On Day 9 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, Universal and Fox invited press to visit the set of their comedy series BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, and Warner Bros and Fox invited press to attend a special theater screening of GOTHAM and the Q&A with the cast of Lifetime’s new drama THE LOTTERY, and the following is a snapshot-look at those special behind-the-scenes events.
Fox’s comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was an out of the gate hit with critics last year. Believing in the strength and appeal of the show, Fox is moving “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. this Fall, starting September 28th, leading into its animation comedy block. From the press Q&A on set, two things were immediately obvious: (1) the writers are finely in-tune with their stars’ comedic strengths, and (2) the show recruited an amazingly gifted comedy ensemble who can ad-lib with quick quips and funny one-liners as if on cue. The entire press corp was in stitches just listening to the writers and actors live-riff — as if it were the easiest thing in the world — and the women were just as quick as the men. It was also clear that everyone is having a blast working on the show. They are all getting paid to do what they love and that energy and enthusiasm is evident. However, while they were all quick to share a joke, they were much more circumspect and tip-lipped about spoilers of their upcoming storylines to be featured in Season 2. But if the glint in everyone’s eye was any indication, it is going to be hilarious and fun. The producers did reveal that they will address quickly the fact that Jake (Andy Samberg) went undercover after declaring his feelings for Amy (Melissa Fumero), and that Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) ended up in bed together. They also stated that the perception of Charles as a “relentless pursuer” of Rosa was never intended to be seen as a stalking problem because Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) at no point felt threatened or took his pursuit very seriously. Executive producer Dan Goor joked, “We wrote it sweet, then the actor brought the creepy.” He then clarified, “We felt like we could play his obsession in a way that didn’t feel like it was dangerous and creepy.” Point of interest: Andre Braugher received an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Emmy nomination for his performance on the show. (2nd season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is Sept. 28, 2014.)
Lifetime is debuting its dystopian drama “The Lottery” is set in 2025, where there are only 6 children left on Earth after mankind discovers that it has become unable to reproduce. Humanity is literally dying off with its last generation of children and, staring extinction in the face, it is imperative to find a way to solve the world’s infertility problem. “The Lottery” follows the story of a young female scientist, Dr. Alison Lennon (Marley Shelton), who successfully fertilized 52 human embryos, after which a lottery is announced to select the surrogate mothers of the next generation of children. But, interesting, after this key achievement, Elizabeth finds herself suddenly locked out of her project and sought by the government. So just what does the government have to hide? Simultaneously, the show follows the story of one of the world’s last surviving children, a young boy and his father Kyle Walker (Michael Graziadei), who tries save him from a world that is smothering his son and performing endless tests on him. “The Lottery” is the story of trying to find a safe place for the young boy and his dad, and whether Elizabeth will escape whatever diabolical plan the government has for her. The show offered enough mystery and characters that I was intrigued to see where it will go and recommend giving it a chance. (Premieres Sunday, July 20, 2014 on Lifetime.)
Fox has pulled out all the stops for its exciting new drama “Gotham.” A Batman-prequel, the story picks up that fateful night when Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) lost his parents and he met Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). It was a time when there was police corruption and the Mob seemed to be running things. So “Gotham” is the story of Jim Gordon trying to clean up the city from the inside and the simultaneous formation of Bruce Wayne to the man who one days dons the bat-mask to right the wrongs of a city that seems to have lost its soul. Joining the rich ensemble are the colorful characters that flesh out their world: Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Oswald Cobblepot aka Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Ivy Peppery aka Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Alfred Pennyworth aka Alfred (Sean Pertwee), and Barbara Kean aka Future Mrs. Gordon (Erin Richards). Then also be sure to watch for a fun little cameo by the future Riddler, which will be impossible to miss. Fans of the Batman-world and new viewers will be drawn into this rich world of life before Bruce Wayne became Batman. The pairing of Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue is riveting, and the performance by David Mazouz as young Bruce Wayne is deeply compelling. With only 16 episodes for its first season, the show is a guaranteed thrill-ride. It should also pair well with Fox’s break-out hit “Sleepy Hollow.” (Premieres Monday, September 22, 2014 on Fox.)
That is a wrap on Day 9 at TCA. Look for more upcoming snapshots from TCA Summer 2014 on the new shows and TV specials coming up for Fall 2014.