Tag: nbc

NBC 2018/2019 Schedule (+ THOUGHTS & TRAILERS)

 

MONDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- THE VOICE

10- MANIFEST

TUESDAY

8- THE VOICE

9- THIS IS US

10- NEW AMSTERDAM

WEDNESDAY

8- CHICAGO MED

9- CHICAGO FIRE

10- CHICAGO PD

 

 

THURSDAY

8- SUPERSTORE / THE GOOD PLACE

9- WILL & GRACE / I FEEL BAD

10- LAW & ORDER: SVU

FRIDAY

8- BLINDSPOT

9- MIDNIGHT, TEXAS (THE BLACKLIST Midseason)

10- DATELINE

SUNDAY

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

8- WORLD OF DANCE  (Midseason)

9- WORLD OF DANCE (Midseason)

10- GOOD GIRLS (Midseason)

 

MIDSEASON

GOOD GIRLS | THE ENEMY WITHIN | THE GILDED AGE | THE VILLAGE | THE INBETWEEN

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE | A.P. BIO | ABBY’S

 

THOUGHTS

– Not sure why high-concept drama Manifest was chosen over other options -especially since NBC doesn’t even own it- but it gives me some The Event feels… Probably something that will start big and lose viewers very quickly.

This Is Us leading into New Amsterdam was expected and it seems to be a good pair, though the medical show doesn’t have any hook that will help it be distinctive from the others currently on the air. It should do fine but no hit in the making.

– Finally a Chicago night entirely devoted to the franchise! It should have happened ages ago, but it’s never too late I guess! They’ll probably be stronger together than individually, as crossover specials proved in the past.

– Why is I Feel Bad Will & Grace’s companion for fall and not way more compatible multicamera comedy Abby’s? That’s a mystery. Expect this show to be gone quickly.

Law & Order: SVU moving thursday at 10 is surprising but the Dick Wolf’s 20-season show should be fine.

 

TRAILERS

 

 

 

 

Manifest (NBC) pilot preview: “We have to go back”… and they did!

Written and executive produced by Jeff Rake (The Mysteries Of Laura, The Tomorrow People, The Practice). Also produced by Robert Zemeckis (Flight, Cast Away, Back to The Future, Forrest Gump, Tales From The Crypt), Jack Rapke (The Borgias, Allied) & Jackie Levine (Wonder Woman, Justice League). Directed by David Frankel (Collateral Beauty, The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me, Sex & The City). For NBCWarner Bros. Television & Compari Entertainment. 61 pages. 1/03/18 Draft.

Description: a plane disappears from radar and returns five years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea. No time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by. The series follows their personal lives as well as the larger mystery and purpose that is their destiny…

With Josh Dallas (Once Upon A Time, Zootopia, Thor), Melissa Roxburgh (Valor), J.R. Ramirez (Jessica Jones, Power, Arrow), Athena Karkanis (Zoo, The Expanse), Parveen Kaur (Beyond, Saving Hope), Luna Blaise (Fresh Off The Boat)…

  

You’ll like if you already like: The Event, FlashForward, The Crossing…

Likely timeslot: Monday at 10 or midseason

 

Manifest is the perfect example of a waste of a good concept and coming from Robert Zemeckis as an executive producer, it’s even more disappointing. I can’t say I’m surprised, there’s literally no buzz for this pilot since it’s been ordered and the cast they assembled is very weak. I mean no disrespect but when you choose Josh Dallas as your leading man, it means you have a problem somewhere. Even worse: he’s the most famous one here! “Network + High-concept” is probably seen as a recipee for disaster by actors and their agents nowadays and for good reasons. So when your script is not even convincing, you can’t expect much. My theory is simple: Warner Bros. made a strong pitch for Manifest, every network wanted it, NBC won it for a large chunk of money and had to go with a put pilot commitment, and then they had no choice but to order it no matter what. They probably regret it… But hey, maybe I’m totally wrong. Maybe they love it and will give it the best slot they have next year! Who knows at this point?

First, remember ABC also had a similar concept in the works this pitch season, that resonated better with the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 over the South China Sea more than three years ago. Because that’s probably where those ideas came from. Flight 410, that’s how it was called, was described like this: “after a commercial flight vanishes over the Atlantic Ocean, a disgraced journalist whose wife was on the plane is driven to solve the mystery as he leads an unconventional group with other family members left behind”. It’s a simpler version of Manifest, with the same “Lost in reverse” vibe. And sometimes, simpler is better. Because the problem here is not the plane disappearing or the search for the truth but the fantasy part. The problem is right here, in this precise line: “No time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by.” We’re suddenly in Lost meets Resurrection and it’s not a territory we want to explore.

I don’t know if the writer, Jeff Rake, already knows the answer about this mystery -It’d be better if he does- but that simply can’t be answered with a reasonable, scientific or pseudo-scientific explanation. And it creates awkward and predictable and useless moments between the characters. What if they aged too? What if 5 years have gone by for them too? There’d still be the mystery of the sudden departure and it’d be just enough. And oh so you know, the script suggests that the characters are now connected by an invisible force that has a voice that speaks in their heads telling them to do things that help saving other people. Like Michaela warning a bus driver to slow down before hitting a child. It’s uninteresting and already too much! And there’s more! While Michaela visits her old boyfriend, a now married cop, she learns of two children who were abducted. Eventually the voice leads her to rescue the children… Damn. So we’re gonna get a rescue every damn week on top of that?

Also they worked hard to make it a family fare, which is quite an odd fit with the initial thriller concept. I don’t see parents watching this show with their children honestly. So yeah, it’s mostly about a family, the Stark family –Game of Thrones‘ fans are shook- who just wrapped up their family vacation to Jamaica in April 2013. It’s composed of a suburbanite couple in their thirties Ben & Grace and their 10 year-old twins Call, a leukemia patient, and Olive, a rambunctious young girl. They’re accompanied by Ben’s sister Michaela, a dissatisfied clerk at the police station who’s haunted by a past car accident where her best friend died while she was driving. Now she’s an alcoholic and her dream of being a policewoman has been derailed. Ben & Michaela’s parents, Steve & Karen, are also in the plane. Due to an oversold flight, Grace, Olive, Steve and Karen all board the early flight home, leaving Ben, Michaela and Cal to take the later flight. On the second flight, they experience turbulence and when they land, it’s October 2018. Of course things have changed a bit since then like Grace now being a teenage nightmare, Grace “having an affair” with a neighbour and Karen being dead. But apart from Michaela, most of the characters here sound like pains in the ass. Reminded me a lot of FlashForward, which had a better concept but with terrible characters mostly.

The best thing that could happen to Manifest is if it suddenly disappeared from pilot season. Come back in 5 years with a better script and a concept tweaked and we’ll see what we can do with you! There’s certainly something to do around this story, with a conspiracy behind and all, but make it realistic and simpler. Until then, please don’t board this plane NBC!

The Village (NBC) pilot preview: This Is All Of Them

Written and executive produced by Mike Daniels (Shades Of Blue, Taken, Sons of Anarchy, The Vampire Diaries). Directed by Minkle Spiro (Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife, Genius). For NBCUniversal Television. 63 pages. Second Network Draft. 12/19/17.

Description: Despite a difference in age, race, culture and lifestyle, the residents of a Manhattan apartment building find that the more their lives intertwine, the more complex and compelling their connections become, thus proving life’s challenges are better faced alongside family, even if it’s the one you make wherever you find it. All under one roof, we will meet a recovering war vet, a pregnant teenage girl and her single mom, a cop with an unexpected love interest, a woman hiding a terrifying secret from her husband and a millennial lawyer who might find his grandfather is the best and worst roommate he ever could have hoped for…

