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Which Upcoming Shows Look Good?? The New Critics Choice Television Awards Anoints Its Very Own Super Eight!!

I am – Hercules!!

The Broadcast Television Journalists Association – comprised of 62 TV, radio and Internet writers covering TV – have picked the eight new series to which they’re most looking forward.

Those favored upcoming series are:

* “Alcatraz,” Fox’s new Sam Neill time-travel show that reunites a lot of “Lost” personnel, including producer J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Super 8”), writer Elizabeth Sarnoff (“Deadwood”) and actor Jorge Garcia. The pilot on this one is very strong.

* “Apartment 23,” ABC’s sitcom from “American Dad!” writers David Hemingson and Nahnatchka Khan about a New York party girl (Krysten Ritter of “Breaking Bad”) and her small-town roomie (Dreama Walker from “The Good Wife”).

* “Awake,” NBC’s trippy tale from Kyle Killen (“Lone Star,” “The Beaver”) about a cop ("Brotherhood's" always great Jason Isaacs) simultaneously living in two realities. The pilot is excellent, evoking everything from “Inception” and “The Matrix” to “Life on Mars” and “Journeyman.”

* “Falling Skies,” TNT’s sci-fi adventure from Steven Spielberg (“Super 8,” “Terra Nova”), Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan,” “The Patriot”) and Mark Verheiden (“Smallville,” “Galactica,”’ “Heroes”)vabout a handful of human survivors (Noah Wylie, Moon Bloodgood) struggling to defy Earth’s creepy new extraterrestrial overlords.

* “New Girl,” Fox’s Zooey Deschanel sitcom from Elizabeth Meriwether (“Childrens Hospital,” “No Strings Attached”) about an elementary school teacher rooming with three fellows. The pilot on this one was my favorite among the new comedies, funny and unusually charming in a big-screen kind of way.

* “Ringer,” the CW thriller about troubled twins (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from “Supernatural” writers Eric C. Charmelo and Nicole Snyder.

* “Smash,” NBC’s very “Glee”-ish drama from Spielberg and Theresa Rebeck (“Law & Order CI,” “Canterbury’s Law”) about New York producers, songwriters, actors and the like mounting a musical about Marilyn Monroe. “American Idol” loser Katherine McPhee (“Community”) is hot as hell as the singer who wants the lead, and the pilot ends with a show stopper from ace composer Marc Shaiman (“Bigger, Longer and Uncut”).

* “Terra Nova,” Fox’s time-travel dinosaur drama from Spielberg (again!), Rene Echevarria (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Now and Again,” “Dark Angel,” “The 4400,” “Medium”) and Brannon Braga (“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Threshold,” “24,” “FlashForward”).

Among the project NOT making the BTJA’s early cut?

X CBS’ “Person Of Interest,” the action drama from “Dark Knight” screenwriter Jonathan Nolan which reunites Abrams with “Lost” star Michael Emerson.

X ABC’s “Scandal,” from “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes.

X NBC’s “The Playboy Club” and ABC’s “Pan Am,” two dramas set in the early 1960s and likely inspired by the many Emmys won by AMC’s “Mad Men.”

X NBC’s “Grimm," from David Greenwalt (“Buffy,” “Angel,” “Miracles,” “Jake 2.0,” “”Surface,” “Moonlight”) & Jim Kouf (“Angel,” “National Treasure,” “Ghost Whisperer”), and ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” from Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis (“Popular,” “Felicity,” “Birds of Prey,” “Lost,” “TRON: Legacy”).

X ABC’s “The River,” the Blair Witch-y Amazon adventure from “Kings” creator Michael Green and “Freakylinks” vet Michael Perry.

X ABC’s new “Charlie’s Angels” from Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “Showtime,” “Smallville,” “Mummy III,” “I Am Number Four”).

X CBS’ ghost-wife drama "A Gifted Man," from screenwriter Susannah Grant (“Pocahontas,” “EverAfter,” “28 Days,” “Erin Brockovich,” “In Her Shoes,” “Catch and Release,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Soloist”).

X The CW’s “Secret Circle,” the new witch drama from Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Scream 4”).

