As one TV season wraps up, so the buzz for the next season begins. Pilot season is over, folks, and networks are finalizing their fall schedules. Without further ado, I bring you the new shows that I'm most excited to see next fall.
Alcatraz doesn't start until midseason, but it has a pedigree that is worth the wait. The show was created by J.J. Abrams, and thanks to Fringe and the new Star Trek movie, I will watch anything featuring that name, despite the quickly forgotten debacle that was Undercovers. The trailer promises twisty sci-fi craziness, centering around a time-traveling prison break being investigated by Jorge Garcia and Sarah Jones. Throw in Jurassic Park's Sam Neill as a mysterious tycoon attempting to get to the bottom of the mystery, plus some seriously creepy images of the newly abandoned prison and the bewildered, violent inmates, and Alcatraz promises to be one of the most intriguing new shows of the fall.
Terra Nova (FOX)
Fox's Terra Nova doesn't have the best buzz right now; the Steven Spielberg-produced prehistoric epic has been in development for quite a while now, and was supposed to be Fox's big new show last season. However, with Spielberg at the helm and Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) and Stephen Lang (Avatar) starring, it sounds quite promising. The first look trailer is great, with images of a smog-covered, convincingly dystopian future contrasted with the lush jungles of prehistoric Earth. The premise is certainly interesting; colonists from the future are being sent to the time of the dinosaurs in an attempt to change the past and save the polluted world of the future. (Between this, Alcatraz and Fringe, next year is going be time travel-heavy). Plus, dinosaurs! And fights with dinosaurs!
Up All Night (NBC)
This one's pretty simple: Will Arnett and Christina Applegate starring in a comedy about a couple having their first baby, accompanied by the hilarious Maya Rudolph in a supporting role, is just about everything you need to make a show really funny. The copious profanity on display in the trailer is just the cherry on top.
I'm hesitant to recommend this show, mostly because I suffer from a symptom I like to call Post-Traumatic Glee Disorder, and any musical TV show is likely to trigger flashbacks of excessively auto-tuned renditions of the latest Top 40 hits, whether or not they are relevant to the plot. However, I'm tentatively prepared to recommend NBC's Smash. After all, it stars Debra Messing, Jack Davenport (FlashForward) and Anjelica Huston as Broadway producers working to produce a show about Marilyn Monroe. Ingenue Katherine McPhee (of American Idol fame) may not be able to act, but we at least know she can sing. And since the show will feature original music, we know that it won't rely on rehashes of Top 40 hits that derail the plot in order to sell more songs on iTunes.
Person of Interest (CBS)
This show is perhaps the single most exciting offering on the fall schedule. First of all, it stars Michael Emerson (Lost's Ben Linus) as a mysterious figure who uses existing government surveillance equipment to monitor crimes and prevent them before they happen. I would honestly watch Emerson read the phone book aloud for twenty episodes, but I suspect Person of Interest might be more interesting than that; it's a collaboration between J.J. Abrams (who is ever so prolific this season) and Jonathan Nolan (Christopher's brother, and a writer of The Dark Knight). Admittedly, I'm a bit concerned over whether J.J. Abrams can handle three shows at once, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Bonus points for co-star Jesus (James Caviezel from The Passion of the Christ).
Torchwood: Miracle Day (STARZ)
Torchwood isn't exactly a new show; it ran for two seasons and the excellent Children of Earth miniseries on BBC. Fans have been waiting forever for the next season, which is set in America and being shown on Starz. The bigger American TV budget should allow for bigger action sequences, and the premise is suitably creepy; an entire day goes by in which not a single person dies on Earth. Watch the fantastically eerie teaser trailer, and tell me you're not insanely excited for this.