FOX ordered five new series for the fall, four scripted, one non-scripted, headlined by Gotham. I'm waiting for one daring network executive to develop a gritty Captain Planet.
RED BAND SOCIETY
Created By Albert Espinosa & Margaret Nagle
Premiere Date: Wednesday, September 17 at 9PM
Premise: (from FOX's press release, May 2014) What if a hospital was your high school, boarding school and summer camp rolled into one? What if it was the place where you fell in love for the first time and made friendships that lasted a lifetime? And what if it was all weirdly hilarious and the most fun you ever had in your entire life? This is the world of RED BAND SOCIETY.
Thoughts: A different side of Scrubs. Does Scrubs hold up now? What does it really mean to say something ‘holds up’? As if we change so much that a hospital sitcom could never reflect the times 11-12 years after its first season. Red Band Society mixes comedy and drama. The preview hints it’s a sitcom, but the sentimentality triggers fire soon after the laughs and jokes about heartlessness and anorexia. Coldplay’s “Fix You” plays over the end of the preview. The red band society will fix each other more than the medicine, but one expects the medicine to fix quite a bit. I think hospitals are among the most depressing places. If Albert Espinosa & Margaret Nagle succeed in making hospitals ‘weirdly hilarious’ and ‘the most fun you ever had in your entire life’ then they’ll have written the most successful fantasy since Joss Whedon (or J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings).
Created By Bruno Heller
Premiere Date: Monday, September 22 at 8PM
Premise: (from FOX's press release, May 2014) Before there was Batman, there was GOTHAM. Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them - the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker? GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told.
Thoughts: Gotham seems a cooler kind of procedural. Commissioner Gordon will go against familiar Batman villains in familiar Gotham city. He’ll have a case to solve each week. Viewers will learn how Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, and others become their iconic comic book villain selves. Bruno Heller came from The Mentalist, a CBS procedural. His second writing credit was for The Huntress. If that was about DC’s The Huntress, the man is familiar with DC. Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue are strong actors to hang the series on. Batman’s my favorite comic book character. His villains are my favorite villains. How I Met Your Mother no longer plagues television, so I’ll have the time to keep up with Gotham. Unless it sucks. If it sucks, I’ll probably enjoy Monday Night Raw and Flyers hockey or Sixers basketball that night. (No one will enjoy Sixers basketball any night next season).
Created By Chris Chibnall
Premiere Date: Thursday, October 2 at 9PM
Premise: (from FOX's press release, May 2014) When a young boy is found dead on an idyllic beach, a major police investigation gets underway in the small California seaside town where the tragedy occurred. Soon deemed a homicide, the case sparks a media frenzy, which throws the boy's family into further turmoil and upends the lives of all of the town's residents. Welcome to GRACEPOINT, a new 10-episode mystery event series based on "Broadchurch," the U.K.'s critically acclaimed hit crime drama.
Thoughts: Gracepoint’s a beat-by-beat re-make of the BBC’s Broadchurch, which I reviewed last year. Gracepoint should be excellent. Broadchurch was gorgeous to watch. Gracepoint looks less gorgeous. I suppose Broadchurch fans may watch the series because the showrunner changed the killer.
Created By John Mulaney
Premiere Date: Sunday, October 5 at 9:30PM
Premise: (from FOX's press release, May 2014) From Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney ("Saturday Night Live") comes MULANEY, a multi-camera ensemble comedy series about a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level and the friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around.
Thoughts: I learned, because of the intense research I do for goody preview, that Nasim Pedrad left Saturday Night Live, presumably for this series. Nasim Pedrad never had enough sketches. Lorne must love her since he chose her as Mulaney’s co-star (or maybe Mulaney did. I assume he operates as overlord of this project). I learned from Hitfix’s Dan Fienberg that NBC passed on the “Pilot.” That’s not good. Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live is a mostly dreadful experience. His sitcoms have been dreadful; however, his support of Jimmy Fallon as a late night host succeeded. Maybe Mulaney breaks his dreadful sitcom streak, but probably not. Let’s hope Nasim Pedrad moves onto a wonderful movie career.