With Sky 1, typically the first port of call for the biggest new American fantasy dramas, concentrating on its slew of successful returning US imports (Arrow, Revolution, etc) and its increasing commitment of original homegrown drama and comedy commissions, UK genre fans might have had cause to wonder if some of the best new US shows for the 2013 season would ever make it across the so-called ‘Pond’ at all. Sighs of relief all around then as three of the most hotly-anticipated new shows - Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the CW reboot of classic 1970s ITV kid’s smash The Tomorrow People and the CW’s Hunger Games-like futuristic adventure The 100 have all been snapped up by UK broadcasters who, it’s hoped, will transmit the shows shortly after their US launches - in September and October respectively for S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Tomorrow People and later in the year (possibly early next year) for The 100.
ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which stars Clark Gregg reprising his role as agent Coulson alongside the just-announced British actor Ian Hart, premieres in the US on September 24th. Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s Chief ‘creative officer’ (which would seem to be a contradiction in terms considering most of 4’s output these days) says that “Marvel's Agents of SHIELD is big, bold and absolutely exhilarating…featuring the production values you'd expect from Marvel and ABC Studios, this is family entertainment at its most exciting." Big words; let’s hope Channel 4 give the show the timeslot and support it deserves and not dump it in a graveyard slot after the 250th repeat of Come Dine With Me or, worse, something with Gok Wan in it.
The Tomorrow People, meanwhile, are destined for Channel 4’s trendier digital sister channel E4, currently the home of cult comedy hit The Big Bang Theory which regularly pulls in upwards of 2 million viewers on E4 and Howard Overman’s UK ‘superhero’ series Misfits, which ends this year with its fifth season. The Tomorrow People stars Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow’s Stephen) as Stephen Jameson, a troubled teenager who develops extraordinary abilities which bring him into contact with others who have similar powers and who call themselves ‘The Tomorrow People’, the next stage in human evolution. The 100, based on Kass Morgan’s just-published novel, is set around 100 years after a devastating nuclear holocaust has rendered the Earth uninhabitable and tells of the exploits of a group of a hundred doubtlessly-horny teenagers sent back to the planet to re-establish a human presence. The show, which stars a cast of largely-unknown square-jawed teen boys and pouting young females, is due to screen on the CW in the States later this year. "Channel 4 has had real success with Warner Bros shows such as The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls so I'm thrilled to be bringing more of the best acquisitions to the Channel 4 network," says Hunt.
Stay tuned to Starburst Magazine for all the latest from the big new US and UK genre shows.
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