YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING: Part 1: NBC
Quick! What’s it About?: Blindspot is basically Chuck, except with a female lead, a serious tone, and full body tattoos instead of a computer program. Also someone’s trying to blow up the Statue of Liberty. (Now’s your time to shine, Nic Cage!)
Whose Involved?: Blindspot comes from the mind of creator Martin Gero (Bored To Death) and stars Jamie Alexander (Thor), Sullivan Stapleton (300: Rise Of An Empire), Rob Brown (Coach Carter), and Ashley Johnson (The waitress Captain America saved in The Avengers). The show is executive produced by mega producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Mysteries Of Laura).
When Will it Air?: Mondays at 10:00, after The Voice
Will I Watch?: When a premise is as ridiculous and strange as Blindspot‘s is, your only hope as a show is to admit that it’s stupid and play off of it, that idea is a large part of what made Chuck so charming. Blindspot seems to want to do the opposite, taking the whole situation very seriously and asking the audience to buy into the idea that this girl’s tattoos hold the secrets of the entire world. As of now, the only reason I’d watch this show, is if someone tells me the line “Someone’s trying to destroy the Statue Of Liberty” is delivered by Nicolas Cage, who then tries to steal the statue in order to protect it. But that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen, so I’ll have to pass for now.
Quick! What’s it About?: NBC tries incredibly hard to make Wesley Snipes the next James Spader
Whose Involved?: The Player stars Wesley Snipes (Blade, Tax Fraud), Phillip Winchester (Strike Back), Charity Wakefield (The Raven), and Damon Gupton (Empire, Whiplash). The show comes from a group I’m calling “The John Boys”: Executive Producers John Fox and John Davis (The Blacklist) and creator John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarians).
When will it Air?: Thursdays at 10:00
Will I Watch?: The Player looks… fine. The premise is pretty standard, but with enough of a twist to be interesting. Wesley Snipes looks to be enjoying himself, or is at least happy to be working (And getting paid) again. The action is clean, but pretty standard as far as broadcast TV goes. I have no idea who Phillip Winchester is, or whether he can lead a hit show, but he certainly does have that “leading man a procedural” look to him. The trailer has a fast paced, popcorn entertainment feel to it and the show could capture a lot of it’s lead-in’s (The Blacklist) audience. Nothing incredible here, but not terrible by any stretch of the imagination. Looks miles better than last year’s Blacklist copycat, State Of Affairs, looked last year.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING
Quick! What’s it About?: A comedy about 2 couples that will presumably get people to talk.
Whose Involved?: People Are Talking stars Mark-Paul Gosselar (Franklin and Bash), Tone Bell (Bad Judge), Ally Maki (The TV adaptation of 10 Things I Hate About You), and Bresha Webb (Zombie Love). The show comes from creator DJ Nash (The criminally underrated show Bent) and director Pamela Fryman (How I Met Your Mother)
When will it Air?: Fridays at 8:30
Will I Watch?: While the trailer is okay at best, and the show’s premise isn’t that promising, there is definitely a little bit of promise underneath the surface with this show. Pamela Fryman is a huge addition (She directed almost every episode of HIMYM and can do multi-camera as well as anyone in the business), plus this and Undateable (A show I wrote extensively on HERE) are NBC’s only comedies on the schedule, which means the network has some faith in the show (Because it makes up literally half of their primetime comedy lineup). Maybe it’s my love for the NBC comedies of old, or jus my optimistic personality, but I can easily see People Are Talking becoming a charming, funny, little sitcom, or I could see it being downright awful. It seems like it could go either way. I’ll see what word is once reviews of the pilot come in, but until then I’m cautiously optimistic about this one.
Quick! What’s it About?: Hey, America! Remember that time we ruined that show you loved? Yeah, uhh, can we get a do-over on that?
Whose Involved?: Heroes creator Tim Kring welcomes back original cast members Jack Coleman (*concerned look* “Claire, I know what’s best for you”) and Masi Oka (*Thrusts arms into the air* “YATTA!”), as well as new actors like Zachary Levi (Chuck).
When will it Air?: Thursdays at 8:00
Will I Watch?: Honesty time here. The first season of Heroes is one of my favorite seasons of TV. Ever. Yes, I’m serious. It’s as fun, well-crafted, and rewarding a storyline as I’ve ever seen. The show’s premiere season also had a sense of wonder and discovery within it that you don’t feel all that often, especially on TV. Seriously, I dare you to watch Season 1 and not get sucked in, its incredibly difficult. The biggest issue for subsequent seasons was that these characters were originally intended to exist for only a single season, as the show was originally pitched as an anthology series that told different stories within the same universe every season. Unfortunately, the popularity of season 1 prompted producers to bring back the original cast and characters that had resonated with audiences, so the original self contained story arc had to be extended beyond it’s natural conclusion at the end of Season 1. But that issue is what gives me hope for Heroes: Reborn, which tells it’s own self contained story. The world of Heroes has the capacity to tell some truly spectacular stories, and I’m hoping that Heroes: Reborn delivers on that potential.
Quick! What’s it About?: A show about a heart surgeon titled Heartbreaker, what could go wrong there?
Whose Involved?: Heartbreaker stars Melissa George (The Slap, Mulholland Drive), Don Hany (The Broken Shore), S DL Hughley (Studio 60), Dave Annabelle (Brothers & Sisters) and Jamie Kennedy (Three Kings). The show was created by Jill Gordon (The Wonder Years)
When will it Air?: Tuesdays at 9:00
Will I Watch?: This looks, to put it bluntly, pretty terrible. I think someone at NBC just found out that Grey’s Anatomy is popular, because this is clearly NBC’s attempt to capture some of the Shonda Rhimes audience that is so lucrative for ABC. But this looks even worse than those shows. For starters, that was one of the most clichéd-filled trailers I’ve ever seen. The one thing I will say, is i won’t be surprised at all if Heartbreaker finds an audience, but hey, if Mysteries of Laura can do it, anyone can! This is the last thing I’ll say about Heartbreaker until I forget it exists: If someone told a random guy off the street to write a TV show set a Hospital, it would probably look something like Heartbreaker.
THE WRAP UP:
I’M TUNING IN
I’LL WAIT AND SEE
People Are Talking
The Player, Blindspot, Heartbeaker
Whew. Not off to a great start here, NBC. The only show there that I’m genuinely excited for is Heroes: Reborn, and that one has a better chance of being godawful than entertaining. This line-up is wholly unimpressive, that’s pretty undeniable, but there might be hope yet for those wishing for more quality content on NBC.
That hope comes from what isn’t included here: Comedians Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine) and Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors) both have semi-promising sitcoms set to premiere this summer. No trailer was released for the show, but a Neil Patrick Harris fronted live variety show is coming in the fall, and it’s hard love NPH, so NBC could have a hit there. At midseason, I’m definitely looking forward to the Rob Lowe (The West Wing, Parks And Rec) and Jenna Fisher (The Office) fronted comedy miniseries Me, You, And The End Of The World, which was originally produced in England (They usually make better TV out there anyways). Also coming midseason is a promising workplace comedy titled Superstore with America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Ben Feldman (A to Z, Silicon Valley), and serialized dramas like Emerald City and Game Of Silence that have much more potential than what we’re getting this fall.
Thanks for reading!
Be sure to check out the rest of the TV Fall Preview at the links below: