New Dramas on NBC This Fall
NBC’s Fall Drama lineup for 2013 presents some interesting choices. The Blacklist, starring James Spader as a Hannibal Lector-esque criminal mastermind, premieres Monday, September 23 at 10 p.m. in the coveted timeslot following The Voice, indicating that this might just be something special. Then from Wednesday October 2nd, The new Blair Underwood-starring cop procedural Ironside kicks off its freshman run with a new take on an old show.
From midseason we can expect the supernatural, JJ Abrams-produced Believe along with a new emotionally-charged action thriller Crisis, starring Dermot Mulroney and Gillian Anderson.
Full pilot reviews for all of these shows follow below.
If you can believe the hype, The Blacklist is shaping up to be one of Fall’s most hotly anticipated dramas this year. The series comes to NBC on Monday, September 23 at 10 p.m., and stars James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a criminal mastermind who has made it to the top of the FBI’s most wanted list, not only by evading capture for a very long time but by facilitating a collection of the world’s most serious terrorists and criminals. As the pilot starts, Red inexplicably turns himself in, mysteriously offering to give up every serious criminal in his ‘Black List’ on one condition. He will only work with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). Of course the catch is that Keen is a newly minted agent who has yet to start her first day of work at the FBI. She has no idea who Reddington is, or why he wants to work with her, and she’s heavily preoccupied by events in her personal life – including the imminent adoption of a baby girl. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
It’s very easy to say that all cop shows have the same vibe: heavy, quick cut, and dry-witted. While you can see all of these elements in NBC’s current cop fair, not all are done in tandem well. In fact, you might say the days of traditional biting cop dramas are over on the network. Enter Ironside, NBC’s newest reboot and reminder that a certain era of television storytelling isn’t entirely lost on us yet.
In the very short time between wrapping his first case and beginning his second, we see that Detective Robert Ironside (Blair Underwood) is not afraid of pushing limits – or occasionally breaking the law. He is has a physical disability, but instead of it catching him up he uses it as a mechanism to catch criminals. Your first mistake is letting your guard down around him. Your second mistake is thinking he’ll let his down around you.
After closing a kidnapping case, Robert already has a new one: a successful, young, and beautiful New York investment banker is found dead in the street. While Ironside thinks she was a jumper, it may be a little more complicated. Important people have asked for his expertise specifically, signaling that it may be one of the city’s tougher cases. Captain Rollins (Kenneth Choi) has asked for a certain level of decorum, but Ironside and his team don’t much care about a pretense of politeness. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
Save Bo, change the world. Believe, NBC’s newest project from sci-fi goliath J.J. Abrams (Revolution, Lost), centers on a 10-year-old girl with extraordinary gifts that could change the future forever. After a not so accidental car crash leads to the death of her foster parents, a secret society known as the “True Believers” fight to get Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) under their protection. Their goal? Keep Bo alive long enough for her to fulfill her destiny.
It won’t be easy. Some pretty nefarious people are hunting her and willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on her powers. Their reasoning is pretty basic: Why use Bo to help change the world when she can help you control it? To ensure Bo’s survival, the Believers – lead by a man named Winter (Delroy Lindo) – elect one person to protect her. That person is Tate (Jake McLaughlin), a death row inmate with a chip on his shoulder. Before he can help them though, they have to break him out of prison. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]
Coming to NBC this midseason is Crisis, a new action thriller starring Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Lance Gross (The Last Fall) and Rachael Taylor (Transformers).
The action centers on the fallout surrounding a key event from the pilot episode in which an innocent field trip for the students and teachers of Ballard High School goes horribly wrong when their bus is intercepted on a quiet wooded road and all of the students are taken hostage by a deadly and professional team of terrorists.
What ups the ante in terms of storytelling is that Ballard High School is home to the children of America’s wealthiest and most powerful – CEOs, foreign royalty, international power players, key diplomats and even the president’s son. As the FBI struggle to understand how such an event could have happened when the school bus was operating with a heavy security detail attached, it soon becomes obvious that this mass kidnapping is an inside job. [… CONTINUE TO FULL PILOT REVIEW]