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TCA Winter 2016 Tour: Quick Takes from the Fox Presentations

Second Chance FOX

Twice a year various cable and networks attend the Television Critics Association’s Press Tour where they promote new and returning television shows through a series of daily panels and exclusive preview clips spanning over a two week period.  The tour presentations provide a way for television shows to get traction and attention of the hundreds of TV critics who then in turn will hopefully write about and promote those shows to their various audiences via online and print media outlets.

This Winter’s TCA tour included presentations from Fox, who presented on the eleventh day of the tour.  Here are some of the featured television shows and specials that caught our attention:

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Fox announced that it is reviving “24” as “24: Legacy” with an all new cast and storyline.  The premise will focus on awakening sleeper cells in America and the radicalization of Americans.  Per Fox chairman Gary Newman:  “It’s a new CTU, a new cast of characters and a  completely different story.” He also said adding past characters unlikely, but some could return if the written series called for it.  The new series will cast a new lead in the starring role.  No more Jack Bauer.

Fox also announced that they are bringing back for a limited-event series PRISON BREAK, with Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell returning along with other favorites from the prior series.  It could start filming as early as March 2016.  No premiere date was announced yet.

Talking briefly about SLEEPY HOLLOW, currently in it its third season, Fox chairman Dana Walden said that they are happy with SLEEPY HOLLOW creatively, but acknowledged that it is a difficult show to keep reinventing.  She also said that no decisions about a Season 4 have been made yet and that decision to be made at a later date.

Dana Walden also said that while BONES will air new episodes through May 2016, Fox is not sure about a renewal for another season.  They are talking with the BONES producers next week. So there has been no decision yet.  If BONES is to end this season, there is still plenty of time to write the series finale.

Fox announced renewals for EMPIRE for Season 3, which averaged a 7.4 rating, and SCREAM QUEENS for Season 2, which had its ratings rise by 160% when delayed-viewing and all platforms were totaled.

THE X-FILES

The 6-episode limited series for THE X-FILES is one of the most hotly anticipated television events of 2016.  It allows fans and new viewers to jump back into the world of government conspiracies, alien abductions and all the other spooky things that go bump-in-the-night.

Talking briefly about when their first felt excited about revisiting THE X-FILES universe, star David Duchovny said it was when he saw the script.  For co-star Gillian Anderson, she said it was when she attended San Diego Comic-Con and she got to see for the first time the live reaction of the fans as they heard THE X-FILES theme music and she realized that this might be the first time that some of them had ever heard it and she got excited for them to see the show and what comes next.  David admitted that for him it has been hard to come back as the show’s dialogue has to be real and it is so fast. But he is happy to pay respect to the mythology of the show and happy to bring it back to the fans and introduce new viewers to it.

Executive producer Chris Carter noted that in today’s media and political climate is infused with distrust and thus it made it a ripe time to revisit THE X-FILES — makes it a great time to tell conspiracy stories.  Chris Carter explained that while the first episode is very mythology-heavy, in order to catch up with the characters of Mulder and Scully, that there are lighter episodes embedded as well.  David also hinted that there is a “new twist” to the show that fans can look forward to.  Chris Carter also revealed that the Lone Gunmen are going to be seen, but that they are only seen in a fantasy-sequence.  (The show had previously killed off the characters.)  Another minor spoiler is that episode three features a  were-monster aka were-lizard, which is a throw back to the more comedic and fun episodes of the classic THE X-FILES. So that is something lighter for fans to look forward to and enjoy.

When asked about the sizzling Mulder/Scully chemistry on-screen, David Duchovny mischievously asked: “What is chemistry?” Chris Carter then revealed that while David and Gillian were cast separately, chemistry is just something that happens and THE X-FILES just got lucky that they “just lit up” on screen together.   David added that he thinks he and Gillian have gone beyond chemistry since they now have “history” after so many years working together.  Looking to spice things up a bit, Gillian Anderson impishly asked: “How was my sex scene?” And David Duchovny laughingly said: “It was added later.”  Then he asked: “How was MINE?” It is that kind of comedic-riffing that shows just why fans have fallen in love with David and Gillian in the roles of Mulder and Scully.  On or off-screen, they just know how to play off each other to maximize their innate chemistry — whether it stems from a shared history of working together or something more intangible as “chemistry” on screen.

