Upfronts: Fall 2010

Upfronts: Fall 2010
ESSENCE.COM May, 24, 2010

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Though the list of canceled television shows, including “Law & Order” and “Flash Forward,” are ironically juxtaposed with the rising popularity of reality shows like “Basketball Wives,” all is not lost. In fact, here’s a list of what the major television networks have on the way for fall 2010 — it’s more multi-cultural than you think, starring Blair Underwood, Boris Kodjoe and more.

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For those that missed seeing Boris Kodjoe’s caramel face each week on “Soul Food,” the handsome actor is heading up NBC’s new show “Undercovers.” Following two spies and their adventures, this show promises to serve plenty of action and probably a healthy dose of sexual tension between Kodjoe and his co-star, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

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We have no idea what this show is about, and that’s NBC’s point. Blair Underwood plays the president of the United States while the world undergoes a secretive siege where people disappear as best we can tell. As the storyline continues, the confusion will no doubt increase a la “Lost.” The show also stars Tony Todd, best known for “Candyman,” as the Underwood’s military right-hand.

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Even if the network did cancel “Flash Forward,” ABC isn’t afraid to try another sci-fi adventure drama with “No Ordinary Family.” Fortunately, their bravery gives Romany Malco (“40 Year Old Virgin,” “Weeds”) a chance to shine in the “Incredibles”-made-real show as a supporting cast member.

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Following a Homicide unit in Detroit’s crumbling urban sprawl, ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” looks to pack the bite of “The Wire” with the documentary film style of “Modern Family” sans the humor. The show stars Ms. Aisha Hinds, known most notably for her role as Ms. Jeanette on “True Blood” and a recent stint on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s “HawthoRNe.”

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Following her stint on the popular Showtime series, “The L Word,” Jennifer Beals is back playing the chief of police in Chicago. A gritty cop drama that shows how city politics effect the crime, Fox’s “Ride-Along” also stars Delroy Lindo.

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Actor-director Forrest Whitaker gets a shot at primetime television with a “Criminal Minds” spin-off that has yet to be officially named. The drama is a midseason show that will depict two police officers, Whitaker as Special Agent Sam Cooper, solving crime.

Hopefully, at least one of these shows will survive an entire season since odds are that most won’t. However, we have a shoe-in for “Detroit 1-8-7” because of this line from Hinds on the Detroit police’s murder solving process; “We might be the last assembly line in Detroit.” Classic.


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