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Review: Designated Survivor 1x1 (US: ABC; UK: Netflix)

Posted on September 22, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Designated Survivor

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, ABC
In the UK: Netflix. New episode every Thursday

Like most people in Britain, I get virtually all my knowledge about how the US government works via The West Wing. Screw Newsnight - I'll tell you the first five amendments to the US Constitution and the episodes in which they featured right now, if you want.

So when I heard about Designated Survivor, no explanation was needed: after all, not only had the Mayor from Buffy The Vampire Slayer been President Barlett's 'designated survivor' in He Shall, From Time To Time…, Laura Roslin would never have become President of the 12 Colonies in Battlestar Galactica were it not for a constitution specifying the exact list of people who would assume the position in the event of some terrible tragedy.

Designated Survivor is neither of those two shows. Instead, it's roughly half-Dave (that delightful movie in which ordinary punter Kevin Kline becomes President and behaves very nicely and decently, unlike the other politicians), half-24 (that less delightful TV series in which highly trained anti-terrorist agents have a very limited amount of time to shoot and torture lots of people to prevent terrible atrocities taking place).

It sees the lowly Secretary of Housing, who's just about to be fired by the sitting President, accepting the duty of 'designated survivor' during the State of the Union. Except then Congress gets blown up and this decent - possibly too decent - pushover family man and educator instantly propelled to the top job, where he has not only to bring the country together and keep it stable, he has to prevent all out war with other nations, find out who was responsible for the bombing and what they intend to do next, and avoid a coup d'êtat from people who think he's just not up to the job or even eligible for it, given he was unelected.

Can he do all that? Hell yeah. Because that man is Kiefer Sutherland. Yes, boys and girls, Jack Bauer is finally President.

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Fox's upfronts 2016-7 - a rundown and clips from the new shows

Posted on May 17, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

If you play the fabulous game that is 'media word association' and say 'Fox', invariably the associated word everyone comes up with is 'News'. However, it's worth remembering that '20th Century' is an equally valid response.

So that's why no one should be too surprised that Fox's Upfronts 2016 (you can see elsewhere what NBC and USA are up to this year) is chock full of 'synergy' with Fox's established 'brands'. In other words, spin-offs, adaptations and remakes of things you've already seen and have heard about.

Brace yourself then because, after the jump, on top of the almost original sounding Making History, The Mick, Son of Zorn, Shots Fired, APB and Pitch, we also have another music drama from Empire's Lee Daniels (Star), an 'event remake' of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, sequels to Prison Break and 24, and TV series adaptations of Lethal Weapon and… wait for it… The Exorcist.

The power of Christ will not compel you to watch that last one.

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News: new 24 series; ITV's Courtney Cox comedy; The Windsors trailer; Brits join Wolverine 3; + more

Posted on April 28, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Film casting

Internet TV

New UK TV shows

  • ITV developing: developing Courtney Cox personal growth comedy Truthing
  • Trailer for Channel 4's The Windsors

US TV

New US TV shows

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