Chris Carter feels that this is perfect opportunity to show that there is more life in THE X-FILES and he is only waiting for Fox to tell him that they want more and he will write it. During the executive session, Fox chairman Gary Newman said that if everyone’s schedules work out they are open to bringing back THE X-FILES for more.

(Observation:  The sizzle reel of the upcoming series is chilling.  When I heard that ominous voice say:  “We have a problem: they have reopened The X-Files,” I felt the hair on the back of my neck and arms raise.  Plus, THE X-FILES theme music always invokes the feeling of dread and anticipation.  The show does, indeed, jump right back into the alien/government conspiracy theories and has a lot of fun doing so.) THE X-FILES returns for its 6-episode limited event run starting Sunday, January 24th on Fox.

LUCIFER

Fox’s new drama series LUCIFER is premised on the comic/graphic novel series of the same name about the fallen son of God, who abandons Hell in search of something “more” to life.  Naturally, Lucifer goes to the City of Angeles aka Los Angeles where he becomes smitten with a female detective investigating the death of a good friend of his.  Per executive producer Len Wiseman, “L.A. is such a place where people reinvent themselves — it is a place of desire & passion. . .  the perfect play ground for Lucifer.”  Executive producer Ildy Modrovich added: “L.A. is the City of Lost Angels and Lucifer is looking to be defined not by pre-conceived notions of who he is.” So, in LUCIFER, the character helps police because fascinated by crimes and feels drawn to see why humans are doing what they are doing. Executive producer Joe Henderson explained: “Lucifer is encountering humanity at a moment of choice and that’s fun for him as his experience with humanity has always been after their sins up to this point.”  The nice twist is that Lucifer reveals a secret softer-side and his surprise at falling in love.  Plus, Lucifer, as portrayed by star Tom Ellis is delightfully sexy, charming and funny.  Executive producer Joe Henderson said that they deliberately wrote Lucifer as mischievous, fun-loving.  Executive producer Len Wiseman further described Lucifer as irreverent, arrogant, yet incredibly charming and the show is very happy to have found Tom Ellis to play him. The producers also emphasized that they wanted the character of Lucifer to have a redemption story as they did not want to just write about an evil character.  Executive producer Idly Modrovich explained, at the end of the day, Lucifer just wants to be loved and he when he meets the first woman immune to his natural charm and supernatural power, it sparks his interest.  Ildy Modrovich added: “Lucifer is the eternal teenager . . and that is what he brings out in [Lauren German’s character]” — that fun-seeking side.  Co-star Rachael Harris said for her character: “Linda starts to realize there’s something Lucifer is covering. There’s a reason he’s acting out.”  Harris plays a therapist that initially helps with a police investigation, who then later becomes Lucifer’s therapist.  Apparently, he is confused and confounded by the fact that Lauren’s character is unaffected by his powers and the fact that he is beginning to fall in love with her.  LUCIFER also co-stars Lauren German, Rachael Harris and Kevin Alejandro.  (Observation:  I am completely under this show’s spell. It portrays such a light-hearted story of a villain learning to love and seek to be a better man, all the while having a lot of fun.  The show is funny, charming and delightful.  Coming from executive producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Len Wiseman, the show knows how to deliver a high-entertaining, thrill-ride of a show.  Worth tuning in for!)  LUCIFER premieres Monday, January 25th at 9 pm on Fox.

SECOND CHANCE

Fox’s new drama SECOND CHANCE (formerly called THE FRANKENSTEIN CODE and LOOKING GLASS) is about a man who cheats death by being resurrected in the body of a much younger man.  He is brought back essentially to save the life of a woman who is dying, but he grabs at the opportunity to correct all the regrets from his own former life.   It is explained that appetite, desire and regret are the three basic traits that drive a person and those become ingrained as each person goes through life.  The shows tagline asks: “How Far Would You Go for Redemption?”  Unfortunately, the technology used to bring him back can be used to resurrect others and that poses a huge problem.  SECOND CHANCE stars Rob Kazinsky, Tim DeKay, Dilshad Vadsaria, Adhir Kalyan and Vanessa Lengies.  SECOND CHANCE currently airs Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m. on Fox.

That’s a wrap on the network and studio presentations from Day 11 of the Winter 2016 Television Critics Association Tour.  As a reminder: be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming new series and specials as you do not want to miss out on the next great TV show that everyone will be talking about!

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