UPROXX – Surefire Hit — No show on the new Fox schedule is likely to become another Empire-sized hit, but brand recognition, a good cast (Damon Wayans and Rectify‘s Clayne Crawford) and a compelling trailer make Lethal Weapon worth a look. Crawford is fantastic in the trailer, and if the show can inject some interesting serial storylines around the staid procedural formula, it could work.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (1) – And I think Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans work, so I think Lethal Weapon has a chance to work. And remember that in order to work, Lethal Weapon doesn’t have to be as good as the first two movies in the franchise, but it should try to be better than the last two. Crawford and Wayans look to play off of each other well and the clips didn’t pander to the brand or to “I’m too old for this shit” catchphrases. This could end up just being Fox’s version of CBS’ version of Rush Hour, but I’m fooling myself into believing it’ll be something better.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (2) – Yeah, it’s a reboot — and the last thing Hollywood needs is another unoriginal idea. But the Warner Bros. TV-produced drama was showered with praise by Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman from the Beacon Theatre stage, and backed up privately by several others who have screened the pilot. Much is being made of star Clayne Crawford (Rectify), an eleventh-hour find who’s moving with his family from Alabama to Los Angeles for the role. In fact, he’s said to be Warner Bros. TV’s highest-testing character ever. Additionally, the pilot was the year’s highest-testing drama at the network, which will pair it with juggernaut Empire on Wednesdays.
NERDBASTARDS – Reboots and Re-Imaginings are the new bread and butter of the Studios and Networks. Grab up the rights to an old favorite, chain a couple of writers into a room and don’t feed them until they come out with a new look for an old show that trades heavily on the old shows reputation. More often than not, those writers make changes, some small, some big, change a gender here, slip a new character there, update to make sense in a world with cell phones, the usual stuff. Most of the time, if the production can capture the true feeling of the original without morphing it into something unrecognizable, the reboot/re-imagining can make a few bucks. If the studio or network doesn’t hit the mark, the failures are spectacular. That leads us to the Lethal Weapon television series on FOX which, after watching this new trailer, doesn’t try to blaze new territory or change everything, but sticks to what made the original so much fun in the early stages of the franchise.
The original movie franchise that starred Danny Glover and the then non-crazy Mel Gibson playing a crazy guy was a lot of fun. It’s been 18 years since Lethal Weapon 4, perhaps enough time has gone by and the franchise is ready to return.
Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford do seem to have a good chemistry together on-screen. Without that chemistry, the series is doomed to a single season. It’s interesting that the production seems to stick very close to the original, at least with what we’ve seen in this trailer. Will fans return because of that, and will the series be able to attract new fans?
USA TODAY– FOX
As you’ve heard, there are far too many big-screen transfers on the network schedules this fall, but this one, at least, seems to be better cast than most. Damon Wayans, Sr. and Rectify’s Clayne Crawford attempt to replace Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, which won’t be easy. But then, TV seldom is.
BACKSTAGE – Another reboot of a classic movie, this version of “Lethal Weapon” features Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans in the roles originated by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, respectively. Expect awesome action, thrills, and the occasional wisecrack in this promising new show.
VARIETY (1) – As for the deal-making environment, Roth said WB’s focus remains on fielding the shows that networks can’t bear to turn down. The studio’s “Lethal Weapon” reboot got one of the biggest plugs at the Fox upfront, with execs raving about the chemistry between stars Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford. Roth emphasized that quality is the best shield in a tough negotiation.
“Our focus is on making undeniable television,” Roth said. “When we do that, even the pressures that are brought to bear are often not in any way overwhelming.”
VARIETY (2) – Based on the hit movie franchise of the same name, “Lethal Weapon” follows iconic cop duo Riggs and Murtaugh, as they work a crime-ridden beat in modern-day Los Angeles. From the moment the brash and impulsive Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford, “Rectify”) meets prudent, by-the-book Roger Murtaugh (Emmy Award nominee Damon Wayans, Sr., “My Wife and Kids,” “In Living Color”), it seems as if this partnership is doomed. But after their first case together, both realize this arrangement might just work out after all – if Riggs doesn’t get them killed first.