Alcatraz (Fox)

Produced by J. J. Abrams.

Cast: Jorge Garcia (Lost) as Diego Soto, Sam Neil (Jurassic Park) as Emerson Hauser, and Sarah Jones (Love Finds a Home) as Rebecca Madsen.

Premise: 300 plus inmates of Alcatraz disappeared 50 years ago. The news was hushed up and the prison was closed. Now they are reappearing one by one but appearing to be no older than they were when they disappeared. A small FBI team takes on a the mission to catch the perps that no one else even knows to look out for.

How Watchable:  Well, it’s an Abrams show which means that viewers will have to see every episode – and that’s good.  It may be a touch too gritty for me.

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A Gifted Man (CBS)

Cast:  Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice), Susie Abromeit (Sex Drive) and Liam Aiken (Unfortunate Series of Events)

Premise: A self-absorbed surgeon runs into his ex-wife who is, as it happens, is dead. She starts haunting him into becoming a better man. It also seems to be a human/ghost love story.

How Watchable: The trailer looks maudlin – this kind of show needs a Whoopi Goldberg but there was no comedy-relief evident. On the other hand, I do like my ghostly love stories: Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Ghost, Truly, Madly Deeply, A Chinese Ghost Story, Kwaidan, Topper, etc. I’ll give it a try.

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Person of Interest (CBS)

Cast:   James Caviezel (Count of Monte Cristo) Michael Emerson (Lost), Taraji P. Henson (Karate Kid)

Premise:  A mad scientist recruits a lost man with super soldier skills to help him prevent violent crimes.

How Watchable:  It looks tech-friendly, full of explosions, and includes some deadpan humor. Caviezel is not one of the actors I follow but I liked him in Count of Monte Cristo.  I hoping to enjoy it a lot.

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Pan Am (CBS)

Cast:   Christina Ricci (Sleepy Hollow), Kelli Garner (Thumbsucker) Margot Elise Robbie  (Neighbors)

Premise:  In the 60s, airline attendants were kind of like models in that they were glamorous, sexy, and a dream to aspire to for young women.  Various young women who are seeking adventure  join the airline.

How Watchable:  It looks stylish.  I’m not excited about the numerous libertine pilots I saw in the trailer.  Ricci is in it, maybe she’ll bring some cynicism to this soapy, candy-bright world.  I have reservations but I’ll try it.

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Once Upon a Time (ABC)

Cast:  Jennifer Morrison (House) as Emma Swan, Jared Gilmore (Opposite Day) as Henry, Ginnifer Goodwin (A Single Man) as Mary Blanchard, Joshua Dallas (Thor) as John Doe, Lana Parrilla (Boomtown) as Regina

Premise:  A wicked queen has usurped the throne of Snow White & Prince Charming.  Before they are deposed, they hide their daughter in the mundane world.  Now she has grown up and is about to discover a quagmire of deceit and danger. 

How Watchable:  It appears to have a lot of melodrama and lush costumes.  I’m not sure how the show is actually going to work though – suspense or fantasy or what.  I would like to Morrison redeem herself after her role as the annoying Cameron on House.

Television without Pity 10 most promising shows

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