Today is 20th Century Fox’s turn at the TCA’s, and the network has a slew of announcements and updates for its programming in the coming months. Briefly:
- The limited event series 24: Live Another Day will have a two-hour premiere on Monday, May 5th. The miniseries sees the return of Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer for one last string of episodes, with Yvonne Strahovski co-starring.
- The new family comedy series Surviving Jack, starring Christopher Meloni, will debut on Thursday, March 27th, and the new action drama series Gang Related will launch on Tuesday, March 20th.
- The Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted revival series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey will premiere on March 9th on Fox and on March 10th on the National Geographic Channel. The 13-episode series is executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and serves as a successor to Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos series.
- Fox’s post-Super Bowl episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will feature guest stars galore, including an appearance by Prince on the former.
- Fox has signed a multi-year deal with The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone) to develop new alternative comedy shows.
Hit the jump for all the details from the individual press releases.
There are few — if any — things about Enlisted, the new Fox comedy from Cougar Town co-creator Kevin Biegel, that are groundbreaking. The story of a light-hearted approach to military life has been done many times before, and the show’s misfits angle is reminiscent of more recent series like Community, or even another new Fox comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (the make up of the cast is also remarkably similar). But Enlisted does have Cougar Town‘s fast pacing and quirky tone, with occasional laugh-out-loud zingers that make it more than just an average comedy. Hit the jump for more.
A couple of The Office alums have new shows potentially on tap for the 2014-15 TV season. Last fall, CBS passed on the hourlong procedural Backstrom starring Rainn Wilson, but the project has now been granted new life at Fox. The network has ordered 13 episodes of the crime drama, which is based on author Leif G.W. Persson’s book series of the same name. Created by Bones mastermind Hart Hanson, Backstrom stars Rainn Wilson as “an offensive, irascible detective” who tries to change his self-destructive behavior to no avail. Backstrom leads Portland’s Serious Crimes Unit, which is where the procedural element comes in.
Hit the jump for the full press release and news concerning a new NBC series starring Craig Robinson.
20th Century Fox is atop a short list of movie studios looking to adapt Mark Millar’s upcoming comic book, a space fantasy adventure titled Starlight. Intended to be a six-part miniseries, Starlight is described as a mash-up of Flash Gordon and The Dark Knight Returns, as it centers on a space hero returning to Earth to settle down, but is called into action when his old spaceship shows up. The comic, written by Millar and illustrated by Goran Parlov, will show up in stores next March under the Image comics banner. Hit the jump for more on its potential movie adaptation.
Fox has announced a few schedule updates and changes for the upcoming winter calendar. Briefly:
- Season two of The Following now gets a two-night premiere on Sunday, January 19th and Monday, January 20th, following the season finale of Sleepy Hollow.
- The new drama series Rake, starring Greg Kinnear, will now make its series debut on Thursday, January 23rd instead of getting the post-NFC Championship slot on January 19th. Sam Raimi directed the pilot.
- Glee is moving back to Tuesday nights starting February 25th, which will result in Brooklyn Nine-Nine shifting to the 9:30pm timeslot starting February 4th.
- As a result of the Glee shift, Fox is pulling Tuesday comedies The Mindy Project and Dads from the schedule. The Mindy Project will have a “winter finale” on January 28th but will return on April 1st. Dads, however, will be pulled from Tuesdays effective February 11th and does not yet have a return date scheduled.
Read the press release after the jump.
The casting continues on Fox’s remake of the excellent (and devastating) UK drama series Broadchurch. David Tennant (Doctor Who) reprises his lead role from the UK series in Gracepoint as an experienced detective who travels to the titular American small town to help solve the murder of a young boy, and now Fox has announced that Emmy winning Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn and Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver have joined the cast of the “event series.” Gunn will be playing Detective Ellie Miller, a happily married wife and mother who is forced to work her first murder case alongside Tennant’s prickly outsider. The role was played wonderfully by Olivia Coleman in Broadchurch, but I can see Gunn knocking this part out of the park.
Additionally, Weaver will play Susan Wright, a mysterious woman who lives in her RV. This was another pivotal role in the UK series and Weaver feels like solid casting. Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall is executive producing Gracepoint and wrote the first episode, which begins production in January and will premiere during the 2014-2015 season. Read the full press release after the jump.
Fox has released an extended trailer for the new upcoming series Almost Human. Executive produced by J.J. Abrams and Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman, the series is set in the not-too-distant future where human cops enforce law alongside android partners. Karl Urban plays a human cop with a synthetic leg and a clear prejudice against robots who is assigned a robot partner, played by Michael Ealy. The buddy cop genre isn’t exactly a novel idea, but as with most network series, execution is the key to success. Wyman found a groove with Fringe that conjured up a loyal fanbase, and with Almost Human he and Abrams appear to be playing in a more commercial-friendly sandbox. Urban’s a charming fella and the world building appears to be strong, so hopefully Almost Human delivers the goods.
Hit the jump to watch an extended movie-style trailer for the show, and click here to watch the opening eight minutes. The series also stars Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, and Minka Kelly. Almost Human kicks off a two-night premiere this Sunday, November 17th and continues on Monday, November 18th.
Fox has announced its midseason programming schedule, which includes a return for the Kevin Bacon-fronted serial killer series The Following. Briefly:
- Season two of The Following will kick off on Monday, January 20th after the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. James Purefoy (somehow) returns to star opposite Bacon, with Connie Nielsen marking a new addition to the cast.
- The new legal drama series Rake starring Greg Kinnear debuts on Sunday, January 19th after the NFC Championship Game, after which it makes its timeslot debut on Thursday, January 23rd. Sam Raimi directed the pilot.
- The new comedy series Enlisted debuts on Friday, January 10th. Created by Kevin Biegel (Scrubs, Cougar Town), the show stars Geoff Stults as an older sibling who returns home to reconnect with his two brothers on a Florida Army post.
- The Animation Domination High-Def lineup kicks off on Saturday, January 11th with the debuts of Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Golan the Insatiable.
- American Idol will return for its season premiere on Wednesday, January 15th.
Hit the jump to read the full press release.
NBC cancels the freshman drama Ironside after three episodes, along with the debut comedy Welcome to the Family. Ironside opened with a 1.3 rating for adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers, sliding to an average of a 1.1 in the demographic. Welcome to the Family ranked as NBC’s lowest in-season comedy debuts with a 1.2 rating, slipping to a 0.8 in its second week. In place of Ironside, NBC will air Dateline on Wednesday nights at 10pm throughout the rest of the year, along with holiday specials. Hit the jump for more on NBC’s upcoming schedule, including premiere dates for Community and Chicago P.D.
[Update: And Fox has now announced that it has picked up the new comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a full season, bringing the total number of episodes to 22. The show will also air in a comedy block alongside New Girl after the Super Bowl. Full press release after the jump.]
Fresh off the success of this year’s genre series Sleepy Hollow, Fox is ordering another new high-concept show straight to series. The network announced today that it has commissioned 13 episodes of the fantastical action-adventure drama Hieroglyph, which takes place in ancient Egypt. Written by Pacific Rim scribe Travis Beacham, the story “follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies, and even a few divine sorcerers.” It sounds like a gleefully fantastical show, so it’s no wonder it comes from the mind of the writer who dreamt up Pacific Rim’s world of kaijus and jaegers.
Beacham wrote the pilot script and will executive produce the series alongside Peter Chernin (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Katherine Pope (New Girl), with Repo Men director Miguel Sapochnik set to helm the pilot and also act as an executive producer. Filming will begin in early 2014 with a likely Fall 2014 debut on Fox. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
NBC has ordered a full season of the new drama series The Blacklist, which has been performing very well in the ratings since its debut two weeks ago. The show is led by an unsurprisingly charismatic performance from James Spader, and though the procedural aspect can prove to be a bit implausible at times, Spader’s presence and the central story have made the series an entertaining watch thus far. NBC has ordered an additional nine episodes to accompany the thirteen that are in the can, and Spader will have to juggle his schedule for the rest of the season with his titular villain role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which starts filming next March.
Additionally, Fox has ordered a 26th season of the animated series The Simpsons. Maybe now Guillermo del Toro can make good on his hopes to helm a full episode, since he recently created an opening credits gag that’s among the best of the series. Hit the jump to read the full press release from Fox.
Jack Bauer is back, and this time he’s running through the streets of Londontown. Fox announced today that the limited “event series” 24: Live Another Day will be shot on location in England, taking everyone’s favorite torturer across the pond for the first time. Kiefer Sutherland reprises his role as Jack Bauer in 12 all-new episodes that will pick up four years after the series finale, which left Bauer as a fugitive on the run. Evan Katz and Manny Coto are acting as showrunners on the limited series, with original showrunner Howard Gordon back as an executive producer.
Live Another Day was born out of the producers’ inability to get the long-promised 24 movie off the ground, and it’ll be interesting to see if Fox extends Bauer’s return to a full series reprisal if Live Another Day is a hit with audiences. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding the show’s London setting. 24: Live Another Day will premiere on Fox in May 2014.
We have our first renewal of the 2013-14 TV season, folks. Fox has ordered a second season of the new drama series Sleepy Hollow, which has been a surprisingly strong and steady performer in the ratings rat race. The series premiered to a solid 3.4 rating in the 18-49 demo and 10.05 million viewers, and has shown an impressive hold in the ensuing weeks, with the latest episode nabbing a 3.0 rating and 7.93 million viewers. Our own Allison Keene recapped the first three episodes and called the series “always weird and occasionally wonderful,” so its fans will surely be pleased to hear that a second season is on its way.
Interestingly, Fox appears to be concluding the first season after 13 episodes instead of ordering a back-9, though following the cable model of abbreviated seasons has become more popular on network TV as of late. Hit the jump to read the press release.
One of the best, most effective seasons of television this year was seen by a very small amount of people. BBC America quietly aired the eight-episode first season of the ITV series Broadchurch, which stars David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as an experienced detective who travels to the small town of Broadchurch to help solve the murder of a young boy. What could easily have been a by-the-numbers procedural turned out to be a compelling, emotionally devastating run of television buoyed by excellent performances and a thoughtful, character-centric focus from creator/executive producer Chris Chibnall (Torchwood).
Fox is developing an American remake of the series with Chibnall’s involvement, and word now comes that David Tennant will be reprising his lead role in the Fox show. Hit the jump for more, including Chibnall’s thoughts on the American redo.
Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot is getting yet another screenwriter. Shortly after Chronicle helmer Josh Trank came onboard to direct, Fox set Jeremy Slater to pen the script for the new superhero film. Development continued over the past year, during which Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) came onboard to do a polish on the screenplay. Casting rumors have swirled as of late, with Michael B. Jordan, Allison Williams, and Miles Teller all being mentioned as possibilities for lead roles, but it now appears that there’s still quite a bit of work to do before production can begin, as Fox has tapped X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg to do a “significant” rewrite on the project. Hit the jump for more.