For its fall premiere week, ABC Television definitely is starting out on the right foot. Beginning on Monday, September 21, a 3-night live “Dancing with the Stars” event will get audiences in step with two of the network’s most anticipated shows: the mysterious “FlashForward” and the new sitcom “Modern Family.”
The Mosaic Collective Pieces Together the Mystery of “FlashForward”
Based on the first 18 minutes of footage that ABC has on their website, “FlashForward” contains a mystery that’s more complicated and bloody than even a show like “Lost.” The pilot episode starts with FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) waking up face down on the asphalt. When he finally pulls himself out of his car, he finds himself in the middle of complete bloody carnage.
Like everyone else in the world, Benford blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds, seeing future images from a day in April 2010. Unfortunately, during the blackout, every car, train, bus and plane kept operating, causing untold damage and leaving every major city in the world in smoldering ruins. Benford’s surgeon wife Olivia (Sonya Walger) also was preparing for an operation when the blackout hit.
Those 18 tantalizing minutes of “FlashForward” set the tone for what’s sure to be a long, frustrating and enjoyable first season. Benford and his partner Demetri Noh (John Cho) are supposed to become involved with “The Mosaic Collective,” a group that’s piecing together everyone’s visions to figure out the secret of the blackout. “What did you see?” will most likely become the most asked question during the entire run of the show.
“FlashForward” debuts on Thursday, September 24 at 8 p.m. EST
“Modern Family” is One of ABC’s Best Bets
Besides “FlashForward,” another ABC show that has strong early buzz is “Modern Family.” ABC offered a free online preview of the pilot episode over Labor Day weekend, and though the show starts off slowly, it turns outrageously funny by the closing credits.
Shot in a documentary style, the show deals with three families, each with their own set of problems and issues. Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) are raising their version of the nuclear family, with Claire being the stern parent and Phil trying unsuccessfully to be the “cool” dad (he knows all the songs in “High School Musical.”)
Ed O’Neill returns to broadcast television as Jay, Claire’s dad who marries a much younger woman with a teenage son. Kinder and gentler than Al Bundy, Jay still has strong opinions about life, especially when it comes to his gay son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his life partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet). After they adopt a Vietnamese baby, Cameron introduces her to the rest of the family in a way worthy of “The Lion King.”
With sharp writing, great acting and the return of Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family” looks like one of the sure breakout hits of the season.
“Modern Family” debuts on Wednesday, September 23 at 9:30 p.m. EST