By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist May 20, 2011 at 8:14AM
Steven Spielberg's 'Terra Nova,' Liz Meriwether's Dreadful Looking 'New Girl,' 'Napoleon Dynamite' Cartoon' & Jonah Hill's 'Allen Gregory' Also Get Previewed'
Wait a minute. A post with trailers for televisions shows? Believe it, friendo. The small screen, not so long ago considered an ancient artifact in the face of big screen spectacles and online entertainment, has rebounded in a huge way as a place where creativity is allowed to shine. HBO and AMC have been clearing the path and now it looks like old standbys like Fox and CBS are rolling the dice on some ambitious fare, so let's get to it shall we?
First up is the latest mindbender from J.J. Abrams with "Alcatraz." Another high concept puzzler is an ensemble crime drama, with sci-fi aspects, about the aftermath of the mysterious appearance of a group of Alcatraz inmates from the 1960s in the present day. The series has an impressive cast, led by Sam Neill, Robert Forster, “E.R.” veteran Parminder Nagra and “Lost” survivor Jorge Garcia and, despite being seen as a risky prospect by some, particularly given the niche audience drawn by Abrams’ other Fox show, “Fringe” (which got an early renewal a few months back), a full run of episodes has also been ordered.
While his bro is currently busy making the biggest movie of next year, Jonathan Nolan will be hoping he can create some small screen magic with "Person of Interest." The show, which has already drawn comparisons to “Inception,” follows a CIA agent recruited by a billionaire to wage a vigilante war on New York criminals. The show stars Ben Linus and Jesus Christ, better known as Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel, respectively. We'll tune in with some guarded optimism.
One of the most talked about and massively expensive shows coming to television this fall is the Steven Spielberg-produced "Terra Nova." With a blockbuster movie-sized budget and facing some early days, Fox has big hopes for this one. It's about a bunch of people from the future who have to go back in time to the prehistoric age to save mankind. Essentially, it's the plot of "Jurassic Park 5" or "The Tree of Life 2."
One show we initially had high hopes for was Liz Meriwether's "The New Girl," previously known as “Chicks & Dicks.” Starring Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., the story centers on a girl who, recently broken up with her boyfriend, moves in with three dudes. But holy shit, does this ever look dreadfully unfunny. Deschanel pitches her awkward-devastatingly-beautiful-manic-pixie-girl thing all over the place and you can practically feel the studio making her sing because some executive found out she's in a band. And oh yeah, need some tits and ass? How about this: all of her friends are models! Oof. We didn't crack a smile once during this never-ending clip. We don't see this show becoming a hit but then again, America made Charlie Sheen the highest paid actor on TV, so what the fuck do we know?
Have you been waiting for a "Napoleon Dynamite" cartoon? No? Well, tough shit. Giving the entire cast some gainful employment, a spinoff cartoon arrives seven years after the film so we're figuring Fox is going after some weird demographic we don't even know about. In an animated format, everything that made the film so oddball seems positively normal. Sorry, this doesn't work at all.
Looking a bit more promising is Jonah Hill's first TV outing with "Allen Gregory." The show centers around the titular character who seems like a heterosexual, older hybrid of Stewie and Brian from "Family Guy" mixed with a bit of Seth from "Superbad." We're sure that's how the pitch meeting went on this one, but we have to admit, we chuckled at times and it looks like it could be a fun diversion or at least an alternate option to the increasingly shitty "The Simpsons." [via Collider]