Features

Spring 2012 TV Preview: 11 Shows We Can't Wait for

''Dallas,'' ''Magic City,'' ''The Hatfields & McCoys,'' and more

Dallas
TNT
Forkies, rejoice. It's been more than 20 years since the classic nighttime soap went off the air, but the Ewings are finally riding back into view. Exec producer Cynthia Cidre (Cane) says her mission is straightforward: ''We want to bring the audience delicious entertainment, without ever spilling over into camp.'' When we meet back on Southfork, J.R.'s son John Ross (Josh Henderson) is clashing mightily with Bobby's adopted son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) over the direction of the family empire: oil or alternative fuels? Linda Gray, reprising her beloved role of Sue Ellen, is one of three returning cast members, along with Patrick Duffy and, of course, Larry Hagman as J.R. ''It's very seamless the way the plot translates from 20 years ago to now,'' Gray promises. As for her character's boorish ex, she gives a big giggle. ''He's just so yummy,'' she says of Hagman. ''He's going to just bring everyone back. Like, 'Oh my God, J.R. is at it again.''' —Karen Valby

Magic City
STARZ
As a Miami native, Magic City creator Mitch Glazer didn't have to look far to find inspiration for his new '50s-era drama about a chain-smoking, self-made hotelier's struggle to protect his empire from power-wielding mobsters. ''A lot of the events that happen in the show I wish I could take credit for,'' he says. ''But they actually happened.'' City follows Ike Evans (Grey's Anatomy's Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the charismatic owner of the swanky Miramar Playa Hotel, who gets caught in the middle of the Mafia's bid to legalize gambling in the city after Havana's fall. ''This is a good guy who gets into some bad situations,'' explains Morgan. ''He loves his family and loves his hotel, and trying to keep both those things in order is a bit of a task.'' —Nuzhat Naoreen

The Hatfields & McCoys
History
The most famous family feud in American history is being turned into a miniseries by two of Hollywood's most famous feuders. Kevin Costner and director Kevin Reynolds — who lobbed insults at each other in the press after 1995's Waterworld flopped — have reteamed to make The Hatfields & McCoys, about the infamous post-Civil War dispute between two Southern broods. ''I've always had a belief in Kevin as a director,'' says no-longer-feuding Costner, who'll be playing ''Devil'' Anse Hatfield. Costner's goal is to make the story relevant to modern audiences. ''It's very easy to make fun of these people and call them hillbillies,'' says Costner. ''But if somebody builds something that takes away your view in Malibu, you're in court for 15 years. It's not so different today.'' —Benjamin Svetkey

Titanic
ABC Julian Fellowes' wildly popular British period series Downton Abbey began with news of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. It's fitting, then, that Fellowes has written this four-hour miniseries for ABC to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the doomed voyage. Like Downton, Titanic will combine romance and intrigue with issues of class. ''It's got everything: It's got the middle classes, immigrants striving for a new life, all the vanity of the Edwardian world — and then in this two-hour period everyone is brought low,'' explains Fellowes. While he's proud of the special effects in the disaster scenes, Fellowes emphasizes that his is a story about people, and is not meant to rival James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster (which will get a 3-D release in April) in the F/X department. ''I think people who enjoyed Cameron's [Titanic] will enjoy our show,'' he says. ''For Titanic aficionados, 2012 is going to be a pretty rich year.'' —Stephan Lee

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