Saturday, May 21, 2016

2016-2017 TV Season: Shows To Watch

Over the last several days, we've gotten the upfronts from the upcoming 2016-2017 television season and here are some of the shows that have piqued the most interest.

1: 24: Legacy (FOX, Mondays 9pm, mid-season)

With Kiefer Sutherland retiring as Jack Bauer and playing president on ABC's Designated Survivor, the mantle of top CTU guy now falls into the hands of Corey Hawkins, who takes on the role of Eric Carter in this 12 episode series, which also includes the likes of Jimmy Smits, Miranda Otto and Teddy Sears. The trailer suggests nothing too new that we haven't seen Bauer deal with in nine previous seasons but whether or not this show can work without Bauer will remain to be seen.


2: Conviction (ABC, Mondays 10pm)

This last week has been a mixed fortune for the lovely Hayley Atwell. On one hand, Agent Carter was axed after two seasons by ABC but on the other hand, the network also commissioned this legal drama where Atwell will take on the role former First Daughter and all round party girl, Hayes Morrison, who now finds herself working for a New York law firm to make up for her misdeeds. While we're not exactly short on legal dramas, this could be ABC's answer to the now ended CBS rival, The Good Wife though and certainly looks slick and polished.


3: Designated Survivor (ABC, Wednesdays 10pm)

He may not be Jack Bauer anymore but Kiefer Sutherland thankfully has not abandoned television and this time around, he gets to play the President. When the current one is killed, it's up to Sutherland's character, Tom Kirkman to assume the role but with his own reluctance and a staff that seem openly sceptical of his abilities in the role, it looks like it's going to be a tough one for the guy. I'm not sure it'll be something I'll stick with but at the same time, it's still nice to have Kiefer back on the small screen.


4: MacGyver (CBS, Fridays 8pm)

Another television season, another reboot of a cheesy show with a slightly gritty-ish but not really remix to it. Can this version of MacGyver succeed where the likes of Charlie's Angels and Knight Rider failed in previous years? Oddly, I doubt it but I found the trailer actually fun and whether or not Lucas Till can truly capture the role like Richard Dean Anderson did back in the day remains to be seen. There's some decent support from former CSI actor George Eads as well.


5: Midnight Texas (NBC, mid-season, TBC)

From Charlaine Harris, the author of the Sookie Stackhouse books in which HBO were able to get seven seasons out of, courtesy of True Blood, NBC have roped in the writer from Alias and Charmed (Monica Owusa Breen) for this supernatural series set in the titular town, harbouring vampires, witches and the occassional hitman or so. The cast for this show includes Fran├žois Arnaud, Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Ramos, Peter Mensah, Yul Vazquez and Sean Bridgers. In terms of supernatural shows, aside from Grimm (currently entering a sixth season), NBC haven't had too many long lasters. Hopefully this show can break the trend. It also might help if the station released a trailer for it too. The series will run for 13 episodes.

Twitter Account:

6: Powerless (NBC, mid-season, TBC)

One of the strangest new shows to be debuting within the next year, this one is set within the DC comics universe but it's a comedy that seems to be more focused on the damage caused by superheroes more than anything else. Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk, this will air during mid-season. Again, accessing the trailer seems to be a difficult task here as NBC have taken it down. A 13 episode order has been made for the show. It does look funny enough as a series but if this does better than Constantine, I'll be shocked.

Trailer Breakdown/Easter Eggs:

7: Prison Break (FOX, Thursdays 9pm, mid season)

And they're back. If you enjoyed seeing Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell during their recent stints on both The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow, you can now enjoy them all over again as they reprise their most famous roles as Lincoln Burrows and Michael Scofield for this revival series. I have to admit to being sceptical about this particular show being brought back but after seeing the trailer and most of the old gang (Sara, T-Bag etc), I guess maybe there is room again to see the brothers breaking each other out of prison yet again.


8: Riverdale (CW, mid-season, TBC)

Based on the long running Archie comics and produced by Arrow verse master, Greg Berlanti, the CW have the perfect mid-season show here. From the leaked/quickly deleted trailer, Riverdale, starring KJ Apa as Archie seems to have a creepy blend of Twin Peaks meets Pretty Little Liars as the titular town harbours many secrets and lies, the majority of which are threatening to surface. Also in the cast are Luke Perry, Madchem Amick, Marisol Nicholls and Cole Sprouse while Casey Cott will be playing the role of openly gay teenager, Kevin in this series.

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9: Shots Fired (FOX, Wednesdays 8pm, Spring 2017)

And for something more topical. With ABC generating mass acclaim for American Crime, this upcoming events series will tackle the aftermath of a racially motivated crime. Starring Helen Hunt, Sanaa Lathan, Stephen James, Richard Dreyfuss and Stephen Moyer, this certainly looks like it could be the jewel in FOX's crown and pairing it with Empire as well could be a very smart move too. It certainly looks harrowing and I can see the Emmys tripping over themselves next year to nominate it for all the awards.


10: Star (FOX, Wednesdays 9pm , mid-season)

Now this one I am most looking forward to. Created by Lee Daniels and Tom Donaughy, this series will inevitably draw many comparisons to Empire and far as I'm concerned, it might as well be set in the same universe where the Lyon family exit. Not only will it be taking the show's timeslot for a few months but the premise sounds like they took the Mirage a Trois plot from the second season and did something a bit more compelling with it. The show will focus on Star (Jude Demorest), her sister Simone (Brittany O’Grady) and  and her Instagram bestie, Alexandra (Ryan Destiny), and together, the trio journey to Atlanta to become music superstars. Rounding off the cast includes Queen Latifah as the girls manager/godmother Miss Carlotta and Benjamin Bratt as washed up agent Jahil with Lenny Kravitz also guesting in the show.


11: Star Trek (CBS/CBS All Access, mid-season)

One of the most anticipated new shows going and we're still months away from both the casting being announced and filming to begin. With Star Trek: Beyond due to make it's way into the cinemas pretty soon as well, former Hannibal showrunner Bryan Fuller will certainly have to make sure the television can truly enter the 21st century and learn from the mistakes of previous spin-off series, Enterprise. CBS released the logo during the upfronts this week and it looks rather traditional but great though. Can't wait to see it in January when it properly launches.


12: Time After Time (ABC, mid-season, TBC)

Now this one is unusual. A series with HG Wells (Freddie Stroma, Game Of Thrones) versus Jack the Ripper (Josh Bowman, Revenge) from the creator of Dawson's Creek and The Vampire Diaries? Throw in some present day chaos as the former friends turned enemies then rock up in present day New York and this could be a show that could be truly inspired or an absolute mess? The trailer showed elements of both (beautiful steam punk, gorgeous costuming, brilliant battle of wits between Stroma and Bowman but some moments of generic-ness as well). An interesting addition, although the television schedule seems to have a fair amount of time travel themed shows this upcoming season.


Those are my picks for the upcoming US television season, what are yours?

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