San Diego Comic-Con: the annual gathering of comic book nerds, blockbuster action movie fans and the slightly terrifying people who still watch Supernatural religiously. It's the biggest pop culture event of the year, a time when studios bring the biggest and most shriek-inducing stars together to unveil new projects and showcase the exciting things fans will eventually be camped out all night for. And even though not all of us are lucky enough to experience Comic-Con in person, that doesn't mean we don't deserve to get all the up-to-the-minute news, reports and surprises. Since we here at Hollywood.com don't want you to miss out on all the excitement happening in Hall H or the surprises being unveiled over the weekend, we're running down the biggest news to come out of San Diego during the convention to ensure you can stay on top of everything, whether you're stuck in the office or waiting in line for another sold out panel.
Guess Who's Set For a Bloody ReturnIt’s difficult to imagine anyone bouncing back from the tense bloodbath that capped off the second season of Hannibal, but Bryan Fuller doesn’t want you to worry about the state of your favorite characters, because several of them made it out of there – although not all of them made it out alive. Deadline reports that Raul Esparza’s Dr. Chilton did, however, and he will appear next season, presumably to get revenge for being shot in the face. Eddie Izzard and Kacey Rohl will also be making an appearance or two, but while he did say the former would only pop up in flashbacks, he declined to reveal whether Abigail is still in one piece. (The series also unveiled the second season blooper reel, which is exactly as delightful as you’d expect.)
Advanced Television Resurrection Now that Community’s sixth season is under way, it’s time to ask the most important question of all: When are the Greendale Seven coming back? At a panel Thursday night – appropriately titled “Communty: REBORN” – show runner Dan Harmon and the cast revealed that fans should see the Study Group back in action sometime after Christmas (via CinemaBlend). But don’t call into work to binge watch just yet, as Yahoo! will be released episodes on a weekly basis, just the same as if it were still on NBC. Still, you can expect some changes thanks to the change in platform, as Harmon has said that the writers are interested in testing the limitations of their new format. (Although we know how well Abed does with change…)
Teen Wolf Howls On… Teen Wolf might be in the middle of its fourth season at the moment, but the panel in Ballroom 20 only had eyes for the future, and with good reason: creator Jeff Davis revealed that the show already been renewed for a fifth season. According to EW, the upcoming season will also be the longest yet, with the episode count bumped up to 20 from season four’s 12. Of course, it will run in two parts and your favorite characters will probably be killed, but nobody said living in Beacon Hills was easy.
Incredible Interstellar After single-handedly revitalizing the Batman franchise and confusing people everywhere with Inception, Christopher Nolan finally made his Comic Con debut to talk about his upcoming film Interstellar, alongside Matthew McConaughey (via EW). Although they didn’t reveal much about the movie, they did showcase a new trailer that gives a better look at the mysteries it contains (which, unfortunately, the rest of us won’t get to see for a while), and Nolan revealed what inspired him to explore outer space. A little disappointingly, it was physics.
TMNT Needs Less Pizza, More Girl Power At least, according to Megan Fox. The actress has been making the rounds at Comic Con to promote the film, which hits theaters in mid-August, and in an interview with HitFix, she revealed that her April O’Neill will kick a little less butt than she had hoped: "A lot of girl power ended up on the cutting room floor, unfortunately. I had a really awesome scene where I was fighting The Foot Clan, but I think they were like, 'Why would a tiny journalist be able to kick so much ass?’” Silly producers, we writers have plenty of pent up anger. Let the girl fight!
Hollywood veteran Mel Gibson has spoken out in defence of troubled actor Shia Labeouf, insisting his recent bizarre behaviour is proof he is "suffering in some way". The Transformers star is currently seeking treatment for alcoholism after he was escorted out of a Broadway show and arrested following an altercation with theatre security staff on 26 June (14). He was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and harassment, but pleaded not guilty to the counts.
The incident was the latest in a string of headline-grabbing stunts, including wearing a brown paper bag on his head while walking the red carpet at a German film festival earlier this year (14) and using the same prop as part of an odd art installation in Los Angeles.
Now Gibson, who has faced his own personal controversies, including a 2006 DUI arrest, during which he hurled anti-Semitic remarks at a Jewish police officer, admits he sympathises with LaBeouf, because he knows how hard living life under the public eye can be.
