When Fox announced that they were dropping the standard pilot-season model of developing new TV shows; it earned them a great deal of attention from fans and critics. So when they unveiled their Fall 2014-2015 schedule, everyone's focus went straight to the slate of new shows premiering in the next few months — after all, they have to be good if Fox is willing to gamble on a brand new way of doing things. In certain cases, it seems like the gamble might just have paid off — you can't go wrong with Batman or British remakes, right? - but others seem like they'll only rub salt in the wound of recent cancellations.
We've run down all of Fox's upcoming series in order to predict which ones will live up to the hype and be worth your time come fall. Although sadly, none of them seem likely to fill the Enlisted-shaped hole in our hearts.
Gotham What It Is: DramaWhat It's About: Following Det. Jim Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department as they deal with the crime and corruption that plagues the city, and Gordon attempts to find Who's In It: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee and Jada Pinkett-SmithWhat It Sounds Like: It's basically Batman, minus Batman himself. How Good Will It Be: Based on the first trailer for the show, it looks like it could be exciting and gritty, although tiny Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle do make us a bit wary. Still, it's got a talented cast on board, so if the show can keep the visuals and story interesting, it could be surprisingly good. How Long It Will Last: At least two seasons. Fox has thrown a lot of support behind Gotham, so they won't let it go easily.
UtopiaWhat It Is: Reality showWhat It's About: 15 people move to an isolated, undeveloped location for a year and attempt to build their own society from scratch. Who's In It: No word yet, but they have to be crazy if they're willing to sign up for this. What It Sounds Like: Big Brother meets Survivor, with a dash of Kid Nation. How Good Will It Be: It depends entirely on the cast, but our best bet is that it will either be outright terrible, or horrifically entertaining. How Long It Will Last: Unfortunately, it will probably run for ten years.
Red Band SocietyWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: A coming-of-age story set in the pediatric ward of a hospital that follows a group of patients as they grow, bond, and battle illnesses. Who's In It: Octavia Spencer, Griffin Gluck, Charlie Rowe, Dave Annable, Brian Bradley aka Astro, Ciara Bravo and Zoe LevinWhat It Sounds Like: One Tree Hill meets Grey's Anatomy, except only one person is in a coma. How Good Will It Be: Spencer is generally the best part of everything she does, but even she might not be enough to make the many elements of this show — comedy, drama, tear-jerking moments of triumph, general teenage drama, hospital administration — blend well together. How Long It Will Last: About a season. Even if it is good, it will probably struggle to find an audience.
GracepointWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: Based on the British series Broadchurch, it centers on a small town and the murder that upends the lives of all of its residents. Who's In It: David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Michael Peña, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Zegers and Jessica LucasWhat It Sounds Like: It's literally just Broadchurch with Tennant doing an American accent. How Good Will It Be: A lot depends on how much they take from the original, but since that was such a good series and they've got a fantastic cast on board, things look good for Gracepoint. How Long It Will Last: At least three seasons, regardless of how closely it hews to the original.
Backstrom What It Is: Drama What It's About: A crime procedural about an obnoxious and offensive, but brilliant detective who is brought back from exile to run the special crimes unit. Who's In It: Rainn Wilson, Dennis Haysbert, Thomas Dekker, Beatrice Rosen and Kristoffer PolahaWhat It Sounds Like: Every other "rogue cop" procedural that's hit the air in the last few year, but with Dwight from The OfficeHow Good Will It Be: It has a pretty decent cast, but the premise is something we've seen before many times, with varying levels of success, so there's a lot against it. A lot is riding on Wilson, although it's his first real foray into drama, which also doesn't bode well. How Long It Will Last: Like almost every other crime procedural premiering this fall, it will probably be canceled within the year.
Mulaney What It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: An aspiring stand-up comic gets a job writing jokes for a narcissistic comedian and game show host, which causes conflict between him and his two best friends and roommates. Who's In It: John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, Seaton Smith and Elliott GouldWhat It Sounds Like: Seinfeld meets New Girl, with a touch of 30 Rock How Good Will It Be: The cast is fantastic, but multi-cam sitcoms can be pretty hit or miss, and this one was dropped by NBC and then reworked before FOX picks it up. However, the combination of SNL alums and comic legends means this one will probably be one of your new favorite shows. How Long It Will Last: Sunday night at 9:30 is a tough slot, but we think this one will scrape its way to a second season.
