Monday, May 20, 2013

The Fall Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV Line Up - 2013

Overview and Review
by Ken Parker

So things are starting to come into focus on what will be on TV this fall and there are quite a few new TV series to keep an eye on. Here is the schedule and some previews of what looks interesting -


8PM – Almost Human (FOX) - The series is set 35 years into the future when humans in the Los Angeles Police Department are paired up with life-like androids, as a detective who has a dislike for robots ends up being teamed up with one with emotional feelings.

I am most eager for this one and it is a perfect viewing night as there is really nothing else on that I personally am interested in until later. Still, not a very good time slot. Bad Robot's Almost Human will be up against The Voice and Dancing With the Stars as well as How I Met Your Mother. This time slot did nothing to help Alcatraz nor Terra Nova. It looks good but it is a formula that has been done to death. Basically two cops from different paths partnered up with one another is what this boils down to. Not even J.J. Abrams' name is going to save this from an early exit. Heck, Steven Spielberg and dinosaurs weren't enough to lure viewers how is this one going to do it? Currently the show is slated for 13 episodes starting late fall and into 2014.

9PM - Sleepy Hollow (FOX) - Action adventure series in which Ichabod Crane has been pulled two and a half centuries through time to find that the world is on the brink of destruction, and teams with a contemporary cop to investigate a mystery.

At first I was thinking I might skip this but the trailer makes me kind of interested in it now. Only scheduled for 13 episodes, this actually makes the show more appealing as there is no need to invest an entire year, unless the show gets picked up for a full season. Up against Dancing With the Stars and another fantasy series, Beauty and the Beast, this show may also struggle with ratings.

9PM – Beauty and the Beast (CW) – In its second season, the show has been moved out of Thursday and will go up against newcomer Sleepy Hollow as well as Dancing With the Stars. I don't personally watch this show but I am never fond when two similar series are up against one another as it usually divides the audiences and hurts both involved.


8PM – Agents of Shield (ABC) - Agent Phil Coulson puts together a small team of SHIELD agents to handle strange new cases (Wikipedia)

This is the show I am most looking forward to. Not only does this look exciting, but it is in the Marvel Universe, which is on a roll right now, and it is from Joss Whedon. The show should have a built in audience and as long as viewers are not disappointed by the lack of big superhero appearances, it should do well. It is up against some popular garbage like The Biggest Loser (who ever imagined watching someone losing weight would make watchable TV?) and in 2014, The Voice (will that show be on every night?). Expect this show to come out of the gate on fire.

8PM – The Originals (CW) – This is a spin-off from The Vampire Diaries and so should have a built in audience as well. The teen boys will be watching Agents of Shield and the teen girls, this. Maybe. With the final Twilight movie over, I would expect the vampire craze to die down quite a bit as it is very yesterday. This will hurt The Originals before it bothers The Vampire Diaries.

9PM – Supernatural (CW) – by all means if something is working, screw around with it. Supernatural had a renewed life last season being on Wednesdays and following Arrow. Now the show is on Tuesdays right after The Originals which may be okay for it. It is against NCIS Los Angeles and The Voice (Is there any show not against The Voice this season?). I felt this past season of Supernatural to be an improvement from the previous one and am looking forward to some new things. The show is entering its 9th season and is showing its age but I think it still has some potential and if this is it, hopefully it goes out with a bang!

10PM – Person of Interest (CBS) – Why not. This show is getting better and better and having it follow NCIS LA shouldn't matter. Still, it is now on an hour later and it won't benefit from being sandwiched between Big Bang Theory and Elementary. Not only is Person of Interest getting better but it is getting more sci-fi with the artificial intelligence and so on.


8PM – Revolution (NBC) – Starting earlier may help this show get a younger audience. It sounds like they might be trying to get more teens to watch, going with the Hunger Games crowd perhaps. I do watch this show but am having trouble caring about anything in this show. This will be the first one on my “watch later” or “stop watching now” lists unless the rest of this season can change my mind. Whatever this show does, it better not take ratings from Arrow, one of the best series on TV right now. At 8PM there is a lot of horrible zombie following garbage on the other networks like FOX and CBS.

8PM Arrow (CW) – This show is pretty spectacular as was Smallville from time to time. I expect this show to continue to shine as we will have in its second season a full time Felicity to really give this show extra greatness. It is up against the garbage I mentioned before but if it can hold its ground as it did this season, it will be fine. I guess the executives were right when they decided not to call it Green Arrow because people wouldn't watch it if it had green in the title.

