Sunday, June 17, 2018
TV and Media

Fall TV Preview: 'Star Trek,' 'Will and Grace' and 8 more shows we're excited about

With dozens of new shows to dive into this season we've picked 10 to consider first, in order of premiere date.

The Deuce Already premiered; 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO

The height of sleaze was 1970s New York City, particularly an area of Times Square nicknamed "The Deuce," where sex workers turned tricks through all hours of the night. The new HBO series chronicles the turning point in the sex industry's history when it went from grimy back-alley deals to a billion-dollar business with the advent of video pornography. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as an independent sex worker whose resourcefulness and ambition lead her to the front lines of the porn revolution. James Franco plays twin brothers: one a hardworking barman and the other an indebted gambler. The series is less about gratuitous sex than about the power and politics of the flesh trade. It's an instantly immersive story that pinpoints a not-so-glamorous moment in time that led to a cultural revolution.

DuckTales 7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, Disney XD

With the reboot of the late-'80s Disney animated series DuckTales, you might solve a mystery or rewrite history. Because of unknown family drama, Donald Duck (voiced by Tony Anselmo) hasn't spoken to his uncle Scrooge McDuck (David Tennant) in 10 years. But the two reunite when Donald asks Scrooge to watch nephews Huey (Danny Pudi), Dewey (Ben Schwartz) and Louie (Bobby Moynihan) for the day. The mischievous ducklings rekindle Scrooge's taste for excitement, leading the four on more treasure-hunting adventures. The ducklings' new friend Webby (Kate Micucci) also helps them uncover the truth about why their uncles became estranged. The original Emmy award-winning series was treasured by generations of viewers. The reboot is set to bring back that Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia while bringing a new generation of fans along for the duck blur of a ride.

Star Trek: Discovery 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, CBS/CBS All Access

Trekkies, rejoice. There's a new Star Trek series coming to CBS and it's a sequel to the original 1960s series. Set about 10 years before the original, Star Trek: Discovery explores the Federation-Klingon cold war while following the USS Discovery. The ship's crew includes Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), who starts out as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou before coming to the Discovery. Though Michael isn't the captain, Martin-Green's character is the protagonist in the spinoff series. Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs also stars as the Discovery's Captain Lorca. Alex Kurtzman (the most recent Star Trek films) and Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Hannibal) created the series. CBS is really trying to get people to use its CBS All Access, so the network is premiering the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery one night with the remaining episodes premiering solely on the streaming service. Some more good news: The second episode will go live that same night on CBS All Access.

Me, Myself, and I 9:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, CBS (moves to 9 p.m. on Oct. 30)

Imagine Kevin Arnold of The Wonder Years, but from three different perspectives. That's the idea behind CBS's newest sitcom, which doesn't have laugh tracks! In 1991, Alex Riley is the new kid in town, and his stepbrother doesn't want Alex's nerdiness to make a devastating first impression in middle school. By the time he's a middle-age divorced dad, played by Bobby Moynihan (Saturday Night Live), Alex needs a comeback. And clearly he found it by 2042, when he, now played by John Larroquette (Night Court), announces his retirement from his successful company. The show's first episode successfully builds that ambitious premise, each timeline full of a heartwarming set of characters. It's got all the feels of NBC's hit This Is Us, but with only the focus of a rich white guy. That's CBS for you.

The Good Doctor 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, ABC

Aside from the long-running behemoth Grey's Anatomy, TV is itching for the next great medical drama. In comes House creator David Shore to the rescue. The Good Doctor stars Freddie Highmore and three-time Emmy winner Richard Schiff (The West Wing). Highmore, fresh off an impressive take as Norman Bates on A&E's Bates Motel, plays Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism and savant syndrome. While Shaun's social limitations are problematic, he can save lives. The first episode checks off all the right cliches: a sad childhood backstory, a heroic effort to help an injured kid and an impressive set of surrounding skeptical characters. It definitely has the potential to be a refreshingly smart medical drama.

Will & Grace 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, NBC

After nine years normalizing queer life for its audience, Will & Grace went off the air in 2006, with a somewhat satisfying ending. Since then, same-sex marriage is legal but trans rights are still in the news, and we have a stressfully vicious political climate, to say the least. So we've called on our favorite foursome — Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally — to reunite. Don't worry, though. They're completely scrapping the time-jump finale. While the show will get political — Karen is clearly a Trump supporter — the cast says they came back to make people laugh. Sadly, though, two key players won't be returning: Shelley Morrison, who played Karen's maid, Rosario; and Debbie Reynolds, who passed away in December and played Grace's mother. It's worth noting that the revolutionary show was criticized for being mostly white, as well as relying on transgender jokes, but the cast and creative team have promised to bring the show into more modern times.

The Gifted 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, Fox

Inspired by the characters and stories from Marvel's mutant universe, The Gifted explores a world where those born with the mutant gene are hunted as dangers to society. During a high school dance gone wrong, two siblings (Natalie Alyn Lind and Percy Hynes White) are outed as mutants and forced to go on the run with their parents (Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker). While on the run from the Sentinel Services, the family joins an underground mutant community that's home to Thunderbird, Polaris, Eclipse and Blink. Marvel's TV series usually stay mum about references to the movie universes, but The Gifted features some references to the X-Men.

Dynasty 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, CW

It takes about a half-hour for the first hair-pulling catfight, so you know this '80s remake from Gossip Girl producers is going full force with the drama, in case you had any doubt. It's the same essential story — two dueling uber-rich families, the Carringtons and the Colbys — with the same essential characters: Oil tycoon Blake Carrington (Grant Show) abruptly marries Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley), much to his daughter's dismay. When the show premiered in early 1981, Ronald Reagan became president a couple weeks later and the yuppy culture was about to begin. Cut to 2017, with a wealthy businessman in the Oval Office and our obsession with famously rich families all over TV. The CW clearly felt this was the time to reboot this prime-time soap. The network, known for extremely attractive teens with intense adult drama, has sprinkled in much more diversity and political relevance, amped up the character backstories, and left out the homophobia — Blake's son, Steven (James Mackay), is out and proud. Steven's sister Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) is now the central focus of the show, and this Cristal is Hispanic, and comes with lots of baggage and ulterior motives. They're both intelligent, quick-witted and as sharp as the high heels they wear. We'll be sipping our cheap Champagne, soaking in the spectacle and awaiting a Joan Collins cameo.

The Last O.G. 10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, TBS

We warmly welcome back Tracy Morgan to the small screen in this irreverent scripted comedy. Tray (Morgan), a recently released ex-con, moves back to Brooklyn, N.Y., only to find that it's not exactly the same city from 15 years ago. Welcome to the land of hipster gentrification, Tray! Rising star Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) plays his ex-girlfriend, who's now married to a rich white guy and helping raise Tray's twin sons, whom Tray didn't even know existed. It's a perfect setup for Morgan's particular sense of blunt humor.

Alias Grace 3 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, Netflix

More true crime and Margaret Atwood? Sign us up. Alias Grace, inspired by Atwood's 1996 novel and the story of convicted murderer Grace Marks, is a six-hour miniseries coming to Netflix later this fall. Sarah Gadon is Grace, a poor Irish immigrant and servant in northern Canada who was convicted with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) of brutally murdering their employer, his housekeeper and his lover in 1843. True Blood's Anna Paquin is the lover, Nancy Montgomery, who was initially friends with Grace before she fired her in a jealous rage. After their convictions, James was hanged and Grace was sentenced to life in prison before she was exonerated after 30 years.

     
         
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