Robin Tunney, Simon Baker
As The Mentalist prepares to kick off its seventh and final season Sunday, members of the cast and crew say they feel like they have a new show on their hands. First, there's no will-they-or-won't-they tension between Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) to grapple with, after that steamy kiss in the Season 6 finale. And, for the first time in the show's history, the Red John storyline will not be lurking in the background.
"Essentially this season is about what happens when life turns out the way you'd hoped it would, when you do have a happy ending," creator Bruno Heller told reporters on a conference call last week. "What happens after that? Jane and Lisbon have been engaged in this epic journey for six years. ... How do you create a different kind of life? And how do you create a different relationship out of a relationship that was borne in the kind of trauma that theirs was? ... It's the last hurrah for the show."
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Question: I thought this might be the year when The Walking Dead would finally be represented among the Emmy nominations, at the very least for Melissa McBride as supporting actress for last season's devastating "The Grove" episode. But the noms came and went with nary a Dead mention. I thought this show was among the most-watched basic cable shows, often posting numbers to rival some of the highest-rated broadcast programs every week. I know that its genre is already one strike against it, but is this show also a victim of its own success regarding recognition, where the more popular a show is, the more it provokes attitudes from voters that "normal" people might see as snobbish or anti-populist? While it's true that the dispersal of everybody into smaller groups during the second half of last season was seen as less than successful, and the quality this season appears to have roared back with a vengeance, I'm still thinking there will probably be no difference next year, recognition-wise.
Gotham city — Sources close to the Gotham City Police Department have confirmed that the crime rate in the area has nearly tripled in the past month. Many attribute this spike to the recent murders of billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne, as well as rising interest in the city's infamous Arkham district, home of the failed Arkham Asylum and turf-war favorite of organized crime.
There are those, too, who blame the increase in back-alley homicides, child trafficking...
Anyone who watched the first episode of Fox's Gotham could make the argument that James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) is actually responsible for turning low-level thug Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) into the man who will eventually become the Penguin.
But did Oswald's descent into evil start before he was marched to the end of that Gotham City pier at gunpoint? On Monday's episode (8/7c, Fox) viewers will meet Oswald's mother, a European immigrant named Gertrude Kabelput — and in a brilliant bit of casting, she'll be played by Oscar nominee and two-time Emmy winner Carol Kane.
Fall Preview: Get scoop on all the must-see new shows
"If you meet someone's mother, you immediately get an insight into their inner character," creator Bruno Heller tells TVGuide.com...
Robin Tunney, Simon Baker
The sixth season of CBS' The Mentalist marked a turning point for the show, wrapping up the Red John story line and subsequently jumping ahead two years.
Katharine McPhee, Elyse Gabel
Happens all the time in the Bat-verse: The bad guys get all the best material. And so it was in the beginning, or at least in the origin story as presented by Fox's stylish, vividly hardboiled Gotham (8/7c), an exercise in pulp-noir chic that, to be enjoyed properly, should be considered more Dick Tracy than Batman in approach.
As Robin might proclaim, if he were around (which he isn't): Holy corruption! The sordid Gotham City on display here reflects executive producer Bruno Heller's time spent on HBO's Rome rather than his sunnier stint with The Mentalist. This city of menace boasts a retro sheen cluttered with jarring contemporary details, projecting what's intended as an out-of-time (or timeless) quality to frame this iconic story. You know how it goes: Young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz of Touch) is orphaned when his wealthy parents are murdered in a back-alley robbery, inspiring a lifetime devoted to vanquishing Gotham's most-wanted goons.
But that's another tale for another time, because the focus of Gotham is on clench-jawed, strait-arrow Detective (future Commissioner) James Gordon, played with a pugnacious dour solemnity by Ben McKenzie.
Ban McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith
Fox's Gotham is arguably the most anticipated new show of the fall season, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's destined to become a hit.
The new drama, created by The Mentalist's Bruno Heller examines the city protected by Batman long before the Dark Knight was around to protect it. Stepping in as the city's hero is rookie detective (and future police commissioner) Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) who, along with his cynical partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), encounter nascent versions of the Batman franchise's villains, including The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Catwoman (Camren Bicondova) and The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), while investigating the murders of the parents of a 12-year-old Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz).
On the Set: Go behind-the-scenes of Fox's Gotham
But as anyone who watched the first two-thirds of ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — last season's buzziest new show — knows, creating a superhero TV series without a superhero can be tricky business....
Jada Pinkett Smith, Robin Lord Taylor
Gotham City to the rescue? Fox certainly hopes Gotham, its dark and stylish noir set in the corrupt, broken pre-Batman metropolis, will revive the fortunes of a network undergoing one of its most significant leadership transitions. (The architect of this fall's schedule, Kevin Reilly, stepped down in late May, and Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the Fox Studio heads who will take over network oversight in a more streamlined operation, won't start their new positions until the end of the month.)
The Gotham panel was the first and most impressive new-series presentation on Fox's day at the TCA press tour. (For more Fox news, go here.) With its revisionist twist on Batman mythology as it spills out origin stories featuring various supervillains-to-be, Gotham is the buzziest show on Fox's fall slate — airing on Mondays alongside breakout hit Sleepy Hollow won't hurt — but it's not without risk.
Ben McKenzie and David Mazouz
There will be no cape. There will be no cowl. Nevertheless, Fox's Gotham intends to stay true to the Batman comics that fans have come to know and love over more than seven decades.
Based on DC Comics characters, Gotham explores the origin stories of the Caped Crusader's eventual ally James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie), a detective with the Gotham City Police Department, and his battle with the villains who made the city famous.
Fox at Press Tour: Get the latest news
"What we won't do is...
If you're wondering whether Fox's Batman prequel drama series Gotham will be campy like the Adam West TV series or dark and gritty like the Christopher Nolan films, the answer might just be both.