TV Squad Ten: New shows to look forward to in 2009 - VIDEO
by Mike Moody, posted Dec 30th 2008 1:01PM
Enough looking back already! Let's forget that 2008 was a mostly dismal year for TV and focus on the future. From sci-fi detectives to modern Mad Men, the 2009 TV season has a lot to offer. Here are ten new shows to keep on your radar (listed by premiere date).
1. The United States of Tara, premieres January 18 on Showtime
There's been good buzz about this series' Diablo Cody-penned premiere. The always-awesome Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, About A Boy) stars as a mother of two who suffers from multiple personality disorder. Tara is billed as a comedy, but early reports/reviews suggest that the series is a lot darker than the network's other show about a troubled mom (Weeds). I'm not really diggin' the concept, but I'll watch for Collette. She can pull off almost anything, so she's the perfect fit for this role.
2. Trust Me, premieres Jan. 26 on TNT
TNT isn't exactly the basic cable network known for serving up cutting edge TV (that title goes to FX). But lately its offered some solid shows starring some great familiar faces. The Closer is a big hit, and Leverage was a nice surprise, so I'm betting that Trust Me might be worth a shot. It stars Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanagh as best friends who work together at a Chicago ad agency. McCormack is the responsible one and Cavanagh is the capricious one. Their friendship is shaken up when McCormack gets a promotion and becomes Cavanagh's boss. I really hope this is a winner. I've been rooting for Cavanaugh ever since Ed went off the air, and it looks like McCormack might still have some spark left (despite those last few seasons of Will & Grace).
3. Dollhouse, premieres Feb. 13 on FOX
Friday night death slot and production problems aside, I'm psyched for Dollhouse, and you should be too. The show's concept – people are implanted with different personalities over and over again to fit the needs of paying customers – is loaded with potential. We could be watching a spy thriller one week and a romantic drama with a sci-fi bent the next. The storytelling possibilities seem limitless. Plus, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) is at the controls. That means the action and suspense will be layered with great character development, cutting social commentary, and crackling dialogue that might even make Eliza Dushku sound smart.
4. Castle, premieres March 9 on ABC
Firefly and Dr. Horrible star Nathan Fillion is sure to inject this light procedural with enough charm for at least the occasional viewing. Fillion stars as Rick Castle, a successful crime novelist who helps the NYPD solve murder cases. Yep, it sounds like Murder "He" Wrote, but I'll take Fillion and a drab concept over no Fillion at all any day. He's the heir to Bruce Campbell's throne – in a good way.
5. Kings, premieres March 19 on NBC
NBC's retelling of the King David story boasts a mechanical Goliath, the producer and director of I Am Legend, and Ian McShane as the ruler of an imaginary monarchy. Judging by NBC's preview footage, this looks like one of the new year's most ambitious and visually interesting efforts (and you can't beat the source material). Time will tell if the story will prove as bold as the style.
6. Cupid, premieres March 24 on ABC
I loved what I saw of Rob Thomas' original '90s version of Cupid starring Jeremy Piven. It was smart, optimistic and quirky in all the right ways. This reboot has no Jeremy Piven, and the footage I've seen looks forced and awkward. So, why is it on this list? Because Thomas is back producing and writing, and I'll watch anything the Veronica Mars creator has to offer. Also, I think the casting of Bobby Cannavale is pretty inspired. He's one of the only actors out there who can pull off acting like a dude who thinks he's the modern-day incarnation of Cupid.
7. The Untitled Amy Poehler Project, slated to premiere in spring on NBC
Rumor has it that Poehler will play an ex-cop who finds herself battling barbarians in a post-apocalyptic desert world where rules don't exist. Or this might be a clever workplace comedy in the same vein as The Office. I'll watch either way, especially since Poehler is headlining and Office alums Greg Daniels, Mike Schur and Rashida Jones are attached.
8. Sit Down, Shut Up, slated to premiere in spring on FOX
Screw The Cleveland Show. Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz's new series is the only new animated comedy on my must-see list for 2009. Yes, it takes place in a high school, but it's not about the students; it's about the cracked teachers and administrators who run the school. I can't wait to see how Hurwitz skewers the public education system. The cast features Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Kenan Thompson and comedian Maria Bamford. (Let's hope the writers aren't too bitter about that contract issue from back in the summer).
9. Stargate Universe, premieres next summer on Sci Fi
The casting of Scottish actor Robert Carlyle as the lead has me excited about this upcoming Stargate series. So far, creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper haven't offered many details about Universe. All we know is that it follows a crew of civilians and scientists trapped on an Ancient ship that jumps throughout the far reaches of space. Wright and Cooper are also telling fans to expect "edgier" elements, a young cast and more character-themed storylines than we've seen from Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Some fans have already tagged this thing Stargate: 90210, but I think we might see something fresh and unexpected with Universe.
10. Warehouse 13, slated to premiere next summer on Sci Fi
Superficially, this series about a pair of secret service agents dealing with unexplained phenomena sounds like basic cable's answer to Fringe or The X-Files. But let's look at the details. Joss Whedon collaborator and Battlestar Galactica producer Jane Epsenson and Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon wrote the two-hour pilot. So don't expect anything typical -- at least not from the pilot, which should set the tone for the rest of the series. It's being compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark and Moonlighting.
I'm also curious about Lie To Me and Merlin. What are you looking forward to watching in '09?