Find all of Deadline’s story on the matter here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • June 9, 2011, 11:20 p.m. CST

    I got your Super 8 right here.

    by vic twenty

  • June 9, 2011, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Nahnatchka Khan is writing Apartment 23?

    by vic twenty

    Nahnatchka Khan Nahnatchka Khan Nahnatchka Khan I want to rock you want to rock you Nahnatchka Khan Nahnatchka Khan I want to rock you Thats all I want to do I feel for you I think I love you

  • June 9, 2011, 11:29 p.m. CST


    by sways

    Got a feeling the pilot will rival the best movies of the summer, then not really do anything until it needs to reinvent for season two.

  • June 9, 2011, 11:30 p.m. CST

    New Girls, with Zooey.

    by sways


  • June 9, 2011, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Terra Nova -

    by sways

    Though I'm eager to see and hopeful it's a solid show, 18 years on it will unlikely be a greater dinosaur tale than Jurassic Park. So I guess I might end up watching that weekly. <p> TV misses Jack Bauer.

  • June 9, 2011, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Person Of Interest

    by loki965

    Bummer, I thought that one looked really interesting. Brutal even.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:01 a.m. CST

    I'm such a snob.

    by Rhuragh

    And completely unashamed of it. All of this stuff looks like shit to me.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Person of Interest:

    by Hercules

    still better than the Undercovers pilot.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Big Fan of American Dad

    by Nuck81

    It's my favorite of the animated Sitcoms. Hell of a lot smarter than Family Guy

  • I don't know too much about it myself, but they say that they think it's going to be a quality show, but apparently there is some nervousness on set that it might not be 'mass audience friendly' enough. Wait and see I guess. Anyway I'll be checking out Person of Interest, Alcatraz, Awake (which I have also heard good word on), Terra Nova, Falling Skies, The River, Grimm, and maybe Ringer. Though I fully expect at least half of those will get their throats cut in their first half season orders, as the ratings race is just brutal these days, and network tv hasn't caught on to the fact that the old standards no longer apply, or, at the very least, aren't the only factor that needs to be applied when considering what shows are, or could be, a success.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Person of Interest looks great

    by SmokingRobot

  • June 10, 2011, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Awake looks good....but how long can that mystery go on?

    by Executor

    Like Lone Star -- which had an amazing pilot but basically a premise you couldn't make a show out of -- I like the Awake trailer but don't know how long I'm gonna remain interested if that's a conceit we're gonna have to live with year after year....two realities. Hopefully there's a twist or reveal in the first season that pushes it to something more that that.

  • June 10, 2011, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Also....networks might get more viewers if...

    by Executor

    ...they change their own decades-own formula of waiting until May to renew shows. Come on, we all know the ratings. Flip a coin on the bubble shows early. Because the thing of it is, you might get more people to watch a show and commit to a show if they know that they will not be left hanging. I DVR most new shows but only actually watch a few when the season starts because I don't want to commit to a loser. Underperforming shows that are bound to get cancelled get deleted from my DVR and I start watching the rest. Because I'm sick of investing in a show, it ends the season with a cliffhanger, unresolved, is cancelled, and I wasted my time. Networks should make the call early and let the shows wrap up, turning them essentially into a "miniseries". AND...if viewers KNOW that they will get closure, more people would actually be apt to view them in the first place. Hence the need to cancel/wrap-up might be moot. But, no. Instead of investing with shows and their audience, networks just want to do the shotgun approach and see what sticks, then slam a dozen cheap reality shows on the air instead when they fail. Morons.

  • June 10, 2011, 2:38 a.m. CST

    Persons of Interest looked decent...

    by Bass Ackwards

    ...until the scene where he walks into a room of armed men and shots everyone in the knee. All the hour longs seem too "hook" based for my taste, Falling Skies may be the exception. i like my dramas to focus on developing interesting characters, these ones seem more aimed at developing interesting premises, an angle which has its audience obviously, just not the kind of stuff that draws me in. Smash looks too Glee-ish to me, especially when she "wowed" everyone on her Marilyn Monroe audition by singing a pedestrian pop song, is that really what the were looking for to embody Marilyn? At least its not abusing the auto tune like Glee does, but it looks like that show depends on how charming you find McPhee, from the trailer at least I didn't find her terribly winning (admittedly short sample to judge by). On the other side of that Zooey is thoroughly winning, so I'll have to give New Girl a chance even though it the promo doesn't make it look terribly special (I thought Modern Family looked like an uninspired family sitcom too before I gave it a chance, so maybe ABC just isn't great at putting these things together).

