Ain't It Cool News (


I am – Hercules!!

Every summer, all summer long, thousands of e-mails. What looks good this coming season? Where’s the the next “Gilmore Girls,” the next “Gideon’s Crossing,” the next “24,” the next “Alias,” the next “Firefly,” the next “Wonderfalls”?

Here then, preemptively, are the ten new series to which Herc is, at the moment, most looking forward:

1. “Lost”

What is it? A sci-fi action adventure about plane-crash survivors who find themselves stranded on a strange island teeming with the weird and dangerous.
Who’s in it? Matthew Fox (“Party of Five,” “Haunted”), Maggie Grace (“Oliver Beene”), Ian Somerhalder (Adam Knight on “Smallville”), Terry O’Quinn (“Millennium,” “Alias”), Dominic Monaghan (“The Lord of the Rings”), Harold Perrineau (the “Matrix” series), Daniel Dae Kim (“Angel,” “24”), Naveen Andrews (“The English Patient,” “Rollerball”), Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly.
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It was created by “Alias” mastermind J.J. Abrams, and sounds even better than “Alias”!
What could go wrong? ABC, briefly and recently home to “Cupid,” “Miracles,” “Karen Sisco” and “Line of Fire,” loves to put on amazing shows, then yank them abruptly from the airwaves.
Where can I see it? 8 p.m. Wednesdays. ABC. Opposite “Smallville,” “That ‘70s Show,” “America’s Top Model,” “60 Minutes” and “Hawaii.”

2. “Medium”

What is it? It’s a distaff “Dead Zone” about a psychic suburban mom who finds herself solving crimes.
Who’s in it? Patricia Arquette (“Little Nicky,” “Holes”), Jake Weber ("Dawn of the Dead") and Miguel Sandoval (“Kingpin,” “10-8”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It was created by Glenn Gordon Caron. The other shows Caron created were “Moonlighting” and “Now and Again,” two of the greatest shows ever created.
What could go wrong? When was the last time a midseason entry survived on NBC beyond eight episodes?
Where can I see it? Midseason. NBC.

3. “Global Frequency”

What is it? A sci-fi action-adventure about an elite and illegal network of 1,001 intelligence operatives charged with quashing dire and fast-emerging crises all over the planet.
Who’s in it? Nobody’s been cast yet. The pilot shoots this summer.
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It’s based on a completely brilliant comic book written by Warren Ellis (“The Authority,” “Planetary”), the best working comic book writer not named Alan Moore. The show is being overseen by screenwriter John Rogers (“The Core”), a monster fan of both Ellis’ work and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the finest television series ever crafted.
What could go wrong? Beyond the comic’s two regular supporting characters (Miranda Zero and Aleph) the comic featured a new agent with every adventure. The TV show will too, but the WB apparently was keen to bring two of the agents back every week. This means more continuity; not necessarily a bad thing.
Where can I see it? The WB. Midseason.

4. “House”

What is it? An hourlong about a brilliant diagnostician who would prefer not to talk to patients.
Who’s in it? Hugh Laurie (the “Stuart Little” movies), Lisa Edelstein (“Relativity,” “Felicity”), Robert Sean Leonard (“Dead Poets Society,” “Driven”), Jennifer Morrison (“Grind”), Omar Epps (“ER,” “Against the Ropes”) and Jesse Spencer (“Uptown Girls”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It was created by screenwriter Paul Attanasio (“Quiz Show,” “The Sum of All Fears”), who previously created “Homicide: Life on the Street” and the amazing “Gideon’s Crossing”).
What could go wrong? Unscripted megasmash “American Idol” will be its lead-in, so I’m guessing not a lot. (I’m convinced that if “Wonderfalls” got this timeslot it would currently be Fox’s top-rated scripted show.)
Where can I see it? 9 p.m. Tuesdays. Fox. Opposite “According to Jim,” “One Tree Hill,” “Scrubs,” “Father of the Pride,” “Clubhouse,” “Rodney” and “Veronica Mars.”

5. “Athens”

What is it? An hourlong set in a fictional New England university town, about conflict and love among the working-class locals and the rich outsiders who study and teach there.
Who’s in it? No one knows. The pilot hasn’t been shot yet.
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It’s created by Josh Schwartz, who last season created the witty, moving and otherwise compelling “The O.C.”
What could go wrong? Adam Brodys don’t grow on trees.
Where can I see it? 8 p.m. Mondays. Fox. Opposite “Fear Factor,” “7th Heaven,” “Still Standing,” “One on One,” “Half & Half,” “Listen Up” and “The Benefactor.”

6. “The Jury”

What is it? An hourlong about 12 angry men (12 different angry men each week, apparently) hashing out verdicts.
Who’s in it? Recurring supporting characters are played by Barry Levinson (“Quiz Show”), Adam Busch (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Anna Friel (“Timeline”), Billy Burke (“Wonderland”), Shalom Harlow (“MTV’s House of Style,” “How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days”), Jeff Hephner (“Tigerland,” “Maid in Manhattan”), Tom Noonan (“Manhunter,” “Knockaround Guys”) and Jade Wu (“One Life to Live”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It’s from a bunch of people involved with “Homicide: Life on the Street”: director-producer Barry Levinson and writer-producers Tom Fontana, Jim Finnerty and James Yoshimura.
What could go wrong? Having different lead actors each week could freak audiences out. It’s been a long time since network TV had a successful dramatic anthology.
Where can I see it? 9 p.m. Fridays. Fox. Opposite “Third Watch,” “JAG,” “Hope & Faith,” “Less Than Perfect,” “Reba,” and “Commando Nanny.”

7. “Fleet Street”

What is it? The “Practice” sequel revolving around the characters we met in the season just concluded.
Who’s in it? Returnees from “The Practice” include James Spader, Rhona Mitra, William Shatner, Rebecca De Mornay, Vince Colosimo and Lake Bell.
Why is stupid Herc so excited? The last few episodes of “The Practice” represented David E. Kelley’s best work in years. And for the first time in a long time, there’s only one Kelley show on the air, so the prolific creator (“Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Public,” “Girls Club,” “Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire” etc.) will be able to focus all his energies.
What could go wrong? “Fleet Street” will feature more comedy than “The Practice,” but Kelley would be well advised to minimize the wackiness that consumed Ally McBeal.
Where can I see it? 10 p.m. Sundays. ABC. Opposite “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

8. “Dr. Vegas”

What is it? An hourlong about a physician who leaves emergency medicine to become the in-house doctor at a big-deal casino.
Who’s in it? Rob Lowe (“Lyon’s Den”), Joe Pantoliano (“The Handler”), Amy Adams (“Catch Me If You Can”) and Sarah Lancaster (Madison on “Everwood”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It’s the first series created by longtime “ER” showrunner Jack Orman, who wrote likely the series’ best episode ever, “All in the Family,” in which Lucy Knight died.
What could go wrong? Who watches TV on a non-school night?
Where can I see it? 10 p.m. Friday. CBS. Opposite “Medical Investigations” and “20/20.”

9. “Life As We Know It”

What is it? A coming-of-age comedy-drama set in Seattle.
Who’s in it? Sean Faris (“Undressed,” “Sleepover”), Jon Foster (“Danny”), Chris Lowell, Marguerite Moreau (“Wet Hot American Summer,” “Runaway Jury”), Kelly Osbourne (“The Osbournes”), Lisa Darr (“Popular”), Missy Pergrym (“Black Sash”) and D.B. Sweeney (“Harsh Realm”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It was created by writer-producers Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs, two of the guys behind the brilliant “Freaks & Geeks” & “Undeclared.”
What could go wrong? Judah & Sachs weren’t the showrunners on “Freaks” or “Undeclared”; that was comedy genius Judd Apatow.
Where can I see it? 9 p.m. Thursdays. ABC. Opposite “The Apprentice,” “CSI,” “Tru Calling” and “Studio 7.”

10.“Jack & Bobby”

What is it? A contemporary drama about a single mom raising two teens, one of whom is destined to become this nation’s president.
Who’s in it? Matthew Long, Logan Lerman (“Riding In Cars With Boys”), Christine Lahti (“Chicago Hope”), Jessica Pare (“Lost and Delirious”), John Slattery (“Ed,” “K Street”) and Edwin Hodge (“The Alamo”).
Why is stupid Herc so excited? It’s from writer-producers Greg Berlanti (“Everwood”) and Vanessa Taylor (“Gideon’s Crossing,” “Alias,” “Everwood”), and “Everwood” got a lot better this year.
What could go wrong? The concept is … strange -- we learn one of the boys becomes president via flash-forwards to interviews with White House staffers. Also, it’s hard to forget Berlanti made his name as a writer-producer on “Dawson’s Creek.”
Where can I see it? 9 p.m. Sundays The WB. Opposite whatever’s on HBO, “Alias,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Desperate Housewives” and “The Partner”

The big wildcard this season seems to be ABC’s “Desperate Housewifes”, which a lot of people seem excited about, despite the fact that it comes from writer-producer Chuck Pratt, who’s best known for grinding out awful Aaron Spelling hours like “Melrose Place,” “Models Inc.,” “Sunset Beach” and “Titans.” It has an interesting concept (the ghost of a dead housewife uncovers weirdness about her former neighbors), and an interesting cast, including Sheryl Lee (“Kingpin”), Teri Hatcher (“Spy Kids”), Marcia Cross (“Everwood”), Felicity Huffman (“Sports Night,” “Out of Order”), Eva Longoria (“L.A. Dragnet”), Andrea Bowen (“That Was Then”), Jamie Denton (“Threat Matrix”), Ricardo Chavira (“The Alamo”), Mark Moses (“Red Dragon”), Cody Kasch (“Normal, Ohio”), Kyle Searles (“7th Heaven”) and Michael Reilly Burke (“Providence”). Keep in mind, however, that a lot of people were pretty excited about “Lyon’s Den” before it started airing last season. “Housewives” will take over the “Alias” timeslot until midseason.

I am – Hercules!!

Looking for bumper stickers, plush toys and girls’ underwear covered with cartoon double-amputees? Visit The Herc Store!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus