Fall TV First Impression: The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People PreviewThe broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including new sitcoms from Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes, a futuristic tale from the Fringe team and Marvel-ous adventures for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

THE SHOW | The CW’s The Tomorrow People (Wednesdays at 9/8c; premieres Oct. 9)

THE COMPETITION | CBS’ Criminal Minds, ABC’s Modern Family/Super Fun Night (new), Fox’s The X Factor and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU

THE CAST | Robbie Amell (Revenge), Peyton List (Mad Men), Mark Pellegrino (as seen in pretty much everything that’s cool), Luke Mitchell (Home and Away), Aaron Yoo (Disturbia) and Madeleine Mantock

RELATED | Fall Preview: TVLine’s Grid Showing What’s On When and Versus What!

THE SET-UP | This update of the 1970s British sci-fi series stars Amell — aka the cousin of Arrow himself — as Stephen Jameson, a standard-issue teen save for his tendency to wake up in other people’s beds, no matter how securely you shackle him down. Stephen soon learns he is one of the “Tomorrow People,” a super-secret, supernaturally enabled race fronted by Cara and John (played by List and Mitchell). Their adversary is Ultra, an organization of paramilitary scientists led by Dr. Jedikiah Price (Pellegrino).

RELATED | Fall TV Preview: TVLine’s Snapshot Guide to All the New Shows

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | This is a fastball down the middle for The CW, pairing a handsome The Tomorrow People Previewcast with a high-concept premise. The set-up is slightly sloggy, as Stephen’s mom (24‘s Sarah Clarke) labors to help him diagnose his “differences,” but the narrative engine revs up once supercool Cara and her crew bust out their bag of tricks. Is Amell, who over the years has guested on this, that and the other thing, ready to shoulder his own series? We shall see. In the meantime, List (as a duster-clad Trinity of sorts) and Mitchell do the heavy lifting, Yoo offers comic relief as a geeked-out Tomorrow Peep, Mantock plays Stephen’s African-American gal pal Astrid (too soon?) and Pellegrino… well, it’s hard to accept the fact that he’s not swinging by for a genre-TV guest spot but in fact is a keeper. (Suffice to say, Jedikiah is a force to be reckoned with.)

The pilot ends in a way I did not see coming, and perhaps the best thing going for the series, which boasts Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Phil Klemmer (Chuck) as its showrunners, is it doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced when Cara and John let loose with the mythology dump. (For one, they are not fans of the “Tomorrow People” name.) Also, the teleportation effect is kinda whiz-bang cool.

RELATED | More Fall TV First Impressions: Fox’s Almost Human, CBS’ The Crazy Ones

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Though The Tomorrow People is an apt companion piece for Arrow (a chiseled Amell struggles to use his special skills for the greater good!), The CW is making a small gamble betting a whole night on two relatively new shows. If retaining most of its lead-in will qualify as a “success,” though, there’s no reason to bet against this new kid.

Watch a video preview for The Tomorrow People, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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60 Comments
  1. John says:

    It might take awhile to shake off the 1600 PENN dust….

  2. Don’t know which Amell cousin is hotter on TV: Stephen or Robbie.

  3. Maki says:

    The show looks really promissing. Let’s see if CW can hold the costs, viewers and drama!

  4. chrisjroof says:

    Unless I know I will hate a series, i.e. MARVEL, I always plan to check out pilots and this one looks like it could stick…

  5. Elyse says:

    Definitely looking forward to this show. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint!

  6. mia says:

    The premise isn’t very new; beautiful young people struggle with super powers and it doesn’t seem to offer anything original to the concept. Frankly there’s been so many tv shows and movies who’ve done this (usually better) and failed, and this remake is doomed for a similar fate.

    • jj says:

      usually better? maybe you should at least watch the pilot before judging it so thoroughly. it might surprise you

  7. Babar says:

    I’ve already seen the pilot and it was great. I just can’t wait for this show.

  8. Jared says:

    The Tomorrow People looks very promising. Im Really looking forward to the series and can’t wait to watch. Wednesdays will definitely be Amell night for me on the CW!

  9. liz says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that these concepts are always focused on a white, straight, beautiful man and his hardship of dealing with ‘how special’ he is. It would be interesting if it was an actual commentary about priviledge and who has it and the responsibilities that come with it, but its usually not. Its usually just over-priviledged ignorant man-children complaining about how hard their lives are. Its exhausting.

    • Drew says:

      So you’re offended that most shows feature pretty, straight, white guys? It is about demographics. First of all, most people prefer to watch attractive people on TV. There are psychological reasons for it, but really, it’s just more fun to look at good looking people.
      Straight characters dominate because about 97% of the audience is straight. Whether you like it or not, not many businesses are going to make 3% of the viewers their main objective unless they are narrowly targeting a specific demographic.

