Comic-Con 2016: Fall TV Pilots

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mv5bmtc2mdayodgwmf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmtk3mjc3ote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_“MacGyver” (CBS; September 23, 2016)

In attendance: Executive producers James Wan and Peter Lenkov, stars Lucas Till and George Eads

The producers discussed about wanting to be respectful to the source material, keeping the soul or spirit of the old show alive, and having the same humor, heart, action and ‘Macgyverism’ in this reboot.  The show already started shooting in hot Atlanta, which was a challenge for  Till, clad in a leather jacket.

The show will focus on the young, cerebral hero and his adventures around the world.  It’s not just going to be about MacGyver beating out bad guys, but also (dire) situations that he’s thrown into.  They hoped to book Richard Dean Anderson (the original MacGyver from the 80’s and 90’s show) to appear on the show, as well as having familiar villains (even with new actors) in some capacity.

It felt nostalgic when the soundtrack came on, proceeding a clip.  The clip showed an adrenaline-pumping take; MacGyver running after a plane on a tarmac as it’s taking off.  He leaps into the door at the base of the plane, cutting wires while in the air with his trusted Swiss army knife, which forces the plane to get grounded.

Exciting stuff.  I’m a fan of the old show, so I have high hopes that the new “MacGyver” will be on my regular schedule.









blindspot-season-1b-promotional-poster-blindspot-tv-series-39286788-376-500“Blindspot” (NBC; premiered in fall 2015)

In attendance: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ashley Johnson

Season 1 of “Blindspot” went out with a bang.  Major deaths, betrayal, more mystery. With the events that unfolded in the last season, there will be a change of dynamics in the FBI team and each member of the team will react differently towards Jane Doe because of what she did.  Serious trust issues, anger, hurt, betrayed, open-mindedness, compassion.

When season 2 starts, viewers will find that Jane has been tortured in a CIA holding cell for three months for what she did.  The show will try to strike a balance between the tattoo case of the week and the overarching story of Jane’s identity and purpose.  While there were no clips shown, and despite the show being a gritty one, it was a lighthearted panel filled with banters among the cast.










711“Frequency” (CW; October 5, 2016)

In attendance: Stars Peyton List, Riley Smith, Mekhi Phifer

Based on the 2000 film of the same name (starring Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid), the show is a cop drama with a sci-fi twist, exploring father-daughter’s relationships in a parallel timeline, 20 years apart.

Abandoned by her NYPD detective father when she was a child, a young woman grows up and becomes a detective herself.  In 1996, her father, who was thought to have gone rogue and left her and her mom, was killed during an undercover sting.

On one stormy night at the present time, her deceased father’s old radio mysteriously turns on and the two connect through a frequency.  Neither believes the identity of the other until they can no longer deny the connection, after private tidbits that only they know are revealed.  On his end, it’s still 1996, while hers, 2016.

Having been given a second chance, the daughter looks into the suspicious circumstances surrounding her father’s death and tries to prevent it this time. While the father stays alive now, not all is well.  It’s the classic butterfly effect.

The father-daughter scenes through the radio are emotionally executed and believable, even though the two leads are not that far off in ages.  If the show can go beyond the crime-of-the-week and continue with the relationships theme, as a family and partners, and how their lives have been impacted, both joyfully and chillingly, it should be a show to watch.










3qpau2rb“Time After Time” (ABC; 2017, premiere date TBD)

In attendance: stars Freddie Stroma, Genesis Rodriguez

London, 1893.  After having been seduced by gold coins, a prostitute is killed in a dark alley.  The murderer?  The infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper.  Here he’s also a respected surgeon and a former college friend of the young Herbert George Wells, aka H.G. Wells.

At this point in time, H.G.  just built a time machine, untested and sitting in his basement.  When the Scotland Yard ends up knocking on his door and finds an evidence linking Jack to the murder (to H.G.’s surprise), Jack is nowhere to be found.  He escapes through the time machine.  And thus, the chase of the century begins.  Jack lands in Manhattan, 2016, with H.G. hot on his trail.

The fish out-of-water scenes, where H.G. is marveling at the wonders of the modern world, are entertaining.  An ever-optimist, he is also crushed, however, to find that the world is not a better place.  There have been wars, famine, poverty, disasters, racial tensions, violence.

Luckily, H.G. is not alone.  His first encounter is with an assistant museum curator.  She works at the  museum that hosts an H.G. Wells exhibits, including the now-famous time machine.  An aversive  meet-cute, between an old-fashioned British gentleman and an outspoken, American woman.  They part ways, but come together again after some unfortunate incidents.  It doesn’t take long until the young woman realizes who he really is.

Meanwhile, time is running out.  Jack is back to luring and killing women for pleasure, even in modern times.  And no one is safe.  H.G. is determined to bring Jack back to their timeline and have him face justice for what he’s done.

Time travel.  Intrigue.  Mystery.  Adventure.  Bring it on!










Another time travel show that I’m interested in is NBC’s “Timeless” (October 3, 2016).  I took the Gravitron ride at Comic-Con, but didn’t get to see the pilot since the time conflicted with another panel.  The show will feature three strangers – a history professor, a soldier and a scientist – chasing criminal(s) through time to prevent the past from being altered (and thus impacting the present and the future).

The network is also coming out with “Emerald City” (premiere date unknown).  Not much is known, except that it will be about the rise of the new ‘Oz.’

Time travelparallel worldmagicsuperheros and MacGyver… fall TV can’t start soon enough!

Copyright (c) 2016.  Nathalia Aryani.

Nathalia Aryani is a film columnist and has a movie blog, The MovieMaven( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

Nathalia Aryani is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic ( She has a movie blog, The MovieMaven ( Twitter: @the_moviemaven. She can be reached at

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