New TV Shows in 2017: Ultimate Guide of Premiere Dates
If you’re like us, you’re always looking for new TV shows to watch. And in 2017, there is certainly not going to be any shortage of new things to check out. Already this year, we’ve seen many shows make their premiere, including Emerald City, Taboo, and Riverdale.
Now that February has hit, there are even more new television shows coming soon. Hopefully, at least some of these shows will actually be good and we’ll all walk away with a brand new favorite series to talk about. Unfortunately, not every new show lands, and it’s quite possible that some of the shows listed below will be entirely forgettable.
But if you want to know what you’ll be watching soon, premiere dates, and on what network these new shows will make their debut, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide of all the new TV series coming in 2017.
Note: this includes every show that was announced at the time; however, depending on when you’re viewing this, it may not include shows that have been announced since then. I tried hard to include as many as possible and will occasionally update when more shows are announced.
(Already Premiered in 2017)
Emerald City, NBC
Loosely based on Wizard of Oz lore, Emerald City puts a Fantasy spin on the classic tale. Adria Arjona plays Dorothy Gale in this dark, action-packed adventure. She ends up in Oz by way of a tornado, and aside from the presence of iconic characters, this is mostly where the similarities to the source material end.
Emerald City presents a mystical war-torn Oz governed by an all-powerful wizard played by Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil, Law & Order).NBC bills the show as “an empowering tale of a young woman finding her true strength and identity even as she battles to bring a divided world together.” Also rounding out the cast are Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Lucas), Joely Richardson (Glinda), Ana Ularu (West), and Gerran Howell (Jack). So far, it’s garnered fairly mixed reviews. Most of us at
NBC bills the show as “an empowering tale of a young woman finding her true strength and identity even as she battles to bring a divided world together.” Also rounding out the cast are Oliver Jackson-Cohen (Lucas), Joely Richardson (Glinda), Ana Ularu (West), and Gerran Howell (Jack). So far, it’s garnered fairly mixed reviews. Most of us at Nerd Much find it to be a fresh, interesting take on an old classic and can’t wait to see how the series unfolds.
The Mick, FOX
Kaitlin Olson is, in my opinion, the most underrated comedic actor. Her physical comedy alone is incredibly. She is great on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and it was only a matter of time before she got a starring role in a show that fully features her talents.
The Mick is that show. FOX bills The Mick as a “no-holds-barred single-camera comedy that gives new meaning to the phrase ‘dysfunctional family.’” The premise is fairly simple, albeit ridiculous: parents of a filthy rich family have to flee the country to avoid jail-time and their kids are left in the care of their loud, brash, degenerate aunt Mickey (Olson). As I already said, Olson is fantastic, but the kids are really great too.
As I already said, Olson is fantastic, but the kids are really great too. The Night Of’s Sofia Black-D’Elia plays the ambitious, uptight 18-year-old Sabrina; Thomas Barbusca (Preacher, American Horror Story) is Chip, “an arrogant, entitled neo-con-in-the-making with an extremely punchable face” (this description from the official site was too funny not to quote); and the most adorable kid I’ve ever seen, Jack Stanton, plays the seven-year-old Ben.
Raising Hope’s Carla Jimenez is also really funny as the kids’ nanny/housekeeper Alba and Scott MacArthur’s (Angie Tribeca) Jimmy is no slouch either. The Mick was created/written by the Chernin Brothers (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Pariah) and produced by them as well as Nicholas Frenkel, Oly Obst, and Randall Einhorn, who also directed the pilot. Kaitlin Olson is also a co-executive producer. So, I love this show – it’s like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with a more mainstream appeal. Sure, it’s not the funniest or most moving show on TV, but something about it just really clicks, and I think that something is the great performances and fearless writing. Hopefully,
Sure, it’s not the funniest or most moving show on TV, but something about it just really clicks, and I think that something is the great performances and fearless writing. Hopefully, The Mick will last on FOX for a long time.
Starring Luke Roberts (Holby City, 300: Rise of an Empire) as Eric Beaumont, Ransom tells a story inspired by the real professional experiences world-renowned crisis negotiator Laurent Combalbert and his partner Marwan Mery.
Beaumont understands criminals better than most and that’s why his team is brought in to resolve the most difficult ransom and kidnapping cases. Eric’s exceptional powers of manipulation make him one of the best in his line of work, but they also complicate his relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.
The rest of the negotiation team consists of aspiring investigator Maxine Carlson (Sarah Greene), ex-cop Zara Hallam (Nazneen Contractor), and psych-profiler Oliver Yates (Brandon Jay McLaren). The newest member, Maxine, is eager to impress the rest of the team but a secret from her past threatens the fabric of the group and even the great Eric Beaumont seems able to resolve the situation.
Ransom was created by David Vainola (Diamonds, Combat Hospital) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files, Man in the High Castle). It’s gotten mixed to negative reviews, garnering a 43%, with a Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus the states “Ransom is a typical network procedural that lacks any originality or excitement.” As always, I would recommend to judge it for yourself, but if you don’t like this genre to begin (as I don’t) I wouldn’t bother.
Created by Adam Nussdorf (Once Upon a Time, TRON: Uprising) and produced Sci-Fi alum David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies) and Tim Kring (Heroes, Crossing Jordan), Beyond follows a science-obsessed 25-year-old, Holden Matthews (Burkely Duffield), as he wakes up from a twelve year coma to discover he has new abilities that cannot be explained by science.
His powers don’t seem to have much of a rhyme or reason as they include everything from melting plastic toys with his mind to knocking people over with seismic punches – presumably, he’s some sort of superhero, despite the show not quite being a “superhero show.” Beyond seems to be more of a Sci-Fi thriller akin to Lost or Heroes (makes sense given who is involved) and one of the earliest mysterious involves a dangerous man in a yellow jacket who appears to be part of a larger conspiracy.
Beyond hasn’t done too well critically, but it must be pretty popular because it was renewed for a second season within two weeks of airing (though it should be noted that all the episodes “aired” at once in the On Demand style format that’s become quite popular lately).
Beyond also stars Jordan Calloway as Kevin McArdle, Holden’s pre-coma best friend; Dilan Gwyn as Willa Frost, a suspicious woman who claims to know Holden from his time in a coma; Jeff Pierre as Jeff McArdle, Kevin’s brother and Holden’s former childhood bully; Michael McGrady as Holden’s father, Tom; Romy Rosemont as Holden’s mother, Diane; and Jonathan Whitesell as Luke, Holden’s little brother.
This is actually something I might consider checking out because all of the episodes are available to stream immediately. I was a fan of Heroes and Lost (early on, then hated both), so I’m willing to give Beyond a shot – and I’m sure so will many more people, fellow Nerd Much writers included.
Produced by and starring Oscar nominee Tom Hardy, Taboo tells the story of James Delaney, a man who returns home to London from Africa in to run his late father’s shipping empire. Taboo looks to be a tense, stylistic period drama set in 1814 amidst the end of the British-American war.
The official website describes Delaney’s story as a “combustible tale of love and treachery,” one that is surrounded by dark conspiracies, family mystery, betrayal, and murder. James Delany was once thought to be dead in the West Indies but escapes with diamonds before heeding the call to inherit his father’s business. Taboo is created by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Locke) and adapted from a story written by Tom Hardy and his father Chips.
Other notable collaborators are executive producer Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator, Alien) and director Kristoffer Nyholm (The Killing). In addition to Hardy, the cast will also Jonathan Pryce, Jessie Buckley, Oona Chaplin, Mark Gatiss among others. We at Nerd Much have yet to see this series, but I can speak for mostly everyone when I say we are very excited for this one.
Riverdale, The CW
The man who brought Arrow and Flash to the small screen, Greg Berlanti, is giving Archie and the gang the same treatment. But Riverdale won’t actually be a sitcom like one would expect; instead, it will be a one-hour drama that promises to deliver mystery and suspense a la Twin Peaks.
