This week was the magical week when advertising executives descend on New York City to hear TV executives tell them about the new series they’re working on. The events are kind of strange because as much as they’re about business dealings, they’re also about putting on a show and impressing people, so TV networks do their best to make them as exciting as possible. There are food and drinks, and often, they’ll bring out a few stars to entertain the audience.
More importantly for you, it’s also the week when TV networks reveal first looks at a lot of the shows they’re planning for later in the year. I really enjoy it because the trailers are all extremely awkward: at this point, the networks have only seen a pilot episode from each show, so the trailers are literarily two- to four-minute synopses of everything that happens in a single episode. Which, generally, is kind of broad and goofy.
There are way too many pilot trailers to include here — though I’ve still got a couple below — so if you’re interested, you can check out these roundups for ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. Highlights include a show where God sends a Facebook friend request to an atheist, creating a feel-good twist on Final Destination, and a show about spies that’s maybe also a rom-com.
Check out nine other trailers from this week below.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Here’s the first trailer for the latest Mission: Impossible, a film where, as best I can tell, a lot of things happen. This trailer is a mix of action shots and foreboding dialogue, with an occasional nuclear explosion mixed in for good measure. I’m really not sure what’s “happening,” but it looks like it’s following the formula for a solid Mission: Impossible movie: clean shots, high stakes, and incredible stunts. It comes out July 27th.
This is our first look at Bohemian Rhapsody, the long-in-the-works biopic of Freddie Mercury. The footage looks fun and pretty enough, but there’s a lot going on outside the frame that has to make you question how this will all turn out. For one, the film’s original director, Bryan Singer, the X-Men guy (who has several sexual assault allegations against him), supposedly stopped showing up to set and was then fired and replaced two-thirds of the way through production. On top of that, many have pointed out that the film seems to incorrectly depict Mercury as heterosexual and ignore the fact that he died of complications from AIDS. Presumably the film will cover all that, but this teaser seems to be hiding the details, which isn’t a great sign. It comes out November 2nd.
This looks pretty fantastic. BLACKkKLANSMAN is directed by Spike Lee and produced by Jordan Peele, and between their names and the name of the movie, you probably know everything you need to. The film looks like a twist on a ’70s cop movie that turns it into a comedy about a black cop trying to infiltrate the KKK. You can probably figure out where this is all going: it ends with a room of white people chanting “America first!” The film comes out August 10th.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Hey, Neil deGrasse Tyson is coming back with a new season of Cosmos. It comes out in 2019.
CBS is rebooting Magnum, P.I. a full three decades after it went off the air. I question exactly how much value the series title still has today, but it’s very clear from this trailer that CBS has a lot of faith in it: it’s making the closest thing it can to a big-budget action movie (with, I have to add, many of the unnecessary, hyper-masculine tropes that come with them). It starts sometime this fall.
The Break with Michelle Wolf
Just off her memorable White House Correspondents’ Dinner set, Michelle Wolf is nearly ready to debut her show on Netflix. It’ll be a weekly mixture of talk show, standup, and sketch comedy. And judging from this teaser, if you enjoyed her political standup, you’ll enjoy this. It’ll come out every Sunday, starting May 27th.
Here’s a high-concept sci-fi show coming to Fox, with Ridley Scott and Matt Reeves signed on as executive producers. The show, based on Justin Cronin’s book trilogy, is set in a world where a disease is turning humans into zombie / vampire creatures. The show starts off with a government agent of some kind going rogue in order to protect a young girl who’s supposed to be abducted to become a test subject and maybe save the human race. It’s kind of a weird scenario because... ultimately they’re still living in a world with zombie / vampires? And probably another kid will get kidnapped? I don’t know. I’ll bet the book makes more sense. It should premiere at some point this fall.
Syfy has a new series coming out from the Russo brothers, the directors behind Infinity War (and many of the best Community episodes). Deadly Class is based on a comic book of the same name about high school students studying to be master assassins. The style of the show looks pretty incredible, so this could be a fun one. It starts next year.
Look, I had absolutely no intention of including a rom-com in the roundup this week, but this trailer is just two minutes straight of Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder quietly, bitterly bickering with one another, and it’s kind of amazing. The movie comes out August 24th.