TV viewer appetite for fantasy and horror has to be at an all-time high, considering the massive successes of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” Fox’s “American Horror Story” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” in 2011 — even NBC’s “Grimm” has been a brighter spot on the beleaguered network’s fall schedule. Add those shows to such ongoing hits as AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” HBO’s “True Blood,” the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and it’s obvious, other-worldliness is in. With the midseason upon us, there is more supernatural stuff on the way.
Come January 16, there’s the highly-anticipated premiere of J.J. Abrams’ time-travel prison strangeness drama, “Alcatraz” on Fox, complete with “Lost’s” Jorge Garcia as a comic book enthusiast/expert on San Francisco’s notorious island lockup. The same night, Syfy unveils “Lost Girl,” which we’re pretty sure must be the first ongoing series about a succubus (female demon who takes human form in order to drain the souls of men by having sex with them).
Fox’s upcoming “Touch,” stars Keifer Sutherland as the widowed father of a mute 11-year-old son who communicates only through numbers and can see things no one else can. NBC’s “Awake” stars Jason Isaacs as a man shifting between two alternate realities — one in which his son was killed in an automobile accident, while his wife survived it, the other in which his wife was killed and his son survived. ABC’s “The River” starring Bruce Greenwood boasts Oren Peli as exec producer; he’s the creative mind behind the “Paranormal Activity” films. “The River” also relies on video camera realism, only this time, it’s out in the Amazon jungle, where a famous wildlife expert has gone missing and his family is on a search for him. Things get very scary out there.
Whether this proliferation of paranormality is all due to TV’s practice of rushing to copy itself when something succeeds, or has to do with the harsh shape of the real world these days — or both — there’s no sign of the trend abating in 2012.
For instance, among the current crop of shows in development that are already getting buzz: a reboot of “Frankenstein.”