TV: 14 Shows That Should be on Your Radar (And Soon, Your DVR)

4. Turn
Spring, AMC
The historical thriller explores the origins of tradecraft during the Revolutionary War, with Jamie Bell playing a farmer who helps establish America's first spy ring. "Until that point, spies were scouts who crawled over a hill and literally spied down," explains exec producer Craig Silverstein, who based the story on the Alexander Rose book Washington's Spies. He adds that Turn will focus more on the strife between neighbors and families than on battles with the redcoats: "We're told that it was a very David-and-Goliath tale. In reality, many people living here believed this uprising was a criminal movement. It was more like a divorce." But we got to keep Delaware, so it was totally worth it. —James Hibberd

5. Wayward Pines
Summer, Fox
"Everyone's been telling me that I'd like the way the medium is going, how it's character-based and darker in tone," explains exec producer M. Night Shyamalan, who's bringing his signature thrills to the small screen with Wayward Pines. The 10-episode Fox miniseries follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) who lands in the bucolic (and vaguely creepy) town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, only to discover that things are very much not as they appear. Shyamalan sees the show — populated by fellow film refugees Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo, and Terrence Howard — as capturing a Twin Peaks-y vibe, balancing suspense, mystery, eccentric characters, and plenty of quirk. "With scary things, humor goes along nicely and breaks the tension," says Shyamalan, who directed the pilot. And he promises the central mystery of the town will be resolved by the end of the run. "Oh, we're going to tell you," says Shyamalan. "I just want this show to be as significant, memorable, and resonant as it can be." —Sara Vilkomerson

6. The Leftovers
Summer, HBO
Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof returns to TV with The Leftovers, an adaptation of Tom Perrotta's 2011 best-seller about the people who remain on Earth following a Rapture-like event (called the Departure). His pitch to HBO was simple: "If Lost and Friday Night Lights had a baby and then that baby was severely neglected, that would be The Leftovers." The show — also exec-produced by Perrotta and Peter Berg — will traffic more in relationships than sci-fi phenomena as it tracks a police chief (Justin Theroux) trying to rebuild his community, family, and self. "The traditional way of telling this story is you're in the immediate aftermath of this event," says Lindelof. "Dropping into these people's lives three years later and saying, 'This is the moment in which they get back to their lives as they were, or they decide that they can't get back to their lives as they were,' that's a much more interesting idea." We asked Lindelof to walk us through a scene from the first episode. —Dan Snierson


The Homeland Effect
Every network wants a piece of the team behind the Emmy-winning hit — and this year, they're getting it

Howard Gordon is in big trouble with his better half. Riding high on his success with Homeland, the Emmy-winning exec producer has booked enough projects to keep him bouncing between sets for years. "My wife is really concerned," admits Gordon. "But I'm still stunned that this is what I do for a living." Here's what is on Gordon's slate in 2014:

7. Legends (TNT, Summer)
Game of Thrones' Sean Bean headlines this Jason Bourne-like thriller — based on the novel by Robert Littell — as an agent for the FBI's Deep Cover Operations division who makes an unsettling discovery. "He's really good at being other people, but he learns he may not be who he is," says exec producer Gordon. "The engine for the show is the Mission: Impossible aspects, but it's about his journey to find [answers]."

Advertisement

From Our Partners