New to TV – Fall 2013 (The Seventh and Final Part… For Now)

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

In today’s seventh and final part (for now), we’re mixing it up with comedy, mystery, fantasy, and a few supernatural dramas…

*****

Reign

The CW Summary: A young Mary Stuart, whose life was spent in the concealment of a monastery, finds herself thrown into a world of seduction and deception following her consignment to live with the dashing Prince Francis of France, who she has been promised to marry.

Mary Stuart (Adelaide Kane, Cora from Teen Wolf), the woman the world would later know as Mary, Queen of Scots, is sent to France with her four friends to formalize her arranged marriage to the French prince, Francis (Toby Regbo).  As with most arranged engagements of the time, it has nothing to do with love, but instead politics and secret agendas.  As one would expect, the prince doesn’t want to get married, especially when he has another lady with whom he is in love… but that’s not to say there’s not an attraction between he and Mary.

And let’s not forget about Francis’ half-brother, Bash (Torrance Coombs, Heartland), who also develops feelings for Mary…. something the queen is well aware of and not very happy about.

But despite it all, Mary readies herself to rule the land.

The new series also stars: Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) as Queen Catherine; Alan Van Sprang (The Tudors and the Living Dead films) as King Henry II; Rossif Sutherland (Kiefer’s younger brother) as Nostradamus; and Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, Celina Sinden, and Jenessa Grant as Mary’s ladies-in-waiting.

Reign premieres Thursday, October 17th on the CW.

*****

Ravenswood

ABC Family Summary: Tormented by a deadly curse lingering for generations in a small Pennsylvania town, five strangers search for its origins to put it to an end. 

I’ve made no secret of the fact about how much I love Pretty Little Liars… and now, I *kinda* have a second hour of PLL to watch every week.  How’s that?  Because Ravenswood is a Pretty Little Liars spinoff!

For those of us who watch PLL, we’ve seen a sneak peek into the town of Ravenswood.  And I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can’t wait to see why the entire town gathers at the statue when the bells ring.  Creepy!

But with the spinoff comes the sad realization that Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is leaving Rosewood for Ravenswood.  Does this mean he and Hanna are breaking up?  Who knows…?

Joining Caleb are four strangers: Miranda, played by Nicole Anderson from Beauty and the Beast; Remy, played by Britne Oldford from American Horror Story: Asylum; Luke, played by Brett Dier from The L.A. Complex; and Olivia, played by Merritt Patterson from Kyle XY.  Together they must dig into the town’s past to uncover its secrets.

Ravenswood premieres Tuesday, October 22nd on ABC Family.

*****

Dracula

NBC Summary: In late 19th century London, a man named Dracula arrives, bringing promises of illuminating the night with the new technology of electricity, a useful tool in his plan to take revenge upon those who had cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. 

Dracula… where our love for vampires truly begins.  Or at least it did for me.

The premise for the new series reminds me of ABC’s Revenge… with bite.  Dracula, also known as Alexander Grayson (see, Grayson… another Revenge similarity), moves to London under the false pretense of bringing modern science applications to the city, but instead plans to seek revenge against all those who wronged him before… centuries before.

And it wouldn’t be Dracula without love, right?  Much like the love story in the ‘90s version of Dark Shadows, Dracula will encounter a woman who inexplicably looks like his dead wife and he falls in love with her all over again.

Oh, and did I mention Alexander/Dracula is played by the sexy Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors)?

The series also stars a few other familiar British and Irish actors: Katie McGrath (Merlin), Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones), and Victoria Smurfit (Trial & Retribution).

Dracula premieres Friday, October 25th on NBC.

*****

Almost Human

FOX Summary: In a world where police officers are partnered with androids, Detective John Kennex, a scarred cop battling PTSD, partners with Dorian, a discontinued droid with unexplained emotions. 

Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new Star Trek films) spent two years in a coma and he’s now trying to get back on the police force…with his new, futuristic prosthetic leg.

Every officer is assigned an android, or synthetic.  Detective Kennex’s “partner” is Dorian (Michael Ealy from FlashForward and Common Law), a synthetic who wants to be as human as possible.

The new Fox crime drama promises to be different from all the other police procedurals out there.  Each episode deals with a theme or question it is tacking… in a glimpse of what our future might hold.

The series also stars: Lili Taylor (Mystic Pizza, Say Anything, Ransom, The Haunting, etc) as Captain Maldonado; Mackenzie Crook (The Office, Game of Thrones) as Rudy Lom, a technician for the synthetics; Michael Irby (The Unit) as Richard Paul, a detective who’s not thrilled to see Kennex back on the force; and Minka Kelly (Charlie’s Angels and The Roommate) as Valerie Stahl, a human intelligence analyst for the police.

Almost Human premieres Monday, November 4th on FOX.

*****

Enlisted

FOX Summary: An army-set single-camera comedy about three brothers reconnecting with one another.

Pete Hill (Geoff Stults from Seventh Heaven, Happy Town, and The Finder) is the oldest of three brothers.  He also happens to be a super soldier.  But when he messes up, he is assigned a group of misfit soldiers as his punishment—a group that includes his brothers, Randy (Parker Young from Suburgatory) and Derrick (Veronica Mars and Private Practice).

Randy is in love with the Army, while Derrick is jaded with the military and his family.  But these three brothers love each other… they just may not get along all the time.

The comedy also stars Keith David (There’s Something About Mary, the Riddick films, Barbershop, and many other feature films) and Angelique Cabral.

Enlisted premieres Tuesday, November 8th on FOX.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Ravenswood at number one.  That was a no brainer.  I mean, c’mon.  You knew I would rank it first… right?  Considering how much I love Pretty Little Liars and YA mysteries…  Dracula follows at number two.  I have been waiting for this series for what feels like forever!  Finally, NBC has decided to give it to us.  Almost Human falls in at number three.  I’m usually not HUGE on sci-fi type shows, but I do love police procedurals, plus I could stare at Michael Ealy’s eyes for hours.  Fourth goes to Reign.  If the recent years have proven anything, it’s that I LOVE the CW’s programs, even though they target a teen audience.  This means Enlisted comes in last.  But don’t let the placement fool anyone; I’m looking forward to this comedy.  I’m glad FOX is giving Geoff Stults another series!

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part Six)

I’m skipping the usual Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post this week, and sharing the sixth installment of my New to TV – Fall 2013 series.

That’s right!  It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with the supernatural, witches, and TV’s latest fairytale adaptation…

*****

The Tomorrow People

The CW Summary: Taking a chance and listening to the persistent voice in his head, Stephen Jameson ends up meeting a group of genetically advanced people with supernatural abilities, and not only learns about himself, but the truth behind his father’s disappearance. 

