FoCC Reactor: NBC’s Winter Lineup 2023 Creates Plenty of Buzz And Excitement

By Jason Delgado 

On January 15th, 2023, NBCUniversal held their Winter Press Tour at the beautiful Langham Huntington hotel in Pasadena, California. Each panel of the slate opened with a publicist for the show giving an introduction, and then playing a teaser trailer. 

The first panel of the day was for Magnum P.I., which has the rare distinction of being brought back from the dead since it was canceled on CBS but is now being given a second chance on NBC. Stars Jay Hernandez and Perdita Weeks, along with showrunner/executive producer Eric Guggenheim, were in attendance to field any and all questions on hand from the press. There were many questions about the show coming back, and all three were quite appreciative of how rare this opportunity is. 

The next panel was for the new incarnation (or new-boot as Melissa Rauch calls it) of classic legal sitcom Night Court, which features the return of John Larroquette in his award-winning role as Dan Fielding, and Melissa Rauch as Judge Harry Stone’s daughter. On the panel were stars Rauch, Larroquette, Kapil Talwakar, Lacretta, and executive producers Dan Rubin and Winston Rauch (Melissa’s husband). 

Larroquette initially turned down the chance to reprise his role, but then reconsidered after thinking, “How often does an actor get to revisit a role some three and a half decades later?” He also enjoys the challenge of trying to be funny again at age seventy-five. 

Melissa said, “the beauty of Night Court is that Abby (her character) would treat a public ruination from a Times Square Elmo the same way that she would a case argued on the Supreme Court.” It sounds like an unusual, fun show to me, much like the original was, so hopefully they can recapture that magic. 

The show about which I am the most enthusiastic is Peacock’s Poker Face. Creator Rian Johnson (Knives Out), star/executive producer Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll), and co-star Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality) were all in attendance. As Johnson said during the panel, the show is not a whodunnit like the Knives Out films, but rather a “howtocatchem” crime drama like Columbo. The viewer witnesses the murder in the opening scenes, but then the fun of the show is watching Natasha as Charlie piece together the clues with her extraordinary ability to tell whenever someone is lying, hence the title Poker Face.

The road trip aspect of the show is another cool element, with Charlie going cross-country in her ‘69 Plymouth Barracuda (which Lyonne said is scary to drive in real-life because of the weak brakes), as is the star-studded cast of guest stars such as: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Nolte, Ron Perlman and Adrien Brody, to name a few.

Interestingly, other than the first and last episode of the season, viewers can watch the series in any order. Rian said, “I loved that with each episode we’re in a different environment. It’s a whole new cast. It’s like making ten little movies.” Rian Johnson has been on a roll with his Knives Out movies, so I am willing to bet that his new series will be a success as well.

Another show at the presentation that intrigued me is the SYFY channel show The Ark. Creator/co-showrunner Dean Devlin is responsible for mega-hits such as Independence Day, so like Rian Johnson, his name carries clout amongst fans. 

The Ark is about an international crew that encounters a catastrophic event on a mission to secure the survival of the human race; the remaining crew must survive with a lack of life-sustaining supplies, loss of leadership, and over a year until they reach the target planet. They are like Noah’s Ark, except that this story takes place one hundred years into our future.

Richard Fleeshman, who plays James Bruce on the show, says, “Everybody has quite a complex backstory, and the reason that they’re on the ship isn’t always necessarily as it first appeared.” It sounds like a cool concept, and I’m eager to see how The Ark turns out. 

Watch out for Poker Face streaming the first four episodes on Thursday, January 26th, with a new episode releasing every Thursday after. The Ark will premiere on the SYFY channel on February 1st. Night Court already debuted on January 17th on NBC with episodes streaming the next day on Peacock, and Magnum P.I. will debut on Sunday, February 19th with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 10pm, also streaming the next day on Peacock.

Keep the discussion going in the FoCC Forum.

 

Jason Delgado

Jason is a CSULB film school alum and movie guy for Friends of Comic Con. He loves movies, TV, writing, comics, going to Cons, basketball (Lakers), music (all forms of rock + 90's hip hop), football (Chargers), his dog, and most importantly wife and newborn son. He's written a comedy/sci-fi script, and wants to write more in between raising a son. He doesn't often cosplay, but when he does, it's as Iron Fist. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDelgado78

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