TV

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Local actor leads a primetime Revolution

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CBS/CTV/Sept. 24/7:30 p.m.

PARTNERS

Starring: David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh

Premise:

Based on the enduring friendship/partnership of series creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (Will & Grace), this sitcom explores how the "bromance" between a straight guy and a gay guy is tested when one of them gets engaged.

Lowdown:

A bit lightweight and filled with a few too many aw-shucks moments, but this series has potential because Kohan and Mutchnick know how to make the sitcom machinery hum. Omnipresent TV-series commodity Krumholtz (NUMB3RS) is reliable, and Urie is believable as the gay pal who's jealous of his best bud's romantic success.

Quotable:

"We're pretty lucky to have them around all the time. And because they're also so interesting, there's so much to draw on." -- series co-star Michael Urie, on working on a sitcom that's based on the lives of its writer/producers.

Bottom line:

Given its cushy slot between two of CBS's strongest comedies (How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls), this one will get every possible chance to find a following.

CBC/Sept. 17/8 p.m.

OVER THE RAINBOW: RESULTS

Featuring: Daryn Jones hosts, with judges Thom Allison, Arlene Phillips and Louise Pitre

Premise:

A reality-competition search for the star of the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage-musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Monday's half-hour results show follows each Sunday's hour-long competition installment.

Lowdown:

No previews available, but based on the success/appeal of CBC's similarly themed 2008 offering How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, there's reason to hope this will be an engaging and entertaining contest. Winnipegger Colleen Furlan is among the 20 finalists vying for ruby-slippers stardom.

Bottom line:

There's no reality TV like home(grown), Toto.

Fox/Sept. 17/8 p.m.

(premieres Sept. 16 on CTV)

THE MOB DOCTOR

Starring: Jordana Spiro, William Forsythe, Floriana Lima, Zach Gilford, Jaime Lee Kirchner, Zeljko Ivanek, James Carpinello, Jesse Lee Soffer and Wendy Makkena

Premise:

A brilliant young surgeon tries to advance her career and adhere to her Hippocratic oath while struggling to resolve her family's long-standing debt to Chicago's Southside mob.

Lowdown:

It's an unlikely premise, to be sure -- Dr. Grace Devlin (Spiro) is an in-demand cardiothoracic surgeon at a top Chicago hospital, but she's constantly being called away by mysterious phone calls that land her in dingy saloon back rooms, removing ice picks from the heads of criminals -- but The Mob Doctor has a style and attitude that might inspire some viewers to overlook its obvious narrative flaws. Spiro is likable in the title role, and Forsythe oozes mob-boss-iness out of every pore.

Quotable:

"You can say that it's a reimagining of Dr. Faustus, you know, somebody who sold her soul to the devil. But it's also ER meets The Sopranos, so it's on two levels. It lets us (create) a character who's being pulled in two directions in a way that we really haven't seen before." -- series co-creator Rob Wright, explaining why viewers will connect with this show's central character.

Bottom line:

Unlikely to be a huge prime-time hit, so could wind up being the victim of a network-executive-ordered hit.

NBC/Citytv/Sept. 17/9 p.m.

REVOLUTION

Starring: Tracy Spiridakos, Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Anna Lise Phillips, Zak Orth, Graham Rogers, J.D. Pardo, David Lyons, Tim Guinee and Andrea Roth

Premise:

A decade and a half after all the electricity on Earth suddenly shut down, a young woman in a remote village is forced to take action after militiamen murder her father and kidnap her brother. With the help of her uncle, a former special-forces operative, she sets out to find her sibling and perhaps seek answers to the big questions about the power outage.

Lowdown:

This ambitious speculative-fiction drama, from producer J.J. Abrams (Lost) and director Jon Favreau (Iron Man), is one of the new season's most appealing adventures. Local product Spiridakos is rock-solid as the girl who's forced to grow up fast while fighting for her brother's life. Lots of action, and just enough confounding mystery to allow Abrams to round up the Lost audience for another rollicking ride.

Quotable:

"We asked if (the actors auditioning for the series) had physical ability. We heard, we believe, from Tracy's reps that she was a black belt, only to find that she had maybe gone to a couple of kickboxing classes. But nevertheless, then we just proceeded to put them all into training and kick their a**es and get them ready quickly." -- series producer Eric Kripke, on casting Winnipeg native Spiridakos in this action-heavy role.

Bottom line:

Perfectly positioned for evolution into a prime-time hit.

RETURNING SHOWS:

The Voice (tonight, NBC)

Parenthood (tonight, Global; Tuesday on NBC)

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (Sept. 17, CBC)

Bones (Sept. 17, Fox/Global)

Who Do You Think You Are? (Sept. 17, CBC)

Murdoch Mysteries (Sept. 17, CBC)

Dancing With the Stars (Sept. 24, ABC/CTV)

How I Met Your Mother (Sept. 24, CBS/Citytv)

2 Broke Girls (Sept. 24, CBS/Citytv)

Mike & Molly (Sept. 24, CBS)

Castle (Sept. 24, ABC/CTV)

Hawaii Five-0 (Sept. 24, CBS/Global)

90210 (Oct. 8, CW)

Gossip Girl (Oct. 8, CW)

Don't Trust the B - in Apt. 23 (Oct. 22, Citytv; Oct. 23 on ABC)

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2012 C5

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