  • AWAKE - Looks really decent, probably would have made a good movie. But you KNOW that the writers don't have the first fucking clue about where this series will go. And NBC are lying cunt bags. So even though it looks really promising, I will not watch this. NBC can blow liquid shit up their own asses. Shows that feature two realities, whether it's Stargate, Amy's Choice, or whatever, can only resolve themselves in one of three ways : Either one is true, or they're both true, or neither is true. The rules of scifi invariably say that if you can't tell the difference between the two, then they are both equally "true". And that usually means they are both false.

  • June 10, 2011, 3:28 a.m. CST

    New Girl - Actually looks funny.

    by V'Shael

    And it doesn't look like a TV show at all. Again, might have made an interesting movie, in a "Three Men and a Girly Girl" kind of way. I'll give that a look.

  • June 10, 2011, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Sarah Michelle Gellar - CANCELLED. I'm calling it.

    by V'Shael

    I really think several of the shows listed above will be cancelled. (Anything that Brannon Braga has touched, for example.) But I'm calling it now that SMG's show will be shit-canned, and HERC will have weekly talkback discussions for it.

  • June 10, 2011, 3:52 a.m. CST

    New Girl/Deschanel just seems ANNOYING

    by ShiftyEyedDog

    also, they'll have to recast Damon Wayans Jr's role if the Happy Endings renewal holds up. He's committed to do that show instead if it stays on.

  • June 10, 2011, 6:29 a.m. CST

    New Girl and Awake

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    Both look like they should have been movies instead. But Im rooting for New Girl, Zooey is wonderful in the promo.

  • June 10, 2011, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Can anyone point to the premier dates for these shows?

    by Hiccups

    A site or a list? pretty pwease

  • June 10, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    I seem to remember Merrick tweeting that he wasn't that impressed with FALLING SKIES


    As we have similar tastes, I have a feeling I'll end up with the same view.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Every season I swear I'm going to stop watching network tv

    by Rex Carsalot

    And then I end up torrenting entire seasons.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Welcome to Jura--I mean Terra Nova.

    by Dr_PepperSpray

    "Damnit!" "Okay, keep rolling" "Take 56, Marker!"

  • June 10, 2011, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Screw that...I'm watching "Once Upon a Time".

    by Anna Valerious

    And cosplaying from it, too...

  • June 10, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    I just wish Falling Skies didn't look so....

    by MoffatBabies

    cheap. It's great when the story is fantastic, or compelling. So let's hope it has that, because the look of it screams corner-cutting.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    Remember, TERRA NOVA has Brannon Braga at the helm

    by SpyGuy

    Which means the series will be lucky to survive to midseason, let alone renewed for Season 2.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:13 a.m. CST

    AWAKE looks fucking AWESOME.

    by Squashua

    Excellent cast.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Persons of Interest...

    by gaston213

    I have to say that i was most excited about PoI, curious what was bad about it? Seemed like it had all the makings of a great show :/

  • June 10, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Persons of Interest...

    by gaston213

    I have to say that i was most excited about PoI, curious what was bad about it? Seemed like it had all the makings of a great show :/

  • June 10, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Re: executor

    by coop

    Here's the problem with your suggestion: If all the people like you don't watch the early episodes, how can they assume you will eventually? They don't know you're waiting for a renewal so you can feel better about investing in the show. They assume you're not interested and the good shows get cancelled.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:34 a.m. CST

    Falling Skies

    by gaston213

    Just based on the ads I've seen TNT run it looks like a rehash of every Alien invasion show/movie that ever existed before... I could have sworn the laser one of the aliens uses in one of the trailers looks EXACTLY like the one used in Predators. Just doesn't seem like it's going to bring anything new to the genre

