Firing the first shots for next season, FOX revealed on Wednesday which pilots it will be taking to series. In addition to the five comedies already announced, the network will be picking up four new dramas.
FOX is again targeting the male demographic after last season's failed experiment with female-skewing The Mob Doctor. Male actors dominate the casts of the four new dramas, including feature film stars Karl Urban and Greg Kinnear in rare television roles. The network has also renewed The Following, Bones, and Glee for next season.
The drama pilots in FOX's on-deck circle for the 2013-14 season are:
- Almost Human. From the Fringe team of J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman, Almost Human is an action-packed police drama set 35 years in the future in a world where members of the Los Angeles Police Department are paired with highly evolved human-like androids. Karl Urban stars as a respected cop with an aversion to robots who forges an unlikely connection with his partner, an android with unexpected emotional responses, played by Michael Ealy. The rest of the cast isn't too shabby either, featuring names like Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby, and Minka Kelly.
- Gang Related. This gritty action drama is one of the few toplined by a minority actor, starring Ramon Rodriguez as Ryan Lopez, a rising star in the elite Los Angeles Gang Task Force led by Sam Chapel, played by Lost veteran Terry O'Quinn. Lopez joins forces with longtime Task Force member Cassius Green (rapper/actor RZA) to combat three of the city's most dangerous gangs, including one he is connected with, forcing him to choose between loyalty to his old family or his new one. Jay Hernandez, Sung Kang, Inbar Lavi, Cliff Curtis, and Shantel VanSanten round out the regular cast.
- Rake. Based on the Australian series of the same name, Rake features Greg Kinnear in his broadcast television series debut as Keegan Deane, a brilliant and "frustratingly charming" criminal defense attorney whose self-destructive tendencies and tumultuous personal life often interfere with his professional life. Driven by stubborn optimism and a belief in justice, Keegan handles the cases that nobody else will touch with a relentless determination to defend those who, like himself, seem beyond redemption. Peter Duncan, creator of the original Australian series, created and wrote the American version. Feature film director Sam Raimi helmed the pilot and serves as executive producer. To repeat the midseason success of The Following, FOX may hold off until next winter to debut Rake.
- Sleepy Hollow. Two other members of the dear departed Fringe's creative team, feature scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, have a new project of their own in Sleepy Hollow, a contemporary reimagining of the classic Washington Irving tale. Poised to be a breakout star, British actor Tom Mison stars as Ichabod Crane, resurrected and transported two and a half centuries into the future where he discovers a world on the brink of destruction. As humanity's last hope, Ichabod must join forces with a modern-day police officer (Nicole Beharie) to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, and John Cho round out the cast. Underworld director Len Wiseman helmed the pilot.
Since I'm more of a sci-fi/fantasy geek, and I was a huge fan of Fringe, Almost Human and Sleepy Hollow sound like winners to me. Are any of these shows on your radar?