No Ordinary Family: Superheroes Sans Spandex
Julie Benz, Michael Chiklis
ABC's forthcoming fall drama No Ordinary Family is one part Heroes, one part The Incredibles — but don't expect star Michael Chiklis to don any capes or costumes.
"You don't want to see me in Lycra, believe me. I'm just glad I don't have 60 pounds of orange latex on," Chiklis said, alluding to his last superhero job as The Thing in the Fantastic Four films.
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The first episode of No Ordinary Family, which was screened for audiences at Comic-Con on Saturday, revolves around a family at its breaking point. After their vacation ends prematurely when the plane they're on goes down in mysteriously infected waters, the Powells emerge with some extraordinary abilities. (It's an origin story that owes a debt to that of the Fantastic Four, but Chiklis' presence should buy the show a pass from fans of Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johhny Storm, and Ben Grimm.)
When Jim (Chiklis), a police artist, returns to work, he discovers he has more or less become Superman — minus the flying. Stephanie (Julie Benz), his over-achieving but stretched-thin wife, gains super speed.
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Executive producers Greg Berlanti and Jon Harmon Feldman said they liked the idea of melding a traditional family drama with genre elements. Between them, the pair has worked on such dysfunctional family dramas as Dirty Sexy Money and Brothers & Sisters. Berlanti said he was in the middle of writing the script for Green Lantern, the upcoming action film starring Ryan Reynolds, when Feldman pitched him the idea.
"I loved the idea of melding worlds. I love that this is a show where you can have two great actors who can have really powerful scenes together in the bedroom... and also have the guy leap off buildings," Berlanti said.
"He is powerful in the bedroom," Benz said. "Super strong."
Meanwhile, daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker) finds herself suddenly able to read people's minds, and son JJ (Jimmy Bennett) becomes super smart.
The show will quickly delve into the mythology of how and why the family came into its powers. In the first episode, Jim fights what seems to be a common criminal, only to discover the crook's got some extraordinary moves of his own. And Feldman said a new scene will be inserted at the end of the first episode which hints that something, or someone, with less than good intentions may be behind it all.
No Ordinary Family premieres at 8/7c Sept. 28 on ABC.