I consider the 2005-2009 FOX series Prison Break to be one of the most thrilling and entertaining serialized programs produced for television. The Break writer/producer team Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora is ready for a second outing in a familiar setting. Tonight is the series premiere of Breakout Kings, an ensemble drama following an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals’ office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run. “It takes a con to catch a con” is the show’s slogan–sounds like a fun concept. If you’re a loyal Break fan then obviously you know what to expect from Olmstead and Santora; namely edge-of-your-seat action sequences and smart, witty dialogue. Though Kings will play out more like a procedural (the show will focus on a new criminal each week), it is being described as a character-based show so the relationships and personalities that form amongst the ensemble cast of cops and convicts will play an integral part in the show’s development. If you need a solid reason to tune in each week here it is: Break’s Robert Knepper will be reprising the brilliantly sinister Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell later this season in a four episode arc!
Breakout Kings begins its 13-episode season tonight at 10PM on A&E. Check out stills from the pilot below, and click here to read more about show.
Bonus! Click here to watch the producers discuss the round table writing process.
Update: The Breakout Kings premiere received the highest demo numbers for an A&E drama series–1.5 million adults 18-49 and 1.6 million adults 25-54. That’s up 25% and 14%, respectively, from the network’s previous ratings record holder The Glades (which premiered in July 2010). In terms of total viewership, Kings‘ 2.9 million viewers did not beat out The Glades‘ undisputed record of 3.6 million. Says Bob DeBitetto, President and general manager of A&E and BIO: “Breakout Kingsis a smart, action-packed drama with great storytelling and authentic well-drawn characters. Clearly the series has struck a chord with the younger viewers.” Yes, yes it has.
Finally, finally! The Pawnee gang led by the one and only Leslie Knope returns tonight! In the season 3 premiere “Go Big or Go Home” Leslie is trying to convince newcomers Chris and Ben (Rob Lowe and Adam Scott) to give the Parks Department more money. Prepare for the premiere by watching this informative and hilarious preview, and look in the gallery below for character profiles.
BONUS! Hop after the break to watch Rob Lowe flip out at the cast of Parks and Rec, presented by Funny or Die. NSFW warning is in full effect (language).
Update: Parks and Rec hit a series-high rating–6.2 million people tuned into the season 3 premiere. That’s up 52% from its fall season premiere in 2009. The Office lead-in helped; Parks retained 71% of its viewers.
Mark your calendars, people. The Steven Spielberg/Peter Chernin sci-fi drama Terra Nova will air its preview event across two nights: May 23 and May 24 at 9PM. Just like FOX did with Glee, the network is going to preview the new show before its fall 2011 debut in attempt to generate buzz.
Refresher: Terra Nova follows Jim Shannon (played by Jason O’Mara), a man who is sent back in time to prehistoric Earth with his family in an attempt to save the human race. At the Television Critics Association press event, the producers screened an action-packed trailer; unfortunately it did not reveal the dinosaur design since production on the pilot episode recently wrapped and the special FX have yet to be finalized. However, many people connected to the show shared their thoughts on what to expect. Executive producer Brannon Braga (24, FlashForward) explained, “Earth is essentially dying – most animal life is extinct. They’re hoping to re-start humanity through this time fracture they’ve discovered.” The plan for the Shannons and over 1,000 time-travelling colonists is to re-colonize the planet in the past. “What effect that will have on the future, they hope it’s a positive one,” said Braga. “The characters are hoping for a second chance.” The show will have “continuing elements of suspense…[but] at the core of this show is the Shannon family.” Director Alex Graves (Fringe) says that Terra Nova is “not a scary show. It’s an adventure show. My kids have seen some of it and they love it.” He continued, “You’re going to see dinosaurs you haven’t seen before.” When asked to compare this show to groundbreaking series Lost Graves said, “It’s so made for a massively broad audience, I cannot tell you.” Insinuating that Lost catered to a very specific audience he then noted, “Terra Nova, more than anything I’ve ever done in my life, is for everybody.”
Then Braga shared some concluding remarks about the promise of this show. “It’s just a great concept. Philosophically, it’s the closest thing to Star Trek I’ve worked on since I read that show years ago. I wanted to gravitate back to a science-fiction premise with big, humanistic ideas. ” He is compelled about the focus on “people from the distant future coming to the distant past.”
