Watch clips of the latest from Zooey Deschanel, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams
The cast of Fox's "New Girl" (L to R): Damon Wayans Jr., Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone)
For their new 2011-2012 prime time fare, Fox has gambled on big names to bolster their line-up, ranging from cool cult icons (Zooey Deschanel and Jon Heder) to big name producers (Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams). Of course, we know all too well that marquee value doesn’t always translate into staying power (remember that Bette Midler sitcom? Neither do we.). Here are clips of what you can expect.
The Big Gun: Zooey Deschanel
Why You Might Care: Who can resist Deschanel (who’ll be sharing a network with her sister, “Bones” star Emily) after “(500) Days of Summer”? Add in her cool indie cred as half of She & Him and what could be sappy sitcom fodder about a recently dumped girl who acquires three single guy roommates looks infinitely more interesting. Also of note: Damon Wayans Jr. as one of the roomies.
Why You Might Not: Without Deschanel, this sounds like the premise for a porn movie or a gag-inducing rom-com.
The Big Gun: Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile”)
Why You Might Care: This spin-off from the Fox hit “Bones” focuses on yet another quirky genius. Walter Sherman (Geoff Stults) made a name for himself as a military policeman, but after an IED explosion sent him back home with an honorable discharge, he became a specialist at recovering people and things – thus the title. Sherman’s sidekick is Duncan, who plays a formerly obese lawyer who has transformed himself into, well, Michael Clarke Duncan. We can probably expect the occasional crossover from the cast of “Bones.”
Why You Might Not: If you’re not a fan of “Bones,” you probably won’t look for “The Finder.”
The Big Gun: executive producer Steven Spielberg
Why You Might Care: This futuristic family adventure takes place in 2149, when the world is overpopulated and the most animal and plant life are extinct. The good news is that scientists have been able to find a fracture in time to send humans to the distant past. The bad news: dinosaurs.
Why You Might Not: Do we need “Blade Runner” meets “Jurassic Park” once a week?
The Big Gun: the original cast of the film, including Jon Heder
Why You Might Care: If you loved the movie about a dorky 16-year-old and his quirky friends, you’ll probably be thrilled with this animated series. Guest voices for the season also include Jennifer Coolidge (“Legally Blonde”) and Sam Rockwell (“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”).
Why You Might Not: We said “if” you loved the movie.
The Big Gun: Emmy winner Jaime Pressly
Why You Might Care: Pressly proved she has comedic chops as the gum-chewing trailer dweller Joy on “My Name Is Earl.” She’ll trade barbs with Tony winner Katie Finneran (“Wonderfalls”) as the two women do battle with their spoiled, bitchy teen daughters.
Why You Might Not: Watching mean girls beat up their hopeless mothers may not sound like a fun way to spend an evening.
The Big Gun: Jonah Hill (“Superbad,” “Get Him to the Greek”)
Why You Might Care: Hill lends his voice to Allen Gregory De Longpre, a pretentious 7-year-old who calls the teacher by her first name, has two dads and packs pinot grigio in his school lunch. Not surprisingly, he doesn’t really fit in.
Why You Might Not: Stewie on “The Family Guy” is all you need in the precocious kid department.
The Big Gun: executive producer J.J. Abrams (“Fringe,” “Lost”)
Why You Might Care: In this thriller, over 300 notorious criminals disappeared from Alcatraz decades ago – and then a fingerprint from a current crime scene leads Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones, “Sons of Anarchy”) to believe he’s returned – and he won’t be the one. Look for Sam Neil (“Jurassic Park”), Parminder Nagra (“ER”) and Jorge Garcia (“Lost”), too.
Why You Might Not: You’re still ticked about the finale of “Lost.”