Now that the seemingly months-long summer session of the Television Critics Association press tour (or just the “TCAs,” if you’re feeling the need for brevity) has finally concluded, it’s time to check back in with the television-centric conference for another look at recently-announced projects we’re actually eager to see. Around the tour’s midpoint, we explored eight new titles introduced at the TCAs that we would like to see, oh, right about now.
With the back half of the tour including talking head panels from networks like CBS, The CW, Showtime, Hulu, Fox, FX, Disney, and PBS, it certainly seemed as if there would be plenty to get pumped up about when it comes time to gather around your small screen, but the pickings do seem awful slim. Perhaps it’s hard for us to get excited about a predictable string of half-hour comedies that feature both fantastic comedic talent and tired fart jokes, and maybe we’re already burnt out on historical offerings after the first half of the tour, but the last few days at the TCAs haven’t rolled out too much to get jazzed about. At the very least, the stuff we’re excited about is all very, very different, and if we’re struck by television-based ennui, we can attempt to get out of it by thinking about the surprising width of new offerings, even if they’re not very deep. And, hey, we might finally watch American Horror Story this year. (And maybe even some new stuff.)
Hostages, debuting this fall (CBS)
You say Toni Collette, and we say “sold!” This Jerry Bruckheimer-produced series might sound like a miniseries (it only has a fifteen episode order right now), but Bruckheimer insists that it could go at least two seasons, if not more.
The logline of the project is both very simple and very intriguing, with Collette starring as a surgeon who is given one of those “only on television, or also maybe possibly the movies” ultimatums – kill the President of the United States or your own family will die. Dylan McDermott is on board too, playing one of the guys who wants the Prez dead (though he reportedly has “a really good reason” for his demands). Paging White House Down?
Reign, debuting October 18 (The CW)
The CW has always trafficked in soapy, teen-centric dramas, and with the big bounce afforded to them by the enormously popular The Vampire Diaries, they’re looking to expand the hell out of their special brand. Reign sounds like the most revisionist history program to arrive on a television near you in quite some time – a highly fictionalized version of the story of Mary Queen of Scots, it’s a true bodice-ripper that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a book featuring Fabio on its cover.
Yes, it sounds trashy as all get out, but no one does trashy so well as The CW does trashy.
The Masters of Sex, debuting September 29 (Showtime)
Sure, we’ve been talking about the Michael Sheen- and Lizzy Caplan-starring fact-based series on sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson for quite some time, but a little reminder can’t hurt. News out the TCAs holds that the obviously very sex-filled series is indeed very sex-filled, perhaps too sex-filled. Get out your smelling salts, we’re still going to turn out for acting alone.
Broadchurch, debuting in 2014-2015 (Fox)
BBC America may have just rolled out the first episode of their Broadchurch earlier this week, but Fox is already on board to adapt it as an “event series” for the 2014-2015 season. Already a smash hit across the pond, Broadchurch does sound a bit like something like The Killing – it centers on the shocking death of a young boy in a small seaside town that turns into both a complicated police investigation and a national media circus. We’ve seen enough commercials for the original on BBC America to be intrigued, and now both the original Broadchurch and its inevitable remake sound like some real must-watch material.
American Horror Story: Coven, debuting in October (FX)
The revelation that Kathy Bates will play a historical murderess in the latest iteration of the FX hit may be the final push we need to finally start watching the critical and commercial darling.