Fox came to Upfronts with a huge selection of promos: 11 in total. There’s something for everyone here; comedies, thrillers, dramas and even some horror. Interestingly 2 of the shows are spinoffs and another 2 are remakes of successful films. Fox has presented us with some fantastic trailers here and they’re sure to have more than a few hits on their hands.
What it’s about: A military hero returns home and finds himself in great danger. With nowhere else to turn he asks the CTU for help in saving his life and potentially stopping one of the largest terror attacks on American soil.
What we think: I’ll admit that I haven’t see any of the original 24 but this promo definitely makes me want to start watching. It’s heavy on the action; filled with explosions, gun fights and cool stunts. This acts as a nice balance to the at times heavily expositional set up. The show also benefits from a great cast including the formidable Miranda Otto and Corey Hawkins who impressed audiences with his performance in Straight Outta Compton. There’s a lot of concern from fans about whether 24 without Jack Bauer can work but this trailer has definitely provided a solid foundation from which a great story could develop.
Excitement factor: 3.5/5
What it’s about: After his friend is murdered a tech billionaire purchases a troubled police precinct where he introduces cutting edge technology to help solve crime despite resistance from the officers.
What we think: The logline for this show really doesn’t do it justice. Honestly I read it and figured it would just be yet another run of the mill police procedural. But the promo certainly proved me wrong. The blending of the technology and the high action crime works very well. But it’s the dynamic between the hardened and cynical police force and the eccentric and flashy billionaire, not dissimilar to Tony Stark/Iron Man, that really sells the show. That strained and precarious relationship will make for some very entertaining viewing. Justin Kirk does an excellent job as billionaire Gideon in the trailer, making him charming yet vulnerable, and I’d predict some fantastic performances from him. And with the brilliant Natalie Martinez and Ernie Hudson rounding out the cast there is real potential with this show.
Excitement factor: 4.5/5
What it’s about: Based on William Blatty’s 1971 novel, it follows two very different men trying to tackle the terrifying demonic possession in a family.
What we think: Firstly, I have to commend the excellent casting in this show. Geena Davies and Ben Daniels are a match made in heaven and are sure to bring some high quality acting to the table. And by the looks of the promo Alfonso Herrera will be right up there with them showcasing his skills. The story is a classic and in recent years supernatural horror thrillers have been taking the movie world by storm so the show will likely get a lot of attention. However, the trailer never really lives up to the genre, there is not enough tension built up and the stakes never really feel high enough. The creepiest thing that happens is a bird flying into the window but even that ends up feeling like a cliché. There’s potential there but the show needs to up the ante for the pilot in order to really deliver.
Excitement factor: 2.5/5
What it’s about: After suffering the death of his wife and child, a Texas cop moves to Los Angeles where is partnered with an LAPD detective who is trying to avoid any stress in his life after suffering a “minor” heart attack.
What we think: The opening scene sets the whole tone for this highly entertaining promo. It provides a great introduction to the character of Riggs, a man who stops for some pizza even though the building he’s in is going to explode. Clayne Crawford does a great job and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh complements him excellently. The trailer is smart in that instead of focusing on a particular case it really focuses on establishing the relationship between the two men which will no doubt provide a lot of comedy. There are some concerns from fans that the show won’t live up to the brilliance of the original movie. I haven’t seen the film so I have nothing to compare to but the promo did a great job which is a good sign for the series.
Excitement factor: 4/5
What it’s about: Three friends find a way to travel through time trying to resolve their personal problems. However, this complicates their lives back in 2016.
What we think: For those who like pop culture references this is your show. There’s a fair few in the promo alone so I’m betting the series will be filled them. It definitely adds to the humour and Adam Pally’s character pretending to have written ‘My Heart Will Go On’ was genius. Speaking of Pally, it’s fantastic to see him getting a shot at leading a series. He’s proved his comedy chops over the years and seems to brighten up whatever show he’s on. Combine that with Leighton Meester who was the obvious standout on Gossip Girl and you have a winner. The trailer seemed clunky at times and not all the jokes landed but the premise is strong and characters interesting so I think the show will impress.
