September 29, 2015

Fall TV Premieres: NBC

For the past few posts, I've been writing about the returning and new shows I'm excited about for fall. You may have noticed a glaring omission in these broadcast network roundups - NBC.

That's because the new fall crop of NBC shows is even more disappointing than ABC. The likely very soapy but possibly interesting medical drama Heartbreaker (starring Melissa George), has been pushed to mid-season and replaced by the what's sure to be an unimaginative crowd-pleaser from Dick Wolf - Chicago Med. There's Blindspot, a drama (reminiscent of John Doe or Dark Angel) which may compete for the Quantico audience, though it airs on a different night, and has the benefit of following The Voice. Add to this one very stupid looking multi-camera sitcom, and you've got a network that's nearly unrecognizable when you consider the glory days of the 30 Rock, The Office, Parks and Rec trifecta. (As I noted in an earlier post, FOX now carries the great single-cam sitcoms.)

There is also, of course, the reboot of Heroes - Heroes Reborn (one in a trend of TV revivals.) I never got into the original, so my interest level was low, but I gave the "next generation" resurrection of the show a try. From the first moments of the premiere, it was clear that new viewers had a lot of catching up to do if they wanted to fully understand this sci-fi drama. Getting dropped in the middle of this very bizarre story was tricky, and my confusion only intensified through the quick series of blink-and-you-miss-it flashbacks that began the episode. Only the introduction of Zachary Levi kept this Chuck fan watching. (Did anyone else catch the "stay in the car" line? Loved that reference to my old NBC fave.) I also loved the mysterious penny-toting benefactor. Is he from the original series?

I made it through the two hour premiere, but how much longer can this Heroes newbie stick with Reborn? Will I always be left wondering if a twisting plot point is meant to build suspense or if it references something I'm supposed to know from the original series? And while I'm a big fan of the ensemble cast, the idea of an ensemble setting is making it hard to keep track of all the players. All this leaves me wondering how many new viewers the show will capture. And believe it or not, popularity is a valid concern. I mean, why should I get all into a show if an inevitable cancellation is only going to break my heart? Here's the good news: Reborn is being billed as mini-series. Which probably means that even if the reboot isn't met with resounding praise, we're still going to get a neat wrap-up of the story before the show fades into television oblivion... with the rest of NBC's new fall premieres.

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