By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
You may recall that last Fall we gave you the heads-up on some new, potentially geeky TV shows. Of course, as a whole that batch didn’t fare so well; Eleventh Hour, Life on Mars, My Own Worst Enemy, and Knight Rider (shocker!) all got the ax. Only two turned out to be hits: Fringe will be returning to NBC in the Fall with new cast member Leonard Nimoy, and the second season of True Blood begins airing on HBO on June 14.
Now that the major networks have announced their Fall line-ups, here’s hoping that this year’s new science fiction and fantasy shows will be more successful! Below is a rundown of some new shows that geeks might want to set their TIVOs for in the Fall, along with news on which old favorites will live to see another season.
Day One (NBC)
Described as a cross between Cloverfield and Lost, this new science fiction series is about a group of apartment dwellers in California dealing with the end of the world. It was created by Jesse Alexander, a former producer for Heroes, Lost, and Alias. The small band of survivors include a former marine, a computer genius from MIT, and a couple of obligatory hot girls, who have to try to rebuild society while unraveling the mystery of why the event took place. Also, this show isn’t starting until the Spring. Apparently NBC is looking to push this one hard because they’re putting it into the comfy Heroes time slot.
Based on the 1987 film and/or the John Updike novel, this show is another version of The Witches of Eastwick. It stars Rebecca Romijn (remember the blue body paint and strategically-placed prosthetics in X-Men?), Lindsay Price (from the newly canceled Lipstick Jungle), and Jamie Ray Newman as suburbanites with supernatural powers. I can just hear the elevator pitch for this one: “It’s Harry Potter meets Desperate Housewives!”
In the recent tradition of classic Sci-Fi reboots, V is a new version of the 1983 miniseries about a race of aliens called “the visitors” that arrive on Earth. The reboot stars Elizabeth Mitchell from Lost as a Homeland Security agent and the gorgeous Morena Baccarin (Inara from Firefly) as the leader of the aliens, and at least the pilot features another one of Joss Whedon’s pet actors, Alan Tudyk. The producer is the same guy who did The 4400, but the producer of the original series is not involved. The trailer actually looks pretty good; maybe this one is stepping up to fill some of the void left by the end of Battlestar Galactica.
Vampire Diaries (CW)
This newest in the line of the CW’s teenage dramas is based on a series of YA novels that were published in the early 90’s. The story centers on a high school girl torn between two vampire brothers, one good and one evil. This one’s kind of a no-brainer, an attempt to cash in on the recent Twilight craze. Even the books’ author wrote another book in the series after a fifteen-year hiatus. The show will probably be a hit, but if you’re over the age of sixteen, I’d just skip it and watch True Blood instead.
Also, don’t forget: there are some new shows coming up from the SciFi channel as well.
And the news on the existing geeky TV fare out there? Along with Fringe and True Blood, Heroes (NBC), Chuck (NBC), Big Bang Theory (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS), Ghost Whisperer (CBS), Numb3rs (CBS), and Dollhouse (FOX – yay, that one was a nail biter!) have all been renewed. Meanwhile, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX), Pushing Daisies (ABC), and Reaper (CW) have been canceled. And Medium, which was canceled by NBC, has been picked up by CBS.
For an idea of what the schedule looks like for now, TV Guide has a handy grid.