Fall TV's Best New Bets | NBC | 'Heroes Reborn' & 'The Player'

It's that time of year again, new fall programming is getting ready to begin and Eclectic Pop has picked at least two of the most promising new series from each network. Find out which of the new shows from NBC made the cut...

Heroes Reborn
When Tim Kring’s superhero series signed off in 2010, it barely had a creative pulse. During its phenomenal first season, the series became an instant critical and ratings hit, only to suffer a highly publicized fall from grace during its second season. By the time it wrapped, the ratings were anemic, the storylines unwatchable and a show that once seemed poised for greatness came to a close with barely a whimper. It’s hard to know which storyline served as the catalyst for the downfall of “Heroes”.

Perhaps the seeds were sown in season one, when it was revealed that Peter was Claire’s uncle, despite the actors’ palatable romantic chemistry or the haphazard attempt to redeem Sylar or maybe it was when the Matt Parkman character took over the entire show. Seriously, the series could’ve been re-titled “Heroes: Matt Parkman vs. the World”. At any point, the once marvelously lavish, globetrotting superhero drama hit a major snag it never recovered from.

With five years having passed since it concluded, NBC is betting the specter of disappointment cast by the original series won’t stop curious minds from tuning in to this 13-episode continuation. With a new cast that includes Zachary Levi from NBC’s cult series “Chuck” and “Boy Next Door” star Ryan Guzman, along with returning cast members Jack Coleman and Sendhil Ramamurthy, among others; it is a tempting prospect. The main (if not only) reason to give this “event series” a chance is Masi Oka’s return as the inimitable Hiro Nakamura; the heart, brain and spirit of the entire original series.

For those who’ve wondered what might’ve become of Hiro in the television universe that question will at least be answered. Unfortunately, his best friend, sidekick and fan favorite Ando (James Kyson Lee), won’t be joining him. So just to be clear Matt Parkman will be back but the incredible Ando will not. Okay. One last thing, let’s be honest about the “event series” label. That only truly means “in the event this show is mildly successful, there will be more episodes to come”. So if you want to get sucked in and spat out, be warned it can be a brutal process. Premiere Date: Sep 24, airs Thursdays at 8 PM est
The Player
Wesley Snipes makes his television debut as Mr. Johnson a Las Vegas “pit boss”, who recruits Alex Kane (Philip Winchester) a military trained security specialist, to be the titular “player”, a person who stops crimes before they can happen. He is assisted by “dealer” Cassandra King (Charity Wakefield). You might wonder where the casino jargon comes into play. Well, “the casino” is a gaming enterprise where wealthy clients orchestrate the huge crimes “the player” is trying to prevent and take bets on whether he can succeed.

The trailer hinted at Alex working to take down the group from the inside. Clearly he won’t succeed for a while given the show would come to an end so there has to be more to that side of the story. If that’s not enough to keep the show busy, there is also an undercurrent of revenge seeking from Alex, as his wife is apparently murdered in the pilot. That particular plotline appears primed to play as the central mystery to the overall mythos. Similar to how the intrigue surrounding Liz’s connection to Red serves “The Blacklist” and the murder mystery of Beckett’s mom played in the early seasons of “Castle”.

As a crime-of-the-week procedural “The Player” has a lot of promise. The series’ hook is unique and the ensemble is terrific. Snipes, Winchester and Wakefield each have the qualities to take the show beyond its complacent procedural leanings. Interestingly, both Philip Winchester and Charity Wakefield have starred in series for NBC before. Winchester in the short-lived “Crusoe” and Wakefield in “The Munsters” reboot that aired as a Halloween special, when the network chose not to pick it up. Hopefully they have better luck with the “The Player”. Premiere Date: Sep 24, airs Thursdays at 10 PM est

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