The Archie comics are a seventy-five year old American institution and Berlanti and company certainly have a lot of weight on their shoulders to make the fans happy. One thing that always bodes well for adaptations is when someone who works on the source material is heavily involved, and that is the case for Riverdale as Archie’s chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sarcasa is set to write several episodes (including the pilot).
A relatively unknown New Zealand actor named K.J. Apa (A Dog’s Purpose) has been cast to play Archie Andrews. He will be joined be Cole Sprouse (Big Dady, Suite Life of Zack & Cody) as Jughead Jones, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, and Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge. I know very little about the world of Archie so I had to defer to IMDB which states Riverdale will be “a subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weidness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.” So it sounds like this might be enjoyable to fans and non-fans alike.
The Young Pope, HBO
From Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), The Young Pope tells the controversial story of Lenny Belardo’s (Jude Law) role as Pope Pius XIII.
When asked what the show is about, Sorrentino replied: “the clear signs of God’s existence. The clear signs of God’s absence. How faith can be searched for and lost. The greatness of holiness, so great as to be unbearable when you are fighting temptations and when all you can do is to yield to them. The inner struggle between the huge responsibility of the Head of the Catholic Church and the miseries of the simple man that fate (or the Holy Spirit) chose as Pontiff.
Finally, how to handle and manipulate power in a state whose dogma and moral imperative is the renunciation of power and selfless love towards one’s neighbor.”It’s also, apparently, about the first American Pope smoking cigarettes and having sex. From Academy Award winners Paolo Sorrentino and Diane Keaton (Sister Mary, the Pope’s adoptive Mother) to the two-time nominated Jude Law, there’s a lot of talent involved in it.
It’s also, apparently, about the first American Pope smoking cigarettes and having sex. From Academy Award winners Paolo Sorrentino and Diane Keaton (Sister Mary, the Pope’s adoptive Mother) to the two-time nominated Jude Law, there’s a lot of talent involved in The Young Pope. I can’t speak for the others at Nerd Much, but I can say I found the pilot to be relatively boring and I didn’t quite care to watch more. I can certainly see why people would like it, and I’m sure it will do well at awards shows — it’s just not for me.
Z: The Beginning of Everything, Amazon
Z: The Beginning of Everything is a fictionalized biography of Zelda Fitzgerald, the original flapper and wife of literary great F. Scott Fitzgerald. Starring Christina Ricci (Monster) as Zelda and David Hoflin (American Crime) as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Z: The Beginning of Everything follows Zelda from her teen years to a turbulent love affair and finally as one half of the 1920’s Jazz Age “it couple.” Amazon states “the series travels through the wild parties, the wicked jazz, the dissolute artists of the era, as well as the alcoholism, adultery and struggle with dashed dreams and mental illness that characterizes [the Fitzgeralds’] later years.”
Z is billed as a modern take on an iconic love story that played out in speak-easies and salons from Montgomery, Alabama to the Cote D’Azur. The Amazon series is based on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler and developed for TV by the team of Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin (Chicago Hope). This should be great for anyone who loves flappers, jazz, and everything else about the roaring twenties.
One Day at a Time, Netflix
Developed by Gloria Calderón Kellett (How I Met Your Mother) and Mike Royce (Everybody Loves Raymond), One Day at a Time is a remake of the Norman Lear sitcom from the 1970s.
The basic premise is relatively the same — it is even filmed in front of a live audience — except the family is now Cuban-American and the setting is Echo Park rather than Indianapolis. The LA Times said “One Day at a Time preserves the domestically framed, socially engaged flavor of the original while mixing in new verve.
And it has turned out very well: smart, fun, big-hearted and less noisy and hectoring than Lear works of old could sometimes be.” Justina Machado
Justina Machado (The Purge: Anarchy, Final Destination 2) plays Penelope Alvarez, a former Afghan War nurse and mother; Isabella Gomez plays her daughter, Elena, a strong-headed feminist; Alex, her socially challenged tween son is played by Marcel Ruiz; Rita Morena (West Side Story, Singin’ in the Rain) portrays Penelope’s fun-loving seventy-year-old mother.
The nuclear family is also joined by Todd Grinnel (Nesting) as Schneider and Stephen Tobolowsky (Memento) as Dr. Berkowitz. One Day at a Time feels pretty fresh, despite being a reboot of a forty-year-old show; we’re so used to single-camera shows that aren’t filmed in front of a live audience now. These types of sitcoms aren’t our typical fare at Nerd Much, but I’d be willing to give this one a shot.
“The eight episode first season of Six follows members of Navy SEAL Team Six, modern American warriors, whose covert mission to eliminate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan goes awry when they uncover a U.S. citizen working with terrorists.
Inspired by real missions, the series authentically captures the inside world of America’s elite Special Operations unit–what these SEALs do, their personal lives, combat and the life-and-death decisions they make to protect and serve their country” (from the History channel site). Six stars Walton Goggins (Vice Principals, The Hateful Eight) as SEAL Team Six leader Richard “Rip” Taggart, Barry Sloane (Revenge) as Joe Graves, Kyle Schmid (Copper) as Alex Caulder, and Juan Pablo Raba (Narcos) as Ricky “Buddha” Ortiz.
The series is created by Academy Award nominee William Broyles (Cast Away, Jarhead) and military special operations veteran David Broyles. The first two episodes are directed by Emmy- and Academy Award nominee Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland, Ray Donovan). I would certainly give the pilot a shot, but it sounds like there are far better movies that tell the same tale as Six. According to the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the series has had a less-than-positive reaction so far and the critical consensus is that the “engaging characters are intriguing in spite of the show’s trite premise and familiar narrative.”
I would suspect Six dips into pander territory quite a bit, which is why the audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is a 96% but the critics rating is 55% – a pretty vast difference. One thing is for sure: Walton Goggins is always amazing, so I’m sure Six is no different.
According to Netflix’s press site, “[Frontier] is an action-packed adventure drama following the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade in the late 18th century.”
The series follows Jason Momoa’s (Game of Thrones) character Declan Harp, a part-native American outlaw attempting to shatter the Hudson Bay Company’s monopoly on the Canadian fur trade. Reviews have been fairly mixed so far, but it’s safe to say Frontier is at least unique in that it covers a historical subject we rarely see on television.
The HBC’s Lord Benton (Alun Armstrong) — a man who seems to be the main villain of the series — travels to James Bay to deal with the notorious Harp and along the way he encounters the true hero of Frontier in Irish stowaway Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron). The cast also includes the rich American entrepreneur, Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle), a shrewd tavern owner named Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle), and the alcoholic Father Coffin (Christian McKay). Based on the trailers,
The cast also includes the rich American entrepreneur, Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle), a shrewd tavern owner named Grace Emberly (Zoe Boyle), and the alcoholic Father Coffin (Christian McKay). Based on the trailers, Frontier seems to be somewhat of a layered mix between FX’s Taboo and AMC’s Turn with a hulking Canadian Khal Drogo as one of the stars.
It’s not quite my cup of tea, and I’ve heard little excitement from fellow Nerd Much colleagues, but I suspect North American history buffs will find plenty to like in Frontier.
The first sitcom set in the DC Universe, Powerless follows a group of ordinary office workers who live in a world inhabited by flying superheroes. Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical) plays Emily Locke, the Director of Research & Development at Wayne Security. This subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises specializes in creating products for ordinary humans. Think The Office, but set in Gotham City.
Hudgens is joined by comedy veterans from some of the nerdiest shows to ever be on TV. The ensemble cast includes Danny Pudi (Community) plays Teddy, Emily’s fun prankster friend; Alan Tudyk (Firefly) will portray Van Wayne, cousin of Bruce Wayne and new power-hungry boss in the building; Ron Funches (Undateable) is Ron, an innocent I.T. guy who loves all things superhero; and Christina Kirk (Melinda and Melinda) plays Jackie, a people pleasing co-worker who is absolutely obsessed with superheroes.
