As we previously reported, today was Fox day at the TCAs, which meant previewing procedurals, naturally, as well as being taken to task by Lee Daniels. But before all that, the network announced it had extended The Mick’s inaugural season by four episodes. That’s four more opportunities for Kaitlin Olson to prove to be the world’s best or worst babysitter, which she’s more than happy to take the network up on. As the series star and co-executive producer said during the panel, developing the show has been one of the best experiences of her career. Olson was joined by all the members of her other TV family, save Jack Stanton, whose six-year-old mind producers were adamant was not being warped in any way by the show.
The stars were also missing at the Star panel. Lead actresses Jude Demorest, Ryan Destiny, and Brittany O’Grady were absent, but Queen Latifah managed to hold court anyway. Joining the Queen were Amiyah Scott, Naomi Campbell, and Benjamin Bratt, the latter of whom lauded his young co-stars. Bratt hyped the series more energetically than anyone else, telling attendees “You either love it, you get it—or you don’t. But Lee’s going to challenge you, he’s going to provoke you.” Even though the show centers on a girl group, Queen Latifah refused to comment on the history of such musical acts. She left that up to Daniels, who said “We’re going deep into the rise of the girl group. The mechanics behind the girl group.”
After screening a clip of an upcoming rap performance from the erstwhile Dana Owens, Daniels said the show would continue to serve up those musical breakaways, because “we’re in a dark place, telling dark stories, so we gotta have a lot of dancing.” As for where the show is going, Daniels promised they were going “deep into what’s happening right now, as I know it to be, in the churches, in the African-American community.”
Fox also provided an early look at Shots Fired, a limited series from Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Bythewood that centers on two racially-charged police shootings. Sanaa Lathan stars as a seasoned investigator who must deal with office politics as well as racial tensions in a small Southern town. All of the panelists proved willing to discuss the timeliness and hairiness of the project, including co-executive producer Brian Grazer and co-stars Stephan James, Richard Dreyfuss, and Helen Hunt. Dreyfuss called it the “most current show you’ll ever see. It’s exactly current with the world.” Indeed, the series’ production learned of multiple shootings of unarmed black men during the course of filming. But Lathan assured everyone that, despite the weightiness of the subject, the show will prove “bingeable.” Prince-Bythewood said the central tragedies will serve as an entry point for demographics not usually affected by police violence, while Bythewood teased the series as a “whodunnit and whydunnit.”
In between all the introductions, though, there was a bittersweet moment for Boneheads—that is, fans of Bones. The crime drama is saying goodbye after 12 seasons, much to everyone who works on the show’s chagrin. Creator Hart Hanson said the decision to end the series was made by the network, and he and fellow EPs Jonathan Collier, Michael Peterson, and Randy Zisk then sought to send the show and its cast off in the most authentic and respectful manner. During the panel, the cast and crew shared stories of favorite guest stars and storylines. Oh, and Lance Sweets devotees should rest assured that Hanson had no hand in offing the character.
There were a lot of familiar faces like the Bones cast throughout Fox’s TCA panels, as well as familiar concepts. One of the first main panels was 24: Legacy, which features a not-Jack-Bauer in the lead for the first time: Corey Hawkins as Eric Carter, who gets caught in his own seemingly endless day full of spies, schemes, and espionage. The show’s new trailer revealed that the new series will be tied to 24’s past through the inclusion of fan favorite Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard).
Also in the “familiar” column is the return of Prison Break, which originally ran from 2005 to 2009. Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who played brothers on that show, went on to play crime partners on DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow, and the very first question for the panel wondered how that effort played into this reunion. Miller revealed that he and Purcell first started discussion of a Prison Break resurgence on the Legends Of Tomorrow set. In the new season, Purcell’s character again goes after Miller’s to break him out of a prison, this time in the Middle East. Executive producer joked that Prison Break only needs one rule: “You have to have a prison you’ve got to get out of.”
Airing in the time slot after 24: Legacy, APB features a tech billionaire who takes over a Chicago precinct and supplies the officers with new tech toys like drones and updated tasers and many, many apps. It’s based on a true story that happened in New Orleans, but executive producer Trey Callaway described, “Chicago happens to be one of my favorite cities, one of my favorite places to go in life” but right now it is undeniably “in the midst of a crime-ridden crisis.” The series shoots on the city’s Cinespace lot, which also houses Empire, The Exorcist, and Dick Wolf’s entire line of Chicago shows. Executive producer Matt Nix revealed, “I’ve definitely wandered into the wrong catering area.” Justin Kirk revealed “It’s like its own backlot down there.” The tech that Kirk’s character provides has both its downsides and upsides. Callaway hinted, “In many cases, the technology creates new and unexpected problems.” Just like actual technology, as he continued: “I’m not a fan of having text arguments with my teenage kids when we’re in the same house.”
Gordon Ramsay’s My Kitchen Rules was the day’s only reality entry, as celebrities and their various partners (like Lance Bass and his mom, Andrew Dice Clay and his wife) compete to prepare a successful dinner party. The party wisely put Clay next to Real Housewife Brandi Granville, whose partner is actor Dean Sheremet because, as she says on the show, “Our spouses fucked each other.” Clay and Granville sparred throughout the panel, as Clay accused various cast members, including Bass, of ogling his wife. Also, apparently there’s a reason why they put Granville and the other Brandy, in separate rows. But overpowering personalities are why people watch reality shows in the first place, and this one at least has the added sweetness of the stars enthusing about their respective partners. Bass paired with his mom, after he discovered that his husband can’t cook: “I love my mother because she didn’t bat an eye when I came out to her, which is very unusual in the south.” The other cast members called her the “mom” of the set.
The Making History panel closed out the end of a very long day, but the spirited cast entertained the weary crowd. Star Adam Pally especially took on each journalist’s question by asking them if they were “fake news.” The show is yet another entry into the convoluted TV time travel category, but varies a bit from the other shows because it’s a comedy, with a romance between Pally’s character Dan and Deborah, played Leighton Meester, who lives in colonial Lexington. John Gemberling and Neil Casey fill in the colonial cast by playing John Hancock and Sam Adams, respectively. Napoleon Dynamite’s Jared Hess directed the first three episodes. The panel was of course queried about the prevalence of the time-travel element. But Pally responded: “With what’s going on in America right now, people are looking for a little escapism.”
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