DAVID BIANCULLI

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Upfronts: The CW Catches Reboot Fever With ‘Dynasty’
May 18, 2017  | By Ed Bark
 

Follow the bouncing reboots. Earlier in the week, ABC officially became the new network of American Idol after Fox rode it to ratings gold for 15 mostly glorious seasons.

Now The CW, intent on broadening its audience beyond 18-to-34-year-olds, is hoping to make a soapy splash with one of ABC’s onetime hits. Dynasty is joining the network’s new fall lineup, with former Melrose Place heartthrob Grant Show now grown into the role of business tycoon Blake Carrington while Nathalie Kelley (The Vampire Diaries) steps in as Krystle Carrington. Except it’s now spelled, Cristal. The original roles were played by the late John Forsythe and Linda Evans.

Dynasty ran from 1981 to ’89 on ABC, which also offered an appreciably less successful spinoff, The Colbys.

The CW otherwise is adding the military drama Valor this autumn. It still fills only two hours of prime-time on weeknights, so the cancellation corral again is smallish. Not invited back are Reign, Frequency, The Vampire Diaries and No Tomorrow (indeed).

Here are The CW’s two new fall series:

Dynasty (drama) -- Vixen Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies) thinks she’s set to become her father’s COO until his fiancee, Cristal, pops into the picture. Fallon immediately begins scheming to bring her down, with help from her father’s biggest rival, Jeff Colby (Sam Adegoke). There’s also Cristal’s nephew, Sammy Jo (Rafael de la Fuente), who blows into town with a “suitcase full of secrets” from his aunt’s past. In the original Dynasty, Sammy Jo was a woman played by Heather Locklear. So far there’s no Alexis Carrington Colby, portrayed with storied scenery-chewing intensity in the old Dynasty by Joan Collins.


Valor (drama) -- Matt Barr, formerly a recurring character on the newly-canceled Sleepy Hollow, quickly bounces back as commanding officer Leland Gallo, whose Shadow Raiders helicopter unit just had a very bad outing. Only Gallo and the unit’s lone woman pilot, Officer Nora Madani (Christina Ochoa), return from a top-secret mission to Somalia. So what really happened and did anyone else survive? Gallo and Madani soon “find themselves torn between duty, honor, and desire” while wondering who to trust.


Here is The CW’s night-by-night fall lineup:

Monday
Supergirl
Valor


Tuesday
The Flash
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow


Wednesday
Riverdale
Dynasty

Thursday
Supernatural
Arrow

Friday
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jane the Virgin

These are The CW’s two announced midseason series:

Black Lightning (drama) -- Charter high school principal Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) has a secret. Nine years ago, he used to be Black Lightning, a masked superhero with the power to harness and control electricity. Then he got burned out. But then crime, corruption, and gangs began re-infesting New Orleans. So here we go again.


Life Sentence (comedy/drama) -- This one has an awfully long and tedious description. Suffice it to say that for eight years Stella (Lucy Hale) thought she was dying of cancer, but suddenly isn’t. Now she must face the long-term ramifications of all those impulsive “live in the moment” decisions she made.

Read more at unclebarky.com

 
 
 
 
 
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Good news, TVWW readers: David’s new book from Doubleday, The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific is available on Amazon for $20. (Paperback will be available September 5th, here.)

Doubleday says: “Darwin had his theory of evolution, and David Bianculli has his. Bianculli's theory has to do with the concept of quality television: what it is and, crucially, how it got that way."

"The Platinum Age of Television is an effusive guidebook that plots the path from the 1950s’ Golden Age to today’s era of quality TV. For instance, animation evolved from Rocky and His Friends to South Park; variety shows moved from The Ed Sullivan Show to Saturday Night Live; and family sitcoms grew from I Love Lucy to Modern Family. A high point is the author’s interviews with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, Bob Newhart, Matt Groening, Larry David, Amy Schumer and many others...Bianculli has written a highly readable history." —The Washington Post