2015-2016 Fall TV preview

I love it when the TV networks put out trailers for the new fall shows that they’re planning to air. They come out just in time as the current seasons are ending, giving us TV fans something to look forward to over the summer hiatus. This year’s batch seems kind of mediocre (unfortunately) and nothing really stands out too far. Nevertheless, I think I can still manage to get excited for 10 of the new previews, but before I get to that, let me give a rundown of some of the others.

A lot of the new shows (including some of the ones from this season) foolishly take what seems to be enough of a premise for a two hour movie, and try to make it last an entire season or more. Joan Allen (who I love) stars in The Family, about a mother/mayor whose son mysteriously returns years after having been abducted and presumed dead. Mom runs for governor, but things with the son may not be what they seem. Grandfathered features John Stamos as a playboy restauranteur who suddenly gets burdened with a son and grandchild. Grinder is a comedy featuring Rob Lowe as a former TV lawyer (i.e. actor), trying to practice law with his brother (Fred Savage) and father (William Devane) who are lawyers in real life. Frankenstein Code takes a murdered 75 year old sheriff (Philip Baker Hall) and brings him back to life with a new, super-strong body (Rob Kazinsky) to figure out what happened. While they all may have potential, I think they could be wrapped up in two-hours each. I don’t see how they can sustain a series. The more I think about it, the more I’m sad for the lack of originality out there in TV land. Even the shows I’m looking forward to are derived either from movies, comic books, or past TV shows.

Limitless

Based on the Bradley Cooper movie (Cooper is actually in the show — at least the pilot) about a drug that allows a man (in this case Jake McDornan) to release his mind’s super-human potential. The trailer was a little confusing, so I’m not sure where the story arc will go, and it looks a lot like that failed Josh Holloway show from last year, Intelligence, but it’s kind of a sequel to the movie so hopefully it will embrace its sci-fi aspects and expand the Limitless universe into something interesting.

Supergirl

The story of Superman’s younger cousin is not new, but the trailer seems to think it’ll feel new if we remake it into a The Devil Wears Prada knock-off. Calista Flockhart plays the dragon-lady boss. I like Melissa Benoist (last seen on Glee) as the lead character, but I’m not really sure about this cutesy, “little girl, big city” premise. It’s also not clear how the super-heroics is going to fit in. The Flash has a pretty good balance, but we’ll have to see if this show can achieve it.

Minority-Report-Lucifer-TV-FoxMinority Report

I’m guessing this is also a sequel to the Tom Cruise/Steven Speilberg movie. This time we’re getting the perspective of one of the precogs who is on the run after the pre-crime program is shut down. However, he still needs to stop the crimes that he’s seeing in his mind and needs a police officer to help him. One of the best parts of the movie was the “What does the future look like?” fun with technology and it looks like they’re going to keep that going on the show (though I didn’t see any holographic interfaces). I think this show looks slick, let’s hope it looks good.

Lucifer

This show seems beyond cheeky. As far as I can tell, this based-on-a-comic-book series features the Devil himself in LA, hanging out and solving crimes. The show’s got some big names behind it, and I admit that lead actor, Tom Ellis, seems to have the swagger and charm to play the Prince of Darkness. I’m hoping some of the “angels vs demons” stuff will add some expansiveness to the show. Otherwise, I fear that attitude can only sustain a show for so long.

Scream Queens

I don’t know much about this show, but Glee/American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is back with this tongue-in-cheek series that seems as satirical as it is bloody. If it’s a more clever take on Pretty Little Liars, I’m so in.

Blindspottan-İlk-FragmanBlindspot

A bit derivative (Memento, Bourne Identity come to mind), but maybe has potential… an amnesiac mystery woman with a body covered in tattoos is delivered to the FBI, and apparently some kind of shady events involve her and the FBI agent whose name is written on her back. I am ready for another show full of questions, but they’d better be generous with the satisfying answers.

The Player

This show may be more intriguing for the return of Wesley Snipes than its confusing premise: Apparently there’s a secret group of three symbolic figures who “gamble” on crime, and Phillip Wincester plays the latest recruit for the role of The Player. The action sequences seem pretty good. Some have compared this show to Person of Interest, but I guess we’ll see if it has legs to stand on.

Heroes Reborn

Not much on this one, but it seems clearly (as the name suggests) to be a continuation or reboot of the original Heroes series — which I loved, so bring on HRG!

muppetsThe Muppets

I have really enjoyed the recent movies (especially Muppets Most Wanted) and this show seems to be continuing in the same vein — not in terms of plot but in terms of tone. Apparently this series will be doing a documentary style take on the Muppets, and even in the trailer there are so many clever jokes that I really have high hopes for this show.

Legends of Tomorrow

It’s not debuting until next year, but I think that the CW has a good premise for a spin-off show from Arrow and The Flash. Bringing together some of the heroes and villains who have appeared on those two super-series, a new team is formed to stop a super-villain, Vandal Savage, across time. If the trailer is any indication, I think this show is going to be a lot of fun, and I love how (with the time-traveling aspect) they’ve come up with a totally different concept for adding another super-hero show to the mix.

Finally a few more series worth mentioning include Ken Jeong’s Dr. Ken, which didn’t seem very funny in the trailer, despite this being based on Jeong’s former life as a doctor before he became a comedian, but any excuse for more Asian-led series on TV is worth watching in my book. The CW has a show called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend which features a girl/woman who chases her former boyfriend to California. The comedy appears to have musical numbers (i.e. song and dance), which lead actress Rachel Bloom seems to pull of quite marvelously. I can’t get a bede on this show, but it could be a left-field, wacky hit, similar to this year’s Jane the Virgin.

So while we won’t get to judge these shows until four months from now, this little taste has whet my appetite a little bit for TV yet-to-come.

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