PERSON OF INTEREST Scoop: Stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, Sarah Shahi, Amy Acker and EP Greg Plageman Previews the Battle of The Machine Vs. Samaritan in Season 4

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As fans acutely recall, in the Season 3 finale of PERSON OF INTEREST, all our heroes were scattered to the four winds after it became necessary to adopt new identities in order to evade the all knowing eye of Samaritan, whose first task was to locate each of them — presumably, so that they could each be quickly and quietly dispatched.

So during this summer’s CBS Television Critics Association summer party, in an exclusive interview, executive producer Greg Plageman provided a few hints about what Finch, Reese, Shaw, Root and Fusco will be faced with in Season 4 of PERSON OF INTEREST. [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From FX’s TCA Presentations for TYRANT, THE BRIDGE, THE STRAIN, SONS OF ANARCHY and FARGO

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On Day 13 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, FX introduced its new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new and returning series.

TYRANT
“Tyrant” is FX’s new summer series that debuted June 24th, about a fictional Middle East country Abbudin run by a family dictatorship. Then, on the day of his grandson’s wedding, the reigning dictator Al Fayeed dies, leaving his eldest son Jamal (Ashraf Barhom) to take over. Unfortunately, the younger son, who had fled to the U.S. twenty years earlier changing his name from Bassam to Barry (Adam Rayner), had chosen this pivotal time to return for his nephew’s wedding, and once the father dies, Barry feels compelled to stay to help ease boiling tensions in the country by standing by his older brother Jamal’s ascension to power. The Al Fayeed family has been such an oppressive ruling dictatorship that now that the ruthless father has died, the entire country is unwilling to be subjugated to another. With Jamal’s taking over his father’s role and showing signs of being even more ruthless than his father, the country is on the verge of upheaval with violent protests erupting all over. So Barry is uncertain if he should flee with his family before things get any worse, back to their safe and comfortable lives in the U.S., or if he can really make a difference by staying and supporting his brother’s regime. “Tyrant” is show is a bleak look at tyranny and the tensions of a family that is uncertain how to maintain their position of power or even if they should continue to wield such unchecked power over an entire nation. The theme of the show is “the price of power” and it is explored in a thought-provoking fashion. First point of interest: As intellectually stimulating as it is to watch, “Tyrant” has graphic violence, some of which is sexual violence that can be stomach-turning. Point of interest: Due to a recent military conflict, “Tyrant” relocated the location for filming from Israel to Turkey. (“Tyrant” is a 10-episode series, with four episodes having already aired. New episodes air on Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. on FX.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From The CW and Showtime’s TCA Panels for JANE THE VIRGIN, THE FLASH, RAY DONOVAN, THE AFFAIR

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On Day 11 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, the CW and Showtime introduced their new programming and revisited one of their returning shows. The following is a snapshot-look at their presentations.

THE FLASH
“The Flash” is one of the most wildly anticipated shows of the Fall 2014 season and it has every reason to be — the pilot lives up to the hype. “Arrow” fans who watched the 2-episodes in which the character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) guest-starred in Season 2 will be better prepared for the introduction of Barry in his own world and will appreciate the fun cameo by Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) in the first episode of “The Flash.” But new fans can also jump right into “The Flash” as it does a fine job reintroducing Barry and the world his lives in back in Central City. Barry is struck by lightning and when he awakes from a coma, he discovers he has the supernatural ability of super-speed. Guided by his own strong sense of morality and inspired by Oliver Queen’s heroic actions, Barry whole-heartedly embraces his new destiny to help people in jeopardy and help fight crime in his own unique way. The show radiates good-humor with heart-felt characters and a hero whose passion to help people encourages everyone to live better lives. One of the notable differences between “Arrow” and “The Flash” is that Barry Allen is not instilled with the darkness and pain that Oliver Queen brought back from his experiences on the Island. So “The Flash” feels light a more light-hearted show due to Barry’s own joy and effervescence for life. This will be a show you are adding to your “must watch” list for Fall and it deserves to be. First point of interest: John Wesley Shipp, who starred in an earlier version of “The Flash” back in the 1990′s, co-stars in this series as Barry Allen’s father. Second point of interest: Robbie Amell (“The Tomorrow People”) guest-stars in episode 3 as Firestorm. Third point of interest: “The Flash” pilot/first episode was directed by David Nutter, who has directed some of the CW’s best pilots for such shows like “Roswell,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Arrow.” (Premieres Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm on the CW.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From Fox’s TCA Presentation With GOTHAM, RED BAND SOCIETY, GRACEPOINT and SLEEPY HOLLOW

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On Day 12 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, Fox introduced its new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new series.