  • June 10, 2011, 9:36 a.m. CST

    got to agree with comments on Person of Interest.

    by yamayama

    Person if Interest will be the sleeper hit. but i am concerned in that it may go the way of Sarah Connor Chronicles. Person of Interest needs someone with marketing savvy similar to the viral marketing used in Nolan's build up to The Dark Knight. Do some viral videos on youtube to get a buzz going.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Katherine McPhee is so hot

    by Cletus Van Damme

    That's all.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:46 a.m. CST

    New Girl is the replacement for October Road

    by Mr.Stiggs

    ...the kind of show in which my friends and I sit around, get stoned, and laugh at how spectactualrly fucking awful it is.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Love me some Krysten Ritter.

    by cookylamoo

    Best part of BB season 2.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    The Beek.

    by Truxton Spangler

    Just had to say that. Since critics' and mainstream audiences' tastes often don't mesh, the more interesting question is which one of the newcomers will get pulled, and how soon. Fox, of course, has the itchiest trigger finger, probably followed by NBC and ABC. Ringer, no matter how it does, will likely see the whole season, since the CW doesn't have the luxury of backups it can't afford to insert into the schedule. They can't run Tyra's model show all the time.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Alcatraz looks like...

    by jimmy_009

    ...4400 and the Event had a yard sale and some douche came up and bought an antique for his yuppie apartment. Just too rehashed with forced "mystery". If I had to guess, I'd say it's Philadelphia Experiment related, but truthfully I don't care enough to follow through.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Awake looks legit

    by jimmy_009

    Took me a while to figure out what the concept was, but once I got it it seemed interesting. Hopefully having to stretch your mind a bit doesn't hurt it's chances.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Alcatraz looks like

    by jimmy_009

    ...4400 and The Event had a yard sale. People go missing, it's all a big mystery, fans drop off week by week, no one cares, it's canceled. And my guess is Philadelphia Experiment related, but can't muster enough interest to follow through on that.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Weird, my post from ten minutes ago finally showed up

    by jimmy_009

  • June 10, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Terra Nova looks like Sliders meets Stargate

    by jimmy_009

    It has that budget feel too. Any show where most of the action and drama comes from the military shooting guns a lot is a dud in my opinion.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:37 a.m. CST

    Terra Nova looks like a Syfy original series...

    by V'Shael

    Cheap as shit, and shot in Vancouver with badly done CGI. "Six seasons and a movie!!!!"

  • But they'll know from the shitty shitty ratings, that it ain't coming back next year.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Only watched Awake ...

    by reaper28

    The rest I have no interest in ... I'll watch (almost) anything Jason Isaacs is in, but considering LoneStar was canned after 2 episodes and that had some really great acting and an interesting premise for a series, I won't hold my breath. I agree with the TBer above wondering how they're going to sustain the premise for entire season. I think they'll be better off using a shorter season, maybe 6-8 eps - it worked fine for Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. I'll be rooting for Awake come launch

  • June 10, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Bet half of them...

    by dj_bollocks

    ...don't make it to Season 2 !

  • June 10, 2011, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Hercules, out of curiosity,

    by jim

    what were their picks for, say, the last 5 years?

  • Me neither. Calling it a "mini-series" and "by the end of summer, all will be known". Not only was "all" not known, but the last episode gave us the extra question of "why was Robert Picardo wearing the Lucius Malfoy wig?".

  • June 10, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Apartment 23

    by jim

  • June 10, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Apartment 23 - thought it was the other show

    by jim

    the one with Kat Dennings

  • June 10, 2011, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Big Jim

    by Bass Ackwards

    This is their first year doing this.

  • June 10, 2011, 1:11 p.m. CST


    by loki965

    Lancelot Link had a better pilot than Undercovers.