With Warren Christie (The Resident, Alphas, October Road), Michaela McManus (SEAL Team, Aquarius, The Vampire Diaries), Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black, Selma, Saving Grace, Any Day Now), Dominic Chianese (Damages, The Sopranos, The Goldfather II), Grace Van Dien (Greenhouse Academy), Moran Atias (24: Legacy, Tyrant, Crash), Jerod Haynes (Empire, Sense8), Frankie Faison (Grey’s Anatomy, Banshee, The Wire), Daren Kagasoff (Red Band Society, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Amber Skye Noyes (Quantico, The Deuce), Will Chase (Nashville, Smash), Luke Slattery

   

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: This Is Us, Parenthood

Likely timeslot: Right behind This Is Us, whether it stays on tuesdays or it moves

 

Remember Melrose Place? At least the first version of Melrose Place before Amanda Woodward/Heather Locklear came in, which was more a relationship drama with young people living in the same residence than a super crazy soap? It was not very good and it didn’t work, that’s why it changed so much, but we can say The Village is more in this vein, with a similar concept, though the characters are from different age, race, culture and lifestyle. For this reason, you can’t mistake it with a show from the 90s! It’s diverse and very rooted in our modern world. I don’t think it’s plausible in any way. I don’t think there are buildings where neighbours are so friendly with each other. That’s certainly not what I’m experiencing. I don’t live in New York but I went there and as in every big city in the world, neighbours don’t interact that much. The Village plays more like an utopia. That’s how things should work. People should talk, and help each other, and be kind and patient and open and generous. In a way, The Village wants to send the same message as This Is Us: we’re stronger when we’re all together, as a family, as a team. It’s a bit naïve and cliché, and so what? Cynicism is gone for good.

This sprawling ensemble drama has more serialized storylines going on in this pilot than in an entire season of a procedural. There are like 12 main characters and as many secondary ones. And yet, you’re never lost, probably because the writing is good enough to make them all distinctive. Plus, they’re all smartly connected so you never feel like it’s a compilation of stories. They all have their own apartment in this Brooklyn residence, but not all of the action is happening inside. There’s also a nursing home nearby, where they deal with troublemaking elders, for example. Plus, they have places where they can all be together: the iconic basement bar “The Crook and Croney” and the rooftop where they make parties and stare at the stars while confessing secrets. Two of our central characters, Ron and Patricia, a cute and loving couple in their sixties, own the building and make it their mission to create a family out of their residents, many of whom are longtime tenants. They truly are the glue that holds this place together. But Patricia has a secret that could threaten it all… She’s dying. She doesn’t want to tell anyone, including her husband. Of course, when you make such a show, you know the strenghth of the concept can also be its weakness: some stories will work better than others, some characters will be fan favorites, some others will live in their shadows, but hopefully everyone will find what they’re looking for in the show. I can’t say I loved it all, I can’t say everything is working but the pilot gave me enough reasons to stay.

One of the most emotional story is Katie’s & her mom Sarah. The sixteen year-old girl is a budding street artist and she’s forced to tell her mom she is pregnant after getting in trouble at school. Sarah is a young and single mother herself who works hard as a nurse and who wanted another life for her daughter. There’s a twist about the father but I’m not gonna tell anything. It’s one of those soapy moments that makes the show even more exciting. And then there’s Gabe, a busy and broke law student who has very little time to deal with his pill-pushing grandpa, who resides at the nursing home where Sarah works. So they’re gonna have to live together now and Gabe is less enthusiastic than his grandfather about it. Plus, Gabe will have to add something else to his plate: when Edda, an Irani woman, is detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), he’s asked to help her win her case so she can stay in America. Her cop boyfriend and downstairs neighbor Ben is left looking after her son, Sami, who’s only eight and absolutely not Ben’s biggest fan! While all of this is going on, Ron welcomes Nick, a discharged war vet, into the building, who’s a bit tired of the “Thank you for you service” sentence he’s being told at every moment. That’s just a glimpse of the stories I’m giving you here but I guess you have a better picture of what it’s all about. And again, it may seem messy and too rich but it’s working mostly. And it says a lot about today’s America.

