While broadcast networks ruled the majority of this weeks upfronts, they didn’t steal all the thunder. Some cable networks also had reason to be excited.
This week saw networks; USA, TNT, SyFy and E! present the new shows that will air at some point this year or next. This makes sense as a lot of cable nets don’t have typical seasons. TBS also had some new shows, but since I don’t watch the boring and stupid original content that airs on that network, I’m just going to skip it. I have no desire to torture myself in such a manner. Cruel and unusual punishment is not my thing.
USA premiered trailers for “Rush”, “Complications”, and “Satisfaction”. TNT showed off new shows, “The Librarians”, “Proof”, “Public Morals” and, “Transporter: The Series”. SyFy delivered “Dominion” and “Ascension”. E! brought out the trailer for its first scripted series, “The Royals”.
“Rush”: Great. Another medical drama. Not what the world needs. This series stars Tom Ellis (“Miranda”, “EastEnders”) as a private doctor to the rich, who also seems to have a drug problem. Discarding the drug problem, doesn’t USA already have this show? Oh, yeah! “Royal Pains”. The only reason I find this show so problematic is based on the fact that this man is a mess. It’s a boring stereotype, for characters, and usually doesn’t do much for the show overall. Unless there’s more presented, prior to the premier, I don’t see my excitement level rising.
“Complications”: USA really likes its medical dramas that it ordered a second one. This one stars Jason O’Mara (“Vegas”, “Terra Nova”, “Life on Mars”). I have to start with the fact that this is a man whose last three series have all been cancelled. Not leaving much hope for this one, sadly. To say nothing of the fact that it’s a medical drama that just doesn’t appear that interesting. He’s disillusioned, somehow, but is woken up by a life altering event. After that, I don’t know why I should care or follow the stories of his life.
“Satisfaction”: This new drama stars Matt Passmore (“The Glades”) and Stephanie Szostak (“The Devil Wears Prada”) and debuts in July. What makes this show, even slightly interesting, is this behind closed doors aspect. It’s not an original approach to telling a story about a marriage on the rocks, but it provides one unique aspect. The fact that both spouses are engaging in some shady, secretive, extracurricular activities is somehow appealing. That’s just the draw to tune in, and all hope for success lies in whether or not there’s some emotional element at the core of this show. Or, this show could just try to present a “perfect” family situation, while the adults go about doing their own thing, and never figuring it out. If that sounds boring, that’s because it is. No substance, but salacious scenarios.
“The Librarians”: This television series based on “The Librarian” trilogy of films, from TNT, stars Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”, “ER”) and Rebecca Romijn (“King & Maxwell”, “Eastwick”, “Ugly Betty”). The exciting part is that there’s finally going to be more stories about this secret organization of good guys that protect lost artifacts. The original films were so much fun, because of the comedy and campy-ness of each. They were simpler adventure films, like the “Indiana Jones” films, but the films just stopped being made. Hopefully this new series will do this, and last. The extent, though, of Wyle’s involvement as Flynn Carsen is what I’m curious about as he is committed to “Falling Skies” as well, also for TNT.
“Proof”: Medical dramas just don’t want to go away. This series stars Jennifer Beals (“The L Word”, “The Chicago Code”). Sure, there’s a supernatural feel to it, but it doesn’t sound worthy of attention. I’ll give, only because it’s about a subject that so many people wonder about in some way. That alone may convince me to watch at least one, maybe twice.
“Public Morals”: Created by writer, producer, and actor Edward Burns (“The Fitzgerald Family Christmas”, “Newlyweds”, “Mob City”) and stars Burns as well as Michael Rapaport (“Justified”, “The War at Home, “Boston Public”). It’s gritty and involves the ethical dilemmas that cops have to face during the late sixties. Sure, I’ll watch, but only to see what the ultimate hook is.
“Transporter: The Series”: Based on successful films, this series is hoping to continue that on a weekly basis. For TNT, this is an acquired series that looks just as dull as the films. The upside is it stars somebody other than Jason Statham. There’s also potential to like the character more as different things happen to him each week. I just don’t see how it could progress into a second season, if it hasn’t already. This could just be mindless summer fun, and that isn’t always a bad thing.
“Dominion”: This series adapted from the 2010 film “Legion”. It’s a supernatural drama that continues what the original film left off. Lots of fighting, and angel wings, but it only reminds me of a bigger, more violent series than the current plot lines of “Supernatural”. While “Supernatural” has be a great show, stumbling occasionally in its later seasons, this one looks bigger in scope. That is great, but could also be a problem. With so much pored into the series, if ratings aren’t good enough, the show will see the axe. I’ll watch because this is the type of show I love! Which, at the same time, means I will be more critical of it once it airs.
“Ascension”: This drama, that is being billed as an “event series” has the same creepy and mysterious factor as “Helix”, another SyFy series. Will this show have even similar twists and turns? I’m sort of hoping so, only because I don’t want to see where the writers are going with it. This particular teaser has enough for me to making tuning in, worth it. While the November premier date is unknown, and a long ways off, even smaller and creepier teases will no doubt be released. Again, much like “Helix”. That marketing ploy worked, and paid off.
“The Royals”: E! network’s first scripted series, not that that says much about the potential for this show, stars Elizabeth Hurley (“Gossip Girl”). Per the network that ordered and will air this series, it’s just one big over the top, drama. Instead of another “reality” series following some idiot family, that people can’t stop watching, they just chose to make it a series that comes as close to an inside look at the royal family, in modern times, as they can manage. It screams train wreck, which no doubt will have some viewers, but it certainly isn’t smart. However, it could very well turn into that show that’s so soapy and juicy one can’t avoid watching at least once. A fuller trailer is what’s needed to really say if this show looks as bad as it seems.
Several other trailers, for Fall and midseason shows, will trickle out of the course of the rest of this year, no doubt. But for now, that’s all. There isn’t any more. Upfronts is over until next year. Well, actually, there will be Winter press conferences, but that’s a little less exciting than now.