Fox unveiled today its primetime schedule for the 2011-2012 television season. Here are the network's new dramas:
- TERRA NOVA follows an "ordinary" family from year 2149, embarking on a journey back to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. A two-hour preview of this show from execs Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin was due to be aired this month, but in March it was announced that the producing team needed more time to work on the elaborate visual effects.
Filmed in Australia, Terra Nova stars Jason O’Mara (Life on Mars US), Shelley Conn (ITV1's Marchlands) and Stephen Lang, who - from the trailer - seems in Avatar mode. The concept furiously recalls Lost in Space, Land of the Lost or Earth II, and costly CGI dinosaurs or other prehistoric threats won't do the trick without good scripts. Remember what happened to the third series of Primeval. Outcasts, a very similar Kudos/BBC drama (minus the giant ugly beasts) bombed spectacularly this year on BBC One.
- ALCATRAZ (Mid-season): SFPD detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) is on a hard homicide case. A fingerprint leads her to the most shocking suspect: a former Alcatraz prison inmate who died decades ago. Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, Dr. Diego "Doc" Soto (Lost alumn Jorge Garcia) helps her and they team up with mysterious government agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill). They discover other prisoners may reappear.
Alcatraz is from executive producer J.J. Abrams and Lost producer Elizabeth Sarnoff co-wrote the pilot script. To watch just for Jorge Garcia and movie legend Robert Forster as the heroine's uncle. [Spoiler] In the end we learn Alcatraz prison is Hell and everybody is dead.
- TOUCH (pilot to be filmed next month): Written and created by Tim Kring (Heroes), this new drama starring Kiefer Sutherland centers on the relationship between a single father and his mute, severely autistic 10-year-old son. This relationship and their lives take an extraordinary turn when the gifted son begins to see things that no one else can, "the patterns that connect everything". Oh, please... Really. [Insert sad emoticon here]
And because every net wants its "franchise", there's the Bones spin-off: The Finder.