Most of the details that have been revealed thus far concern the characters and their personalities, but not the plot. It seems highly unlikely that superheroes will play any role other than the occasional cameo. We at Nerd Much are bit cautious because this one could go one of two ways, either horribly unfunny or really great. I’m hoping for the latter.
Training Day, CBS
Set fifteen years after the events of the feature film of the same name, Training Day follows maverick head of the Special Investigation Section (S.I.S), Detective Frank Rourke (Bill Paxton), as he’s paired up with untarnished hero, Kyle Craig (Justin Cornwell). What Detective Rourke doesn’t know, though, is that Craig is tapped to pose as Rourke’s trainee to spy on him and report his unsavory methods. The rest of Rourke’s team includes Tommy Campbell (Drew Van Acker), a former pro-surfer who is extremely loyal to Frank and Rebecca Lee (Katrina Law), an officer with impeccable aim and a dark past.
While on their cases, Rourke, Craig, and the rest of the team often crosses paths with Detective Valeria Chavez (Christina Vidal), one of the LAPD’s top investigators. Detective Rourke’s well-connected madam girlfriend, Holly Butler (Julie Benz), feeds him intel throughout the series while Kyle’s schoolteacher wife, Alyse (Lex Scott Davis), worries that her husband’s promise to avenge the murder of his father may cause him to unravel.
“As Frank starts teaching his principled trainee the way of the streets where the ends often justify the means, they form an uneasy alliance that will change the course of both their lives irrevocably.” Training Day was developed for television by Will Beall (Gangster Squad, Castle) and it was written by Bianca Sams (Rent, Convictions) among others.
I’m not sure the excellent Denzel Washington vehicle, Training Day, needed a mediocre TV series, but now we’ve got one. The critically consensus has been mixed to negative so far, and it seems that it doesn’t come close to the film. For once, I feel safe saying you can probably just trust the reviews and watch the film version instead.
The Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix
Creator of the critically-acclaimed shows Better off Ted and Andy Richter Controls the Universe (my all-time favorite show that was canceled too soon), Victor Fresco’s comedy about a cannibalistic real estate agent will premiere on Netflix next month. Little is known about The Santa Clarita Diet other than it stars Drew Barrymore as the aforementioned Realtor, Sheila Hammond, and Timothy Olyphant as her husband, Joel.
The only “official” show description to be found is “when Sheila dies, their lives take a dark turn.”
At this point, we don’t even know if Barrymore’s character will be playing a zombie — Fresco and company seem to have been very careful not to use the Z-word. The teasers look fairly promising, the cast is decent, and the creator certainly has a great mind for humor, so it’s safe to assume The Santa Clarita Diet will at least deliver some laughs.
24: Legacy, FOX
According to FOX, “24: Legacy chronicles an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock to stop a devastating terrorist attack on United States soil – in the same real-time format that has propelled this genre-defining series.”
This new spin-off is attempting to deliver the same high stakes action as the original Emmy Award-winning 24, a show that revolutionized TV at the time. Legacy only features Keifer Sutherland as an Executive Producer this time around and it will instead follow Sergeant Eric Carter (Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins), the leader of an elite Army Ranger squad, who is exposed and immediately thrown back into danger.
Six months prior to 24: Legacy‘s pilot hour, a group of terrorists declared a fatwah against Carter and his squad after they killed the leader, Sheik Ibrahim Bin-Khalid. Carter must now enlist the help of Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto),”a brilliant and ambitious intelligence officer who has stepped down from her post as National Director of CTU to support her husband, Senator John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), in his campaign for President of the United States.” Carter and Ingram will discover a dangerous terrorist network deep within their own country that will force them to question everyone and everything they know.
Carter must now enlist the help of Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto),”a brilliant and ambitious intelligence officer who has stepped down from her post as National Director of CTU to support her husband, Senator John Donovan (Jimmy Smits), in his campaign for President of the United States.”
Carter and Ingram will discover a dangerous terrorist network deep within their own country that will force them to question everyone and everything they know. 24: Legacy was created by the writers of the original 24 and spin-off movie 24: Live Another Day, Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. It is produced by Keifer Sutherland, Brian Grazer, Stephen Hopkins, and Howard Gordon as well as and the series’ main writers Evan Katz and Manny Coto.
It also stars Anna Diop as Nicole Carter, Teddy Sears as Keith Mullins, Charlie Hofheimer as Ben Grimes, Coral Pena as Mariana Stiles, and Sheila Vand as Nilaa.
APB has already premiered to extremely mixed reviews. The review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes has APB listed with a 35% “fresh” rating (which is pretty awful, if you don’t know) based on critics’ reviews, yet the audience gave the series as 7.5/10 on iMDB.
The consensus on Rotten Tomatoes was “APB’s reliance on high-tech gadgets at the expense of high-stakes drama makes it a cutting-edge police procedural not worth watching.” But, like most TV series, you should watch and judge for yourself. The best way to explain the show is the description straight from the official FOX site: “Sky-high crime, officer-involved shootings, cover-ups and corruption: the over-extended and under-funded Chicago Police Department is spiraling out of control.
Enter billionaire engineer Gideon Reeves (Emmy Award and Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk, Tyrant, Weeds). After he witnesses his best friend’s murder, he takes charge of Chicago’s troubled 13th District and reboots it as a technically innovative police force, challenging the district to rethink everything about the way they fight crime.” The series is inspired by the New York Times Magazine article “Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?,” by David Amsden.
It is executive produced by producer/director Len Wisemen (Lucifer, Sleepy Hollow), Trey Callaway (The Messengers, CSI: NY), and Matt Nix (Burn Notice, The Good Guys) and co-created by David Slack (Person of Interest, Teen Titans). In addition to Kirk, APB also features Natalie Martinez, Taylor Handley, Tamberla Perry, and Caitlin Stasey.
Superior Donuts, CBS
Based on the play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning writer Tracy Letts, Superior Donuts is a modern twist on the classic Norman Lear sitcom formula of the 1970’s. It follows Arthur (Judd Hirsch), the owner of a mom-and-pop donut shop located “… in a quickly gentrifying Chicago neighborhood. Arthur is a gruff, to the point Chicagoan who refuses to sell newfangled cronuts and macchiatos or renovate his dated shop that hasn’t changed since it opened in 1969” (from the official site).
Everything changes when quirky, smooth-talker Franco (Jermaine Fowler) slips his way into Arthur’s life as his first (and only) employee. Throughout the series, Franco continually tries to convince Arthur that he can help him bring the shop into the new millennium.
Superior Donuts has premiered to mixed reviews, garnering a 62% rating (which is still fresh) and a consensus that the “…talented cast impressively delivers, [but] the annoying laugh track and stale jokes leave a hole in the middle of a crusty – albeit topical – narrative.” I’m personally a fan of Jermaine Fowler and I like this style of “odd couple” pairings in comedy, but multi-camera sitcoms with laugh tracks just feel so outdated and next to impossible to watch these days.
I can’t deal with canned laughter suggesting when I should find something humorous. I’d still give it a shot, but don’t expect to make it past the pilot – which is a shame and sort of unfair of me, I know. Perhaps some of my Nerd Much colleagues can deal with a laugh track and will have nicer things to say…
Since they mostly air reality and competition shows, Bravo isn’t exactly known for their scripted series. Their new foray into this realm comes in the form of Imposters, a dark comedy that follows the beautiful, dangerous con-artist Maddie (Inbar Lavi of Gang Related and The Last Witch Hunter), who leaves “…her unwitting victims tormented when they realize they have been used and robbed of everything – including their hearts.”
Her livelihood is threatened, though, when a group of her former victims team up to take her down. The group is comprised of Ezra, played by Rob Heaps (Home Fires, And Then There Were None), Parker Young (Suburgatory, Enlisted) as Richard, and Jules, played by newcomer Marianne Rendón.
