Summer 2014 is fast approaching and with it comes the end of network television’s regular fall season of shows to be replaced by end-season fare. A few years ago ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW took a page out of the cable network playbook a began offering shortened regular seasons (10 to 13 episode arcs) and brought in new shows as summer stock instead of rehashing reruns as had previously been done since the birth of television in the 1950’s. Now it is the programming gold standard that all networks tend to follow. 2014 will be no different. Here is a short list of new summer shows that might be coming to network TV in your area.
Note: Not all of these shows are currently on the network’s “Definite List.” Some are still to be decided on while others have cooled a bit in the mind’s of network execs.
THE VISITORS: Starring Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia, this show is still in the undecided category but remains fresh on the minds of the top brass. ABC already has a mega hit with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and may want to continue that streak with this new series about humanity’s struggle to survive an unseen alien force striking at Earth by using its most precious resource – human children.
ABC’s biggest secret weapon may be a program that has been getting a lot of buzz among critics inside the Hollywood bubble. AGENT CARTER follows the adventures of the 1940’s Marvel universe heroine introduced in the first Captain America movie. Not a lot is known about this show yet including if and when it will make an appearance on the network. Some are saying Summer 2014 while others are banking on the Fall of 2015.
The Eye Network has a lot of new programming lined-up for its list of summer replacements, however, there are no sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre shows in the mix…..yet.
The Peacock Network has slowly begun climbing out of the depths of its ratings dungeon thanks to hits like Grimm. They are hoping to continue its climb back into the relevancy sunlight with summer shows like the DC Comics-based supernatural drama CONSTANTINE which will see the return to the small screen of LOST alum Harold Perrineau.
Patrick Heusinger and Chicago Hope alum Vondie Curtis-Hall will star in TIN MAN, a drama set in the future and follows the case against a robot charged in the murder of his human creator, an homage to Asimov’s I, Robot.
Following the success of CBS’s comedy geek hit The Big Bang Theory, NBC hopes to strike ratings gold with its own nerdy sitcom titled MISSION CONTROL. This vehicle from writer David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) is a half-hour ensemble comedy set during the early 1960’s NASA space program. The show will star Eric Nenninger, Krysten Ritter and Tommy Dewey.
One of NBC’s most promising new summer shows isn’t pure sci-fi but has elements of spy-craft, action, drama and suspense. STATE OF AFFAIRS stars Katherine Heigl as a CIA liaison assigned to the President of the United States (Alfre Woodard). The show will also star Sheila Vand (Argo) and Adam Kaufman (Altered).
The Fox Network has one genre-related show slated for this summer but it is the one getting the most attention. GOTHAM, starring Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Sara Paxton and Sean Pertwee tells the origin story for young detective James Gordon who is destined to one day rise to Gotham City Police Commissioner. Bruce Wayne (who will one day become Batman) is just a young boy as the story opens and is portrayed by child actor David Mazouz (Touch).
The CW —
Always weighted in favor of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, the home for the bold and beautiful people will host new summer venues that will continue in that vein with several new sizzlers.
THE FLASH will further the story of young scientist Barry Allen that fans of the Arrow series saw begin last year. Actor Grant Gustin will star as Allen/FLASH. Joining him will be Tom Cavanagh, Michelle Harrison and Fulvio Cecere. I’m sure there will be a few crossovers with the Arrow cast, at least in the beginning until the show can find its own footing.
iZOMBIE follows the life (or death) of a medical student who becomes a zombie and finds herself resorting to working for the city coroner so she can have ready access to her need for consuming brain tissue. No, this is not a comedy but is treated as a serious dramatic vehicle. The catch for the show is with each brain eaten she inherits the memories of the victim and is driven to try and solve the mystery behind their deaths. She joins forces with the medical examiner and a detective to help uncover the crime leading to the demise of her dinner. Rose McIver (Once Upon A Time) stars as the zombie lead – and knowing The CW – she will be one hot zombie.
The last of the summer shows from The CW to keep an eye out for is THE MESSENGERS. Diogo Morgado (Son of God) leads an ensemble cast as they investigate the crash of a strange and mysterious object. Many of them die as a result of a pulse of energy being emitted from the object and then are miraculously brought back to life with an overwhelming drive to save humanity from an extinction event.