However, Gibson is confident the 28 year old will bounce back from his troubles.
In a candid interview with IndieWire.com, the Braveheart actor says, "You're a target. And you have to be really adept at tap dancing and dodging the bullets. And sometimes you get hit. And sometimes mortally. It's pretty bad.
"When I see someone like Shia LaBeouf with the bag on his head and stuff, my heart goes out to the poor guy. I think he's suffering in some way.
"Why would he do that? People are inclined to sort of point the finger at him and say that he's this, that, or the other. It's easy to judge. But I'm sure he's going through some kind of personal, very painful, cathartic thing that he has to exorcise and get out there. He'll probably play it out and come back. Whatever it happens to be.
"He'll be all right. I actually like the kid. I think he's good. I never met him, but I like him."
Summer at the movie theater generally means one thing: big-budget popcorn films packed with explosions, robots, superheroes, aliens, or a combination of all four. But even though we're currently in the middle of blockbuster season, that doesn't mean that action movies or outrageous comedies are your only option for summer entertainment. This also happens to be the best season for indie movies, and low-key alternatives to your favorite summer blockbusters are flooding into theaters everywhere. So, when you get tired of watching people run from explosions in slow motion and you can no longer tell one superhero from the next, why not take a break from the multiplex and give one of these indies a try instead.
If You Liked Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Try Snowpiercer (Opens June 27) The sequel to 2011’s Captain America saw Chris Evans lead a band of rebels who took down an oppressive regime that infiltrated a major government agency in order to save the world and protect American citizens. Snowpiercer sees Chris Evans lead a band of rebels as they attempt to take out and oppressive bureaucrat in order to establish better living conditions for the people living aboard the train. One of them has Tilda Swinton and one has Anthony Mackie, but both are worth watching.
If You Liked The Fault In Our Stars, Try What if (Opens August 1) Now that you’ve recovered from watching two people fall tragically in love, why not follow it up with a funnier take on romance? Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, What if tackles the immortal question of whether or not people can be just friends if they have romantic feelings for one another. It’s a smart, creative take on the traditional rom com, and it won’t leave you a shell of your former self at the end.
If You Like Tammy, Try They Came Together (Opens June 27) Comic powerhouses Melissa McCarthy and Amy Poehler both happen to be starring in major movies this summer. Co-written by and starring McCarthy, Tammy is a road trip movie that follows the titular character’s misadventures with her alcoholic, diabetic grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). Poehler’s role as Molly in David Wain’s rom com parody is a bit more low-key, but promises to be just as funny and irreverent.
If You Liked 22 Jump Street, Try Life After Beth (Opens August 15) At its heart, 22 Jump Street is a film about a couple attempting to hold their relationship together despite their different personalities and the obstacles that arise because of them. It just so happens that Life After Beth tells a similar story, except instead of being undercover cops whose partnership is tested by college, the big hurdle that Beth and Zach need to overcome is the fact that Beth is, well… a zombie.
If You Like Get On Up, Try Frank (Opens August 15) Chadwick Boseman stars as the hardest working man in show business in Get On Up, which charts the life and career of James Brown, culminating in his comeback in the 1990s. But if you’re looking for a slightly more unconventional take on the music “biopic,” we recommend Frank, which stars Michael Fassbender as an eccentric, brilliant musician who wears a giant fake head at all times and Domhnall Gleeson as the newest recruit to Frank’s band. Although something tells us their music won’t be as easy to dance to…
If You Like Sex Tape, Try Two Night Stand (Opens August 22) Summer isn’t just filled with alien-fighting robots and superheroes protecting the galaxy; it’s also the time of year when the world celebrates the raunchy sex comedy. First up is Sex Tape, which follows a couple who film themselves in the act in an attempt to spice up their marriage, only to accidentally send it to all of their friends. Two Night Stand also centers on a regrettable decision – sleeping with a drunk stranger you met at a bar – that spirals out of control due to unforeseen circumstances. In this case, it’s a blizzard that traps the unhappy couple in an apartment together.