Excitement factor: 3/5
What it’s about: After her wealthy sister flees the country to avoid a federal indictment, a hard-living, foul mouthed woman is forced to move to an affluent area and look after the spoiled kids she left behind.
What we think: When I heard Kaitlin Olson was heading up a new comedy I was very excited. The woman is nothing short of a comedic genius. She particularly excels in dry humour and physical comedy, something which this promo showcased a lot of. If her performance in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is anything to go by we’re in for a real treat with this show as the two characters seem very similar. One concern is that because this is a network show there may be some restrictions as to how far they can push the humour, perhaps limiting its potential. But the trailer had plenty of laugh out loud moments and the writing seems strong and intelligent which provides a good starting point for the series.
Excitement factor: 3.5/5
What it’s about: Chronicles the journey of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in the major leagues.
What we think: I’m not going to lie, this promo gave me goose bumps. There was potential to slide into a lot of clichés with this but it was done so well and ended up feeling very uplifting. There are a lot of different elements to the story. On the surface it seems to be about whether she’ll be able to perform under so much pressure. But the trailer shows a deeper look at her relationships with her overbearing father, her sceptical teammates and the intrusive media. This show could end up inspiring a lot of people. I only hope that the pilot is as excellent in quality as the promo.
Excitement Factor: 5/5
What it’s about: A continuation of the original series, the story picks up years after Michael Schofield’s apparent death. However, when evidence surfaces that Michael may actually be alive his widow teams up with brother to organise the biggest escape yet.
What we think: This promo defines the phrase ‘back with a bang’. As a fan of the original series it had everything I hoped for and more. It was also presented in such a way that people who have never seen the old series would be interested. There was a lot going on both action and story wise but there was still enough time to see what our favourite characters had been up to. And I’ll admit that “brother” at the end from Michael got me a little emotional. What a mighty return!
Excitement Factor: 5/5
What it’s about: An expert investigator looks into a racially charged shooting in a small town whilst dealing media scrutiny, public opinion and civil unrest.
What we think: This show is certainly topical for current times. However, considering that in real life the issue is black people getting killed by cops I wonder why the series has instead decided to centre its story on a white person being shot by a black officer. It’s an intriguing and perhaps controversial choice, and I’m very interested to see how it plays out. One thing is for sure, the show will no doubt be a very emotional one that will resonate with a lot of people. I’m expecting some very strong performances from the talented cast which includes Sanaa Lathan and Helen Hunt, and a lot of moving and powerful scenes which we’ve already seen hints of in this compelling trailer.
Excitement Factor: 3.5/5
Son of Zorn
What it’s about: An animated Barbarian man struggles to reconnect with his live-action family and adapt to suburban life when he returns home from war after 10 years.
What we think: When I read the description for this show I wondered how in the hell it was going to work. But it does, it just does. Sure it’s a bit eccentric but I think that’s a good thing. There’s nothing else on television like it right now and as a result it feels refreshing. The cast includes a lot of seasoned comedy actors like Jason Sudeikis, Tim Meadows and Cheryl Hines who will definitely provide a bunch of laughs. Judging from the trailer this could be one of the best new comedies of the 2016-2017 season.
Excitement Factor: 4.5/5
What it’s about: Follows the journey of three young singers who form a musical act with the hopes of making it big.
What we think: So we all know Lee Daniels is a genius and his latest offering seems to confirm that. Star seems to have it all: a fantastic cast, a feel good story and catchy music. The promo didn’t have as much oomph or spark as I was expecting but I think it’s one of those shows that will really shine with its pilot instead of a short trailer. Plus, it has Queen Latifah and Lenny Kravitz in it which should be enough to sell anyone.
Excitement Factor: 3/5