Based on the British series of the same name, The Tomorrow People follows a group of kids who have evolved into the supernatural with special abilities.  And while these select few were born with their special powers, it takes some time for the realization of these unique abilities to evolve.  Take teenager Stephen Jameson for example…

Stephen (played by Robbie Amell, “Fred” from the Scooby-Doo! films and cousin to Arrow’s Stephen Amell) was just a normal teen… until he started hearing voices and teleporting in his sleep.  After waking up in locations all over the place, he begins to question his sanity.  He gives in and decides to listen to one of the voices in his head and this voice leads him to The Tomorrow People, a genetically advanced group with powers very similar to his.

And of course, The Tomorrow People are being hunted by a group of scientists…

Sounds good, right?

The new supernatural drama also stars: Luke Mitchell (the cute Australian actor from Neighbours) as John; Peyton List (Mad Men and FlashForward) as Cara;  Aaron Yoo (Disturbia and the remake of Friday the 13th) as Russell; and Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural, the US version of Being Human, Dexter, and The Closer) as Jedikiah.

The Tomorrow People premieres tonight, Wednesday, October 9th on the CW.

*****

American Horror Story: Coven

FX Summary: A young girl is terrified to learn that she is suffering from a strange genetic affliction, but the mysterious condition earns her the chance to attend a school that tries to nurture the potential magical powers of an endangered bloodline.

I made no secret of the fact that I felt American Horror Story (season one) was groundbreaking television.  I honestly can’t remember ever watching anything quite like it.  Then season two aired… even though VERY different from the first as far as storyline and themes, the acting and characters were still just as impressive.  And it should come as no surprise that news of the third season pickup thrilled me; but left me wondering what we, the television audience, could expect with a new year of AHS.  And then I saw the story’s new “home” of sorts…

American Horror Story: Coven

Coven?  Are you kidding me?  We get witches?  Oh, heck yes!

Not only that, but a few of our favorites are back!  Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, and Lily Rabe return… as do a few of season one’s veterans we missed or barely saw in season two: Taissa Farmiga, Frances Conroy, Alexandra Breckenridge, and Denis O’Hare.  One name is missing, I notice, and this makes me sad… Zachary Quinto.  Fingers crossed he at least stops by the Coven for a second or two.

We also have some new faces joining the cast… some really familiar faces: Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Patti LuPone, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Grey Damon, and Mare Winningham.

After seeing what the writers and creators were capable of in the first two years, I will be one of the first to press play on my DVR tonight!

American Horror Story: Coven premieres tonight, Wednesday, October 9th on FX.

*****

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

ABC Summary: The doctors of a young woman in Victorian England are quite troubled by her tales of a land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole and seek to cure her of these memories, but at the last second, she is whisked away by friends to return to Wonderland. 

Sadly, I never got into Once Upon a Time.  A few years ago when the two fairytale TV shows premiered, I chose Grimm.  But I’ve heard wonderful things about the ABC drama.

And because it was (and is) such a success, I will give Once Upon a Time in Wonderland a chance.  After all, what little girl doesn’t love the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Not to mention, the traditional story’s “twist” seems just dark enough for me…

Trapped in a mental hospital, Alice (Sophie Lowe) recounts her time in Wonderland… after falling down a rabbit hole.  Needless to say, the good doctors don’t believe her.  When she agrees to let the doctors perform a new therapy on her to help her forget her lost love (a genie), her fairytale comes alive, hoping to rescue her.

Like I said, I’ll give it a try.

The new fairytale also stars: Peter Gadiot as Cyrus; Michael Socha (BBC’s Being Human) as The Knave of Hearts; Emma Rigby as The Red Queen; Naveen Andrews (Lost) as Jafar; and John Lithgow (TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun and many motion pictures) as the voice of The White Rabbit.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland premieres tomorrow, Thursday, October 10th on ABC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put American Horror Story: Coven at number one.  That was a no brainer.  I mean, c’mon.  You knew I would rank it first… right?  The Tomorrow People follows at number two.  If the recent years have proven anything, it’s that I LOVE the CW’s programs, even though they target a teen audience.  Hey, be nice!  I’m still a teen at heart…  And sadly, that means Once Upon a Time in Wonderland falls into third/last place.  But don’t let the placement fool anyone; I’m really looking forward to all three of these shows!

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part Five)

Because so many new television shows premiere this week, I’m skipping the usual Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, and sharing the fifth installment of my New to TV – Fall 2013 series.

That’s right!  It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy and the supernatural…

*****

Welcome to the Family

NBC Summary: Dan and his wife, Caroline, were getting ready for the experience of having their daughter, Molly, move away for college; but then Molly and her boyfriend announce they’re having a baby and suddenly the two families have to get used to each other.

The Yoder family (Dan, played by Mike O’Malley from Glee, My Name is Earl, and Justified; and Caroline, played by Mary McCormack from The West Wing and In Plain Sight) can’t wait to get back to their old life, just the two of them, after their daughter, Molly (Ella Rae Peck from Deception and Gossip Girl), graduates high school.  There’s only one problem—she’s pregnant.

That’s not all; Molly and Junior Hernandez (Joey Haro, Awkward) are madly in love and it is up to their families to make this work… for them.

The families… boy, are they two totally different families.  The Yoders are an upper-middle class family (Dan is a doctor) and the Hernandezes are a working class, blue-collar family.  Needless to say, they do not see eye to eye.  Especially the dads.  Bringing these families together is going to take a lot of work.

The new sitcom also stars: Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives) as Junior’s dad, Miguel; Justina Machado (Six Feet Under) as Junior’s mom, Lisette; and Fabrizio Guido as Junior’s little brother.

Welcome to the Family premieres tomorrow, Thursday, October 3rd on NBC.

*****

The Originals

The CW Summary: Original hybrid Klaus Mikaelson has returned to New Orleans to reclaim the French Quarter empire his family helped build 300 years ago from the control of his former protégé who has managed to inherit everything Klaus has ever wanted. 

Originally airing as an episode of The Vampire Diaries on April 24th, viewers caught a glimpse of what it would be like having Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Elijah (Daniel Gillies), and Rebekah (Claire Holt) outside Mystic Falls.  Instead of hanging out at all the same locations as our TVD kids, this backdoor pilot took us to New Orleans.   This then potential spinoff followed our favorite Originals and introduced us to a few new vamps, witches, and humans, as well as brought along Tyler’s seductive werewolf friend, Haley (Phoebe Tonkin from The Secret Circle).

