No Ordinary Family

8:30pm Thursday, February 24 on TV2

The Powell family are putting their new found superpowers to good use tonight in TV2’s brand new drama, No Ordinary Family.

In this week’s episode, after Stephanie’s (Julie Benz) ring is stolen during a robbery at a high-end wedding, Jim (Michael Chiklis) and George (Romany Malco) become wedding crashers in an attempt to catch the thugs. Meanwhile, after learning that assistant Katie (Autumn Reeser) misguidedly used her own blood to cover for Stephanie’s company physical exam – fearing that the results would reveal her powers – Stephanie is forced to use her powers in order to retrieve the blood sample from a secure lab.

And, against her parents’ wishes, Daphne (Kay Panabaker) wants to tell her friend about her telepathic abilities after she inadvertently reads her mind and blurts out what she heard; and JJ (Jimmy Bennett) asks Daphne to scan the mind of a cute girl to find out if she has feelings for him.

Having played both the comedian and the dramatist, Benz says playing the role of a wife and mother with superpowers was the perfect fit for her as an actress: “For me, I’ve always wanted to do that kind of romantic comedy stuff, and this is the closest I’ve ever come to it is this show. And for me, it’s a dream job. And it also has all the action stuff rolled into it. I love playing the dramatic stuff, but I also love being funny. I love it.”

With a wad of experience behind her, Benz knows the importance of drawing an audience and attracting a loyal fan base. “I’ve been so fortunate to be a part of this amazing global community of these genre shows,” says the actress. “Once again, I landed it again, and it’s great because to me [the enthusiastic fans] are the best fans. They’re just as passionate about the show as we are making it. They’re my favourite fans. They’re loyal. They love you, and I think it’s important.

“I’m big on Twitter. I tweet a lot. And I have a lot of followers, and I believe in that back-and-forth that you can create through a global community that Twitter creates as well. It’s just a fun way to reach out to fans,” Benz continues.

Dedicated to drawing people to the show, and portraying her character with all of the power and strength necessary to make a convincing superhero, Benz put in the hard yards as soon as she was cast as Stephanie Powell. “You know, I train really hard. When I got this role, I trained even harder, I upped my cardio, went back to running because I had left running and gone into spinning. Worked on my running style so it would be a very specific style of running,” she enthuses.

“Does it beat me up? I mean, I am pretty tough. I was a former figure skater. I know how to fall and not get hurt, and I don’t get banged up. This is the perfect part for me because it feeds into my competitive nature, and it gives me everything I love as an actor.”

8:30pm Thursday, February 10 on TV2

The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary in TV2’s brand new drama No Ordinary Family.

After 16 years of marriage, Jim (Michael Chiklis, The Shield, Fantastic Four) feels disconnected from his workaholic wife, Stephanie (Julie Benz, Desperate Housewives), and two teenage children, Daphne (Kay Panabaker) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett). To encourage family bonding time, Jim decides the family will join Stephanie on her business trip to South America.

When their plane crashes into the Amazon River, they barely enjoy a moment to celebrate their survival before returning to the grind of everyday life. But they will soon realise that their lives have changed forever. Each member of the family starts to show signs of new, unique and distinct super powers. Will their newfound abilities finally bring them together or push them further apart?

For the lead family member, Michael Chiklis, the show’s premise and the idea that the super power each family member develops makes up for a quality they think they’re lacking, was what attracted him to the role. He told ABC News, “it showed some acumen on the part of the writers that it wasn’t just arbitrary that we got these different powers.

“In the show I feel like I haven’t been a strong enough father and husband and I end up getting super strength. My wife is a very successful scientist but there’s not enough time in the day… so she ends up with super speed. My daughter, typically of a teenager, is a bit of a narcissist and can’t read into people’s thoughts, and she ends up having clear voyance. Then my youngest son, he’s about to be in remedial class so he ends up being a super genius.”

