ByDavid Corinne Barnett, writer at
Author, Screenwriter, MoviePilot Creator, secretly superhero in my part time nighr job......
David Corinne Barnett

Okay, guys. Here we are in the middle of summer sweeps with all celebrities from all of our favorite shows on vacation for a while until filming starts again soon. So far from my research, I have been saddened slightly at the offerings of whom I call the Big 3 (*CBS,NBC, and ABC), have to offer this year. It is not a wonder that many of the cable networks are now starting to have major ratings due to the newer and more unique shows that are beginning to pop up from their numerous writing pools of screenwriters and pitch-men.

But, all is not COMPLETELY lost. In fact, there may still be some hope left. The demographic of today's TV viewing (* and probably with a little help from the Nielsens, as well ) might just get them ready for another great season. (*Now, if we could only just keep cvertain networks from cancelling certain shows after being on only for a few weeks or so. )

But, before I get to muttering and grumbling too much, let me let you guys in on what I have found so far. From what I have ghlenaed, many of the major networks have jumped on the bandwagon and are trying to either boost a certain genre and see if they can keep the momentum going. ABC, with its Disney backing, have kept up to their traditions of being known for the comedy and action comic Marvel shows. CBS is also up to bat with new crimes shows, spinoffs, and a few newer sitcoms that they are hoping will be able to rise to the occassion based on star power. In third batting line-up, NBC has taken the route (*as usual), with the thriller, comedy and legal drama teams to try to make a dent in the primetime line-up.

So, with all of this in mind, from what I have seen and read, these to me are the ones that I feel are going to stand up for this season, but I will not say that I have been not been wrong before. Like movies, televisioon always has an ever- changing demographic view and can change at a moment's notice without warning. Some shows that have been boosted thoroughly before airing could very well end up in what is called 'the bubble' (*a term meaning that the show is on the fine line between going on hiatus and cancellation) while others that are not so throrughly hyped could end up being the biggest hits of the season. As with anything, it all just DEPENDS.

So, while I had my mind on it, here are my picks and predictions of what could very well end up being some of this year's biggest hits:

1) 'NCIS: New Orleans' (*CBS)

The success of the original 'NCIS' series which began well over a decade ago, starring Mark Harmon, has given CBS a lot of reason to celebrate lately. For one, it helped propel the network into being the fan favorite for several years among the viewing public at large. However, the first spin-off, 'NCIS: Los Angeles', starring LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell, is slowly starting to lose punch, which can easily harm a popular franchise such as this in SO many ways. (* Case in point: 'CSI', with its two spin-offs in Miami and New York.) When the star actor of the pioneer that started it all (*who is also producer) sees this, it tends to leave an impression on what you are doing. But, with stars like Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Paige Turco, and CCH Pounder heading the cast, I am sure that this new team might just surprise the likes of many skeptics. From what I have seen of their first introduction on the original 'NCIS' just this last season, it leaves me hopeful and wanting to learn more. Most especially with Scott Bakula's character, who is a long-time friend of Leroy Jethro Gibbs and a member of what 'NCIS' fans know as 'The Fed Five'. I smell the of a lot of major possibilities of 'NCIS' and this new series crossing over. One can only hope.

2) 'Constantine' (*NBC)

The movie that this series was derived from (* originally starring Keanu Reeves) might have a strong cult following among comic buffs (*which includes myself) but we will have to wait and see what they do with it. For those of you that are not familiar with the mythos, John Constantine (* now being played by Matt Ryan), is a man who consistently struggles with his faith daily after a failed suicide attempt (* from the film if they choose to use it) where he had went to Hell but was taken back by God (* also from movie) and placed on Earth as a guardian against the Devil and his interminglings with mankind. Both are based on the DC Comic 'Hellblazer' that was extremely popular in the late nineties and part of the earlier part of the new millennium. With the film barely scraping by, I do have a few concerns coming to me, whether they will make this a true paranormal series with the human story seeded in or vice versa. If they can find and maintain a balance where there is not too much of one or the other, I can see this series helping NBC in a HUGE way as long as they treat it well.

3) 'Emerald City' (*NBC)

There hasn't been a lot on the wire about this one yet, but from what I have been able to get, they are calling it a 'darker and modern reimagining of the Frank L. Baum books' with a modern Dorothy in the middle of a war between kingdoms as they battle for control. Sounds a lot like another series we have all heard of (* cough, 'Game Of Thrones'?) But, with the success of ABC's 'Once Upon A Time' and NBC's other great series about fairy tales, 'Grimm', I am not exactly ready to count this one out just yet. It seems that fairy tales on TV and in movies are really starting to make a large comeback, and NBC is looking to capitalize on that. I just can't simply find fault with the logic. Again, another wait and see.

