Wednesday, 6 April 2011

US PILOTS 2011: FOX



It's hard to get too excited about anything on the Fox channel as there's the looming CHOP CHOP CHOP above a programme the whole while it's on. Fox do have a tendency to cut the best things, just because the overnight TV ratings don't match their dizzying expectations (Point Pleasant, Wonderfalls, Dollhouse, Firefly, Tru Calling - the list is endless!).

Here's the best of what's on offer (possibly briefly) for 2011:

Alcatraz
Tell me now: a group of FBI agents are assigned to track down the whereabouts of missing Alcatraz prisoners, who have mysteriously turned up in the present day - 30 years after they vanished.
And who's in it: a whole host of TV alumni: Sam Neill, Jorge Garcia (that's Hurley to you and me), Santiago Cabrera, Sarah Jones... etc etc
Should I care?: YES! Because it's the new one from JJ Abrams. The possible plug for the Lost shaped hole in our lives. Plus it actually sounds intriguing and exciting, unlike the total mess that was Undercovers. I previewed this earlier in the year, and I'm loving watching it all come together. Definitely one of the most talked about and anticipated shows of the whole 2011/2 season.

Exit Strategy
Tell me now: set in real time, a team of experts are called to CIA operations gone awry to try and extract the people involved.
And who's in it:
ETHAN HAWKE, that's who. And a bunch of others.
Should I care?: probably not unless you love 24 and Ethan Hawke. I only have the latter, and it drifts a bit too much into the crime caper genre for me to be getting too worked up about it.

Locke and Key
Tell me now: based on the graphic novels, it's about a mother and her three children who move into a new house in Lovecraft (raises eyebrow), Massachusetts only to discover an evil and dark presence is also living with them.
And who's in it: Nick Stahl (Carnivale), Mark Pellegrino (the awesomeness combo of Lost's Jacob and Supernatural's Lucifer), Miranda Otto (LOTR)
Should I care?: YES! The cast alone is terrific (one of the best ensembles for the new season?) and also it's great to have a horror series to look forward to. The man in my house has just started reading the graphic novels (on the off comment of: "have you read Locke and Key 'cos they're going to be making a TV series of it" and then boom, the GN suddenly appears in his hands the next day) and he's really enjoying them. I think the nod to Lovecraft is playful more than a forewarning, but don't rule out any comparisons. It looks a little bit like The Hole on first glance: kids and a single mother getting tangled up in a sinister force that reels them in. Exciting!

Touch
Tell me now: A father discovers that his mute and autistic son, who is a whizz with numbers, has the ability to tell the future. Does he possess super powers, or is he just a genius?
And who's in it: The big news here is the casting of Keifer Sutherland (the anxious father) in his first TV role since 24.
Should I care?: probably not - Tim Kring has created it. Yes, I know, TIM KRING! HE'S STILL GOING! Run away fast and don't look back!

Terra Nova
Tell me now: a family, living 100 years in the future from now, are sent back by scientists to prehistoric Earth to try and save the planet from threatened extinction in their own lifetimes. Yes, with dinosaurs.
And who's in it: Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Stephen Lang... mainly a load of people you've never heard of.
Should I care?: absolutely - this is one of the most expensive and epic TV shows to ever get made (Steven Spielberg is producing - Jurassic Park advice muchly sought). It's either going to be full-blown amazing or it's going to be the biggest flop of the decade. Grand scale shooting and editing means the project has been delayed somewhat - never a promising sign - but hopefully they're wanting to make it just right. The pilot, to be followed by the rest of the series in the autumn, will premiere on Fox on May 23rd and 24th in a two hour extravaganza. Check out the trailer below to see if you'll be tuning in with myself...




Tomorrow I'll be peeking at the ABC line up.


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