After The TV Bloodbath, Part 3 – Fox Brings back 24, Prison Break, and… Lethal Weapon?
Fox’s offering to the TV gods this season is a mixed bag of new and not so new, with them revisiting old shows, and creating tv versions of popular movies, along with some original properties.
First up is the heavily reported return of the 24 franchise with 24: Legacy. ‘How can you do 24 without Jack Bauer?’ people cry, and whilst it remains to be seen if it will work, they’re off to a great start by casting the brilliant Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, Walking Dead) in the lead. The story follows Eric Carter, an Army Ranger who returns from war to find himself pulled into CTU to help stop a domestic terrorist attack. Teddy Sears (Flash’s… ahem… ‘Jay Garrick…’) is taking over as head of the new CTU, with Miranda Otto (Homeland) his former boss, and wife to John Donovan (Jimmy Smits – Dexter, Sons Of Anarchy, Star Wars), a Senator running for president.
Next is Lethal Weapon, a tv adaptation of the 80’s movie franchise. Clayne Crawford (Leverage, Roswell) takes on the role of Martin Riggs, a slightly crazy ex-Navy SEAL and Texas cop who moves to LA after his wife and baby are killed. He’s partnered with LAPD detective Roger Murtaugh, played by Damon Wayans Sr. (The Last Boy Scout, Damon), who is trying to avoid stress in his life after a ‘minor’ heart attack, but the introduction of Riggs really doesn’t help matters!
First of 2 shows billed as ‘event series’ is Prison Break. A continuation of the 2005-09 series, it reunites Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) & Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller), which is an impressive feat given that Michael apparently died in the season finale! They have promised to provide ‘a logical and believable explanation’ as to how and why Michael is still around, but however they do it, it’s nice to see them back in the roles that made them famous.
Not content with one tv adaptation, FOX are also creating a series based on William Blatty’s 1971 book, The Exorcist, which was also the basis for the classic movie of the same name. The show will follow Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera – Sense8), and Father Marcus (Ben Daniels – The Hollow Crown, House of Cards) as they try to tackle a family’s case of horrific demonic possession and stare into the face of pure evil.
Also commissioned is Star from Empire’s Lee Daniels. Set in Atlanta, the show revolves around three girls as they try to come together to form a girl group after being picked from a nationwide search. The idea with this show is to tell the story from the perspective of the artist, unlike Empire, which tell the story from the executive’s point of view. Jude Demorest (Dallas), Ryan Destiny (Low Winter Sun) & Brittany O’Grady (The Messengers) will make up the girl group, whilst Benjamin Bratt (24: Live Another Day, Law & Order) and Queen Latifah (22 Jump Street, Hairspray) headline the cast.
A.P.B stars Justin Kirk (Weeds, Tyrant) as a tech billionaire who buys a struggling police precinct after a loved one is murdered. Using his knowhow and a cutting-edge approach, he plans to turn the place around, but will the blue-blooded veteran cops get on-board with the radical changes?
Shots Fired is the second ‘event series’ picked up by FOX, which examines the dangerous aftermath of the racially-charged shootings in a small town in North Carolina. The stellar cast includes Helen Hunt, Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Sanaa Lathan (Contagion, The Cleveland Show), Stephan James (Selma), Aisha Hinds (Under the Dome) and Tristan Wilds (90210).
Pitch stars Kylie Bunbury (Under the Dome, Tut) as Ginny Baker, a young, gifted female baseball pitcher who joins the San Diego Padres to become the first woman in Major League baseball.
Stepping into more ‘geeky’ territory is Making History, a comedy about three friends who discover a way to travel through time. Starring Adam Pally (Happy Endings), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Yassir Lester (Girls), the trio visit some of histories greatest moments, whilst trying to resolve some of their personal problems, and maybe make some money.
Sticking with the comedies, Son Of Zorn is a mix of live action and 80’s style animation from the brilliant minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs). Returning to Earth after ten years away, animated Barbarian Warrior Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis – Last Man On Earth) has to reconnect with his live-action ex-wife Edie (Cheryl Hines – Suburgatory), and son Alan (Johnny Pemberton – 21 Jump Street). Zorn finds suffering the mundane life in suburbia and holding down a regular office job harder than waging war to save his homeland of Zephyria… Yes. It’s very weird, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Lord & Miller!
Final show, and last of the comedies is The Mick staring ‘It’s Always Sunny’s’ Kaitlin Olson. She plays as a hard-living, foul-mouthed woman who is forced to move to upper class Greenwich, Connecticut after her wealthy sister skips the country to avoid a federal indictment, leaving her kids behind. She comes to realise other people’s kids are awful, especially the rich, entitled ones.
So that’s it for FOX this year with a mix of interesting and eclectic shows! Some will make it to this side of the pond, some probably won’t (I can see a baseball drama being a tough sell overseas). Just keep an eye on the UK air dates page for all the latest info.