If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last few years, we’ve learned to adapt to the constant adjustments the television networks make to our primetime TV schedules. Just a few short months ago, the fall programming premiered—some of the September pilots passed the test and will live to see another day, while others have already been cancelled.
But don’t worry… the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites in 2013. Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!
Television series about spies are really nothing new… Covert Affairs and Burn Notice both air on the USA Network and both feature two of the highest trained CIA operatives on TV today.
But The Americans is different.
This new FX program follows two KGB sleeper agents during the Cold War in the 1980s as they live undercover in the United States. Phillip Jennings (Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters) and his wife Elizabeth (Keri Russell, Felicity) look like most Americans… they live in a nice suburban D.C. neighborhood and are raising two children. Their marriage might have been arranged by the Russian government, but their family is real… even if their children have no idea about their parents’ secret identities.
Maintaining their happy family while managing their KGB operation becomes a bit more arduous for the Jennings when a counter-intelligence FBI agent moves in next door (Stan Beeman, played by Noah Emmerich). Will their covert operation be safe? And what will the “nice family next door” do to keep it that way?
As with most FX series, I find the concept of The Americans to be very intriguing. Usually television audiences get behind the stars of the program… they are typically the “good” guys. But who are we supposed to “root for” now? The stars of this series happen to be Russian agents living secretly on U.S. soil and are plotting to take down our government.
Leave it to FX to keep things interesting…
The Americans premieres Wednesday, January 30th on FX.
Does anyone remember the short-lived Christian Slater TV series My Own Worst Enemy? Mr. Slater played a secret agent who had been implanted with a chip that transformed him into a super agent at will. His “normal” identity, Henry Spivey (his cover), had no idea until there was a malfunction. This glitch disabled the control feature of the chip and he flipped back and forth between his “normal” personality and the “super agent” (Edward Albright) involuntarily. And of course the two personalities did not like one another—Henry was scared of Edward and Edward was annoyed with Henry.
Anyway, this is what Do No Harm reminds me of… only this time we’re watching a doctor with multiple personalities. I know it’s not the same concept; it’s more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; but when I first saw the commercial for the new NBC series, I immediately thought of My Own Worst Enemy.
By day, Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, Rescue Me) is a very successful neurosurgeon. At night, Dr. Cole transforms into his other personality, Ian Price. At first, Dr. Cole was able to control these switches with his own mixture of pharmaceutical drugs. But when his self-medication fails, he realizes quickly that Ian will do anything to make his “real” life more difficult.
The new series also stars: Alana de la Garza (CSI: Miami and Law & Order) as Dr. Lena Solis; Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) as Dr. Vanessa Young; and John Carroll Lynch (Body of Proof) as Will.
Do No Harm premieres Thursday, January 31st on NBC.
Shopping for antiques has never been so dangerous…
Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards, Top Gun and ER) learns this first hand after his wife (Laila, played by Jacinda Barrett from—get this—The Real World: London) is abducted from her antique shop by a known international terrorist. With help from a few friends, Hank uncovers a secret map hidden inside a clock from his wife’s store inventory. This clock/map holds the key to a secret that a clandestine society and Catholic Church were sworn to protect for centuries—“a secret that could bring about the end of the world.”
Will Hank unravel the conspiracy and save his wife AND the world before it’s too late?
The series also stars: Scott Michael Foster (The River and Californication) as Aaron; Addison Timlin (also from Californication) as Rachel; Carmen Ejogo (Alex Cross) as Beck; and Michael Nyqvist (Millennium) as White Vincent.
Zero Hour premieres Thursday, February 14th on ABC.
Who was sad when The Vampire Diaries killed Alaric at the end of last season? I know I was. Of course, even though Alaric is technically dead, we have seen him a few times this season as a ghost hovering around Damon… but maybe not for much longer.
Why? Because the CW has given Matt Davis (TVD‘s Alaric) a new television series—Cult.
Cult follows journalist Jeff Sefton (Davis) as he investigates the disappearance of his brother. His brother had rambled on and on to Jeff about how one of his favorite TV shows—a show about the cat and mouse game between a cult’s leader and his ex-lover/detective chasing him—was out to get him, but Jeff wrote it off as paranoia. When his brother goes missing, Jeff learns that the television series (also titled “Cult”) his brother talked about does indeed have a rabid fan base who might just be committing the crimes as shown on the series.
Jeff is not alone… working alongside him, hoping to unravel the secrets behind the “Cult” TV show, is Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas, Melrose Place and Cloverfield). Skye works as a production assistant for “Cult”; but like Jeff, she begins to think something just isn’t quite right…
The new series also stars: Alona Tal (Cane and Supernatural) as Marti, an actress playing Kelly on “Cult”—a former member of the cult and ex-lover of the leader; Roger Knepper (Heroes and Prison Break) as Roger Reeves, an actor playing Billy Grimm on “Cult”—the leader of the cult; and a few familiar faces in recurring roles from the teen television series The Inbetweeners (Marie Avgeropoulos) and Degrassi: The Next Generation (Stacey Farber).
Cult premiers Tuesday, February 19th on the CW.
If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Cult at number one—that’s an easy one. Not only do I tend to love the series on the CW network, but I also really like Matt Davis and serial mysteries. Zero Hour follows closely at number two. Like my reasoning behind my number one choice, I have missed Anthony Edwards on TV AND I love watching characters race to find loved ones, especially when surrounded by deep and dark secrets that very powerful organizations have hidden and protected for years. Third probably goes to Do No Harm; after all, the Jekyll and Hyde story is a classic. And The Americans comes in fourth. FX has some of the best programming on TV today, and has for many years, but someone always has to come in last…
Which of these new programs are you most looking forward to and why? I’d love to hear from you!