The 7 New Series To Watch Out For This Fall
Now that we’re into summer, and we know which TV shows will be sticking around for the fall, it’s time to start looking at which new series will be debuting alongside our favourite returning shows. Unless you keep a close eye on all the industry news, though, it can be hard to know which new series will be worth checking out.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the seven brand-new American TV shows that I think could take off this season. There’s still a lot of guesswork involved here, because in some cases we don’t even know when these series will premiere. Even so, read on to get a glimpse of what you might get hooked on this fall!
1. Revolution (NBC)
Revolution is NBC’s upcoming sci-fi series, set in a post-apocalyptic future where all forms of electricity have mysteriously disappeared. Without electricity, humanity has had to reinvent itself, and warlords with militias have taken the place of governments. The story follows the Matheson family, who are protecting an object that might explain how the blackout happened, and how to reverse its effects.
Obviously, this will be an ambitious series. As with most sci-fi dramas, Revolution’s success will depend on whether its characters can stand out amongst the striking Life After People-style visuals. There’s some good acting talent here, too, like Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad). Call me cautiously optimistic.
2. The Mob Doctor (FOX)
Fox’s new medical drama has a fairly self-explanatory title. The Mob Doctor deals with a brilliant surgeon (Jordana Spiro) who has to balance her family’s debt to the mob and her own career. Of course, it involves lots of lying to her friends, family and coworkers as she gets called away to heal up members of the criminal underworld in Chicago.
The concept of a medical drama with an anti-hero edge is nothing new, but The Mob Doctor may fill the niche recently vacated by House. Viewers still jonesing for a wise-cracking doctor - who isn’t afraid to go outside the law - could fall for this show. The question is, can it stay fresh when it’s borrowing parts from so many other shows?
3. Vegas (CBS)
It looks like CBS is the latest network to try for a slice of the 60s-period-drama pie. At first glance, you might think Vegas is a prequel to the original CSI: Dennis Quaid plays the Sheriff of Las Vegas, Robert Lamb, and the show covers his battles with Chicago mob boss Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis). The draw here is the Wild West element – Las Vegas is still a young city growing out of the desert, and that could spawn some good storytelling.
Period dramas on network TV didn’t fare so well last season (look at Pan Am and The Playboy Club). With Mad Men ruling the genre on cable, Vegas will need to have similar grit and realism if it’s going to snare viewers. With Quaid’s dependability and Chiklis’ intensity, the odds might be in Vegas’ favour.
4. Last Resort (ABC)
Because I’m a huge espionage fan, there’s a soft spot in my heart for the military conspiracy tale in Last Resort. The crew of a powerful nuclear submarine receives troubling orders to launch nukes at Pakistan. The crew disobeys, and shadowy forces in the U.S. government decide to destroy them. The sub surfaces at a remote Pacific island, and the captain figures the best way to survive is to take possession of the island and declare themselves to be the world’s newest (and smallest) nuclear-armed country.
I know, I know: when you put “Pacific island” and “mysteries” together in the same show, you’re inviting endless comparisons to Lost. And Last Resort might end up having too many action-movie setpieces and not enough character development. Like Revolution, I’m hoping the series can move beyond the premise and dig into the people involved, but we’ll have to wait and see.
5. Cult (The CW)
Perhaps it’s fitting that this selection is all about the consequences of being obsessed with TV. Cult follows Jeff (Matt Davis, The Vampire Diaries), a journalist/blogger who decides to investigate a wildly popular television crime series which may have inspired a string of copycat murders. He’s helped by Skye (Jessica Lucas), a production assistant on the show-within-a-show.
Maybe I’m interested in Cult just because it has a blogger as the main character. But it’s interesting that the series is following a reporter rather than a police detective – it allows for a bit more creativity than your typical cop-with-a-personal-vendetta angle. If the series can avoid a “villain of the week” pattern, it could be the best of the network’s new offerings.
6. Friend Me (CBS)
Given the omnipresence of social media, it’s kind of surprising that we haven’t seen a TV series set in the office of a web start-up. That’s precisely the void Friend Me is trying to fill. The half-hour comedy is about two guys from Indiana who move to Los Angeles to work for an online coupon company similar to Groupon.
The success of any comedy is hard to judge before it launches: either it’s funny or it’s not. But the premise has a lot of potential, especially if the writers can stuff the office setting with loads of colourful characters. With a little luck (and a less-confusing title), we might have another 30 Rock on our hands.
7. Chicago Fire (NBC)
Finally, I’m putting Chicago Fire on this list just because it’s a change of pace from the cop dramas that hit every season. The show places us in a Chicago firehouse, and will focus on a large cast of firefighters and paramedics. The biggest name on the show is Jesse Spencer, who played Dr. Chase on House. And if the idea of Spencer playing a firefighter doesn’t at least bring in female viewers, I don’t know what will.
It would be cool to see this show take a serialized approach, with longer story arcs and more layered narratives. That's because Chicago Fire has big shoes to fill: FX’s Rescue Me (starring Denis Leary) built a huge following for its intense stories and flawed characters, bouncing around a post-9/11 New York. We'll have to wait until the fall to know whether the flame goes out on this show - or if any of its competition can make a mark in the new season.
What do you think about these upcoming series? Will you try any of them out, or will you stick to your current favourites? Is there any upcoming show that I missed? Leave me a comment below! If you liked this post, share it with your friends and followers, and browse through my other TV-related posts: