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Pop Rocks: The Seven Emerging Genres of 2014 Fall TV Shows

When nerds ruled the world...or TV.
When nerds ruled the world...or TV.

Like all forms of entertainment, television can get locked into some patterns. Often times, those simply follow what has been successful recently. And while you might think that means cop shows and hospital dramas, that isn't always the case. This new fall season, as it turns out, is virtually devoid of doctors. Sure it has a bunch of crime series, but not all cop shows.

It certainly does follow some very specific and obvious trends, however. Some of them are recent, some old as TV itself and others are brand new. Let's take a look.

7. '60s-Era Resets Shows: Acquarius (NBC), Astronaut Wives Club (ABC), Mission Control (NBC), The Odd Couple (CBS), Public Morals (TNT)

Groovy, man, networks are revisiting the tumultuous 1960s. This could have been spurred by the success of the PBS documentary on the decade, but whatever the case, a spate of new shows focused on flower power (and cop dramas, natch) are hitting the air this fall, including a reboot of the Neil Simon play and popular '70s sitcom The Odd Couple, this time with Matthew Perry.

6. Race-centric Shows: Black-ish (NBC), Cristela (NBC), American Crime (ABC), Empire (Fox), Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)

This used to be an area dominated by retreads and pandering, but with stars like Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne taking their turn at the wheel, this season shows promise. It also includes a sitcom about an Asian family, something we haven't seen much of on the primetime landscape, and a series focused on the world of hip hop that feels like Boardwalk Empire meets Dreamgirls with a cast that would make anyone tune in.

5. Nerds and The Internet Shows: Scorpion (CBS), Selfie (ABC), CSI: Cyber (CBS)

If Big Bang Theory (and the contract renewals for its stars) taught us anything, it's that nerds watch TV. See also Halt and Catch Fire and HBO's Silicon Valley. This year includes something called Selfie about a person obsessed with Internet celebrity. It had to happen at some point: Social media is invading the geek domain.

 

4. Fairly Tales and Sci-Fi Shows: Forever (ABC), Emerald City (NBC), Galavant (ABC), The Messengers (CW), Proof (TNT), The Whispers (ABC)

Coming as no shock to anyone, all kinds of supernatural and fantasy-themed shows are back with a vengeance. With Once Upon a Time (and spinoffs) and Grimm among a handful of shows centered on the world of fantasy and science fiction, it seems logical that trend would continue. This year includes a show about The Wizard of Oz, aliens, middle ages, the supernatural and a guy who lives, well, forever.

3. Comic Books and Superheroes Shows: Constantine (NBC), The Flash (CW), Gotham (Fox), iZombie (CW), Marvel's Agent Carter (ABC)

Expensive, but popular, these shows not only pull in all the comic book geeks, but the fans of film versions that dovetail perfectly into the DC Comics and Marvel empires. From direct adaptations of characters like Flash and Agent Carter to more loosely based genre fiction like Gotham City and zombies, this season has plenty in store for fans of The Avengers and others.

2. Women's Issues Shows: Bad Judge (NBC), Jane the Virgin (CW), Madam Secretary (CBS), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC), State of Affairs (NBC), One Big Happy (NBC), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NBC)

There was a time when women were relegated to the limiting roles of wives, divorcees and harpies. Times have most certainly changes as this year's schedule demonstrates. No doubt piggy backing on the critical and popular success of The Good Wife and Scandal, women have been given meatier and more complex roles than ever, many of which are in the highest positions of power available to people of either gender.

1. Crime and Political Dramas Shows: Gracepoint (Fox), How to Get Away with Murder (ABC), NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), Stalker (CBS), Backstrom (Fox), Battle Creek (CBS)

Naturally. You didn't think TV would suddenly abandon what has been driving its success for decades, did you? In addition to some predictable spinoffs, there appear to be at least a couple of unique offerings among the lineups including yet another attempt to get Dylan McDermott back onto a winning series.


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