Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Series Debuts - Monday August 21, 2006

And so it begins.

You'll have to imagine that in a "trailers announcer's voice" but you get the idea. The first series debuts of the 2006-07 season start tonight on Fox of course. Fox has this 800 pound gorilla sitting on their prime time schedule called Baseball - specifically the Divisional playoffs, the League Championships and the World Series - and since premiering the bulk of their shows after the Series has tended to land them with an audience already set in their viewing habits, they've decided to start their series before anyone else. A good plan I guess, we'll see if it works. Debuting tonight is the second season of Prison Break and the new series Vanished.

Prison Break
Last year's big hit featuring Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell picks up where last season left off, with the Fox River 8 taking it on the lam with Captain Bellick and an assortment of Feds - some good and some bad - in pursuit. Added to the cast is William Fitchner as FBI Special Agent Alexander Mahone who will be leading the pursuit. Presumably Patricia Wettig as the murderously unscrupulous President Reynolds and John Billingsley as her supposedly dead brother - whose supposed murder by Lincoln Burrows set everything in motion - won't be making many appearances as both actors have shows on other networks. I tried to follow this show last year but my schedule (bowling on Monday nights) made it extremely difficult for me to keep up with it.

When the wife of prominent Georgia Senator Jeffrey Collins (John Allen Nelson) vanishes it seems like a normal, albeit high profile, missing persons case. Of course there's more too it than that. As FBI agents Graham Kelton (Gale Harold) and Lin Mei (Ming-Na) and investigative reporter Judy Nash (Rebecca Gayheart) dig into the disappearance of Sara Collins (Joanne Kelly) they find a myriad of secrets, some personal and some leading deep into a centuries old conspiracy. The concept sounds interesting, but then again so did the concept behind last season's Reunion which turned out to be one of the season's biggest duds. To succeed this show, which the producers promise will combine "the investigative twists and turns of 'CSI,' the nonstop pace of '24' and the scope of 'The Da Vinci Code,'" must first have an understanding of where the plot is going, both in the short term and the long term, something which Reunion really didn't have based on what has subsequently come to light. Probably worth at least a look. I don't think it'll become this year's Prison Break let alone a hit of the magnitude of 24 or The X-Files (which it may resemble) but you never know. As usual with a series of this type the big question is what they'll do if they're renewed for another season.

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