EmpireWhat It Is: Drama What It's About: It follows Lucious Lyon, the head of a major hip hop record label and the ex-wife and family who are competing to take over the family business. Who's In It: Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Gabourey Sidibe, Bryshere Gray, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers and Kaitlin DoubledayWhat It Sounds Like: Hustle and Flow meets Nashville How Good Will It Be: Empire has a lot of big-name talent behind it - in addition to the Oscar-nominated cast, it was created by Lee Daniels and written by Danny Strong — but it seems like the kind of show that would fare better on cable, so it might end up being a little lackluster. How Long It Will Last: Well, Nashville got three seasons, so we're predicting Empire will get the same.
Hieroglyph What It Is: Drama What It's About: After he gets caught stealing a magic scroll, a thief is brought to work for the Pharaoh, only to discover that court might be more dangerous than prison. Who's In It: Max Brown, Reece Ritchie, Condola Rashad, Caroline Ford and John Rhys-DaviesWhat It Sounds Like: Game of Thrones meets Sleepy Hollow, set in Ancient Egypt. How Good Will It Be: It's written by Travis Beacham, who wrote Pacific Rim, so it could turn out to be entertaining and campy. However, it's completely ridiculous-sounding, so the odds are against it. How Long It Will Last: Unless it manages to pull in a devoted audience like Sleepy Hollow, probably only one season.
Wayward Pines What It Is: Drama What It's About: An idyllic American town... that you can never leave. Who's In It: Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Melissa Leo, Tobey Jones, Juliette Lewis and Terrence HowardWhat It Sounds Like: The Stepford Wives meets The Twilight Zone How Good Will It Be: On the one hand, it's got an impressive A-List cast. On the other, it's executive-produced by M. Night Shamylan, so we're hoping it will be good, but expecting it to be terrible. How Long It Will Last: The Shamylan outrage will bring attention to it, resulting in it just barely earning a second season.
Bordertown What It Is: Animated sitcomWhat It's About: Set on a town that borders the US and Mexico, it follows two families as they navigate life, relationships and politics. Who's In It: Alex Borstein, Nicholas Gonzalez, Judah Friedlander, Missi Pyle and Efren RamirezWhat It Sounds Like: American Dad meets The Cleveland ShowHow Good Will It Be: The last time Seth MacFarlane made a show about racial and family dynamics, we got Dads, so we're not optimistic. How Long It Will Last: 5 years at a minimum
Last Man on Earth What It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: After an apocalypse wipes out all of humanity except one man, he wanders the earth looking for other survivors. Who's In It: Will ForteWhat It Sounds Like: Zombieland, minus the other peopleHow Good Will It Be: Forte is hilarious, and his recent dramatic turn in Nebraska will probably serve him well, but it's hard to see how this concept will last longer than one episode. How Long It Will Last: It's a quirky comedy from an SNL alum that isn't Amy Poehler, Tina Fey or Jimmy Fallon. It'll get a year if we're lucky.
Weird LonersWhat It Is: SitcomWhat It's About: Four relationship-phobic weirdoes find each other living next door to one another in a New York apartment. Who's In It: Becky Newton, Zachary Knighton, Nate Torrence and Meera KhumbhaniWhat It Sounds Like: New Girl meets Happy Endings, minus Damon Wayans Jr. How Good Will It Be: The cast is made up of actors who have primarily played the "best friend" role in comedies, so it could be the showcase they need to establish themselves as leading actors. However, the premise seems like a re-tread of most post-Friends comedies, with some forced "quirk," so we don't see things going well. How Long It Will Last: Three out of four actors were on shows that were cancelled relatively soon, so we'd be surprised if this one made it to a second season.
Actor Terrence Howard is reuniting with his The Butler director Lee Daniels to star in his forthcoming TV drama series. The filmmaker is set to make his small screen debut with Empire, and he has tapped Oscar nominee Howard to lead the cast as rap label boss Lucious Lyon, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The project will be Howard's second big TV project - he will also feature in M. Night Shyamalan's Wayward Pines series, which will premiere in the U.S. in July (14). Both shows will air on America's Fox network.