If You Liked X-Men: Days of Future Past, Try I Origins (Opens July 18) If you prefer the X-Men to all of the other superheroes on the block, you’re likely someone who appreciates a slightly complicated storyline, discussions of science and genetics and misfits coming together to form a family – which means that I Origins, a sci-fi romance about a molecular biologist who studies the human eye and his journey for truth and his lost love.
Buena Vista Pictures via Everett Collection
When The Lion King arrived in theaters 20 years ago, it helped cement Disney’s reputation as the premiere studio for animated films, entertained movie-goers both young and old with its catchy songs and brightly-colored characters, and taught a generation of children many valuable life lessons. We learned not to take life too seriously, that grubs taste like chicken, to avoid anywhere the light doesn’t reach, and that hyenas are not the brightest of creatures. But most importantly, The Lion King taught us all a great deal about death, and the emotional baggage that comes with it.
For most kids who grew up in the ‘90s, Mufasa’s death was the first traumatizing cinematic event we experienced. (And if you were fortunate, it was also the first time that you encountered death in any form.) No matter how many times we watched the mighty king fall to his demise in a stampede of wildebeests, it never got easier. There are even some of us who still get teary-eyed watching Simba crying over the lifeless body of his father, barely able to understand why he wasn’t going to wake up.
In most of the cartoons and movies that we had seen until that point, the person hanging off the side of the cliff would be rescued in the nick of time. Mufasa’s death is one of the first times that we were forced to deal with the idea that the hero doesn’t always triumph. Mufasa is established as a good king, a noble character who cares for his family and his people, someone we look up to and admire. Watching him die showed us that terrible things can often happen to noble people, and that being good isn’t always enough to guarantee us a happy ending. His death is unfair – both because of his role as the hero and the fact that he’s leaving his son alone – as death usually is, and watching Simba plead with his father to wake up is the first time that most of us had to wrestle with that notion.
But The Lion King didn’t just introduce us to the notion of death; it also helped us reconcile the difficult, complicated emotions that come with the grieving process. Like Simba, we learned that death can bring up a host of complicated emotions, and that losing a loved one doesn’t just make you sad. You’ll feel angry, frustrated, guilty, burdened, but that it’s ultimately okay to feel those things. In fact, it’s important to feel those things. We watched Simba wrestle with his guilt over Mufasa’a death, and learn that it wasn’t his fault. We learned that losing a loved one can have a life-long impact, and can be difficult to reconcile, even years later.
These are all emotions and issues that adults face, and often struggle with, and here they were, presented in a children’s film for kids to digest and learn from. The Lion King doesn’t sugar coat these issues or talk down to its audience, either. It simply presents us with a situation that all of us are going to have to endure at some point in our lives, and shows us the reality of what that experience is like. “It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be complicated and messy, but you will make it through this,” is what The Lion King says about death, “You’re stronger than you realize, and you can handle this.” That’s an important message for both kids and adults, and The Lion King presents it in a simple, matter-of-fact way. Death is an important part of the circle of life, and in real life, we’re going to be expected to carry on, to keep living and learning and changing in the same way that Simba does after his father dies. The Lion King understands that, and taught us kids that we will have to learn from it and grow in order to be the people that we want to be. Life and death aren’t easy, but with a little strength, determination and some good friends to help us through, we can make it through anything that gets thrown our way.
It’s like Rafiki said: “The past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it.“ That’s the lesson the film wants to impart, and it’s one that has stayed with us for our whole lives. The Lion King may have been the first time that many of us were forced to confront the idea of death, but it was also the first time we were given the knowledge to face up to that idea, and overcome the hardships it brings with it. And ultimately, that’s worth more than all of the catchy songs and wise-cracking sidekicks in Disney’s arsenal.
Buena Vista Pictures via Everett Collection
Twenty-one years ago, we watched a homophobic Denzel Washington warm up to his fellow lawyer and client Tom Hanks, a gay man afflicted with AIDS, over the course of a criminal case that proved that America was no easy place for a homosexual gentleman to make a living or lead his life. And at the end of this story called Philadelphia, that no-longer-homophobic Denzel Washington was a hero. The sort of man who harbored "completely sympathetic" sentiments at the start, but graduated to sentiments altogether admirable. That's the sort of world we lived in back in 1993. But these 21 years later, we live in the sort of world that would take a homophobic Denzel Washington and cast him into villainy, redemptive arc or not. Which is why the plot of Disney's Father of the Bride 3, of all things, sounds about a decade or so too late.