  • June 10, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    who the fuck cares what critics think

    by Daniel

    ya, sometimes they may actually like something that looks awesome, like most of these shows, but modern day people who watch tv suck and wont watch awesome challenging shows like these, they want big bang theory and cop doctor lawyer shows that drone on every week and suck

  • June 10, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    bsb is gonna DVR NEW GIRL

    by STLost

    and watch it in real time. Then save it to an archiving server. Then store that server in a nuclear fall-out shelter. Then make his wife dress up like Zooey and have her act out the parts while he films it. But it sounds like he's over Zooey and has moved on to Ryan Reynolds.

  • June 10, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Thanks bass ackwards

    by jim

    I must have missed that part of the story.

  • June 10, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    PREMIER DATES? ... anybody?

    by Hiccups

  • June 10, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Ringer {3 Minute Trailer}!!!

    by Barry_Woodward <-- This preview will give you a better idea of what to expect from the series than Herc's clip.

  • June 10, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST


    by Loosejerk

    So Ad-Rock had something to do with "Once Upon a Time"? Neat. I'm looking forward to Alcatraz, New Girl, Dinosaur Show and Alien Show. They all look good although New Girl looks kinda like Dharma and Greg with three Gregs.

  • June 10, 2011, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Falling Skys Trailer 1:11 mark

    by Symposium

    ooooooooooooohhhhhhh yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • June 10, 2011, 8:12 p.m. CST

    playboy club will not make it...gotta agree

    by john

    have watched a few clips and interviews...and it totally misses im sure that weiner is flattered by the networks who turned down his show, trying now to copy it...he will be stoked when they fail

  • June 10, 2011, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Awake looks like it would have made a better film

    by BadMrWonka

    I feel like there's gonna have to be a LOT of filler to sustain that for even one season, let alone more. Very cool concept though, and Jason Isaacs is a CRIMINALLY underrated actor. extremely versatile.

  • June 11, 2011, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Godo lord, the premise of ALCATRAZ is so stupid!!

    by AsimovLives

    200 people disapeared out of thin air and they mannaged to cover that shit up? How fucking stupid is that? They could had just invented some fictional prision for that to at least make some sort of in-story plausability. But a REAL KNOWN PRISION? One so famous that even prople outside the USa have heard of it and know why it was so famous for? GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK! How stupid does this JJ Abrams assclown think we are? Very fuckign stupid, that's how he thinks. Fuck off, Abrams.

  • June 11, 2011, 1 p.m. CST

    How stupid does this JJ Abrams assclown think we are?

    by Xiphos_2

    In your case Goatfucker I would imagine you are thought of as the worlds biggest assclown. Each time you post you prove that is in fact what you are.

  • June 11, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Probably all but one will get canceled...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Television sucks these days. No reason to get involved in shows because they all get canceled. The only shows that survive are reality bull shit shows and stupid as fuck sitcoms like Two and a Half Men. A lot of these shows look good but won't last. I probably won't check out a single one until it gets past a second season and then I'll catch up on DVD. I've burned too many times by these TV suit shit heads. They also need to change how they look at ratings. Writing off DVD sales and DVR recordings because there are no commercials is bull shit. The Nielson rating thing is bull shit too. Calculated fake ass numbers. It's simple let a show have more than two seasons and it will gain fans.

  • June 12, 2011, 5:47 a.m. CST

    watch uk's the shadow line!!

    by quintana007

    the bbcs thriller 7-parter the shadow line is all kinds of awesome, but too bad its nearly over. stephen rea and eccleston rocking the shit in this one

  • June 12, 2011, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Say what you want

    by thepoohguy

    but Tim Allen's new sitcom will rule next year. A sitcom about a father who is not a bumbling idiot? Golden! It's only taken TV 50 years to produce a show like this again, and there are a lot of men who get tired of watching every "Homer Simpson" on TV.

  • June 12, 2011, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Falling Skies premieres June 19

    by Jack Burton

    For those that are asking for dates. I think the rest are in the fall.

  • June 13, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    JJ Gaybrams is a fraud

    by Nabster

    Alcatraz? Looks like another fraudulent mystery box.

  • June 13, 2011, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Falling Skies is worth watching

    by bryrb1277

    I've seen the first two hours. I saw a screening with Noah Wiley in attendance for Q & A. He seems legitimately excited about the series and its potential as well as the pedigree of the show. It's got my attention to watch some more.