10 series to catch

The 10 most interesting new American TV shows you must check out

A fresh crop of TV shows boasts star power and strong concepts, including Quantico with Priyanka Chopra, Agent X with Sharon Stone, The Player with Wesley Snipes and Outcast, a supernatural horror comic series by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman

1. QUANTICO

Monday, 9.45pm, AXN

(StarHub TV Channel 511)

Who: Priyanka Chopra

What: The series follows a group of recruits undergoing training at the FBI Academy in Quantico. One of them, Alex (Chopra), is later suspected of committing a terrorist attack.

Star power: Chopra is a big Bollywood star with hits such as thriller Aitraaz (2004) and a national Film Award for Best Actress for the drama Fashion (2008).

Her jump to Hollywood has been generally well received. Philadelphia Daily News says: "Chopra alone would be reason enough to watch."

In Singapore and Malaysia, AXN was the No. 1 English channel on cable during the show's premiere on Sept 28.


2. ZOO

Thursday, 10pm, Lifetime

(StarHub TV Channel 514)

Who: James Wolk, Nonso Anozie

What: American zoologist Jackson Oz (Wolk) and Kenyan safari guide Abraham (Anozie) investigate the mysterious phenomenon of violent animal attacks on humans occurring all over the world.

Star power: While Wolk made a splash in season 6 of the acclaimed drama Mad Men, the bigger James here is arguably author James Patterson, as his books have sold more than 300 million copies. The television series is based on the sci-fi novel of the same name by him and writer Michael Ledwidge.


3. HEROES REBORN

Friday, 9pm, Fox (StarHub TV Channel 505,

Singtel TV Channel 330)

Who: Jack Coleman, Masi Oka, Zachary Levi

What: A continuation of the sci-fi drama Heroes(2006 - 2010), in which ordinary people discover that they have superhuman abilities.

Star power: Actors from the original series including Coleman, who plays Noah Bennet, and Oka, who plays space-time manipulator Hiro Nakamura, return for the sequel. New cast members include Levi, star of the spy-action comedy Chuck (2007-2012). Behind the scenes, Heroes creator Tim Kring returns as executive producer.


4. ANGEL FROM HELL

Nov 6, 9.30pm, RTL CBS Entertainment (StarHub TV Channel 509, Singtel TV Channel 318)

Who: Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson

What: Amy (Lynch) claims to be guardian angel to dermatologist Allison (Lawson), but Allison has her doubts - until every single one of Amy's warnings proves to be right on target in this fantasy sitcom.

Star power: Lynch was one of the breakout stars of the musical dramedy Glee (2009 - 2015) as the ruthless cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. And Lawson was on the crime dramedy Psych (2006 - 2014) as a junior detective.


5. AGENT X

From Nov 9, 8.10pm, Warner TV

(StarHub TV Channel 515)

Who: Sharon Stone, Jeff Hephner

What: Some cases are too sensitive (read: dodgy) for even the FBI and CIA to touch, and that is where Agent X comes in.

Hephner, who appeared in a recurring role in teen drama The O.C. (2003 - 2007), plays the title role, aka John Case, in this action-adventure series.

As America's first female vice-president Natalie Maccabee, Stone gets to activate Agent X.

Star power: mStone remains a recognisable name even if her best-known work - sci-fi flick Total Recall (1990) and erotic thriller Basic Instinct (1992) - date to the early 1990s. Idle thought: Who would win in a face-off of female politicians on screen? Stone, Geena Davis (Commander In Chief, 2005 - 2006), Alfre Woodard (State Of Affairs, 2014 - 2015) or Kate Burton (Scandal, 2012 - present)?


6. INTO THE BADLANDS

From Nov 16, 11am, AMC (Singtel TV Channel 322)

Who: Daniel Wu

What: The classic Chinese novel

Journey To The West is transplanted to a world where powerful feudal warlords clash and a motorbike-riding, sword- carrying warrior (Wu, left) and a young boy have to journey together in their search for enlightenment. Well, they did say "very loosely based".

Star power: Given the paucity of English- language martial arts series, one helmed by California-born Wu, a credible leading man in his native language is a most welcome addition. The action sequences do not look too shabby, either, judging from the trailer. There is another familiar name behind the scenes as Stephen Fung serves as executive producer. Wu and Fung played an ill-fated gay couple in the drama Bishonen (1998).


7. THE PLAYER

Nov 10, 10pm, RTL CBS Extreme

(StarHub TV Channel 428, Singtel TV Channel 335)

Who: Wesley Snipes, Philip Winchester, Charity Wakefield

What:Talk about high-stakes gambling. Winchester plays the title character, a Las Vegas security consultant tasked to stop crimes before they are committed. And an anonymous group of powerful people is betting on whether he can do so.

Wakefield plays the dealer and Snipes is the pit boss.

Star power: Snipes is best known for his turn as the Marvel Comics character Blade in the film trilogy while Winchester was recently seen in the action series Strike Back (2011 - 2015).

Hopefully, Snipe will get the chance to flaunt his black-belt Shotokan karate and Hapkido moves in the series.

8. OUTCAST

First quarter next year, Fox (StarHub TV Channel 505, Singtel TV Channel 330)

Who: Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister

What: Kyla Barnes (Fugit), who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life, finally searches for some answers with the help of Reverend Anderson (Glenister).

Star power: Fugit was the lead in Cameron Crowe's music dramedy Almost Famous (2000), while Glenister starred in the British time-travel crime series Life On Mars (2006- 2007). The biggest name on the project, though, is undoubtedly Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, one of the biggest hits on cable television. Outcast is based on his ongoing supernatural horror comic-book series of the same name.

9. DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

Early next year, Warner TV (StarHub TV Channel 515)

Who: Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller

What: Marvel may have conquered the big screen with properties such as The Avengers film franchise and Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014). But on the small screen, DC Comics packs a punch with the likes of Gotham (2014 - present), Arrow (2012 - present) and The Flash (2014 - present). Legends Of Tomorrow gathers a whole bunch of heroes and villains in an attempt to stop Vandal Savage from destroying the world and time itself.

Star power: Superheroes continue to fly high. Apart from Legends, there is also Supergirl - a series about yet another DC Comics character. Incidentally, an ex-Superman, Routh, is in Legends as The Atom, while Prison Break (2005 - 2009) alumni Purcell and Miller play

Heat Wave and Captain Cold.

10. CODE BLACK

Thursday, 8.50pm, Sony Channel (StarHub TV Channel 510, Singtel TV Channel 316)

Who: Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman

What: Still mourning the end of E.R. (1994 - 2009)?

Maybe this medical drama will get your heart pumping hard once more. Harden is Dr Leanne Rorish, residency director of an overcrowded, understaffed emergency room in Los Angeles. Guzman plays a senior nurse.

Star power: Harden won an Oscar for best supporting actress in

the biographical drama Pollock (2000), Guzman is the Puerto Rican character actor seen in films such as the drama about the porn industry Boogie Nights (1997) and the comedy We're The Millers (2013).


Telecast details are subject to change.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Big stars on small screen'. Print Edition | Subscribe