Sunday, December 10, 2017
TV and Media

Fall TV Preview: 'DuckTales,' 'Dynasty' and 'Star Trek' lead the pack of revivals and spinoffs

Another season, and TV execs are still relying on old ideas. However, most, if not all, of these are intriguing enough to get our attention for at least a few episodes.

DuckTales (7 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, Disney XD): With the reboot of the late-'80s Disney animated series DuckTales, you might solve a mystery or rewrite history. Because of unknown family drama, Donald Duck (voiced by Tony Anselmo) hasn't spoken to his uncle Scrooge McDuck (David Tennant) in 10 years. But the two reunite when Donald asks Scrooge to watch nephews Huey (Danny Pudi), Dewey (Ben Schwartz) and Louie (Bobby Moynihan) for the day. The mischievous ducklings rekindle Scrooge's taste for excitement, leading the four on more treasure-hunting adventures. The ducklings' new friend Webby (Katie Micucci) also helps them uncover the truth about why their uncles became estranged. The original Emmy award-winning series was treasured by generations of viewers. The reboot is set to bring back that Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia while bringing a new generation of fans along for the duck blur of a ride.

Star Trek: Discovery (8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, CBS/CBS All Access): Trekkies, rejoice. There's a new Star Trek series coming to CBS and it's a sequel to the original 1960s series. Set about 10 years before the original, Star Trek: Discovery explores the Federation-Klingon cold war while following the USS Discovery. The ship's crew includes Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), who starts out as the first officer of the USS Shenzhou before coming to the Discovery. Though Michael isn't the captain, Martin-Green's character is the main protagonist in the spinoff series. Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs also stars as the Discovery's Captain Lorca. Alex Kurtzman (the most recent Star Trek films) and Bryan Fuller (American Gods, Hannibal) created the series. CBS is really trying to get people to use its CBS All Access, so the network is premiering the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery one night with the remaining episodes premiering solely on the streaming service.

Young Sheldon (8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, special one-episode premiere, moves to Thursdays on Nov. 2, CBS): The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) gets an origin story with Big Little Lies' Ian Armitage playing Sheldon at 9 years old. Young Sheldon explores how Sheldon became the obsessive, highly intelligent physicist we know and love. Also starring is Zoe Perry as Sheldon's mom and biggest fan ,with Parsons narrating his younger self's antics.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders (10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, NBC): Law & Order dips its toes into the true crime scene with its new series; the first season dramatizing the infamous Menendez brothers' murders of their parents. The incomparable Edie Falco stars as the brothers' defense attorney, Leslie Abramson.

Will & Grace (9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, NBC): After nine years normalizing queer life for its audience, Will & Grace went off the air in 2006, with a somewhat satisfying ending. Since then, same-sex marriage is legal but trans rights are still in the news, and we have a stressfully vicious political climate, to say the least. So we've called on our favorite foursome — Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally — to reunite. Don't worry, though. They're completely scrapping the time-jump finale. While the show will get political — Karen is clearly a Trump supporter — the cast says they came back to make people laugh. Sadly, though, two key players won't be returning: Shelley Morrison, who played Karen's maid, Rosario; and Debbie Reynolds, who passed away in December and played Grace's mother. It's worth noting that the revolutionary show was criticized for being mostly white, as well as relying on transgender jokes, but the cast and creative team have promised to bring the show into more modern times.

The Magic School Bus Rides Again (3 a.m. Friday, Sept. 29, Netflix): Seat belts, everyone! Every millennial's favorite after-school educational show returns with a new Ms. Frizzle (Kate McKinnon) taking the wheel at Walkerville Elementary for more science-fueled fun aboard her magic school bus.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (10 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, HBO): Seinfeld co-creator Larry David plays a version of himself in this HBO comedy, returning for a ninth season after six years. Overarching themes of the new season are being kept under wraps, but we can safely assume David has more next-level skewering of politics and high society up his sleeve.

Dynasty (9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, CW): It takes about a half-hour for the first hair-pulling catfight, so you know this '80s remake from Gossip Girl producers is going full force with the drama, in case you had any doubt. It's the same essential story — two dueling uber-rich families, the Carringtons and the Colbys — with the same essential characters: Oil tycoon Blake Carrington (Grant Show) abruptly marries Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley), much to his daughter's dismay. When the show premiered in early 1981, Ronald Reagan became president a couple weeks later and the yuppy culture was about to begin. Cut to 2017, with a wealthy businessman in the Oval Office and our obsession with famously rich families all over TV. The CW clearly felt this was the time to reboot this prime-time soap. The network, known for extremely attractive teens with intense adult drama, has sprinkled in much more diversity and political relevance, amped up the character backstories, and left out the homophobia — Blake's son, Steven (James Mackay), is out and proud. Steven's sister Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) is now the central focus of the show, and this Cristal is Hispanic, and comes with lots of baggage and ulterior motives. They're both intelligent, quick-witted and as sharp as the high heels they wear. We'll be sipping our cheap Champagne, soaking in the spectacle and awaiting a Joan Collins cameo.

S.W.A.T. (10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, CBS): Ahh, welcome back to our living room (or wherever you watch TV), Shemar Moore. The Criminal Minds alum stars in this testosterone-filled cop procedural that's based on the 1970s TV series and 2003 movie. Moore plays Daniel "Hondo" Harrelson, a Special Weapons and Tactics team leader who grew up on the tough south Los Angeles streets he now protects. The series tactfully showcases the city's racial tensions, getting into Trump-era politics and Black Lives Matter issues. Plus, it's got that cool theme song.

She's Gotta Have It (3 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 23, Netflix): Spike Lee's 1986 film debut gets a contemporary reboot. DeWanda Wise (Shots Fired) stars as 20-something Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist juggling her job and her three hunky lovers. Lee directed all 10 episodes, which he created and executive-produces with his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee.

   
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