Monday was a big day at the network Upfronts Week with both Fox and NBC debuting their new fall shows. Both networks have a good amount of new stuff, especially NBC under new Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt. Having previously headed up Showtime, Greenblatt has promised to bring more out-of-the-box ideas to NBC.
So, here’s a look at some of the more interesting trailers from Fox and NBC. Yes, it's hard to determine the potential of a series from just a trailer, but a couple have piqued my interest while others have already managed to turn me off.
First up, the new series I'm most anticipating — NBC's "Awake." It stars Jason Isaacs (“Brotherhood”) as a cop who, after a car accident, begins bouncing between two realities. Created by Kyle Killen, who was also the man behind last fall’s great but canceled (after only two episodes) “Lone Star,” “Awake” could have the same problem of people not watching something this complex. Maybe that’s why it’s scheduled for a mid-season premiere where there’s less competition. Anyway, the trailer looks amazing.
Another drama from Monday’s upfronts that looks promising is Fox’s “Alcatraz.” Produced by J.J. Abrams — who’s reuniting with “Lost” star Jorge Garcia (Hurley) — it looks fun (minus Sam Neill’s hammy acting) with some time-travel elements. It’s also apparently a procedural, but the mythology looks pretty intricate so “Alcatraz” may move more towards serialization down the line like “Fringe” has done.
The other most buzzed about Fox show is the Zooey Deschanel vehicle “New Girl.” It seems like a pretty predictable rom-com trying to cash in on Deschanel’s uber-cuteness. I’m not impressed.
And, now for NBC's “Playboy.” Much has been made about the nudity clauses in the stars’ contracts for NBC’s 1960s series about the infamous Chicago club, but something else jumped out to me. It's just an obvious photocopy of “Mad Men” where even the lead (Eddie Cibrian) is clearly a poor man’s Don Draper. This can’t be the original ideas Greenblatt has been touting the last few months.