Best of Fall 2012: the five best bets from fall’s deluge of TV premieres

Best of Fall 2012: the five best bets from fall’s deluge of TV premieres

Taking the Modern Family concept to the next level, this comedy about a gay couple and their single-mom surrogate is awash in the three B’s: buzz, boycotting (courtesy of the One Million Moms) and Ellen Barkin. Her character is a member of the family values organization, a wink that show creator Ryan Murphy (the man behind the freaks on American Horror Story and the geeks on Glee) no doubt relishes.
CTV, Sept. 11, 9:30 p.m.

Proving that our appetite for a certain doomed ocean liner can never be sated, the producers behind The Tudors are the latest to take on the RMS Titanic. This version dramatizes the ship’s origin story (set against a backdrop of class struggle and religious strife) along with its demise. A heavily mustachioed Chris Noth plays J. P. Morgan, who hires a young American metallurgist (Kevin Zegers) to build his ship of dreams. CBC, Sept. 19, 9 p.m.

Scott Speedman crops his signature locks to play a military man in this cine­matic drama about members of an American submarine crew who disobey an order and become the target of their own government. Branded traitors, the team seeks refuge on a mysterious tropical island, and it turns out (cue spooky music) they’re not the only ones there. A possible fix for Lost fans, and this time maybe the ending will make sense.
Global, Sept. 27, 8 p.m.

Superhero-mania comes to the small screen in this thriller based on the DC Comics hero the Green Arrow. Oliver Queen is a billionaire by day, masked crime fighter by night. All of the deliciously predictable standards apply—epic fight scenes, a love triangle, a secret lair of gadgets—but expect snappier-than-usual dialogue. Writer/exec producer Greg Berlanti worked on the brilliantly chatty Dawson’s Creek and Jack and Bobby.
CTV, Oct. 10, 8 p.m.

Based on the 2007 Ken Follett novel, this drama takes place during the Black Plague and the Hundred Years’ War—a full 157 years after his previous series, Pillars of the Earth. As per the Follett formula, the narrative follows ordinary citizens living through extraordinary times. The megawatt cast is led by the always-brilliant Cynthia Nixon and features a guest turn by Anne of Green Gables vet Megan Follows.
Showcase, Sept. 4, 10 p.m.

(Images: 1 and 4 courtesy of CTV; 2 courtesy of CBC; 3 courtesy of Shaw Media; 5 by Thomas Langley)