Every year countless TV shows make their debut and try to impress the audience; some manage to carry into a second season while some don’t go beyond the first season for one reason or the other. This year many TV shows debuted online as well as on cable TV network but out of the many ‘rookies’, these five have managed to surprise the audience with either their lead actors, characters, plotlines and/or all of the above. Let’s take a look at these new TV shows that demand our attention.
Cast: Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Jeremy Sisto, Ebonée Noel, and Sela Ward
Created by: Dick Wolf, Craig Turk
The series follows the adventures of FBI Special Agent Maggie Bell (Missy Peregrym) who is the widow of a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter; her partner Omar Adom “O. A.” Zidan (Zeeko Zaki) is an FBI Special Agent with a past. Since the latter is shown to be Muslim, most of the cases they solve have either something to do with Islam or the Arab War. While the duo roams around solving crimes that are above the pay grade of cops, they are assisted by Jubal Valentine (Jeremy Sisto) and Kristen Chazal (Ebonée Noel) and they all are led by Special Agent-in-Charge and the team’s supervisor Dana Mosier (Sela Ward). Be it the abduction of a Russian scientist or the random shooting at a secure location, this team solves their cases in record time, impressing audiences all over.
Note: This is the first time that a leading character in a US TV series is shown to be a practicing Muslim and that’s why people in Pakistan can relate to it.
Created by: Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science fiction, Superhero, Drama
We all know that Justice League is the ultimate superhero gang where Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest hang out but do we know what happens to the superheroes in the shadows of these superheroes? Titans tells you the story of Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) after he had parted ways with Batman in Gotham City and started working as a detective with the Detroit Police Department. In his quest to make a name for himself, he founds Titans where, with the help of Starfire (Anna Diop), Raven (Teagan Croft) and Beast Boy (Ryan Potter), they try to fight crime as well as find their own identity. The backstories of all these superheroes make it an interesting take on these Caped Crusaders who hate villains as much as the tag of sidekicks attached to them.
Note: The TV show is as dark as Gotham and much different from other DC inspired TV shows such as The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, making it an ideal way to match Marvel’s TV shows including the recently cancelled Daredevil.
The Kominsky Method
Created by: Chuck Lorre
The Kominsky Method follows the life of failed-actor-successful-acting-coach Sandy Kominsky (Michael Douglas) and his agent-cum-friend Norman Newlander (Alan Arkin); both in their 70s have nothing better to do since neither has a wife (Sandy’s divorced, Norman recently widowed) and that’s what makes their adventures a must watch. Be it their relationship with their kids or old age issues, how the two men in the twilight of their lives go on with their lives is shown in a brilliant manner. And then there is Lisa (Nancy Travis), a recent divorcée who becomes Sandy’s student and later accompanies him on a date, making it all the more interesting. The show was created by the same person who is behind The Big Bang Theory, which makes it all the more intriguing.
Note: Michael Douglas, who became a household name through The Streets of San Francisco, returns to TV as a lead actor after more than 40 years since he left the series after its fourth season in 1976!
Created by: Alexi Hawley
Genre: Crime drama, Comedy-drama, Police procedural
A forty-year-old divorcee (Nathan Fillion) – going through a midlife crisis – decides to become a cop and passes out as the oldest rookie at the Los Angeles Police Department. His biggest drawback is neither his age nor his practical approach but his relationship with another fellow rookie (Melissa O’Neil), which is a strict violation of the rules. The third rookie (Titus Makin) has a legacy to carry forward but he freezes whenever he finds himself in a crossfire! The series follows the story of these guys and their training officers and their superiors.
Note: The series has no links to the 1970s TV show The Rookies or the 1990 Clint Eastwood – Charlie Sheen movie that revolved around cops. It brings everyone’s favourite Nathan Fillion (of Castle fame) back to their screens and that alone is reason enough to watch it.
Based on: Magnum, P.I. by Donald P. Bellisario and Glen A. Larson
Developed by: Peter M. Lenkov, Eric Guggenheim
Genre: Crime drama, Action, Mystery
Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez) resides at successful novelist Robin Masters’ estate and works as his security consultant but, on the side lines, operates as a private investigator who helps people in trouble, mostly for free as hardly any of his clients have any money to pay him. That’s why he enlists the help of Robin Masters’ major domo Juliet Higgins (Perdita Weeks), his Navy buddy Orville “Rick” Wright (Zachary Knighton) and Theodore “TC” Calvin (Stephen Hill) who runs helicopter tours of the island. With Detective Gordon Katsumoto (Tim Kang) on their side, Team Magnum handles cases that seem simple at first but usually end up with a bang!
Note: Although this version of Magnum doesn’t wear a moustache, he wears the trademark Hawaiian shirt after spending initial episodes making the fans wait for it.
– Omair Alavi is a freelance broadcast journalist who can be contacted at [email protected]