Within a day of the backdoor pilot airing on the CW, The Originals was given the green light.

I watched it.  And I liked it.  It was a breath of fresh air, stepping away from boring Elena and Stefan.  The pilot had it all—Klaus’ old vampire running mates, witches and their spells, the promise of a hybrid baby, and King Klaus.  The only thing missing was my boy, Damon.

The Vampire Diaries spinoff also stars: Charles Michael Davis (The Game) as Marcel, Klaus’ protégé; Daniella Pineda and Danielle Campbell (Ravenswood) as witches; and Leah Pipes (Sorority Girls) as Cami… a human.

The Originals premieres tomorrow, Thursday, October 3rd on the CW.

*****

Witches of East End

Lifetime Summary: Having strived to maintain a normal existence for her daughters, immortal witch Joanna Beauchamp must at last reveal her family’s true lineage when a certain enemy from her past begins to stir up trouble once again. 

Based on the novel of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz, Witches of East End stars a ton of beautiful women, playing… witches!  Julia Ormand (Legends of the Fall, Sabrina, and many other major motion pictures) plays Joanna, mother to Freya (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Channing’s lucky wife and former cast member of American Horror Story: Asylum) and Ingrid (Rachel Boston from The Ex-List and In Plain Site).  Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks) plays Wendy, Joanna’s mischievous sister… and Virginia Madsen (Sideways, Fire with Fire, Candyman, etc…) plays Penelope.

The guys are pretty too: Eric Winter (Days of our Lives, The Mentalist), Jason George (Mistresses, Grey’s Anatomy), Daniel DiTomasso, and supposedly even Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Buffy’s real-life husband!).

I can’t wait for Witches of East End!  I’ve been excited for this series since seeing the first teaser while watching Devious Maids.  Here’s hoping Lifetime has themselves a hit!  I need a new show about witches.  It has been a long time since Charmed

Witches of East End premieres Sunday, October 6th on Lifetime.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put The Originals at number one with Witches of East End following closely behind in second.  I’ve already seen the pilot of The Originals and LOVED it… plus I already know many of the characters.  And witches?  I will almost always watch a show with witches in it!  This lands Welcome to the Family in last place.  Sorry; I’ll take the supernatural over comedy almost any day.

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part Four)

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy and drama…

*****

Super Fun Night

ABC Summary: A junior attorney, Kimmie Boubier, and her two best friends have had a standing date every Friday night for the last 13 years, but then Kimmie meets a dashingly handsome British attorney, throwing a monkey wrench into the tradition.

I feel like I’ve seen the ABC teasers for Super Fun Night for some time now; and to be honest, the only thing that even somewhat interests me is the fact that Rebel Wilson stars in this new sitcom.  And not only that, but the new series is also written and co-produced by Ms. Wilson.

Rebel Wilson has proven to be one funny lady… from her small role in Bridesmaids, to her starring role in Pitch Perfect, to all of her live performances on variety talk shows and the MTV Movie Awards.

But will this alone be enough to interest me and others in this latest comedy?  I’m not sure I want to watch something that’s all about partying… and from the commercials, that is what Super Fun Night seems to be about.  However, the ABC summary has me believing there might be more to this story.  I guess we’ll see.

The comedy also stars: Lauren Ash (Almost Heroes), Liza Lapira (Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23), Kevin Bishop, and Kate Jenkinson.

Oh, and supposedly the first episode will actually be the sitcom’s second episode.  For whatever reason, the network has decided to skip the pilot.  Hmmm…

Super Fun Night premieres tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 2nd on ABC.

*****

Ironside

NBC Summary: After having been shot in the line of duty and confined to a wheelchair, determined Detective Robert Ironside leads a custom-tailored team of elite investigators as they take on New York’s most infamous crimes.

Robert T. Ironside (Blair Underwood from L.A. Law), may be arrogant and cocky, but he gets good results, making him the best detective on the force.  However, one fateful day, he is shot in the back and suffers a spinal cord injury.  Now handicapped, he’s trying to be the same kind of cop he was before landing in the wheelchair.  After all, the wheelchair doesn’t define him and he does not want any help… from anyone.

The series will use flashbacks to tell us more about who Ironside was before the injury.  However, in current day and since recovering from the shooting, Ironside moves forward and puts together a team of officers that he sees as unique and interesting: Teddy (Neal Bledsoe from Smash) grew up with a lot of money, the right education and friends, but still wants and needs to help people; Holly (Spencer Grammer from Greek) is a woman who just wants to be one of the guys, feeling she has to prove herself to be just as strong as they are; and Virgil (Pablo Schreiber from Orange is the New Black) is the muscle and someone Ironside “saved” just as his own career was in jeopardy.

Ironside also stars Brent Saxton (Justified) as Ironside’s former partner, Gary Stanton, and Kenneth Choi (Sons of Anarchy) as Ironside’s boss, Captain Ed Rollins.

NBC’s new drama is not an original concept… from 1967 to 1975, Raymond Burr (a.k.a. Perry Mason) starred on television as Robert T. Ironside, a paraplegic detective.  I hope someone who has seen the older series will chime in after the premiere to compare the two for us.

Ironside premieres tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 2nd on NBC.

*****

The Millers TV SeriesThe Millers

CBS Summary: Will Arnett stars in a new comedy featuring a recently divorced news reporter who looks forward to living the single life again… until his parents’ marital problems derail his plans for a free-wheeling bachelorhood. 

A newly divorced news reporter (Nathan, played Will Arnett from Arrested Development and Up All Night) decides to keep his separation secret from his parents—and for good reason.  While he thinks it will break their hearts, it actually prompts his dad to jump ship and file for divorce himself.  Mom (Margo Martindale, Justified and The Americans) moves in with Nathan, cramping his plans for a fun bachelorhood… and dad (Beau Bridges, does he really need an introduction at this point in his career?) moves in with his sister, making both kids miserable.

The series sounds depressing, but with Will Arnett, Margo Martindale, and Beau Bridges, the previews actually look pretty funny.

The new sitcom also stars J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Jayma Mays (Glee).

The Millers premieres Thursday, October 3rd on CBS.

*****

Sean Saves the World

NBC Summary: Sean is a successful single dad who juggles a career, his mother, and weekends with his 14-year-old daughter fairly well; but when his daughter wants to move in, his life becomes a quest to discover just how much it will take to make it all work. 

All parents have battled this very dilemma—work versus parenthood.  However, usually we only hear about how mothers struggle with the guilt of balancing work and home.

