Anticipating the 2012-2013 Season: 8 New Shows I Can’t Wait To See

New Shows

Aliens in suburbia, mob wives and doctors, and enough serial killers to keep Dexter Morgan busy for at least six more seasons are all coming our way in the 2012-2013 season. Now that the complete list of upcoming network shows has officially been rolled out, it’s time to get a head start on planning our schedules.

I know we’ve only seen trailers so far, but in the past I’ve found trailers to be a decent barometer of a show’s potential. Some shows undergo drastic tonal shifts between their pilots and their actual seasons, but in most cases, a good trailer backed by an interesting premise means we’re in for a compelling show. It’s not a perfect formula, but when we’ve got roughly 44 new shows to weed through on the networks alone, we’ve got to start somewhere.

After watching all the trailers and pouring over cast lists, I’ve narrowed my list down to eight shows that I can’t wait to check out. (Spoiler alert: The Neighbors did not make the list. Sorry, ABC. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’m just not ready to devote a half an hour a week to aliens who cry green tears out of their ears.)

The Mindy Project
 

MK.LivR.FINALfinal_1

Network/Time: Fox, Tuesdays 9:30 EST

Why I’m excited: Mindy Kaling has been a bright spot both as a writer and a performer on NBC’s The Office since the show began, so any project with her name on it would be worth a try, this one just happens to look fantastic. The Mindy Project‘s trailer suggests the show will satirize and indulge in romantic comedy tropes in equal measure, making it a perfect companion for Fox’s other sweet and sharp lady-driven comedy, New Girl. The Dr. Bridget Jones set-up combined with the number of Kaling’s talented comedy buddies set to pop up in the pilot (and no doubt beyond) has The Mindy Project at the top of my must watch list for fall.

Elementary
 

Elementary

Network/Time: CBS, Thursdays 10:00 EST

Why I’m excited: Initially, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of another Sherlock reboot. Between the Robert Downey Jr. film franchise, the BBC’s modernized Sherlock and all of the shows featuring slightly misanthropic, crime-solving geniuses it felt like our collective Sherlock needs were more than being met. But then CBS went and cast Jonny Lee Miller in the lead role and turned Watson into a woman (played by Lucy Liu, no less) and my interest was piqued.

Miller’s Sherlock doesn’t appear to be all that different from Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the iconic character, he’s perhaps a bit softer, but by giving us a female Watson, CBS gave their version a unique hook. It’s apparent that Liu’s Watson isn’t a carbon copy of the Watsons we’ve seen in the past. She’s there as Sherlock’s sober companion hired by Sherlock’s father to watch over him. That changes their classic dynamic while at the same time giving a nod to another iconic Holmes/Watson-esque pair–The X-Files‘s Fox Mulder and Dr. Dana Scully. Given how addictive that duo was, I’m more than willing to give Miller and Liu a shot.

Revolution
 

Revolution - Season Pilot

Network/Time: NBC, Mondays 10:00 EST

Why I’m excited: I wouldn’t say I’m excited for Revolution, so much as I’m cautiously optimistic that it won’t be terrible. It has an impeccable pedigree thanks to Supernatural‘s Eric Kripke, backing from super producer JJ Abrams’s company, Bad Robot and a pilot episode directed by Jon Favreau. The first minute or so of the trailer (and the unfortunate promo pics) brings to mind the string of bland Lost imitators that have tried and failed to mimic Lost in the past, but the moment Billy Burke breaks out a sword we enter uncharted and potentially exciting waters.

As long as the writers commit to exploring the eerie world they’ve created and aren’t planning on stranding us in Burke’s character’s mansion for 22 episodes, Revolution should be a fun ride.

Cult
 

Cult

Network/Time: The CW, TBA (Midseason)

Why I’m excited: Cult does not look like a CW show. If anything it’s reminiscent of the more daring bygone days of The WB. It’s a show about a show that turns fans obsessive thanks to its mysteries and its enigmatic cult leader played by Robert Knepper (or, as I fondly think of him, the only reason to watch Prison Break past season one). It all sounds deliciously meta, but it has more working for it than a cool premise.

In addition to Knepper, Cult also has Matt Davis and Alona Tal, who are best known for playing Alaric on The Vampire Diaries and Jo on Supernatural. Both actors consistently delivered top notch performances on their former genre shows despite never being given enough to do, and the prospect of seeing them take up lead roles is tantalizing.

If Cult turns out to be as ambitious in execution as it is in theory and it manages to survive in a season that will give us as many serial killers as it will Sherlocks, then it could finally give the struggling netlet a building block outside of the aging Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries and perhaps even move it back toward to its earthier roots.

The Following
 

The Following

Network/Time: Fox, Mondays 9:00 EST (Midseason)

Why I’m excited: Kevin Bacon. The premise–an FBI agent is pulled back into an old case involving a serial killer (played by James Purefoy) with an affinity for Edgar Allen Poe–isn’t bad either, and the promise of a shortened, cable style season should keep the quality up and the chase as tense as it needs to be for a show like this to work.

Ben & Kate
 

TheKidsPilot_Scene12KateBen_100

Network/Time: Fox, Tuesdays 8:30 EST

Why I’m excited: Remember how everyone was describing New Girl with the cutesy term ‘adorkable’ like that was a bad thing last season? Well, I always assumed those people also didn’t like puppies and sunshine because anything that could earn the moniker of adorkable sounds like something I’ll enjoy. I like my quirk, and Ben & Kate appears to have quirk to spare.

Ben and Kate are two adult siblings who decide to tag-team parent Kate’s five-year-old daughter. Ben is the lovable screw-up (I got strong Michael Scott meets Paul Rudd’s Our Idiot Brother role vibes from him), while Kate appears to be the more straight-laced member of the family. If the show can strike the right balance between heartwarming and funny without wandering off into cloying territory, it’s going to fit right in with Fox’s unabashedly adorkable Tuesday night comedy block.

Arrow
 

Arrow

Network/Time: The CW, Wednesdays 8:00 EST

Why I’m excited: The trailer looked downright cinematic. It’s as simple as that. I have zero Green Arrow knowledge, but I doubt that will matter if the series can match the dark and captivating vibe it exuded in the trailer. Like Cult, Arrow brings to mind the glory days of The WB and pairing it with Supernatural on Wednesdays will provide viewers with a welcome double dose of epic genre action.

Last Resort
 

Last Resort

Network/Time: ABC, Thursdays 8:00 EST

Why I’m excited: Shawn Ryan, the creator of Last Resort, makes cool stuff. Terriers, The Chicago Code and The Shield were all his babies. I have no reason to believe Last Resort won’t be just as satisfying as his other shows. Besides, a premise can’t get much higher concept than a submarine crew defecting and declaring an island their very own country.

Last Resort happens to be airing in ABC’s cursed timeslot, but that doesn’t mean it has to be doomed for an early grave. I have a feeling this show might be the one to break the cancellation curse…or at least do well enough to convince ABC to move it to a safer port.

 

Those are the shows I’m most looking forward to checking out next season. Which newcomers are on your list?

Follow me on Twitter @sljbowman