May 13, 2013

THE SKED 2013 UPFRONTS: FOX Trailer – “Rake”


FOX’s most highly-touted drama pilot the entire development season was RAKE, which is indeed on the air.  The price of scoring Greg Kinnear as a lead (much as it had been last year with Kevin Bacon) is that he would only commit to a limited number of episodes, so the show will air on Thursdays at 9PM between the two halves of Glee‘s season.  It’s getting the network’s American Idol lead-in, and while that’s not the prize that it used to be, it’s still the best launching pad FOX has.  Here’s the trailer.

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It’s clear that Rake is an out-and-out star vehicle for Greg Kinnear, and that sets up a very interesting Thursday match-up between Kinnear on FOX and the Sean Hayes/Michael J. Fox duo on NBC.  The show seems considerably lighter in tone that the buzz on it and early comparisons to House had suggested–Kinnear’s brilliant but self-destructive lawyer is a gambling addict in love with a hooker, but he’s got a sense of humor about it all, and the pilot’s crime-of-the-week (Denis O’Hare as an accused cannibal) seems tongue-in-cheek.  The trailer doesn’t suggest much of a serialized element, and for an essentially procedural series, the limited number of episodes has little meaning.  While he show appears to be pretty weightless, it’s a solidly appealing role for Kinnear, and there’s no reason to think he won’t bring in a fair amount of audience.   Even if it’s not the gritty cable-level  “event” show some were expecting, it could work.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."