The threequel to Steve Martin's family comedies Father of the Bride (1991) and Father of the Bride Part II (1995) will have the snow-capped comedic dynamo lamenting the realization that his son Matt (played in the first two films by young Kieran Culkin, now age 29) is gay and engaged to a man. Nikki Finke's blog reports the premise, explaining that Martin's uptight-but-affable family man George Banks will this time be "thunderstruck and speechless" and none too keen on the revelation of his son's sexual orientation. Although George's wife Nina (Diane Keaton) plays the voice of reason in casting her thick-headed husband out of the house, so reports Finke, we're still looking at a severely outdated mentality in the approach of the subject.
Buena Vista Pictures via Everett Collection
Although homophobia is a far, far cry from absent in today's America, the media (including a few of Disney's own properties) seems to embrace the idea that anyone advertising prejudice against gay men and women is acting in the name of ignorance, idiocy, and injustice, not the "acceptable hesitations" of eras past. No longer do we live in the Philadelphia days when a character like Washington's attorney Joe Miller might be seen as sympathetic in spite (or perhaps in light) of his bigotry. Today, the homophobes of film and TV are the bad guys. Although heteronormativity remains a problem coursing through our media, abject hatred is aligned with criminal characters. How can we accept our own George Banks in his role as put-upon good guy with such a nasty proclivity for intolerance?
And why is it necessary in a movie about gay marriage for any figure to express disfavor with the wedding at hand? Of course it would be ridiculous to deny extant hardships faced by the gay community, but we've also breached an era wherein the notion of a family accepting a member's profession of homosexuality without pause is hardly implausible. The Philadelphias of past helped to align the sympathies of viewing audiences with gay men and women, to point out the wickedness in the time's all-too-prevalent defamy. What we need now from our movies is to induct gay relationships into their depiction of normalcy. To show that the same love, happiness, drama, and comedy that we see in films like Father of the Bride would exist in a story about two men tying the knot. Even this notion seems too obvious to point out, but clearly Disney doesn't quite think so.
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All the way back in Season 2 of Game of Thrones, Maester Luwin of Winterfell tells Bran Stark, "Maybe magic once was a mighty force in the world, but not anymore. The dragons are gone, the giants are dead, and the Children of the forest forgotten." But so far, the late Maester has been mistaken on nearly all accounts: Daenerys' dragons are terrorizing the skies of Meereen. Jon Snow warded of giants in the battle of Castle Black. And as we saw in this week's Season 4 finale, the Children, while still forgotten, are still living way up in the North. It can be easy to forget after spending so much time mired in the messy human politics of King's Landing, but magic is still the real force turning the gears of Westeros. In "The Children," we are introduced (or re-introduced) to some of the most important magical entities in Game of Thrones. So who were all these bizarre creatures?
The Children of the Forest First Mentioned: Season 2In This Episode: Bran is saved from a gang of Wights (more on that later) by a fairy-grenade chucking member of the Children named Leaf.What Are They: These diminutive, human-like creatures were the original inhabitants of Westeros, and they predate the arrival of the First Men by thousands of years. The children inhabited the great stretches of forests that made up much of Westeros before men arrived to create their own civilizations. They are believed to be the ones that carved the faces into the weirwood trees seen in different locations throughout the continent. They are also believed to have supplied the Night's Watch with weapons made of dragonglass, a substance akin to obsidian and the only material proven able to kill a White Walker (Sam uses a dragonglass spear tip to kill the White Walker in Season 3). Over the years, the children have faded into myth and legend, but a few (such as Maester Luwin) believe that they really did exist once upon a time, but are long gone.
The Wights First Seen: Season 1 In This Episode: The Wights are the skeleton creatures that attacked Bran, Jojen, Hodor, and Meera near the big weirwood tree.What Are They: There has been much confusion among TV watchers about the difference between White Walkers and Wights. The White Walkers are a mythological race entirely separate from humans, while the wights are the reanimated corpses of dead humans that serve as minions to the White Walkers. Wights are brought to life by White Walker magic, and any dead person is susceptible to the transformation unless his or her body is burned (which is why Jon Snow has been so burn-happy with all the dead bodies as of late). Their bodies exhibit various stages of decay that correspond roughly to how decomposed one's corpose was when transformed. The Wights are largely mindless, but are not susceptible to dragonglass weapons like their White Walker masters.