The show is being shot in Australia, so you can expect a beautiful backdrop. After watching the teaser trailer, IGN described certain aspects of the show as having a Jurassic Park meets Aliens vibe.
Today FOX released some stills from the two-part pilot episode slated to air this May; check ’em out after the break along with some character profiles. And if you’re interested in reading about the trailer shown at the TCAs today click the source link.
“Red Rain” is about to fall out of the “Red Sky”. Anna’s vengeful act at the end of season one will be addressed head on during tonight’s one hour season premiere of V. We’ll also be introduced to Anna’s mother Dianna who is played by Jane Badler, the original V baddie from the 1980s miniseries.
In an interview with EW star Elizabeth Mitchell promises that the season two 10 episode arc will be grander than the first season. “If you were frustrated by the last season, which you probably were — I was, a little bit — I think that this will be far more satisfying,” says Mitchell. There is far more action and there is far more of what you want in an alien-invasion story, where the aliens are out to use us as food and take our technology and do everything bad you can think about. There’s more of that wonderful thing of “Us-Against-Them” stuff, which is always so satisfying in a fictional sense. And also, there’s some good sexy stuff!”
“I think the last three episodes [of season 1] were a good indicator of where this season is headed,” Mitchell continues. “Instead of people sitting around talking people were actually accomplishing things. I wanted to be an action hero, not an exposition hero! I spent all that time training, learning to kick ass, and then all I did was talk. I was like, “I’m so bored! I wanna hit people and kiss boys!” The first one comes in quickly, and it’s eerie, what happens and the way they go about it. It starts just like a movie, which is the way that you want it to. The effects in it are just gruesomely good.”
Less talk, more action. I like it.
THEY RETURN tonight at 9PM ET on ABC. Peer into the galleries below to view stills from the episode and character profiles.
Update: If you watched the fantastic season premiere (spoiler alert), then you know that the producers finally decided to reveal more of what’s hiding underneath the V’s human skin. First we saw Anna take her long, scaly tail out of hiding and kill a disloyal V ship captain, and then we caught a glimpse at Ryan’s alien/human hybrid baby. USA Today managed to get their hands on an image coming directly from executive producer Scott Rosenbaum that shows what the Vs look like if you found them on their home planet stripped of their human skin. If you think that V skeleton featured in the episode was revealing, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Note: USA Today reports that the V’s physical appearance will be revealed piecemeal over the 10-episode second season, and the full alien body will show up in the season finale. If you don’t want to spoil the surprise, don’t look after the break. Otherwise, click here: (Click here for more…)
After many years of anticipation, tonight zombies will invade our living rooms like never before. The Walking Dead, a comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and adapted for television by Frank Darabont, follows a group of survivors dealing with a world overrun by zombies. The collaboration between Kirkman, Darabont, producer Gale Anne Hurd, and makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero promises to result in a frightening drama about the human psyche featuring the best looking and most convincing zombies made for television. The 6-episode season one arc begins tonight at 10PM on AMC. The series premiere runs an hour and a half in length, so set your DVRs accordingly. And if you plan on celebrating Halloween night outside the home, don’t forget to record it! Happy Halloween!
Look in the gallery below for character profiles and spooky stills from the premiere.
Update: The Walking Dead premiere was a record-smashing success! The 10PM showing attracted 5.3 million viewers–the largest audience for an AMC original series ever. Want another record-breaking stat? In the 18-49 demo, the show netted 3.6 million viewers making it the highest rated cable series debut in 2010. The adults 25-54 and 18-34 demos netted 3.1 million and 2.1 million viewers, respectively. AMC aired the premiere two more time during the night (at 11PM and again at 1AM), so if you take those showings into account, the premiere garnered a grand total of 8.1 million viewers. Says Charlie Collier, AMC president: “It’s a good day to be dead. We are so proud of this series, its depth of storytelling and the remarkable talent attached. As the network dedicated to bringing viewers the best stories on television, we are so pleased to have the opportunity with The Walking Dead to raise the bar within this popular genre and continue our commitment to being the home of premium television on basic cable.” So Mr. Collier, how about renewing this flipping success for a second season, hm?
Need your animation fix? The Simpsons (8pm), The Cleveland Show (8:30pm), and Family Guy (9pm) premiere tonight (9/26) on FOX!
