It's hard to argue the ratings -- serialized dramas with complex storylines struggle to hold on to audience, and replace departing viewers with new ones.
That's probably why many new shows on the network 2011-12 slate are procedurals. But not the new series from "Star Trek" director J.J. Abrams, "Alcatraz." In fact, he'll be pulling a little bit from the complexity of previous shows like "Lost" and "Fringe" when his new series premieres on Fox at midseason.
"This show has an incredibly aggressive story engine," Executive Producer Liz Sarnoff told audiences at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend. "There's going to be a bad guy to catch every week. We want to answer the questions. It's about combining those things and [fitting them] into one hour of television."
"Alcatraz" stars "Lost" alum Jorge Garcia along with Sarah Jones and Robert Lawrenson. Jones is a character actress who has appeared in series such as "Justified," "Sons of Anarchy" and "Big Love." Lawrenson has appeared in "Sanctuary" on Syfy and the now-cancelled Fox series "Human Target" among others.
The series centers on the modern day hunt and capture of 50 Alcatraz inmates who disappeared from the prison some 50 years before. Yet, those inmates are just as old as they were when they were last seen, somehow escaping into the future, and forcing characters played by Garcia and Jones to track them down.
Outside of that, very little has been shared about the show, and that didn't change much.
Sarnoff will the the "Alcatraz" showrunner when the series begins production in the fall for a January premiere. Keeping in-line with other Abrams productions, information will be dispersed on a "need-to-know" before episodes and storylines air and unfold.
"We've tried to have all the actors in the writers' room," Sarnoff said. "They'll know as much as they need to know."
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