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Series premiere: The Forgotten

In television on 09/22/2009 at 5:29 am

Click here to watch a 20-minute preview.

The Forgotten (new), 10 p.m. ET on ABC
Drama about crew that works to put names to unidentified remains. Christian Slater stars.

Series name
The Forgotten

Debuts
Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

Regularly airs
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

Premise
Each member of a group of volunteers has a different motivation for identifying John or Jane Doe cold cases on which the police have thrown up their hands, but they’re fiercely devoted to putting a name or identity to each victim and pursuing the killers.

Primary cast and crew
Christian Slater (My Own Worst Enemy) is Alex Donovan, leader, former detective and father of a missing daughter. So, how does he make a living now?
Michelle Borth (Tell Me You Love Me, Supernatural) is Candace Butler, who is helping the network because … she is a “headstrong” woman bored with her office job. Wha?
Heather Stephens (Desperate Housewives, Lost Highway) is Lindsey Drake, high-school teacher trying to repay a debt to society owed by her criminal husband.
Bob Stephenson (Without a Trace, Jericho) is Walter Bailey, phone company worker and true-crime enthusiast. Klutzy genius. And who’s that in the photo clipped to his car visor? You should have watched the 20-minute preview! Click the link at the top of the page.
Anthony Carrigan (The Undying) is Tyler Davies, medical-school dropout satisfying a court order to perform community service. Oh, and he’s an artist, who will soon use his skills to do facial reconstruction. I smell redemption!
Rochelle Aytes (Madea’s Family Reunion, White Chicks) is Detective Grace Russell, Donovan’s former protege and now main link to the Chicago police department.
Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI x 100, Cold Case) is exec producer.

Buzz buzz
Best line I’ve heard in a TV series so far this fall season: “Rock on, Shaggy.”

But what do I know anyway? After having seen only the 20-minute preview on ABC’s website (link above) I do declare …
Signature Bruckheimer slickness in the look and story. The weight appears to be shouldered fairly evenly, with a slightly heavier load borne by Slater, but not so heavy that he’s ripping the scenery to smithereens as in My Own Worst Enemy. Formulaic, but a contender. Although I could do without the nameless victim’s narration. And why is a facial reconstruction in clay, then recast in rubber, such a rallying point for this group? Wouldn’t a sketch — especially since they hand out flyers — be just as valuable and a fraction as expensive and time-consuming? Oh, wait. It’s BRUCKheimer. Coolness. Ah, right.

Other reviews
Brill Bundy at zap2it calls this, predictably, “utterly forgettable” and straight from the Bruckheimer “blender”.

Over at usatoday.com, Robert Bianco says it has “good actors working for a proven producer in a proven format. That may not guarantee you a great show, but it could bring you a sturdy piece of weekly entertainment.”

Official website
Very basic, but the videos play for Canadian IP addresses. Small wonder, though, that the site doesn’t better promote the 20-minute teaser. It was the second video in the player which I assumed was full of more trailers.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for my select list of fall 2009 premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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