So far on Trespass’ TV Shows mini theme week, we’ve discussed our past and present favourite TV series. But now, it’s time to get excited about what the future holds in the TV world. Here are a few series in the making that have yet to reach our Australian shores; some are a little suspect, some have us eagerly anticipating their box sets – whatever the case, you be the judge.
Most of us might not remember watching the original Hawaii Five-O created by Leonard Freeman that ran from 1968-1980. However, we can all probably hum its famous intro theme song composed by Morton Stevens. The original starred Jack Lord as Detective Steve McGarrett and was centred on a fictional state police force based in Hawaii. The 2010 remake will be a Hawaii Five-O for a new generation starring Australian actor, Alex O’Loughlin (The Back-Up Plan) as Detective McGarrett, Scott Caan (Ocean’s Eleven), and Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim, and is based on a crime-fighting elite unit/task force. If the preview is anything to go by, the remake will surely offer a more steroid induced version, jam-packed with action, ‘interesting’ attempts at comedy and machismo, all set in the picturesque surroundings of Hawaii.
Hawaii Five-O premiered in the U.S. on September 20, 2010
The Walking Dead
Considering, by definition, one should be able to outrun and outsmart zombies, I personally don’t see how they’ve managed to cause so much havoc in the land of cult fictional worlds. Nonetheless, as far as monster TV shows are concerned, The Walking Dead is possibly the most highly anticipated for true zombie lovers. Based on a comic book series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adland, the horror series, developed by Frank Darabont is based on the aftermath following a zombie outbreak. In this post-apocalyptic world, the hostile undead feeds on humans as sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln, Love Actually) leads a group of survivors across the U.S. to find a new zombie-free home. With no lack of gore, destruction and dread, their sanity is put to test on what promises to be a TV series for all the horror lovers out there. Special effects make-up artist, Greg Nicotero talked about working on The Walking Dead in his interview with Beth Wilson.
The Walking Dead premiered in the U.S. on October 31, 2010
Most will remember David Simon’s tantalizingly popular drama series, The Wire based on a multifaceted look at different groups in Baltimore’s drug trade, bureaucracy, print media, school system and so on. He’s back and co-creating once again with Eric Overmyer in Treme, a drama series based in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. The TV series is named after a neighbourhood in the city, and follows the ordinary lives of musicians, chefs, teachers and so on as they attempt to rebuild their lives and homes three months after the tragedy. Simon’s expert storytelling will surely spark a great following of this show, and an interest in the lives affected by this horrific disaster will intrigue many. With drama, controversy and an acute humanistic insight into the catastrophe that was Hurricane Katrina, Treme is certainly one to look out for.
Treme premiered in the U.S. on April 11, 2010
Off the Map
Take away the dreary rainy weather of Seattle and an actual hospital, and replace those things with a remote South American town and the paradisiacal effects of Hawaii and you’ve pretty much got Grey’s Anatomy part two (or three), otherwise known as ABC’s latest medical drama, Off the Map. This will be Shonda Rhimes’ third medical drama series with Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice already under her lab coat. Off the Map follows six doctors in a small South American village (read: filmed in Hawaii) as they discover why they got into medicine in the first place. Early predictions suspect love triangles, soppy drama, a few laughs and being smothered by the inspirational lift derived from humans’ ability to triumph in adversity. There’s nothing wrong with clichés – they may be banal, but my guess is Rhimes has mastered the guilty-pleasure-with-substance genre to the tee.
Off the Map will premiere in the U.S. on January 12, 2011
I’ve always been a fan of the TV channel Showtime, or rather, I find myself constantly drawn to the off-centre shows the network produces. Amongst them are The L Word, United States of Tara, Tracey Ullman’s hilarious sketch show State of the Union, and the brilliant Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Starring British actor Jeremy Irons (Being Julia, The Merchant of Venice), Showtime’s The Borgias, set in the late 15th century, looks at the corrupt, infamous Cardinal Rodrigo Borgias a.k.a. Pope Alexander VI and his Renaissance family whose crimes have included accusations of rape, murder, adultery and incest. Considering the content, viewers can expect confronting storylines that’ll touch on sex, betrayal, murder and a few brow-raising romances.
The Borgias will premiere in the U.S. in 2011
I have to thank our Film Editor, Beth Wilson for bringing The Cape to my attention. Anyone who swoons at the thought of superhero shows will be as excited as I am about this new series created by Thomas Wheeler. Now that Heroes is gone and Smallville is on its last legs, this drama series will (hopefully) appeal to viewers with a love for superhero antics. Based in Palm City, a fictional metropolis, Vince Faraday (David Lyons, ER, and Eat, Pray, Love) is an innocent cop framed for a crime he did not commit. He is left to die after being captured, but is luckily saved by Max Milini (Keith David), a circus ringleader who gives Faraday some special abilities that turns him into the superhero, The Cape. Armed with special abilities, The Cape makes it his mission to rid the city and the police force of corruption.
The Cape will premiere in the U.S. on January 9, 2011
Life’s Too Short
On the comedy front, we’ve got something akin to a pseudo-comedy reality TV show featuring a very funny trio that is Ricky Gervais, Warwick Davis and Stephen Merchant. Having scoured the interwebs, there’s not much information out there regarding Life’s Too Short, but what we do know is that it’s a new TV series coming to BBC Two at some point, written by the creators of The Office and Extras, Gervais and Merchant. According to Gervais, the series is an observational comedy that follows the day-to-day life of dwarf actor, Warwick Davis. Allegedly, the idea for this sitcom came to Gervais whilst on set with Davis on Extras. Apparently, after hearing a few anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of life as a dwarf, Gervais saw “comedy gold” and decided to base Life’s Too Short on Davis.
Here’s an interview with Warwick Davis on The Jonathan Ross Show in which he talks about Life’s Too Short:
Martin Scorsese not only directed the pilot episode of Boardwalk Empire but is also one of the show’s executive producers. Those heartbroken after the end of The Sopranos might find solace in this new 1920s/1930s period drama series, which focuses on the life of New Jersey criminal kingpin and political figure, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi, Armageddon), who is based on the historical Enoch L. Johnson. With control of Atlantic City, Thompson’s personal and political life makes up much of this show as he interacts with mobsters, government officials as well as common folks whilst living a lavish and ostentatious lifestyle. Boardwalk Empire also stars Michael Pitt (Finding Forrester) and Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, No Conuntry for Old Men), and is created by Terence Winter of The Sopranos fame.
The first series of Boardwalk Empire premiered in the U.S. on September 19, 2010. The show has been renewed for a second series.