Classics Seasoned with a 2012 Twist – The new fall television schedule is taking audiences for a bumpy ride through familiar territory. Twists on classic characters and plots abound, but TV fanatics need not fear! These offerings only hint at the traditional, and television’s faithful are in for some creative treats this season.
ABC’s twist on the Faustian deal emerges as 666 Park Avenue, slatted to premiere on Sunday, September 30. An adaptation of Gabrielle Pierce’s book series, this supernatural drama follows Dave Annable (from Brothers & Sisters) and Rachael Taylor (from Charlie’s Angels), an innocent Midwestern couple, in their experiences as resident managers of The Drake, an Upper East Side apartment building owned by Terry O’Quinn (of Lost fame) and his wife, Vanessa Williams (from Desperate Housewives). Beyond the normal challenges of managing a building of the city’s rich and famous, all of the residents of The Drake have made deals with the Devil for their hearts’ desires.
Graphic novel fans that are experiencing withdrawal after the demise of CW’s Smallville and the summer’s venture into Gotham with The Dark Knight Rises may be happy to see CW’s latest contribution Arrow which premieres Wednesday, October 10. An updated Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow, played by Stephen Amell, is the comic-book classic wealthy playboy by day and a vigilante crime-fighter by night. After surviving a boating accident that killed his father and his girlfriend’s sister, with whom Queen was having a lurid affair, the tormented tragic hero honed his archery skills alone on a deserted island. He returns to civilization in order to take down his father’s enemies to clear his family name. Superhero fans are holding their breath to see if the writing and acting will keep them tuned in.
The next evening, Thursday, October 11, promises a remake of another kind on CW, Beauty and the Beast. This traditional fairy tale has been refashioned multiple times, but this fall’s rebirth, starring Kristin Kreuk (from Smallville), is clearly a remake of the 1987 show with Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. Unlike the 1987 version, Kiwi Jay Ryan’s character, Vincent Keller, will be scarred not socially outcast because of a lion-like appearance. Producers are promising the bestial nature of the character will emerge through his actions as the season progresses.
The recent Sherlock Holmes craze has jumped the pond, re-imagined from BBC and coming to CBS on Tuesday, September 25, with the premiere of Elementary. This modern exploration of the fictional crime-solver stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock, a recovering addict and NYPD consultant. His Watson is his female “sober companion,” a former surgeon played by Lucy Liu.
As innately pessimistic creatures, humans thrive on post-apocalyptic tales, and NBC is offering us Revolution starting Monday, September 17. This drama draws heavily upon mythology and our collective need for others, thanks to the creative minds of J.J. Abrams (Lost) and Eric Kripke (Supernatural). Set in a dismaying post-apocalyptic future with no electricity, stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito struggle to figure out how technology vanished and who holds the key to survival.
Only the next few weeks’ worth of ratings will tell if audiences will tune in for the new perspectives on the classics.