The broadcast networks have more than 20 shows debuting this fall, including a soaring Supergirl, reborn Heroes, reanimated Muppets and sexy Scream Queens. To help you prep, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.
Next up on our list….
THE SHOW | ABC’s Quantico (Sundays at 10/9c, premiering Sept. 27)
THE COMPETITION | NBC’s Sunday Night Football, CBS‘ CSI: Cyber, Showtime’s The Affair and AMC’s Talking Dead
THE CAST | Priyanka Chopra (Mary Kom), Jake McLaughlin (Believe), Josh Hopkins (Cougar Town), Aunjanue Ellis (The Mentalist), Yasmine Al Massri (Crossbones), Johanna Braddy (UnREAL), Tate Ellington (The Mindy Project) and Graham Rogers (Revolution).
THE SET-UP | The FBI’s Quantico training base welcomes a diverse new group of recruits — one of whom will one day be suspected of masterminding the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION | One site out there dubbed this show “Grey’s Academy”; I will do that Shondafication one better by going with “How to Get Away With Treason,” because in addition to focusing on a new class of attractive, romantically eligible trainees, there is a (twirling cheerleader-free) flash-forward element that fuels the dark mystery of who among them will eventually abet in the unthinkable.
The pilot features a shteamy cold open as two characters impulsively hook up, seemingly unaware of their shared destination. From there, an early training exercise affords the recruits (as well as us) a chance to spot the skeletons hiding in assorted closets, as well as get the romantic waters churning. But what made me decide, “I’m on board!” was a closing salvo of twist after twist after twist, including one bananapants reveal that had colleague Vlada Gelman (who didn’t like the pilot as much as I did) and I IMing each other, “What was with that?!”
At first blush, the roster of recruits — led by Chopra and featuring familiar faces such as Greek grad-turned-UnREAL scene stealer Braddy — seems solid, though it is not without its weak links. Meanwhile among the Quantico brass, Dougray Scott came off as miscast when I watched the pilot; sure ’nuff, Hopkins has since replaced him as the FBI’s staff counselor.
THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Originally slated for Tuesdays, Quantico has been moved to Sunday’s closer spot, where it will mostly vie with NBC football and CBS’ oft-delayed drama lineup. If the cast gains a following and the OMG! twists hold up, the most salient issue may be what sort of lead-in fellow freshman Blood & Oil provides.