NBC’s Constantine showed a lot of promise – even if the premiere (which we gave a B) was long on mood but short on scares. The intervening three episodes ranged from moments of genuine scares and wit to moments that showed more than a hint of softening from the comics – necessary for it to run on network TV but keeping it from ever quite soaring.
This week’s episode, A Feast of Friends, is more of the same even as it continues on the story that comprised the early issues of Hellblazer from the ‘80s.
John Constantine is a bit of a tosser – he’s arrogant, sarcastic and tormented. His soul damned to Hell for overreaching and failing to save a young girl, he needs redemption more than most. When an old friend’s daughter is targeted by a demon from the Inner Circle, Constantine – prompted by an angel who goes by the name of Manny – attempts to make good on a promise to protect her.
Like the character, Constantine (NBC, Fridays, 10/9C) is a series that’s a bit conflicted. While it tries to capture the essence of the character, it also has to live on network television. It works more often than not – and shows promise for the future as a companion series to NBC’s surprisingly long-lived cult hit, Grimm.
If The Walking Dead is A-list, Z Nation (Syfy, Fridays, 10/9C) is definitely B-movie goodness. A fresh twist in the zombie movie/TV show sweepstakes, it finds a group of ordinary people turned survivors attempting to get the one known survivor of a zombie attack to a secure lab in California so a cure can be synthesized from his blood.
Syfy’s new zombie series, Z Nation has cast Harold Perrineau (Oz, Lost), Tom Everett Scott (Southland, Beauty and the Beast) and DJ Qualls (Supernatural, Legit) as part of the show’s ensemble cast – along with Michael Welch (Joan of Arcadia. Twilight Trilogy) and Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show).
In the series, a group of everyday folks from New York must transport the only survivor of a zombie plague to the last functioning viral lab in California in hopes of creating a vaccine. Z Nation is set for a fall release. For more, check out the press release after the jump.
For the fall season, ABC greenlighted only a handful of new shows: the drama Life on Mars [based on the British, series of the same name]; comedies Scrubs [moving from NBC] and The Goode Family; and two alternative [reality] shows, the Untitlted Ashton Kutcher/Tyra Banks and Opportunity Knocks.
Now the network unveils five new shows: dramas Castle [starring Nathan Fillion, pictured], Cupid and The Unusuals, and comedies Better Off Ted and Single With Parents. Although the announcement of the five new shows comes a bit later than usual, Stephen McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment notes that, “It was worth taking the time to go through the pilot process to really do it right,” said McPherson. “We’re excited about these series and feel they’re perfect additions to our dominant core slate of shows. These are the initial pick-ups, but there are a number of other pilots we feel will also get the go ahead in some form moving forward.”
Details on the new series are as follows:
“Castle” is a comedic crime procedural about a famous mystery novelist, Nick Castle, who is bored with his own success. When a real-world copycat murderer starts staging scenes from Nick’s novels, Nick is teamed up with NYPD Detective Kate Beckett and the challenge gets his blood pumping as he steps in to help solve the crime. Nick and Beckett’s styles instantly clash and sparks begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance. Nick is kept grounded by his Broadway diva mother, quick-witted teenage daughter and his long-suffering ex-wife… who happens to be his editor. “Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as Castle, Stana Katic as Beckett, Molly Quinn as Alexis, Susan Sullivan as Martha, Monet Mazur as Gina and Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Capt. Montgomery.
“Cupid” is a romantic dramedy about Trevor, a larger than life character who may or may not be the Roman god of love, Cupid, sent to earth to bring couples together. As fate would have it, Trevor is under the care of famous psychologist and self-help author Dr. Claire Allen, who is also dedicated to helping lonely hearts find their soul mates. While she agrees with his cause, she questions whether he’s crazy or really is Cupid. “Cupid” stars Bobby Cannavale as Trevor, Sarah Paulson as Claire, Rick Gomez as Felix and Camille Guaty as Lita.
“The Unusuals” is a unique comedic procedural set in a New York police precinct. As a cop, it helps to have a twisted sense of humor, because every moment could be your last. Just ask Casey Schraeger, who started her day as an NYPD vice detective before unexpectedly being transferred to the homicide division. She quickly realizes that, not only does everyone in her new department have a distinct sense of humor, but also their own dirty little secrets. “The Unusuals” stars Amber Tamblyn as Det. Casey Schraeger, Jeremy Renner as Det. Joe Walsh, Terry Kinney as Sgt. Harvey Brown, Kai Lennox as Det. Ed Alvarez, Harold Perrineau as Det. Leo Banks, Adam Goldberg as Det. Eric Delahoy, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Det. Allison Beaumont and Joshua Close as Henry Cole.
“Better Off Ted” is a satirical office comedy featuring a successful but morally conscious man, Ted, who runs a research and development department at a morally questionable corporation, Veridian Technologies. No achievement is too far fetched and no invention too unorthodox for Veridian. Need a suicidal turkey? Done. Need a metal that is hard as steel but bounces – and is edible? Done and done. Ted loves his seemingly perfect job; he loves his superhuman boss, Veronica, and colleagues Lem, Phil and Linda, but he’s starting to take a closer look at the company’s extremely questionable practices… especially when they try to cryogenically freeze one of Ted’s scientists for testing purposes. Starring Jay Harrington as Ted, Andrea Anders as Linda, Portia de Rossi as Veronica, Jonathan Slavin as Phil and Malcolm Barrett as Lem,.
“Single with Parents” is a comedy about Lou, a woman in her mid-30s who is determined to have her own life despite her crazy blended family getting in the way. She’s thrilled that her divorced parents are leading exciting lives – really she is – except both of them rely on her way too much. Dad needs her as a surrogate parent and Mom counts on her 24/7 as a shrink and confidante. Lou has resolved to finally find a fulfilling life for herself. The series stars Alyssa Milano as Lou, Annie Potts as Elizabeth, Beau Bridges as Joe, Amanda Detmer as Sasha, Meagen Fay as Nancy and Eric Winter as Charlie.