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Ten new TV shows not to miss in 2014

‘Tyrant,’ a new show from the creators of ‘Homeland,’ will arrive during the summer of 2014. — AFP pic
‘Tyrant,’ a new show from the creators of ‘Homeland,’ will arrive during the summer of 2014. — AFP pic

LOS ANGELES, Dec 23 — In the coming year, audiences can expect to see new series in the fantasy and horror genres, as well as a healthy dose of crime drama. Whether airing on major networks or cable, these 10 hotly anticipated shows are bound to have people talking when they premiere in 2014.

True Detective 
HBO managed to land Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as the leading men of its new police drama, set in Louisiana. During the first season, the pair will play two detectives who have been searching for the same serial killer separately for 17 years. If renewed, “True Detective” will follow the same model as “American Horror Story” on FX, meaning that the second season will be based on an entirely different plot and set of characters. HBO will air the first of the eight episodes of the first season on January 12.

For a series debuting this spring, FX has taken on the challenge of adapting the Coen brothers' cult film for the small screen without the help of the original cast (William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi and Frances McDormand). Based on a new storyline, the show retains the dark humor and Midwestern setting of the award-winning 1996 movie. It features Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Kate Walsh, Oliver Platt and Bob Odenkirk.

This fantasy series, coming to NBC in early 2014, is likely to incorporate elements from the creative worlds of both J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Fringe”) and Alfonso Cuaron (“Children of Men,” “Gravity”). The drama will follow the story of an orphaned 10-year-old girl with mysterious powers and the escaped convict who protects her.

Kristen Wiig appears in Will Ferrell's comedy series ‘The Spoils of Babylon,’ coming to FOX next year. — AFP pic
Kristen Wiig appears in Will Ferrell's comedy series ‘The Spoils of Babylon,’ coming to FOX next year. — AFP pic
The Spoils of Babylon
This family saga spoof, debuting on IFC next January 9, is presented as an adaptation of a novel written by fictitious author Eric Jonrosh, played by Will Ferrell, who introduces and closes each episode. “The Spoils of Babylon” depicts the story of the Morehouse family, an oil dynasty, over several decades. The impressive cast of this comedy includes Tim Robbins, Kristen Wiig, Haley Joel Osment, Tobey Maguire, Michael Sheen, Jessica Alba, Val Kilmer, Steve Tom and Carey Mulligan.

The Strain 
Slated to air this horror drama next summer, FX hopes to revive audiences' interest in vampires, which have been somewhat overshadowed by zombies on the small screen recently. But far less charming than those seen in “True Blood” and “Twilight,” the vampires in this show, created by Guillermo del Toro, will certainly not seek to live in peace among humans. The story begins with a scientist specialized in epidemics and biological attacks who is called in to investigate the death of passengers on a flight landing in New York. To solve the mystery, Eph will call upon Abraham, a former professor and a Holocaust survivor.

Penny Dreadful 
After teaming up in 2012 to deliver “Skyfall,” the most commercially successful James Bond film of all time, screenwriter John Logan and director Sam Mendes have reunited to bring a new series to Showtime. Several famous characters from fantasy literature — including Frankenstein's monster, Dracula and Dorian Grey among others — will be seen lurking in the dark corners of Victorian-era London in this horror drama. Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Reeve Carney, Harry Treadaway, Billie Piper and Rory Kinnear bring the spine-chilling characters to life under the direction of Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Orphanage,” “The Impossible”).

ABC will raise the dead from March 9 in this supernatural thriller, in which the inhabitants of a small Missouri town see a number of corpses return to life. The plot will focus in particular on two parents who find their eight-year-old son in unusual circumstances. Omar Epps has a role in the series, marking his first TV appearance since “House.”

Wayward Pines
Arriving on Fox, this direct descendant of “Twin Peaks” will follow the adventures of an FBI agent investigating the disappearance of two of his colleagues in a strange town in Idaho. Ethan Burke quickly realizes that leaving Wayward Pines will not be easy. M. Night Shyamalan provides his expertise in the role of producer on this show, featuring Matt Dillon, Melissa Leo, Terrence Howard, Juliette Lewis Carla Gugino and Toby Jones.

In its summer 2014 line-up, CBS will complement “Under the Dome” with this series, between fantasy and suspense. “Extant” will follow the distress experienced by an astronaut returning to Earth after a year-long mission in space. Halle Berry will play this character, who struggles to reconnect with her loved ones after the long absence, and who must manage certain disturbing occurrences which are seemingly related to her recent mission. The show was created by Steven Spielberg.

“Homeland” producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff put their heads together once again, this time for a drama ordered by FX. Premiering next summer, the series will explore the political turmoil of one Middle Eastern country through the eyes of a recently transplanted American family. Craig Wright, who honed his screenwriting craft on “Six Feet Under” and “Lost,” joined the two producers to pen the script, while David Yates, who directed the previous four “Harry Potter” films, directed the pilot this fall. — AFP-Relaxnews

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