Drama TV Series: Fall 2011
This hub is part of a sequence about upcoming series in the Fall of 2011. These series have been announced for pickup, after shooting pilot episodes, by the major networks in Spring or Summer 2011. This hub is about the drama series that will premiere in the upcoming Fall season. Here, you can read what the series are about, see a preview, and read my preliminary verdict.
Other Hubs in this sequence
Formerly known under the horrible name ‘The Rememberer’, ‘Unforgettable’ is about Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery, ‘Without A Trace’), an ex LAPD detective. Carrie suffers from hyperthymesia, a rare (but real) condition which allows her to remember every detail of her life.
After being witness on a murder case, her former boyfriend (Dylan Walsh, ‘Nip/Tuck’) asks her to join his homicide unit. This way, she is able to look into the one thing she cannot remember; the murder on her little sister.
‘Unforgettable’ is created by Ed Redlich and John Bellucci (both ‘Without A Trace’ writers), and actress Marilu Henner (‘Taxi’), who suffers from one of the few confirmed cases of hyperthymesia, serves as a consultant. This condition certainly gives a twist to the ‘standard’ procedural cop drama, and the fact that Carrie remembers every single thing, except for the one thing she wants to remember so much makes one feel empathic for her. ‘Unforgettable’ will premiere on Tuesday September 20th on CBS, in the 10/9c timeslot.
Person of Interest
The mysterious billionaire Mr. Finch (Michael Emerson, ‘Lost’) has developed a computer system that has social security numbers as input. The program predicts the probability that person will be involved in a crime, as victim or perpetrator. Former CIA agent Reese (Jim Caviezel, ‘The Passion of the Christ’) is hired by Finch for his practical skills, and together they’ll do what they can to prevent these crimes from happening. However, the system cannot tell what the type of crime will be, when and where it will happen, only that it is likely that something is about to happen.
Person Of Interest’ is written by J.J. Abrams (co-creator of ‘Alias’ and ‘Lost’) and Jonathan Nolan (‘The Dark Knight’) and co-stars Taraji P. Henson (‘Boston Legal’). There are some distinct agreements with ‘Minority Report’ (Stephen Spielberg), but toned down on the science-fiction part. That is to say, how do one’s Visa bills and phone calls tell whether he or she will be the victim of a crime?
According to CBS, the pilot received the highest drama ratings in 15 years. As a result, the network has decided to move CSI, the over-a-decade veteran of the Thursdays 9/8c timeslot, to Wednesdays, in favor of ‘Person of Interest’. The series will premiere on September 22. On paper, this is the most promising new Fall 2011 series, and the preview lives up to these expectations. With ‘Person Of Interest’, CBS might just have picked up a new hit series.
Hart of Dixie
The CW’s comedic drama ‘Hart Of Dixie’ reunites Rachel Bilson (‘The O.C.’) and Josh Schwartz (creator of ‘The O.C.’). Together with Schwartz, Stephanie Savage (creator of ‘Gossip Girl’) co-produces ‘Hart Of Dixie’. This new, ‘Everwood’-like series will premiere on September 26th in the Mondays 9/8c timeslot, following the fifth season premiere of ‘Gossip Girl’.
As a brand new doctor in New York, Zoe Hart (Bilson) makes the wrong decision, which leaves her without a job. Suddenly, a stranger named Dr. Harley Wilkes offers her a job in his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. When she arrives in Bluebell, Wilkes has passed away and left her half of his practice. However, not many people in the small Gulf Coast town will readily accept an outsider just like that.
‘Hart Of Dixie’ could be one of those teen (or in this case maybe post-teen) dramas, seeing that The CW has programmed it right after ‘Gossip Girl’ (but then again, that’s all there is to The CW). Or it could just have that little bit more that makes it attractive to a wider range of (predominantly female, probably) viewers. Only time can tell.
Originally shot for CBS, the new drama ‘Ringer’ is quite mature for The CW. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’), the series is about Bridget (Gellar), a recovering alcoholic. She is on the run from the mob and runs to her long lost twin sister Siobhan (also Gellar). When Siobhan disappears during a boat trip they take together, Bridget decides to take her place. Soon, she discovers that her sister’s life isn’t as easy as it seemed; it’s just as complicated and dangerous as her own.
Created by Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder (both ‘Supernatural’) and co-produced by Peter Traugott (‘Samanta Who?’), Pam Veasey (‘CSI: NY’) and Gellar herself. ‘Ringer’ was one of the eight honorees in the ‘Most Exciting New Series’ category at the Critic’s Choice Television Awards. The series will premiere on Thursday September 13th, in the 9/8c timeslot.
If Gellar is able to shake the Buffy-image off of her, ‘Ringer’ may be one of the better The CW series the young network has ever had. Besides, the story has the potential to keep us on the edges of our seats anyway.
The Lying Game
After ‘Switched At Birth’, this is the second ‘The Parent Trap’-esque rich-girl-poor-girl-swap series on ABC Family, and this Fall, it is up against the similar, but far more mature ‘Ringer’ on The CW. In fact, ‘The Lying Game’ is the ‘Ringer’ people expected The CW to make. Either way, ‘The Lying Game’ is a teen drama series based on a series of novels from ‘Pretty Little Liars’ author Sara Shepard. The series will premiere on August 15th on ABC Family in the Mondays 9/8c timeslot.
The show is about Sutton and Emma (both Alexandra Chando, ‘As The World Turns’), who are both foster children. Emma finds out that she has an identical sister, Sutton, and that the latter lives an ideal life being adopted by wealthy parents. She talks Sutton into trading their lives for a couple of days. She also hopes to find out some things about their mysterious birth mother. After the switch, Sutton doesn’t show up to trade back lives again.
‘Homeland’ is the new psychological thriller series on Showtime, set to premiere on October 2nd, in the Sundays 10/9c timeslot. The series is shot in Charlotte, North Carolina, and created by Howard Gordon (writer and executive producer of ‘24’) and Alex Gansa (writer for ‘The X-Files’ and ‘24’). ‘Homeland’ seems to have less action but more politics in it than ‘24’.
‘Homeland’ is about the rescue of a U.S. Marine Sergeant, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis, ‘Band Of Brothers’) who has been missing in action in Iraq since 2003 and was presumed dead. Whilst everyone seems to think Sgt. Brody is a hero and welcome him with the greatest honor, Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes), a CIA officer, is convinced by some evidence in her possession that Brody works for Al-Qaeda now and that he has returned to carry out a terrorist attack on United States soil.
The preview opens with a raid of a terrorist compound, which reminds us of the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden. This might be a foretaste of some real world political references, and maybe even criticism. Besides that (it might indeed be a coincidence), this promises to be a thrilling series.
What upcoming drama series listed above do you like best?
Do's and Don'ts
After this waterfall of information, synopsises, previews and verdicts you might need a quick recap. So here are the do's and don'ts for Fall 2011 dramas:
- Unforgettable (September 20th, 10/9c, CBS)
- Person Of Interest (September 22nd, 9/8c, CBS)
- Homeland (October 2nd, 10/9c, Showtime)