Very little time at Monday’s FOX 2013-14 upfront presentation was devoted to the elephant in New York’s Beacon Theater – America Idol‘s troubled, near-completed season – except to compare the show’s long-running success to Gunsmoke‘s.
This caused a moment’s pause, not only with the thought that the incredibly influential, always buzzed-about Idol could ever be gone, but also with the reflection that at some time in the future it would be completely irrelevant. Ah well.
The bulk of FOX’s smoothly clockwork presentation, of course, kept an eye on that future, at least a few months from now, with clips of upcoming shows. Nothing looked as remotely silly as last year’s short-lived Mob Doctor, which was a relief, and there were several premieres that will have people talking:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: A police comedy starring Saturday Night Live alum Andy Samberg. The problem with the clip shown to advertisers was that Samberg consistently earned laughs with his jokes and punchlines – that’s good, and just as it should be – but virtually no one else did. Then again, the pilot itself may be one sustained howl of hilarity. And what counts, ultimately, is Samberg’s sensibility. It just needs to prevail.
Sleepy Hollow: This supernatural crime drama prompted the most enthusiastic response at the FOX upfront. The concept is dumb as a pumpkin: Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) has somehow been resuscitated in modern day – and so has the headless horseman, who’s riding around town slicing away like it was old times. Ichabod, working with the police, has figured out that this predicament has something to do with the secret workings of the Founding Fathers, including George Washington. (As you know, the republic’s birth is enshrouded in a secret web of shadowy mumbo-jumbo.) So what? It looks very entertaining.
Rake: (winter 2014). An LA noir starring Greg Kinnear as a louche lawyer with a low reputation and dirty habits. It suggests the descendant of the old hit LA Law mated with one of USA’s enjoyably shallow action-dramas. Scruffy, but not too. Smart, but not too.