Alphabet net looks for next 'Modern Family'-like sensation
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In “No Ordinary Family,” Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz star as Jim and Stephanie Powell, parents of a typically dysfunctional family who attempt to reconnect during a trip to Brazil and, after surviving a plane crash in a phosphorescent rain-forest river, discover they each have unique superpowers. So, is it a family show or an action show? “We’re finding that balance as we go,” Chiklis admits. “The feeling is, it’s a family show at its core. The superhero element is definitely huge part of the show. Who gets to go to work and jump off bridges? That’s really a fun vehicle for telling these stories.” Chiklis is particularly stoked that creators Greg Berlanti (“Everwood,” “Brothers and Sisters”) and Jon Harmon Feldman (“Dirty Sexy Money”) have given Jim’s 16-year-old daughter (Kay Panabaker) the ability to read minds — including her parents’. “That’s just got comedy written all over it,” Chiklis says. “That makes for both funny and dramatic stuff when you hear people’s thoughts. The superpower aspect helps magnify our ability to tell stories about the upside and downside of family issues in a unique way.” NEW FOR ’10 “Better With You”
“Modern Family 2.0?” In this sitcom from Shana Goldberg-Meehan (“Friends,” “Joey”) about an extended family, Kurt Fuller and Debra Jo Rupp play long-married, bored parents of daughters portrayed by JoAnna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan. When Garcia’s character announces her impetuous decision to marry, paroxysms of doubt crop up in Finnigan’s character’s relationship, which has been heretofore steady yet free of wedding rings. Jake Lacy and Josh Cooke co-star.
“Body of Proof”
Dana Delany stars as a former brilliant neurosurgeon whose loss of her acute motor skills (but not of her terrific gams and her self-satisfied snarkiness) forces her to become a coroner who can practically solve murders by herself. John Carroll Lynch (“Fargo”) and Sonja Sohn (“The Wire”) co-star. Chris Murphy and Matthew Gross are executive producers.
This gritty police procedural was initially envisioned as a “COPS”-inspired mockumentary featuring Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) as a bad-ass homicide detective, until the city of Detroit banned camera crews from covering cops’ daily routines. Showrunners Jason Richman and David Zabel retooled the series, but it still features plenty of jittery, doc-style camerawork.
Warren Littlefield is among the producers of this faux doc about nine graduates from an Austin, Texas, high school and how their lives have drastically changed in the past 10 years. With the 2000 presidential election, 9/11 and Enron as plot points, it’s the rare show that almost dares to be vaguely political.
“The Whole Truth”
This Jerry Bruckheimer production stars Rob Morrow as cocky defense attorney Jimmy Brogan and Maura Tierney as crusading prosecutor Kathryn Peale. They dated in the past, but now find themselves squaring off against one another in criminal trials; each episode will reveal who was actually fighting on the right side.
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