      As for most of them being white… yeah, there could be more diversity, but the truth is that there are just more white people in the acting profession, more white people in the TV writing profession… until those numbers change, there will be more white characters on TV.

      And they will always complain about how hard they have it, because drama is more interesting than watching happy people live the easy life. Even if the show focuses on the responsibility of privilege you will have characters talking about the burden of that responsibility. And it is realistic, because everyone complains about their life at times.

      I get that it can feel stale, watching similar things all the time, but it isn’t likely to change. That is why you just have to look for well written shows that stand out from the crow.

      • John says:

        For societal commentary I rely on the commercials and not the shows.

      • johnhelvete says:

        There are more white people in the acting profession (if true) because there are more roles in films and TV for white actors. The CW would rather fly actors in from Australia than cast a black actor in a leading role.

        • Drew says:

          White people are still the majority. It makes sense that there are more white actors. Even if you cast completely color blind, odds are that you will see more white actors than any other race. Americans, Canadians, Australians, Europeans… it isn’t always about not wanting to cast other races. I’m sure that is an issue sometimes, but not always.

        • John says:

          @johnhelvete: Why not a Chinese or an Indian in the lead role? You specify their color and not their origin. That’s also a form of racism.

      • MrMank says:

        Very well stated.

    • Eli says:

      “privilege”, if you’re gonna use stupid buzz-words at least get them right.

    • darcywils says:

      Why does everyone always have to focus on when there isn’t a black person in one show or another, instead of celebrating when they are in one? If you really care so much about diversity, you have to celebrate where it exists, not just complain about where it doesn’t! If you really don’t have the ability to do this, you’re not an advocate for diversity, you’re just a whiner who needs a real hobby.

    • Niejan says:

      your comment was pretty exhausting to read too. EOM.

  10. Kari says:

    Looking forward to this show a lot! I thought the showrunners were Greg Berlanti and Julie Plec though…

  11. Babygate says:

    The CW demo should love this. Lots of young, good looking people. I love Mark Pellegrino and Sarah Clarke but they seem to be the token ‘old folk’ for a show in this network. This has a feel of something from SyFy like Alphas and the bullet trick is very ‘Matrix’. I’ll pass but I hope it does well. CW could use some quality programming.

  12. Jane says:

    I will give anything with Mark Pellegrino in it a try.

    • John says:

      Liked his Revolution work, don’t think I’d seen him before that.

      • Shaun says:

        Haven’t watched Lost or Supernatural?

        • the girl says:

          And the US version of Being Human, he was awesome on that.

        • John says:

          Just the first season of Lost and I don’t recall he was in that and IIRC something competed with Supernatural (while I liked the lead in other things) and then I got the sense I’d be VERY coming into the middle of a conversation so I didn’t try after the first season…

          • Lisa London says:

            John, if you like genre shows, you would enjoy Supernatural. I caught up on all seasons in January 2012 and then started watching ‘live’ – best TV decision I’ve ever made. The show is fantastic and well worth the boxset / Netflix / Hulu investment!

  13. James D says:

    this along with Almost Human are the two new dramas i’m most excited to see, it’s hard to look down on a show that has Marck Pellegrino as your main heavy, we’ll see if Amell part II can carry a show, but i like the concept of the show and the writers behind it [I'm still mourning Chuck :( ]

  14. Cory says:

    This show looks freaking fantastic. At least for The CW. If the budget between the pilot and rest of the series isn’t a massive drop and they can keep it looking as great as the promos look I’d watch just for that but the premise is cool, I read about the first two versions years and years ago and always thought it was cool, a toned down X-Men. And having two super hot guys who are cousins on the same night should do be good for the network. :)

  15. Kristina says:

    I was planning to check it out anyway, but finding out that Mark Pellegrino is in the cast just bumped it up to must-see.

  16. Zach says:

    I like the idea and Robbie Amell, but loathe The CW. They cancelled Reaper, and haven’t had a good show since. Idiots.

    • Becca says:

      Reaper deserved to be canceled! It was a great concept, but they just kept repeating the same plot over & over again, plus they never got into what his parents signed & mysteriously dropped the subplot about him dating the devil’s daughter.
      Plus they had that wretched Tyler Labine playing the same useless & unnecessary character he always plays, the guy that screws everything up.

      • Zach says:

        Ok. The actors on Reaper kind of looked like real people. Bret Harrison is the best lead actor The CW has ever had. Labine is hilarious, and had proved he has surprising range. Great actor.

        They were saving their time, so as to not rush the storyline. The show might have been a little one note jokeish, but it was a funny one note joke. The cast chemistry was great, and it was better than all this shot like Gossip Girl.