Not this time.  In Sean Saves the World, viewers will watch a single father (Sean Hayes from Will & Grace) take on these struggles.  And luckily for him, he has his mother there to help.  Or is that lucky?

Oh, and I think Sean is playing a gay man from the OnDemand sneak peek I watched… perhaps that is what caused he and his daughter’s mother to split?

The new sitcom also stars: Linda Lavin (Alice) as Sean’s mother; Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!) as Sean’s boss; Echo Kellum (Ben & Kate) and Megan Hilty (Smash) as Sean’s friends; Vik Sahay (Chuck) as someone named Howard—I can’t find much about his character; and Samantha Isler as Sean’s daughter.

Sean Saves the World premieres Thursday, October 3rd on NBC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Ironside at number one.  As much as I like to laugh, a good police procedural/crime drama will always beat out a comedy as far as I’m concerned.  The Millers probably comes in second with Super Fun Night and Sean Saves the World coming in third and fourth (last).  

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part Three)

Because so many new television shows premiere this week, I’m skipping the usual Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, and sharing the third installment of my New to TV – Fall 2013 series…

That’s right!  It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy and drama…

*****

The Crazy Ones

CBS Summary: An unorthodox advertising genius runs his highly successful ad agency, while managing his eccentric development team and his polar-opposite daughter, all while striving to maintain a reputation as one of the best ad agencies in the business. 

At Roberts & Roberts, viewers get to see the crazy world of advertising and the relationship between a nutty, fun father (Simon Roberts, played by the phenomenal Robin Williams—no introduction necessary, right?) and his serious and ambitious daughter (Sydney Roberts, played by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar).

Produced by David E. Kelly (The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal), The Crazy Ones will probably be worth a watch.  I said it once and I’ll say it again, Robin Williams is phenomenal.  Just look at his success: Mork & Mindy, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Good Will Hunting, to just name a few.  And then there’s Sarah Michelle Gellar.  I’m still upset her CW show Ringer didn’t make it last year… hopefully this one does.  Television is a better place with SMG.

The sitcom also stars: James Wolk (You Again, Political Animals) as Zach; Amanda Setton (Gossip Girl) as Lauren; and Hamish Linklater (The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Andrew.

The Crazy Ones premieres tomorrow night, Thursday, September 26th on CBS.

*****

The Michael J. Fox Show

NBC Summary: Mike Henry was one of New York City’s most beloved news anchors, but had to abruptly place his career on hold so he could spend more time with his family and focus on his health after receiving the diagnosis saying he has Parkinson’s Disease. 

I think we can all agree that we’re happy Michael J. Fox is coming back to television.  We’ve missed Alex P. Keaton and Marty McFly.  Our hearts broke when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in real life and we’ve watched him suffer through this disease… and fight.  Fight is what he has done.  Over the past few years, we’ve been lucky enough to see Mr. Fox guest star on a few shows, including the very popular The Good Wife, and raise over $350 million dollars for Parkinson’s.

And now he’s back, starring in a brand new sitcom, playing a man similar to himself… where Parkinson’s is concerned, anyway, and showing how he has bounced back.  Mike, his character on The Michael J. Fox Show, has fought back himself and will balance his disease, work, and his family… much like the resilient Michael J. Fox is doing right now.

I watched my grandmother succumb to Parkinson’s when I was a young girl, and I applaud Michael J. Fox for all he has done for the disease.  I know this isn’t much of a TV preview, but I wanted to take this time to thank him.

The new sitcom also stars: Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), Katie Finneran (I Hate My Teenage Daughter), and Wendell Pierce (The Wire and Suits).

The Michael J. Fox Show premieres tomorrow night, Thursday, September 26th on NBC.

*****

Betrayal

ABC Summary: The chance meeting of a professional photographer and a top attorney leads to an instant, undeniable attraction that both struggle with since they are both married.  Matters worsen when they find themselves on the opposite sides of a murder case. 

Sara (Hannah Ware from BOSS), a married woman, meets a mysterious stranger and falls in love.  Besides the fact she’s committing adultery, there’s another BIG problem—her lover (Jack McAllister, played by Stuart Townsend, Night Stalker) is the opposing counsel against her husband in the trial of his life.

When I first saw the Betrayal preview on ABC, I was sure I’d watch.  But then I saw the night of the week ABC has chosen to air it and I had to laugh—Sunday nights after Revenge.  Now, don’t get me wrong; I love Revenge.  But Revenge followed by Betrayal?  C’mon.  Am I the only one who thinks ABC is going for a theme here on Sunday nights?  Admit it… it’s kind of funny.

Anyway, the new drama also stars: Chris J. Johnson (South Beach, Against the Wall) as Sara’s husband, Drew; James Cromwell (Six Feet Under, American Horror Story: Asylum) as Thatcher Karsten, a powerful business man and Jack’s client; Wendy Moniz (The Guiding Light) as Elaine, Thatcher’s daughter and Jack’s wife; and Henry Thomas (from two of my childhood favorites… E.T. The Extraterrestrial and Cloak and Dagger) as T. J. Karsten.

Betrayal premieres Sunday, September 29th on ABC.

*****

Hello Ladies

HBO Summary: An English web designer/landlord, who has recently moved to the United States, learns that his attractive tenant has a friend who is opening a classy nightclub, and he manages to get his name on the establishment’s guest list. 

A small town English man (Stuart, played by Stephen Merchant, co-writer and director of the BBC’s The Office, and funny man from Hall Pass and Movie 43) dreams of somehow making it in Los Angeles… and Hello Ladies will follow him through his dating experiences.

That’s about all I could get from watching this trailer via OnDemand… it’s practically a reiteration of the HBO summary.

The series also stars: Christine Woods (Flashforward), Nate Torrance (Mr. Sunshine), and Kevin Weisman (Alias).

Hello ladies premieres Sunday, September 29th on HBO.

*****

We Are Men

CBS Summary: A group of four single guys living in an apartment complex find camaraderie over their woes in love as they take the youngest of the group under their wings. 

When Carter (Chris Smith, Paranormal Activity 3) gets left at the altar, his life falls apart.  So he moves into an apartment complex where he meets his three new best friends… three men who understand exactly what he is going through.  Together these four guys will start life over again with each other and their love and support… as crazy as they may be.

The sitcom also stars: Kal Penn (Kumar from the Harold & Kumar movies and House) as Gil; Jerry O’Connell (from so many of my favorites… Stand by Me, Scream 2, Tomcats, Buying the Cow, and TV’s Crossing Jordan and The Defenders—a show that should have made it, but moving on…) as Stuart; and the great Tony Shalhoub (Wings and Monk) as  Frank.

