Sunday, April 06, 2008

tv served up

Have you been trying to follow the news about up and coming tv shows? How about what's happening in the world of the upfronts? And news on the returning shows too? Well I have been trying to, and I have to say, it's pretty darn confusing. There is so much news out there on the web, that sorting through every other Britney story for that interesting morsel of tv news is hard to come by...

I give props to The Hollywood Reporter for providing this handy Pilot Season 2008 blog where they just collect all of their stories connected to the topic. So far as I can tell that seems the best online at the moment. And it's funny to me that something like TV Guide, which while yes they do have a featured section on returning shows next fall, it does not seem to have anything on the new shows yet.... unless maybe I'm just missing it. I know they've been reporting on news stories as they come out. And doing a fine job. It's just with my hectic schedule I can't always keep up. And finding old stories buried in amidst their latest Marcia Cross interview it tricky.

Maybe I'm too early. Could that be the problem? The networks have only just started to ramp up, with both a very public pilot season (which no one thought would happen), and news on old favorites coming back before the official times usually set aside for such announcements. Probably all this hectic press is just to reassurance everyone that since the writers strike ended the networks intend to fervently jump back to business as usual. But I am getting a bit lost in it all.

So since I can't keep up with everything,I thought I'd mention just a few notes on the shows that have really piqued my interest since last we discussed this. For full coverage, I think The Hollywood Reporter has this game won. And maybe a bit closer to next season when we know which pilots are really going to make it to air, and which won't; we'll be able to have a more concise view of what's happening. For now separating the good news from the chaff is pretty tough.

So with all that qualification said, here's a quick look at the soon to start 2008 summer tv season... which is in my opinion, pretty weak.

ABC has announced their summer season, and I just couldn't be less interested. With another Bachelorette season, reality shows I Survived a Japanese Game Show, and Dance Machine, as well as Wipeout, which is an extreme sports blooper show, and probably their biggest play: High School Musical Summer Session. Yes its another reality series, this one designed to find kinds who just love musical theater... sigh, maybe if I'm bored I'll watch an episode, but that's about all.

NBC has fallen into much the same boat for their 'All American' summer season. They will have the Olympics which I think should be fun, but most of the rest is crap. Their good stuff included another season of American Gladiators, which is something I will watched, and a new horror anthology series called Fear Itself. The rest is just nonsense including Nashville Star, America's Got Talent, Last Comic Standing (maybe), and new reality shows The Baby Borrowers, and Celebrity Circus.

CBS never honestly has too much to offer, but this summer they've got a new season of Big Brother, following right on the heels of this current one. As Big Brother is my guilty pleasure, I'm all for this news. Also they're running two new dramas, Flashpoint, which I talked about here, and Swingtown which sounds like The Ice Strom: the series... meh, I dunno, it could be interesting i guess.

That's all for the big three this summer, but really, I mean, who cares about that?! What I want is cool NEW shows for the Fall. That's when you know the good stuff will show up...

That said, ABC has picked up a show called Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas which is said to be a meeting of Harry Potter and Pan's Labyrinth. "It centers on a young girl who finds a magical atlas that reveals a secret world underneath our world." I have to say I love hollow earth theory. It' so absurd, but just so cool too. I wonder if this will be for kids or adults?

CBS is working on a pilot called Eleventh Hour, which sounds like it could be pretty sweet. Based on a British mini-series from 2006 with the same name (that incidentally starred Patrick Stewart), this version will star Rufus Sewell as "a special science adviser to the government who, with his feisty female bodyguard Rachel (Marley Shelton) in tow, saves people from the worst abuses of science." Sounds kinds neat, a bit like... well I'm not sure. A bit like a lot of shows I guess, but very cool.

NBC, who as far as I can tell is the only network to actually have their official 'upfronts' had a number of new shows on display. Here is a link to the Hollywood Reporter's run down.

As for me, most of the shows are ones I've mentioned here before. The ones that struck me especially. NBC has greenlit the Office spinoff series. Details of which have not been announced, but we do know that a backdoor pilot will show up sometime during the Office's run in the fall. Also of course is that Crusoe show, which I've mentioned before. And then there's Kings. I briefly mentioned this a week or two ago, but it sounds like it really could be something special...

Just listen to this "Kings is an inspiring exploration of the timeless David vs. Goliath struggle. The show is set in a modern metropolis under siege where the fighting has gone on for too long and cost far too many lives. When David Shepherd (Christopher Egan, "Resident Evil: Extinction"), a brave young soldier, rescues the king's (Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, "Deadwood") son from enemy territory, he sets events in motion that will finally bring peace. Suddenly, David is thrust into the limelight, earning the affections of women -- including the king's daughter. When he's promoted to captain, he becomes the reluctant poster boy for hope. But for David, the line between his allies and enemies will blur as the power players in the kingdom go to great lengths to see him fall." yes? no? maybe so? I think its got potential.

Others like Merlin, are sure to be just awful...

They do have two tv movies that sounds cool. One on The Knights Templar, and the other called XIII, a sort of 24-esque thriller starring, the new voice of KITT, Val Kilmer. I'll look at the rest as more comes out about them, but NBCs new strategy to bring as much as possible to series iss a refreshing change.

Perhaps my honest to goodness most anticipated show for next Fall, Revolution, has just gained its lead actor the absolutely awesome Billy Campbell. For more on the Sci Fi channel show check out this post. According to THR " Campbell will play Tom Hart, a solder-turned-farmer who displays all the qualities of being a true leader. Also joining the cast are Rowena King as Olivia Agee, the new governor of the colony, and Steve Sandvoss, who has been tapped for the role of Tom's older son, Chris." The show itself in a nutshell is about the political and social unrest of a 22nd century human colony developing on a new planet.

Joss Whedon's Dollhouse, for FOX, has also had a lot of activity and buzz around it. Since it's being covered on all sides by the fanboys you can read up on it from it's already extensive wikipedia page. Or as a reminder you can just read my post on it here. Basically though it revolves around a group of secret agents, aka Dolls, who are imprinted with different personalities for different special assignments. After each assignment their minds are wiped clean. They have no memories of their previous lives, until Echo (star Eliza Dushku) begins to try to find out who she once was.

One of my favorite shows from this season, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has still not as of yet been given the greenlight on season 2. But word is they producers have begun hiring directors for a full season slated in the fall. Fingers crossed.

News is coming in just crazily every day now. Sorting and compiling it; now that's the hard part. Yet I still love it. There's just so much fun in maybe discovering your new favorite show. More on everything as it develops :)

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