GOTHAM
“Gotham” remains one of my favorite new TV series coming this Fall. Its rich visual style and texture creates a stylized look that sets the tone of the show perfectly — a bit of a dark noir mystery. In addition, casting for “Gotham” is incredibly strong with Ben McKenzie and Donal Logue portraying James Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock. Then add in David Mazouz, as the young Bruce Wayne, and the show really starts off with compelling, intriguing characters that are easy to invest in and root for. As if that were not enough riches, the show weaves in its colorful villains: Selina Kyle aka Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Oswald Cobblepot aka Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Ivy Peppery aka Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Edward Nygma aka the Riddler (Corey Michael Smith), Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), to flesh out the world that swirls around the destined fates of Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. Also noteworthy on the heroes’ side are Alfred Pennyworth aka Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Barbara Kean aka Future Mrs. Gordon (Erin Richards). What makes it even more fun are that all the characters are introduced in interesting and memorable ways. Point of interest: “Elementary” fans may remember Sean Pertwee, who portrayed Lestrade this past season. (Premieres on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on Fox.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From CBS’s TCA Presentations for MADAM SECRETARY, NCIS: NEW ORLEANS, SCORPION, BATTLE CREEK, STALKER

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On Day 10 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, CBS introduced its new programming and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new series debuting Fall 2014.

MADAM SECRETARY
“Madam Secretary” is CBS’ new political drama starring Tea Leoni, as Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst who is the newly appointed Secretary of State. Co-starring is Tim Daly, as her husband, and Zeljko Ivanek, as the White House Chief of Staff, the show offers a strong portrayal of life inside and outside the White House, as well as its thorny interoffice politics. The show is a fast-paced and finely-tuned political thriller with a bit of a dark-side when another layer of the story comes to light. One of the more interesting features is that Leoni and Daly’s characters share a very supportive and loving relationship, which is rarely seen in television marriages. It is refreshing and helps the audience feel like their characters are worth rooting for in the midst of global politics, which can get very ugly and cut-throat. The multi-faceted characters and multi-layered storylines make this one of the strongest new shows debuting this Fall. Point of interest: Morgan Freeman, who co-starred with Tea Leoni in the film “Deep Impact,” is one of the show’s executive producers along with Barbara Hall (“Homeland,” “Joan Of Arcadia”). (Premieres on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From the Studio Press Visit Day (feat. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, GOTHAM and THE LOTTERY)

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On Day 9 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, Universal and Fox invited press to visit the set of their comedy series BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, and Warner Bros and Fox invited press to attend a special theater screening of GOTHAM and the Q&A with the cast of Lifetime’s new drama THE LOTTERY, and the following is a snapshot-look at those special behind-the-scenes events.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Fox’s comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” was an out of the gate hit with critics last year. Believing in the strength and appeal of the show, Fox is moving “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. this Fall, starting September 28th, leading into its animation comedy block. From the press Q&A on set, two things were immediately obvious: (1) the writers are finely in-tune with their stars’ comedic strengths, and (2) the show recruited an amazingly gifted comedy ensemble who can ad-lib with quick quips and funny one-liners as if on cue. The entire press corp was in stitches just listening to the writers and actors live-riff — as if it were the easiest thing in the world — and the women were just as quick as the men. It was also clear that everyone is having a blast working on the show. They are all getting paid to do what they love and that energy and enthusiasm is evident. However, while they were all quick to share a joke, they were much more circumspect and tip-lipped about spoilers of their upcoming storylines to be featured in Season 2. But if the glint in everyone’s eye was any indication, it is going to be hilarious and fun. The producers did reveal that they will address quickly the fact that Jake (Andy Samberg) went undercover after declaring his feelings for Amy (Melissa Fumero), and that Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) ended up in bed together. They also stated that the perception of Charles as a “relentless pursuer” of Rosa was never intended to be seen as a stalking problem because Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) at no point felt threatened or took his pursuit very seriously. Executive producer Dan Goor joked, “We wrote it sweet, then the actor brought the creepy.” He then clarified, “We felt like we could play his obsession in a way that didn’t feel like it was dangerous and creepy.” Point of interest: Andre Braugher received an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Emmy nomination for his performance on the show. (2nd season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is Sept. 28, 2014.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From ABC and ABC Family’s TCA Presentation

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On Day 8 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, ABC and ABC Family introduced their new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of their new series.