        • Ram510 says:

          “Bret Harrison is the best lead actor The CW has ever had”??? I’m guessing you’ve never watched Nikita cause that statement isn’t true at all. I loved Reaper and hope the somehow revive the show, but BrettHarrison isn’t that great if an actor but he did well enough in this role to not drag the show down. I also am starting to think that maybe some of the subplots got dropped due to the network wanting a more “villain of the week” so the show wouldn’t be too serialized and didn’t want to lose casual viewers (sort of like what they did with Nikita this past season). I think Tomorrow People will be a good show. I hope Robbie gets to do some comedic scenes cause he was excellent in 1600 Penn

    • MelindaB says:

      I miss Reaper, too, but I won’t boycott a whole network because of one show. I like Hart of Dixie and Nikita, and caught an episode of Arrow this summer and decided that I need to watch that show, too. I’m looking forward to The Tomorrow People.

  17. Lorena says:

    Amell means shirtless, i hope, but i think no one can pull that Stephen Amell abs

    • John says:

      The producers of 1600 Penn that used any excuse to get his shirt off might disagree somewhat with that, lol. But yeah, IIRC, not quite as ripped…

  18. jbj says:

    I hadn’t seen or heard of Robbie until this show was annnounced, but I thought he presented well in interviews. That’s at least a good sign of charisma. But this weekend I caught him on 1600 Penn and now I’m totally crushing on him. He’s like Stephen Amell meets Dave Franco. Plus, comedically he’s meticulous…out of six episodes I think I caught his pants NOT sagging precisely mid-butt, like once. Such attention to detail.

  19. Jennifer says:

    I think I may be one of the few people out there who remembers loving the original series when it re-aired on Nickelodeon in the 80s!

  20. stephen says:

    This is my kinda show. Since we watch criminal minds and svu , i have told gf she has to give up svu so i can watch this. Arrow and tomorow people ill watch live ill tape criminal minds. Gf will like it also. she loves her superhero , superpower shows and movies.

  21. kelly says:

    I remember catching an episode or two of the original series on Nickelodeon. Homosuperior? Really?

  22. Sheldon W. says:

    I was a fan of the original when it aired on PBS (if I recall correctly) – though I never saw the sequel series. This update looks pretty cool and potentially very good. I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the extended trailer looks.

  23. meatwad says:

    i’m definitely looking forward to this one

  24. Hodan says:

    I am a huge fan of Peyton List. So, I would definitely watch this show.

  25. DJ says:

    This is Mutant X for teens. I loved that show in the early 00s.

  26. Annie says:

    I was such a fan of the show as a kid when it was on Nickelodeon. I will definitely give this one a chance.

  27. Well, I watched Xmen and Heroes and Alphas…so…why not. I was surprised at the conscious humor in the preview. Better than I expected. (Please be more likable than Arrow.)

  28. rowan77 says:

    I’ll watch Mark Pellegrino in almost anything and he’s pretty much the only reason I’ll tune in to see the pilot. If I dig the show, I’ll come back for more.

    • Azrielen says:

      Yep. This. I’ve loved everything he’s done and I will watch it for him. I’m so glad he has a regular show now. XD

  29. Azerty says:

    “Mark Pellegrino (as seen in pretty much everything that’s cool)” Best line of the article. He is everywhere! (and if he didn’t appear in a show, you can be sure Michael Trucco did, thoses guys have been in every show I like)

  30. JC says:

    It’s not often that a trailer makes me less excited for a show, but that’s what this one did (and I could say the same for all the CW trailers this year actually, but maybe it’s just that I’m really not the CW target audience :) ). I’ll give it a shot though. I have a thing I guess for shows about people with powers, even if they don’t often work out (Heroes, No Ordinary Family, Alphas, etc). Maybe it’ll be better than the trailer makes it seem.

  31. Saturn says:

    Was a huuuuuge fan of the original series. Watched it on Nickleodeon after school every day! Cannot wait to see this! CW better do this show some justice!

  32. Jeff says:

    wow, shades of xmen storyline from 50 years ago.

  33. john beach says:

    hello writer and producers of Tomorrows people.
    I hope you are well and I just want to let you know some of my thoughts on the show. Well I like their powers and I like the characters but to be honest I don’t really see where the story line is headed. I know steven Jamison will become probably the most powerful on that show that ever existed but beyond that where is the story headed? Will they ever be able to walk among people are will they always be hiding? What is t he storyline and that’s all I am asking? Will the main character Steven Jamison eventually become the leader of tomorrows people and what does that mean for the current leader if he does? I don’t know about any of the other fans but I like the developing relationship between Cara and Steven and I hope that continues. I have nothing against the leader of tomorrows people but he doesn,t seem to be the right guy for Cara.. Cara wants to do more to help people but the leader seems to be only concern about survival. Some times to help people you need to take risks and that’s what Steven is showing her now. I came to the show late but I like it. I wish I had some of t heir powers particularly teleportation. I hope the show sticks around!
    Thank you very much..
    A tomorrows fan

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