One of my favorite parts of every Comic Con are the screenings of pilot episodes presented by the networks. Each year since my very first Comic Con attendance back in 2001, I have had the opportunity to see a lot of pilots.
This year’s event was no different. But while I didn’t get to see all of the pilot episodes screened at Comic Con 2013, I certainly did get to see a handful of the pilots for which I was hoping to see.
Among those pilot episodes were the following new shows (featured in alphabetical order):
Intelligence (CBS) – The series follows Gabriel Black (Josh Holloway of Lost fame), a high-tech intelligence operative who is the first of his kind to have a microchip implanted in his brain. Endowed with this technology and ability, he is able to access and detect anything and anyone, but at the expense of taking risks or breaking protocol in order to protect national security, prompting his superior, Lilian Strand (Marg Helgenberger from CSI) to assign him a Secret Service agent, Riley Neal (Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time) to make sure he doesn’t get out of line, or, for that matter, into enemy hands. The cast also includes Michael Rady (Emily Owens, M.D.) as Chris Jameson.
My Thoughts on Intelligence: The show is a combination of the Six Million Dollar Man, Jake 2.0 and Mission Impossible with Josh Holloway playing a great leading man in a procedural show that will fit perfectly into the world of CBS. It was also great to see Meghan Ory in such a different role from that of Ruby/Red Riding Hood on Once Upon a Time. There is plenty of action and intrigue with a dash of sci-fi tech and a good twist ending that should easily pull viewers into that world.
Intelligence will actually debut on CBS in February 2014.
Once Upon a Time In Wonderland (ABC) – This new drama is a spin-off to Once Upon a Time, focusing on young and beautiful Alice (newcomer Sophie Lowe), who tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole, landing her in a mental institution. Through an elaborate and colorful look at Wonderland thanks to flashbacks during Alice’s “interview” with her doctors, her travels through Wonderland with a handsome and mysterious genie named Cyrus (newcomer Peter Gadiot) and their encounter with the Red Queen (Emma Rigby from Australia’s Hollyoaks) are revealed. In the end, Alice and the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha from the UK’s Being Human) travel back to Wonderland attempting to discover what really happened to Cyrus. The cast will include Naveen Andrews from Lost fame as Jafar, John Lithgow as the voice of The White Rabbit and Jonny Coyne (Alcatraz) as Alice’s doctor.
My Thoughts on Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Much like its predecessor, the world of Wonderland is gloriously colorful, the romance is heartfelt and the portrayal of Alice by Lowe is believable. And, Gadiot and Socha will be two of the hot new faces that will attract viewers in droves to the series. And, one of the best things about the show is that Alice isn’t a frightened young girl, but a tough, kick-ass kind of girl.
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will air its season premiere on ABC on October 10.
Sleepy Hollow (FOX) – This new series will be a modern-day retelling of the Washington Irving 1820 short story that focuses on Ichabod Crane (Brit actor Tom Mison), who is fatally injured during the American Revolution only to wake up in modern-day Sleepy Hollow. He quickly learns that the headless horseman, a soldier he beheaded on the day of his death, is also –somehow – back from the dead, wreaking havoc on the small town. Crane also learns a hidden secret about his long-dead wife that holds the key to why he and the headless horseman are back in Sleepy Hollow. The cast includes Nicole Beharie (the box office film 42) as police officer Abbie Mills, Orlando Jones (Mad TV) as Captain Frank Irving and Katia Winter (Dexter) as Ichabod’s wife Katrina.
My Thoughts on Sleepy Hollow: This was my favorite pilot of those I saw at Comic Con this year because it blended just the right amounts of thrills, humor and history all into one great show. FOX doesn’t necessarily have the greatest track record when it comes to show with a sci-fi element, but it is my hope they will embrace this show the same way they did The X-Files. It’s one of my top picks for the fall.
Sleepy Hollow will debut on FOX on September 16.
Star-Crossed (The CW) – The series follows a romance between Emery (Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights fame), a human girl and Roman (Matt Lanter from 90210 fame), an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school. The cast will include Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries) as Emery’s best friend Julia, Grey Damon (The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Twisted) as Grayson, Emery’s new friend from high school, Natalie Hall (Pretty Little Liars) as popular, mean girl Taylor and Greg Finley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) as Drake, one of the other eight aliens integrated into Emery’s high school.