The Three-Eyed Raven First Mentioned: Season 1 In This Episode: The three-eyed raven is the old man seen in the cave after Bran escapes the Wight attack.What is he: Getting into exactly who and what the three-eyed raven actually is would border on spoiler territory, but we can tell you that the raven is an entity that has been watching Bran with interest for a long time now, and that he has a very close connection with the Children of the Forest. After Bran loses the ability to walk in the first season, Much of his storyline has involved the presence of a three-eyed raven, an image that has visited him multiple times during his dreams. It was the raven that led him to the Stark family crypt right after his father died. After meeting Jojen and Meera Reed, Bran is spurred north by visions of the three-eyed raven and a giant weirwood tree, which he reaches at the end of last night's episode. Let's just say that the three-eyed raven has huge plans for Bran going forward.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Nobody in Hollywood embodies the "hit or miss" phenomenon to a greater degree than Tom Cruise does. Some love his energy, some think he's a wacko. With some of the most iconic movies of the past few decades and some of the most infamous clunkers to boot, Cruise is a master of keeping us guessing. After a string of lesser performances, his latest film Edge of Tomorrow reminds us of the sort of talent Cruise can embody when he's got the right role. It's the latest "great" in a long line, interwoven with an equally long line of "terribles." Here's a quick rundown of the lion's share of Cruise's roles, assessing which side of the coin he ends up on with each:
The Outsiders Great: Steve Randle isn't the biggest or most iconic character in the film, but it's hard to imagine the ensemble working so well together without him. Stay gold, Cruise.
Risky Business Great: Sometimes you can pinpoint the exact moment that someone becomes a star. For Cruise, it was that first tighty-whitey clad sock-slide through his living room.
Top Gun Terrible: Yeah, it might be his most iconic role of all time, but what do you really remember from this movie: Cruise’s empty smile or their planes doing barrel rolls? That’s what we thought.
Rain Man Great: Dustin Hoffman might have the more memorable role, but it would be nothing without Cruise’s quietly excellent performance.
Born on the Fourth of July Great: Cruise deservedly earned his first Oscar nomination for his intense, transformative performance as a paralyzed Vietnam War veteran. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how well the guy can act.
Days of ThunderGreat: Sure, it's basically Top Gun with cars, but at least Cruise has some personality in this one.
A Few Good Men Great: It takes a lot of talent to hold your own opposite Jack Nicholson, but Cruise managed to do that, and then some.
Interview with the VampireTerrible: The most memorable thing about Cruise's take on the legendary vampire Lestat was the frizzy, straw-like wig that the production team plopped on his head.
Mission: Impossible I - IVGreat: No action hero brings out the best in Tom Cruise quite like Ethan Hunt.
Jerry MaguireGreat: It might be hard to believe in these post-couch jump days, but once upon a time Cruise was the most charming heartthrob in Hollywood, and this is the performance that scored him that title.
Eyes Wide ShutGreat: Before Keith and Nicole and before TomKat, Cruise and Kidman were Hollywood's hottest power couple, and Eyes Wide Shut is a showcase of both stars' big screen prowess.
MagnoliaGreat: Whenever Cruise steps away from the heroic leading men he normally plays, something magical happens, and his performance in Magnolia is the best example of that law in action.
Vanilla SkyTerrible: What Vanilla Sky needed was a strong, complex, layered performance to anchor the film. What it got was an overly smarmy, obnoxious, befuddled Cruise.
Minority Report Great: Carrying a blockbuster film is tough. Carrying a blockbuster film that's also an iconic sci-fi epic with time travel, crime, plot twists, murder, and intrigue? That requires Tom Cruise.
The Last Samurai Terrible: We can only imagine that Cruise's "Keanu Reeves in a Samurai film" impression is what eventually inspired Universal to make 47 Ronin.
CollateralGreat: Cruise was a long way into his career before he finally played the villain in a film, but he seemed to be a natural at it. Maybe it's that manic grin that makes him so convincing.
War of the Worlds Terrible: It’s not really his fault. Everything about this movie was terrible, but Cruise’s flat, blank-stared hero definitely didn’t help matters.
Tropic Thunder Great: Nobody expected Cruise to be the breakout star of this movie, but it proved that it’s not heroic action movies where he truly shines – it’s in a fat suit and a comb-over.
Valkyrie Terrible: You know what? The less we say about this one, the better.
Rock of AgesTerrible: Because when you think "sexy, legendary, bad-boy rock star," you think of the guy who played Jerry Maguire, right?
Jack ReacherTerrible: It only took one shot of Cruise failing to look intimidating while surrounded by thugs in the trailer for audiences to realize that the lead was gravely miscast. It was like watching a kindergartener take on the fifth graders.
Oblivion Terrible: This movie is solidly mediocre, but a charmless Cruise sinks it to subterranean levels.
Edge of TomorrowGreat: As it turns out, all Cruise needs to get back whatever career mojo he's lost is an interesting concept, a giant robot suit and the freedom to be a complete and total jackass.
British rapper Example has turned on his former mentor Mike Skinner, insisting The Streets star's career bombed after his third album. The Stay Awake hitmaker got his big break when Skinner signed him to his record company, The Beats, in 2006, and he put out five singles and his debut album What We Made on the label before it closed in 2007.
However, he has now taken a swipe at his former boss Skinner by suggesting the star's career was effectively ended by his 2006 release The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living.
The album - on which Skinner wrote extensively about his struggle to deal with stardom - divided critics and fans, and Example is adamant the record sounded the death knell for his former mentor's music career.
He tells Q magazine, "Mike Skinner's third album was all about fame and money. That's the moment it kind of finished for him."
Skinner went on to release two more albums but split up The Streets in 2011.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
On May 30, Seth MacFarlane, a purveyor of wacky humor on screens big (Ted) and small (Family Guy) offers up his answer to Mel Brooks' classic Western comedy Blazing Saddles: A Million Ways to Die in the West. The undoubtedly raunchy, slapstick-heavy, and pop culture-laden film will star MacFarlane as an unlucky, cowardly farmhand living in the ol' West, attempting to reclaim his manhood with the help of a brazen cowgirl played by Charlize Theron. With a cast that includes Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Sarah Silverman, and Giovanni Ribisi, MacFarlane's Ted follow-up seems like a winner. In celebration of the upcoming comedy, we've got an epic prize pack giveaway, running from Tuesday, May 27 through Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Entering is incredibly easy. All you have to do is:
1. Follow @Hollywood_com starting April 25, 2014.
RT & Follow for a chance to win a wild west prize pack in our #AMillionWaysToDieInTheWestGiveaway! http://t.co/8I5tL5h7cZ
— Hollywood.com (@Hollywood_com) May 27, 2014
One (1) winner will receive a prize pack of one (1) Custom Shaving Kit, one (1) Custom Flask, one (1) Bolo Tie, one (1) Custom T-Shirt, one (1) Mini-Poster, and one (1) Soundtrack. One (1) runner-up will receive one (1) Custom T-Shirt, one (1) Mini-Poster, one (1) Soundtrack.
APPROX. VALUE: $120
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Television upfronts are upon us. Even though the fall TV season has just barely come to a close, with many shows not returning next year (poor Community), the networks have a new crop of shows ready to premiere later this year. NBC has recently announced its fall lineup, including an interesting mix of comedies and dramas. Here's a preview of NBC's upcoming primetime lineup
A to ZWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What It's About: Andrew (Ben Feldman), a romantic at heart, tries to win the girl of his dreams, Zoey (Cristin Milioti).Who's in It: Ben Feldman, Cristin Milioti. What It Sounds Like: Exactly like How I Met Your Mother. It's so similar it's almost a little shameless. Check this: The male lead is a doe-eyed romantic; the female lead wants nothing to do with relationships; an unseen narrator who is also voiced by an actor best known from a '90s sitcom (Katey Sagal), is recounting the whole story; incredible romantic coincidences aplenty involving particularly colored items. It's madness. But at least they don't share a cast member... oh, wait...How Good It Will Be: It honestly looks like a tepid version of the CBS series, but without any of that show’s subversive charm or quirks.How Long It Will Last: It looks pleasant enough to last through the season, but who wants to watch another eight years of Ted and Robin doing will-they-won’t they.Premiere: Thursdays at 9:30 this fall.