We Are Men premieres Monday, September 30th on CBS.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Betrayal at number one.  We Are Men probably comes in second, mainly because I adore three of the four male stars.  The Crazy Ones follows behind at number three, due to the fact it brings back one of my favorites to the television screen—Buffy. I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Fourth and fifth (last) place goes to The Michael J. Fox Show (no offense, Mr. Fox… I’m thrilled to see you back on TV in a starring role) and Hello Ladies.  Unfortunately, someone always has to come in last; but that doesn’t mean we won’t give it a chance here at The Ooo Factor.   

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part Two)

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with ABC’s all new comedies and dramas… all premiering this week!

*****

The Goldbergs

ABC Summary: For geeky 11-year old Adam, these were his wonder years, and he faced them armed with a video camera to capture all the crazy.  The Goldbergs are a loving family like any other, just with a lot more yelling. 

The year is 1985. And The Goldbergs has it all—the clothes, the hair, the earrings, the makeup, the cars, the music… awe, long live the ‘80s!

But let’s talk about the series…

The Goldbergs are a close, loving family, and just as dysfunctional as any other family.  But we (the viewers) get to witness all of the craziness (like dad dropping his pants the moment he walks in the door from work), courtesy of the youngest Goldberg filming everything with his big ole video camera.

I’m a child of the ‘80s and I love to laugh; and as much as I hate to admit it, The Goldbergs trailer had me at hello.  Perhaps I could relate?  Anyway, let’s just hope the series is as entertaining as it seems it is going to be.

The new sitcom stars: Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Murray Goldberg, the dad; Wendy McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids) as Beverly Goldberg, the mom; George Segal (Just Shoot Me!) as Albert Solomon, the granddad; and Hayley Orrantia (X-Factor), Sean Giambrone, and Troy Gentile as the Goldberg children.

The Goldbergs premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 24th on ABC.

*****

Lucky 7

ABC Summary: Seven coworkers with big dreams put their resources together to buy lottery tickets, and when they win, they find themselves having to re-examine their values and identities in order to appreciate their shared wealth and individual dreams. 

Based on the British series, The Syndicate, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Lucky 7 follows the lives of seven gas station employees and coworkers after they strike gold in the New York lottery.  They should all celebrate; they could all use the money; but like with every other thing involving money, it might not be as easy as they thought.

Unlike many of the other new fall programs, Lucky 7 did not have a special behind-the-scenes segment or preview for me via OnDemand.   Not only that, the series stars a lot of relatively unknown actors (see below), and the quick trailer airing on ABC doesn’t really show all that much, leaving me intrigued.  I only hope this means I’ll be interested in the story after the pilot and not deleting the show from my DVR right off the bat.

The new drama stars: Summer Bishil (The Last Airbender), Lorraine Bruce (The Syndicate), Matt Long (Private Practice), Christine Evangelista (The Kill Point), Luis Antonio Ramos (Early Edition), Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (The Wire), Alexandra Castillo, Anastasia Phillips, and Stephen Louis Grush.

Lucky 7 premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 24 on ABC.

*****

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC Summary: Agent Phil Coulson gathers a highly select team of agents from around the world to be a part of the law enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. to protect the world’s ordinary population by investigating the extraordinary. 

S.H.I.E.L.D.

Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division.

We’ve all seen Iron Man by now, right?  Thor? The Avengers?  Let’s just assume we’re all familiar with S.H.I.E.L.D. by now.

Only now, we get to meet the agents behind S.H.I.E.L.D. that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, The New Adventures of Old Christine) has handpicked.  We all might recognize Agent Coulson from the movies mentioned above (Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers, etc.); but did we know he was supposedly killed in action, but brought back to put together the perfect team to investigate new threats?  Now we do… and he is the glue that holds the organization together.

Let’s meet his team:

First, we have Agent Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge)—Fitz is the gadget man and Simmons is the biochemist.  Together they love their jobs, are thrilled to be a part of the team, and are pretty much unstoppable.

Next, we have Agent Ward (Brett Dalton)—he’s the black ops specialist, an expert in reconnaissance with mad military skills… but he’s not so great with people.

Then we have Agent May (Ming-Na Wen, ER)—she’s a former field agent now confined to the office, but why?  Don’t know… but we do know she’s mysterious, quiet, and a top-notch fighter… as in hand-to-hand combat.

And last but not least, we have Skye (Chloe Bennet, Nashville)—she’s the tech expert, a computer hacker who finds herself as a member of the team after she cracks the wrong code.  Whoopsie.

There we have it.  The humans behind the superheroes.  The normal people dealing with the superhero world.

The new series promises action, a sense of humor, and great characters.  And why not?  Joss Whedon is the creator, director, and executive producer.  I mean, c’mon… Whedonites unite.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 24th on ABC.

*****

Trophy Wife

ABC Summary: A reformed party girl, now the third wife of a slightly older man, finds herself with an instafamily (consisting of three stepchildren and two ex-wives).  But she is determined to make this work and become a part of the family no matter what. 

After meeting her husband in a karaoke bar, Kate (Malin Akerman) jumps feet first into her new life.  She wants to bond with her new stepchildren, even if it means chugging the alcohol one of them is about to get busted with, and with her husband’s ex-wives… both of them.  She may not know what she is doing, but she won’t let anything get in her way.

First of all, I really like Malin Akerman.  Not only is she beautiful, but she’s actually quite funny (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, The Heartbreak Kid, Couples Retreat, Wanderlust, and most recently, Suburgatory).  I pretty much immediately knew I would want to check this new sitcom out, mainly just to watch her and laugh.

The new sitcom also stars: Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) as Kate’s husband, Pete; Marcia Gay Harden (does she really need an introduction?) as Diane, one of Pete’s ex-wives; Michaela Watkins (The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Jackie, ex-wife number two; Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation) as Meg, Kate’s friend; and Bailee Madison (Just Go With It) as Hillary, one of Pete’s kids.

Trophy Wife premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 24th on ABC.

*****

Back in the Game

ABC Summary: Over the past decade, Terry Gannon has found herself with a baby, a lost college scholarship, divorced, and moving back in with her father.  And when a neighbor offers to finance a baseball team for kids that didn’t make the cut, including her son, she offers to coach the team of misfits.

Terry Gannon, Jr. (Maggie Lawson, Psych) had a very promising softball career… until she got pregnant and lost her college scholarship.  So she did what she felt was best and married the father of her son.  But things didn’t work out, and following a divorce, she and her son move in with her dad (James Caan—no introduction necessary, right?).

