The Titan Games (NBC)
The Titan Games will offer everyday people the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete in epic head-to-head challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart. Inspired by Johnson’s desire to motivate global audiences to reach their potential for greatness, this unparalleled new athletic competition gives men and women across the country the opportunity to step inside the Titan arena and achieve the impossible. Competitors will push their bodies to the limit by battling opponents in unforgiving head-to-head challenges. “The Titan Games” will not only test the competitors’ physical strength but also their mental and emotional fortitude. Throughout this uplifting series, hard work and determination will be rewarded, and a new breed of heroes will emerge. Those who can withstand the challenge have the chance to become a Titan and win a grand prize of $100,000.
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Liam McHugh, Alex Mendez, Cari Champion
Premieres Thursday, January 3rd
Pros: I can’t really hate on a bunch of super jacked people doing Rock workouts while fireworks explode behind them. I don’t have a lot to say about this. Feats of strength are interesting to watch. And that’s what this is. Feats of strength with tons of fire shooting out from the ground.
Cons: This seems a lot like John Cena’s stupid show that I watched every single episode of. They took super strong people and had them do insane physical shit for our entertainment. And then no one watched so for the second season they chose less strong people. It was insane. One lady fell down and fucked up her knee during a swamp challenge. But since she was tethered to her teammates, they literally dragged her body to the finish line. George Foreman’s son was a contestant. He didn’t want anyone to know who he was but was hampered by the fact that George Foreman named all his kids George Foreman. And those are all the things I remember about the John Cena show (that and I kept calling one of the douche-bro coaches Captain Nips).
I look forward to the inevitable second season of The Titan Games where they make people who can’t do things perform feats of strength.
Enemy Within (NBC)
In this fast-paced, spy-hunting thriller, Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative now known as the most notorious traitor in American history serving life in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. For Keaton, it’s not easy to trust the woman who cost him so much. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy… they must think like one.
Starring: Jennifer Carpenter, Morris Chesnut, Raza Jaffrey, Cassandra Freeman, Kelli Garner, Noah Mills
Premieres Monday, February 25th
Pros: I’m up for anything that sort of reminds me of Season 2 of Alias. That picture is giving me Irina Derevko vibes. This CTV trailer for the show where the audio doesn’t sync up with the video introduces the idea that she was coerced into spying by someone threatening her child. Delving into the morality of sacrificing other people so your kid can live is really interesting (I would have liked a stone cold traitor too but this is probably better in the long run). And Yay! Morris Chestnut is back! This dude seems like way more of a downer than Rosewood though.
Cons: It just feels like another show off the Blindspot/Blacklist mold. Which isn’t a bad thing (Blindspot got very weird in a good way) but how many shows about government agents working with a possibly untrustworthy asset to stop crime do we really need?
The Village (NBC)
Welcome to The Village, an apartment building in Brooklyn that appears like any other from the outside – but is quite unique inside. The people who reside here have built a bonded family of friends and neighbors. Sarah’s a nurse and single mom raising a creative teen; Gabe’s a young law student, who just got a much older and unexpected roommate; Ava must secure the future of her young, U.S.-born son when ICE comes knocking; Nick’s a veteran, who’s just returned from war; and the heart and soul of the building, Ron and Patricia, have captivating tales all their own. These are the hopeful, heartwarming and challenging stories of life that prove family is everything, even if it’s the one you make with the people around you.
Starring: Moran Atias, Michaela McManus, Frankie Faison, Jerod Haynes, Grace van Dien, Warren Christie, Daren Kagasoff, Lorraine Toussaint, Dominic Chianese
Premieres Tuesday, March 12th
Pros: I call this “Oh hey, that guy’s still alive?” because I got two responses saying that about two different cast members when I wrote about it for the Fall Preview. I really like the regular cast. I will watch Lorraine Toussaint read the phone book but I’m most excited about the recurring roles for Hailey Kilgore and Katrina Lenk (Both nominated for Best Actress Tonys this year, with Lenk winning). Plus…the idea of all these people coming together to take care of each other is just lovely.
