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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

About: Fox Upfronts

It's that time of year! As networks are releasing their upfronts and pimping their new shows out to advertisers I am feeling overwhelmed by all the options. A whopping 20-something shows (I've lost count!)have been cancelled and those spots need to be filled. So in the interest of organizing my TV watching schedule, I thought I'd go through the new notable shows network by network. As evidenced by the title, we'll start with Fox

'Terra Nova'

Here is an excerpt of the official press release from Fox

From executive producers Steven Spielberg ("Saving Private Ryan," "Jurassic Park"), Peter Chernin, René Echevarria ("Castle," "The 4400") and Brannon Braga ("24") comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past. When scientists at the FERMI Particle Accelerator unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past - a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time. The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land.

This looks like it has some serious potential. Hopefully the show isn't limited by budget. Wasn't it just last week that Fox was cutting the budget for House, one of its top performing shows? Perhaps that was in preparation for Terra Nova.

'New Girl'

Here is an excerpt of the official press release

NEW GIRL (working title) is a new single-camera comedy from Liz Meriwether ("No Strings Attached") that features a young ensemble cast and takes a fresh and outrageous look at modern male/female relationships. JESS DAY (Zooey Deschanel, "(500) Days of Summer") is an offbeat and adorable girl in her late 20s who, after a bad breakup, moves in with three single guys. Goofy, positive, vulnerable and honest to a fault, Jess has faith in people, even when she shouldn't. Although she's dorky and awkward, she's comfortable in her own skin. More prone to friendships with women, she's not used to hanging with the boys - especially at home.

This is easily a hit or a miss. Zooey Deschanel is charming and this is a character we've seen her play before, to some extent. Although this character Jess seems a bit more goofy (READ: grating) than previous projects. Perhaps that will get toned down a bit, or maybe it will work just fine. Like I said, hit or miss.

Mid Season


See the official press release below.

From executive producer J.J. Abrams (FRINGE, "Lost," "Star Trek" and the upcoming "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Super 8") and writer and executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff ("Lost," "Deadwood") comes ALCATRAZ, the chilling new thriller centered on America's most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation's most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers, thieves and arsonists. When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, "Sons of Anarchy") is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, "The Nine"), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history - both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, "Jackie Brown"), were guards at the prison - Madsen's interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent EMERSON HAUSER (Sam Neill, "Jurassic Park") tries to impede her investigation, she's doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO "DOC" SOTO (Jorge Garcia, "Lost"), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events. The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he's loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn't aged a day. 


I'm less likely to be wooed by the mention of J.J. Abrams than most. I haven't finished the Lost series and I started Fringe and didn't make it through the first season. It's not that there's anything wrong with those shows. In fact, I fully intend to go back and watch both of those series at some point. But since I'm not in the Abrams in-crowd I feel like I'm coming at it in an unbiased fashion. The set up is definitely intriguing; a missing killer, thought to be dead, found years later alive and un-aged. That's enough to get me to tune in.

'The Finder'

Here is an excerpt of the Fox release

Iraq war veteran WALTER SHERMAN (Geoff Stults, "She's Out of My League") gained a reputation while serving in the Army Military Police as someone who was very good at tracking down insurgents, deserters and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Unfortunately, Walter found one IED just moments before it found him. Two months later, when Walter woke from his coma, he earned an honorable discharge and returned home. His resulting brain damage from the explosion transformed him from someone skilled at recovering people and things into something much more extraordinary: a Finder. From the creator of the hit series BONES comes THE FINDER, the new one-hour procedural centering on a remarkable man who uses his unique gift to help others recover what they've lost.

Bones fans must be excited about this. I'm a fan of select procedural cop shows and I've always thought that Bones looks like one I might enjoy. That being said, this upfront preview also struck my fancy. If I have a concern it's that I remember Geoff Stults best from '7th Heaven'. Enough said, right? But I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because this seems like it will be a very different kind of show.

There are a few more new shows making their way to Fox this fall, but these are the ones that really caught my eye. For a complete list of upfront trailers you can visit the where they've kindly posted all the trailers here

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