Fall TV Preview

Fall TV First Impression: CBS' Hostages

Hostages PreviewThe broadcast networks have almost 30 shows debuting this fall, including new sitcoms from Michael J. Fox and Sean Hayes, a new CW showcase for another Amell 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 | CBS’ Hostages (Mondays at 10/9c; premieres Sept. 23)

THE COMPETITION | ABC’s Castle, NBC’s The Blacklist (new), ESPN’s Monday Night Football

THE CAST | Toni Collette (The United States of Tara), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), Tate Donovan (Damages), Rhys Coiro (Entourage), Billy Brown (Dexter), Sandrine Holt (House of Cards), others

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

THE SET-UP | This Jerry Bruckheimer-produced thriller stars Collette as Dr. Ellen Sanders, a top-shelf D.C. surgeon who in 24 hours is due to cut open the President of the United States (Gossip Girl‘s James Naughton) — but first, she and her family are taken hostage by rogue FBI agent Duncan Carlisle (McDermott) and his savvy, sleek team of cohorts. The good doc’s horrible dilemma: Facilitate POTUS’ death during surgery, or kiss her loved ones goodbye. Eep.

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

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | This is a wonderfully Pilotprovocative premise for a series, especially since Hostages is set for a tight 15-episode run free of repeats (ceding its time slot at midseason to Josh Holloway’s Intelligence). Collette, an Emmy and Golden Globe winner from her run as Tara, is unsurprisingly excellent as the conflicted Dr. Sanders, while McDermott, fresh off a pair of haunting Horror Story turns, is undeniably menacing. Donovan’s role as “the husband” is bolstered by the hint and reveal of secrets he himself is harboring, while the Sanders kids (played by Mateus Ward and Quinn Shephard) not only aren’t among TV’s most petulant teens, but at least one of them has a B-story that seems primed to throw a wrinkle into their captors’ intricately orchestrated scheme.

Do not watch the trailer below if you don’t want any more intel than that. But suffice to say, Ellen buys herself some time, a savvy move that will surely test Carlisle’s ability to pull off what he presumed would be a swift assassination-by-proxy.

RELATED | More Fall TV First Impressions: NBC’s IronsideABC’s Super Fun NightThe CW’s The Tomorrow PeopleFox’s Almost HumanCBS’ The Crazy Ones

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE With three estimable actors fronting this intense tale, Hostages is armed for bear as it aims to elicit more buzz than the glossy but ultimately wan (and relocated) Hawaii Five-0 did in the Mondays-at-10 time slot. Two variables will determine its ultimate success: How ABC’s Castle handles what could be a tricky transition, and how strongly NBC’s James Spader-fronted The Blacklist — which I am thisclose to touting as the fall’s best new drama — comes out of the gate.

Watch a video preview for Hostages, 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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  1. K2 says:

    How is this any different than Mob Doctor that tanked?

    • Daven says:

      On Mob Doctor, the main character was not being forced to assassinate the president, plus I don’t see this as a multi year drama unless the bad guys win.
      Because of Dylan McDermott, I’ll tune in for the second and third episodes to see if the quality of plot and flow are there to keep me interested.
      I’m very happy though that they are running this show without stupid repeats. Hopefully the networks will pick up on this idea with some other series.

      • wordsmith says:

        Because it’s about a good doctor pressured into working for bad people, I guess? It’s a pretty flimsy comparison, but I think that’s what the OP is getting at.

        • shuayb says:

          Does anyone not think that the plot for this show is similar to an ep on person of interest? I like shows with provocative stories but how could this run for multiple seasons?

  2. KenBud says:

    Sorry Hostages. I’m all in for The Blacklist. Sensational premise and James Spader as a sarcastic, mysterious bad guy? #setdvrnow

    • meme says:

      If you are setting your dvr now, you can obviously watch them both if so inclined.

      • wordsmith says:

        Only if you’re also willing to finally cut ties with Castle. Given the look of Hostages and Blacklist, it may be the right call, but loyalties to fan faves like that die hard.
        Oh, to have a service that could record more than two shows at once…

        • liz says:

          Does the US not have timeshifted programming? I’m asking this honestly. I’m Canadian and I’ve never had a problem with having to ‘choose’ what to watch; time shifting allows me to DVR everything – just at weird times lol. I’ve always been confused about why this debate is in the states.

          • wordsmith says:

            Most of our cable networks have multiple airings, but the five main “broadcast” networks air almost all of their primetime shows only once (and then maybe again randomly a few months later when they inevitably go into “reruns”)

          • Elyse says:

            @Liz before I had directv where i can record up to 5 shows at once and it almost never messes up my cable (time warner) could only record 2 shows at once and it was awful. i watch way too much TV to be restricted to 2 shows at once! so i relied heavily on later showings and ondemand channels but some stations like CBS make it hard to watch shows after the original air date. my old cable was so awful it would mess up all the time and i missed a person of interest episode once and i couldn’t find it on their ondemand channel, it wasn’t online, it didn’t have a later showing and i couldn’t even buy the episode on itunes! so i never got to see the episode i missed because my DVR crapped out on me :(

        • Liza says:

          I have the DISH hopper so I’m set for all three. I’m glad I don’t have to choose, if I did it would be Castle and The Blacklist.

        • a says:

          No time shifting but you can watch stuff as long as you don’t have a crap DVR. People all too easily forget about online viewing also. Choosing only two programs to watch from a timeslot is honestly pretty dumb.