While pursuing a new target, Patrick (Being Mary Jane’s Stephen Bishop), Maddie’s attraction to him threatens to derail the whole assignment. “Meanwhile, her dejected past lovers manage to take control of their new realities, not realizing that in their quest to confront her, they’ll have to face their own truths and find new versions of themselves along the way.”
Scripted programming is fairly new to Bravo, but it sounds like they’re doing something right because the series currently holds an 80% audience rating and 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes (though it should be noted that there have only been seven reviews thus far). Imposters was created and written by Adam Brooks (Practical Magic, Definitely, Maybe) and Paul Adelstein (Private Practice, Prison Break) and directed by Brooks as well as Wayne Yip (Utopia, Misfits).
I think I may actually have to check this out as it might be pleasantly surprising – 100% is pretty darn good, even if not many people have reviewed the series. Imposters doesn’t seem all that now, but it sounds worth a shot.
Based on Marvel’s X-men comics by Bill Sienkiewicz and Chris Claremont, Legion follows David Haller (Dan Stevens) as he is checks into a psychiatric hospital. For the entire thirty years he’s been alive David has been in and out of institutions as a diagnosed schizophrenic.
He’s become numb during his day-to-day routine and the only comfort he has comes from his talkative drug addict friend Lenny (Aubrey Plaza). Everything changes when new patient Syd (Rachel Keller) enters the scene and David finds himself inexplicably drawn to her.
This leads to the two discovering they may be mutants, and a troubled David escapes the hospital to face the anti-mutant world that has been lying to him his whole life. The cast also includes Katie Aselton as David’s sister, Jean Smart as a therapist named Melanie Bird, and a team of specialists played by Jeremie Harris, Bill Irwin, and Amber Midthunder.
The cast also includes Katie Aselton as David’s sister, Jean Smart as a therapist named Melanie Bird, and a team of specialists played by Jeremie Harris, Bill Irwin, and Amber Midthunder. Legion is produced in part by Noah Hawley and John Cameron, two of the executive producers of the Emmy-winning FX series Fargo as well as many big names in the comic book world such as Jeph Loeb (Heroes, Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-men franchise), and Simon Kinberg (X-men franchise, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. & Mrs. Smith).
Considering the people writing and producing the show as well as the source material, Legion is one of the shows we are really looking forward to.
Starring Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up), Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife, Bloodline), Elliott Gould (Ray Donovan, Contagion), Dulé Hill (Ballers, Psych), and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), CBS’s Doubt tells the story of an attorney who starts to fall for her charming client. Sadie Ellis (Heigl) is a brilliant attorney who works at a boutique firm that is tasked with representing a pediatric surgeon, Billy Brennan (Pasquale), who is accused of murdering his girlfriend twenty-four years prior.
“Sadie’s decision to become involved with her client could put her career, as well as her happiness, at risk if Billy is found guilty, which means she needs to work all the harder to prove reasonable doubt, even if she has some herself.” She is hiding her feelings from close friend and colleague, Albert Cobb (Hill) , as well as passionate, Ivy League educated transgender Cameron Wirth (Cox) and Tiffany Simon, a second-year associate (played by Compliance’s Dreama Walker).
They all love working for Isaiah Roth (Gould), a legendary “legal lion” whose approval means everything to the lawyers. Doubt is written and created by Tony Phelan and Joan Rater (Madam Secretary, Grey’s Anatomy) and produced/directed by Adam Bernstein (Bloodline, Fargo). Doubt isn’t quite my bag, but I’m sure it will be a show that lasts for at least five seasons, so I’ll have plenty of time to get on board.
Grey’s Anatomy is immensely popular, so are legal dramas (especially with romance), and Doubt also has a great cast behind it as well. So far, the critical consensus isn’t too great – the show has a 52% fresh rating and critics seem to agree it “struggles with tone… but ultimately develops into a decent courtroom/workplace drama [with] a talented cast.”
Upcoming (as of 2/17 update)
Crashing, HBO – Feb 19th
Pete Holmes is, in my opinion, one of the greatest working stand-up comedians. I was already a big fan of his from his early specials and You Made it Weird podcast, but then I saw him live in Montreal and knew Holmes was something special. Well, Conan O’Brien saw something in him too and helped produce the short-lived TBS talk show The Pete Holmes Show.
Unfortunately, the late night market was saturated with similar goofy white men fronted shows and Holmes’ odd take on the talk show didn’t quite catch on. Perhaps that’s a good thing, though, because now he has teamed up with Judd Apatow to create Crashing for HBO. Crashing, essentially, recounts an exaggerated version of Pete’s life; a stand-up comedian comes home from a gig to find his wife (played by Orange is the New Black’s Lauren Lapkus) in bed with “a short Italian man.”
After his life changed drastically in an instant, he kept to the one thing he loved more than anything else and performed stand-up the very same night. Crashing follows the young stand-up through the New York comedy scene as he crashes on various stand-up comics’ (all playing fictionalized versions of themselves) couches and performs at night, trying to piece his life back together and make sense of the world.
The show will also feature one of Pete’s real life best friends T.J. Miller (Silicon Valley, Deadpool) as well as Artie Lange, Gina Gershon, George Basil, Big Jay Oakerson, and more. As a huge comedy fan and someone who loves everything Pete Holmes does, I’m very excited for this series. But don’t mistake my fanboy excitement for undeserving hype; I think Crashing will appeal to any fan of HBO’s comedy series. This will be one more Judd Apatow (40-year-old Virgin, Knocked Up) produced series and, like Girls, I expect it to do very well – hell, everything Apatow touches to gold, so why not Crashing?
Big Little Lies, HBO – Feb 19th
According to the official HBO site, Big Little Lies is “a subversive, darkly comedic drama that weaves a tale of murder and mischief as it explores society’s myth of perfection and the contradictions that exist beneath our idealized facade of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship.”
The seven-part limited series is based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty and directed by the Oscar-nominated Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild). Big Little Lies is told through the point-of-views of three Monterey, California mothers: Madeline Mackenzie (Reese Witherspoon), Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley), and Celeste Wright (Nicole Kidman). Zoë Kravitz, Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling, P.J. Berne, Virginia Kull, and Santiago Cabrera will also appear.
The show is being produced by Witherspoon, Kidman, David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice), Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Milk), and several others. Big Little Lies has a lot of star power behind it, great source material, and a really intriguing trailer. Also, HBO isn’t exactly known to pick duds. Consider me invested.
The Good Fight, CBS – Feb 19th
The Good Fight is a spin-off of CBS’s very popular The Good Wife. This new series starts on year after the finale of The Good Wife. A disastrous financial scam destroys young lawyer Maia Rindell’s (Rose Leslie) career as well as her godmother and mentor Diane Lockhart’s (Christine Baranski) bank account.
Lockhart and Rindell are forced out of their lawfirm and must join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) at one of Chicago’s top law firms. The Good Wife showrunners Robert and Michelle King will return to tell this tale of powerful Chicago families and intense legal rivalries.
The February 19th premiere will be directed by Brooke Kennedy (Fringe, Third Watch) and will be written by Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams, Sneakers) and the Kings. This isn’t quite our typical fare here at Nerd Much , but these CBS series have huge followings and I’m sure this show will be around for a long time.
The Blacklist: Redemption, NBC – Feb 23rd
According to NBC’s official site, The Blacklist: Redemption follows “the world’s most elusive criminals from Red’s infamous list [as they] come together to form an elite mercenary team […] to regain their self-worth after a lifetime of inflicting damage on the world.
Seeking redemption for their past transgressions, this new group solves problems governments don’t dare touch.” Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist, 90210) plays Blacklist undercover operative Tom Keen; Famke Janssen (X-men, Goldeneye) is Susan Hargrave, the team’s brilliant chief; and Tom’s lethal assassin nemesis, Matias Solomon, is portrayed by Edi Gathegi (X-men: First Class, Gone Baby Gone).
Rounding out the team are the skilled Nez Rowan (Heroes’ Tawny Cypress) and talented hacker Dumont (Focus’ Adrian Martinez), and everyone together will work to right their wrongs and redeem themselves. Jon Bokenkamp, David Amann, and John Eisendrath write and produce The Blacklist: Redemption, John Davis and John Fox also executive produce, and co-executive producer John Terlesky directs.
The Blacklist is a show that I’ve only seen bits of in passing, but I’ve seen enough to get why it’s such a big hit. With so many great shows coming, I’m afraid I probably won’t pay much attention to this one; however, I suspect I’ll have plenty of time because it’ll be around for awhile.
Taken, NBC – Feb 27th
We all know that Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills has a “particular set of skills” that he uses to rescue his daughter in the Taken film, but the TV series aims to show us just how he developed said skills. Taken is a prequel to the original 2008 film and stars Clive Standen (Vikings, Everest) in the Neeson role.
According to NBC, Taken is a “modern-day, edge-of-your-seat thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world.” After the trauma that destroys his life, Mills becomes a deadly CIA operative bent on revenge… but, supposedly, he doesn’t have to rescue someone who was kidnapped this time around – in this case, the word “taken” refers to the death of his sister.
It sounds just like another version of the films, but the producers promise the series will focus more on character development and show us how Mills became the ruthless killing machine he is. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Some good news is: the TV series is being created by the man behind the original Taken film, Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional), and he has a pretty great track record with action films. It’s also being written and co-executive produced by Alexander Cary, one of the men behind the very popular shows Homeland and Lie to Me. The cast will include Jennifer Beals (The L Word, Flashdance), James Landry Hébert (Gangster Squad, Looper), Jennifer Marsala (Homeland, Lie to Me), Simu Liu (Orphan Black, Blood and Water), and more.
I’m sure Taken will do well and join the ranks of other popular NBC thrillers like The Blacklist, but it’s not really something I plan to tune into.
Feud, FX – March 5th
Everything Ryan Murphy touches turns to gold. He had huge hits in Glee, American Horror Story, and American Crime Story and now he hopes to bring that same talent to a new anthology series. Feud will explore famous rivalries through history, with season one focusing on the bad blood between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the 1962 filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Like Murphy’s other projects, you can expect some serious starpower — possibly some acting award nods come Emmy season — as Jessica Lange (Big Fish, Cape Fear) will play Crawford and Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking) will portray Davis. Other Murphy alum such as Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates will join the cast as well as Alfred Molina, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Dominic Burgess, and Judy Davis.
I’m not quite sure if there is enough interest surrounding the starlet beef at the center of Feud’s first season, but we can absolutely expect stellar performances and a built-in ready-made fanbase, so only time will tell.
Chicago Justice, NBC – March 5th
The Chicago franchise is immensely popular and shows no signs of slowing down. Now, mega-producer Dick Wolf (Chicago P.D., Law & Order) is bringing the next installment of the franchise to NBC in March.
The Chicago Justice official site describes the show as following “… the State’s Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators [who] navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on, while fearlessly pursuing justice. As they take on the city’s high-stakes and often media-frenzied cases, they must balance public opinion, power struggles within the system and their unwavering passion for the law.”
The main focus of the show is the ambitious Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, Peter Stone (Philip Winchester). Son of New York City District Attorney Ben Stone (from Law & Order), Peter often butts heads with Cook County Attorney Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers), who only seems to see the world politically. “The team also includes Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro), a passionate newcomer, who’s more flexible and willing to bend the rules to get the right result; Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter), a tough-as-nails State’s Attorney Investigator who sees each case through the eyes of the victim; and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda, formerly on “Chicago P.D.”), a level-headed and by-the-book detective turned Chief Investigator.”
Chicago Justice is produced by a veteran Wolf Films team that has worked on the Chicago franchise as well as other Wolf projects; the team of executive producers includes Derek Haas, Michael S. Chernuchin, Arthur Forney, Matt Olmstead, Peter Jankowski, and Michael Brandt.
Making History, FOX – March 5th
I might be more excited about this show than any other comedy coming in 2017 – and I almost missed it! I love everybody behind the series ad starring in front of the camera, and I’m a sucker for anything with time travel.
Created by writer Julius Sharpe (Family Guy, The Grinder) and produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street), Making History follows “…three friends from two different centuries as they try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their present-day lives. It’s a rollicking historical adventure and a contemporary comedy about love, friendship and trying to fit in to an increasingly complex and impersonal world” (from the official site). Adam Pally (The Mindy Project, Happy Endings) plays Dan, a college facilities manager who discovers time travel.
He’s been traveling to the 1700’s to date Paul Revere’s daughter, Deborah, played by Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl, The Judge), and his actions in the past start to mess up the present. Dan’s actions effectively threaten Paul Revere’s famous ride and the outcome of the American Revolution.
So, to try to fix things, Dan enlists his college’s most popular history professor, played by Yassir Lester (Girls, Key and Peele), to live out the history he loves to teach. Making History was also produced by Seth Cohen and Jared Hess (both of Napoleon Dynamite), and Hess directed the pilot. I really hope this one delivers because it combines my two favorite story elements: humor and time travel. If anybody can make Making History work, it’s the cast and crew already on the project.
Iron Fist, Netflix – March 17th
Developed for Netflix by Scott Buck (Dexter, Six Feet Under), Marvel’s Iron Fist tells the story of martial arts expert Danny Rand. Finn Jones (Game of Thrones) will play Danny Rand, the billionaire Buddhist monk who comes to gain the power of the Iron Fist.
Fifteen years after Rand was presumed dead, he mysteriously returns to New York City to reclaim his family’s company. A long-destined enemy raises and threatens the city, forcing him to make a choice between his birthright legacy and duty as the Iron Fist. Jones will be joined by Jessica Herwick (Colleen Wing), David Wenham (Harold Meachum), Jessica Stroup (Joy Meachum), Tom Pelphrey (Ward Meachum), and Rosario Dawson (Clair Temple).
Iron Fist should deliver something pretty similar to Marvel’s other Netflix superhero shows, but many are worried this Defenders member is a bit too shallow to sustain his own show. Sure, we can expect fantastic action sequences, but are fans (excluding the true die-hards) really that invested in this deep-cut character that was created to ride the 70’s Kung-Fu wave that was started by Bruce Lee? We love Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage here at Nerd Much so we’ve got our fingers crossed for Iron Fist — hopefully we get what we’re eagerly anticipating.
Shots Fired, FOX – Mar 22nd
With Shots Fired FOX is asking “what if a 10-hour film was created that asked the difficult questions and sparked real conversation and change?” They are claiming this new event series will do just that. An African-American Sherriff’s deputy played by Tristan Mack Wilds (The Wire, 90210) kills an unarmed white college student in a small town in North Carolina and the world is turned upside-down.
Before recovering from this awful event, the town is rocked by another tragic event: the neglected murder of an African-American teen. Through a 10-hour event series, Shots Fired will examine the aftermath of two such racially charged shootings in a small Southern town.
Shots Fired was created by Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious, Get on the Bus) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights, Love & Basketball) and stars Tristan Mack Wilds as the aforementioned Deputy Joshua Beck alongside multiple award-winning veteran actors.
Emmy, Academy, and Golden Globe-winning actress Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets, Mad About You) plays the “fiercely political” North Carolina Governor in the middle of a re-election campaign, Particia Eamons; the Academy- and Gold Globe-winning Richard Dreyfus (Madoff, Jaws) plays Arlen Cox, a wealthy real estate mogul and owner of a local privatized prison; the seasoned detective leading the investigation of both cases is Ashe Akino, played by Sanaa Lathan (The Perfect Guy, Love & Basketball); Akino and Special Prosecutor Preston Terry, played by Stephan James (Race, Selma), suspect a cover-up involving some of the states most powerful people; caught in the middle between Akino and Terry’s and Governor Eamons’ is veteran Sheriff, Lt. Calvert Breeland, who is played by Stephen Moyer (The Bastard Executioner, True Blood).
