Recently, network executives gathered in New York for the TV Upfronts. Big presentations were made, celebrities were trotted out and executives tried to impress advertisers with their upcoming programming slate in hopes they would spend their ad dollars on commercial breaks. Suits talked about their ratings-high current shows and gave glimpses of new shows they hope will be the next big hit, à la NBC’s This is Us.
Based on the trailers and descriptions for each show, here are eight pilots I’m looking forward to watching this fall:
The Gifted (FOX)
The Gifted focuses on a suburban couple (played by Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker) whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive. The action-adventure drama, which features characters from the X-Men comic book franchise, comes from 20th Century Fox TV and Marvel TV.
The Resident (FOX)
An idealistic young doctor (Manish Dayal) begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident (Matt Czuchry) who pulls back the curtain on all of the good and evil in modern day medicine. Lives may be saved or lost, but expectations will always be shattered. Bruce Greenwood, Emily VanCamp and Shaunette Wilson also star.
The Mayor (ABC)
Young rapper Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) needs his big break. Tired of waiting for opportunity, Courtney cooks up a genius publicity stunt: run for mayor in his California hometown to generate buzz for his music career. Unfortunately for Courtney, his master plan ends in the most terrifying of outcomes — an election victory. With the help of his mother (Yvette Nicole Brown) and friends, including Valentina (Lea Michele), Courtney will have to overcome his egotistic personality if he wants to help the city he loves.
Inspired by the film of the same name, the drama centers on locally born and bred S.W.A.T. Sergeant Dan “Hondo” Harrelson (Shemar Moore). Hondo’s torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers when he’s tasked to run a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in L.A.’s law enforcement. Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, and Peter Onorati also star.
Wisdom of the Crowd (CBS)
Inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one, a visionary tech innovator (Jeremy Piven) creates a cutting-edge crowd-sourced app to solve his daughter’s murder, revolutionizing crime solving in the process. Based on the Israeli series of the same name, Richard T. Jones, Natalia Tena, Blake Lee, Jake Matthews, and Monica Potter also co-star.
Black Lightning (The CW)
Based on the DC character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden, the show stars Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) as Jefferson Pierce, a hero who hung up his suit and secret identity years ago. But with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend, Black Lightning. Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams also star.
The Brave (NBC)
Formerly known as For God and Country, the series focuses on the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes. While Defense Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from Washington, Adam Dalton (Mike Vogel) and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save innocent lives and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
Although it’s a mid-season show and doesn’t have a trailer yet, I could not help but include Rise on my list. Starring Josh Radnor, Rise was inspired by the story of groundbreaking high school drama teacher Lou Volpe, as chronicled in the book Drama High. When dedicated teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli (Radnor) sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theater department, he stirs interest in the faculty and students, as well as the entire working-class town. Rosie Perez, Marley Shelton, and Moana star Auli’i Cravalho co-star, in addition to Damon J. Gillespie, Amy Forsyth, Rarmian Newton, Ted Sutherland, Casey Johnson, Taylor Richardson, Joe Tippett and Shirley Rumierk.
Which new shows are you looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments below.