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THE TV COLUMN

Touch takes action, conspiracies, math to LA

By Michael Storey

This article was published February 7, 2013 at 3:11 a.m.

— Oh, my goodness. Are we ready for another “heartpounding thrill ride filled with suspense, murder, heroism and global consequences”?

That’s what Fox is promising when Season 2 of Touch blasts off with a special “action-packed” two-episode premiere (“Event Horizon/ Closer”) at 7 p.m. Friday.

Season 1 of the Kiefer Sutherland drama explored the connected aspects of all things and how our lives are tied to those whose destinies touch ours.

Season 2 turns it up a notch.

This season the action shifts from New York to Los Angeles, where widower Martin Bohm (Sutherland) and his gifted son, Jake (David Mazouz), are on the run. Martin is determined to keep Jake safe from the nefarious types who want to exploit his supernatural mathematical abilities.

For those out of touch with Touch, last season 12-year-old Jake did not speak nor allow anyone to touch him. His was a world of numbers, especially the number 318. He was obsessed with 318, part of The Amelia Sequence that was also uncovered by professor Arthur Teller (Danny Glover), an expert on children who possess special gifts when it comes to numbers.

Everything changed after Martin met Teller and learned that Jake possessed the extraordinary ability to perceive the hidden patterns that connect every life on the planet. It was through numbers that Jake finally began to communicate with his father.

As Martin put the pieces together, he began to help people across the world connect as their lives intersected according to the patterns Jake uncovered.

In Season 2, Martin and Jake find themselves at the center of a global conspiracy. Their mission is to help frantic Lucy Robbins (Maria Bello, ER) find her missing - and equally gifted - daughter Amelia (Saxon Sharbino).

The search for Amelia intensifies when it’s discovered that they are all targets of the mysterious and sinister Aster Corp., with its resident genius Calvin Norburg (Lukas Haas). Norburg is on the verge of a career-defining discovery, the “God Sequence.” He’s trying to do good, but is willing to do bad things to reach his goals.

Another wild card is the presence of extreme religious zealot Guillermo Ortiz (Said Taghmaoui), who has begun assassinating those with abilities like Jake’s.

“Season 2 becomes a good deal more aggressive,” Sutherland says, “as Martingoes from a father trying to understand his son to a father trying to protect his son.”

Watch out, bad guys. You don’t want to stir up any remnants of Jack Bauer from 24.

Newcomers need not worry about not having watched Season 1. All you need to know is soon filled in as the action takes off in what seems like a practically new series.

Series renewals. I get phone calls and e-mail every day from readers looking for their favorite shows and not finding them. Last week a reader asked when TNT was going to bring back Rizzoli & Isles and The Closer. She claimed R&I had always started in February. It has not. The first three seasons began in July and June, so look for Season 4 to return in the summer.

The Closer ended its seven-season run with much fanfare in August. Its replacement, Major Crimes, debuted at that time and has been renewed for a 10-episode second season with a debut date to be announced.

Other recently renewed series include Showtime’s Shameless, House of Lies and Californication, Cinemax’s Banshee, BBC America’s Ripper Street and the entire CBSdaytime lineup.

Also a go for a second season is ABC’s Katie. ABC Family has announced the fifth and final season of The Secret Life of the American Teenager will debut at 7 p.m. March 18, preceded by an all-day marathon of past episodes starting at 10 a.m.

Set for a ninth (!) and final season next fall is CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready to find out who that mother is.

Palin out. After three years, Fox News has cut its ties with Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor was paid $1 million a year as a political commentator but has been seen less and less in recent months and has not appeared at all since December.

It was always a rocky relationship anyway. Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told the Associated Press in October 2011, “I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings.”

I assume he meant hot in the sense of topical and the right-wing political darling du jour.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. E-mail:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 32 on 02/07/2013

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