11 for '11: Things to Watch in the New Year - TV SERIES

YOUNG JUSTICE, Firebreather, Announced

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In the past 10 years, the quality of television shows have exploded, with epic dramas that match the quality of the biggest and best the big screen has to offer, but as continuing series. We’ve had shows like Lost and others carve out a big swatch of the TV schedule for fans of action and creative storytelling, and 2011 looks to continue in that growing tradition of quality.

As we soldier on through our week-long look at the media darlings to look for in the coming year, we turn to TV. We’ve lined up 11 shows to be on the look-out for in the New Year — most are based on comics, and some have such good concepts they’d appeal to comics fans like you and I. Angle back your easy chair and put down the remote — we’ll take it from here.

Art & Franco Ready for YOUNG JUSTICE
Art & Franco Ready for YOUNG JUSTICE
 

Young Justice 

Debuting in just over a week on Cartoon Network, Young Justice comes up as DC’s newest and youngest grouping of heroes hitting the small screen. Taking its name from the DC Comic of the same name from years ago, Young Justice is planned as a look at the DC Universe’s younger super-heroes — from sidekicks, teen titans and more. Working under the shadow of the Justice League, this teen team of heroes are organized by Batman as a covert operations team to do things the more celebrity-oriented JLA can’t do. Early reviews of the series have it scoring high marks, with the new Aqualad proving so popular that comics writer and DC CCO Geoff Johns has already introduced him in comics in Brightest Day. If anyone has their pulse on what fans want, it’s Geoff Johns — so if he likes it, so should you!

Odd Jobs 

What do Lost’s Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson do after the series end? Keep going! For over a year now, the pair have been talking up the idea they had of a new comedic drama pitting the pair as suburban hitmen dealing with real-world issues. Dreamt up by O’Quinn himself back in 2009, Lost’s J.J. Abrams has reportedly joined the duo in pitching it to the networks. Given the pedigree of the two lead actors and Abrams being attached to boot, look for a bidding war from the major networks to get this project on their slate and a fast-track to production.

 

Locke & Key 

Based on the IDW series by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key follows the surviving members of the Locke family after their father & husband was murdered by a deranged high school student. Moving to the backwoods of Maine, the Locke kids discover mysteries in their New England home — gateways to supernatural dimensions, offering them a way out — but also their father’s murder a way in. Originally licensed as a movie, in February 2010 DreamWorks announced that it was now aimed as a TV series with Star Trek scribes Alex Kurtzman & Robert Orci developing and Steven Spielberg joining in as producer. Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek is filming the pilot in 2011, with hopes for a fall 2011 debut on Fox.

 

AKA Jessica Jones 

Scheduled to be the first Marvel TV series in the new initiative spurred by Disney, AKA Jessica Jones follows an embittered former super-hero turned detective operating on the streets of New York City. Based on the comic series Alias by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos, the TV series opted for the new title AKA Jessica Jones to avoid confusion with the earlier TV series Alias. AKA Jessica Jones is being fast-tracked for a fall 2011 debut on ABC with Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg attached. Prominent Marvel writer and head of their TV department — Jeph Loeb is attached as executive producer, with co-creator Brian Bendis serving as a consultant.

 

Game of Thrones
 

Based on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, Game of Thrones pits rival clans of nobility against one another for the control of the Iron Throne of Westeros. Described by series co-writer David Benioff (Troy) as “The Sopranos in Middle-Earth”, Game of Thrones features frequent genre actor Sean Bean as one of the principal actors in the ensemble series. Although some fans might worry about the TV series departing from the novels’ plot and themes, Martin himself as stepped in to assuage critics saying that the script has been very faithful to his work. The series first season was filmed in the second half of 2010, with the show’s budget being compared to Rome. It’s set to debut in April 2011 on HBO.

 

Powers
 

Created in 2000 by future Marvel head writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Oeming, Powers has been rumored for years to make the jump from comic pages to the screen. After years of rumors and guess-work, Bendis himself has confirmed that pre-production is underway for a Powers TV series on the FX Channel. The story is simple: a police division devoted exclusively to super-hero crimes;. Consider it Law & Order: Supers, or The Shield with capes. Although no firm release date has been set, look for more news on this project in the coming months.

 

Terra Nova

A futuristic show set in pre-historic times — that’s the concept of Terra Nova coming from Fox this summer. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, this event series promises a real sci-fi jolt on the small screen as they show a futuristic earth ravaged and the survivors traveling back in time for refuge. But as it turns out, the past their traveling back to is more dangerous as the future they’re running away from. With a budget estimated at $4 million per episode, this is undoubtedly a big gamble for any studio — but the pilot episode of Lost didn’t do too bad, did it? Terra Nova is set to debut in May 2011 with a two-hour special before the regular series begins in Fall 2011.

Camelot 

With a cast headed up by Joseph Fiennes (FlashForward) and Casino Royale’s Eva Green, Camelot is shaping up to be more than just a costume drama but a sword-and-sorcery action epic. Created as a co-production between Starz and GK-TV, the medieval drama was filmed in Ireland last summer and is expected to debut on April 1, 2011. Although no footage has been released to date, given producer Graham King’s track record of The Town, Blood Diamond, The Departed and Traffic, hopes are high that this retelling of Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table will ring true for audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ultimate Spider-Man
 

The next big thing coming out of Marvel TV’s 2-year-old animation division, Ultimate Spider-Man will follow up two recent Marvel successes (Super Hero Squad and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), adapting the Ultimate Comics line’s flagship title for the small screen. Developed by Man of Action, a collective of writers who did Ben 10 but well known in comics by their own names: Joe Casey, Steven T. Seagle, Joe Kelly and Duncan Rouleau, Ultimate Spider-Man takes the modern stories from the titular comic to the small screen with help from writers Brian Michael Bendis and Paul Dini. Set to debut this fall on Disney XD, look for the series to feature copious amounts of guest stars, similar to the comic. 

Green Lantern: The Animated Series 

DC Comics’ has long had a strong track record when it comes to its comics-to-cartoon success – from the old Fleischer Superman serials to the seminal Batman: The Animated Series to Teen Titans and the Justice League cartoons. With the live-action Green Lantern film expected to light up movie houses this summer, what better time to bring him to animation as well? Back in May 2010, Cartoon Network announced that work was underway on Green Lantern: The Animated Series with a launch date expected for Fall 2011. Although not much else has been announced to date, look for DC to use their talented in-house designers such as Bruce Timm to bring this project to life.

In The Corner Of Our Eye


But that’s not all on the television schedule for 2011. With more channels than ever producing new series, there’s no better time than now to be watching TV. Here are a few other shows that caught our eye.

Falling Skies: This alien invasion drama from TNT starring ER’s Noah Wyle has been compared in tone to The Walking Dead but with aliens, as Wyle leads a band of survivors in the aftermath of the aliens’ attack.

Cloak & Dagger: ABC Family is reportedly working on a teen-oriented live action series following this pair of cult heroes from Marvel Comics. Although the venue seems rather inappropriate for the pair, it could also give direction to a concept that’s had trouble catching on in comics.

The Walking Dead: Six episodes. Four broke cable ratings records. Although it had some doubters, the first season of The Walking Dead scored high in ratings and with critics, carving out a promising future for this zombie movie that never ends. The first season strayed from the comic considerably, and it’ll be interesting to see what the second season does in the fall.

What TV show are you anticipating for 2011? What TV show are you anticipating for 2011?

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