Ten, Foxtel take new Fox series

24 June, 2014 by Don Groves

New US medical drama Complications, crime procedural Backstrom and hip-hop empire-set drama Empire are headed to Network Ten while Foxtel will get sitcoms Cristela and Fresh Off The Boat and another medical show, Rush.

All these new series are produced by 21st Century Fox for US networks. In Australia Ten and Foxtel have an arrangement where Ten gets the first two picks of each new crop of shows and thereafter the choices alternate between the two broadcasters.


Still up for grabs are some new projects from CBS, apart from NCIS: New Orleans, which automatically goes to Tem, and NBC. The Seven Network has a deal for some shows from Sony while other series from that studio are on the open market.

Warner Bros.’ long-standing output deal with the Nine Network expires at the end of this year. Nine has flagged it wants to reduce the terms of the expensive deal, which costs a reported $150 million a year, and other broadcasting executives say they expect to negotiate with WB.

“Every studio has at least two strong new shows this year,” one Australian TV executive tells IF after sampling the offerings at the LA Screenings.

Backstrom stars Rainn Wilson (The Office) as an unhealthy, offensive, irascible – albeit brilliant – detective who is brought back from exile to run the Portland Police Bureau's Special Crimes Unit. House of Lies’ Genevieve Angelson is cast as an ambitious and optimistic fellow detective. Backstrom always manages to outsmart his foes, manipulate his peers and, with the help of his eccentric team, solve the case.

Empire stars Terrence Howard as Lucious Lyon, the head of a hip-hop music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne. Taraji P. Henson plays ex-wife Cookie, who mysteriously emerges seven years early from prison, where she's been for almost two decades. The director is Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels' The Butler, Precious) and  the writer is Danny Strong , who scripted The Butler.

Complications centres on a disillusioned suburban ER doctor (Jason O’Mara) whose life is transformed after he intervenes in a drive-by shooting, saving a young boy’s life and killing one of his attackers. When he learns the boy is still marked for death he finds himself compelled to save him at any cost.

Cristela stars Mexican-American comedian Cristela Alonzo as a woman who is in her sixth year of law school when she finally looks like landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a leading law firm.

Set in the 1990s, Fresh Off the Boat’s protagonist is 12-year-old, hip-hop loving Eddie (Hudson Yang) who moves to suburban Orlando from Washington DC’s Chinatown with his parents (Randall Park and Constance Wu). It’s a culture shock for his immigrant family in this comedy about pursuing the American Dream. The show is based on Chef Eddie Huang’s memoir Fresh Off the Boat.

Rush examines the world of renegade physician Dr. William P. Rush (Tom Ellis), a “medical fixer” who caters to LA’s elite and whose services come with a hefty price tag. Though the hard-partying doctor claims he doesn’t make judgments about his less-than-squeaky-clean clients, he’s not immune to the ugliness he encounters.