The Village is a high-concept yet simple relationship drama like no other right now, that’s totally in sync with the “feel good” trend television is experiencing with shows such as This Is Us & The Good Doctor. The residents of this Brooklyn building are the epitome of a chosen family and I have a feeling viewers will choose to be a part of it as well. This is all of them and this is us, all together now.

New Amsterdam (NBC) pilot preview: A great medical drama at the worst time possible…

Also known as Bellevue. Written and executive produced by David Schulner (Emerald City, Do No Harm, Trauma, The Event). Also produced by Dr. Eric Manheimer & Pete Horton (Grey’s Anatomy, Thirtysomething, Ironside). Directed by Kate Dennis (The Handmaid’s Tale, Secrets & Lies, The Secret Life of Us). For NBC & Universal Television. 59 pages. Revised Network Draft. Clean. 12/26/2017.

Description: Located in Manhattan, Bellevue is the only hospital in the world that has the capability to treat Ebola patients, prisoners from Rikers Island and the President of the United States all under one roof. Max Hollander, the new enigmatic medical director hired to disrupt and tame this mighty institution, always prioritize patient care while facing his own battle with cancer…

With Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist, 90210, Dirt), Freema Agyeman (Sense8, The Carrie Diaries, Doctor Who), Janet Montgomery (This Is Us, Salem, Made in Jersey, Entourage), Tyler Labine (Dirk GentlyReaper, Sons of Tucson, Invasion), Anupam Kher (The Indian Detective, Sense8), Jocko Sims

   

You’ll like it you already like: medical shows, from best to worst.

Likely timeslot: Not sure there’s one in the fall…

 

How many medical shows can work at the same time? Historically, not much more than two (ER & Chicaco Hope in the 90s; Grey’s Anatomy & House in the 2000s…). But this past season, four aired at the same time: Grey’s Anatomy -such a beast- & new hit The Good Doctor, both on ABC, plus Chicago Med doing good business on NBC & The Resident doing decent by FOX’s standarts. Betting they will all be back next year, does any new medical drama even stand a chance in this crowded market? Networks doesn’t seem to think so since Bellevue is actually the only medical drama pilot that was picked up to pilot (many projects were in development). So the question is now: does Bellevue even stand a chance? And my answer is… In another situation, on another year, it would certainly have, but now…

It’s a pity for NBC and for us, because Bellevue is really more interesting than Chicago Med or The Night Shift, and other medical shows that failed over there those past few years like Do No Harm or Heartbeat, but I don’t see how they can fit in the schedule and how viewers would be willing to give it a fair chance. Such a shame. The central character is inspired by a real person -Dr. Eric Manheimer, the former medical director at New York City’s real Bellevue Hospital and author of the memoir Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital which inspired the series- and you can tell those stories are true, or at least sound like they are. It’s not eccentric with quirky cases to have some fun in the middle of the big drama, it’s really a mix of “normal” cases like you can find in every other medical show and high-stakes ones like the one used in the logline: Alain, a 15 year-old boy, arrives from Africa and shows signs of Ebola disease, which leads the police to think he might have been used as a biological weapon by an Isis agent. Talk about a first day for Hollander ! No sign of the President of the United States just yet!

The pilot is really packed, fast-paced but never at the detriment of the characters, and does a good job at showing America in all its diversity, by facing the difficulties of the healthcare system. And I think that’s what I liked the most about Bellevue. We’re said multiple times that it’s an important hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States that has a tradition of “serving the underserved” that dates back to 1736 and bla bla bla, but we can also feel it for real through the doctors and through the patients. CBS’s Code Black wanted to show real medicine, based on a documentary, but Bellevue does it better. One case is about a 16 year-old victim of abuse for whom the bedraggled Dr Iggy Frome tries to find a permanent home. It’s very emotional. Another is about a 70 year-old woman who appears dead on arrival, but actually suffers from a neurological condition caused by a tapeworm indigenous to her hometown in Mexico. She only has one year to live and Max will do whatever he can so she returns to her native Guadalajara. There’s a lot of compassion in this show, a lot of emotion and a feel-good vibe amidst the chaos, similar to The Good Doctor.

