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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Tune into "Last Resort" this fall.

Top five new dramas to watch this fall


The newest TV season is only a few weeks away. Here's my list of the top five worth checking out among the latest batch of dramas vying for your attention:

No. 5: "Revolution" NBC 9 p.m., Sept. 17 – The latest J.J. Abrams project, with the pilot directed by Jon Favreau, focuses on a family surrounded by a society living 15 years after electricity abruptly stopped working in the world. It's an interesting backdrop for an adventure series that has the potential to be really good, or wandering and terribly boring. Will it go "Steampunk?" We'll see.

No. 4: "Nashville" ABC 9 p.m., Oct. 2 – TV vet Connie Britton stars as an aging country music singer who is trying to revitalize her career on the back of an up-and-comer played by Hayden Panettiere. This has all the makings of the contemporary nighttime soap opera ... think the "Dallas" or "Falcon Crest" of its age.

No. 3: "Vegas" CBS 9 p.m., Sept. 25 – Dennis Quaid plays a Las Vegas sheriff who tries to bring law and order to Michael Chiklis and other mobsters bringing their organized crimes to the 1960s desert town. The show is loosely based on the true-life adventures of Ralph Lamb. I'm hoping this show will be the perfect combination of history, drama and good acting.

No. 2: "Arrow" CW 7 p.m., Oct 10 – Comic book geeks and teenagers should enjoy this retelling of the Green Arrow from the DC universe. Like "Smallville," one should expect the CW to deliver a show for the teenage audience. However, we are told by producers that this show is much darker than what we've seen before on the network.

No. 1: "Last Resort" 7 p.m., Sept. 27 – From the creator of "The Shield," this drama is about a submarine crew that defies orders to hit Pakistan with a spread of nuclear missiles and then finds itself a target of the U.S. military. The crew takes over a tropical island and claims it as a sovereign nation while trying to prove their innocence. If you are a fan of actor Andre Braugher, you shouldn't be disappointed.

NEW DAYTIME SHOWS: WISN-TV Ch. 12 has announced the addition of two new daytime shows that will start Sept. 10. First among them is "Katie" with former "Today" and CBS News anchor Katie Couric. Her new daytime talker is created and presented by ABC and will take the slot at 2 p.m., which is now home to the temporary show "Good Afternoon America."
ABC created the summertime replacement when it canceled "The Revolution" with hosts Ty Pennington and Tim Gunn, among others. "Katie" promises to be a one-hour program that celebrates women, like Couric, who are reinventing themselves.

The other new show will be "Anderson Live" with Anderson Cooper at 11 a.m. The show will have a rotating guest co-host and will feature interactive capabilities through different social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This show will take the place of "Nate," the Harpo production with interior designer Nate Berkus.

DEAL MADE: WITI-TV Fox 6 and DIRECTV reached a retransmission agreement over the weekend, avoiding a blackout of the signal. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

CONVENTION TIME: The normal roundup of cable outlets will be covering the Democratic National Convention this weeK. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others will be there with coverage and analysis. Among them will also be FBN, the Fox Business Network, and host Neil Cavuto broadcasting tonight, Wednesday and Thursday starting at 7 p.m. central.

If you want to see the speeches and not just what I consider highlights and analysis, then PBS is the place to watch. As it did with the RNC last week, you can hear more from the night's speakers through its coverage.

OVERSEAS: Fox Business Network's Melissa Francis was in the Middle East last week and will offer reports this week from her trip overseas. What makes it newsworthy is she reports from the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most important oil shipping transfer areas. Oil and gasoline prices have increased because of the latest storm, which hit a number of refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

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