My Thoughts on Star-Crossed: This show is reminiscent of the standard Romeo and Juliet love-story combined with elements of the WB/UPN series Roswell. It will fit in with the other shows on The CW, but is a bit predictable and trite. But if the story develops more around the abilities of the aliens as revealed in the final scene of the pilot and the city where the aliens have been confined and less around the angst of the teenagers, the show just might break the mold.
Star-Crossed has not been given an official airdate yet, but it will show up on the mid-season schedule of The CW, which means it will air sometime between January and March of 2014.
The 100 (The CW) – This series is based on the book by Kass Morgan that focuses on a post-apocalyptic world where the surviving members of the human race live on a spaceship just beyond an Earth that has been contaminated by radiation for decades. But, a group of 100 teenagers are sent back down nearly100 years ahead of schedule to determine if the Earth is habitable. Among the teenagers sent down to Earth are Clarke Walters (Eliza Taylor of Australia’s Neighbours), Finn Collins (Thomas McDonnell from Prom) and Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos from Cult) as well as the adults on the spaceship, including Clarke’s mother Dr. Abigail Walter (Paige Turco from Person of Interest), Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington from Grey’s Anatomy), Councilman Kane (Henry Ian Cusick from Lost) and Callie “Cece” Cartwig (Kelly Hu from Arrow and Warehouse 13).
My Thoughts on The 100: Despite some questionable storylines that are obviously copied from not only the box office film Avatar and the classic story Lord of the Flies but also the acclaimed remake of Battlestar Galactica, this futuristic series has an interesting take on what the world just might look like and how
The CW has not yet given The 100 a debut date, as yet, but it is expected to air during mid-season of 2014.
The Blacklist (NBC) – This NBC action-drama will center on Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader from Boston Legal), one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, surrenders in person at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. He claims that he and the FBI have the same interests: bringing down dangerous criminals and terrorists. Reddington will cooperate, but insists that he will speak only to Elizabeth Keen (newcomer Megan Boone), a rookie FBI profiler. Keen questions Reddington’s sudden interest in her, though he claims that Keen is very special. After the FBI brings down a terrorist he provided information on, Reddington reveals that the terrorist is only just the first of many. In the last two decades, he made a list of criminals and terrorists, which called “The Blacklist” that he believes the FBI cannot find because they did not know they exist and that they matter the most. The cast includes Harry Lennix (Dollhouse) as FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper, Diego Klattnehoff (Homeland) as FBI agent Donald Ressler, Parminder Nagra (ER and Alcatraz) as FBI agent Margot Malik and Ryan Eggold (90210) as Tom Keen, Elizabeth’s husband.
My Thoughts on The Blacklist: Next to Sleepy Hollow, this was my favorite pilot coming out of Comic Con; namely, because of the charismatic performance by Spader in the lead role and the great twist revealed about Elizabeth’s husband, which I will not spoil, because it’s just too good to spoil. There is plenty of action and a thrilling cat-and-mouse race between Red and Elizabeth; and the series will surely interject a much needed boast to the one network that really needs it most.
The Blacklist will debut on NBC on September 23.
As usual, there will be plenty of new dramas set to debut this fall and during mid-season on all of the major networks.
Here is a simple run-down on all of them:
Betrayal on ABC (September 29)
Believe and Crisis on NBC (Mid-Season)
Almost Human on FOX (November 4)
Hostages on CBS (September 23)
Intelligence on CBS (February 2014)
The Blacklist on NBC (September 23)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC (September 24)
The Originals on The CW (October 15)
Lucky 7 on ABC (September 24)
The Tomorrow People on The CW (October 9)
Ironside on NBC (October 2)
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland on ABC (October 10)
Reign on The CW (October 10)
Rake on FOX (Mid-Season)
Dracula on NBC (October 25)
Crossbones on NBC (Mid-Season)
MID-SEASON (airdate yet to be determined):
Star-Crossed on The CW
The 100 on The CW
Reckless on CBS
Killer Women on ABC
Mind Games on ABC
Resurrection on ABC
The Night Shift on NBC
Chicago PD on NBC
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