Drama TV Series: Summer 2012
In this Hub, I discuss the upcoming DramaTV shows that will premiere in the summer of 2012. Information you'll find will concern the plot of the show, the actors that are in it and other shows you might know them from. When available, I have included a preview for them, plus my thoughts on the shows. As always, you'll find a list of Do's and Don'ts at the bottom.
If you're more interested in other genres or drama series that will premiere in the fall of 2012:
The Newsroom (HBO)
Aaron Sorkin, creator of Emmy-award winning political drama ‘The West Wing’, brings us ‘The Newsroom’, a drama series set behind the scenes of fictional cable news show ‘News Night’. Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels, ‘Dumb & Dumber’), the “Jay Leno of news anchors”, has always kept his political views to himself. However one day, he is no longer able to restrain himself and expresses a series of unpopular views during a live interview. Before long, the clip goes viral and the damage is done. The series will follow Will and his new and old colleagues struggling to regain the outstanding ratings ‘News Night’ once got.
Other members of the staff of ‘News Night’ include the shows new executive and associate producers Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer, ‘Scream 3’) and Maggie (Allison Pill, ‘Midnight in Paris’). Sam Waterston (‘Law & Order’) stars as the president of the cable network ACN where ‘News Night’ airs. Also, there is a recurring role for Jane Fonda (‘Monster-in-Law’) as CEO of the parent company of ACN. Dev Patel (‘Slumdog Millionaire’), Olivia Munn (‘The Daily Show’) and Thomas Sadoski (‘As The World Turns’) co-star. ‘The Newsroom’ premieres on June 24th on HBO.
From the trailer, this looks like it is going to be a solid show. The biting dialogue is a good reminder of the quality of ‘The West Wing’ and the trailer as a whole is a great way to start a series. I have quite high expectations of this show and would recommend you to keep an eye on it, if you have HBO.
Major Crimes (TNT)
‘Major Crimes’ is an all new drama series on TNT. The series is a spin-off of the well-known series ‘The Closer’ and premieres on August 13th, but no airing time has been specified. The show stars most of the original ‘The Closer’ cast members such as Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor and Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez. At least two actors are added to the cast, Kearran Giovanni (‘One Life to Live’) will take on the role of Detective Amy Skyes and Graham Martin (‘The Bill Engvall Show’) stars as Rusty.
Since the premiere date isn’t in the near future no trailer has been released so far. However, ‘The Closer’ was a very popular TV series and if they keep up the good work this will probably be a solid hit. As of now, no details about the plot are available. This definitely is a show to keep an eye on.
On the 9th of July TNT will premiere the new crime drama series ‘Perception’, formerly known as ‘Proof’. The series will revolve around Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack, ‘Will and Grace’), a neuroscientist who is recruited by the FBI to help solve their most complex cases. Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook, ‘She’s All That’) is a special agent with whom Pierce works closely.
This behind the scenes clip gives a good impression of what the show will be like. What makes this show special is that Pierce himself shows symptoms of schizophrenia. In a way, this helps him solve the cases Moretti brings to him. Pierce has hallucinations which give him clues that help him solve the case. This combination sounds promising, but it could also be quite difficult to pull off. It might be incredible if Pierce talks a lot with his hallucinations in public. In normal conditions one would lose face and would probably be sent to an institution.
Political Animals (USA Network)
On USA Network, the political drama series ‘Political Animals’ will premiere on July 15th at 10/9c. Created by Greg Berlanti (‘Brothers & Sisters’, ‘Everwood’) and Laurence Mark (‘Jerry Maguire’), the show centers around Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver, the ‘Alien’ movies). After she divorced former president Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds, ‘Rome’), she failed to win the nomination as presidential candidate. Now, she is Secretary of State in her opponent Garcetti’s (Adrian Pasdar, ‘Heroes’) administration and her son Douglas (James Wolk, ‘Happy Endings’) is her chief of staff.
Barrish tries to keep the former First Family together while simultaneously dealing with crises at the State Department. All this is a lot harder than it would seem, as Douglas’ twin brother T.J. (Sebastian Stan, ‘Gossip Girl’) struggles with an addiction and former President Hammond is still very much in love with is ex-wife.
Although rumored to be a miniseries, ‘Political Animals’ was actually just ordered straight-to-series (without reviewing a pilot episode first) and with a short first season so that it could premiere this summer. Of course, USA Network aims to premiere the series just when the real-life presidential campaigns launch. After the first season, the network will consider renewing ‘Political Animals’, the same as any other new series.
On June 13, ‘Dallas’ will premiere on TNT at 9/8c. The show is a continuation of the hit prime time soap of the same name that ran from 1978 through 1991 on CBS. Some of the original characters, including J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) and his wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) will return to the show. J.R.’s former nemesis, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), will also appear in a multi-episode arc. However, the show will focus mainly around John Ross Ewing III (J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son) and Christopher Ewing (Bobby and Pam’s adopted son). Both were born and featured as children during the original series. They will be portrayed by Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe, respectively (both ‘Desperate Housewives’).
John Ross and Christopher are all grown up now, and have become the J.R. and Bobby of their generation. For those who haven’t seen the original series, that means John Ross is a greedy oil baron, while Christopher is more focused on the upkeep of Southfork Ranch. Additionally, Christopher is starting to expand his work to alternative energy.
All in all, this series looks promising and the trailer gives a great first impression. Of course, this continuation will never reach the numbers of viewers the original series did, because it is now on TNT instead of CBS and because average viewership has been declining for some decades now. However if ‘Dallas’ is able to attract only part of its former audience and maybe engage some new viewers, it could become a great success.
Bunheads (ABC Family)
This season on ABC Family a new drama series called ‘Bunheads’ will premiere. The series will start airing on June 11th. The show is created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created the hit series ‘Gilmore Girls’. Sutton Foster (‘Shrek the Musical’) will star as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who tries to make it outside of Las Vegas. A man offers help and she impulsively marries him. Through him Michelle gets a job at her mother-in-law’s dance school.
This show looks promising, mainly because Amy Sherman-Palladino is the creator. She worked on some great shows like ‘Roseanne’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’, so she knows what the audience likes. However, the story of this show lacks originality. The premise of a dancing underdog has been done before, and usually it only attracts a certain kind of viewer. However, luckily for this show, those are exactly the people watching ABC Family. ‘Bunheads’ might just become a success on this network.
Copper (BBC America)
On August 19th at 9/8c, BBC America’s first original scripted series will premiere. Previously, BBC America only aired shows originally from the UK. ‘Copper’ is a drama series set in New York in the 1860s. The series centers on Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, ‘Spooks’) an Irish immigrant and cop who tries to keep the peace in the notorious Five Points neighborhood. Meanwhile Corcoran searches for information about his wife’s disappearance and the death of his daughter.
The show is created by Tom Fontana (‘Oz’) and Will Rokos (‘Southland’), both of them have been nominated for prestigious awards. With such good creators the series will probably be well put together. The trailer doesn’t release a lot about the storyline, but the disappearance of Corcoran’s wife should be able to generate an interesting first season. Nowadays, historical dramas are quite popular, but they are difficult to make, because the show has to be historically correct. Being their first original series, BBC America will want to do this right.
Which of the upcoming drama series listed above do you like best?
Do's and Don'ts
Finally, I'll give you my advice on what to watch and what to avoid. Of course, everyone has their own taste, so you might not agree. Let me know in the comments section what you think about these shows!
- The Newsroom (HBO, June 24, 10/9c)
- Political Animals (USA Network, July 15, 10/9c)
- Major Crimes (TNT, August 13, 10/9c)
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