Revolution Television: Time to Plug Back In

Editor’s Note: This would have been posted on September 20th, so bear with us. It came to our attention that we royally fucked up timing of this, unexpectedly getting several jobs right at the heart of the fall TV season beginning, on top of baseball season ending, football and hockey season starting, and some of our contributors heading out to Kentucky for a 200-mile run. So pretend this is Sept 20th for the sanity of our editor, thanks.

Now it’s been well stated that cable is killing it much better than the network channels are, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from what we detailed yesterday. For those that like a more robust palette, here’s what should be hitting your cable box this fall and beyond:

HBO

For the first time since 2010, there will be no thrones gamed for! Jon Snow knows nothing will stop the juggernaut that is Game of Thronesexcept for scheduling conflicts. As for the actual new stuff, there’s a handful of returning dramas as well as two new comedies and at least one mini-series over the next few months:

The Deuce – September 9

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I sort of fell off of this after a handful of episodes, but I know it had potential. With the same flair as Vinyl with a ton more acting chops, this shows off the seedy underbelly of New York that HBO wanted to continue after the success of Boardwalk Empire. It’s fascinating that James Franco has quietly been kept on in his dual role, but Maggie Gyllenhaal and Margarita Levieva were always the bright points on the show anyway, so as long as this new season focuses more on the women, I think it will go well. The biggest aspect of this new season will be that they jump in time to 1977. How has the industry gone for these past five years? I think it’s very intriguing for creators David Simon and George Pelecanos to anticipate setting up time jumps like this, and without brushing through actual history, presenting an underbelly we didn’t realize was happening right under people’s noses in the heart of New York City. It’s a solid underrated drama with which I think more of the audience should take a chance.

Camping – October 14

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The first new show on our cable preview, this comedy marks the television return of Jennifer Garner! That’s right, Sydney Bristow is kicking ass in….the woods? Garner here plays an unhappily married woman dragged along on a camping trip by her husband (David Tennant) for his birthday. Her annoying sister (Juliette Lewis) and ex-best friend (Ione Skye) are cajoled into joining as a semi-intervention – into what, we have yet to figure out. I’m not totally digging the premise, as I don’t know where they can go with future seasons, let alone after an episode or two – at least in comparison to other shows that ramp up their pace between sessions (look at The Deuce above). Look at that cast, though. I have to give it a chance, at least, like Garner is for her family.

True Detective – January 13, 2019

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This may be the most intriguing of HBO’s upcoming productions. After a rocket of a start with season one – the Matthew McConaughey/Woody Harrelson crime mystery – they followed up with a lukewarm Los Angeles potboiler with Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell. While the anthology’s second season has some defenders, it’s mostly remembered as nearly sinking the whole venture. Lucky for us that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali climbed aboard to right the ship. He’ll be playing Wayne Hays, an Arkansas state detective that will be involved with cases over three separate time periods. The time jumps may allow for more intriguing mystery plots, as we’ll struggle to wrap our minds around how everything connects. The return to the southern mid-west is a good idea, as that always leads to connotations of gothic thrills. Ali will be joined by Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Carmen Ejogo (Miss Sloane) and Scoot McNairy (Monsters) so the cast will be well-rounded. One of the bright points of the first season was the direction of Cary Fukunaga, which launched him on a nice career path alongside his two lead actors. After he departed, Justin Lin handled two episodes, but many think the lack of a strong captain left the second season lacking. Lucky for us that Jeremy Saulnier has signed up to direct a handful of episodes, so let’s hope his sentiments – he just cleared the upcoming Netflix thriller Hold the Dark, follow-up to 2016’s best film Green Room – will influence the entire season and revive a boon for HBO. Time is a flat circle, after all.

Room 104 – November 9

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This anthology I never got a chance to check out, but it seems like a brilliant premise for an anthology, doesn’t it? The mumblecore king Duplass brothers brought this to us, and I’ve heard good enough things that it clearly warranted a second go-around. I’m not surprised, with only twelve episodes they could certainly churn out stories for a couple of years. They don’t necessarily need to connect, but it could eventually in an American Horror Story sort of way. No word on guest stars visiting the motel, but I’m sure we’ll see some talent.

Sally4Ever – November 11

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This British import is a comedy from Julia Davis, who of all people – wrote the original Camping. That’s right, turns out Camping on HBO is a remake of a British sitcom. Who knew? Anyway, this will tell the story of Sally (Catherine Shepherd), a bored girlfriend who embarks on a love affair with Emma (also Julia Davis), a charismatic bohemian poet/actor on the eve of her engagement to David (Alex MacQueen). This sounds like a great answer to those who were actually missing Showtime’s Episodes, with its wry British humor. If it has that sentiment, I’m all in.

My Brilliant Friend (mini) – November 18

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Those jonesing for more mini-series now that Sharp Objects has finished will be glad to hear that this work by famed Italian novelist Elena Ferrante is being adapted for HBO. It will tell the first Neapolitan story, whose overarching plot told the tale of two friends, Elena and Raffaella against the backdrop of the ever changing 20th century Italy. I didn’t want to read too much into what actually happens so as to enjoy it myself, but the cast includes an entirely Italian cast. So for those hoping to broaden their horizons, look no further than this special premiere.

