2011 is another huge year for new shows at SDCC as all the networks are expected to bring a handful of their upcoming programming to show off and get the buzz going. Which of the new shows will be filling the convention center is the big question though, and I attempt to answer it after the break.
As a warning, the networks haven’t actually announced any of the new stuff they’ll be bringing, so everything below is purely speculative. They’re very educated guesses though, as I’ve scoured through trailers and synopses to really narrow down what we’ll be seeing at the con. What I’m saying is that nothing below is a guarantee, but everything is a pretty strong guess.
Grimm – Trailer – Setup: The Brothers Grimm fairy tales were real and now a supernatural detective agency is solving the crimes related to them.
How Does It Look: Okay. A bit over the top for my tastes but it’s an interesting set up and hopefully good stories can overshadow the mediocre effects.
Chances: Innovative fantasy. It’s a safe bet. The premise is also sort of similar to the popular comic series Fables, which is a con favorite.
Awake – Trailer – Setup: After a car crash kills his wife and son, a detective divides his life into two realities. One where his wife survived, the other where his son did.
How Does it Look: Great. This is my most anticipated new show and I think it looks totally gripping. An intriguing premise combined with what looks like fantastic acting.
Chances: Moderate. This is ambitious sci-fi at its best and lead actor Jason Issacs has SDCC cred from Harry Potter. Unfortunately the show doesn’t premiere until early 2012 and it’s a bit less comic-book infused than other con favorites.
Terra Nova – Trailer – Setup: Jurassic Park with an Avatar twist. As Earth falls apart, humans try to make a new settlement in the time of the dinosaurs.
How Does it Look: Could be great. They have to really pull of the dino effects and avoid the sci-fi cliches it could easily fall into, but the cast looks good and the ambition is admirable.
Chances: Great. It almost had a panel last year until they didn’t have enough to show, so this year expect them in full force. We’ll probably be seeing the first episode for this one.
Alcatraz – Trailer – Setup: The closest thing to Lost that JJ Abrams has done so far, Alcatraz mixes conspiracy, action, and intrigue into a tidy little package. If it’ll live up to Lost or drown in its very over-the-top premise remains to be seen.
How Does it Look: Endearing. The cast is good and the premise leaves room for greatness.
Chances: A panel is likely as this is a JJ Abrams show and the cast has some serious nerd cred, but the show isn’t on until early 2012 so an episode screening is much less likely (but still possible).
Allen Gregory – Trailer – I really think this looks terrible but Fox has been bringing its animated shows in the past and the protagonist for this one is at least of a higher intelligence than Family Guy or The Cleveland Show.
Once Upon A Time – Trailer – Setup: Much like Grimm, this show fuses the real world with a fantasy setting. In this one, characters have alternate persona’s in the fantasy and are forced to live through both their real lives and the fantasy (or something like that). The trailer was more than a bit confusing.
How Does it Look: The premise has potential and even though the trailer confounded me, the ambition might have me tuning in to a full episode to see how it plays out.
Chances: Good. Much like Grimm, the strong fantasy elements almost guarantees this a panel.
The River – Trailer – Setup: The found footage and handheld stylings of Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch are brought into the jungle and onto TV. On a search to find their lost father, a team of adventurers encounters strange and unexpected events. Seems like it might slide into the scifi judging from parts of the trailer.
How Does it Look: I’m growing sick of the style but it definitely seems like it has more up its sleeves and I’m intrigued to find out what that is. (io9 also had great things to say about it)
Chances: Pretty good. Spielberg is producing and the trailer hints at scifi elements, but the show doesn’t premiere until 2012 and gives off a more grounded vibe than most at Comic-Con.
Secret Circle – Trailer – Setup: Your average teenage girl moves into a small town only to discover she’s a witch. The small town gets quite a bit more interesting.
How Does it Look: Not my type of show but the effects look good and it should make a great pair with The Vampire Dairies (who’s audience CW is going after with this).
Chances: Pretty good. It might be aimed a bit younger than most other con shows but the fantasy element mean it’ll probably get a panel.
Ringer – Trailer – Setup: Twin sisters switch lives only to find out they’re both in very dangerous situations. What ensues is sure to be filled with mysteries, conspiracies, mayhem, etc.
How Does it Look: Interesting. It’s nice to see Sarah Michelle Gellar in something not-completely-awful and it could fit nicely into the action/mystery type of shows that have been gaining a following.
Chances: Hard to say. Gellar is obviously a big con draw but the show seems on the outskirts of most attendees interests. I’d give this one a 50/50 chance.
Person of Interest – Trailer – Setup: A down on his luck man is recruited by a shady man to help his secret organization make the world a better place. Fortunately, as you would expect from something with JJ Abrams and Jonathan Nolan behind it, things get a lot more complicated and a lot more interesting.
How Does it Look: Great. A fresh spin on the tired CBS crime shows. Hopefully it keeps that freshness going and doesn’t fall back into standard procedural cliches.
Chances: Pretty good. The talent involved is very geek friendly and CBS has been trying to increase their con presence. If they’ve got a winner on their hands, expect them to want to show it off.
Thanks for reading and remember to come back to the site soon to see what movies and returning TV shows are expected at the con.