Tonight (Jan. 25) at 9pm EST, Fox will be airing a “special preview” of the new Keifer Sutherland drama Touch. Even though the series doesn’t officially premiere until March 19th, Fox producers are attempting to build up hype early on, a strategy that was relatively successful with their recent series New Girl.
However, based on the previews so far, Touch looks to be a completely different animal from the fun and quirky New Girl, with a much more complicated plot and deeply intertwined storylines. This is expected, of course, from the show’s creator Tim Kring, the same guy who brought us the highly convoluted superhero drama Heroes. Given the heavily involved nature of the show, it seems unlikely that viewers’ will still be willing to commit to the series two months from now, long after interest will have faded. Of course, I’m not a TV executive, and maybe they know something I don’t.
In the show, Sutherland plays Martin Bohm, the father of 11 year-old Jake, who has a unique “disorder” similar to autism. Jake has never spoken in his life, prefers not to be touched, and spends a good bit of his time jotting down numbers in his notebook. The previews have hinted pretty heavily at the idea that the numbers are more than just random, that they have some sort of cosmic significance that will undoubtedly drive the series’ plot.
The previews make the show seem a little melodramatic, but there are few actors who can make this style work better than Keifer, who is known for giving an organic feel to situations that would normally seem cheesy.
In the end, only time will tell if this early preview strategy will work for the new Fox drama, and for now all we can do is enjoy tonight’s hour-long preview.