Fall TV 2013 Preview: Fox’s Rake, Sleepy Hollow & More

Fall TV 2013: Greg Kinnear and Cast of Rake

Let’s take a look at some of the new shows from Fox for the Fall TV 2013 season:

RAKE (midseason premiere, TBD). Fox seems to love buying hit series from other countries and revamping them for U.S. audiences. It recently bought the rights to BBC’s “Broadchurch” and plans on remaking it just as it has done with “Rake,” an Australian series of the same name.

In a leap of creativity, they changed the lead’s name from Cleaver Greene to … Keegan Deane. Really? Come on. In a city full of creative minds, can there not be a little originality?

“Rake” follows an unorthodox criminal defense attorney who has absolutely no filter. He lives in excess – gambling, booze, and women. Deane is played by the deliciously rakish Greg Kinnear. I’ve adored Kinnear since his days on “Talk Soup,” but this show will take a few episodes to get into. For Kinnear, I’m willing to try, but so far I don’t have high hopes.

The show also stars John Ortiz, Bojana Novakovic, Necar Zadegan, Miranda Otto, Ian Colletti and Tara Summers. Kinnear serves as co-executive producer, and the pilot was directed by Sam Raimi.

SLEEPY HOLLOW (Mon., Sept. 16, 9/8c). Ichabod Crane in the 21st Century? No, it’s not a remake of “Encino Man.” Crane is resurrected and brought forward over two centuries to help unravel a mystery that began with our Founding Fathers.

In the small town of present-day Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman rides again, and with it he brings Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who met the horseman back in his own day. Their connection brings them to the present time where Crane finds himself under the supervision of Detective Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who experienced her own Sleepy Hollow nightmare when she was a child.

This show, written and produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, leaves enough questions unanswered that I’m willing to come back for more. Sure, it might be a little bit “Encino Man,” but it also has shades of “National Treasure” in it as well. And if I actually glean a little American History knowledge from it, well, that’s better than nothing, right?

I can already see the taglines:

  • Ichabod Crane, he’s one step a HEAD.
  • Don’t HEAD out tonight. Stay in and watch “Sleepy Hollow.”

The “Sleepy Hollow” pilot was directed by Len Wiseman, whose credits also include “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Total Recall,” and much of the “Underworld” franchise.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (Tues. Sept. 17, 8:30/7:30c). This is a comedy? I didn’t laugh once. I predict it won’t make it past six episodes. While I adore Andre Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Streets” is one of my all-time favorite shows), even his deadpan deliveries can’t make this show funny.

I enjoyed Andy Samberg when he was on “SNL,” but I feel like he’s best at making those oddly funny shortform videos like “Laser Cat” and his various Lonely Island videos.

ALMOST HUMAN (Mon. Nov. 4, 8/7c). This highly anticipated series from J. J. Abrams follows two cops – one human, the other not. It’s 2048 and Detective John Kennex (Karl Urban) has just awakened from a coma after one of the most horrific attacks made against the police department.

Disregarding orders to rest and recuperate, Kennex goes back to work. As each human detective in this time and age must pair with an android, Kennex reluctantly takes one on, but once the droid uncovers some incriminating evidence, Kennex disposes of him and takes on another android, a discontinued model named Dorian (Michael Ealy), a droid prone to having emotional responses.

Visually, it’s great they cast Michael Ealy as the android – his blue eyes always did seem unreal, but I’m not sure if this is a show I’m going to follow. While I loved “Lost,” I never got into “Fringe” and I spent at least two seasons trying.

The premise of the show reminds me of 90s series “Mann & Machine,” which co-starred Yancy Butler (she of equally unreal blue eyes) as Sgt. Eve Edison as the “Machine” and S. Epatha Merkerson in probably one of her first (of many) roles as a police captain. It’s also reminiscent of scenes with Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

I’ll give “Almost Human” a go, but we’ll see if I can stick with it. Hopefully, knowing J. J. Abrams, the show will get more interesting with each episode.

SURVIVING JACK (midseason premiere, TBD). Set in the 1990s, this show stars Christopher Meloni as Jack, the patriarch of a standard suburban family. His wife is about to start law school, so he is cutting back his schedule as an oncologist to be the go-to parent for his teenage son and daughter.

Unlike “The Goldbergs” on ABC, “Surviving Jack” made me laugh. The awkward situations teenagers always seem to find themselves in, the dad who is trying to be cool but totally isn’t, the great music that was the 90s – put them all together with Meloni at the head and this show is funny.

Hopefully, they’ll pair this show with “Raising Hope” or even “New Girl.”

DADS (Tues, Sept. 17, 8/7c). This show has a great pedigree. Seth MacFarlane is one of the show’s creators, and it stars Martin Mull, Peter Riegert, Seth Green, and Giovanni Ribisi, but it desperately needs to lose the laugh track. There are some funny bits but the laugh track is distracting, especially for the bits that aren’t funny.

Eli (Green) and Warner (Ribisi) are childhood friends who now own a successful gaming company. Both find themselves having to deal with their fathers as new roommates. Warner already has a wife and kids; will having dad around equal having another child in the house?

I’m sure this show can easily be filled with all the leftover jokes that didn’t make it on “Family Guy,” but will I survive the laugh track?

GANG-RELATED (midseason premiere, TBD). Yet another cop show, though this one has potential. The show follows Detective Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez) of an elite Gang Task Force. When his partner and best friend is killed, he partners with Cassius Green (RZA), a longtime task force member.

Despite being a member of L.A.’s finest, Ryan owes his life and career to the leader of a powerful Latino gang member. He is pulled between his ties to the police force and his ties to his “familia,” including his childhood friend, an investment banker named Daniel (Jay Hernandez), who is also the gang leader’s son. It’s unclear if Ryan is a hero or anti-hero, but should be an interesting ride trying to find out.

If it can build an audience, “Gang-Related” has enough gas to go at least a season, maybe two.

Any thoughts on Fox’s Fall TV 2013 lineup? Are any of these shows on your watch list?


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