As for the rest, we’re still waiting on premiere dates for comedies like Crashing, High MaintenanceSilicon Valley, Divorce and the Emmy-winning Barry. and dramas like SuccessionBig Little Lies and the recently finished Westworld.

There are several exciting shows on the horizon, including new versions of so many things, such as Watchmen, The Time Traveler’s Wife and His Dark Materials; a Cthulu-sized horror drama, Lovecraft County; a supernatural comedy set in Mexico City called Los Espookys; and the most promising – Danny McBride’s televangelist comedy called The Righteous Gemstones, which also features John Goodman and Adam DeVine. Honestly, I’d love to just skip straight to all of these, right?

Showtime

Shameless – September 9

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Recent reports have Emmy Rossum finally stepping down from the show and home she’s known for the past decade, and I’d have to guess it might be time this show could be winding down. Honestly, I don’t even know why it’s been on this long, but everyone raves about it. I watched the first episode or two with my parents, which was a bit of a mistake, and then fell way behind rapidly. I would love to pick it back up and binge someday, and all I’ve heard from friends is that it hasn’t let up in quality this whole time. That’s rare these days to have a show so good for nine full seasons, and perhaps it is more of a shame that Rossum is heading out, after all. I just want to see her in more films…but maybe we should all give this a chance, and feel less shame that we haven’t before.

Kidding – September 9

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This is one show I’ve been anticipating warily all year. Jim Carrey is starring in his first television series since all the way back in 1994 and In Living Color. Not only is he back, but it’s for a strange little dramedy directed by Michel Gondry, his director on what may be each of their greatest projects: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. That existential masterpiece will likely be felt in the DNA of this show, which looks to be an obvious riff on Mr. Rogers. Catherine Keener joins him on the show within a show’s crew, bringing distinct memories of another early-2000s black comedy, Death to Smoochy. Frank Langella and Judy Greer round out this incredible cast, and just by the pedigree you can see why this lands as my most anticipated.

Ray Donovan – October 28

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After five years of dealing with LA problems, fixer Ray Donovan has shipped off to New York City. Liev Schreiber, Eddie Marsan, Jon Voight and Dash Mihok are back, while Ray’s wife Abby (Paula Malcomson) has stayed back in California. This is sadly another show I’ve let fall by the wayside, so I’m not sure how great it has been over the past five years. If you’re a fan, you must be thrilled for its return. If not, catch up, I guess?

Escape at Dannemora – November 18

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Ben Stiller directs this mini-series that recaptures the infamous prison break in upstate New York back in 2015. Sure, there are plenty of prison escape tales, but this one had a tempting twist: the prisoners were both having an affair with the guard who set them free. The prisoners are set to be portrayed by Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano, while their paramour is Patricia Arquette. The special event will air across two nights, and I expect to see a handful of those names at the Emmy and Golden Globes ceremonies in the next calendar year.

Black Monday – January 20, 2019

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Didn’t take long for Don Cheadle to find his way back to television, did it? While he was the fast-talking consultant Marty Kaan on the underrated House of Lies, here he’s playing the fast-talking Wall Street broker Maurice Monroe. Don’t take that as a knock on the product – rather, I think he fits this role perfectly because of the former show. The trailer makes it look more like The Wolf of Wall Street than anything else, mostly because that film captured the aesthetic so well, and this looks to follow in its footsteps. Regina Hall brings her talents along with Andrew Rannells, while guest stars like Casey Wilson, Eugene Cordero and Ken Marino (as twins!) will inject some energy. This has suddenly shot to the top of my list, like a body falling into a Lambourghini from the roof of the Stock Exchange.

Homeland – June 2019

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Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has been through quite a bit over the past eight years. Her final adventure will take her “overseas somewhere” and likely continue the love-hate mentor relationship she has with Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). We don’t know much beyond that, but be sure to prepare for a bumpy ride, with plenty of cry faces to go around. I haven’t been into this as much since Brody was killed off, so we’ll see if this is the denouement they’d anticipated. That first season remains one of the best blocks of television I’ve ever seen.

Unknown new stuff:

tvwrongmans

In the next year we’ll also have a Boston police drama with Kevin Bacon, City on a Hill, a Roger Ailes miniseries starring Russell Crowe, and the long-awaited Halo live-action adaptation. The one intriguing comedy coming up stars James Corden, Ben Schwartz and Jillian Bell as office workers who find themselves in a Fincher-esque game of cat and mouse after an anonymous call claims there’s a hit out on them (though it may have been a wrong number). That’s called Wrong Mans.

Shows that should pop up again – but haven’t been slated – include Frankie Shaw’s breakout single-mom comedy SMILF, the dour Long Island romance drama The Affair, the Paul Giamatti/Damian Lewis hedge fund drama Billions and the Lena Waithe breakout drama The Chi.

FX

Hey, where did Taboo and Tom Hardy go? That isn’t the biggest question for FX this upcoming season, but I am genuinely curious if they’ll ever make a sequel season to 2016’s strangest period piece? We’ll know eventually, but for now, there’s these new and returning shows:

Mayans MC – September 4

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Extras from the fifteenth Terminator try to blend in.

