FALL SCI-FI TV PREVIEW: Your guide to 28 new and canceled shows

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Dec 17, 2012

Fall TV is finally upon us as we get to explore new frontiers, reboots and reality programming while saying goodbye to some old friends. In part one of our three-part 2012 Fall TV Preview, we'll take a look at canceled and new shows.

The shows that left us included series that never really got a chance (or failed) to live up to their potential (Alcatraz, Awake, Terra Nova) and shows that we will miss because they took us on a journey with characters we won't soon forget (Chuck, Eureka, Sanctuary).

As for the new shows, there's some promising sci-fi (Revolution, Last Resort), some tempting horror (666 Park Avenue), and some tantalizing non-sci-fi (Arrow, Hunted, Elementary).

Here's our list of series that were canceled or ended, and new shows, some of which may just give us hope for the new season.

Canceled or Ending Shows

  • Alcatraz, Fox
  • Awake, NBC
  • Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Cartoon Network
  • Being Erica, Soap
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Cartoon Network
  • Chuck, NBC
  • Death Valley, MTV
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai, Nickelodeon
  • Eureka, Syfy
  • A Gifted Man, CBS
  • The Nine Lives of Chloe King, ABC Family
  • The River, ABC
  • Sanctuary, Syfy
  • The Secret Circle, The CW
  • Terra Nova, Fox
  • Wizards of Waverly Place, Disney

New Shows

666 Park Avenue, ABC

Premieres Sunday, Sept. 30, at 10 p.m.

What it's about: Lost's Terry O'Quinn gets all mysterious on us again as Gavin Doran, the owner of The Drake, a place where all your dreams can come true ... for a price. This supernatural soap follows an idealistic young couple from the Midwest who take on the job as the building's managers. Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable) quickly find themselves drawn into the seductive world of The Drake, which will put them at the center of an epic battle of good versus evil. Vanessa Williams also stars as Doran's equally mysterious wife. From creator David Wilcox (Fringe, Life on Mars), Matt Miller (Chuck), Alex Graves (Fringe), Gina Girolamo (The Secret Circle) and Leslie Morgenstein (The Vampire Diaries).

What Terry O'Quinn says about 666 Park Avenue: "If you ask me if I'm the Devil, I have no idea. I don't know where [the show] might go, because the possibilities seem to be limitless."

Our take: The pilot is filled with rich visuals, an intriguing premise and, of course, Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams. Initially we get loads of mythology and plenty of chilling moments. There also seems to be a touch of Lost in the walls of The Drake, so we're hopeful. Still, the series is going to have to offer more than a "deal with the devil" every episode, and we're not sure about the soap opera aspect of things. But the biggest concern is whether this series will last long enough to give us any answers at all.

Here's a preview:

Revolution, NBC

Premieres Monday, Sept. 17, at 10 p.m.

What it's about: What if all the electricity around the world stopped working? That's the premise of this ambitious new series from über-producer J.J. Abrams and Supernatural's Eric Kripke. The series opens with the world blinking out into darkness and then skips 15 years into the future as a young woman named Charlie (Being Human's Tracy Spiradakos) tries to save her brother with the help of an uncle (Twilight's Billy Burke) she hasn't seen since she was a child from the militia that has kidnapped him. Along her journey to save her brother, she finds herself hunting for answers as to why the electricity went out, what her own connection is to the event, and whether the electric can ever be turned back on again. Beyond that, there's a revolution at foot against the militias that run the country and she's right in the thick of it all. The series also stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, V), David Lyons (The Cape) and Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time).

What creator Eric Kripke says about Revolution: "Supernatural is in so many ways a procedural. It's sort of like a procedural from Mars. And I was just really interested in my next turn at that, just diving into a show that doesn't even have those procedural elements and you can just tell the pure saga of it. I needed to delve neck-deep into the Joseph Campbell hero's journey."

Our take: We're really rooting for Revolution. It's pure sci-fi, and how many true science fiction shows with this kind of scope are there on TV right now? A couple, maybe. Add into the mix Abrams and Kripke, who both know how to build a TV show, throw in a fantastic pilot, a good cast and a cute girl with a bow and arrow a la The Hunger Games, and there's some real potential here. While we're more than a little worried about Revolution being stuck in NBC's deathly Monday at 10 p.m. timeslot, and about the poor track record of these kind of world-bending shows (The Event, Terra Nova), we're hopeful the series will live up to its potential and that audiences will embrace it.

Here's a preview:

Viral Video Showdown, Syfy

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 10 p.m.

What it's about: The producers of Jersey Shore have come up with a new competition show that involves two teams going head to head to create the more viral videos based on the week's theme. Kevin Pereira (Attack of the Show) hosts the competition, which will offer a cash prize to the winner, which will be determined by an expert panel of viral video judges.

Our take: Another competition show? Well, it might be fun to see how viral videos go viral and what an expert panel of viral video judges looks like.

Tomorrow, check out part two of our Fall Preview, which covers fall's Returning Shows. And then for part three, we'll glance into our crystal ball to see what's coming up for Movies, Specials and Midseason and Beyond.

What show are you sad to see go? What new series will you check out?