TCA 2014: Quick Takes From Fox’s TCA Presentation With GOTHAM, RED BAND SOCIETY, GRACEPOINT and SLEEPY HOLLOW


On Day 12 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, Fox introduced its new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new series.


“Gotham” remains one of my favorite new TV series coming this Fall. Its rich visual style and texture creates a stylized look that sets the tone of the show perfectly — a bit of a dark noir mystery. In addition, casting for “Gotham” is incredibly strong with Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue portraying James Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock. Then add in David Mazouz, as the young Bruce Wayne, and the show really starts off with compelling, intriguing characters that are easy to invest in and root for. As if that were not enough riches, the show weaves in its colorful villains: Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Oswald Cobblepot aka Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Ivy Peppery aka Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Edward Nygma aka the Riddler (Corey Michael Smith), Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), to flesh out the world that swirls around the destined fates of Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. Also noteworthy on the heroes’ side are Alfred Pennyworth aka Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Barbara Kean aka Future Mrs. Gordon (Erin Richards). What makes it even more fun are that all the characters are introduced in interesting and memorable ways. Point of interest: “Elementary” fans may remember Sean Pertwee, who portrayed Lestrade this past season. (Premieres on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on Fox.)


“Red Band Society” is a look behind the curtain of a group of young teens who spend time together in a hospital while they receive treatment for various serious medical conditions. The show provides an uplifting portrayal of kids with real fears and worries, yet having the admirable strength to face and conquer their health issues. With a fresh cast of teens, the characters feel even more real and endearing. Then co-starring are the more recognizable Octavia Spencer (“The Help”) and Dave Annable (“Brothers & Sisters”) as the medical personnel keeping watch over them. “Red Band Society” will make audiences laugh and cry as each story touches their heart. First point of interest: 2014 is the year for heart-warming tales of serious illnesses, such as the film “The Fault In Our Stars” and ABC Family’s “Chasing Life.” Second point of interest: There is definitely a John Hughes feel to the show and it has been compared to the film “The Breakfast Club.” (Premieres on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.)


“Gracepoint” is the fictional story of the investigation of a murder of a young boy, whose body is found on the beach in a small seaside community. The show is based on the British television series “Broadchuch,” which shares the same premise and also starred David Tennant — who coincidentally now stars in “Gracepoint.” For those who saw “Broadchuch,” this show will feel eerily familiar, but as the series goes on the story will diverge with a different reveal of who the killer ultimately is. So “Gracepoint” is the American version of the story, and it promises to have a different ending. Thus, it should be fun for viewers that have seen the British version to try to figure out who the killer is this time around. Point of interest: David Tennant will also be returning to the British series “Broadchurch” for its second season. It is remarkable that he is starring simultaneously in both the ongoing British series and the new American version. “Broadchurch” was a brilliant and it provides a high bar that “Gracepoint” will have to live up to. Second point of interest: Unfortunately, Arthur Darvill will not be appearing in “Gracepoint.” One of the cooler parts of “Broadchurch” was seeing David Tennant (former “Doctor Who”) sharing scenes with Arthur Darvill (former “Doctor Who” companion). (Premieres on Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.)


“Sleepy Hollow” returns for its long-awaited second season with more headless horsemen, more confounding mysteries and a world where the unnatural seems to have waged war on mankind. Ichabod Crane so succinctly summed it up by noting that the Horseman of Death has abducted his wife and the Horseman of War (John Noble) has turned out to be his son. As if that were not enough, Ichabod is stuck in a coffin and Abbie is stuck in the netherworld. As aptly described last season, “Sleepy Hollow” continues with its bat-shit crazy stories, each more addictive and riveting than the last. Able to weave in adventures from the Revolutionary War to the Holy War, and meld those into the present where Abbie and her sister Jenny and Captain Frank Irving are fighting to keep the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse from ending the world as we know it — with Ichabod helping as soon as he gets out of that blasted coffin. As viewers already can attest, Season 1 of “Sleepy Hollow” was a fantastic roller-coater ride of adventure, with at its heart a great friendship between Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). Point of interest: Producers reaffirmed that Ichabod Crane is still deeply in love with his wife Katrina, so the idea of intro ducting a romance between Ichabod and Abbie is not something that they will explore in Season 2. (Returns for Season 2 with 18 new episodes on Monday, September 25, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.)

That is a wrap on Day 12 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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