Why we're excited for these 4 in-the-works TV series
From a 'Taken' reboot to a new show from the 'Twilight' creator, here's the scoop on a handful of shows coming down the pipeline.
Last year marked the end of some of the most popular and long-running series on the small screen. We said goodbye to “Parks and Recreation,” “Mad Men,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Glee” and “CSI,” among others. This year, even more old favorites – including “Downton Abbey,” “Mike & Molly” and “MythBusters” – are winding down. Others, such as Lena Dunham’s “Girls” and the comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” are expected to wrap up in 2017.
With the plug being pulled on so many hit prime-time productions, odds are, viewers will be left with a gaping void. But having taken a little look around at some of the current in-the-works series, we’re willing to bet that gap won’t last long. There are plenty of good shows coming down the pipeline. Here are just a few of the highly anticipated TV series set to burst onto your screens in the not-too-distant future.
“Taken” is the film that catapulted Liam Neeson from brooding thespian to action hero par excellence. Not only did it flip the direction of Neeson’s career, but this surprise hit spawned two follow-up films, solidifying Neeson’s newfound action dad persona. Now a prequel series is set to arrive on the small screen courtesy of NBC. Variety has confirmed that Luc Besson, the co-writer and producer of the three feature films, will executive produce the TV project.
The TV version takes inspiration from that oft-quoted Neeson monologue, following the backstory of Neeson’s character Bryan Mills as he acquires his “very particular set of skills.” Because it’s a prequel, Neeson is unlikely to reprise his role (although he may make a cameo) so there will probably be some fresh faces in the mix.
Based on a novel by Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk, “Eagles” is adapted from a show that aired in his native country back in 2010 to rave reviews. HBO has now snapped it up and is planning to give the series an American makeover, transplanting the action from Tel Aviv to Miami. The show revolves around two old friends who think they're above the law. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is set to pen the script. Meanwhile, Alan Poul (“Six Feet Under” director and producer, and director of several episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom”) is slated to direct.
This isn’t the only Israeli drama series to be adapted for American audiences. Back in 2008, HBO aired “In Treatment” while Showtime brought “Homeland” to the public in 2011. If these past adaptations are any indication, HBO is likely to have yet another hit on their hands.
Fans of teen vampire stories will be excited to hear that Stephenie Meyer, the Connecticut-born author behind the incredibly popular “Twilight” novels, is now turning her attention to the world of television with “The Rook.” The hour-long show will run on the Hulu streaming service.
“The Rook” is based on a book by Australian novelist Daniel O’Malley and has a supernatural premise – a genre which Meyer is comfortable with. O’Malley’s book follows a female protagonist named Myfanwy who possesses “extraordinary powers.” After waking up mysteriously in a park, Myfanwy finds herself unable to recall who she is or how she got there. She soon discovers an intriguing clue that leads her to a covert British agency tasked with protecting the public from paranormal threats. With a sequel to “The Rook” (called “Stiletto”) due to be published later this year, there is ample scope for an additional season should viewing figures meet expectations.
'Rambo: New Blood'
In this current golden age of television, TV execs are looking for source material among the studio archives, and more movies are being adapted for the small screen. “Rambo: New Blood” is one example. Currently in development at Fox, this version takes a new slant on the story, turning the main focus away from the infamous headbanded hero and on to an entirely new and unexpected character: Rambo’s long-lost son.
Another Stallone movie, “The Expendables,” is also being turned into a TV show at the Fox network. He is attached as an executive producer, so viewers can rest assured that this high-octane action series will, at the very least, have that inimitable Stallone touch.
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: