WINTER 2017 TV PREVIEW

TOP HITS

2017 doesn’t just mean a new year; it means a new crop of TV shows looking to make a mark with audiences. Of course not all of them will perform well enough to stay on the air but the below have the best odds. Here’s a look at the new winter/spring series that you may not only enjoy watching, but know likely won’t disappear a weeks after they premiere.

The Mick

Tuesday’s at 8:30pm (Fox)

Like her “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” co-star Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson is one of those under-rated talents that doesn’t get their due often enough. In "The Mick," she’s front and center – and deservedly so. Olson plays Mickey, a con artist who can’t even take care of her own life. Although after her estranged sister and billionaire brother-in-law skip town to avoid the FBI, it falls to Mickey to watch over their high-maintenance kids. The fear with a show like this is it will be a one-joke premise, but that’s not the case and early ratings have been solid enough to warrant your attention.
Image Credit: Fox

The Wall

Tuesday’s at 8:00pm (NBC)

"The Wall’s" concept is insanely simple but there’s something about it that makes you want to watch every week. The idea is basically "The Price Is Right’s" iconic Plinko game, but on steroids and you can lose money instead of just earning it with every turn. What sets "The Wall" apart is it specifically looks for couples that go out of their way for their fellow man and deserve the opportunity to become millionaires. The problem is that for as good as that sounds and as nice as it is to see them win big, it is absolutely heart-wrenching to watch when the board doesn’t go their way and they walk away with nothing.  Still it’s a fun escape for a hour and host Chris Hardwick is proving he’s well on his way to becoming the next Ryan Seacrest.

Image Credit: NBC

Star

Wednesday’s at 9:00pm (Fox)

When Fox bowed “Empire” in 2015 it came at just the right time, not just for the network but for the show’s key demos. The drama also boasted big names in leads Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as well as in creative with Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. After seeing massive success it wasn’t surprising Fox went back to the well so quickly but as its executives know, it’s hard to strike twice with the same type of concept.  Here sub in Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt as the headliners and Tom Doaghy in the co-creator role (with Daniels) and you have “Star.” The series follows a Atlanta-based girl group as they try to make it big in the music industry. It is not “Empire,” but that’s okay. The show just needs time to find its legs and given it seems to be building an audience; Fox will likely be patient.

Image Credit: Fox

Riverdale

Wednesday’s at 9:00pm (The CW) - PREMIERING: January 26

Every network has that one person that for all intents-and-purposes is keeping their network afloat. For The CW that is Greg Berlanti, the man behind all four of the network’s super-hero dramas. Now Berlanti is expanding his portfolio to a new comic adaptation, except this one doesn’t feature characters with powers. Berlanti is bringing “Archie” back, but in a exciting and innovative way. Imagine if the “Archie” characters weren’t as clean-cut and wholesome as they’ve been for decades, but instead had a “90210” style edge to them; that’s “Riverdale.”  It also doesn’t hurt that former teen icons Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald play important supporting roles that will balance out this cast of relative unknowns.

Image Credit:: The CW

Training Day

Thursday’s at 10:00pm (CBS) - PREMIERING: February 2

The film-to-TV trend doesn’t always work and so far that’s been especially true for CBS, which has seen “Limitless” and “Rush Hour” fall flat. Yet that’s not stopping the Eye network from going for the hat trick with “Training Day.” Based on the Oscar winning film, the series flips the script and has the older experienced white cop as the morally bankrupt part of the pair and his young rookie African-American partner as the by-the-book do-gooder. Working in the concept’s favor is the immensely talented Bill Paxton in the lead role and a supporting cast including Julie Benz, Christina Vidal and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (who seemingly just played the same exact role on NBC’s “Blindspot”). With the network’s winning Thursday night line-up as its lead-in, CBS is going on all-in to give “Training Day” a chance, you should as well.

Image Credit: CBS

Santa Clarita Diet

Streaming All At Once (Netflix) - PREMIERING: February 3, 2017

If you’re a fan of quirky comedy than “Santa Clarita Diet” is likely going to appeal to you in a variety of ways, not the least of it being its big twist.  Created by Victor Fresco, the man behind “Better of Ted” and “Andy Richter Controls The Universe,” the series stars Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore as married real estate agents. However after the wife dies and comes back to life with a hunger for flesh the couple’s lives take a very unique turn.  While definitely not for everyone, many audiences have missed Olyphant since “Justified” wrapped and Barrymore’s fanbase remains strong even after a lengthy absence from the screen. You also have to remember this is a Netflix series and as such the usual rules don’t apply, which in this case sounds like perfect fit.

Image Credit: Netflix

24: Legacy

Monday’s at 9:00pm (Fox) - PREMIERING: February 5, 2017

The lure of Jack Bauer and the “24” universe never quite went away as Fox learned following the success of its limited run summer revival of the Emmy winning franchise. Now the network is facing a bigger test as it brings “24” back minus Kiefer Sutherland. Subbing in for the one-time CTU agent is Corey Hawkins, a up-and-coming actor that is currently battling zombies on “The Walking Dead.” Early reaction is very positive and a preview airing post Super Bowl will give this reboot a strong kick-start. Joining Hawkins will be a formidable ensemble including Miranda Otto, Jimmy Smitts and Gerald McCraney which should be enough to peak interest.

Image Credit: Fox

The Good Fight

Streaming Weekly (CBS All Access) - PREMIERING: February 19, 2017

Throughout the run of “The Good Wife,” no matter how strong the series was creatively, it was continually dogged by low ratings. That wasn’t a fair burden to place on a program of that high of quality and that likely led to the decision for CBS to air its spin-off on its steaming network All Access. Headlined by the always amazing Christine Baranski, the series follows her character as she’s forced back into the workplace after a scandal robs her of her savings. Joining Baranski are fellow “Wife” alums Cush Jumbo and Sarah Steele along with newcomers to the fold such as Delroy Lindo, Justin Burtha, Erica Tazel and Rose Leslie as Baranski’s niece. CBS will debut the series in primetime and then to follow the new adventure of Diane Lockhart and company, you’ll need to subscribe; which based on its pedigree is probably going to be money well spent.

Image Credit: CBS

The Blacklist: Redemption

Thursday’s at 10:00pm (NBC) PREMIERING: February 23, 2017

While NBC’s “The Blacklist” takes a brief spring hiatus, the network will look to appeal to its fanbase to keep its ratings consistent.  “Redemption” spins off Ryan Eggold’s character as he goes into business with his dark-ops contractor mom (Famke Janssen), who was introduced last season.  As if you needed another reason to check out “Redemption,” NBC just cast Eggold’s father the other week and that part went to “Lost” alum Terry O’Quinn, who should fit perfectly into the world of Raymond Reddington. 

Image Credit: NBC

Taken

Monday’s at 10:00 pm (NBC) - PREMIERING: February 27, 2017

Bryan Mills and his very special set of skills won over audiences at the box office for years as the “Taken” franchise became a massively surprise hit for Fox. Now NBC is hoping a Liam Neeson-less TV version will have the same draw. In the prequel, set in the modern day, audiences will dive into Mills’ past to explain how he acquired said skills. It’s not going to be an easy lift for NBC as Neeson’s appeal and likeability drove the success of the film franchise, but nobody thought the original film was going to be the sleeper surprise it was, so anything could happen.

Image Credit: NBC

Chicago Justice

Sunday’s at 9:00pm (NBC) - PREMIERING: March 5, 2017

Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” universe is expanding yet again. Following the addition of “Chicago P.D.” and “Chicago Med,” comes “Chicago Justice” which centers on the legal system in the Windy City. Former “The Player” and “Strike Back” star Philip Winchester toplines this new ensemble which will also feature Carl Weathers, Joelle Carter and Jon Seda, who makes the transition over from “Chicago P.D.” This franchise has been a huge hit for NBC but doesn’t get the credit it deserves. This has also been a resurgence for Wolf who previously oversaw the “Law & Order” series of shows. With “Justice” now in place, expect a four-way crossover in the not-to-distant future.

Image Credit: NBC

Prison Break

Tuesday’s at 9:00pm (Fox) - PREMIERING: April 4, 2017

Reboots and revivals are among the latest trends in Hollywood so it should come as no surprise Fox is bringing back “Prison Break.” The return of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purecell and the rest of Fox River gang went viral as its trailer was streamed over 42 million times in its first 24 hours – outpacing the runaway success seen by NBC’s “This Is Us” trailer back in May. In the nine-episode limited run event series the characters learn Miller’s Michael Scofield is still alive but trapped in prison in Yemen and they head off to rescue their friend. Between this and “24: Legacy,” nostalgia could prove to be Fox’s best friend in 2017.

Image Credit: Fox

The Son

Saturday’s at 9:00pm (AMC) PREMIERING: April 8, 2017

You have to go back 1987 to find the last time Pierce Brosnan headlined a TV series, but now in 2017 he’s making a return. Granted he’s had a fairly illustrious career in between with a mix of projects including a successful stint as James Bond.  “The Son,” is based on Philipp Meyer’s acclaimed novel and follows the story of Eli McCullough across two (concurrent) time periods. In one we meet a young Eli, who is kidnapped and indoctrinated into a tribe of Comanches in 1849 and in the other as an adult 60 years later as he struggles to maintain his family’s cattle empire during the South Texas Bandit Wars. While a Saturday time slot is usually a bad sign, AMC has done a remarkably good job of fostering success with Westerns in a timeslot other networks have abandoned. It also doesn’t hurt to have 007 as your lead.

Image Credit: AMC

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