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THE TV COLUMN

ABC thriller Last Resort likely sinks tonight

By Michael Storey

This article was published January 24, 2013 at 3:03 a.m.

— Tonight will mark the last voyage of Andre Braugher and crew on ABC’s Last Resort. The finale (most likely the series finale) airs at 7 p.m.

We can’t say with complete certainty that this is the last episode because the network persists in labeling it the season finale. The fact remains that ABC announced the show was canceled in November, when it said there would only be 13 episodes.

A couple of unlikely events will have to occur before Last Resort rises from the dead.

Both upcoming ABC mid-season tryouts - Zero Hour (Feb. 14) and Red Widow (March 3) - will have to tank. Both have gotten positive pre-season reviews.

But, then again, so did Last Resort.

The thriller, with Braugher as the rogue captain of the U.S. ballistic missile submarine Colorado, was one of the best of the fall season. Sometimes even good shows never catch on. Or they don’t catch on to the extent that the network had hoped.

Last Resort gets bonus points for trying something different. The series began with a bang when Capt. Marcus Chaplin (Braugher) refuses to launch his missiles without proper confirmation of his orders.

He is unceremoniously relieved of duty by the White House and then the sub is targeted and fired upon by the U.S. military.

Captain and crew limp into the harbor of an exotic island “where they find refuge, romance and a chance at a new life, even as they try to clear their names and get home.”

Fascinating weekly drama ensued, with outstanding supporting roles from Scott Speedman, Daisy Betts, Autumn Reeser, Dichen Lachman, Daniel Lissing and Robert Patrick.

It was quite a ride created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit, The Chicago Code) and Karl Gajdusek (Trespass, Dead Like Me). If we don’t see it again, we’ll chalk up Last Resort as the latest ambitious TV effort that never quite found its place before the plug was pulled.

Make it work. Are you still a Project Runway fan? Season 11, with its 16 new designers, kicks in at 7 p.m. today on Lifetime. Host/judge Heidi Klum returns, along with mentor Tim Gunn. New judge Zac Posen replaces Michael Kors alongside Nina Garcia. Kors will return as a finale judge.

This season’s twist: The designers are “thrown into a panic” when they discover that they will be participating in Project Runway’s first-ever teams edition.

New TNT shows. The programmers at TNT have been busy. Getting the green light is Marshal Law: Texas, a new unscripted drama from Jerry Bruckheimer Televison. The reality show will be set in Houston and follow the exploits of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, which includes U.S. Marshals. No premiere date has been announced.

On Feb. 27, TNT will debut Boston’s Finest, a series about the Boston Police Department from executive producer Donnie Wahlberg.

This summer will bring two new competition series - The Hero, featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and 72 Hours, where teams are dropped into the wilderness and given three days to find a suitcase full of cash.

Also coming to TNT sometime this year are Cold Justice, which follows two female investigators as they work unsolved murders, and Save Our Business, a business-makeover series featuring British entrepreneur Peter Jones.

Another green light went to an untitled drama starring Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn as former Secret Service agents turned private eyes. Ten episodes have been ordered.

Finally, TNT has ordered a pilot for a scripted series titled Bounty Hunter starring Oscar winner (The Accidental Tourist) Geena Davis in the title role. The show is inspired by the real-life story of legendary bounty hunter Mackenzie Green.

Oxygen blinks. In a rare moment of clarity, Oxygen has backed off plans to air the special All My Babies’ Mamas, a reality special featuring Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo and the 11 children he fathered with 10 women.

The outraged backlash against the planned special was so extreme, Oxygen balked, but still said it “will continue to develop compelling content that resonates with our young female viewers and drives the cultural conversation.” The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

E-mail:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 34 on 01/24/2013

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