With the fall television season upon us, we take a look at 10 of the 2010-2011 season’s most talked-about shows. As always, the networks approach autumn with high hopes, but, let’s face it, despite their best intentions, there’s always a few turkeys among the bunch (Kath and Kim, anyone?) Let’s take a look at 10 promising, talked-about and promoted (some of them to death) new series!
Premieres Sunday, September 19, 9pm, HBO
Hoping to add another modern television classic to its already impressive list – including shows like Six Feet Under and The Sopranos – HBO gives you Steve Buscemi: Leading Man. (As a major Buscemi fan, all I can say is “It’s about time!”) Set in prohibition-era Atlantic City, the show revolves around the gambling mecca’s corrupt treasurer, Nucky Thompson, played by Buscemi. With the pilot directed by Martin Scorcese and Sopranos writer/producer Terence Winter on board, these gangsters could replace Tony and the gang in our hearts! Forget Snooki and The Situation, this is the Jersey Shore you need to keep an eye on!
There’s more new shows after the jump!
Hawaii Five-OPremieres, Monday, September 20, 9pm, CBSForget everything you know about the original, which ran on CBS from 1968-1980 – well, almost everything…the iconic theme song and catch phrase, “Book ‘em Danno” remain intact – this reboot of the classic cop series has Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Laughlin, filling Jack Lord‘s shoes) fighting terrorism instead of mere crime. McGarrett, a skilled Naval intelligence officer, returns to paradise after a terrorist kills his father and is hired by the governor to create a task force of supercops to stop the baddies in their tracks – by any means necessary. Along for the ride are Danny “Dano” Williams (Scott Caan), Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim, fresh from his stint on Lost), and Kona Kalakaua (Battlestar Galactica‘s Grace Park). While the show may not embrace the campier aspects of its predecessor – don’t expect to see a whole lot of hula girls and leis – there’s plenty of eye candy (O’Laughlin and Park sure know how to fill out their swimsuits!)
The EventPremieres Monday, September 20, 9pm, NBCYou would have to be living under a rock to have missed NBC’s omnipresent promotion of this enigmatic drama series – which is hoping to fill the void left behind by the end of Lost and Heroes. When the most handsome TV president ever, Blair Underwood, shuts down a mysterious Alaskan military prison, pathos ensues – there’s terror in the skies, shady CIA agents and a missing woman. Regardless of what “The Event” actually is, the show’s producers promise not to keep you waiting the whole season for it to be revealed.
Running WildePremieres Tuesday, September 21, 9:30pm, FOXIt’s not exactly the news that Arrested Development fans were hoping for, but AD creator Mitch Hurwitz and stars Will Arnett and David Cross are reuniting for this fledgling sitcom, which marks the TV comedy debut of Felicity star Keri Russell. Arnett plays Steven Wilde, an oil heir with seemingly no redeemable qualities, who, through the requisite wacky sitcom conventions, ends up taking in his former childhood crush Emmy (Russell) – an ecological activist – and her daughter. The former Tobias Funke shows up as Emmy’s fiancee. Billed as “the battle between eco and ego” and airing alongside the equally promising Raising Hope, from My Name is Earl creator Greg Garcia and the mega-hit Glee, could make FOX the place to be on Tuesday nights!
UndercoversPremieres Wednesday, September 22, 8pm, NBCTo boil it down to the simplest of explanations, think Party Down meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith. J.J. Abrams swaps the mystical island of Lost with the urban jungle of L.A. as he introduces us to Steven and Samantha Bloom (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, arguably the best looking couple on television. Ever.) The couple run a catering company, but in their past lives, they were super spies for the CIA. They get called back to the spy game to pursue a former colleague who may or may not have gone rogue. As the couple balance capers and crepes, they’re also dealing with capers of the spy variety – and rekindle the flames of desire (and not just the flames from a yummy Bananas Foster) in the process.
The DefendersPremieres Wednesday, September 22, 10pm, CBSYes, According to Jim was a huge hunk o’ horse dookey, but damned if Jim Belushi didn’t prove that he actually could act, turning in a surprisingly good performance as an unscrupulous publishing magnate in the recent film The Ghost Writer. He joins Jerry O’Connell, fresh from his scene-stealing upstaging of prehistoric predators in Piranha 3D, as a pair slightly slimy – and very unconventional – Las Vegas attorneys. As he’s proven, Jerry is no stranger to playing sleazeballs, and the Sin City setting is alluring, so if Belushi can pull his weight, this could be a really fun show.
My GenerationPremieres Thursday, September 23, 8pm, ABCAnother show that has been promoted to the hilt (I haven’t read a magazine in the past few weeks that didn’t have full-page ads and even fold out sections hawking this faux-documentary drama). A group of former high school classmates – with all of our favorite Breakfast Club-esque stereotypes present – the jock, the nerd, the beauty queen, etc. are followed by a camera crew 10 years after graduation. The documentary style has worked for comedies like Modern Family and The Office - can it also work for drama? Are audiences growing tired of the format? More importantly, are we ready for a show that waxed poetic about the ‘aughts? (Some of the ads made me feel slightly old – I can’t believe that the songs “Steal My Sunshine” and “Kryptonite” were released that long ago!)
$#*! My Dad SaysPremieres Thurdsay, September 23, 8:30pm, CBSI’m especially curious to see how this show fares, considering it’s the first one ever based on a Twitter feed. From Justin Halpern’s addictive feeds and the creative minds behind Will & Grace at the helm, the show revolves around the relationship between Halpern’s TV alter ego (played by Jonathan Sadowski) and his war vet, pull no punches Dad, played by William Shatner. Like many of you, I think that some CBS shows just aren’t funny **cough** Two and a Half Men **cough**, but with The Big Bang Theory as its lead-in, this show could become the Tiffany network’s next unexpected hit – although $#*! the Shat Says would have been a great alternate title!
Blue BloodsPremieres Friday, September 24, 10pm, CBSMagnum is back! Tom Selleck (looking fine at 65!) stars as the patriarch of a family entrenched in the wonderful world of law enforcement. Selleck plays a police commissioner who’s not 100% on the straight and narrow, daughter Bridget Moynahan is a DA, oldest son Donnie Wahlberg (the one from The Sixth Sense, not the one from Boogie Nights) is a cop with some serious anger issues and youngest son Jamie (Will Estes) is a eager rookie. Yeah, it’s another cop show, but with a pedigreed cast, it’s got a lot of promise – and we’re always glad to see Tom Selleck on the small screen.
Walking DeadPremieres Sunday, October 31, 10pm, AMCYeah, it’s still over a month away, but AMC looks like it’s promising to do for zombies what Mad Men did for advertising. Based on the comic (Graphic novel? I don’t want to offend fans of the genre!), by Robert Kirkland, the show follows survivors of a zombie apocalypse. I’m really hoping that this show, adapted for the small screen by film director Frank Darabont (who brought us The Mist, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile), will prove once and for all, zombies rule…and vampires drool!
What news shows are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!