TCA 2014: Quick Takes From NBC’s TCA Presentation

"A to Z"
“A to Z”

On Day 6 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, NBC introduced its new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new series.


“State of Affairs” stars Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as a CIA analyst who provides the daily briefings to the President. After her husband is killed, she finds out that he was not just at the victim of a random attack. So balancing the needs of her job and figuring out if there was a bigger conspiracy involved behind her husband’s death place her into a perilous position. “State of Affairs” also co-stars Alfre Woodard as President and mother-in-law to Heigl’s character. They share a strong bond and are equally determined to make those who killed their respective son/husband pay. Point of interest: “State of Affairs” takes over “The Blacklist” timeslot when it goes on winter hiatus, then “The Blacklist” will return after the Super Bowl in its new Thursday timeslot. (Premieres Monday, November 17, 2014.)


“Constantine” is a spooky, supernatural drama about a man gifted with the ability to see and banish demons. Based on the “Hellblazer” comic-book series, the show will incorporate much of that underlying mythology. The series stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine, a supernatural detective, and co-stars Harold Perrineau (“Lost”) as Manny, an angel of questionable intent, who keeps tabs on Constantine. Angelica Celaya was also recently cast as the new character Zed, who will be introduced in the second episode. So do not get too attached to Lucy Griffiths, who plays Liv in the first episode. Point of interest: “Constantine” will air after “Grimm” on Friday nights. (Premieres Friday, October 24, 2014.)


“Bad Judge” is a comedy series about a woman who parties hard by night and then presides as a municipal court judge by day. Starring Kate Walsh (“Private Practice”), the show delivers a healthy dose of outrageous comedy mixed with poignant, heart-felt moments and life-lessons. The show wants to explore the idea that sometimes a judge has an unexpected viewpoint on justice and that “cowboy” attitude can make for some really hilarious situations. Point of interest: Apparently former Governor Schwarzenegger appointed a lot of young women judges during his time in office and that was the launching point for the series. (Premieres October 2, 2014.)


“A to Z” is one of my favorite comedy series coming out this Fall. Starring Ben Feldman (“Drop Dead Diva”) and Cristin Milioti (“How I Met Your Mother”), this comedy series just glistens with warmth and cheer. It is about a man and a woman who meet and feel destined to be together — or rather, he feels it is destiny and she wants to fight against it, but there is no fighting destiny. Perhaps one of the most heart-warming shows on television, this series will make you root for them all along the way. As they fall in love, we fall in love with them too. This is a comedy for viewers who love romantic movies. Point of interest: Lenora Crichlow from the British television series “Being Human” also co-stars. For an actress known for portraying a ghost, she provides some deft comedy in “A to Z.” She is a fine addition to the series. (Premieres October 2, 2014.)

That is a wrap on Day 6 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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