The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan has landed Matt Dillon and Melissa Leo for a spooky venture into TV. The moviemaker is teaming with the There's Something About Mary star for a new small screen series called Wayward Pines, about a secret service agent, played by Dillon, who heads to a strange town to investigate the disappearance of two federal agents.
Oscar-winning actress Leo will join Dillon, playing a nurse in the TV thriller, which has been commissioned by executives at America's Fox network ahead of a planned 2014 broadcast date.
Shyamalan will direct the show and act as executive producer.
Who saw this one coming? Director M. Night Shyamalan will make the transition to television, officially joining Fox's 2013 fall programming lineup. On Monday morning the network announced that his event miniseries Wayward Pines, starring Matt Dillon, will debut in 2014. Will there be killer winds, secretly dead child therapists, aliens, or ladies in the water? Who knows! (Actually, we do know the 1o-part miniseries will be about Dillon as a Secret Service agent tracking down the mystery of two missing agents in a sleepy Idaho town).
While we'll have to wait a little longer to find out, it's a pretty safe bet that Seth MacFarlane's first live-action comedy Dads, which is slated to debut in the fall of 2013, will have the Family Guy creator's signature brand of humor. Dads will air on Tuesday nights, joining Andy Samberg's newcomer Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Wayward Pines, Dads, and the previously announced Junior Masterchef, Sleepy Hollow and Almost Human (from none other than J.J. Abrams) are just some of the new programs joining the Fox family. There's also new dramas like Gang Related and Rake (starring Greg Kinnear) slated to begin mid-season, as well as new ensemble comedies such as Us & Them, Enlisted, Surviving Jack, and the animated Murder Police.
Here's how the Fox 2013-2014 lineup will play out:
Monday8 PM – Bones (fall), Almost Human (late fall)9 PM – Sleepy Hollow (fall), The Following (mid-season)
Tuesday8 PM – Dads 8:30PM – Brooklyn Nine-Nine 9 PM – New Girl9:30 PM – The Mindy Project
Wednesday8 PM – The X Factor (fall), American Idol (mid-season)
Thursday8 PM – The X Factor results show (fall), American Idol results show (mid-season)9 PM – Glee (fall), Rake (mid-season)
Friday8 PM – Junior Masterchef (fall)9 PM – Sleepy Hollow (fall)
Sunday7 PM – NFL (fall)8 PM – The Simpsons8:30PM - Bob’s Burgers9 PM - Family Guy
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TCA is in full swing and in the spirit of revealing the best of TV’s upcoming events, Fox announced four new series to be added to its slate.
In addition to filling out its Animation Domination block with new late night summer shows Axe Cop and High School USA! (featuring the voices of Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser, Mandy Moore, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, and more), the network dropped details about its long-form event series from M. Night Shyamalan and Band of Brothers writer Bruce C. McKenna. Both series are described as “high-impact, 10- to 12-part events” by Fox CEO Kevin Reilly.
The first series, Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines is, of course, a mystery series sure to be full of Shyamalan’s signature “unexpected” twists. Based on the novel Pines by Blake Crouch, the series will deliver its secret service agent protagonist into a veritable smorgasborg of Shyamalanian fruit: he goes to the small town of Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of two federal agents but finds himself with even greater questions and the fear that he may never leave the town alive.
McKenna’s event series, Blood Brothers, takes a tone more rooted in reality, telling the true story of the West Point class of 1861 as they graduate and are unleashed right into the bloodiest fray in American history: the Civil War. Classmates and friends find themselves on opposite sides of the country’s polarizing conflict but for the Blood Brothers in question, their bonds prevailed over the violence. Coming off of the huge critical (and relative box office) success of the Civil War drama Lincoln, Blood Brothers could be a good move for Fox.
The long-form series don’t yet have release dates, but according to Reilly, "These two series are the first of many big ideas, big names and big talent that you can anticipate will be on our air in the next 12-24 months."
The late night series include Axe Cop (about “the most badass who ever existed”), High School USA! from Community’s Dino Stamatopoulos (a.k.a. Star Burns), and an untitled animated series starring identical twins and stand-up Kenny and Keith Lucas. The three animated series debut July 27 during Fox’s new Animation Domination block from 11 PM to 12:30 PM ET.
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
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