One of the few benefits of my day job is my access to previews of major upcoming television series on the big networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and The CW). This past week has offered an escape from the 9-5 drudgery and a look into the future of primetime programming as I bore witness to live upfront presentations that showcased the new shows debuting this fall. I admit that I was skeptical of the networks’ ability to replace some of our dearly departed prime stables (i.e. ABC’s Lost and FOX’s 24), but I knew it would just take one promising pilot to raise my hopes. Fortunately it didn’t take too long to find the potential winner I was seeking, as I was introduced to FOX’s next smash hit Lonestar. Read on to see how FOX will turn black gold into gaudy ratings numbers with it’s Monday night newcomer, Lonestar.
After suffering through the mind-numbingly, college lecture style powerpoint presentations of the FOX higher-ups and a disappointing monologue by Hugh Laurie (I will never understand British wit), the saving grace of the upfront finally came in the form of a short video – the preview of the new Monday, 9pm ET program, Lonestar, a soap opera style drama set in the heart of Texas. Check out the official synopsis and trailer below:
From Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, the creators of Party of Five; Marc Webb, the director of 500 Days of Summer; and creator Kyle Killen, comes Lonestar, a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil. Robert/Bob Allen (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies.
If that brief overview isn’t enough to get you a little stiff, then may I remind you that Jon Voight will be appearing regularly on Lonestar as the father of one of Bob’s love interests. Voight is a proven badass and shined in his role as Jonas Hodges, a key villain on season 7 of 24. Even if you don’t know Voight from his TV work, you gotta respect his versatility on the silver screen as he has portrayed everyone from sportscaster Howard Cossell (Ali), to a gruff coal mining father of a model (Zoolander), to a snake hunter obsessed with a fabled giant jungle snake (Anaconda). You get the point, where Voight goes… entertainment follows; Lonestar should be no different.
FOX’s entertainment president Kevin Reilly described Lonestar as, “a very cool show, a sophisticated and daring soap, a modern Dallas set against the Texas oil industry and a complex character study.”
I’m not gonna pretend I know anything at all about Dallas, because I was watching Eureka’s Castle on Nickelodeon when it ended its 13-season run on CBS in 1991. I do know it is recognized as one of the best TV shows in broadcast history and had the balls to be one of the first shows to end a season on a massive cliffhanger with the whole “Who Shot J.R.?” hysteria – a finale that earned a Super Bowl-esque 53.3 Nielsen rating with over 83,000,000 viewers. Judging by this next clip, I see a whole lot of Josh Holloway’s character, Sawyer, from Lost, in Lonestar‘s protagonist Bob Taylor.
If Lonestar is as good as advertised and lives up to all the hype and intrigue then it will be a major player in your weekly TV viewing schedule for years to come. Look out for Lonestar as we are sure it will draw more and more attention as it’s premiere dates nears in September. Stay tuned Socialites.