Tele-Tuesday: The Return of the Two Hour TV Mystery

A few years ago, the Hallmark Channel aired a new two-hour TV Mystery Movie every Friday night.  These programs were very entertaining and mystifying, and created character adoration with audiences that lasted a couple of seasons each before suddenly stopping.

These mysteries include…

Mystery Woman

Mystery Woman stars Kellie Martin as Samantha Kinsey, the young Nancy Drew-like sleuth who inherits an old-fashioned book store.  Samantha’s book store assistant who has a background as a government secret agent (played by Clarence Williams III), and her best friend who also happens to be the assistant district attorney, help her drive the town’s chief of police crazy by sticking their noses in cases where they clearly don’t belong as civilians.

McBride

McBride stars John Larroquette as M. “Mac” McBride, a former detective turned defense attorney who works with an over-zealous young assistant and his adorable dog.  McBride takes cases that no one else will, and the police and his ex-girlfriend/lead detective (Marta DuBois) laugh at his chances in court, despite his win/loss record.

Jane Doe

Jane Doe stars Lea Thompson as Cathy Davis, a stay-at-home puzzle maker and mom who can’t stay away from her days at the Central Security Agency, especially when her old partner (Joe Penny) returns repeatedly asking for her to step aboard in a consulting role.

Murder 101

Murder 101 stars the great Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Jonathan Maxwell, an expert criminology professor at the local university who assists the local police solve numerous crimes with his down-on-his-luck nephew (Barry Van Dyke), a former detective turned private investigator.

While we mourn and remember these television mysteries, now we can look forward to the return of the two-hour TV mystery as TNT brings us Mystery Movie Night with a new story each week (sometimes two) until the end of the year, starting tonight.

November 29thScott Turow’s Innocent stars Bill Pullman as a judge suspected of killing his wife decades after he was charged and cleared of killing his mistress…also starring Richard Schiff, Alfred Molina, and Marcia Gay Harden.

November 30thRicochet, based on the novel by Sandra Brown, stars John Corbett as a detective who finds himself in a sticky situation while investigating a judge, having an affair with the judge’s wife, and investigating a murder…also starring Gary Cole and Julie Benz.

Meeting Sandra Brown at DFWcon 2011

December 6thHide, based on the novel by Lisa Gardner, stars Carla Gugino as a police detective investigating the mummified remains of six murder victims…also starring Bridget Regan, Kevin Alejandro, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

December 7thSilent Witness, based on the novel by Richard North Patterson, stars Dermot Mulroney as a defense attorney, once accused of murder himself, defending his long-time friend for the murder of one of his students…also starring Michael Cudlitz, Anne Heche, and Judd Hirsch.

December 13thGood Morning, Killer, based on the novel by April Smith, stars Catherine Bell as a FBI agent working undercover as she tracks a serial killer…also starring Cole Hauser and William Devane.

December 20thDeck the Halls, based on the novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, stars Kathy Najimy as a former maid turned private investigator working with her detective friend as they search for two missing persons hoping to solve the case before the holidays…also starring Scottie Thompson.

Set the DVRs now!  Which of these new TNT mystery movies are you most looking forward to?

Did you watch the Hallmark Channel Mystery Wheel?  Which story did you enjoy the most?   Which of your favorite mystery novels would you like to see adapted to the small screen?  I’d love to hear from you!

Tele-Tuesday: Fall Wouldn’t Be the Same Without New Crime and Drama

It’s that time of year again!  The fall television schedule is right around the corner and, as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites. 

Similar to the last two weeks, we’re introducing more of the new television programs this fall.  Some of the series have promise, while others may flop – but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, it’s time for new crime and drama!

****

 Unforgettable – CBS

Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former New York City detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day.   When asked to help the police solve a crime, Carrie is reunited with her ex, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck).  Carrie decides to rejoin the force with one major goal – solve her sister’s murder.

Other notables: Marilu Henner (Taxi) plays two roles: first as a production consultant (similar to the main character, Henner possesses the rare ability to recall all autobiographical events, a condition known as hyperthymesia) and second as a recurring guest; and, Michael Gaston (The Mentalist) plays Detective Mike Costello.

