The US Upfronts 2013 Preview


Another year, another Upfronts concludes. The traditional week long event teases the American population with some exciting, and not so exciting programming for the coming months.

Always ahead of the curve, On the Box have decided to cut to the chase, and show you the good and the bad of what the networks have delivered.

Let us know which ones you’re most looking forward to…

The Blacklist (NBC)

The Blacklist is the story of most wanted criminal Red Reddington (James Spader), who mysteriously hands himself in to the FBI without any explanation. Speaking only to Liz Keen (Megan Boothe), a unusual pairing is formed when Red talks of a “blacklistâ€? with names of various criminals and corrupt politicians that need to be brought down.

Strong performances from Spade & Boothe give this show a real edge to it, along with the addition of a thrilling atmosphere and equally strong supporting characters.

The Michael J Fox Show (NBC)

Michael J Fox makes a much needed comeback with a new comedy in which he plays a rigid newsreader who returns to the newsroom following a hiatus. The show takes pops at Fox’s Parkinson’s disease in an original and hilarious way, as well as making the family around him just as funny and selfish.

It’s a comedy with a lot of brilliant jokes, comical performances and the potential to make Michael J Fox a household name again.

Rake (FOX)

Greg Kinnear and FOX opt for a project very little done on television: gambling addiction. Kinnear plays Keegan Dune, a lawyer going through a chaotic situation with his gambling addictions and his dysfunctional family. The show follows his personal trials and tribulations, and delivers a very chaotic atmosphere full of dark and very dry humour.

Sleepy Hollow (FOX)

An updated take on a classic tale long established in American folklore. Ichobod Crane is resurrected in modern day Sleepy Hollow, and is drawn to an investigation of murders where the victim’s heads have been decapitated. It’s a creative twist on the old story, adding a chilling gothic atmosphere, as well as enough convincing performances to make even the silliest of plot points somewhat intimidating on screen.

Back In The Game (ABC)

In this fresh ABC comedy, Maggie Lawson portrays an ex baseball player who begins to coach little league baseball players in hopes of making them winners. The gags come from a mixture of physical and verbal comedy, and both mix brilliantly, with funny performances from Maggie Lawson and James Cann.

The Goldbergs (ABC)

The Goldbergs is the first of two comedies with its setting in a past decade. The show follows The Goldberg family, which stars Jeff Garlin, Wendi McLendon Covey and many others. It’s told from the point of view of the 11 year old son. He gives us a prime view of a funny, loud and bombastic family, who provide the audience with barrels of laughs, and maybe a few tears too. My prediction: bona fide hit.

Marvel Agents Of Shield (ABC)

Joss Whedon continues exploring the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the most talked about pilot of the bunch. Set after The Avengers, Clark Gregg reprises his popular role as Phil Coulson, who recruits a new secret team of agents, to tackle various cases around the world that only Shield are qualified to handle.

The show contains high production value, along with the traditional Whedon humour and all rounded characters with unique original personalities.

Resurrection (ABC)

Arguably the most original and intriguing premise out of all the new shows previewing this week. The focus on a mute young boy who appears in the middle of nowhere, and is discovered to have been the long missing son of an elderly couple. It contains supernatural and mystery elements, as well as focusing on the emotions of the parents and the naivety of the child.

Not only does it look clever, but it’s bold in its premise, and a real attempt to try something new on American television.

The Crazy Ones (CBS)

When you have Robbie Williams & Sarah Michelle Geller in a show, you’re almost guaranteed a pick up. Not only does this show have strong lead talent on its side, but a very entertaining premise with the promise of strong comedy and the potential for a new direction for CBS. The Crazy Ones could be a turning point for CBS, as well as Robin Williams & Sarah Michelle Geller’s careers.