It takes a lot of work to launch a hit television series. In actuality it takes even more work to keep it a hit, so it was a surprise when NBC decided to shelf rookie success story “Revolution,” for roughly four months in order to give another buzzed about show a launching pad. Tonight “Deception” slides into “Revolution’s” old timeslot, however the question is will “Revolution’s” audience come with it?
Honestly the network can’t be expecting the same set of viewers to latch onto “Deception,” because the two series target different demographics. Still you would expect there to be a sizable about of crossover that may sample NBC’s latest serialized drama just out of curiosity. On paper “Deception” looks solid and is expected to play well with viewers looking for another “Revenge”-type series, despite the uncertainty that unfortunately surrounds any rookie program.
“Deception” stars Meagan Good as Joanna, a NYPD officer loaned out to the FBI to investigate the possible murder of Vivian Bowers, an heiress to her family’s vastly successful pharmaceutical company. The twist is that Joanna and Vivian grew up together as Joanna’s mother worked as a servant in the Bowers household so by extension Joanna was a part of the family. Knowing that, the FBI convinces Joanna to go back undercover into the world of the Bowers and find the truth about Vivian’s death. Of course is she manages to find something else that could bring down the powerful and law-skirting family then so be it!
Pretending to be an abused wife looking for a fresh start, Joanna is welcomed back with (mostly) open arms to the point that Bowers family patriarch Robert (“Alias” star Victor Garber), insists Joanna move into the family mansion and take a job as Robert’s assistant. With the trap set, the show then sets up introducing audiences to all the eccentric colorful characters that populate the Bowers world.
Yet as Emily Yahr of The Washington Post points out in her review, this is where the show may be getting ahead of itself.
“As you can tell, there’s a lot going on here — way too much. Though on the surface the show is being marketed as “Who killed Vivian Bowers?” it’s not enough to have one arc on this kind of series. Instead, “Deception” falls prey to the exhaustive method of too-much-storytelling, adding layer upon layer of mini-mysteries and twists until the weary viewer needs a detailed map to keep track — or turns off the show entirely.”
The other problem this sets up is a scenario where the show asks all these questions they may not be able to answer. While of course NBC and “Deception” producers are hoping for a hit, they all know the risks that come with a freshman series. Audiences have proven they are tired of jumping in and hoping for the best which has led to a disappointing 2012-2013 TV season thus far.
Even in cases like “Last Resort” and “666 Park Avenue,” when producers promised closure despite cancelations, the networks aren’t always able to oblige. While “Resort” is still expected to get to air its series finale in a few weeks, ABC recently pushed “666’s” swan song to the summer which angered the very same fans they expect to tune into 2013 entries “Zero Hour” and “Red Widow.”
It’s a slippery slope and one that no network has been able to balance. In the case of “Deception,” it is one of the best midseason series premiering this winter and worth a shot. With a strong ensemble that also includes “Damages” star Tate Donavan and “Breakout Kings” alum Laz Alonzo, the pieces are there for a good series; you have to have to hope that if the show becomes a success the producers (and the network) will know what to do with it!
"Deception" premieres tonight at 10 p.m. EST on NBC. For more information on the show you can visit the official site by clicking here.
So what’s your take New York? Do you think "Deception" looks like a hit? Will you return to "Revolution" in March? Hit the comments and let us know.
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