5 Upcoming Crime Shows to Get Excited About

From Warner Bros Lethal Weapon on ITV Pictured: Roger Murtaugh [Damon Wayans] and Martin Riggs [Clayne Crawford]. This photograph is (C) Warner Bros and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Lethal Weapon: Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and Martin Riggs [Clayne Crawford)

Between the autumn television slate and some promising titles around the corner in 2017, there’s a lot to be excited about for fans of crime and mystery television. Some of these shows are brand new and others are merely moving on to new seasons, but in considering both categories, here are five programmes that are already looking like a whole lot of fun. 

Lethal Weapon (Fox)

Lethal Weapon has to be one of the more exciting new crime shows in at least a few years. Announced earlier this year, it’s set to debut this autumn for American audiences on Fox and on ITV in Britain and will presumably be available for streaming soon thereafter. The show us based on the 1987 film of the same name, which has an iconic place among American crime thrillers. That film, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, ultimately spawned three sequels, each as exciting as the last. It also led to a 1992 NES video game, which you can actually still obtain from Game Fabrique, a site featuring several old titles available for download. That the game is still around is a testament to the fact that even the distinctly ’80s and ’90s feeling of these films hasn’t made them any less popular with action and crime fans. 

The new show looks to be a fairly straightforward reboot. Clayne Crawford (24, Rogue) has been cast as Martin Riggs (Gibson’s character), with Damon Wayans (Major Payne, My Wife and Kids) playing Roger Murtaugh (Glover’s role). It ought to be a standard buddy-cop action show with elements of drama and comedy, and the key will be for Crawford and Wayans to develop something that at least remotely resembles the chemistry of Gibson and Glover. Interestingly enough, Glover said he’s skeptical of the project, or at least that he’d prefer people still remember his four films fondly. But the name Lethal Weapon still carries a great deal of weight, which should make this show one of the more watched debuts of the coming season. 

MacGyver (CBS)

In another move to reboot an American crime classic, albeit one that’s generally taken with a grain of salt, MacGyver will also return to television screens in the near future. Set to debut in late September, this show concerns a secret agent who uses scientific knowledge and off-the-charts resourcefulness to get out of sticky situations and, in all likelihood, save the world. If you’re not as familiar with the original series, which ran from 1985 to 1992 and starred Richard Dean Anderson in the titular role, you may well have come across the parody: Saturday Night Live and Will Forte’s “MacGruber. In this skit that ultimately became a film, the hero would frequently fall short of saving the world due to comical miscues. 

The new drama will presumably be a little bit grittier, though as stated MacGyver isn’t necessarily meant to be taken seriously. Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse) will star as a young Angus MacGyver, who essentially creates his own organisation within the United States government to fight crime with his own bizarre blend of skills. 

Sherlock (BBC One)

What Sherlock has done for Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective series is remarkable. Released just months after the blockbuster film Sherlock Holmes and before Elementary in the US, it managed to become most people’s picture of the definitive modern Holmes. It also brought popularity back to the character and concept. One can argue that Elementary sprouted from this show, and we’ve also seen a greater prevalence of Holmes material, such as video games, since the 2010 debut. Frogwares has a well-known console series going, but the characters from these stories have also popped up in high-volume online gaming arenas. The choices for slot machine games at Betfair include numerous connections to pop culture and fiction, and a delightful Sherlock Holmes title is now among them. The game uses character images, detective equipment, and the setting of 221B Baker Street to make for a more interesting casino experience, with reel spins turning up all kinds of elements related to the stories.

Despite all this influence, Sherlock is actually a pretty abbreviated show. Presented in a way that each series consists of only a handful of (long) episodes, it plays out almost like a collection of short films. There have only been three series to date, as well as one Christmas mini-episode and a 2016 special that existed outside of the timeline of the regular show. And for that reason, fans simply can’t wait for more material. Series four will debut in 2017, with more wonderful action expected from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. 

Riviera (Sky Atlantic)

We actually don’t know a great deal about Riviera just yet, other than that it’s a family crime drama that takes place on the French Riviera. The brainchild of Chris Thykier and Liza Marshall, who run Archery Pictures, it first surfaced in 2015 when Neil Jordan was attached as a writer and showrunner. According to last summer’s report from Deadline, the property then became the subject of a bidding war with multiple broadcasters expressing interest.

It’s now known that Sky Atlantic won out and will debut Riviera some time in 2016. Not too much has been revealed about the plot, though we did recently learn that Julia Stiles has been attached as a star, and her role certainly gave away some details. Stiles will play a woman named Georgiana who has just inherited the family fortune of her billionaire husband Constantine Clios, who died in a yacht accident. Georgiana soon discovers that Clios came by his money through crime, and her life becomes dangerous and complex. That’s most of what we have at this point, though one show to keep in mind as a possible influence is Netflix’s Bloodline. A dark drama that certainly falls under the umbrella of “family crime,” that show also took place in a semi-exotic coastal setting and involved family secrets and hidden criminal connections. 

Fearless (ITV)

There’s a chance that ITV’s Fearless winds up being the most interesting show of the bunch. Scheduled to begin filming this September, it’s a little ways off from actually debuting and may not air until autumn of next year. However, it’s built on a very promising concept, and it’s being written by the man responsible for some of the most gripping crime drama from the last decade or so on TV.

The details were revealed in a press release earlier this month, and they are as follows: Fearless will be a six-part series about Emma Blunt (Helen McCrory), a solicitor who works for defendants thought to be lost causes. Specifically, she’s looking into clearing a man she believes to have been wrongly convicted of the murder of a schoolgirl in East Anglia, when she finds herself up against more powerful forces than she anticipated. That bit sounds fairly straightforward, but the writer’s background and perspective make it particularly interesting. The show is penned by Patrick Harbinson, who worked on 24, Person of Interest and Homeland. He describes his work as a commentary on law enforcement in post-9/11 Western society. Specifically, he wants to look into the idea that we’ve become almost numb to legal overreach by government agencies (in the name of guarding against terrorism). That’s pretty deep stuff, but it feels more relevant than ever in 2016.

And that’s your crime television lineup for the coming year! There certainly seems to be a lot to look forward to in a genre that’s always keeping us entertained.

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