Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Horror TV: The Future Looks Bright (and Bloody!)

Daryl (Norman Reedus) is proficient in taking out walkers on THE WALKING DEAD
There's never been a better time to be a horror fan  - or a more appropriate time to try to put out a new show in the horror genre. With the resounding success of such shows as Dexter, True Blood, and most recently American Horror Story and the wildly popular (and critically acclaimed) The Walking Dead, horror has proved it is very much alive and well and prospering on the small screen. In fact, The Walking Dead is averaging over 10 million viewers an episode - a feat unheard of for a cable television show, let alone a horror product. Even more impressive is that it is in contention to rival The Big Bang Theory as the top-rated scripted show. TWD is currently the number one show among 18-49 year olds. And it's not even on one of the big four networks.  Seriously, WHOA! And I know I'm not alone when I say this season has been its best yet!

The success of the aforementioned shows, as well as newer shows like the genre-bending Once Upon A Time, Grimm, and this season's 666 Park Avenue (just canceled, unfortunately) are making it more acceptable than ever to be a horror fan.
The teen rage shows such as The Vampire Diaries, this fall's newbie Beauty and the Beast, and the long-running Supernatural continue to guide new generations to appreciate horror and turn them into long-term fans.
And now, we have three new shows to look forward to in the near future that are nothing if not horror.

HANNIBAL (Mads Mikkelsen)  inspects the flatware.
HANNIBAL tries to draw new blood from the character of  Dr. Hannibal ("the cannibal") Lecter - whose character rose to fame under the sublime (and Oscar-winning) performance of Sir Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs. In the upcoming take on the story, the unstable doctor Lecter works closely with Special Agent Will Graham - a criminal profiler from the FBI.  Lecters special skill set will become an asset to Graham, though the two are bound to clash eventually when their personalities, as well as Lecter's other hobbies, come to light. Though I wouldn't want to have the unenviable task of attempting to bring life to such an iconic character as Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen (the Danish actor who portrayed the crazy-cool, bleeding-eye villain in 2006's Casino Royale) has been cast as the serial killer shrink, and I'm on board with it, as Mads just reeks a creepy vibe.  Also cast is Hugh Dancy (aka Mr. Claire Danes), who is set to play Agent Graham, and Laurence Fishburne will portray Agent Jack Crawford. Looks interesting, to say the least.

Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga relax near the BATES MOTEL
In BATES MOTEL (A & E, 2013), we get yet another take on the life of Norman Bates and his dear mother.  Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory) will bring on the weird as Norman, and Vera Farmiga will star as his beloved mama, Norma. Billed as a prequel to the famous Hitchcock film, it has Norman as an awkward 16 year old who is having trouble adjusting to his new school (and his new town, apparently - as we discover when we meet the sheriff and his deputy who are keeping a close eye on Norman). Also in the picture will be Norman's older brother Dylan (Max Theriot), who apparently is a bit of a bad ass himself.  But I have my doubts he's as disturbed as our pal Norman is. As a rabid fan of Norman Bates, I will have to do a mental adjustment to accept anyone but Anthony Perkins as Norman. But I am wildly curious about this series and you can bet your butcher knife I'll be parked in front of the flat screen when this series premieres next fall. (Might get my shower out of the way beforehand, though...)

Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy star in THE FOLLOWING this January
And in THE FOLLOWING (Jan, 2013- FOX), Kevin Bacon stars as an FBI agent on the trail of a serial killer (James Purefoy, Rome) the likes of which the world has never seen before.  This baddie has discovered a way to reach out to other serial killers and - for lack of a better phrase - band them together to wreak collective havoc on the United States.  In my book, anything with Kevin Bacon in it is bound to be interesting, as I have enjoyed his many forays into the darker side of cinema - and now he's checking into the small screen.  Bacon's retired FBI profiler is brought in to try to find an escaped serial killer that he caught years ago.
This psychological thriller is getting a lot of advance buzz, and most of it seems to be on the positive side.
Bizarrely enough, it's brought to us by Kevin Williamson - more famous for his teen shows like Dawson's Creek and The Vampire Diaries. But I don't think I'm being too bold in saying that I have a feeling it's a long way off from those shows if Kevin Bacon is starring.  It also stars Shawn Ashmore (The Ruins, Frozen, Mother's Day) and Maggie Grace (LOST, Taken).

So, horror fans, get ready for some small screen horror, and in light of all the violence and gore that network shows like American Horror Story and in particular The Walking Dead get away with these days, we could be in for a real treat.


jervaise brooke hamster said...

Merry Christmas little darlin`.

Sarah Cox said...

You forgot to mention what channel/station Hannibal would be on! He's my favorite fictional character. Please update with this information!

Christine Hadden said...

JBH: Thank you. Happy Holidays to you as well.

Sarah: Hannibal is going to be on NBC, but I'm unsure of day and time - I'm not sure it's been decided yet.

Sarah Cox said...

Thanks for letting me know! I can't wait!