Every fall, television networks debut a ton of new shows. This year’s genre shows are loaded with supernatural spin offs and super hero dramas. Including lusty vampires, killer androids, telepathic mutants, and comic-book goodness. But which shows have what it takes to be a big hit? Here’s our guide to Fall 2013’s new science fiction fantasy television shows:
Monday, Nov 4 at 8/7c on Fox (Two episode premiere pushed back to Nov 17th and 18th)
Stars: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, Lili Taylor
What’s it about?: Almost Human is a police procedural set in 2048 where cops are partnered with highly evolved human-like androids. After nearly dying from a deadly attack on the police department, Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) wakes up 17 months later from a coma … with memory loss and an ultra high-tech synthetic leg. (source: FOX)
Impression: Dammit, I’m a cop not a machine! Karl Urban, Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy, boldly goes to the small screen in “Fringe meets Total Recall 2070“. Urban is going to have to carry this show because the other half of this buddy cop duo has little on-screen presence. But’s there’s still potential; Star Trek’s Data proved that an android doesn’t need to emote in order to endear a generations of fans. If you’re looking for something to fill the void left by Fringe or simply love all things sci-fi, this show is for you.
Premieres Friday, Oct 25 at 8/7c on NBC (Ten Episode run)
Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jessica De Gouw
What’s it about?: Set in Victorian times, the immortal Dracula, assuming the guise of American entrepreneur Alexander Grayson, is in London seeking revenge on those who cursed him centuries ago. His plans goes awry when he falls passionately in love with a woman (De Gouw) who might be a reincarnation of his deceased wife. (source: nbc)
Impression: While other vampire mythologies go the route of campy soap opera or teen romantic drivel, Dracula is a sophisticated erotic thriller. The look of the show is atmospheric, grand and gory which is exactly what a vampire show should be. Like many viewers, I’m personally vamped out but this promises to be a fresh take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the most famous bloodsucker of them all. Oh and the trailer hypes it’s from the producers of Downtown Abbey and directors of The Tudors … if that means anything to you.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Premieres Tuesday, Sep 24 at 8/7c on ABC
Stars: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet
What’s it about?: Just in case you don’t already know … Marvel’s Cinematic universe expands to television with an hour-long live action series focusing on highly skilled, non-super powered agents who investigate the strange and unknown from across the globe. (source: ABC)
Impression: “Phil? Uh, his first name is Agent.” Coulson lives and he’s assembling a team of your soon-to-be new favorite TV characters! (*Update: weak characters) I’m cautiously optimistic because of what happened to Joss Whedon’s previous TV shows. The good news, it’s not on Fox – the network that horribly mismanaged Whedon’s Firefly and meddled with Dollhouse. If this show can deliver on adventure, zippy dialogue, lovable characters and satisfying stories each week, it will pave the way for Marvel’s next phase of TV shows.
Once Upon A Time in Wonderland
Premieres Thursday, Oct 10 at 8/7c on ABC
Stars: Naveen Andrews, Peter Gadiot, John Lithgow, Sophie Lowe
What’s it about?: “Wonderland” is a spin-off of ABC’s modest hit show Once Upon A Time and the Lewis Carroll classic. In Victorian England, Alice is in a mental institution for believing that the imaginary world of Wonderland is real. Fortunately, she escapes down the rabbit hole with her companions the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (voiced by John Lithgow). (source: ABC)
Impression: If the producers keep their word that this will be a filler free season, telling a complete story in 13 episodes, this fairy tale drama could be a hit. The contrast between the cold, dreary institution and the colorful, fantastical Wonderland looks great. One of the perks of a show on Disney’s ABC is the rights to use many rich characters in their catalog such as Jafar, better known as Aladdin’s villain. It’ll be interesting to see what Lost’s Naveen Andrews does with this role. And replacing Paul Ruebens aka Pee Wee Herman, who was originally cast as the voice of White Rabbit, is the award-winning John Lithgow. Oh just give him the Emmy already.
Premieres Thursday, Oct 3 at 9/8c on CW (moves to Tuesdays on Oct 8)
Stars: Joseph Morgan, Daniel Gillies, Charles Michael Davis, Claire Holt
What’s it about? In this Vampire Diaries spin-off, Klaus Mikaelson, the original vampire-werewolf hybrid, and his immortal siblings (Elijah & Rebekah) set out to restore their family’s power and influence in their former hometown of New Orleans. When Klaus’ onetime fling is revealed to be with child, Elijah realizes that the Original family has been given a second chance at humanity and redemption. (source CW)
Impression: Transitioning from Vampire Diaries’ big bad to compelling protagonists is no small feat. The challenge each week is in creating a believable threat or dilemma for the virtually unkillable Originals. The siblings might just be their own worst enemy until they learn to work together. The premiere is the is same story are the back door pilot but from the perspective of fan favorite Elijah. The unborn baby story arc is trite but with enough twists perhaps the show can pull it off. When The Originals airs on its regular competitive Tuesday time slot without Vampire Diaries as a lead in it could mean trouble for this rookie series.
Premieres Monday Sep 16 at 9/8c on FOX
Stars: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones
What’s it about? In this supernatural mystery thriller, Ichabod Crane alongside the Headless Horseman from centuries past are resurrected in present day Sleepy Hollow. The resurrected rider is the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and it’s up to Ichabod to protect not only the town, but the world.(Source: Fox)
Impression: The premise is preposterous but before anyone writes this show off, the buzz among TV critics is that the pilot is the best of the new fall shows. Naturally, Ichabod is a fish out of water in modern times which is charming but can also become a tiresome gag. The writers do have plans on how they can sustain this show through multiple seasons but let’s not put the cart before the horse. The pilot needs to establish why a reimagining of Washington Irving’s classic short story is worth tuning in week after week. Stranger things have happened, this could be a sleeper hit.
The Tomorrow People
Premieres Wednesday Oct 9 at 9/8c on CW
Stars: Robbie Amell, Peyton List, Luke Mitchell
What’s it about? A super hero drama about advanced humans with the abilities of telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication. Stephen Jameson (Amell) is a teenager who’s hearing voices and teleporting in his sleep – waking up in stranger’s bed. Enter the Tomorrow People, an outcast group of young super powered humans who try to recruit Stephen in their fight against Ultra, paramilitary scientists who view the rival species as a threat to humanity. (Source: CW)
Impression: Mutants with emerging super powers is a recycled premise. In fact, CW’s The Tomorrow People is a remake of a British television series from the 70’s which was rebooted in the 2000’s. However, with creative input from Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow) this show might just avoid the pitfalls of TV shows about superheroes. Lead actor Robbie Amell is a little mature to be playing a high school student but his heart-throb looks will attract CW’s female demographic just like his cousin, Stephen Amell, did on Arrow. With Arrow as its lead in on Wednesday nights, The Tomorrow People could be a solid hit for CW.
Tell me what new show in any genre are you most excited for? Which new sci-fi fantasy show would you most be interested in reading reviews on?