Popular TV/streaming franchises add shows or take new angles
Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series this summer on the new shows on TV and streaming services. This story looks at CBS, Fox and Paramount+.
If you live in Las Vegas, there’s reason to feel safer.
Gil Grissom is back.
CBS’ “CSI: Vegas” is one sign of how the networks are bringing back or remaking popular shows for the 2021-22 season. “CSI: Vegas” is a natural one, considering that the original “CSI” was, for a long time, the highest-rated show on television.
This fall, fans will see original cast members William Petersen and Jorja Fox join a new team led by a character played by Paula Newsome.
Remember “Fantasy Island”? Fox is bringing that back, this time with a female descendant of Mr. Roarke as the host on an island in which your dreams can take unexpected turns.
In the meantime, networks are dreaming of viewers, so they’re expanding their popular franchises. And for those who don’t want to wait until this fall for something new, streaming services are offering new content such as the “Loki” series that debuts tonight on Disney+ and the new seasons of “Why Women Kill” and “The Good Fight,” co-created by Santa Barbara couple Robert and Michelle King. Both shows are on Paramount+.
Let’s look at the fall TV season first.
“NCIS,” which was a spinoff of CBS’ “JAG,” inspired “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” This fall, you’ll see the latest spinoff: “NCIS: Hawai’i” (10 p.m. Mondays).
The cast is led by Vanessa Lachey playing Jane Tennant, the first female special agent in charge of the NCIS office in Pearl Harbor. The show also stars Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy, Jason Antoon as Ernie and Noah Mills as Jesse.
Montecito producer Dick Wolf’s popular “FBI” franchise on CBS is expanding as well with its third series, “FBI: International” (9 p.m. Tuesdays). This time, the team’s based in Prague, and members will travel around the world to neutralize threats against American citizens. And the Fly Team must do that without carrying guns, relying on quick thinking and brawn.
“CSI: Vegas” will air at 10 p.m. Wednesdays. Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) recruits her friends Gil Grissom (William Petersen), Sara Sidle (Jorge Fox) and David Hodges (Wallace Langham) to keep Las Vegas safe. There’s danger from the start from a threat that could release thousands of convicted killers back onto the streets.
The show also stars Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom, Mandeep Dhilloin as Allie Rajan and Mel Rodriguez as Hugo Ramirez.
Another new CBS show is “Ghosts,” a single-camera — i.e. no studio audience — comedy. It’s about journalist Samantha (Rose McIver) and chef Jay (Utkarsh Ambdukar), who convert a rundown country estate into a bed and breakfast, only to find it’s inhabited by ghosts.
The spirits vary from a Prohibition-era lounge singer to a 1960 hippie to an 1800s robber baron who is Samantha’s ancestor.
The ghosts are just as surprised as Samantha when they learn she can see them.
The network’s new shows include two dramas this fall: “The Big Leap” and “Our Kind of People.”
“The Big Leap” (9 p.m. Mondays) is about chasing your dreams, getting second chances and taking back what’s yours. It’s about diverse, down-on-their-luck characters trying to change their lives by participating in a reality dance show that will culminate in a live production of “Swan Lake.”
The series stars Scott Foley (“Scandal”), Teri Polo (“Meet the Parents” movies), Piper Perabo, Simone Rescasner, Ser’Darius Blain, Jon Rudnitsky, Raymon Cham Jr., Mallory Jansen, Kevin Daniels and Anna Grace Barlow.
“Our Kind of People” (9 p.m. Tuesdays) takes place on Oak Bluffs on Marth’s Vineyard. It follows a strong-willed, single mom who sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her haircare line that highlights the natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past.
And “Fantasy Island” is being remade — again. (In a 1998 remake, Ojai star Malcolm McDowell succeeded the original Mr. Roarke, played by Ricardo Montalban in the 1977 series.)
This time, Roselyn Sanchez stars as Elena Roarke, a descendant of Mr. Roarke. She puts aside her own dreams and even the love of her life to continue her family’s tradition.
Ms. Sanchez joins Kiara Barnes, who plays Ruby Okoro, a young woman with an old soul who arrives on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness. Ruby is helping Elena. The cast also includes John Gabriel Rodriquez, who plays Javier, the island’s pilot and jack of all trades.
The new “Fantasy Island” will premiere Aug. 10 on Fox. (You can catch the 1977 and 1998 versions on Tubi, Fox’s free streaming service.)
Fox has more new programming scheduled for midseason, including a cooking show, “Next Level Chef.”
The series features a structure that’s more than three stories high, and each floor has a different kitchen. From the top floor to the basement, the ingredients match the environment, and not every kitchen will be wonderful.
The place was designed by Chef Gordon Ramsay of “Hell’s Kitchen” fame, and he’s opening up the competition to everyone from line cooks to home chefs, food truck owners and social media stars.
Joining Chef Ramsay are chefs Nyesha Arrington and Gino D’Acampo, who will train the talented young chefs.
Streaming services continue to be a great source for new programs, TV classics and expansion of popular franchises.
“The Good Fight” will launch its fifth season on June 24, and the best news of all is that it continues to star the talented Broadway, movie and TV star Christine Baranski as the unstoppable Diane Lockhart. This season, Diane faces the decision whether to co-run her law firm with Liz (played by another Broadway great, Audra McDonald) after the firm loses its two top lawyers. The firm must also deal with Hal Wackner (Mandy Patinkin of “Princess Bride,” “Chicago Hope” and “Criminal Minds” fame), a Chicagoan who decides to open his own courtroom in the back of a copy shop.
And “Why Women Kill” is back for another season. New episodes began airing June 3.
This season, the dark comedy will feature a new ensemble cast and storylines set in 1949. Stories will explore what it means to be beautiful and the truth behind people’s facades.
The show stars Allison Tolman as Alma, Nick Frost as Bertram, Lana Parrilla as Rita, B.K. Cannon as Dee, Jordane Christie as Vern, Matthew Daddario as Scooter and Veronica Falcon as Catherine.