Tuesday, May 20, 2008

NBC's fall lineup, Office spinoff, Abrams' new show

The peacock network recently announced its fall '08 and spring ('09) slate, including -- how sweet it is -- a spinoff of 'The Office.'

No word on who at Dunder-Mifflin will take the 9:30 Thursday slot behind 'Office' itself, but past rumors have indicated Dwight might be the big winner pulling down the overtime.

According to a Hollywood Reporter piece early last month, one episode would "serve as a backdoor pilot for a spinoff."

But while the season finale took a few crazy turns, nothing indicated Dwight was going anywhere. So who then? Toby? Ryan from prison? Who cares? More 'Office' any way, shape or form is nothing but good.

"Robinson Crusoe" is also still a go for this fall, too. Despite my initial razzing of what sounded lame, Philip Winchester has since been cast in the lead. Winchester is a Christian and all-around good guy, so I'll sure give it a shot.

Then there's 'Kings'...
...an inspiring exploration of the timeless David vs. Goliath struggle. The show is set in a modern metropolis under siege where the fighting has gone on for too long and cost far too many lives.

When David Shepherd (Christopher Egan), a brave young soldier, rescues the king's (Ian McShane) son from enemy territory, he sets events in motion that will finally bring peace. Suddenly, David is thrust into the limelight, earning the affections of women -- including the king's daughter.

When he's promoted to captain, he becomes the reluctant poster boy for hope. But for David, the line between his allies and enemies will blur as the power players in the kingdom go to great lengths to see him fall. Sebastian Stan also stars. Michael Green (NBC's "Heroes") and Francis Lawrence are executive producers.
So nothing like the timeless tale of David and Goliath, then. And "David Shepherd," huh? Yikes.

Even more dubious sounds 'Merlin'...
...an exciting, hour-long fantasy series set in the mythic city of Camelot -- but inspired by 21st Century storytelling. Before Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Arthur (Bradley James) became legends, they were ambitious young men looking for adventure, hoping to live up to their family's expectations, discovering love and finding their own true destiny, making mistakes along the way.
King Arthur as a buddy-cop, Dawson's Creekish, road picture? Just sounds beyond awful, particularly on a TV budget, but I may give it a shot. And by "shot" I mean 10 minutes, use of the word "dude" or any hint of an American accent, whichever comes first.

(Full details on NBC here.)

Fox's fall lineup includes hints that "Prison Break" could make its final run this season. I hope so. The concept was great, but it's not one that can go on indefinitely.

The only new show here that has me interested is...

(Sci-Fi Mystery Drama, Tuesdays 9pm)
When an international flight lands at Boston's Logan Airport and the passengers and crew have all died grisly deaths, FBI Special Agent OLIVIA DUNHAM (Anna Torv) is called in to investigate. After her partner, Special Agent JOHN SCOTT (Mark Valley), is nearly killed during the investigation, a desperate Olivia searches frantically for someone to help, leading her to DR. WALTER BISHOP (John Nobl), our generation's Einstein.

There's only one catch: he's been institutionalized for the last 20 years, and the only way to question him requires pulling his estranged son PETER (Joshua Jackson) in to help. When Olivia's investigation leads her to manipulative corporate executive NINA SHARP (Blair Brown), our unlikely trio along with fellow FBI Agents PHILLIP BROYLES (Lance Reddick), CHARLIE FRANCIS (Kirk Acevedo) and ASTRID FARNSWORTH (Jasika Nicole) will discover that what happened on Flight 627 is only a small piece of a larger, more shocking truth.

From J.J. Abrams ("Lost"), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the team behind "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III" and "Alias," comes a new drama that will thrill, terrify and explore the blurring line between science fiction and reality.
Orci and Kurtzman also penned the underrated "The Island" as well as "Transformers" for Michael Bay, so this could be good.

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