Our predictions for FOX’s new Fall 2014 shows:
About: “Comedic crime procedural Backstrom centers on an unhealthy, offensive, irascible – albeit brilliant – detective who is brought back from exile to run the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Crimes Unit (S.C.U.).”
Cast: Rainn Wilson
Will we watch it: Probably not. We loved Rainn Wilson as Dwight on The Office, but there’s enough rule-breaking detectives with eccentric personalities on TV that we don’t need another one.
Prediction: Renewed, but moved to Friday nights.
About: “Empire is a sexy and powerful new drama about the head of a music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne.”
Cast: Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett
Will we watch it: Maybe. Given it’s a series based in and around the world of hip-hop music and features some pretty good faces and names, it’s one that will probably be a big-ish hit. For a while, at any rate.
Prediction: Kind of like a modern Mad Men rehash but with much better music and less getting stunned in the face by Jon Hamm’s massive schlong bulge. Probably renewed.
About: “Based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and produced by Warner Bros. Television, Gotham is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. Gotham follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.”
Cast: Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith
Will we watch it: Looks more like a crime drama than a superhero origin story to us (especially considering that The Mentalist’s Bruno Heller is running the show), but Ben McKenzie’s always great to watch, and if they get the villains right, Gotham could be something good. But tiny Bruce Wayne hanging out with tinier Catgirl? We’re dubious. (Especially when The Flash looks like a lot more fun.) But we definitely want to like Gotham, so we’ll give it a try.
Prediction: Batman is a ratings gold mine. Therefore, renewed.
About: “Gracepoint is a 10-episode mystery event series that follows the tragic death of a young boy, and the major police investigation and nationwide media frenzy that subsequently overtake a picturesque seaside town, where anyone is a suspect.”
Cast: David Tennant, Anna Gunn, Kevin Zegers, Michael Pena
Will we watch it: No. No one needs to see a shot-for-shot remake of Broadchurch, when they could just watch Broadchurch. Even if the ending has changed, like it’s been suggested, just watch Broadchurch, alright?
About: “The world of ancient Egypt — a time of magic, Pharaohs, gods and thieves – lives again in Hieroglyph. When a dangerous scroll, The Book of Thresholds, is stolen from Egypt’s most secure vault, master thief Ambrose is plucked from prison to track down the perpetrator.”
Cast: Max Brown, Reece Ritchie, Condola Rashad
Will we watch it: Nope. Egypt is so ridiculously white-washed, we can’t even.
Prediction: A messier but less hot version of HBO’s Rome. Canceled.
The Last Man On Earth
About: “The year is 2022, and after an unlikely event, only one man is left on earth: Phil Miller, who used to be just an average guy who loved his family and hated his job at the bank. Now, in his RV, Phil searches the country for other survivors. He has traveled to every city, every town and every outpost in the United States, Mexico and Canada, and has found no one, which leads him to the painful realization that he is almost certainly the last living being on the face of the earth.”
Cast: Will Forte
Will we watch it: It depends if the pilot manages to hold our attention.
Prediction: Canceled. We’re surprised it even got greenlit, though we appreciate networks taking risks from time to time. As much as we loved Will Forte on Saturday Night Live and last year’s Oscar-nominated film Nebraska, can he really carry a show all by himself? Literally, he’s by himself.
About: “Mulaney stars Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian John Mulaney as a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level, and the friends and mentors who lift him up, hold him back and push him around.”
Cast: John Mulaney, Martin Short, Nasim Pedrad, Elliot Gould
Will we watch it: We really like Mulaney’s stand-up routines, but based on this trailer, we’re skeptical he can make it work. Plus, laugh tracks.
Prediction: It’s very Seinfeld-esque, right down to the stand-up bit at the beginning and the Kramer-like entrance from one of Mulaney’s friends. Mulaney is a talented comedian but it may not translate on his show. We’ll give it 2 seasons.
About: “Based on a best-selling novel and brought to life by suspenseful storyteller M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines is an intense, mind-bending 10-episode thriller starring Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon as a Secret Service agent on a mission to find two missing federal agents in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID. Every step closer to the truth makes him question if he will ever get out of Wayward Pines alive.”
Cast: Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard, Carla Gugino, Shannyn Sossamon, Toby Jones, Juliette Lewis
Will we watch it: It looks like a watered down Twin Peaks at first, but then the back half of that trailer gets much more interesting. And besides Matt Dillon, it’s got a great cast. As an ‘event series’ the novel-based midseason replacement only has ten episodes – so it’ll either be a big bang, or a quick write-off.
Prediction: We’re pulling for it to be good, if only because we want M. Night Shyamalan to make a comeback. Dude has had it rough. (See: The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth)