5 questions we have after watching clips from NBC's new dramas
As they did with their forthcoming slate of new comedies, NBC has released several first-look clips for their 2012-13 freshman drama series (you can check out the network's fall schedule here), including "Chicago Fire," "Infamous," "Do No Harm" and "Saving Hope." As any good drama should, the clips posed more questions than they did answers, and following are five that remain topmost in my mind.
Note: No clips have yet been made available for NBC's other new drama "Hannibal."
1) Can NBC build on last season's modest successes "Smash" and "Grimm" by coming up with a new hit drama?
The struggling Peacock network is known more for its comedies these days, but they could use at least one or two more drama successes to give their schedule some balance. It's hard to tell from only a few brief clips whether any of the following shows - "Infamous," "Saving Hope," "Do No Harm," and "Chicago Fire" - will manage to avoid the cancellation curse, though at this point the new NBC drama that seems to stand the best chance is actually J.J. Abrams' "Revolution." Lacking a marquee name like that, the following four shows have definitely got an uphill battle ahead of them.
2) Was the "Revenge"-style plot of "Infamous" in any way inspired by that ABC hit?
While the plot isn't exactly the same, the idea of a beautiful woman infiltrating high society under false pretenses certainly brings to mind the highly-rated ABC series. So can lightning strike twice, or is the premise too redundant to gain any traction?
3) Can "Saving Hope" overcome its awful title?
We don't have much to go on at this point - this 30-second promo is all that's been released thus far - so it's hard to tell what the tone of "Saving Hope" will ultimately be once it airs. But its title can't help but bring to mind sickly-sweet fare like "Touched by an Angel," and - fairly or not - that could ultimately work against it. This isn't CBS, after all.
4) Will "Do No Harm" feature any physical transformations of the main character, or will the show remain (relatively) more grounded?
This "Jekyll & Hyde"-inspired series stars Steven Pasquale as brilliant neurosurgeon Jason Cole, who every night suffers from a severe personality change in which his sociopathic alter-ego Ian Price emerges. Of course, in previous films based on the Robert Louis Stevenson story the lead actor would often be seen changing into a more physically monstrous version of himself - something that's probably too overt for a series that seems to be going for a more grounded tone, at least based on the below clips. Nevertheless, you never know what could happen if the series proves successful and continues past a first season.
5) Will the guys in "Chicago Fire" ever pose for a calendar?
Seeing as this is TV, it's no surprise that "Chicago Fire" (executive-produced by "L&O" creator Dick Wolf) boasts probably the most handsome group of firefighters you're ever likely to come across. Might as well put their hot bodies to good use.