Bad JudgeWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What It's About: Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh) is a wild party girl who also happens to be L.A.'s toughest criminal judge.Who's In It: Kate Walsh, John Ducey, Tone Bell, Theodore Barnes.What's It Sound Like: A reality show titled Judge Judy: Off the Bench.How Good It Will Be: Judging by the trailer, it seems like the main character’s antics will grow stale after a while. “She’s a high ranking official, yet she’s wildly inappropriate” can only be barely amusing for so long.How Long It Will Last: This looks dead on arrival.Premiere: Thurdays at 9:00 this fall.
The Mysteries of LauraWhat It Is: Cop dramedy. What It's About: Laura Diamond (Debra Messing) is a gifted detective who must balance the excitement of police work with managing her twin boys and a flippant ex-husband.Who's In It: Debra Messing, Josh Lucas.What's It Sound Like: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but with more family drama.How Good Will It Be: It’s hard to tell. The trailer is charming enough and is actually littered with a couple chuckles. How Long Will It Last: We can see this one going the distance.Premiere: Wednesdays at 8:00 this fall.
ConstantineWhat It Is: Supernatural drama.What It's About: Based on DC Comics’ classic series Hellblazer, demon hunter John Constantine travels the country to fight off the forces of hell while looking cool in a trench coat. Who's In It: Matt Ryan, Lucy Griffiths, Harrold Perrineau. What's It Sounds Like: Like Supernatural, with more Brits. How Good Will It Be: The trailer has some genuine creepy moments and looks like a far cry from the Keanu Reeves-centered, sun-drenched L.A. interperatation of the character from 2005’s Constantine. Matt Ryan is a dead ringer for the comic book version, down to the blond hair and british-accented quips. How Long Will It Last: This one has good chances. Even though it’s scheduled for Friday nights, which is usually the death nell for television, NBC’s other supernatural action series, Grimm has improbably managed to survive on the same night. Also, It’s connection to comics will certainly bring in viewers.Premiere: Fridays at 10:00 this fall.
State of AffairsWhat It Is: Drama. What It's About: CIA analyst Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) must decide which international crises need to be brought to the attention of the president. She’s also on a mission to find the people responsible for the murder of her fiancé, who was the president’s son.Who's In It: Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Adam Kaufman. What's It Sound Like: Like Scandal meets Homeland. How Good It Will Be: It looks like a soapy, glossy network version of Homeland, which could be fun, but could also be terrible. How Long It Will Last: NBC found a surprise hit with The Blacklist, and this show looks pretty similar in story. If it can pick up on that show’s audience it will definitely make it through the season.Premiere: November 17 at 10:00.
Marry MeWhat Is It: Single-camera sitcom. What It's About: After six perfect years together, Annie and Jake are ready to get married, but the universe seems to have other plans for them. Who's In It: Ken Marino, Casey Wilson, Sarah Wright, John Gemberling. What's It Sound Like: It’s basically looks like Happy Endings, which makes sense since it’s also from that show’s creator, David Caspe. How Good Will It Be: The cast has some great comedy chops, and the trailer has some goofy laughs here and there. If this show is even half as good as Happy Endings in it’s prime, we’ll be satisfied.How Long Will It Last: NBC is in dire need of some new comedies so we’re betting this one sticks around for a while. Premiere: Tuesday at 9:00 this fall.
