Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Focus on Fall Sci Fi TV: Gotham

Gotham-FOX-CancelledGotham: FOX, New Series, Premieres Monday September 22nd 8 PM EST

Here is the description from the show's website:
Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?
GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Will this "almost superhero" series work?  It gives us the pre-Batman universe with the characters that have not quite yet morphed into the incarnations we expect.  And while a pre-origin tale for the Dark Knight has some potential, hasn't that character been done to death by now?  They're not giving us an actual Batman series because that character is blockbuster movie material these days.  So then why not go with someone else in the DC Universe that doesn't have a current contract on the big screen?  There's plenty to choose from.  The simple answer is that Batman has more drawing power, but how far will that go when people come to terms with the fact there is a lot less Bat on the screen than man (and that man would be Jim Gordan, Bruce Wayne is still a boy)?  Agents of SHIELD saw its audience drop by more than half last season as it delivered little in the way of the superhero spectacle that the Marvel movies offered.  Will the same thing happen with Gotham?  I'll tune it, but I'm thinking that Arrow and the Flash over on The CW will be delivering a much bigger punch.

As for the show's survival chances, I don't particularly care for its Monday 8 PM EST timeslot where last season Almost Human failed to build much of an audience.  But then that one was done in more by poor scheduling on the part of FOX (a late premiere, frequent preemptions, airing episodes our of order) and I'm sure they are looking at Gotham as a premiere Prime Time entry.  Name recognition will draw a lot of curious onlookers early, but if they lose interest quickly, FOX may let this "Almost Batman" show go the same way as Almost Human.  But I am thinking that more likely than not it will manage to hold on.

 See the Full Schedule of Fall Sci Fi / Fantasy Shows at This Link


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