An archive of articles about US television programmes and production.
Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK
Four acquisitions this week, but only one with a premiere date. Let me elucidate:
- Universal has picked up Global (Canada)’s six-part event mini-series about a vanished aeroplane, Departure, which stars Archie Panjabi, Christopher Plummer and a host of others. However, there’s no premiere date as of yet, probably because it only started production in November and hasn’t aired in Canada.
- Alibi has acquired Nine (Australia)’s “so dumb it hurts” serial killer drama Bite Club, featuring Lost’s Dominic Monaghan. That’s likely to air in February, but there’s no exact date yet.
- Walter’s bought DR (Denmark)’s adaptation of Jakob Ejersbo’s book of the same name, Liberty, featuring Connie Nielsen, Carsten Bjørnlund and Sofie Gråbøl. No premiere date either, as ‘this year’ is the best information Walter is offering at the moment.
New Amsterdam (US: NBC; UK: Amazon)
Premiere date: Friday, February 8
The Black List: Redemption‘s Ryan Eggold playing a newly arrived medical director at New York’s largest, oldest and most famous public hospital, New Amsterdam. He reckons there’s a lot wrong with it, so plans to turn it upside down, ignore all the rules and fire everybody who’s part of ‘the system’, so that doctors can get back to being doctors rather than accountants/golf players. Why, he’s so optimistic and revolutionary, he might even inspire that Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who, Sense8, The Carrie Diaries) to stop touring all the TV talk shows to raise funding and come back to working as a doctor again.
Based on a real-life doctor at the real New York hospital of Bellevue, there is at least a germ of something different in New Amsterdam and it was moderately interesting to see Eggold doing some robust change management, listening to those on the front-line to see what could be changed and then putting it into practice. The show doesn’t make him an all-knowing genius, but one who makes mistakes and is prepared to listen to find out how to fix them. It’s also not entirely populated with pretty people, with nice old doctor Anupam Kher turning out to have almost House-ian diagnostic skills, if a much better bedside manner, thanks to the mystic skill of “taking your time”.
However, the rest of the time, it’s plain old medical procedural melodrama and soap, with Eggold turning out to have cancer, his wife nearly miscarrying their baby, doctors trying to have relationships and dumping their girlfriends for not being black enough and so on. That’s before we get onto the likelihood of random people being injected with Ebola by terrorists in order to destroy New York.
This is clearly not a production team confident in its ability to woo viewers with rigorous MBA framework analyses.
By the end of the first episode, I’d been pleasantly surprised by the show but not interested in it enough to want to watch much more of it. But at the very least, it wasn’t a waste of my time.
Episode reviews: 1