AllegianceWhat It Is: Spy drama. What It's About: Alex O’Connor is a young idealistic CIA analyst, but his life comes crashing down when he learns that his parents are deactivated KGB agents who have just been re-enlisted by the Kremlin to commit a terrorist attack against the U.S. Who's In It: Gavin Stenhouse, Scott Cohen, Hope Davis.What's It Sound Like: The Americans, but with fewer wigs and less '80s music. How Good It Will Be: It’ll be hard for this show to compete quality-wise with The Americans, which is probably the most underrated drama on television, since it is mining such similar territory. How Long It Will Last: You only have to look as far as NBC’s Hostages to see that dramas like this don’t tend to do well on the network. If the show is a critical success it good skate on its prestige like Hannibal, but we don’t see this as being terribly successful.Premiere: N/A
AquariusWhat It Is: Period police drama.What It's About: In 1967, L.A. police sergeant Sam Hodiak investigates a cult leader luring young women to his cause. Little does he know that that the guy he’s hunting turns out to be Charles Manson.Who's In It: David Duchovny. What's It Sound Like: Bates Motel, but replace Norman Bates with Charles Manson. How Good Will It Be: It looks like NBC is trying to mine the success (critical success at least) of Hannibal. If this show is even a tenth as good as that, it will be a home run.How Long Will It Last?: Knowing NBC and it’s audience, If this show does make it to the end of the season, it will be one of those shows that’s permanently on the bubble come renewal time.Premiere: N/A
Emerald CityWhat It Is: Fantasy drama.What It's About: A woman investigating the identity of her biological mother gets swept up into a tornado and transported to a twisted vision of magical world of Oz Who's In It: N/A What's It Sound Like: A dark and gritty version of The Wizard of Oz. How Good Will It Be: Judging from recent “Dark” versions of fairy tales (Hanzel and Gretal: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman), we don’t have high hopes. How Long Will It Last: NBC’s recet genre offerings haven’t fared to well, but ABC’s Once Upon a Time shows that there’s certainly an audience for fantasy on network TV.Premiere: N/A
Mission ControlWhat Is It: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Dr. Mary Kendricks is a brilliant Aerospace engineer that must survive the boys club of Astronauts in the 1960s. Who's In It: Krysten Ritter, Tommy Dewey, Malcolm Barrett, Johnathan Slavin, Julie Meyer.What's It Sound Like: Mad Men meets Anchorman with some Better Off Ted sprinkled in. How Good Will It Be: Mad Men has found a great amount of drama exploring the old-timey misogyny of the 1960s. A series that can explore the same themes from a comedic lens could be really great.How Long Will It Last: It’s hard to tell. This sounds pretty ambitious from NBC. It doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that people will immediately click with, so Mission Control might not last.Premiere: N/A
Mr. RobinsonWhat It Is: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Down on his luck musician Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson... hey, wait a minute...) teaches music to pay the bills, but works harder to inspire his students once he finds out that they’re only taking his class for the easy A.Who's In It: Craig Robinson, Jean Smart.What's It Sound Like: An updated version of Welcome Back Kotter.How Good Will It Be: Craig Robinson is a huge talent, and we’ve been waiting for him to get the chance to carry his own show. Fingers crossed, everybody. How Long Will It Last: Hopefully, old fans of The Office can rally behind this show and help it secure at least a couple of seasons.Premiere: N/A
OdysseyWhat It Is: Multi-camera sitcom. What It's About: A soldier, a corporate lawyer, and a political activist uncover a military-industrial conspiracy involving al Qaeda, the U.S. military, and a U.S. corporation funding the terrorist cell.Who's In It: Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Jim True-Frost. What's It Sound Like: Traffic with a heaping teaspoon of Homeland.How Good Will It Be: It sounds like an ambitious, international undertaking from NBC. It sounds good, but then again it’s from a director of Grey’s Anatomy. We guess we’ll have to see.How Long Will It Last: Not too long. This doesn’t look like NBC’s usual offerings so it’s hard to think it will last.Premiere: N/A
One Big Happy What Is It: Single-camera sitcom.What's It About: Best friends, Lizzy and Luke decide to start an unorthodox family, but things get crowded when Luke meets and marries the woman of his dreams, Prudence, a british expat scheduled to leave the country. Who's In It: Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert, Kelly Brook.What's It Sound Like: A zanier version of Modern Family. How Good Will It Be: It sounds like fun, and Elisha Cuthbert was fantastic in Happy Endings.Premiere: N/A
Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtWhat Is It: Single camera sitcom What’s It About: After 15 years of living in a cult, a woman decides to reinvent her life by moving to New York and taking on the city that never sleeps.Who's In It: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess.What’s It Sound Like: Ugly Betty meets The Office.How Good Will It Be: Ellie Kemper is perpetually delightful, and the idea of a woman readjusting to modern life after living in a cult could lead to some absurd situations. How Long Will It Last: Like Mr. Robinson, fans of the office might give this show a boost at least initially. Were thinking this one will at least finish out it’s season.Premiere: N/A