As our favorite television shows take their final bows for the year, the majority of studios are in New York this week taking part in the time-honored tradition of the Upfronts. Now what might you ask is an “upfront” and what in hell does it have to do with TV? The answer is: everything!
An upfront presentation is basically a fashion show where the studios present next fall’s pilot episodes (the first episode of a new series), which act as a pitch for a series in general. These pitches are presented primarily to the Madison Ave crowd, the advertising league of America. Shows are judged for their potential to succeed past a few episodes, their ability to integrate consumer products, and most importantly, what advertisements can be paired or integrated with the show.
The level of interest from the “right buyers” can make or break a series’ chance of a season order (traditionally for a 13-episode half, or 22-episode full season).
We’ve vetted some of the new shows hot off this year’s upfronts to give you a glimpse of what’s to come this fall.
Hottest new show: LAST RESORT
What it’s about: Last Resort follows the crew of America’s most powerful nuclear submarine, which is ordered to destroy Pakistan without reason. When the crew questions this and is the target of friendly fire, the sub retreats to a small island and declares itself the world’s smallest nuclear nation.
Who’s in it: Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser, Robert Patrick
Second choice: Supernatural drama 666 Park Avenue
Hottest new show: REVOLUTION
What it’s about: The world goes apeshit when all the electricity turns off one day. Fifteen years later, warlords and militias are ruling the Stone-Age world, but someone might just have a magical USB to turn things back on.
Who’s in it: Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Andrea Roth
Second choices: Progressive family drama The New Normal and Silence of the Lambs prequel Hannibal (midseason)
Hottest new show: THE FOLLOWING
What it’s about: A former FBI agent is reluctantly pulled back into service when a serial killer he put behind bars escapes from death row. Created by Scream guru Kevin Williamson.
Who’s in it: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Natalie Zea
Second choice: Rival adult sibling comedy The Goodwin Games
Hottest New Show: ELEMENTARY
What it’s about: Sherlock Holmes gets a 21st century spin set on the streets of Manhattan. Audiences might have a love/hate relationship with the fact that Watson is a woman.
Who’s in it: Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu
Hottest New Show: ARROW
What it’s about: DC Comics’ Green Arrow is back in this updated version of the billionaire-turned-savior tale. Bonus points for Game of Thrones’ David Nutter taking the helm as director.
Who’s in it: Stephen Amell
Second choice: TV-obsessed psychological thriller Cult (midseason)
Which of these are YOU looking forward to the most? Post in the comments below!