With a promising story and star-studded cast, FOX aims to deliver a socially conscious show that addresses the racial divide in America. Shots Fired may not be my typical fare, but I’ll certainly be giving it a shot on March 22nd.
Harlots, Hulu – March 29th
According to a Hulu press release, Harlots is “a powerful family drama offering a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.” Set in 18th century Georgian London, the show is based on the stories of real brothel workers.
Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts, Minority Report) plays Margaret Wells, a brothel owner struggling to run her business and provide for her daughters. The series will also feature Lesley Manville (River, Maleficent) as Lydia Quigley, a rival madam, and Brown Findlay as Charlotte, Margaret’s daughter and the most popular courtesan in the city.
Harlots is the first commission for Monumental Pictures, an indie company comprised of Oscar-nominated producers Alison Owen (Suffragette, Tulip Fever) and Debra Hayward (Bridget Jones’s Baby, Les Misérables) and it was produced by Lawrence Till (Mr. Selfridge, Shameless).
The show was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre, Tamara Drewe) and directed by China Moo-Young (Humans) and Coky Giedroyc (Penny Dreadful). The description doesn’t interest me a ton, but the trailer looks funny and interesting so I’d give it a shot.
13 Reasons Why, Netflix – March 31st
Based on Jay Asher’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why stars Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps, Don’t Breathe) as Clay Jensen, a teenager determined to get the story behind his crush, Hannah (newcomer Katherine Langford).
Hannah decided to take her own life and left a series of casette tapes that explain the thirteen reasons why she resorted to suicide – Clay was one of the reasons. I’ve heard good things about the novel from some of my college students, but I haven’t read it and don’t know much about it.
I assume it was a best-seller for a reason. Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers, Hotel Transylvania) certainly felt very strongly about the story because, after reading the novel, she decided to executive produce an adaptation. Writing duties were mostly handled by Brian Yorkey (Grease Live!, Time After Time), who is also credited as the creator, and Tom McCarthy (Spotlight, Up) served as the director of the first two episodes.
Possibly the best summation of story comes from the official novel website which states “through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.”
I’m someone who loves martial artists movies and epic sci-fi adventures, but I also really love animated kid’s movies and gut-wrenching young adult stories – so I’m very excited for this! I know some of the other Nerd Much writers will be too.
American Gods, STARZ – April (date TBA)
Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are bringing Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel to the small screen later this year. While it may not be on a big network station or a widely read novel, American Gods is a great story with many die-hard fans. Like some of Gaiman’s other work (Neverwhere, Stardust, Coraline), this novel should lend itself well to the audio-visual medium.
The series starts as protagonist Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) “is released from prison to a life turned upside down.” His wife Laura (Emily Browning) is killed in a car accident and, while flying home for the funeral, he meets a curious con man known as Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). After becoming Wednesday’s bodyguard, the two set off on a cross-country trip and Shadow not only learns that Gods and magic are real, but he gets drawn into a conflict between the old Gods and the new.
There is little we know about the TV series now, but anything based on a Neil Gaiman – one of the greatest and most unique living writers – novel has a lot of potential. It also doesn’t hurt that the developers have a decent track record; Bryan Fuller wrote
Bryan Fuller wrote Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, and Dead Like Me and Michael Green produced Heroes and Smallville. I haven’t spoken to many of my colleagues about this show, but as a huge Gaiman fan myself I’m very much looking forward to it — too bad American Gods will likely go overlooked because of what channel it will air on.
Girlboss, Netflix – April (date TBA)
Based on Sophia Amoruso’s real life and adapted from her autobiography, Girlboss tells the story of the Nasty Gal fashion empire. Tomorrowland star Britt Robertson will portray Sophia ,”a rebellious, broke anarchist who refuses to grow up [and] stumbles upon her passion of selling vintage clothes online.”
In her early twenties, the freewheeling freegan begins selling clothes on eBay then eventually becomes a highly unlikely businesswoman. Apparently, the show will begin long before Sophia even has the idea to start a business and is instead a punk teenager cursing “the man” every chance she gets.
#GirlBoss is described as part memoir and part business/life advice, so it should be interesting to see how that adapts to television. Very little has been said about the rest of the cast or the exact premiere date, but we do know the series will be adapted and run by Kay Cannon (New Girl, Pitch Perfect, 30 Rock) and produced by Laverne McKinnon, Charlize Theron, Christian Ditter, and Amoruso herself.
Despite Nasty Gal filing for bankruptcy, the book has been very successful and the show has potential to be a surprise hit as well.
Great News, NBC – April 25th
There are A LOT of new shows coming in 2017 but if there’s one thing lacking it’s comedy. I’m not sure why, but networks just don’t seem to be greenlighting comedies as much as hour-long dramas. That’s part of the reason why I’m excited for the Tina Fey (30 Rock, Saturday Night Live) produced comedy Great News.
From the official site: “getting along with office colleagues can be rough, but working with your mom? That’s a whole different story, and it’s the headline for Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan of Ground Floor and Undateable Live), a smart, ambitious news producer at ‘The Breakdown,’ a national cable news show that shoots in Secaucus, NJ.”
Andrea Martin (SCTV, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) plays Carol, Katie’s overly supportive mother who has been a stay-at-home mom for thirty years. She decides that she’s been telling her daughter to follow her dreams for years, so now it’s her time to do it – then she lands an internship at “The Breakdown,” which is Katie’s worst nightmare.
The rest of the cast is a comedy who’s who including John Michael Higgins (Pitch Perfect, Best in Show) as blowhard co-anchor Chuck Pierce, Adam Campbell (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Mixology) as dashing producer Greg, Horatio Sanz (Saturday Night Live, The Dictator) as laid back video editor Justin, and the show’s creator, and Tracey Wigfield (30 Rock, The Mindy Project) as the creepy meteorologist Beth.
Aside from Fey and Wigfield, the show is produced by other 30 Rock alum David Miner and Robert Carlock and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller (30 Rock, Modern Family). I think this show has tons of potential and if it’s half as good as 30 Rock I’ll be satisified. The only problem is, comedy doesn’t always do too well and gets canceled prematurely (see: Arrested Development). Hopefully, Great News delivers and then ultimately lasts a while.
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu – April 26th
Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s classic science fiction novel, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of a totalitarian society, Gilead, that was formed after the collapse of the United States.
Fundamentalism and a militarized regime bent on returning to “traditional values” rose up through environmental disasters and a plummeting birthrate to seize power in Gilead. Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, Get Him to the Greek) plays Offred, one of the last living fertile women who, in a last ditch effort to repopulate the world, is forced into being a sexual servant of the Commander.
Offred must navigate between domineering Commanders, their evil Wives, and fellow backstabbing Handmaids in her quest to find the daughter that was taken from her.
The cast also includes Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls), Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter), Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black), and Max Minghella (The Social Network) among others. The Handmaid’s Tale was created, with help from Atwood, by Bruce Miller (The 100, The ER) and directed by Reed Morano (The Skeleton Twins, Frozen River). The source material is supposedly fantastic — in fact, now that I know what it’s about I will try to get my hands on the novel — so I have a lot of hope in the show. Many describe it as “1984 for feminists” and that sounds to be right up our alley here at Nerd Much.
Dear White People, Netflix – April 28th
First of all, I’m writing this after the sneak peak trailer dropped and I just have to address this: Dear White People is in no way racist. We live in a time where everybody loves to be outraged (see: Starbucks’ cup colors) and the trailer for this series, which is based on a movie that already exists, is no different. People were quick to jump on the bandwagon and call this show “racist towards white people,” but, in fact, they’ve likely never seen the movie and have no idea what it’s about.
