On Day 7 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, USA Network, CNBC, Bravo and Syfy introduced their new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of their new series.
Stepping away from of their strong brand of “blue sky” shows, USA Network is dabbling in darker dramas with its slate of “Graceland” and newcomers “Satisfaction” and “Rush.” “Rush” is about a renegade Beverly Hills doctor who asks no questions and will treat anyone — for the right price — and in Beverly Hills, people have a lot of things they need to keep quiet. “Satisfaction” is about a married couple who decide to reinvigorate their marriage by engaging in sexual liaisons with other people. Point of interest: “Satisfaction” stars former “The Glades” star Matt Passmore. (“Satisfaction” and “Rush” premiere Thursday, July 17, 2014.)
“Dig” is a new series starring Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche, whose characters are FBI agents charged with investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a U.S citizen abroad. The story looks into the murder of a young woman in Israel that unearths a larger conspiracy that dates back centuries. Tombs, pyramids, monuments and treasure beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings with friction-filled political and religious tensions set the backdrop for this tense new thriller. Point of interest: “Dig” comes from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring. (“Dig” is a 6-episode limited series which premieres Fall 2014.)
“The Profit” is a series starring billionaire, Marcus Lemonis, whose mission is to find failing small businesses and see if he can turn them around and to make them a viable and thriving business. As fans know, the tagline for the show is: “my millions, my rules.” Emphasizing that it is important for someone to put up hard cash to truly be invested in saving a business, Marcus believes in putting real stakes on the table. In fact, to date, he has invested over $7 million of his own money in over a dozen formerly-failing small businesses that have been featured on “The Profit.” In addition to helping struggling businesses, it is Marcus’ goal to save jobs and change lives and one of the key elements he looks for in a small business is that it needs to be family-friendly, both in atmosphere and in the type of product it produces. Accordingly, he believes that each business and proposal has to pass his initial “smell test” and will only invest in businesses he feels good about. But first and foremost, Marcus loves being an educator. He is happy to share his business knowledge and skills with those who genuinely want to learn. Marcus also feels that “The Profit” is the best type of peer-pressure on fellow billionaires who do not share their knowledge and business skills to help other businesses. He feels it is the responsibility of those who have such knowledge and skills to share with those who may need a little education and help. First point of interest: The number one rule to remember is if you want to pitch a business proposal to Marcus, you better have your business plan and operating numbers immediately ready. It is the first thing he will ask for and if you do not have it, he will not listen to or consider your pitch or proposal. Second point of interest: Also featured with “The Profit” this Fall will be follow-ups with each of the businesses Marcus invested in from Seasons 1 and 2. Third point of interest: The CNBC ratings doubled for “The Profit” from season 1 to season 2 and it is one of their highest rated shows. (“The Profit” returns for the remainder of its second season on October 14, 2014.)
“Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce” is Bravo’s 1st scripted series starring Lisa Edelstein (“House”), Paul Adelstein (“Private Practice”), and has a memorable guest appearances by Warren Christie (“Alphas”) and Carrie Fisher (“Star Wars”). The series explores the hilarious comedy situations that arise for a woman going through a divorce and how she strives to reclaim her single life and rebuild her self-esteem in the process. Point of interest: Former “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” producer Marti Noxon helms the series. (Premieres on December 2, 2014.)
“Ascension” is a 6-episode space thriller where after a murder on the ship, everyone begins to look at each other differently. The 100-year journey started 2014, but then 50 years later one of their own is found murdered. 600 suspects and someone may be picking them off one by one. The show’s tag line is: “Their mission was to save humanity, but who will save them?” The show stars Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Brian Van Holt (“Cougar Town”). (Premieres on November 24, 2014.)
“12 Monkeys” is a series based on the 1995 movie of the same name. It’s about a hero traveling from the future to the present to stop a global pandemic that will eradicate the human race. Starring Aaron Stanford (“Nikita”), Noah Bean (“Nikita”), Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”), and Amanda Schull (“Suits”), the series is a lightning-paced story in race to save humanity. The tricky part is that the hero’s sanity is questioned every step of the way and it is never clear if he may be imagining the entire thing. So the question becomes: can a person of uncertain mental stability be trusted to be the hero we all may need? Point of interest: The show will address the significant consequences of time-travel. (12-episode series that premieres January 2015.)
That is a wrap on Day 7 at TCA. Look for more upcoming snapshots from TCA Summer 2014 on the new shows and TV specials coming up for Fall 2014.