Feature: Top 10 TV shows debuting in 2014

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It's been said that TV is currently going through a Golden Age and with the critical success of shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones it'd be hard to argue against such claims. But there's more than bloody weddings and whisky-drinking ad execs to look forward to in 2014. From vile vampires to time-travelling nurses, the next 12 months in TV land are going to be pretty special. So here, for your reading pleasure, are the Top 10 TV Shows debuting next year.

The Strain

Creator- Guillermo del Toro

Cast- Corey Stoll, Sean Astin, Jonathan Hyde, David Bradley

Network- FX

Synopsis-

The Strain centers around Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control in New York City. When he's asked to look into a strange viral outbreak that nobody else can identify, he realises the disease has all the hallmarks of vampirism. Goodweather has to take action fast to stop the outbreak spreading - although it might even be too late!

Why it will be awesome

The Strain is based on a trilogy of delightfully-dark vampire novels written by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan and should be the perfect blood-sucking antidote to those that are sick of sparkly vampires with relationship issues. Expect The Strain to do for vampires what The Walking Dead did for zombies. It's going to be box office TV.

The Brink

Creator- Weeds scribes Roberto and Kim Benabib.

Cast- Jack Black, Tim Robbins, Pablo Schreiber, Aasif Mandvi

Network- HBO

Synopsis-

The Brink is an epic comedy about top U.S. government and military officials trying to prevent the outbreak of World War III amidst the chaos of a geopolitical crises.

Why it will be awesome

Who doesn't want to see Jack Black and Tim Robbins floundering around trying to prevent all out war?

True Detective

Creator- The Killing scribe Nic Pizzolatto

Cast- Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Network- HBO

Synopsis-

Gritty police drama following two detectives whose lives become entangled during a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.

Why it will be awesome

If this truly is the Golden Age of TV, then True Detective could be the crowning glory. McConaughey and Harrelson are phenomenal actors, while Sin Nombre helmer is on board to direct all eight episodes. It's going to be grim, dark and gritty but utterly captivating.

Penny Dreadful

Creator- Skyfall and Bond 24 scribe John Logan

Cast- Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Josh Hartnett

Network- Showtime

Synopsis-

Set in Victorian London, Penny Dreadful brings together some of the most horrifying figures of literatur. Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Grey and Dracula will all cross paths in John Logan's psychosexual horror series.

Why it will be awesome

This new original scripted series from Showtime promises to be very gruesome. Skyfall helmer Sam Mendes is on board as producer/director while the criminally under-appreciated Eva Green is going to get all possessed and whatnot.

Believe

Creator- Alfonso Cuarón

Cast- Jake McLaughlin, Johnny Sequoyah, Delroy Lindo

Network- NBC

Synopsis-

Believe centers on Bo (Sequoyah), a young girl in possession of great powers which will come to the fore in seven years. But until then however, her life is in grave danger. Her only hope is Tate (McLaughlin), a man escaped from prison to hinder those who try to hunt Bo down.

Why it will be awesome

As the recent brilliance of Gravity has shown, Cuaron is a skilled director at the top of his game and he's assembled a young and talented cast for this conspiracy theory thriller. Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams is also on board to produce, so you know it's going to be good.

The Last Ship

Creator- Michael Bay

Cast- Rhona Mitra, Eric Dane, Adam Baldwin

Network- TNT

Synopsis-

The Last Ship is an adaptation of William Brinkley's novel and charts the journey of the U.S.S. Nathan James which might be the last bastion of civilization after the planet's population was wiped out by a pandemic.

Why it will be awesome-

Ignore Michael Bay's name and his brand of crash-bang-wollop filmmaking and focus instead on the incredibly exciting plot. If you're a big fan of apocalyptic dramas with high production value, The Last Ship is for you.

The Knick

Creator- Steven Soderbergh

Cast- Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Michael Angarano

Network- Cinemax

Synopsis-

The Knick focuses on Knickerbocker Hospital in 1900s New York and the struggle doctors and nurses have trying to make do with the medical equipment and knowledge of that time.

Why it will be awesome-

Two words: Steven Soderbergh. The Magic Mike helmer is a fantastic genre filmmaker and auteur, while the cast, led by Clive Owen, is stellar. The Knick might not be as flashy as some of its competitors, but it could well be the most cerebral.

Outlander

Creator- Battlestar Galactica chief Ronald D. Moore

Cast- Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish

Network- STARZ

Synopsis-

Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945, is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate relationship is ignited that tears Claire's heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Why it will be awesome

A time-travelling tale of love, loss, violence and bodice ripping? What's not to love?

Turn

Creator Nikita producer Craig Silverstein

Cast- Jamie Bell, Burn Gorman, Angus MacFadyen, Daniel Henshall

Network- AMC

Synopsis-

Set in the summer of 1778, Turn tells the story of New York farmer, Abe Woodhull, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America's fight for independence.

Why it will be awesome

AMC have already given us The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men so they clearly know what they are doing. The Culper Ring is also a fascinating but little-known story, Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt has been tapped to direct a couple of episode. Anything else? Oh, you remember the guy who played Robert the Bruce from Braveheart? He's in it as well, which is nice.

The Sixth Gun

Creator- Ryan Condal

Cast- Laura Ramsey, Elena Satine, Michiel Huisman, Aldis Hodge

Network- NBC

Synopsis-

Taking place shortly after the Civil War, The Sixth Gun tells the story of six mythical guns, each with its own dark, supernatural power and each equipping its owner with a unique ability. When an innocent farmer’s daughter named Becky Montcrief (Laura Ramsey) gets into possession of the sixth gun, the most dangerous of the group, dark forces are awakened.

Why it will be awesome

Because six guns are better than five.

So that concludes our look ahead at the best new TV shows premiering in 2014. Which one are you most looking forward to? Drop your ideas in the comment section below or over on Twitter.

If you have any articles you would like to contribute to TV, feel free to hit me up at tv@moviepilot.com

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Matt CarterArticle by Matt Carterstaff
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