Dad… Terry Gannon, Sr.  “The Cannon.”  He, too, had a promising career as a professional athlete; but all that went to the wayside.  And now he’s just an opinionated ex-star, who enjoys his sofa and an ice-cold beer.  And I’m not quite sure he ever really excelled at being a single father either…

Anyway, trying to get her life back on track, Terry Jr. encourages her son to try out for little league, despite his not knowing much, if anything, about the sport.  But when he and a group of kids fail to make the team, a wealthy neighbor backs them and Terry offers to coach the misfits.  Kinda sounds like a story of redemption, right?

The new sitcom also stars: Griffin Gluck (Just Go With It) as Danny Gannon; Lenora Crichlow (the BBC’s Being Human) as Gigi; and Ben Koldyke (How I Met Your Mother) as Dick.

Back in the Game premieres tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25th on ABC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at number one.  Back in the Game probably comes in second because I adore Maggie Lawson and James Caan.  The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife follow behind at numbers three and four.  Both do look funny… and I LOVE the ‘80s and Malin Akerman… Lucky 7 comes in fifth (last) place.  So far I just don’t know much about this one; therefore, I’m looking forward to it the least.  But don’t worry; I will watch it before casting any judgement.  

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV – Fall 2013 (Part One)

It’s that time of year again… the fall television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re mixing it up with comedy and drama…

*****

Sleepy Hollow

FOX Summary: Ichabod Crane and Detective Abbie Mills battle forces, including the Four Horseman, brought back to life in the town of Sleepy Hollow.

After 250 years in a “dead” slumber, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) returns to the town of Sleepy Hollow.  During an interrogation by local authorities, he remembers last working for General George Washington.  He reveals Washington ordered him to kill a man, a mission he accomplished by beheading the target.

Not really knowing what to think, the local police department partners Ichabod with Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), hoping the two will work together to solve a series of bizarre events.  After all, Ichabod isn’t the only one to rise from the dead in Sleepy Hollow…

But in order to succeed, the two must first uncover all of the clues left behind by our country’s founding fathers, unlocking a century’s old mystery.

From the writers and producers of Star Trek (2009 and 2013), the series also stars Orlando Jones (the 7 UP guy) and John Cho (Harold from the Harold and Kumar movies).

We’re a day late with this one… Sleepy Hollow actually premiered last night on FOX.  But don’t worry; if you missed the pilot, it will re-air this Friday, September 20th.  Be sure to check the local listings.

*****

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

FOX Summary: Jake Peralta, a talented, but carefree police detective, and his eclectic colleagues get a rude awakening when the precinct hires an uptight captain, who’s dead set on turning the poorly functional team into one of the best ones in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is something kind of new… at least to my generation… it’s a show about cops (okay, that aspect is not new to TV), only this one is supposed to be funny.  It’s a sitcom, not the average police procedural.  And while this team of detectives will solve crimes, they hope to make us laugh along the way.

The star, Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live), mentioned in a TV interview that his new comedy has been likened to Barney Miller.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In addition to Samberg’s Detective Peralta character, the series also stars: Andre Braugher (Glory, City of Angels, Men of a Certain Age) as the new captain; Stephanie Beatriz as Detective Diaz, the tough, smart, and scary one; Joe Lo Truglio (Role Models, Wanderlust) as Detective Boyle, the klutzy one; Melissa Fumero (One Life to Live) as Detective Santiago, the one who’s always trying to prove she’s tough; and Terry Crews (Arrested Development, Idiocracy, the Old Spice Commercials) as Sergeant Jeffords, the one who works hard and takes his job seriously.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 17th on FOX.

*****

Dads

FOX Summary: A pair of well-off business partners, who have been best friends since childhood, are left scouring for whatever space they can get to maintain sanity when their fathers pack up and move into their places, leaving them exasperated.

Warner (Giovanni Ribisi from TV’s My Two Dads, Friends, and many major motion pictures) and Eli (Seth Green from TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and motion pictures, including The Italian Job and Can’t Hardly Wait) run a successful video gaming company.  They’re young, lucrative, and have fun with what they do.  But when their dads decide to move in with them (and in Warner’s case, with his wife, too), their lives are turned upside down.

From the previews, Dads actually does look funny… in a raunchy and sometimes inappropriate humor kind of way.  Not to mention, I feel Giovanni Ribisi does NOT do enough anymore.  I’m excited to see him back on TV.  His character’s dancing to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” was a Ted highlight for me…

The new sitcom also stars: Martin Mull (Clue) as Warner’s dad; Peter Riegert (Animal House) as Eli’s dad; Vanessa Lachey (MTV’s Total Request Live) as Warner’s wife; and Brenda Song (Disney’s The Suite Life series) as Eli’s and Warner’s assistant.

Oh, and Dads is produced by Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted).

Dads premieres tonight, Tuesday, September 17th on FOX.

*****

The Blacklist

NBC Summary: Ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington has been one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives, though he has decided to mysteriously surrender himself to new FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen, a woman he seems to have no connections with at all.

First, the “seems to have no connections with at all” tells me that Reddington and Keen will have some connection.  So, I’m expecting that twist at some point down the road…

That said, The Blacklist looks really good.

Known for his brokering deals with terrorists around the world, fugitive “Red” Reddington (James Spader from the ‘80s movies Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero, and Mannequin, as well as the hit TV series Boston Legal) shocks the FBI when he turns himself in.  In exchange for something, I’m not sure what… maybe a lighter sentence, no death penalty, something… he offers up his “blacklist,” a list of terrorists and criminals that only he knows about.

There’s only one catch—he’ll only work with one woman (Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone from the short-lived Law & Order: Los Angeles).

Now, I remember the a-hole characters Spader played in Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero, and Mannequin… he was great in those roles.  He was even better as the arrogant, yet intelligent and successful lawyer in Boston Legal… when he wasn’t lassoing in his good buddy, Denny Crane.  But as a straight up bad guy?  I bet Mr. Spader will be beyond good and I can’t wait to see his performance.

The new drama also stars Harry Lennix (Dollhouse), Diego Klattenhoff (Homeland), and Ryan Eggold (the more recent 90210, not the original).

The Blacklist premieres Monday, September 23rd on NBC.

*****

Hostages

CBS Summary: When a talented and prominent DC surgeon is handpicked to perform an operation on the President of the United States, a rogue FBI agent takes her family hostage and demands that she assassinate the president during surgery. 

Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette from The Sixth Sense and The United States of Tara), the surgeon scheduled to operate on the President of the United States, realizes her worst nightmares when her family is taken hostage… by one of the best FBI hostage negotiators in the country, Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott from The Practice, Dark Blue, and American Horror Story).

