Jay Sage: Welcome back to the EB Chat Wrap. Jay Sage here with Jared Feldman. On Monday we covered the upcoming season of comedies on ABC. Moving onto the dramas, Lost’s Terry O’Quinn is back in 666 Park Avenue. In this take off of Faustian notions, the hedonistic desires of an apartment building are met and bargained for by something quite sinister. Also starring is Vanessa Williams.
Jared Feldman: I’ve really got no clue what to expect from 666 Park Avenue, I’m sure O’Quinn will play an excellent devilish character and Williams a seductive temptress, but as for storylines, I suppose it will episodic with a few story arcs per year. Supernatural shows are making a comeback with Grimm, and Once Upon A Time, but with a darker tone expected, it might be more difficult to garner a large viewership.
Sage: 666 Park Avenue reminds me of a Stephen King novel (and of course, later a movie) called Needful Things, in which the devil tempts residents of a small Maine town with items from his novelty shop, a place where seemingly anything can be found. I was a fan of that story, so I’m potentially a fan of this story. But it depends on how dark they’re willing to go. They can’t molly coddle the audience here.
Feldman: The show I’m most looking forward to on ABC and perhaps in the entire fall schedule is Last Resort, a submarine show where the entire crew of a US submarine are branded as traitors and seek to prove their innocence. Starring Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplin his refusal to fire nuclear weapons at Pakistan without presidential confirmation begins the shows primary conflict. It bears a striking resemblance to Crimson Tide with Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington, but that’s a good thing.
Sage: There’s something called a “bottle episode” in which a television show produces a low budget episode by creating a plot element to contain their actions within the confines of a single set piece. For the sake of Last Resort, I hope there’s more to the pilot than just the submarine. People might get the wrong impression, and as they say you only get one first impression.
Feldman: One midseason replacement scheduled is Mistresses, about four 30 somethings and the affairs they become embroiled in. With the end of Desperate Housewives, it seems obvious that ABC is looking to capitalize on the scandal seeking audience.
Sage: Right, it’s purely a demographics move, for which you can’t really fault ABC. But despite the fact that Desperate Housewives trailed off in recent years, it was a legitimate cultural phenomenon for its first couple seasons. And not so easily replaced.
Feldman: We mentioned Nashville earlier which seems to be a drama of sorts surrounding an ongoing feud or battle for country music supremacy between aging star played by Connie Britton and a quick up and comer played by Hayden Panettiere. The promos are trying to portray the show as a sex filled country romp, but one merely hopes it doesn’t become anything like Mariah Carey’s Glitter.
Sage: It’s strange to think that for all the popularity of music reality shows, none of the fictional dramas about musicians have really caught on in a serious way (for the record, Glee is a comedy). NBC’s Smash was moderately successful in the show tunes department, and in an America with an enormous taste for country music I think Nashville can succeed. Not my cup of tea, but count me surprised if it doesn’t get a second season.
Feldman: Agreed, it has enough star power and potential clout to demand a further look, even if initial returns are less than pleasing. I believe there are two more midseason dramas upcoming on ABC, Red Widow and Zero Hour, will either one warrant more than six episodes in this TV season?
Sage: Red Widow seems like the last vestige of a long line of crime procedurals. Maybe there will be an upsurge in another decade or so, but for now it seems that the public is looking for something different. Zero Hour seems like an intriguing paranormal concept, but upon reading the synopsis I’d be more comfortable if it was in the hands of a proven visionary like Joss Whedon.
Feldman: Agreed, those bend the rules kind of shows usually have a mostly unknown cast (ie. Lost) but someone with a track record of success from less than traditional storylines. The whole unravel a mystery to save the world will also be seen in NBC’s Revolution and Zero Hour’s success could be heavily dependent on the popularity, or lack thereof for Revolution. Probably worth a few episodes but it’s the kind of show that will need to grab viewers right off the bat.
Sage: Well, I think that’s going to do it for another edition of the chat wrap. What do you think of ABC’s upcoming schedule? Check back next week as we delve into what CBS will have to offer, as America’s most popular network looks to retain their crown.