  3. JM says:

    It is way better than the Spader’s over the top almost shark jumping performance (and the lame “secret” in the pilot), anyone who thinks overated Blacklist is good should check his eyes, its nothing but a medicore procedural. This show is actually good – Collete is superb and DM makes you identify with his motives. Also – funny how the president’s wife was a doctor herself (Meredith’s mother on GA).

    • Dannie says:

      So easy to criticize others taste and yet you make judgements on the quality of a show based on the preview alone. Really? Forgive me if I actually watch the show and then make an informed decision.

  4. Up until now, the only new show I was sure about watching was The Tomorrow People. Hostages was my only ‘not sure’ show. I think I’ll give the pilot a try. It does seem like a good show, but I’m not entirely sure where they can take it. I suppose I’ll have to wait for the pilot ep.

  5. Steven says:

    I love Toni from Little Miss Sunshine ad the much missed US of Tara. Plus Dylan will always be Bobby from the Practice to me. I’ll be watching.

  6. tp says:

    I’m wondering how this is going to go past one season. Reminds me of Kidnapped which was cancelled way too early.

  7. Teag says:

    Glad it’s only 15 episodes. Much better than 22.

  8. Austin says:

    I will watch both Hostages and The Blacklist.

  9. Just one thing says:

    I’m not sure how this show can be sustained for longer than a season, but it does look intriguing.

    As a Castle fan who is very impressed by the Black List, I hope the ABC show adds some serious action (in every sense of the word, I guess) to the show this next season. They’re clearly competing against two series with big budgets and flashy premises. Hopefully they can compete.

  10. davey says:

    Blacklist isn’t for me. Hostages all the way. I worship Toni Collette.

  11. Sorry guys but I predict Hostages won’t last that long even if this series turns into like a mini-series or something (15 episodes a season or series).

  12. Babygate says:

    Castle and Hostages for Mondays at 10. First loyalty is to Castle since day one. Blacklist, IMO, is overrated. The intriguing bad guy is already being done with The Following and Hannibal, so, enough of that.

  13. Jace says:

    If i remember right, a Season 2 episode of Person Of Interest had this EXACT storyline.

  14. TJ says:

    Love me some Tate Donovan so I’m sooooooo there.

  15. stephen says:

    here is my issue. She saw there faces. She knows who one is , There is no way they let the family live her only chance in this show is to go to cops. If she doesn’t when its over they are all dead.

  16. Patrick Maloney says:

    The cast really sells the show for me

  17. Andy says:

    With the family being taken hostage 24 hours before the surgery is to take place, I’m hoping that the entire 15 episode run isn’t just covering those 24 hours. 24 was unique and fun. HIMYM’s final season being the wedding weekend isn’t giving me a lot to anticipate. TVLine Management, can you confirm the amount of time the show is going to cover?

  18. Jenna says:

    Not sure. It sounds good, but it’s CBS; they will ruin any potential realistic drama. I’ll be checking out The Blacklist and Castle.

  19. liz says:

    I’m so excited for The Blacklist too! It looks so awesome! And having James Spader back on tv is fabulous.

  20. GeoDiva says:

    CBS should just do this as a one-season series. People will watch if they know its not going to be cancelled and when it will “end”. There are a lot of good ideas out there, but it is so hard to sustain it for years.

  21. itsbighead says:

    watching castle, the blacklist and hostages because i pirated my tv shows :D

  22. gaby6034 says:

    Too much competition on Monday at 10. (networks and cable)
    Or those new shows will kill each other or they will kill Castle.
    I would vote for the last one, both new shows look promising. Abc could make a big mistake if Castle premieres on September 23.
    I pirated my tv shows too :)

  23. Jo says:

    This seems way too good for CBS.

  24. Ram510 says:

    I think Dylan McDermott is terrible and I don’t understand how he keeps getting work with such lackluster acting. I’ll r watching Blacklist and don’t have much interest in this show. Maybe it’ll prove me wrong

  25. KMG says:

    So does this that the main story line will be wrapped up at the end of the 15 episodes? I’m good watching this as a 15-episode miniseries, but after being burned by Persons Unknown and The Killing, I don’t totally trust producers who promise “everything will be answered at the end of the last episode”. I also don’t want it to continue on without a plan, meandering along with no focus, like Lost did after the first season.

  26. dsm says:

    …yo had me at Toni Collettte :)

  27. k says:

    Castles my priority and that will not be changing but this looks pretty good.

  28. Plum says:

    Two words: Dylan McDermott. I’ll be watching, though I’m not sure if Toni Collette works in the role of the wife.

  29. Elyse says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to this show!!

  30. Dav says:

    I don’t see how they could possible keep this going for 15 episodes much less an second season.

  31. Katy says:

    Seriously 30 new shows, where will I find the time?! Ugh..if they’re all like this one I may have to give up work completely!!

  32. nick1372 says:

    I was really interested in this, but the trailer didn’t wow me. Combine that with its timeslot (Going against two shows that I will definitely be watching, and against which it will probably fail) and it’s a certain no for me.

  33. future calling says:


  34. Keith Hill says:

    yet another Jerry F&%$$#! Bruckheimer snooze fest as far as I can tell. Looking forward to it’s early cancellation.

  35. Friedpotatoes says:

    I actually thought this would be a good show, but then I watched it. The show’s a load of rubbish.

  36. IC says:

    Watched the pilot and loved it ! I’ll be watching :-)

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