The negotiation Carlisle is offering Sanders?  Kill the president or her family dies.  But while she loves her family, she refuses to cooperate and challenges her family’s captors… until one of them breaks.

After watching McDermott play a somewhat troubled husband with issues in American Horror Story, a d-bag in The Campaign, and a rogue agent in Olympus Has Fallen, I can’t wait to watch him in Hostages…  he’s really good at playing the creepy, good-looking bad guy.

The new drama/thriller also stars: Tate Donovan (Damages, Deception) as Brian, the good doctor’s husband; Billy Brown (Sons of Anarchy, Dexter) as Archer; Sandrine Holt (24, House of Cards) as Maria; Rhys Coiro (Entourage) as Kramer; and James Naughton (Ally McBeal, Gossip Girl) as President Kincaid.

Hostages premieres Monday, September 23rd on CBS.

*****

Mom

CBS Summary: A newly sober single mother, trying to get her life back in order and put her past mistakes behind her, is challenged in her attempts to stay positive when her estranged mother, a recovering alcoholic, suddenly reappears in her life. 

Christy (Anna Faris from the Scary Movie franchise, Waiting, Just Friends, The House Bunny, etc…) is just trying to get by… but she hasn’t had it easy.  She found herself pregnant as a teenager; she dropped out of high school; she turned to the bottle, of the adult beverage kind; and she’s reminding herself very much of someone she does not want to be—her mother (Allison Janney from The West Wing).

But now Christy is trying to straighten up her life, despite the return of her selfish and crazy mother.  She’s doing her best to ensure her teenage daughter does not continue down the path she did, but it’s proving a lot more difficult than she imagined.  Throw in the fact her “baby daddy” is still hanging around AND her boyfriend appears to be married to another woman, and Christy’s life may not be as easy to clean up and manage as she hoped it would be.

Mom premieres Monday, September 23rd on CBS.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Sleepy Hollow at number one.  The Blacklist probably comes in second with Hostages following closely behind at number three.  Fourth, fifth, and sixth (last) places have to go to Mom, Dads, and Brooklyn Nine-NineEach of these sitcoms stars someone I love to watch and laugh along with; however, fresh sitcoms don’t really last these days, so I’m not putting too much stock in any of them until I’ve seen a few episodes…    

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

New to TV this Summer (2013) – Part 2

I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.

But not anymore.

As the hot winds blow into our neighborhoods, so does a new television season.

This summer, the networks have a lineup of new programs to entertain us during the primetime hours.  Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Continuing with the Part One introduction, here are a few more premieres we can look forward to this summer…

*****

Whodunnit?

Ever want to attend one of those murder mystery dinner parties?  I have!

Whodunnit? is kind of like reality television’s version of these parties…

Thirteen “investigators” will gather and live inside a mansion, attempting to solve a “murder.”  The “investigators” will use real CSI technology and work up a “murder dossier” of sorts.  Each week, the contestants will describe what they think happened in detail and those furthest from the truth will be eliminated.

This setup reminds me of the older reality show, The Mole, that aired from 2001-2008.  Remember that one?

Needless to say, I will be tuning in and playing along…

Whodunnit? premieres June 23rd on ABC.

*****

Crossing Lines

Get ready for summer’s new police procedural…

Crossing Lines follows a group of International Criminal Court (ICC) officers as they investigate cross-border criminals and their crimes.  Working to solve some of the “most notorious international crimes,” this series promises to be action packed.

And just look at the headliner… Donald Sutherland.  He doesn’t need any introductions, does he?  The new series also stars: William Fichtner (Prison Break), Tom Wlaschiha (Game of Thrones), Marc Lavoine, Richard Flood, Gabriella Pession, and Moon Daily.

Crossing Lines premieres June 23rd on NBC.

*****

Under the Dome

What would happen if we were cut off from the world?  If we couldn’t leave our city or county lines?  If we were imprisoned by an impenetrable barrier?

Based on the science fiction novel by Stephen King, Under the Dome follows the residents of Chester’s Mill after they are cut off from the world by an impenetrable barrier—a dome of sorts.  As one can imagine, some panic, while some keep calmer heads and attempt an escape.  Will they uncover the truth in time to save their small town?

The new horror/mystery series stars: Mike Vogel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre circa 2003), Rachelle Lefevre (the Twilight saga), Colin Ford (Supernatural), Natalie Martinez (Detroit 1-8-7 and CSI: NY), Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle), Aisha Hinds (Detroit 1-8-7, True Blood, and Cult), and many other familiar faces in recurring roles (like Jeff Fahey from Lost).

Under the Dome premieres June 24th on CBS. 

*****

Ray Donovan

ABC has Olivia Pope; Showtime now has Ray Donovan…

Ray Donovan (played by the adorable Liev Schreiber, from the Scream films, Salt, and other major motion pictures) “fixes” Hollywood’s problems.  He does the dirty work for the city’s celebrities and life seems great for Ray… until his father (Mickey Donovan, played by the great Jon Voight—no introduction necessary, right?) is released from prison.

The new drama series also stars: Paula Malcomson (Deadwood) as Abby Donovan, Ray’s wife and L.A. social climber; Steven Bauer (Scarface) as Avi, Ray’s right-hand man; Katherine Moenning (The L Word) as Lena, Ray’s assistant; Pooch Hall (Jumping the Broom) as Daryll, Ray’s half brother; Dash Mihok (Romeo + Juliet) as Bunchy Donovan, Ray’s troubled brother; Eddie Marsan (Mission: Impossible III) as Terry Donovan, Ray’s other brother; and Elliot Gould (Friends and the Ocean’s movies) as Ezra, a frequent client of Ray’s.

Ray Donovan premieres June 30th on Showtime.

*****

The BridgeThe Bridge

If FX’s other original programs are any indicator, The Bridge should be very good…

The Bridge follows Detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger, from the National Treasure movies and Inglorious Basterds) from El Paso and Detective Marco Ruiz (Demian Bichir, A Better Life and Savages) from Chihuahua, Mexico as they investigate a serial killer operating both sides of the Texas/Mexico border.

The new police drama also stars: Annabeth Gish ( from some of my ‘80s favorites, like Shag, Mystic Pizza, Hiding Out, and most recently Pretty Little Liars), Ted Levine (Monk and The Silence of the Lambs), and Matthew Lillard (Scream).

