The high amount of quality programming currently on television has been the source of many discussions over the years. With numerous shows on the air, and several new and returning shows set to premiere over the next few months, the decision of what shows to dedicate one’s time to, particularly in the case of midseason series premieres, can seem a daunting one. To help make the process easier, we here at Sound on Sight have compiled a list of the most promising new shows making their debut in 2014.
12. Enlisted (premiering Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:30 PM EST on Fox)
One of the more amusing and heartfelt sitcoms in television’s recent history has been Cougar Town. Despite network pressure, the show has managed to become a critical and fan favourite enough to see a second life after it got cancelled, making any new effort from co-creator Kevin Biegel worth keeping an eye on. That effort comes in the form of Enlisted, and boasts a strong cast alongside Biegel’s involvement. Led by Geoff Stults and Parker Young, who were pleasant surprises and strong supporting players on Ben and Kate and Suburgatory respectively, the series also features Keith David, Angelique Cabral, and Chris Lowell. The series shows a lot of promise towards becoming a critical favourite, and whether or not it succeeds is worth seeing. The trailer can be seen below.
11. Helix (premiering Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10 PM EST on SyFy)
Ronald D. Moore is no stranger to science fiction, having been in the writers’ room of multiple Star Trek incarnations, as well as Roswell, along with being the developer of the critically acclaimed 2003 series Battlestar Galactica and its spinoff Caprica. His involvement in a science fiction series brings an automatic level of excitement, and it is no different with Helix, on which he acts as writer and producer. The series, however, notably sounds like a departure from his previous work; while being in the same genre, the show eschews space travel for a laboratory where members of the CDC explore a possible outbreak. This premise, coupled with a strong cast and the pedigree behind the show, make it a must-see of the 2014 tv season. The trailer can be seen below.
10. Bitten (premiering Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10 PM EST on SyFy)
Both vampires and zombies have seen a recent surge in popularity, with the former currently the subject of three television shows, and the latter the focus of a hugely popular tv show and a major 2013 blockbuster. Werewolves, however, have not been as fortunate, playing second fiddle to vampires or sharing the spotlight with other supernatural creatures. A show focused on them alone would be interesting, but it is Bitten’s country of origin that adds another layer of excitement. Canada has proven itself a reliable source for quality genre television over the years, with series such as Lost Girl, Continuum and Orphan Black leading the way. With such a track record, Bitten will be worth keeping an eye on in the 2014 television landscape. The trailer can be seen below.
9. Broad City (premiering Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 10:30 PM EST on Comedy Central)
While Saturday Night Live remains the most recognizable comedy show on television, over the past few years, numerous artists have begun to headline their own shows, including Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele, Nick Kroll, and Amy Schumer. The latest duo to get their show is Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, whose group Broad City has had their own web series since 2009. What really sets this show apart, however, is that it is executive produced by improv comedy legend Amy Poehler. As a key member of Saturday Night Live and one of the founders of UCB, Poehler’s understanding of comedy cannot be doubted, and her endorsement of this duo signals that big things can be expected from them. A segment from their web series can be seen below, and the show’s pilot can be seen here.
8. Black Sails (premiering Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 9 PM EST on Starz)
While the idea of using a classic novel as a jumping off point for a tv series may give some people pause, the idea has been tried before with some success, most notably in 2013’s Sleepy Hollow. The tale in question here is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, as Black Sails acts as a prequel to the story, with Michael Bay onboard as executive producer and Neil Marshall onboard as director. Starz is the deciding factor in this show, however; with Spartacus, the channel proved itself adept at recognising and giving an opportunity to well-made historical fantasy tales, and whether or not this show proves a worthy successor is worth tuning in to see. The possibility of a well-made pirate series is icing on the cake. The trailer for this series can be seen below.
7. Believe (premiere date TBD on NBC)
With shows such as Lost, Fringe, and Person of Interest bearing his stamp, a show produced by JJ Abrams has earned the credibility to be worth atleast a look. It’s the creator of Believe, however, who draws more attention, as Children of Men and Gravity filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron makes the jump to television with this series, directing the pilot and taking on writing duties as well. With an intriguing premise and a cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Kyle MacLachlan, Jamie Chung, Sienna Guillory, and Rami Malek, this series shows a lot of promise, and is worth watching to see if it lives up to its potential. The series’ Comic-Con trailer can be seen below.