TCA 2014: Quick Takes From the DirecTV and Amazon TCA Presentations


Day 5 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour started off with introductions of new programming from DirecTV and Amazon. The following is a snapshot look at their new series, as well as what was noteworthy from the featured presentations.


“Kingdom” is a raw, gritty new series about a group of young fighters involved in mixed-martial arts. There is the ex-con who need a path to redemption and a young teen who has the raw skills to be one of the greats. Mentored by a seasoned fighter, they try to channel their inner fears and rage and use it constructively. But with personal relationships and family tugging at their heart-strings along the way, it becomes a tug-of-war to figure out how to become successful fighters and maintain their sanity in the process. Point of interest: Kiele Sanchez (“The Glades”) and Matt Laurie (“Friday Night Lights”) co-star and they sizzle on screen. (Premieres October 8, 2014 on DirecTV.)


“Alpha House” broke out as a strong comedy series last year with stars John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Mark Consuelos, Matt Malloy and it returns with its second season with more political shenanigans and absurdities. Joining the show for Season 2 are Wanda Sykes and Cynthia Nixon, who can hold their own against the heavy-weight male comedians on the show. It is noteworthy that “Alpha House” was the break out hit from last year and remains a number one favorite amongst the Amazon Prime audience. Point of interest: “Alpha House” was created and written by Garry Trudeau, a cartoonist who writes the “Doonsbury” comic strip. (Season 2 premiere is set for Fall 2014 on Amazon Prime.)

“Bosch” is a new drama series starring Titus Welliver (“Lost”) and Lance Reddick (“Fringe,” “Lost”). It is a police drama about a cop who mistakenly shoots an unarmed suspect and he covers it up by planting a gun. He also gets a grisly murder case of a young boy that leads him on a dark path as he relentlessly searches for the killer. After a strong viewer reaction to the pilot, Amazon ordered the show to series. Point of interest: The series is based on the Bosch book series by Michael Connelly. (Season 1 will premiere in 2015 on Amazon Prime.)

“The After” comes from the sci-fi mind of Chris Carter (“The X-Files) about 8 people who come together after a major calamity. Things get more interesting when the survivors find out they all share the same birthday. Amongst the ensemble are stars Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”), Aldis Hodge (“Leverage”), Arielle Kebble (“The Vampire Diaries”), and Sharon Lawrence (“NYPD Blue”). (The Season 1 premiere date has not yet been determined, but look for it later this year or early 2015 on Amazon Prime.)

Note: Amazon is putting up significant financial support for all its shows as it is paying actors, writers, directors and producers the same wage they would get for a broadcast TV show. So it is putting up serious money to ensure its shows are competitive with anything you would see on television.

That is a wrap on Day 5 at TCA. Look for more upcoming snapshots from TCA Summer 2014 on the new shows and TV specials coming up for Fall 2014.

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