9PM – The Tomorrow People (CW) -The story of several young people from around the world who represent the next stage in human evolution, possessing special powers, including the ability to teleport and communicate with each other telepathically. Together they work to defeat the forces of evil.

Normally I would be thrilled to see this show and while CW has created some great series, I feel this might be another teen angst tale. Still, it might be more like a superhero series with kids with super powers. I am hoping this show is good. It is taking over Supernatural's old spot so I don't think it has to be worried about competition. If it can capture the same numbers it will be fine.


8PM – Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (ABC) – In Victorian London, beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole. An invisible cat, a hookah-smoking caterpillar and playing cards that talk are just some of the fantastic things she's seen during this impossible adventure. Surely this girl must be insane. Her doctors aim to cure her with a treatment that will make her forget everything. Alice seems ready to put it all behind her — especially the painful memory of the genie she fell in love with and lost forever, the handsome and mysterious Cyrus — but deep down she knows this world is real and just in the nick of time, the sardonic Knave of Hearts and the irrepressible White Rabbit save her from a doomed fate.

Once Upon a Time might be the worst written American TV series I watch right now but it has this odd fantastical appeal that keeps me under its spell, at least until the present day. I feel that perhaps Once Upon a Time in Wonderland might be different enough not to be a mess. Good luck Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, you are going to need it . You are going up against the Big Bang Theory, American Idol, The X-Factor and The Vampire Diaries. I feel that this show may disappear down the rabbit hole quicker than any other show on this list.

8PM – The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – this show is a heavy hitter and is showing no signs of slowing down. Of course Fox is putting some tough competition in the form of garbage for the masses that might bring The Big Bang Theory's ratings down to Earth. I am finding this show to be a bit more fresh of late with its growing cast.

8PM – The Vampire Diaries (CW) – the vampire craze might be winding down and so I am predicting a ratings fall for this show. Still, there is a loyal following and CW doesn't require monster ratings to keep series going. I stopped watching this show in its second season and have never looked back.

10PM – Elementary (CBS) – It's second season won't have the strong Person of Interest as a lead in, but it may not need it. The show is doing well and is actually well written. I still prefer Sherlock but Elementary is lots of fun.


9PM – Grimm (NBC) – I have been rooting for this show since the start and feel it has some excellent ideas and a great mythology. There are a couple of plot lines that have ground to a halt this past season but hopefully the third season can amp up the pace a bit. It does have Hawaii 5-0 and newcomer Sleepy Hollow (an encore showing) to contend with so we will see how it does.

10PM – Dracula (NBC) – Dracula comes to London, posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to the Victorian city. In reality, Dracula seeks revenge on those who betrayed him centuries earlier. As Dracula's plans move toward fruition, he falls hopelessly in love with a woman who may be a reincarnation of his deceased wife.

Before seeing the trailer I was virtually writing this one off but now it might be a definite for me. The lead in of Grimm will help. The series is currently at 10 episodes so it has little time to make an impression.


8PM Once Upon A Time (ABC) – Like I said earlier, the writing on this is unsteady. Why make such a big deal about inhabitants of Storybrooke losing their memory only to have a cure made (Off camera) and just conveniently showing up in this season's finale. With twin brothers, massive coincidences and other wild plot stretches, the series does have an appeal and a bunch of characters to enjoy. It seemed to fair well against The Amazing Race and football so there is no reason why it can't keep going.... without me....

So these are the network sci fi and fantasy related series for the fall. Don't forget we will have cable shows like The Walking Dead and An American Horror Story to watch. I personally can't watch everything I want to watch so will be dropping a couple and perhaps catching up with others later on. I have high hopes for Agents of Shield and Almost Human but the vicious ratings war will no doubt hit harder against the more expensive show like those two so they have to perform well. Other shows like The Originals on CW just has to do fairly well and they might survive. Should be a fun season coming up and there are also some mid season replacements on the horizon to look out for.  There is The 100, Star Crossed, and Believe still waiting for a release date, probably taking over a spot of a show that was cancelled or not picked up for additional episodes.

Credits for this article go to The Futon Critic, IMDB, Wikipedia, and an "anonymou" reader who made some constructive criticisms about my original article which were correct and I fixed them - thank you very much whoever you are for your pleasant comments!

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