Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Television Critics Association (TCA) Highlights Upcoming Television Season

NBCUniversal rolled out its upcoming shows, along with its stars recently at the winter session of the Television Critics Association press tour.

On tap are a number of comedies and dramas.

New shows include: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Fashion Star, The Firm, Are You There Chelsea, Bent, Smash, Awake, Common Law and Total Blackout.


BETTY WHITE'S OFF THEIR ROCKERS (NBC)...Forget everything you thought you knew about the older generation. This show takes senior stereotypes ad blows them out of the water with a cast of sassy septuagenarians who are hip, sexy and ready to party! America's favorite comedy sweetheart sends a fearless band of senior citizens to the streets to pull shockingly hilarious pranks on the younger generation in this funny "hidden camera" show.  The show's premiere is yet to be determined.

FASHION STAR (NBC)…is a reality competition series that will search for the next big brand in fashion. Featuring host and esecutive producer Elle Macpherson, along with celebrity entors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos, the series will give 14 unknown designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize to launch their collections in three of America’s largest retailers: Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Each week, the show will begin with an exhilarating fashion show, featuring musical performances, dancers and models in front of a studio audience. Each fashion show will be built around a weekly challenge that is designed to further develop and expand the designers’ brands.  The series will feature clothes designed for America to buy and has enlisted three of the world’s top retailers to help in the decision making process. Caprice Willard (Macy’s), Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) and Nicole Christie (H&M) will serve as the judges who mae on-th-spot decisions as they vie for the right to purchase and exclusively carry he work of the up-and-coming designers each week.  In the end, one designer will successfully combine fashion and business to become the next “Fashion Star” and will receive the prize of a lifetime - $6 million in orders for capsule collections in Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.


THE FIRM (NBC)…After young lawyer Mitchell McDeere (Josh Lucas) exposed the law firm he worked for was a front for the Chicago mob, he and his family found themselves in the Federal Witness Protection Program.  Now, a decade later, McDeere, his wife Abby (Molly Parker) and daughter Claire (Natasha Calis) begin their efforts to reclaim their lives, which proves to be an uphill battle.  The series also stars Juliette Lewis, Callum Keith Rennie, Tricia Helfer and Shaun Majumder guest star. 

ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA? (NBC)…Inspired by the best-selling books from actress/comedian Chelsea Handler, “Are You There, Chelsea?” follows the exploits of the 20-something Chelsea (Laura Prepon) an opinionated and unapologetic young woman who lives life to the fullest as a cocktail waitress, friend, daughter, sister and socially dynamic “advanced drinker.” Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea’s born-again Christian sister, Sloane, a married, conservative, new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister.  The series also stars Lenny Clarke, Lauren Lapkus, Jake McDorman and Ali Wong.


BENT (NBC)…is a romantic comedy about a womanizing, surfer dude contractor and his beautiful, no-nonsense, type-A client, who work together to remodel each other’s lives as they renovate her Venice, California home. On the surface, Alex (Amanda Peet) and Pete (David Walton) could not be more different. The recently divorced Alex is a hard-working, high strung lawyer who is raising her 8-year-old daughter, Charlie (Joey King) as a single mom following her husband’s incarceration or insider trading. The show also stars Jeffrey Tambor and Margo Harshman.

SMASH (NBC)…is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theatre as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire – to be a “Smash.”  The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe – written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing). The show also stars Jack Davenport, Anjelica Huston, Jaime Cepero, Brian d’Arcy James, Raza Jaffrey, Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty.


AWAKE (NBC)…When Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) regains consciousness following his family’s car accident, he is told that his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) perished, but that his teen son, Rex (Dylan Minnette), has survived. As he tries to put the pieces of his life back together he awakens again in a parallel reality in which his wife is very much alive, but his son, Rex, died in the accident.  The show also stars Steve Harris, Cherry Jones, Wilmer Valderrama, BD Wong and Michaela McManus.


COMMON LAW (USA) …Travis Marks (Michael Ealy) and Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole) are a pair of odd couple detectives who are incredible at what they love most – enforcing the law. The duo has a seven-year track record as the LAPD’s finest in the Robbery-Homicide Division. As their constant bickering begins to have a major impact on their work, their new-age captain (Jack McGee) sends them to couples’ therapy to bring back the flame in their “work marriage.”  The show also stars Sonya Walger.

TOTAL BLACKOUT (Syfy)…is a half-hour game show that places contestants in complete darkness to compete in challenges. It’s scheduled to hit the primetime schedule in Spring 2012.  The show is hosted by Jaleel White (Family Matters).  The series is an extreme game show in which contestants battle each other and their fears in a series of challenges. However, there is a twist – all the challenges are played in complete darkness. There are no lights, no blindfolds and it’s no-holds barred as the players face their fears and unexpected surprises in a series of nerve-wracking games.

Seasoned shows like In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, White Collar, The Voice, Up All Night, Whitney, Watch What Happens: Live, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Tia and Tamera, The Office, The Celebrity Apprentice, The Biggest Loser, Tabatha Takes Over, Days of Our Lives, Giuliana and Bill, Grimm, Harry’s Law, How Do I Look, Interior Therapy, It’s A Brad, Brad World, Law & Order: SVU, My Life on the D-List, Necessary Roughness, Parenthood, Parks and Recreation, Community, Chuck, Bethenny Ever After, Best Ink, Best Friends Forever, Being Human, Alphas, Morning Joe, Chelsea Lately, Fashion Police and After Lately will all be making their returns.

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