who also happens to be the daughter of a former Alcatraz inmate. If she's not young, she definitely looks it. There's no gravitas to her. Would have liked to see someone a little bit older there.

    Imagine if on LOST, "Jack" had been played by Ian Somerhalder instead of Matthew Fox... changes your perception of the character in a big way.

  12. Zuul -- thanks for the insight on Ringer and Grimm. I've now officially adjusted my expectations.

    Charles -- Great LOST analogy. Ian Somerhalder as Jack... [shudders]

    I'm throwing one more show into the mix: New Girl. Why? Zooey Deschanel is to me, what Elizabeth Mitchell is to John August.

  13. I agree with your sentiments Bitter. I will say that I really enjoyed the script for "Pan Am" and have heard it's final product is pretty good, so I'm putting that on my must list as well. I absolutely got a kick out of "Revenge". It's about time the networks had a good prime time soap again (a real one in the old-school 80's fashion, not "Desperate Housewives" or "Gossip Girl").

  14. Regarding the Grimm/Fables debate, the two have VERY little in common beyond the integration of fairy-tale mythology into the "real" world. ABC's Once Upon a Time (which I haven't seen but did read) is closer to Fables and even then there are some pretty significant differences in concept and execution.

    I've read The New Girl and downloaded the pilot from iTunes for free, so I'm going to try to get to that tonight. My expectations aren't high, but I'm curious to see how it plays on screen.

    I know people who really liked Pan Am and some who called it "Mad Men without all the cool stuff." I'm looking forward to seeing it and drawing my own conclusions.

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