Cons: It could also be really terrible and we don’t know because there is no trailer, NBC. Also having detailed descriptions of every single character and then basically going “Ron and Patricia are also interesting” is hilarious. What the fuck did Ron and Patricia do to you NBC blurb writer?
Clem’s upbringing and teen years left a lot to be desired, but she pulled herself up, and built a fantastic life—great job, terrific apartment, and an amazing fiancé, Nick, a college professor from a well-to-do “normal” family. Nick’s warm and supportive parents, Rose and Walt, embrace Clem and complete the family she always wanted. But when Clem’s wild-child half-sister, Shannon, appears on their doorstep to escape their train wreck of a dad, Nick agrees that Clem can help her avoid all the mistakes she made, and they invite her to move in. As the family Clem chose and the family she has blend, Clem realizes that this happy fam may be the perfection she’s been seeking.
Starring: Nina Dobrev, Tone Bell, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Odessa Adlon
Premieres Thursday January 10th
Pros: If you thought I had a conniption at two newly minted Broadway Divas getting recurring roles on a show, can you imagine what happened when I found out that Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sheryl Lee Ralph were playing a married couple on a sitcom? The non-Broadway cast members are exciting too. Nina Dobrev did great work on The Vampire Diaries that was hardly noticed because it was a CW vampire show. I love the idea that the Adlons have quietly been building a solid comedy dynasty. May Odessa be as great as Gideon was in Blockers. Finally, Tone Bell’s been great in shows and roles that never seem to go, so fingers crossed for this.
I really want this to be good but the jokes in the trailer don’t give me a lot of confidence. Speaking of…*judgmental squint* Why are you not featuring Sheryl Lee Ralph and Brian Stokes Mitchell in your promos more, CBS?
The World’s Best (CBS)
A first-of-its-kind global talent competition that features acts from every genre imaginable, from every corner of the planet. They not only have to impress American judges, but will also need to break through the “wall of the world,” featuring 50 of the world’s most accomplished experts from every field of entertainment. The winning act will ultimately be crowned The World’s Best.
Starring: RuPaul Charles, Drew Barrymore, Faith Hill, James Corden
Premieres Sunday February 3rd
Pros: I guess CBS has a lot of faith in this, because it’s airing its first episode after the Super Bowl. It might be kind of fascinating because all these countries place value on such different things that each vote from one of those shiny desks could reveal a lot about the place being represented. As for the American judges…that lineup is so weird that it might warrant a watch.
Like…it’s fun watching these things in minutes long YouTube clips but I’ve seen enough of the Got Talent franchise to know that the show proper is best watched while you’re washing the dishes. Oh…I now understand why NBC is making Terry Crews host an America’s Got Talent world edition.
Roswell, New Mexico (The CW)
Reluctantly returning to her tourist-trap hometown of Roswell, New Mexico, Liz Ortecho, a jaded biomedical researcher and the daughter of undocumented immigrants, is haunted by a tragic incident. She discovers a shocking truth about her teenage crush who is now a police officer: He’s an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect and begin to investigate his origins, but when a violent attack and long-standing government cover-up point to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him and destroy their deepening romance.
Starring: Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, Lily Cowles, Michael Vlamis, Tyler Blackburn, Michael Trevino, Heather Hemmens, Karan Oberoi
Premieres Tuesday January 15th
Pros: I was a huge fan of the original show. Enough that this image of Shiri Appleby directing Liz and Max 2.0 reduced me to a squeaking mess. I was also a huge fan of Bunheads, the last show Jeanine Mason and Nathan Parsons were on. I’m all in on this. It’s run by Carina Adly MacKenzie and produced by Julie Plec. Their work on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals gives me hope that we’ll see more of the lore behind why the aliens were dropped on Earth. The times when the original Roswell dipped into it were always riveting. And I adore Shiri Appleby but I’m so glad that this Liz is Latinx like she was in the books.
Cons: *In a totally reasonable and not unstable voice* I will burn things if this is bad.
I NEED THIS. 9-1-1 ISN’T COMING BACK TIL MARCH.