The Bridge premieres July 10th on FX.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Whodunnit? at number one.  After all, I love trying to figure out murder mysteries!!  Ray Donovan and The Bridge probably tie for second, mainly because I absolutely love Showtime’s and FX’s original programs.  Because of Nip/Tuck and Justified, I have really high hopes for The Bridge; but Ray Donovan’s trailers have piqued my interest since the first time I saw them air months ago—so it’s a tie.  That leaves Under the Dome and Crossing Lines I think I’ll put Stephen King’s new TV series at number four with Crossing Lines in last place.  No offense, but I’ll blame this one on advertising.  I’ve seen ads for Under the Dome for months and only recently caught a quick ad for Crossing Lines.

Which of these new programs are you most looking forward to and why?  I’d love to hear from you!   

And for all the Zero Hour and 666 Park Avenue fans, ABC is currently airing the remaining episodes for both series on Saturday nights…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – From a Straight Up Mess to Prophet… NBC’s Save Me

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  And while we still have quite a few to premiere over the next month or so, I did catch a new NBC sitcom that aired two episodes this past week: Save Me.

We’ve heard the stories… someone suffers a near-death experience, prompting a change in his or her outlook on life.  This change is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is absolutely necessary to save one’s soul, but it’s also not always an easy adjustment for those around us and accustomed to our old ways.

This is the premise behind NBC’s Save Me

Save Me follows Beth Harper (Anne Heche, Hung), the matriarch of a run-of-the-mill Midwestern family…. or are they?

After Beth nearly chokes to death on a sandwich, she claims she now has a direct line of communication with God (she’s not very religious, so she usually refers to God as “He/She”).  Obviously, she can’t control when God speaks to her; however, Beth chooses to have her one-on-one time with “He/She” while sitting on the porcelain throne.  Why not, it’s a perfect time to think… right?  Anyway, now believing to be a prophet, she’s set on making right with all those she has wronged and even begins to convince her worst critics that she has changed for the better.

The new sitcom also stars: Michael Landes (Final Destination 2) as Tom, Beth’s philandering husband; Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story) as Carly, one of Tom’s “side projects”; Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality) as Jenna, one of Beth’s neighbors; and Madison Davenport (Shameless) as Emily, Beth’s daughter.

This sitcom really does have a sweet family dynamic.  Despite the fact that Tom is cheating on Beth and their marriage is practically over at the beginning of the show, the two stick together for the sake of their teenage daughter.  He may be unfaithful, but it’s also obvious he loves Beth.  And with her new “trick,” he’s beginning to remember why he fell in love with her in the first place.

And then there’s Beth… man, was she a mess prior to her choking on that hero.  She was no angel, to say the least, but in those few minutes when her heart stopped beating, she found something enlightening and decided to better herself—she wants to save her marriage, she wants to be a better mother (and this relationship could really use some work), and she wants to be a better friend.

By now, you know my rules when it comes to comedy—sitcoms must make me laugh out loud.  I can usually tell after one episode if a thirty-minute show will find a permanent place on my DVR queue; but if not, watching two episodes is definitely enough.  After the two episodes of Save Me, I’m not completely sold… but Anne Heche is very entertaining as Beth.  Plus, the message of the show really is sweet.  Deep down, anyway… some of it is a bit raunchy.

So for now, I’m awarding Save Me with the JFTV rating.  This sitcom is kinda like our favorite bag of potato chips—we know eating one right after the other is not at all good for our health, but the flavor bursts (and the salt) keep us coming back for more.

Did you watch Save Me?  Do you plan to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Playing The Goodwin Games

I know I mentioned last week (and the two weeks before) that I would review Starz’s Da Vinci’s Demons today, but I’m still behind on my TV watching since taking a break from the regularly scheduled program.  I know… I’ve been doing that a lot lately.  Let’s blame it on Spring Fever.  That, and trying to push out my Football Sweetheart paperbacks and book two in the series.

However, I am back this week… sort of.  As of Monday night, I had no idea what I was going to blog about today.  And then something happened that hardly ever happens to me—I caught a new television series airing live that I had NO IDEA about beforehand.

For today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m reviewing Fox’s new sitcom, The Goodwin Games.  It may be short and sweet, but it’s a new review nonetheless.

Written by the creators of How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games follows three siblings after they learn of their father’s recent passing.  The two brothers and their sister return home and are immediately summoned to the office of their father’s attorney where they will hear the reading of his will.  Everything seems normal, that is until they learn their father (Beau Bridges, does he really need an introduction?) was worth millions… twenty-three million to be exact.

Unlike traditional wills, these siblings will not split the inheritance… instead, only one of them will earn it all.  That’s right, I said “earn” it.

By following previously taped video instructions, the older brother (Henry, played by Scott Foley, most notable for his roles on Felicity, The Unit, and most recently, Scandal), the sister stuck in the middle (Chloe, played by Becki Newton from Ugly Betty and How I Met Your  Mother), and the youngest and perhaps least responsible of the three (Jimmy, played by comedian T.J. Miller seen on occasion around Chelsea Lately’s roundtable) battle it out—starting with a game of “Trivial Pursuit” that Daddy Goodwin has personalized to fit the family’s history.

Like I said, I just happened upon this show Monday night… I had no idea it planned to air on Fox this summer (great job promoting the show, by the way).  So I did what anyone would expect of me—I stopped and watched it.  LIVE!  And I never watch live TV…

Anyway, while I’m not at all accustomed to seeing Scott Foley in a comedy, he plays the role of the responsible and successful Henry very well.  He has a dry sense of humor and his comedic timing is great as he brags about himself.  Becki Newton I am more familiar with, especially since her role as Barney’s ex on HIMYM.  She’s cute and honestly seems to be playing the same kind of role I’ve seen her in before.  And then there’s T.J. Miller.  He’s funny and he’s also playing a role that I would expect from him, knowing him from Chelsea’s show.

But let’s not forget about Beau Bridges.  He’s great, but when is he not?  Did anyone watch him on My Name is Earl?  Sitcoms are his thing.

Casting and acting aside, is The Goodwin Games worth a watch?  I’m going to stick it out…

Why?  Because I did laugh-out-loud.  That is a requirement of mine when watching sitcoms… if they make me smile, good for them.  If they make me laugh, good for me.

This sitcom really does have a sweet family dynamic.  Despite the siblings bickering at the beginning, they grow and learn to laugh together and love each other once again.  But will it last?  Because now they have another leg of “The Goodwin Games” to compete against one another to win their father’s millions… and probably many more games after that, or at least while Fox airs new episodes.

So for now, I’m awarding The Goodwin Games with the SSTV rating.  I’m not sold, but I’m coming back for more.

Did you watch The Goodwin Games?  Do you plan to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…