The 4th Annual Critics Choice TV Awards are coming to the CW Network live on Thursday, June 19th at 8 Pm Eastern, 7 Pm Central time. The awards will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. In it’s 4th year the Critics Choice Television Awards will continue to honor the most deserving shows currently airing network and cable television while also throwing an eye toward the future with the Most Exciting New Series category. Here’s a closer look at the upcoming series set to be honored at the Critics Choice Television Awards.
Academy Award winner Halle Berry is making the move to the small screen in the new CBS drama “Extant.” This unique sci-fi series finds Ms, Berry playing Molly Woods, an astronaut who returns from a year on a space station mission inexplicably pregnant. CBS was so excited about “Extant” that they gave the series a full 13 episode order based just on the strength of the pilot episode of “Extant.” Of course, having Halle Berry in the lead and Steven Speilberg as Executive Producer may have had some influence on that decision. “Extant” premieres Wednesday, July 9th on CBS.
Among the most buzzed about new series of the fall is Fox’s foray into the comic book genre, “Gotham.” Starring former “Southland” star Benjamin MacKenzie, “Gotham” tells the gritty story of D.C Comics’ Gotham City before Batman. MacKenzie plays a young and dedicated Officer Jim Gordon, who comic book fans know will someday be Commissioner Gordon, Batman’s most trusted ally. How did Jim Gordon remain the idealist, trustworthy cop that Batman needs him to be amid the crime and corruption of a pre-Batman Gotham City? That’s the heart of the story of “Gotham” debuting on Monday’s this fall on Fox.
“Halt and Catch Fire”
As AMC begins the slow transition away from the “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” era the network will be leaning hard on the new series “Halt and Catch Fire” to fill the void in the cable TV zeitgeist. The series has the pedigree to do just that with Academy Award winning producer Mark Johnson (“Rain Man”) on board and a rising star cast led by Lee Pace (“Pushing Daisies”) and Scoot McNary (“Monsters,” “Argo”). The series made waves by becoming the first series to debut via Tumblr on May 19th and has since premiered to steady ratings and solid buzz on AMC, filling the hole left by the mid-season finale of “Mad Men.” The series is already two episodes into its 10 episode first season and airs Sunday nights on AMC.
Of course, if you want to talk new series with a pedigree you can’t overlook the upcoming HBO drama “The Leftovers.” The series comes from “Lost” producer Damon Lindelof, it’s based on a bestselling novel by Tom Perrotta, the pilot was directed by “Battleship” director Peter Berg and features an extraordinary all star cast including former ‘Dr. Who’ Christopher Eccleston, writer and actor Justin Theroux, Emmy nominee Amy Brenneman and Liv Tyler making her first foray into series television. The series is set in the wake of a global rapture in which those left behind are forced to confront their existential angst in the most unique and shocking fashion in a small suburban town. “The Leftovers” debuts June 29th on HBO.
Much, if not all, of the buzz surrounding the series “Outlander” centers on writer-producer Ronald Moore. “Outlander” is the first Moore project to go to series since his wildly popular and critically beloved “Battlestar Galactica” went off the air in 2009. The series features a relatively unknown cast centering on Irish actress Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a nurse in post World War 2 Scotland who somehow step through a portal in time and winds up in Scotland cirica 1743 where she finds adventure and romance. The plot and star may not inspire much but Moore’s involvement has a certain cache that will make the debut of “Outlander” on Saturday, August 9th on not to be missed.
Writer John Logan (“Hugo,” “Skyfall”) and Executive Producer Sam Mendes gathered an exceptional cast for their first foray into series television, the horror themed “Penny Dreadful” on Showtime. Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green and Billie Piper star in the series which is set in Victorian Era London and uses famous characters like Frankenstein’s Monster, Dorian Gray and various other myths and literary legends to tell a series of horrific adventures. “Penny Dreadful” debuted May 11th on Showtime to much critical acclaim and continues to air it’s 10 episode first season Sunday nights on the pay cable network.
The buzz surrounding “The Strain” begins with series creator Guillermo Del Toro who brings his serious horror movie credibility to this unique Vampire drama that finds a plane landing in New York City full of corpses and only four survivors. Independent Spirit Award nominee Corey Stoll plays the lead CDC investigator in charge of finding out what happened and along with a team that includes Sean Astin, Mia Maestro and Kevin Durand, winds up battling a vicious strain Vampires. If Del Toro and Stoll aren’t enough to peak interest, former “Lost” producer Carlton Cuse has signed on as the series Showrunner. “The Strain” debuts on FX July 13th.,