The film is about an African-American college DJ who is, actually, slightly racist towards white people but then she learns better. Anyway, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the film but I’m excited for the Dear White People Netflix series because it looks like a funny, thoughtful show that examines race and prejudice.
It feels like this show couldn’t be coming out at a better time as there seems to be a huge racial divide in America right now and a series that addresses this topic with light-hearted humor (rather than dark drama, like Shots Fired) is certainly welcome. Like the film, Dear White People “follows a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. The series is a send-up of ‘post-racial’ America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path” (The Hollywood Reporter).
Justin Simien, the writer-director of the indie film, wrote the series and directed the pilot; Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedey, both of the Dear White People film, as well as Devon Shepard (Weeds, House of Lies), produced the series. Marque Richardson, Ashley Blaine Featherson, and Brandon P Bell of the original film will star in the series alongside newcomers Atoinette Robertson (Atlanta, Hart of Dixie), John Patrick Amedori (The Vatican Tapes, The Butterfly Effect), and Logan Browning (Bratz, Meet the Browns).
If anything, the backlash has made me even more interested in the series than I already was and I can’t wait for April 28th.
Anne, Netflix – May 12th
The 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables is being rebooted (yet again) by Netflix as the simply titled Anne, and it will be released fairly soon. I don’t know much about the original series so I had to consult other sources for some information.
According to Deadline, “the series centers on a young orphaned girl in the late 1890s who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, mistakenly is sent to live with an aging sister and brother, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.” This eight-episode series doubles as both a coming-of-age story and a period drama. It’s not quite my thing, but I’m willing to check out anything Netflix puts out there – they’ve really been putting out some great stuff lately, and 2017 looks to be even better.
Relative newcomer, young Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty (Morgan, Clean Break) beat out almost two-thousand other girls for the role of Anne. She will be joined by other relatively unknown young actors Christian Martyn (who plays Billy Andrews), Lucas Jade Zumann (Gilbert Blythe), Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Minnie May), and Aymeric Jett Montaz (Jerry Baynard) as well as adults Jonathan Holmes (Mr. Barry) and Helen Johns (Eliza Barry). Anne is being adapted by Emmy award-winning writer/producer Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad, Flesh and Bone) and the pilot was directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country).
Star Trek: Discovery, CBS – May (date TBA)
It’s been fifty years since Star Trek first premiered, and since then it has become one of the most influential and iconic television/film franchises. Star Trek: Discovery will bring a whole new crew of characters, new missions, and a few new ships, while still embracing the same ideology and aesthetic that inspired a generation of Trekkies.
Apparently, CBS doesn’t have much faith (or perhaps they just think this method is better) in the series, though, because they will only be airing the pilot on television and the rest of the episodes will be released on CBS All Access and Netflix. That won’t stop true fans, even if they are a bit leery.
Star Trek fans were a little taken aback by the news that the executive producer will be Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and the series will be run by Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts (Pushing Daisies) – a group of people who aren’t exactly known for their work in the world of science fiction. We don’t know an exact date in May yet, but we do know the crew of the new starship will be led by Captail Georgiu, played by Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sunshine).
Rounding out the rest of the crew are Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Weeds) as Dr. Nambue, Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) as Lt. Saru, Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead, Toe to Toe) as Lt. Cmdr Rainsford, and Anthony Rapp (Rent, A Beautiful Mind) as Lt. Stamets.
Other than the cast and a premiere month, we’ve gotten a sparse description of the story: “set roughly ten years before the events of Star Trek the original series, and standing apart from the timeline of the current feature films, Star Trek: Discovery follows the crew of the starship USS Discovery, while exploring an event previously mentioned in the history of the original Star Trek timeline.” Personally, I’ve never been a huge Star Trek fan myself, but I know plenty of my colleagues here at Nerd Much are very excited for this series.
The Defenders, Netflix – Summer 2017
Everybody knows Marvel’s Avengers, but few know who The Defenders are. Chances are, you’ve seen some of the individual heroes’ shows on Netflix. The Defenders miniseries event will see Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) team up to fight crime in New York City.
We don’t quite know who the main villain will be at this point, but we can assume several villains from the Marvel Cinematic Universe will make an appearance. It is confirmed that Elektra (Elodie Yung) will make an appearance, but not which side she will be fighting on.
Netflix’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage have all been excellent — some might even argue each series has gotten better than the one previous — so it’s safe to assume this team-up will be worthwhile. The only other bit of information we have at this point is that Daredevil season two showrunners Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez are developing the crossover, and they likely brought some Daredevil writers and directors to work on this project as well.
DuckTales, Disney XD — Summer 2017
Look, I know this list doesn’t include kids’ shows — it’s long enough already! — but I had to include this one because it is nostalgic for anyone in my generation. The classic cartoon (with one of the best theme songs ever) is coming back as a reboot this Summer, and the cast is absolutely amazing.
David Tennant (Dr. Who, Jessica Jones) will be playing Scrooge McDuck, Danny Pudi (Powerless, Community) will play Huey, Ben Schwartz (House of Lies, Parks & Recreation) is going to be Dewey, and Louie will be portrayed by Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live, The Secret Life of Pets). Kate Micucci (Webby Vanderquack), Beck Bennet (Launchpad McQuack), and Toks Olagundoye (Mrs. Beakley) will also join the cast as recurring characters.
I don’t really expect regular Nerd Much readers to watch the show often, but I’m sure the pilot will be worth checking out for nostalgic purposes. Just try to watch the video of the cast singing the theme song and try to tell me you don’t feel something!
The Inhumans, ABC – September 26th
What was once a Blockbuster movie slated for a 2019 release will now be an ABC series coming in the Fall of 2017… kind of. On September 1st, the first two episodes of The Inhumans will play in IMAX theaters across the nation like a regular 80-minute feature film.
Then, after a few weeks of an exclusive theater run, the show will move to ABC and continue weekly just like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. According to a Marvel press release, The Inhumans series will tell the story of Black Bolt and the Royal Family, but not other character names have been mentioned so far.
I’m sure we can still expect Medusa, Gorgon, Crystal and more. Some of these names may not sound familiar, but I promise they’re pretty damn cool.
Some of these names may not sound familiar, but I promise they’re pretty damn cool. If you aren’t familiar with the Inhumans, you can think of the characters as X-men in space and the stories play out like Game of Thrones with superpowers. The Inhumans live in an intergalactic kingdom far from Earth and they are ruled by the aforementioned Black Bolt, a God whose voice is so powerful it can level entire cities.
They were first introduced in the Fantastic Four and have since played roles in Marvel’s various Infinity Gem arcs (remember that all-powerful purple stone in Guardians of the Galaxy?). Not many details have been leaked yet — we don’t know the cast or even who is working on the show — but I’m sure we’ll find out a lot more in the coming months.
2017, Exact Date TBA
Still Star-Crossed (working title), ABC
Shonda Rhimes’ shows — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder — are all enormously successful, so it stands to reason Still Star-Crossed will also do well. The series is, however, a detour for ShondaLand as it is the first time they are producing a period piece. Adapted from Melinda Taub’s best-selling novel and written by Heather Mitchell, Still Star-Crossed is a sequel to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that follows Juliet’s cousin Rosaline (Lashana Lynch).
Presumably, the show will pick up in the same place as the novel: right after the tragic dual suicide of Romeo and Juliet. In order to stop the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, Verona’s two most powerful families, Prince Escalus (Sterling Sulieman) orders Roasline to marry a man from the rival Montague family named Benvolio (Wade Briggs). Neither wants to marry the either, so they resolve to end the conflict by other means. It is a ShondaLand production so you can expect lots of scandalous romantic entanglements, passionate sex, and tons of melodrama. This, like all of her shows, may not be for me, but they all certainly know what their audience wants and how to give it to them.