After a few years of rumors that a spin-off would follow Sons of Anarchy, creator Kurt Sutter finally pulled the trigger, making his own Better Call Saul of sorts. I have to admit…yet again I don’t know anything about a show that blew up for a few years. That being said, I don’t really feel like skimming through the entire cast to figure out who popped up on the parent program. If you’re a fan of this, you’re probably already curious enough to check this out. It seems like a natural progression for the team to explore. JD Pardo will lead the cast as a Mayans prospect. If I ever get around to watching the first version, I’m sure I’ll check this out too.

Mr. Inbetween – September 25

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Much like one of FX’s first comedies, Wilfred, this is an Australian production brought over to delight American audiences. Creator Scott Ryan adapted his film The Magician into this series after Nash Edgerton supplied the cash to launch that film in earnest. He stars as a dead-pan hitman navigating friendships, romances and children while in between work. Sounds great, I love dead-pan hitmen. Thing is, Barry sort of has that covered, doesn’t he? I’ll still give this a chance, as I’ve heard good things.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse – September 12

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Can you believe this made it to an eighth season? I remember watching the pilot as it aired and laughing it off as a lark. Here we are, though, and after revisiting it by binging during the third season, I saw the spark behind the madness: creator Ryan Murphy. By now you can tell a Murphy production – a little outlandish but full of heart, with plenty of hilarious gore and dead-pan reactions to it. 9-1-1 has developed into one of my favorite surprises of the year, and this show that started it all is returning to its roots by blowing the whole world up. Word is that the coven from the third season will turn up at some point, while the members of season one’s Murder House will involve themselves as well. The show is chock full of Easter eggs, so get ready for some wild connections to this season’s newest members.

What We Do in the Shadows – Spring 2019

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I am intrigued but wary that they’re developing a series based on the surprise hit from New Zealand treasure Taika Waititi. It worked well as a film, and while there’s always potential for more stories in a rich world such as this, it could fall flat on arrival. Looking into it, the proposed sequel We’re Wolves has been scrapped in favor of the series, while the original cast won’t be returning. I’m sure this new group (Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou and Harvey Guillen) will be fine, but they’re not exactly the same. Of course, I did just read cameos are ‘very likely’, so there’s that.

tvfosse

There’s a handful of mini-series coming to FX as well: the one I’m most excited about is the adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man. Fosse/Verdon will tell the history between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon during their lengthy partnership. Hue 1968 is a Vietnam drama from the author of Black Hawk DownDevs is an intriguing conspiracy drama starring Sonoya Mizuno (Ex Machina) trying to figure out something myserious about her company. There’s a new version of the James Clavell novel ShogunFargo should return, but what of American Crime StoryFeud and Trust? FX definitely has a lot to figure out before 2019 starts in earnest.

As for returning programs, we’re sure to get a wild third season of the trippy Legionwhile summer shows Snowfall and Pose have already been renewed. No word yet on three coveted comedies, AtlantaBaskets and Better Things. Although it’s already slated for 2020, the Martin Freeman parenting comedy Breeders could come at any point.

FXX

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns for its nearly record thirteenth season (by the end, it should tie Ozzie and Harriet for longest running sitcom) with an absent member, Dennis (Glenn Howerton). With his success on NBC’s AP Bio, Howerton left the show at the end of the previous season. What will remaining members Mack, Dee, Charlie and Frank do without him? It seems like a certain mannequin might snag his spot at the bar. Sister shows Archer and You’re the Worst should pop up early in 2019, with the latter show slated for January in its final bow.

Editor’s Note: We decided to cut things here, or the author would go mad. Who’s reading this anyway? Comment below if you really feel that leaving AMC, TBS, USA, TNT, and Syfy off ruins this list. I’m tired, it’s two months late, and I would break if I kept going. I’ll do better next year. I will point out two other shows that I find incredibly intriguing:

Deadly Class – Syfy – early 2019

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A disillusioned teen joins a school for assassins in 1980s England? I’m immediately in, with connotations of Kingsman. In fact, it’s based on the Image Comics book of the same name from Rick Remender and Wes Craig. The lead newcomer to the underground society is Marcus, played by Benjamin Wadsworth. Underrated character actor Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange) will teach some of these classes, while Lana Condor (X-Men: Apocalypse) and Liam James (The Way Way Back) are allies in Marcos’ strange new world. Syfy is stepping up its game, for sure.

Nightflyers – Syfy – December 2

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Game of Thrones isn’t the only thing George R.R. Martin cooked up. This sci-fi novella has all your Alien references in one basket – a ship in a faraway galaxy encounters deadly aliens and malevolent computers on their impetuous mission. Will they get out alive? Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire), Angus Sampson (Winchester) and Brian F. O’Byrne (Mildred Pierce) all hitch a ride to the other side of the galaxy.


That’s it for now, folks. Tune in ASAP for the streaming stuff, and soon after mid-season. Heck, we’ll probably be at mid-season by the time I finalize that article.

 

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