Fall TV Preview
Frequency Pilot Preview

Fall TV First Impression: Frequency

The broadcast networks have nearly 20 shows debuting this fall, including new sitcoms from Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc, the story of MLB’s first female player and Michael Weatherly’s NCIS follow-up. 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 Frequency (Wednesdays at 9/8c, premiering Oct. 5)

THE COMPETITION | Fox’s Empire, CBS’ Criminal Minds, ABC’s Modern Family/black-ish and NBC’s Law & Order: SVU

THE CAST | Peyton List (The Tomorrow People), Riley Smith (The Messengers), Mekhi Phifer (ER), Devin Kelley (Resurrection), Anthony Ruivivar (Banshee), Daniel Bonjour (The Walking Dead) and Lenny Jacobson (Nurse Jackie)

THE SET-UP | Akin to the 2000 Jim Caviezel/Dennis Quaid film, this remake stars List as Raimy Sullivan, a NYPD detective whose father died during an undercover op, when she was 8. Raimy gets to know Frank a bit better when they begin communicating over his old ham radio, despite being separated by precisely 20 years in time.

RELATED Fall TV Schedule 2016: What’s on When? And Versus What?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | This pilot hits a lot of the same beats as the movie, though the plan appears to be to take the multiple instances of timeline tweaking and protract them across an entire series — which just might work, as father and daughter collaborate to catch a serial killer. (Having caught the movie for the first time over the holiday weekend, I’d argue that the premise does lend itself to additional exploration, though it runs the risk of getting repetitive.)Frequency

List grounds the supernatural proceedings quite well, especially during the very tricky scenes where Raimy comes to realize exactly who is on the other end of the radio, while Phifer (succeeding Andre Braugher as Satch, a fellow cop) and Kelley (perfectly cast as List’s mom, in the Elizabeth Mitchell role) have the task of playing younger/older versions of their characters (which, frankly, is just denoted by wisps of gray).

Because of the TV series’ updated timelines, it’s a bit wonky that the Sullivans, diehard Mets fans, would mull over minutia about the ’96 World Series ‘tween the Yankees and Braves, but as in the film, the fall classic serves well as a proving ground for Raimy’s “futuristic” claims.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | Whereas Supernatural weathered this time slot thanks to a loyal fan base built over 11 seasons, Frequency will have a much tougher row to hoe going up against the mighty Empire, those stalwart Criminal Minds, ABC’s solid sitcombo and the seemingly immortal SVU. (Is it odd The CW didn’t go for a “timey wimey” theme night, slotting this for Thursdays after Legends?)

MORE FIRST IMPRESSIONS ABC’s Conviction, Fox’s Pitch, Fox’s Lethal Weapon, NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Designated Survivor, NBC’s Timeless, CBS’ Bull and ABC’s Notorious

Watch the trailer for The CW’s Frequency, then vote in our poll.

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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31 Comments
  1. Cory says:

    I feel oddly antagonistic towards this show… Usually I just ignore a show if it doesn’t interest me, and I usually find something redeeming about any CW show but this show looks awful. The movie was just okay, why turn it into an even less okay series? Especially when EVERY OTHER pilot they had sounded so much better (Transylvania and Mars for example)…

    I’ll be shocked and sad if this show makes it. It’s a huge, gaping black hole on The CW’s otherwise awesome 16/17 line-up. What’s even sadder is I like most of the cast… But I’d rather see them on shows that are at least somewhat appealing.

    • Angus says:

      Give it a chance. List definitely has the acting chops to pull this off.

    • Vince says:

      Those 2 pilots had awful script. You should that those 2 were not in contention for pick up. Frequency was up against Kevin Williamson’s pilot in the last minute. Frequency won out. Kevin Williamson’s pilot is being redeveloped for next season.

  2. PatriciaLee says:

    This show can do no wrong. I am on board! Here’s hoping they will just let it putt along for a few years. It sounds fun, but it’s going up against popular established shows. I loved the movie, while the husband became confused with the time plotting. Of course, it will have to be recorded, since I guess we are back on Criminal Minds with ‘Delko’ joining the cast, and the husband also being a big SVU fan.

  3. Debbie says:

    A movie is a great jumping off point, but I don’t see how they are going to slow it down enough to sustain a series without it growing tedious. I enjoyed the film enough to have seen it multiple times, so this isn’t sour grapes speaking.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      I look for them to solve a police mystery each episode, ongoing. On the other hand, the movie could have been stretched out for 22 episodes, it being so pack with plotting and character stuff.

    • . (@yikes77) says:

      Likewise. I haven’t seen the movie in a long time but I did enjoy it a lot. Not sure if I like them using Sullivan for the last name as it’s the same one they used in the movie. The show can be good if they know how to stretch it out without repeating themselves. Not to mention what changes in the past will affect the future.

    • "A" says:

      It’s basically a procedural with a supernatural twist.

      Raimy Sullivan will be investigating a cold case/new case each and every week as she talk with and is guided by her dead father Frank Sullivan from the past, to solve the crime of the week in hopes of learning more about the bigger picture.

      Think the procedural elements of Detective Catherine Chandler on “Beauty & the Beast”, Oliver’s note book of names from season one of “Arrow”, and Barry creating different timelines because of his actions … and … you have a blue print for “Frequency”.

  4. I was a bit iffy about the ham radio concept, even though I like List, but the promo was pretty good and I like the timey-wimey-ness, so I planned to at least check it out. Now I’ll just wait for Netflix, and if the reviews are blah and/or it is canceled with a cliffhanger ending, just avoid it completely.

  5. Kevin K says:

    WATCH IT. Hope Frequency should become a breakout hit and possibly give Peyton List a huge success for her TV career. Also, great to see Mekhi Phifer back on TV after an incredible run on ER.

  6. Shaun says:

    Heh,the 3rd CW show she’s been on in like the past 2 years.

  7. Candace says:

    I had less than zero interest in watching this show until I saw the preview. They did an excellent job making it look intriguing.

  8. Jared says:

    Can’t wait to watch this. The trailer looks really good(even though I have never seen the movie it’s based off). The timeslot worries me but The CW is usually good with letting new shows find an audience.

  9. I’ve seen the pilot. And it’s so good. Looking forward to more.

  10. texmike says:

    The movie was great so I’ll check it out.

  11. Pamela says:

    This is one of the few shows I’m looking forward too, just a bit skeptical about it being on the cw and being a good show at the same time. I’m still holding my breath at what will happen to Supergirl next season due to the network change.

  12. xionxiv says:

    I still think k this show should have received The Flash lead in

  13. NP says:

    I adore the movie; can’t stomach the idea of the show. Without Quaid and Mitchell, not worthy to. Plus no ’69 Mets!

  14. Kaliera says:

    Every time I see Peyton List in the credits, I say “Isn’t she on Disney Channel?” I long for the days when actor’s forced themselves to have different names.

  15. ThatBob says:

    Another gimicky “let’s catch a serial killer” show. Yawn.

    • mary says:

      Well unfortunately serial killers in the real world still exist in numbers. What do you want another superhero show, musical, family doing comedic stuff…

  16. Vince says:

    I think CW want it to have a good lead-in. Arrow is still CW’s 2nd highest rated show behind Flash.
    Legends really needed help so it’s partnered with reliable Supernatural.

  17. mary says:

    Loved the movie. Maybe, just maybe Jim will may an appearance.

  18. meatwad says:

    i only care about this show because of Peyton List. i’ll watch a couple of eps to see if it is worth my time