FALL 2017 TV PREVIEW

THE 'MIDSEASON CONTENDERS' LIST

The word "midseason" may have previously carried a negative meaning, but many of today's top hits were purposely held back to give them a better chance to thrive. Of course, some shows are beyond help and this year's midseason projects have a little from both in the mix. Still, if the current fall entries aren't quite your taste, here's what you can expect in 2018.

Black Lightning

Hart of Dixie wasn’t a perfect show by any means, however it was a light and non-thinking show for audiences to get lost in every week. While it had established stars in its ensemble, the breakout was the lesser known Cress Williams. Keep in mind Dixie wasn’t Williams’ first show, but it was the one that got him more into the public eye. That will change with Black Lighting which should put the affable actor in the spotlight. The latest comic-book adaptation from Greg Berlanti looks just as slick as his others and should have just as strong of a lead.

The Crossing

Remember everything we wanted Lost to be? Well ABC is going to try again and hope for the best. On paper, Crossing has a interesting concept but it remains to be seen if the execution will hold. The series centers on a group of refugees that (literally) wash up on shore and tell their rescuers they are from the future where a cataclysmic event has occurred. It depends on if you want to take the risk, but after Resurrection, The Whispers and many others, that could be a hard ask.

Deception

The easiest way to explain Deception is imagine Castle with magic. The series centers on a disgraced magician that teams with the FBI when he realizes they are chasing after the same people. It is also very much in that same vein as Castle as it is a light drama that can probably go dark when it wants. The timeslot is going to dictate the show’s fate as neither lead is as well-known as Nathan Fillion, but it could be a fun ride.

For The People/Untitled Firefighter Drama

Even though Shonda Rhimes will be moving on to Netflix her presence will continue to loom large at ABC as aside from her “TGIT” shows, we have two more coming next year. The first, For The People, is a legal-drama focusing on rookie prosecutors and defense attorneys while the other is Grey’s Anatomy – firefighter edition. While neither concept is new, it will be interesting see Rhimes’ take on them and she has two very talented women (Britt Robinson, Jaina Lee Ortiz) in the lead roles which should help attract viewers.

Instinct

Anyone who watched The Good Wife is aware of the talent of Alan Cumming and if he can do that in a supporting role, imagine him as the lead. Instinct will give the Tony winning and Emmy nominated actor that chance as he stars as Dr. Dylan Reinhart, a former CIA operative who opted for a quieter life as a professor and author best-known for his knowledge of abnormal behavior. The series, based on the book by James Patterson, follows him when he returns to the field after a NYPD detective approaches him for help on a murder investigation.

LA >Vegas

While it seems like an over-the-top series, that’s likely the point. LA >Vegas is an ensemble comedy about an airline crew and its often-eccentric passengers who, every weekend, take the roundtrip flight from Burbank to Las Vegas - with eyes of winning the big prize. Dylan McDermott headlines the cast with Will Ferrell and Adam McKay executive-producing.

The Resident

Fox is looking to return to the medical genre this season as the network has built an ensemble for this 2018 project. The Resident follows a tough but brilliant senior resident as he guides an idealistic young doctor through his first days on the job and showing him the good and bad sides of modern-day medicine. Matt Czuchry, Manish Dayal, Bruce Greenwood, Emily VanCamp and Melina Kanakaredes topline the cast.

Rise

For those of you that miss Glee, NBC is going to try and duplicate the success with Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer Jason Katims at the helm.  How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor headlines as a teacher and family man who takes over his school’s theater department and in the process inspires his students, his fellow faculty members and his town. Inspired by a true story, the drama will also benefit from Hamilton producer Jeffery Seller’s presence behind the scenes.

Reverie

NBC is going high-concept for this new thriller which places Sarah Shahi in the role of a former hostage negotiator who leaves the field following personal tragedy. Yet she’s forced back into her former life when she’s recruited to help save ordinary people who have lost themselves in a highly advanced virtual-reality program that makes some very dangerous promises. 24’s Dennis Haysbert co-stars.

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Image: NBC