Room 104, HBO
We may have lost the critically-acclaimed Togetherness way too soon, but the Duplass brothers have a really exciting project coming to HBO soon. Room 104 is an anthology series with a simple premise. Each episode follows a different inhabitant of room 104, “a corporate, $100 hotel outside of the airport” which Jay Duplass described to IndieWire as “the most boring place [in] the most boring location.” The brothers’ goal is to make something magical out of a mundane location. And if anybody can achieve this it’s Jay (Transparent) and Mark (The League) Duplass.
The Duplass Bros are mumblecore royalty, teaming up to write and direct some of the greatest works — The Puffy Chair, Creep, The One I Love, and Safety Not Guaranteed to name a few — the genre has to offer.
If you aren’t familiar with their indie film or TV work, you can expect very real family drama, raw portrayals of romantic relationships, excellent acting, and a bit of humor to lighten the mood. Once again, I can’t speak for my Nerd Much colleagues on this one, but I am a Duplass Bros fan who loves the anthology format, so I’m super excited for this project!
Mind Hunter, Netflix
Based on the 1996 book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshanker, this new series is being brought to Netflix by David Fincher (House of Cards, Gone Girl). Currently, we know little about Mind Hunter aside from the fact that it will be set in 1979 and follow two FBI agents, played by Holt McCallany (Sully, Fight Club) and Jonathan Groff (Frozen, American Sniper), as they interview serial killers to help solve ongoing cases. Fincher has previously tackled serial killers in such excellent films as Se7en and Zodiac, and he’s an extremely accomplished filmmaking who rarely disappoints.
On top of that, he has brought an award-winning actress in Charlize Theron on as producer and Joe Penhall (The Road) to write the script. Dexter producer/writer Scott Buck will help write the script and play the role of showrunner.
If you are into murder investigation stories, serial killer cases, and/or like Fincher’s work then Mind Hunter is one you should definitely keep your eye. I know it is something we look forward to.
Midnight, Texas, NBC
Based on the hit book series from the author behind HBO’s True Blood (Charlaine Harris) and brought to life by Mr. Robot’s visionary director (Niels Arden Oplev ), Midnight, Texas asks viewers to take a trip to a remote Texas town where no one is who they seem. The official site describes the show thusly: “from vampires and witches to psychics and hit men, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures from rowdy biker gangs, ever-suspicious cops and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form a strong and unlikely family.” If you were a big fan of True Blood and have been desperately seeking to fill the void since the 2014 finale then Midnight, Texas is for you.
The creators promise to deliver heaping doses of supernatural thrills and chills, but, like True Blood, there will be a heavy focus on romance and relationships. Midnight, Texas stars Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, Yul Vazquez Peter Mensah, Sarah Ramos, Dylan Bruce, and Sean Bridgers.
The screenplay is being adapted by Monica Owusu-Breen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Alias) and she is also producing alongside Oplev and David Janollari (Six Feet Under, The Hughleys). It’s not really my cup of tea (neither was True Blood), but I’m sure we’ll all be hearing quite a bit about Midnight, Texas in the coming months.
The Deuce, HBO
Apparently, James Franco’s (star of Pineapple Express, 127 Hours) obsession with the porn industry (see his other recent feature and documentary film projects) is still alive and well. HBO’s upcoming drama The Deuce features Franco pulling double duty as the twin porn kingpins Frankie and Vincent Martino. Only a few clips have been released so far and we don’t know a ton about the series aside from the cast and basic premise. What we know: The Deuce, set in Times Square during the seventies, is a new David Simon (creator of The Wire) drama about the rise of the porn industry.
We also know it stars the aforementioned Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight, Crazy Heart), who plays Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a prostitute who dreams of being an entrepreneur. Similar to The Wire, The Deuce promises to dissect some of the dark themes – the AIDs epidemic, rise in cocaine abuse, real estate boom, and extreme violence – that characterized New York City in the eighties. The series will also feature Zoe Kazan, David Krumholtz, Anwan Glover, Emily Meade, Michael Rispoli, Garry Pastore, Ralph Macchio, and more. Stay tuned for more release info!
The Terror, AMC
From AMC: “[in 1847,] a crew of a Royal Naval expedition is sent to find the Arctic’s treacherous Northwest Passage but instead discovers a monstrous predator, a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ships in a desperate game of survival, the consequences of which could endanger the region and its native people forever.” Any other details about this new anthology series based on the best-selling David Simmons’ novel of the same name are sparse.
We know The Terror will consist of 10 one-hour episodes and, if it’s anything like the novel, each episode will be told from a different point-of-view (I’m assuming, as this is not confirmed). The Terror is being written by David Kajganich (True Story, A Bigger Splash) and it will be run by Kajganich and Soo Hugh (The Whispers, The Killing).
The series will star Jared Harris (Lincoln, Natural Born Killers) as Captain Francis Crozier, a man who is thrust into the leadership role after the death of expedition leader Sir John Franklin, played by Ciarán Hinds (Munich, There Will Be Blood). The series will also star Tobias Menzies (Casino Royale, Atonement), Edward Ashley (In The Heart of the Sea, Sense8), and Caroline Boulton (Tyrant, Hercules) among others, and is produced by Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker (both of The Good Wife, The Man In The High Castle).
I’m not entirely sure what will make this an anthology – maybe each season will focus on a different “terror” or, as I mentioned, each episode will be from a different point-of-view – and I’m not even sure what exactly it’s about (even after reading up on it a bit), but I’m intrigued.
Sharp Objects, HBO
Before the immense success and adaptation of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn wrote Sharp Objects, her debut novel about a young reporter who returns to her tiny hometown to cover the grisly murder of two preteen girls. Camille, played by Amy Adams (Arrival, American Hustle), is fresh out of a brief stint in the psychiatric hospital and has barely spoken to her neurotic mother or teenage half-sister in years.
Now, back in her old bedroom, Camille must unravel her own psychologically distraught past while trying to cover the tragic murder that has befallen the town. Flynn’s novel Gone Girl, subsequently adapted into the film starring Ben Affleck, was a very exciting, intense thriller and if Sharp Objects is anything like it, then it will probably make for a really great series – it doesn’t hurt that Amy Adams is on board either.
None of the other cast members have been announced yet and the only other info we have at this point is that the series is being created by Marti Noxon (Buff the Vampire Slayer, I am Number Four) and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild). I was a huge fan Gone Girl, so I’m really looking forward to Sharp Objects.
This series is definitely one to look out for, as I imagine it will be critically lauded if not very popular.
The Cormoran Strike, BBC (U.K.) & HBO
2017 seems to be the year of novel adaptations, and HBO is leading the charge. The Cormoran Strike is based on the adult mystery series of the same name by J.K. Rowling. There’s no premiere date yet, but we do the The Strike series will cover the first three books (a fourth is slated for later this year).
Book one, The Cuckoo’s Calling, will be adapted into three hour-long episodes and books two and three, The Silkworm and Career of Evil, will comprise two hour-long episodes. Cormoran Strike centers on the titular character played by Tom Burke (Third Star, The Musketeers), a British war veteran turned private detective. Strike was wounded both psychologically and physically; however, his background and insight make him uniquely qualified to solve a series of complex cases that proved too much for the London police.
Cormoran Strike is a man in his late thirties, he’s the illegitimate son of a rock star, and he was discharged from the army after losing part of his leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. He is joined by assistant and secretary Robin Ellacott (played by Cinderella’s Holliday Grainger) on his first mission, and he decides to take her on full time after that. Sounds to me that Strike and Ellacott are somewhat of a more modern, militarized Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, with Strike being the leader but also closer to Watson (though I’m guessing because I haven’t read the series).
The show was originally slated for a BBC released but will now be brought to the states by HBO – BBC shows are usually localized by the less-watched PBS, so I’m guessing HBO sees something promising in the series. I, for one, am excited to check out how J.K. Rowling does when storytelling for adults; I’m definitely looking forward to this one!