ABC FAMILY
“Chasing Life” is a remarkable new TV series that debuted in June on ABC Family Channel about a young woman who finds out she has cancer. What should be a tough subject to bring levity to, “Chasing Life” found a unique and charming way to introduce us to the life of April Carver, fantastically portrayed by Italia Ricci. The show starts out with the very day April’s life starts to take off with a cool job opportunity and meeting a dashing young man, she finds out she has leukemia. The show has embraced April’s struggle to keep everything she has worked so hard to attain and to still pursue her dreams, while depicting the trials of dealing with cancer too. The show features a strong heart-warming family at the center and April’s family has their own hilarious and heart-tugging storylines as well. They emphasize that, just because someone has cancer, it does not mean that life stops for everyone. So “Chasing Life” reveals how this amazing family comes together and still tackles their own daily challenges. Confession: From the first episode this show captured my heart. I fell head over heels for it and am so grateful that this show was given a chance to bring its wonderful story and incredible characters to my television screen. Point of interest: Italia Ricci co-starred with Jordan Gavaris (“Orphan Black”) in the Cartoon Network series “Unnatural History.” It was another family-friendly show that I loved whole-heartedly and miss to this day. (“Chasing Life” premiered in June and continues to air new episodes on Tuesday nights at 9:00 p.m. on ABC Family Channel.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From USA Network, CNBC, Bravo and Syfy’s TCA Presentations

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On Day 7 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, USA Network, CNBC, Bravo and Syfy introduced their new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of their new series.

USA NETWORK
Stepping away from of their strong brand of “blue sky” shows, USA Network is dabbling in darker dramas with its slate of “Graceland” and newcomers “Satisfaction” and “Rush.” “Rush” is about a renegade Beverly Hills doctor who asks no questions and will treat anyone — for the right price — and in Beverly Hills, people have a lot of things they need to keep quiet. “Satisfaction” is about a married couple who decide to reinvigorate their marriage by engaging in sexual liaisons with other people. Point of interest: “Satisfaction” stars former “The Glades” star Matt Passmore. (“Satisfaction” and “Rush” premiere Thursday, July 17, 2014.)

“Dig” is a new series starring Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche, whose characters are FBI agents charged with investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a U.S citizen abroad. The story looks into the murder of a young woman in Israel that unearths a larger conspiracy that dates back centuries. Tombs, pyramids, monuments and treasure beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings with friction-filled political and religious tensions set the backdrop for this tense new thriller. Point of interest: “Dig” comes from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring. (“Dig” is a 6-episode limited series which premieres Fall 2014.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From NBC’s TCA Panels featuring STATE OF AFFAIRS, CONSTANTINE, BAD JUDGE and A TO Z

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On Day 6 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour, NBC introduced its new programming, and the following is a snapshot-look at a few of its new series.

CONSTANTINE
“Constantine” is a spooky, supernatural drama about a man gifted with the ability to see and banish demons. Based on the “Hellblazer” comic-book series, the show will incorporate much of that underlying mythology. The series stars Matt Ryan as John Constantine, a supernatural detective, and co-stars Harold Perrineau (“Lost”) as Manny, an angel of questionable intent, who keeps tabs on Constantine. Angelica Celaya was also recently cast as the new character Zed, who will be introduced in the second episode. So do not get too attached to Lucy Griffiths, who plays Liv in the first episode. Point of interest: “Constantine” will air after “Grimm” on Friday nights. (Premieres Friday, October 24, 2014.) [Read more...]

TCA 2014: Quick Takes From the DirecTV and Amazon TCA Presentations

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Day 5 of the 16-day biannual Television Critic’s Association Summer 2014 Press Tour started off with introductions of new programming from DirecTV and Amazon. The following is a snapshot look at their new series, as well as what was noteworthy from the featured presentations.

DIRECTV
“Kingdom” is a raw, gritty new series about a group of young fighters involved in mixed-martial arts. There is the ex-con who need a path to redemption and a young teen who has the raw skills to be one of the greats. Mentored by a seasoned fighter, they try to channel their inner fears and rage and use it constructively. But with personal relationships and family tugging at their heart-strings along the way, it becomes a tug-of-war to figure out how to become successful fighters and maintain their sanity in the process. Point of interest: Kiele Sanchez (“The Glades”) and Matt Lauria (“Friday Night Lights”) co-star and they sizzle on screen. (Premieres October 8, 2014 on DirecTV.) [Read more...]