Unforgettable premieres Tuesday, September 20th.

*****

Revenge – ABC

Revenge stars Emily VanCamp (Everwood) as Emily Thorne, a young and beautiful addition to the rich and prestigious Hamptons.   Emily’s arrival isn’t her first trip to the neighborhood.  When she was a little girl, her father was framed for murder and Emily vows revenge against those responsible – primarily the Grayson family. 

Other notables: Revenge is loosely based on Alexandre Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, and the series also stars Madeleine Stowe (from many motion pictures including Stakeout, Twelve Monkeys, and The General’s Daughter) as Victoria Grayson. 

Revenge premieres Wednesday, September 21st.

*****

Charlie’s Angels – ABC

Yet another adaptation of the popular ‘70s television program that starred Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Cheryl Ladd, to only name a few, this remake of Charlie’s Angels stars three new young and beautiful starlets: Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital) as Kate Prince, a former dirty cop; Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights, The Roommate) as Eve French, a former street racer; and, Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) as Abby Sampson, a former thief.   The three angels work for John Bosley (Ramon Rodriguez, Day Break and The Wire), the face of Charlie’s agency (Townsend Detective Agency), and will protect each other at all costs. 

Other notables: Charlie’s Angels is produced by Drew Barrymore, an angel herself in the motion picture hits; Leonard Goldberg, an original producer of the ‘70s hit; and,  Nancy Juvonen, producer of the major motion pictures starring Drew  Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy LiuRobert Wagner was supposed to follow in John Foresythe’s footsteps as the voice of Charlie; however, Wagner had to leave the project due to other conflicts.

Charlie’s Angels premieres Thursday, September 22nd.

*****

Person of Interest – CBS

Person of Interest stars Michael Emerson (Lost) as billionaire Mr. Fitch, and Jim Caviezel (from many motion picture blockbusters including A Thin Red Line and The Passion of the Christ) as former CIA agent, John Reese.  The two men find each other after Mr. Fitch creates a software program that has the ability to predict crimes.  Fitch seeks out Reese to help solve these crimes before they happen.  Why?  Because the former CIA agent is presumed dead – who better to help stop these crimes before they happen than a dead man?  

Other notables: Person of Interest is produced by J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe); and, also stars Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) as Carter, the detective on a mission to find Reese. 

Person of Interest premieres Thursday, September 22nd.

*****

 Prime Suspect – NBC

Based on the British drama series of the same name, Prime Suspect stars Maria Bello (Coyote Ugly, ER) as Detective Jane Timoney.  Jane’s confidence, lack of tact and reckless behavior make her adjustment in the New York City homicide division challenging.  Will her fine detective skills and her ability to focus on the case at hand help her fit into the all-male department?

Other notables:  Prime Suspect also stars Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, Practical Magic, and TV’s Third Watch) as Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney; Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) as Detective Luisito Calderon;  Peter Gerety as Jane’s father, Desmond; and, Tim Griffin, Damon Gupton, and Brian F. O’Byrne as other members of the  homicide department. 

Prime Suspect premieres Thursday, September 22nd.

*****

A Gifted Man – CBS

A Gifted Man stars Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera, The A-Team, Insidious) as Michael Holt, a self-absorbed New York City surgeon whose life is turned upside down when his ex-wife haunts him from beyond the grave and asks him to continue her work in a free clinic.   Michael’s life changes for the better, pleasing his sister (Christina played by Julie Benz, Dexter and No Ordinary Family), while leaving his assistant (Rita played by Margo Martindale, Justified) questioning his recent career choices. 

Other notables: A Gifted Man is produced by Academy Award winning director, Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs); and Twilight and The Twilight Saga: New Moon alumnus, Rachelle Lefevre (vampire Victoria) plays Kate, a doctor at the free clinic.

A Gifted Man premieres Friday, September 23rd.  

*****

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new drama and crime programs on television this year?  Which one most interests you?  Which of these shows will make it and which ones won’t? I’d love to hear from you!

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