Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

With the broadcast networks' upfront presentations right around the corner, TV studios everywhere are scrambling to pitch shows for Fall 2011. But which shows will make it past the pilot stage? Rumor has it some promising shows are in danger.

Shows that may not make it to your screens include J.J. Abrams' mysterious new Alcatraz series, the Locke & Key show and Ron Moore's 17th Precinct. Here's the latest on Fall TV's death match.

Alcatraz image via FMT.

FOX

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

Locke & Key
The talent behind this production is insane. Stephen King's son Joe Hill wrote the beloved comic book mystery series that inspired the show. Josh Friedman of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles wrote the pilot script, Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go) is directing the pilot. Nick Stahl has been cast in a lead role and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are overseeing the whole series as executive producers. AND YET, Deadline is reporting that Fox isn't 100% sold on running the series because they've already filled their genre spot by renewing Fringe. With all of the fantasy-lite shows slated for this season we think it would be a shame to ignore the rich material provided in the comics. This is a deeply dramatic, riveting, puzzle-box of a book series, and it could really help elevate the Fall TV slate. The premise is simple: "Three siblings and their mother move into their murdered father's family home, where they discover a series of supernatural keys, which give them extraordinary abilities." But the pay out behind each unlocked mystery is huge. The Daily Beast recently read the pilot and described it as:

Suspenseful and gripping, this is a dark, supernatural drama that combines mystery, suspense, and action into one hell of a sinister package. Fox may have a difficult time marketing the potential series, given that the leads are mainly teens, but if they can pull it off, the network could have a good companion for the similarly mythology-driven Fringe.

Fingers crossed Fox sees the potential in this mysterious series.

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

Alcatraz
Locke & Key isn't the only buzzed-about drama getting the cold shoulder from Fox. Believe it or not, J.J. Abrams new time bending show Alcatraz may not air this Fall (according to Deadline). With Fringe getting another season, Fox allegedly feels like they won't burn any bridges with Abrams, should they decide to ignore his pilot about a group of random Alcatraz prisoners that suddenly just appear in modern times (after having been missing for decades). For more information on Alcatraz, check out our previous post filled with spoilers and hints.

Touch
With Alcatraz and Locke & Key on thin ice, Fox had better hope their Tim Kring/Kiefer Sutherland series Touch drums up and audience, because all signs point to a green light for this show. Touch follows a father who discovers that his autistic son can predict the future via number patterns his son easily recognizes. The Daily Beast likened this pilot's script to Kring's earlier Heroes with sweeping global plots with characters from all over the world. We agree that this series sounds deeply ambitious, here's hoping the "autistic kid who stops a suicide bomber and connects to Irish singer who meets a couple of Japanese girls" plotline pays off. Lord knows we already stomached enough of the Heroes "we are the world, we're all connected" plot lines before.

CBS

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

Person of Interest
Blanketed in secrecy, Person of Interest may just make us forgive Jim Caviezel for The Prisoner Written by Jonah Nolan and backed by J.J. Abrams, this precog crime mystery series features Caviezel with Lost's infamous Michael Emerson (who has been cast as a brilliant billionaire). Together these two team up to prevent crimes before they happen. We have a standing rule around io9 that we will watch anything with Emerson, so count us in. Deadline reports that it tested well but plays dark. And we like dark!

NBC

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

Wonder Woman
We've been pretty clear about out disappointment with David E. Kelley's Wonder Woman series. But the latest batch of script rewrites seem to have changed the superhero Diana Prince for the better. As of right now, no one is saying anything about the project until it's shown the studio the first cut. But we'll find out Wonder Woman's fate soon enough.

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

17th Precinct
Ron Moore's next TV series cast a bunch of Battlestar Galactica alums, and added a dash of urban fantasy! Its about detectives solving magical crimes, what's not to love? Apparently, a lot. Sadly Deadline says the series just doesn't look good. But our collection of set pics begs to differ.

Grimm

Strangely enough, while some people are reporting that 17th Precinct doesn't seem to have a prayer, the other magical cop show Grimm is making waves over at NBC. Written by Angel's David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, this police procedural pulls its content right out of the Grimm Fairy Tale stories.

R.E.M.

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) stars in this complicated parallel lives show. Isaacs plays Mark Britten, a cop who gets in a tragic accident. But from there, the story fractures into two different realities for the character — in one dimension, his wife died in the car crash, leaving him alone to raise his son. In the other reality, Britten's son Rex died and now he and his wife struggle with the loss of their child. It's a twisted little tale directed by David Slade. TDB said the pilot was, "Hands down the most provocative and compelling pilot script of the season... Emotionally resonant and thought-provoking, REM asks deep questions about the nature of reality and of dreams, forcing the viewer to confront the possibility that we might be sleepwalking through life. (Much like last summer's Inception, in fact.) Equal parts mystery, psychological drama, and police procedural, REM emerges as one of the development season's most compelling and creative offerings."

ABC

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

Poe
Possibly our favorite (and the most ridiculous premise) pilot of the season. Edgar Allan Poe is a crime fighting poet in the 1840s. And according to the rumors, it's ABC's favorite new series for the Fall.

Once Upon A Time
Yet another fairy tale series. Described as having a "Lost tone with a Pushing Daisies look" (which sounds absolutely ridiculous to us) this series crams classic Disney characters like Snow White (being played by Ginnifer Goodwin) and other famous fairy folk into one village. Here's an excellent synopsis via Daily Blam.

The series centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.

Goodwin would play Snow White/Sister Mary Margaret who is a beautiful woman with dark hair and very pale skin who has been placed under a wicked spell by the Evil Queen, and is brought back from a living death by Prince Charming.

Also signed on to the project is TV veteran Lana Parrilla (24), playing Mayor Regina/Evil Queen. She is a beautiful but terrifying woman who carries herself with evil menace. She's the mortal enemy of both Snow White and Prince Charming, and is determined to have a terrible vengeance upon all the inhabitants of Fairy Tale Land.

The River

Bruce Greenwood (The Core) and io9 favorite Joe Anderson (Across the Universe, The Crazies) have been cast in Michael J. Green (Kings)' The River. The documentary-style series takes place on the Amazon River (although it was actually shot in Puerto Rico) and follows a pack of folks who head into the jungle looking for a missing TV reporter. Once they get into the wilderness they uncover something supernatural and pure evil. It sounds like pure horror. Which would be nice change of pace from the excess of voice over dramas we've been saddled with on TV.

Hallelujah

Desperate Housewives creator and writer Marc Cherry's new spiritual soap opera is getting mixed reviews. Set in Hallelujah, Tenn., the small town residents' lives are being ripped apart by a battle of good and evil. What we do know is that Donal Logue has been cast in the series as a kind diner owner who is always battling the evil town millionaire, played by Terry O'Quinn.

The CW

Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA?

The Secret Circle

Based on the series by L. J. Smith it sounds like the CW is trying to find their next Vampire Diaries series by filming this secret magic high school drama. As long as it pays respect to its magical CW predecessor Charmed, we're fine with this series.


Fall TV Update: Which new shows are a sure thing, and which are DoA? Heavenly

But not to be out done on supernatural soaps, the CW is adding yet ANOTHER mystical drama to it's roster, Heavenly about a crew of Angelic lawyers — no, seriously! Plus it's supposedly getting a strong response from viewers. Sure, why not?

Image via Flickr

Awakening

And finally there is the odd zombie drama with Lost's "the man in black" Titus Welliver. The undead show is attempting to humanize the undead giving the zombies their own separate society of undead folks. These "pre-dead" people live away from the living, but eventually a war starts between the two races, Welliver plays a "a mysterious figure with piercing eyes and a dark overcoat who is hunting the zombies behind the first wave of the awakening." But this show may never see the light of day, as the test audience haven't been responding positively to the storyline. And it may be too different from The CW's usual slate of supernatural soap operas.