Hollander is a complicated character but he mostly acts as a hero, even if it means annoying some people for the greater good. I don’t know if Ryan Eggold is the right choice for it -NBC’s executives have a thing for him obviously- but it’s a great challenge. Hollander’s maverick approach and intense commitment to the job exasperate his boss, as well as his seven months pregnant’s wife, who just separated from him. I feel like this personal story will quickly becomes a stone in the writers’ shoes, especially since they’ll have the cancer one to worry about even more. It’s a lot for just one character but the good news is those around him also make good impressions. I’m thinking of Dr. Hana Sharpe (Freema Agyeman), who’s the lead doctor at the hospital who has not practiced medicine in a while. Rather, she appears on talk shows across the country pitching Bellevue hospital. She’s fierce and strong and I like her already. Dr. Anil Kapoor is interesting too, since he’s one of the oldest doctors there and he believes the hospital needs to change but does not feel he needs to change his ways. He could be a lot of fun. They don’t come out as characters we’ve already seen a million times in medical shows.

I’m very conflicted about Bellevue: it sure is a good pilot, and it sure could become a great medical drama, but it’s coming at the worst time possible with already a lot of similar options on network television. I would love it to thrive, I would love it to stay with us for the long haul but I just don’t see it happening sadly. In the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s how I’ll remember it. Unless there’s a miracle…

F.B.I. (CBS) pilot preview: Dick Wolf By The Book

Written and executive produced by Craig Turk (The Good Wife, Private Practice, Boston Legal). Also produced by Dick Wolf (Law & Order, SVU, Truee Crime, Chicago Fire, PD, Med, Justice), Peter Jankowski & Arthur W. Forney. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Millenium, Under The Dome, Mr Robot, Midnight, Texas). For NBCUniversal TelevisionCBS Television Studios & Wolf Films. 60 pages. Network Draft. 1/22/18.

Description: the inner workings of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, alongside relatively young agents Maggie Bell & Otilio Abramah “OA” Casillas, and the emotional toll cases have on their relationships and personal lives…

With Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue, Van Helsing, Reaper), Zeeko Zaki (24 Legacy, Valor, Six), Jeremy Sisto (Ice, The Returned, Suburgarory, Law & Order, Six Feet Under), Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman Boss, The Following, Gladiator), Ebonée Noel (Wrecked, Still Star-Crossed)…

  

You’ll Like It You Already Like: Any straight police procedural show.

Likely timeslot: Monday at 10 (one of the few slots available where there’s no Dick Wolf show on NBC)

 

No, it’s not a typo in the article’s title: this show produced by Dick Wolf is really for CBS! F.B.I. will be Wolf’s first drama series to launch on a network other than NBC in 15 years, since the 2003 Dragnet reboot on ABC that didn’t last long. So what happened? The project was originally developed at NBC but with Wolf’s Chicago franchise expanding, taking 3 hours in the schedule, plus veteran Law & Order:SVU still alive and new iteration Law & Order True Crime coming, there was simply not slot available for it in NBC’s slate of procedurals. So it made sense for him to look to expand his brand elsewhere and CBS was the logical first destination since the eye network is known for its crime procedurals. NBC will still get some money out of it anyway since Universal is co-producing F.B.I. with CBS. The only downside here is that they won’t be able to crossover the show with Chicago PD (or any other), something they probably would have done on NBC. CBS was so happy to get a Wolf show that they ordered it straight-to-series with a 13-episode commitment, without any writer attached and of course any script ready. Former The Good Wife executive producer Craig Turk was then recommended for the job by CBS, being one of the top drama writers on CBS TV Studios’ roster. And here we are!

So, F.B.I… Could they find a more generic title than this? It sums up the whole concept of the show, really. In that regard, it is perfect. Though they could have added “: New York“, cos’ knowing both Wolf and CBS, if it works for them, we will get the Los Angeles & Miami versions sooner or later! There’s a definitive lack of ambition, as the logline can attest, and it’s a choice. It’s not like they were trying to make something crazy original and they totally failed in the end. No, they were just aiming at a simple, straight-forward crime procedural since the beginning. No fat. But is it a smart move in 2018? Don’t you need a hook, even in a procedural, to bring interest? I think the reasoning behind is quite easy: Dick Wolf is a brand, and people who love his brand don’t want anything that would deviate from it. No high-concept. No strange consultant. No magic. So Wolf is bringing exactly what people are supposedly looking for from him. And from CBS. Haters gonna hate. Lovers gonna love! I don’t consider myself as a hater of Dick’s work but I can’t say that I’m a fan either. I always find his shows bland and F.B.I. kinda is too. It’s never really about the characters. It’s about the case of the week and the investigation. And sometimes, when there’s a little time left, they throw us crumbs of information about the investigators’ private lives. Like a well-deserved reward. That’s what happens here. When the pilot ends, we know one thing about every principal character. Which is already a lot I guess from such a show.

That being said, F.B.I. is as efficient as a procedural can get and it’s fast-paced. The situation is quickly set. The investigation starts two pages in. You’re given twists and cliffhangers every 8-10 minutes or so. You get a proper conclusion in the last two pages. Nothing’s left to your imagination. And it’s done. Again: no fat. There’s still some kind of ambition though, I was lying earlier. The case they chose to tackle is quite strong and heavy. Terrorism. In New York. Nothing original here either. But bombs explode, buildings collapse. It’s gonna cost a lot of money! So it starts with two bombs detonating at a working-class South Bronx apartment complex, injuring many and killing a local 7-year old boy. It’s quite horrifying, so you’re either hooked or disgusted. And then it’s the whole city that’s under a major bomb threat. Another one is found at a community center and our agents are in the constant fear of a new one exploding anywhere. The stakes are high. It must be impressive for people who never saw any of 24, Homeland or more recently Quantico. For the others, it’s business as usual. But once again, it’s well made and once you’re in, you just stay. Unless you’re not into cellphone melted on a guy’s burnt leg and other digusting things like that. Will they be able, budget-wise, to go as big in every episode? Probably not. It’s gonna become quieter I guess. Once the dust settles, they will have to be careful not to enter the boring zone…

The characters are instantly working, maybe because we meet them right into the action, and then they never sleep, never quit. You have Maggie Bell -skilled, intellectual, emotional- hard not to like, the real heroine here; Otilio Abraham “OA” Casillas -former undercover DEA operative, instinctual, grizzled- very typical; Jubal Valentine, an experienced agent who thrives on stress -and adds a hint of humor-; Kristen Yessayen, a highly intelligent analyst; Ian Lentz, a forensic technology expert; and finally Ellen Toy, the deeply respected boss, who’s elegant, cultured, disarmingly direct and impossible to intimidate. Love her already. It’s a really good team on paper and the actors they chose, especially Jeremy Sisto and Connie Nielsen, are always great. Again, F.B.I. is very low-key on the character’s private lives and doesn’t introduced any serialized elements. At some point, Maggie says : “I eat dinner with Kristen in the office most nights and neither of us have a personal life to talk about.” We’ve been warned! We’re not in Shondaland, we’re in Dickland. Oopsie. Wolfland sounds better!

F.B.I. is your go-to procedural, Dick Wolf by the book product. It’s exactly what you expect from him. It fits perfectly with CBS actual line-up and might be the beginning of a lucrative franchise… unless viewers are looking for something else these days, in the era of peak TV. It will probably skew old, even though most of the characters are young, but it’s CBS best chance at success next year, it seems. Go Dick, do your thing!

The InBetween (NBC) pilot preview: In Between Naps

Written and executive produced by Moira Kirland (Medium, Dark Angel, Castle, Madam Secretary). Also produced by David Heyman (Fantastic Beats, Harry Potter, Gravity, Paddington) & Nancy Cotton (Young Americans, Complete Savages). Directed by Charlotte Sieling (The Killing, Bron, Borgen). For NBC, Universal Television, NBCUniversal International Studios  & Heyman Television. 61 pages. Third Network Draft. 12/21/2017.

