As the winter TV season comes to a close, advance thinkers like me begin to look ahead toward what the rest of the year holds. And from the looks of things, its going to be a good year for TV. Keep reading to check out what 2014 has to offer.
10. Sense8 (Netflix)
Synopsis: “The sci-fi drama will focus on eight people scattered around the globe who are connected by a shared vision. Each episode (shot in the UK, Seoul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Mexico City, San Francisco and Chicago) will follow the characters’ separate stories, even as one entity tries to bring the octet together and another tries to kill them.”
Who’s Involved: Matrix directors Andy and Lana Wachowski (Pictured Above) created the story for the show and are attached to write and possibly direct some episodes. J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, World War Z) is on board as Showrunner. The series doesn’t begin filming until the summer, so casting hasn’t been announced yet.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Like most of the Wachowski’s work, this could either be terrible or fantastic. The best case scenario is that this is Heroes season one, a groundbreaking tale of interweaving storylines and captivating writing, worst case it’s every other season of Heroes, as in complete and utter confusion. But with quality driven Netflix behind it, I’ll put my faith in the creative team and trust that Sense8 will be something we should look forward to.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall
9. Gracepoint (Fox)
Synopsis: When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach by a jutting cliff-face, a major police investigation gets underway in the northern California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case turns neighbor against neighbor and sparks a media frenzy, which not only throws the boy’s family into further turmoil, but also threatens to upend the lives of all of the town’s residents. Based on the popular British Drama Broadchurch.
Who’s Involved: The remake keeps original star David Tennant (Dr. Who) and adds an all star American cast including Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Michael Pena (End Of Watch), Nick Nolte (Luck), and Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: The original series captivated audiences this summer, and David Tennant returns to his role for the American reboot, which is a good sign. Tennant is surrounded by a phenomenal cast and Fox seems to want to make sure Gracepoint is more than just a crappy remake. The new series will also feature a brand new ending and change up some storylines so fans of the original Broadchurch can still check it out.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall
8. Battle Creek (CBS)
Synopsis: “The show centers on Detective Russ Agnew and FBI agent Milton Chamberlain, who have different world views but are teamed up to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, MI” Sounds a lot like True Detective, although one imagines this will be considerably more mystery based and less character driven.
Who’s Involved: The show is created and executive produced by Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) and David Shore (House), and the pilot will be directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects). The show stars Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar) and Dean Winters (30 Rock).
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Vince Gilligan and David Shore are the masterminds behind two of the most iconic TV shows in modern history, Breaking Bad and House respectively. Those two writers alone are enough to get me interested in Battle Creek. When you add on an incredible director like Bryan Singer and a killer cast featuring TV’s best scene stealer Dean Winters (AKA Dennis from 30 Rock), I’m definitely on board.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall
7. The Strain (FX)
Synopsis: A thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.
Who’s Involved: Written by Guillermo Del Toro (Pacific Rim, Hellboy) and executive produced by Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel). Corey Stoll (House Of Cards) leads the ensemble cast as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: The talent involved is enough to sell you, Del Toro is a fantastic writer-director, and Stoll was fantastic on House of Cards. This could be cable’s next genre hit, following the massive success of The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones. You heard it here first people!
Expected Premiere Date: July
6. Gotham (Fox)
Synopsis: “Gotham” is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. The show follows James Gordon’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.
Who’s Involved: Ben Mckenzie (Southland) stars as Gordon, the cast also includes Donal Logue (Sons Of Anarchy) Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix Trilogy), and David Mazouz (Touch) as a 12 year old Bruce Wayne.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Though there is definitely a chance Gotham is absolutely terrible, almost all signs point otherwise. The show has a good cast and tons of interesting stories to choose from, so I will definitely be checking it out this fall. My hope is that Gotham is going to be a fun, entertaining show and not boring like MARVEL’s TV effort Agents Of Shield. Plus, its not on CW like fellow D.C comics shows Smallville and Arrow, which means I can enjoy DC comic heroes on TV without having an teenage soap opera injected into the action. That’s the dream right there.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall
5. Crossbones (NBC)
Synopsis: “Tom Lowe, a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the buccaneers’ haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he ﬁnds that his quest is not so simple. Lowe can’t help but admire the political ideals of Blackbeard, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds – and no law. Crossbones is an extraordinary action adventure with an unexpected moral center where one can’t be sure whether the pirates or the British crown are the villains.”
Who’s Involved: The pilot script was written by Luther creator Neil Cross and John Malkovich plays the infamous pirate Blackbeard.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Luther, in my opinion, is one of the best shows on TV, so Neil Cross alone gets me excited for Crossbones. John Malkovich brings immediate credibility to the pilot (He wouldn’t agree to do the show if the script sucked). Kudos to for NBC finally trying something new and different. Keep this on your radar, Crossbones has the potential to be great, whether it lives up to that potential remains to be seen.
Expected Premiere Date: NBC is saying Summer 2014, but my guess is it’ll land somewhere on NBC’s fall schedule.
4. MARVEL’s The Defenders (Netflix)
Synopsis: Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.
Who’s Involved: No actors are attached yet, but Daredevil is being written by Drew Goddard (Cabin In The Woods, Lost) and Jessica Jones is being written by Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight, Dexter).
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Though MARVEL’s Agents of Shield is admittedly a let down, I firmly believe that this show will be a stark improvement for Marvel TV. The wildly ambitious mini series looks to be basically an outlet for Marvel to show us what they would’ve done with characters that they couldn’t fit into their movies. I can’t wait to see what this turns into, and who Marvel casts as these heroes.
Expected Premiere Date: Daredevil is expected to premiere Late 2014/ Early 2015. The rest of the shows will follow soon after.
3. Tooken (NBC)
Synopsis: Tooken is a single camera comedy will follow a woman who has escaped from a doomsday cult and is trying to start her life over in New York City.
Who’s Involved: Written and Produced by Tina Fey (30 Rock) and her writing partner Robert Carlock, Ellie Kemper (The Office) stars.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: The premise has so many comedic possibilities, and Kemper is due for her own staring vehicle. I think Fey and company have another hit on their hands. Tina Fey has a number of shows in the works for this year, but Tooken is by far the most promising. Fey is one of the best comedy writers out there, so basically anything she writes you should probably watch.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall 2014
2. Atlanta (FX)
Synopsis: Atlanta is a semi-autobiographical comedy based around Glover’s own experiences growing up in Atlanta, and will be set against the backdrop of the city’s music scene.
Who is Involved: Donald Glover (Community) wrote the pilot script and is expected to star after he finishes Childish Gambino’s DEEP WEB TOUR.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: Donald Glover may be the most talented man alive. Right now, he’s currently touring under his Rap alter-ego “Childish Gambino” (More on that HERE). But, Glover is not leaving TV behind, the talented writer and actor is prepping his own TV show, Atlanta. Somewhat in the vain of Louie, Glover will write the show based on his own life experiences. Glover is a talented writer, working on 30 Rock and The Daily Show before transitioning to acting. Glover’s talent and FX’s reputation for giving writers freedom should lead to something great. If all goes well, Atlanta could be a fantastic companion program for Louis C.K’s hit show, and lessen the blow of Glover not being on Community anymore. I’m not over it you guys, I miss Troy too much.
Expected Premiere Date: Late 2014
1. Mulaney (Fox)
Synopsis: “A unique mix of ensemble comedy, stand-up performances and an observational point-of-view, Mulaney is a show about the big questions in life: how hard they are to answer and how easy it is to maybe just ignore them to get through the day.”
Who is Involved: The show stars John Mulaney, Elliott Gould, Martin Short, and Nasim Pedrad. Lorne Michaels (SNL) is onboard as executive Producer.
Why You Should Keep an Eye on it: John Mulaney, that’s why. Plain and simple this guy is going to be a star soon. Mulaney has been due for a breakout for some time. After years as a writer on SNL, (Fun fact: He wrote all of the Stefon skits with actor Bill Hader) Mulaney exited the show to pursue a career in front of the camera. His debut stand up special, John Mulaney: New In Town is Louis C.K level funny. His next step is a self titled sitcom that he wrote himself. If I had to bet, I’d say that Mulaney, along with great shows like New Girl, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and The Mindy Project, will cement FOX as the home of TV’s best comedies.
Expected Premiere Date: Fall