Dealing with demons: Comic book renaissance continues on NBC

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Andrew Warren / TV Media
Matt Ryan stars in “Constantine”

Matt Ryan stars in “Constantine”

Dealing with demons: There once was a time, not so long ago, when comic books were widely seen as the purview of teenaged boys and their adult counterparts who, perhaps, still lived in their mothers' basements.

Well that day has long passed. Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" has been this year's highest-grossing movie, DC's "Batman" characters have found a new home on Fox with the new drama "Gotham," and the Green Arrow has been fighting crime on The CW since 2012 in "Arrow."

With decades of rich material to work with and a seed of a base already built in, comic book franchises may be the goose that lays the golden egg. Fox's "Gotham" may have been getting most of the buzz so far -- "Batman" has long been an enormously popular character -- but NBC has its own hero ready to storm prime time.

"Constantine" premieres Friday, Oct. 24, on the peacock network, and it's just the latest entry in the burgeoning marketplace of comic book adaptations on television. Starring Matt Ryan ("Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior") as the titular John Constantine, the supernatural show -- based on DC's "Hellblazer" comic series -- follows him as he battles demons, protects the innocent and maybe even saves his own soul along the way.

Rounding out the main cast are Harold Perrineau ("Sons of Anarchy") as Constantine's guardian angel and Charles Halford ("Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.") as his brawny best friend and sidekick.

Savvy movie watchers will remember that the "Hellblazer" comics have already been adapted to the screen once before, with 2005's "Constantine" film starring Keanu Reeves ("The Matrix," 1999). Despite sharing both source material and name, though, this "Constantine" is unrelated to the earlier take.

"Hellblazer" is certainly a darker and grittier comic than many that have been adapted to the screen, and that may be what sets it apart from an increasingly crowded playing field. "Constantine," starring Matt Ryan, premieres Friday, Oct. 24, on NBC.


Far from Kansas: He may be one of the most well-known doctors in the country, and now the Emmy-winning surgeon is taking us behind the scenes.

Dr. Mehmet Oz has captured the hearts of daytime TV watchers with his frank and straightforward health advice in his daily talk show "The Dr. Oz Show," but beyond the TV set, he's a practicing cardiothoracic surgeon at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Now, "Surgeon Oz," a new docu-series on OWN, is set to pull back the curtain and show Oz's legions of fans the good doctor's first career.

Premiering Thursday, Oct. 23, on OWN with back-to-back episodes, "Surgeon Oz" will showcase the doctor in his element, performing life-saving surgery and helping families deal with the life or death decisions set before them.

The premiere episode will showcase an unusual case -- Dr. Oz coming across an unusual growth that he's never seen before while performing an emergency heart surgery. After a three-decade career, finding something new must be a shocking occurrence, but Oz's fans know that the patient couldn't be in better hands.

That's not to say, though, that Dr. Oz hasn't seen his share of controversy. Critics have pointed out that he's not averse to recommending treatments on "The Dr. Oz Show" that lack scientific validity. Earlier this year, he appeared before a Senate hearing on consumer protection, during which he was grilled on recommendations he's given for unproven weight-loss supplements.

"Surgeon Oz," though, isn't about any of that. Whether you hang onto his every word or roll your eyes every time he pops up on the TV screen, it can't be denied that he's one of the nation's top surgeons. "Surgeon Oz" premieres Thursday, Oct. 23, on OWN.


True to form: After the resounding success of the first season of HBO's "True Detective," it was almost a given that a second season of the anthology crime drama would be in the cards. While it's not news that it'll be returning, what is exciting and new about "True Detective's" season 2 is who's joining the cast.

While rumors swirled for what seemed like ages, it's been confirmed that Colin Farrell ("Total Recall," 2012) and Vince Vaughn ("Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," 2004) will headline the dark drama. Farrell will play compromised detective Ray Velcoro, who is owned by a mobster and working in a corrupt police department. Vaughn, on the other hand, will star as career criminal Frank Semyon, whose business is in trouble after his co-investor is killed.

The new season will be set in California, though series creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto said in a podcast with "To the Best of Our Knowledge" that it won't be in Los Angeles.

"Some of the much lesser-known venues of California," he said of where specifically it would be, "and we’re going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambiance of the place, much like we did in season 1."

With more information spilling out as production on season 2 gets underway, HBO's "True Detective" is shaping up to be another stellar hit. Look for it when it airs some time in 2015.