Description: Cassie Gallagher, a mysterious young woman, reluctantly uses her gift of clairvoyance to help a veteran LAPD detective and a damaged ex-FBI outsider solve the most unnerving and challenging cases the city encounters. This eerie ability also opens the door for her to see and talk to the dead, who are seeking help for unresolved problems, whether she likes it or not…

With Harriet Dyer (Love Child, No Activity), Yusuf Gatewood (The Originals)…

 

You’ll like it if you already like: Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Unforgettable…

Likely timeslot: Dumping ground friday, midseason sunday…

 

I almost didn’t write this preview for two main reasons. First, nobody cares about this project. I’m wasting my time, you’re wasting yours by reading what I have to say about it (thanks anyway! Keep reading now you’re there!) and everybody involved in this, from NBC to the actors, are kinda wasting their time too. But at least they’re getting paid! Second, do I really have anything to say about it? I mean, the logline is quite telling. Also, it’s announced as a “clairvoyance crime drama”. Not sexy or promising. And sadly, there’s no hidden treasure between those lines. In Between Lives is a lazy project that looks exactly as it sounds: BO-RING. It will probably be watchable and NBC might feel like there’s an audience for it but nowadays, when you make a procedural, you need a hook. A hook that’s new. And if In Between lives has one -which is debatable- it is NOT new.

Heard of a show called Medium? Well, it’s more or less the same story, and the creator worked on it by the way. It’s impossible no to think of Ghost Whisperer also. And Unforgettable that we already all… have totally forgotten! But without Patricia Arquette, who was a huge draw and who improved the material by her talent and charisma. Or Jennifer Love Hewitt. Or Poppy Montgomery. Both are not incredible actresses frankly but people love them. And their names helped selling the shows overseas, where they thrived. I have no idea who this Harriet Dyer is -she’s australian and a newcomer- and she may be great, but it would need her to be greater than great to save the day. It’s not a heroine you want to spend time with. Not because she’s mean but because she’s bland and unfunny. Her official description is “a lovely young woman”. For sure, Cassie wouldn’t hurt a fly and she’s cute. But we definitely need more than this in 2018. The show is written by a woman and directed by a woman. You would think they’d offer us a character that’s different, multi-dimensional, but other than her “power”, she’s not. Yes, she’s haunted by hallucinations of vicious crimes, both past and present, and it makes her kinda dark. What else? I’m really sorry for you, girl. But I don’t think I care. Nor that I should.

The two cops from the LAPD that she “works” for have a cool dynamic. They’re buddies you know, though they don’t really know each other yet since it’s the first day of their partnership, but here again they have nothing special going for them. One has a secret : the woman he loves is in a coma. Well… The case of the week takes 90% of the script and it’s about the murder of a young woman that seems connected to another case from the 80s. It’s all about delving deeper into the psychology of the killer but it’s no MINDHUNTER. Truthfully, the investigation part is okay-ish, it doesn’t ask you to think, it gives you everything on a platter. And I’m sure you can enjoy it on a cold winter day, between two naps – if you get the chance not to fall asleep during the episode of course. It’s funny because I noticed that the characters are always having a cup of coffee in every scene. Starbucks is mentioned. Maybe it’s product placement or just an obsession from the writer, I don’t know. But I wanted a coffee badly in the end. So I guess it worked. And it’s quite clever when you think about it: you really need coffee to survive this if you’re not into procedural crime dramas. Maybe even if you are.

In Between Lives is yet another attempt from NBC to offer a procedural crime drama -with a supernatural twist- that could potentially work internationally and make money without costing too much. But with no original hook, no star, no ambition and no fun, it’s more of a snoozefest. They’d better bet on more original concepts that would at least make them look courageous and relevant. Making the same shows as in the 90s & 00s is not the solution.