In “Elementary School Musical”, Lisa goes to performing arts camp where she meets friends (voiced by Glee‘s Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Amber Riley) and artsy counselors (Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords). The 22nd season of The Simpsons will be jam packed with guest voices.
In “Harder, Better, Faster, Browner”, Cleveland helps struggling rapper Kenny (aka Kanye) West by encouraging him to record a new hit single. Get a taste of “Be-Cleve in Yourself” here. The episode also packs other Kanye references including a humorous nod to the Swift incident and a montage backed by Late Registration‘s “Touch the Sky.”
The one-hour Family Guy premiere “And Then There Were Fewer” plays out like a cinematic murder-mystery in a case of whodunit. James Woods invites virtually all of Quohag to his ominous mansion where all the light drama unfolds. Fun fact: Family Guy has finally gone HD this season!
Glance at the premiere stills above, and get ready for three hours of animation domination tonight on FOX. (American Dad fans–your show premieres next Sunday, October 3).
ABC’s breakout comedy Modern Family returns this Wednesday at 9PM. Check out stills from the premiere ep “The Old Wagon”; they include photos of Phil (Ty Burrell) driving a time machine and Mitchell and Cameron constructing…something. No doubt it’s gonna be a HOOT!
Sexpionage! Violence! Romance! Steven and Samantha Bloom (Boris Kodjoe & Gugu Mbatha-Raw) are ready to kick ass and take names in the J.J. Abrams/Bryan Burk/Josh Reims spy series. The Abrams-directed pilot airs Wednesday night (9/22) at 8PM on NBC.
The FOX musical sensation is back. No, not American Idol…Glee! Another year at McKinley High is about to begin, so brush up by reintroducing yourself to all the main charachers in the gallery below. Don’t forget to peek into gallery #2 to get a sneek peek at the premiere ep called “Auditions.” Glee premieres tonight (9/21) at 8PM.
The new FOX comedy from the mind that brought us Arrested Development is almost here! Check out these premiere stills from Mitch Hurwitz’s Running Wilde and plop on your couch tonight (9/21) at 9:30PM to catch the absurd and the funny. Stars Will Arnett, Keri Russell, and a bearded David Cross make up the majority of the stills.
Yeah, yeah I know; we’ve already been privy to cast stills from NBC’s upcoming conspiracy thriller The Event. Well the network has decided to issue a new set of publicity shots, this time including a new cast group photo and stills from the series premiere. You know the drill–cast and premiere photos are categorized into the two galleries below. Go crazy.
The Event premieres Monday, September 20 at 9PM on NBC.
Princeton Plainsboro Hospital is almost open for business. The mad doc has finally found love in Cuddy, Thirteen will be taking some time off, and young Amber Tamblyn will be joining the cast in the beginning half of the season. Check out these House cast and season premiere stills (organized in the two galleries below); add ’em to the collection that includes the awesome season poster and cast group shot.
House premieres Monday, September 20 at 8PM on FOX.
Look what we’ve got here–more Fringe season 3 premiere stills! And this time they contain strictly images of Alt-Olivia making her way around our universe. Add these photos to the ongoing collection. But before you jump into the stills that are waiting in the gallery below, go ahead and study the cast photo pasted above. Some things I notice: the mysterious images we are left with at every commercial break lay on the floor amongst a brightly lit flashlight; the Observer peering through the doorway to the alternate universe; Astrid’s badass ‘tude; and Walter is not consuming a beverage!
Fringe premieres Thursday, September 23 at 9PM on FOX.
Update: New cast group shot after the break!
NBC’s Community returns with a BANG thanks to guest star Betty White. In “Anthropology 101” White plays a “slightly unhinged anthropology professor” named June Bauer. Doesn’t she just fit right in with the entire Community gang in that picture up there? Want to see more stills from the premiere ep? Look in the gallery below to find more Betty White plus images of fearless leader Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Hawthorne Wipes’ Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), Annie Adderall (Alison Brie), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), dream team Abed & Troy (Danny Pudi & Donald Glover), and Señor Chang (Ken Jeong) as a student! What, no Britta “Baagels” Perry (Gillian Jacobs)? She’s above, left. Oh, and didcha see Starburns?!
Greendale Community College is back in session Thursday, September 23 at 8PM on NBC.