3) 'Backstrom' (*Fox)

Okay, it looks like Fox was the first to decide to jump across the water to try to find something good to get their hands on, and they decided this time to go to Sweden for the party. Based on the series of the same name, the Swedish series looks into the cases and life of a self-destructive police detective on the beat. Now, Rainn Wilson? Hmmmm. He's done so much comedy in his life (*ie 'The Office', 'The Rocker'), that I have to ask myself if he can actually pull off a dramatic piece with the same flair. I think it would be great if he could and would love to see it happen.

4) 'CSI: Cyber' (*CBS)

This has me fearing that one of my favorite series may be in its death throes, but I am still an avid fan regardless (*Just about played all the video games, too, and solved them in a week, if this is not a clue.) The fact that it is a fourth spin-off of the franchise has me concerned as well, but at least they are doing a little something different this time. Patricia Arquette (* of NBC's 'Medium' fame). stars as Agent Avery Brooks, a member of the Cyber Crimes Division of the FBI in Quantico, VA. The plot summary that I found purports a start-to-finish analysis of how the crime is envisioned by the suspect, how it is put on-line, and then placed into dangerous real world scenarios. So, to put it in a nutshell, we a have a female Timothy McGee-meets 'CSI'- meets 'Criminal Minds' style of show. Okay, I'll buy that.

5) 'Bad Judge' (*NBC)

Okay, first we had 'Bad Teacher', now we have a 'Bad Judge'. Okay, I'll bite. Basically, it's the movie but instead of a boozing, sexually active and horny teacher, we trade the classroom in for a bench, gavel and black robe. Not exactly original, but it may be a riot. Judges DO have a lot more to answer for than a teacher, right? Or do they?

6) 'Aquarius' (*NBC)

David Duchovny,to me, is a great actor and he just keeps getting better over time. What intrigued me the most was what they're doing with this, and I have a feeling it is going to be extremely riveting. Duchovny is playing a police sargeant in the Age of Aquarius who is tracking down a small-time crook in order to bring him to justice. The real twist: it turns out that the suspect is none other than notorius serial killer and cult leader, Charles Manson! Definitely worth a look based on that alone!

7) 'Forever' (*ABC)

I, unfortunately, could not find any art for this one, but from what information I could get, this show has an extremely intriguing premise. Ioan Gruffud (* 'Mister Fantastic' of the 'Fantastic Four' films and BBC's 'Captain Horatio Hornblower', just to name a few), plays Dr. Henry Morgan, The Big Apple's most renowned medical examiner who studies the dead with great ardor and curiosity. The reason: the good doctor cannot die because he is IMMORTAL! With the help of an NYPD police detective, the series follows them as Morgan's life is completely exposed and brought to light. This is one I am DEFINITELY, UNEQUIVOCABLY going to be watching!

8) 'Gotham' (*Fox)

Sorry, Dark Knight, but it's not just about you anymore! In this new series based upon characters from the 'Batman' universe, we are given the story behind Batman's most well-known ally, Jim Gordon. From his early days on the Gotham force, we are given an insight into the man as he deals with the city's criminals as as well as the personal triumphs and tragedies in this little-known-about character's life. I have been SO waiting for this. I have always been a huge fan of anything 'Batman' (* not to be confused with Batfleck'), and when I heard and read about this, I was looking for the popcorn. My biggest hope for this: that Fox can keep with the same gothic, dark, and noirish edge that had first been made when its creator, Bob Crane, had first envisioned the 'Batman' characters. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

9) 'How To Get Away With Murder' (*ABC)

I'm surprised that Disney allowed ABC to get away with this one considering that they are so family-oriented? (* But, what am I saying? They allowed 'Scandal', one of their most top-rated shows.) In this, what I feel, very original take on murder thrillers, the show revolves a group of law students and their professor (*played by Viola Davis), that become embroiled in a murder plot that will not only affetc their school but change all of them forever. Now, my next question: is she TEACHING THEM HOW TO DO IT or is she teaching them how to solve it? Okay, I'm in.

10) 'Proof' (*TNT)

Okay, looks like TNT is keeping any preview shots under wraps on this one, which only tells me that IT HAS TO BE GOOD! In this paranormal series, Jennifer Beals stars as Dr.Kathryn Russo, a noted and revered surgeon who finds herself becoming embroiled in the paranormal world in the cases that she takes. We're talking hauntings, ressurections, out-of-body experiences, you name it. There have been a lot of medical shows out there, but none that decided to take this road. I am intrigued at the idea of it, and I would really like to be able to examine Jennifer again since her 'Flashdance' days and see what she's able to do. Give this one a check. I think it'll be a winner!

Now, while there are numerous new shows that are being released all the time, I unfortunately don't have all the time in the wroldto go digging and I'm sorry that there may have been some of them that did not make it here for you For that, I'm sorry. However, the list that I have complied is what I like to see, which is usually things that tend to push the envelope of television just a little bit further, but not actually break it. To me, there are limits.

What are you looking forward to this season? I would love to know all about it! Just leave me a comment (*love 'em) and I'll respond just as soon as I can, Thanks again for stopping by!


Of the series I listed, what could you see becoming an instant hit?


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