Seven dramas: seven swings, and seven misses. I think NBC probably takes the award for most characters in their dramas this year, and there are many returning faces popping up all over, which could be great for fans. However, not one pitch had me on the edge of my seat, fascinated at where it was going. This response isn't uncommon for me, given that my history of enjoying NBC's previous dramas includes just Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (but after its original run), though I put up with Crossbones a couple of times, and some of Smash and Revolution. I guess I'm just hoping for the click I had with the network's ER, though perhaps at this point I should give up that dream. I mean, do you see any series below that would fill such a void?
Red titles I'm not interested in. Green titles I'm going to try out. "Who" covers actors, writers, creators, etc. "Where" covers the location of the series. "What" describes the basics of the premise.
First, the fall premieres:
The Mysteries of Laura
Who? Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Josh Lucas (Jake on Sweet Home Alabama), Janina Gavankar (Shiva on The League, Luna on True Blood)
What? A homicide detective works for her soon-to-be-ex-husband while juggling twin sons.
My Thoughts: It's a police procedural, and there will undoubtedly be sexual tension and perhaps even will-they-or-won't-they moments between Laura and Jake. The kids might be cute, but they're young, so they won't be in a whole lot of scenes. No draw for me, so pass.
State of Affairs
Who? Katherine Heigl (Izzie on Grey's Anatomy, 27 Dresses, Knocked Up, Wish Upon a Star), Alfre Woodard (Betty on Desperate Housewives)
Where? Washington, DC
What? A CIA analyst is in charge of briefing the President daily on security issues, but is also trying to get to the bottom of the death of her former fiancé – the President’s son.
My Thoughts: Politics don't intrigue me, and the addition of a little murder-mystery doesn't make it any better. The political focus being security briefings also seems particularly odd. Plus, I don't think I could take Katherine Heigl on a weekly basis... she irks me. (yes, I understand people like Grey's, but my experience with her is through her films.)
Who? Lucy Griffiths (Nora on True Blood), Harold Perrineau (Link in The Matrix movies, Augustus in Oz, Michael on Lost)
Where? Hell, and all over the country
What? A comic book adaptation of “Hellblazer,” there's a guy who heads to the dark side after he's damned to hell anyway. He's out to save an old family friend who can predict the supernatural. After that, they learn to work together.
My Thoughts: No supernatural for me, thanks. It's nice that the show is designed to stay closer to the comic books than last decade's movie did, but I'm not going to get into it, and I think the demographic for comic book lovers is over-saturated, so I don't know that it'll last.
And, the mid-season debuts:
Who? Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko on Lost, Simon on Oz), Anna Friel (Chuck on Pushing Daisies), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Fitch Cooper on Nurse Jackie, Jimmy on Six Feet Under), Treat Williams (Benny Severide on Chicago Fire, Andy on Everwood), Daniella Pineda (Sophie on The Originals), Nate Mooney (Ryan on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Jim True-Frost (James Woodrow on Treme, Prez on The Wire, Jake Robinson (Bennet on The Carrie Diaries)
Where? We know the lawyer is in New York...
What? A soldier, a lawyer, and a young activist join forces to expose a war conspiracy. The soldier is the only witness to the truth, the lawyer is working on a merger with a company funding jihadists, and the activist knows a hacker.
My Thoughts: This screams movie, or maybe mini-series, but certainly not ongoing television show. It seems rather heavy, there are tons of characters, and I'm not a war drama person.
Who? David Duchovny is the only one cast so far.
Where? 1967 Los Angeles
What? A cop's daughter goes missing, and when he can't get answers out of hippies, he partners with a chill cop... only to discover there's a cult leader who is out to get young women... and he'll later become Charles Manson.
My Thoughts: It's a freaky concept if ever I read one. I think that there is certainly a potential viewership (period, historical, Duchovny...), though it's not me.
Who? Hope Davis (Nina on The Newsroom), Margarita Levieva (Amanda on Revenge), Annie Ilonzeh (Joanna on Arrow, Nicole on Drop Dead Diva, Lana on Switched at Birth), Kenneth Choi (Henry Lin on Sons of Anarchy, Captain on Ironside), Scott Cohen (Harlan on The Carrie Diaries, Nico on Necessary Roughness, Max on Gilmore Girls)
Where? not sure, though Washington, DC seems likely
What? A young CIA agent learns his parents are Russian spies, and want him to be one, too.
My Thoughts: It's different. It's kinda random. There are quite a few characters, but it seems like an awkward collage of familiar faces, which might not gel. Regardless, it's outside my scope of interest, though it might find a reliable crowd.
Who? no cast yet.
What? 20-year-old Dorothy steals a K-9 dog and winds up in Oz, wondering about the identity of her biological mother.
My Thoughts: This series is obviously way off (probably next summer, if I had to guess), so there's not very much to go on. I'm not a fan of German Shepherds, and I think that fantasy lands are better done on the big screen, so I will preliminarily pass, but that could change once more information is released.
[NBC canceled this project on 8/23/14]