In the US: Mondays, 8/7c, Fox In the UK: Not yet acquired
Spin-offs are a funny old game. You can either do more of the same, just in a different location, or you can do something completely different. The former risks being boring, cannibalising your own ratings and ultimately not attracting anyone new to the show; the latter risks ostracising your existing viewers while not recruiting anyone new.
In the world of procedural TV, the limits are even more restrictive. A cop show is a cop show is a cop show, no matter where you go, so you have to find room to manoeuvre elsewhere.
So kudos to 9-1-1: Lone Star for being brave and different – and making a clean break of it. Sure, just like 9-1-1, it’s still all about the emergency services, focusing on paramedics and firefighters, but as the name suggests it’s set in Texas, and it has no characters in common with the original show. It also has a more famous cast.
More importantly, unlike its predecessor, it’s at least half comedy, that comedy being Parks & Recreation.
9-1-1: Lone Star
The story revolves around fancy pants New York firefighter Rob Lowe (last seen starring in the oddly similar show Wild Bill on ITV). Now, already you’ve probably done a double-take and wondered “fancy pants New York firefighter? Since when have they ever been fancy pants?”
Bear with me. All will be explained.
Cityslicker Lowe was one of the first responders to 9/11 and he was forced to rebuild his team of firefighters from scratch following that tragedy. This makes him a figure of interest to the Austin, Texas, fire department, when a tragedy befalls their firefighters. Needing someone who also ‘gets’ diversity – mainly to avoid lawsuits but also because Austin ain’t what it used to be – they invite Lowe down to work his magic, which Lowe agrees to once he learns he has cancer.
Gay, addict son in tow, Lowe starts to reform the department in his new town, recruiting Latinos, transmen and Muslim women Instagram stars from all over the country – and they aren’t just diverse, they can also get the job down. Making things even more alluring to Lowe is the fact the captain of the paramedics is none other than Liv Tyler. Will romance bloom? And can Austin take Lowe and his ‘Gucci loafers’?
In the US: Wednesdays, 10pm ET, Paramount In the UK: Not yet acquired
The army has become a Hallowed Thing in the US in the past 30 years or so. Maybe it’s a backlash agains the attitudes to Vietnam and those serving in it that spawned numerous scathing dramas and comedies in cinemas and on TV. Whatever the cause, whenever a new TV US show turns up about the army, it’s rarely ‘all knives out’ these days.
Certainly, it’s hard to imagine M*A*S*H lasting 11 seasons and getting 125 million viewers for its final episode now. Soldiers having relationships with one another? Soldiers trying to get discharged for wearing women’s clothing? Inconceivable.
And you can tell that not pure conjecture on my part by looking at the reaction to 68 Whiskey, an adaptation Yes (Israel)’s Charlie Golf One that it is pretty much a M*A*S*H for our times. Or at least something that tries to be.
Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK
Crikey. It’s been all go this week. Not so much in terms of acquisitions, but in terms of premiere dates for existing acquisitions being announced.
The only acquisition this week was The CW (US)’s Batwoman by E4, which is odd because all the other The CW superhero shows are on Sky1. Apart from Black Lightning, which is on Netflix. Okay, maybe not so odd, but it’s going to make all those Arrowverse crossovers a nightmare to watch. Particularly since Batwoman is only set to air “some time in 2020” on E4.
But now, please join me after the jump to learn the premiere dates of Det som göms i snö (The Truth Will Out), Finding Joy, AP Bio, The Stranger, and War of the Worlds (no, not that one).