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article imageOp-Ed: 'Alcatraz' and 'The River' Should Shine

By Tim O'Brien     Jan 2, 2012 in Entertainment
From a show that seems like a flashback to "Bosom Buddies" to one that has inmates from The Rock coming back, it's time for TV. Meanwhile, "American Idol" returns on Jan. 18 and the coveted after Super Bowl slot goes to "The Voice" on Feb. 5.
Here are a few new shows that are intriguing and have potential. Oh, let's throw in two simply dreadful ones as well.
All times EST
Intriguing
"Alcatraz" -(Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m.) - It will start on Jan 13 then move to Mondays. This one looks solid and has the potential to work. From the creator of lost, J.J. Abrams, comes this one. If you liked "Lost" this one may be for you. The premise is pleasing. It's 50 years after the closing of Alcatraz and now, those long who worked there and inmates, are reappearing. Where this one goes is anybody's guess, but with the history of the Rock, look out. The pilot: while on a homicide case, a fingerprint leads a detective to a "shocking" suspect, a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. It stars Sarah Jones and Sam Neill, Also on board is Jorge Garcia from "Lost."
]"The River" - (ABC, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.) - Like "Alcatraz," this on looks and feels like a winner. Head to the Amazon in this mystery that centers around a family's search for a naturalist, who just happens to be a famous TV star. It is produced by Steven Spielberg and stars Bruce Greenwood as Emmet Cole and Joe Anderson as Lincoln Cole.
Potential
"Luck" - (HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m.) - OK, another curve ball here. This one got a preview on Dec. 11 but starts up Jan. 29. Got it? HBO is hoping you will remember and talk about it to others while you wait. One thing for sure, Hollywood loves its horse-related subjects. Here we have a drama about horse racing and betting. It has the stars, too, in Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.
"The Firm"- (NBC, Thursdays at 10 p.m.) - Please note this show gets a Jan. 8 preview before settling in to its normal time slot. If the name sounds familiar, it should and that is what this show is all about. It's John Grisham's character coming back to entertain us later in his career - - Mitch McDeere and his family leave witness protection. Josh Lucas gets the lead role.
"The Finder" - (Fox, Thursdays at 9 p.m.) - Besides the franchises like "CSI" and "Law and Order" it's nice to see a true spin off on the schedule. "The Finder" starts Jan. 12 and is a spin off from "Bones" so get going to find more bones as "Bones" may be done. Here, Geoff Stults stars as Walter Sherman, an Iraqi war veteran with a knack for finding things people have lost or misplaced. It will no doubt lead him to finding out things he is not supposed to on powerful people.
"Touch" - (Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m.) - After this gets a Jan. 25 preview it recedes until March for some reason. It stars Keifer "24" Sutherland and with that comes to need to be on the cellphone during the show as much as possible. Here he is a widower who has an autistic child who sees certain patterns that can predict things. Sutherland goes and tries to prevent what his son sees. This, from Fox, says where this show will go: "Whether it be chance, coincidence, timing, synergy or fate, there are events that touch us all, as part of an interconnected, dazzlingly precise universe."
"Missing" - (ABC, Thursdays at 8 p.m.) - On March 15, Ashley Judd goes on a mission to find her missing son. Note the singular part of this premise. She will not find him in one or two episodes, so dig in. It stars Judd as Becca Winstone and Sean Bean as Paul Winstone.
Are you kidding me?
"Work It" - (ABC, Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m.) - A Jan 3 start date for a show that sounds a little too much like "Bosom Buddies." Its centers around two men who cross dress to find jobs. The never ending activity of men dressing as women in comedy never tires, does it? Yes, just not for Hollywood and Monty Python. Oh, not to mention Benny Hill and Milton Berle - - and the list goes on. When it works, like "Tootsie," it's delicious. When it doesn't, it's painful. It stars Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco. When they dress as women they are Lady Lee and Lady Angel, respectively.
"Rob" - (CBS, Thursday at 9 p.m.) - If you are not watching "The Finder" you may opt for "Rob" but I have no idea why anyone would want to do that. Here's the reason - Rob Schneider. I'm still trying to figure out most of the so-called CBS comedies, so this will fit in there perfectly. By the way, here's a takeaway line from CBS on this one. "Schneider as a lifelong bachelor who just married into a tight-knit Mexican-American family." I guess he's not life-long after all.
Pushing the envelope
"Life's Too Short" - (HBO, Sundays at 10:30 p.m.) - Ricky Gervais will surely plug this on when hosting the upcoming Golden Globes. On Feb. 19 Gervais launches a show about a dwarf, (who is played by Warwick Davis) and the problems he has in every day life, laced with plenty of fiction. Gervais wrote it with his "Office" alum Stephen Merchant. If Gervais is associated with it, I will watch. But rest assured, it will not be for all. Look for plenty of cameos as Davis schemes to get back to the top.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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