Having the opportunity to watch each family member come to grips with their new-found power was also something that appealed to Chiklis. “One thing that we’ve always found in superhero-type shows is that people get these superpowers and by the end of the first act they’re like bam, I’ve got superpowers,” exclaims the actor. “So we wanted to stay with the wonder of that for a while and the effects of that both positive and negative, and there would be many!”

However, the excitement of developing super powers proved all too much for the actor on the first day of shooting. “It was the very first shot of the pilot and I have to jump off a roof. My co-star has found out I’ve got superpowers and is convinced I can fly so he convinces me to jump off a roof. On the very first set of takes I go, without warning … sprinting and jumping off the roof, and when I jumped, my calf ripped.”

Injuries aside, Chiklis is thrilled to finally be part of a series that the whole family can enjoy. “The interesting thing over the last ten years is everything’s sort of broken up into niche entertainment, and there’s little out there that you can sit as a family and watch together,” he explains. “And this is just something that I thought would appeal to everybody, so I was excited to take it on.”

We’re passed half way on the new season premieres that are happening this week.  There are a few more on the horizon though, like Masterchef New Zealand which returns on Sunday the 20th of February on TV One. I suspect Marcus Lush’s North will also appear there as well.  However, to whet your appetite for Masterchef, Simon Gault has his Intrepid Journey at 8:30pm on One. That, of course, if you’re not watching TV 2’s new super-powered show in No Ordinary Family. Bones returns to TV3 at 8:30 as well.

 

Before those, Police 10-7 is back on 2, Nestle New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker is back on 3 and American Dad is back, albeit on Four. Futureama, The Cleveland Show and South Park also all return to the new channel tonight.

The show of the night though is An Idiot Abroad at 9:30pm on TV3. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you love Ricky Gervais, it’s a must watch.

On Four, new comedy The Good Guys debuts at 9:30pm as well.

And if you don’t have Sky and you’ve managed not to listen to the radio, read an online news site, Facebook or Twitter, then Prime has highlights from the Halberg Awards from 11:30pm.

What are you watching tonight?

Lucy Lawless joins No Ordinary Family

Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless has signed on for a role on new series No Ordinary Family which begins here on TV2 in February. Lawless will appear in at least five episodes of the show’s first season.

Two and a Half Men on production hiatus

CBS has confirmed that Two and a Half Men will go on a production hiatus following the news that Charlie Sheen has been checked into a rehab facility. The network released a statement that said: “Due to Charlie Sheen’s decision to enter a rehabilitation centre, CBS, Warner Bros Television and executive producer Chuck Lorre are placing Two and a Half Men on production hiatus. We are profoundly concerned for his health and well-being, and support his decision.”

Idol contestant suing for third time

An American Idol contestant is suing the show for the third time after being rejected from the show in 2006. Ian Benardo is attempting to sue for discrimination after claiming producers “exploited” his homosexuality by asking him to “gay it up”. Benardo originally sought $300 million before it was reduced during his second lawsuit to $100 million. He is now seeking $5 million.

Glee rejects Eminem tracks

The producers of Glee have opted out of using Eminem’s songs on the musical series due to the excessive fee the rapper is charging for the rights. Eminem was seeking $200,000 for the use of one of his tracks, a fee which would put production well over budget.

Walhberg sells sports pilot 

Mark Walhberg has sold a new sports series entitled Home Game to American network CBS which he produced with Entourage producing partner Stephen Levinson. The pilot of Home Game centres on a retired American football player who struggles to readjust to normal life. 

It’s more solid programming from TV2 in 2011 with some excellent content.  The only thing obviously missing was any sign of new local shows on TV2.  

Check out the list of shows and trailers below.

New Shows

Shit My Dad Says

Off The Map

The Walking Dead

No Ordinary Family

Mike and Molly

Haven

Hot in Cleveland

Better Together

Happy Endings

Chase

Returning Shows
Desperate Housewives
Two and a Half Men
The Big Bang Theory
The Mentalist
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Cougar Town
Brothers and Sisters
The Middle
Hell’s Kitchen
American Idol
The Vampire Diaries
Scrubs
The Amazing Race
Gossip Girl 

Returning Local Shows
Shortland Street (With another feature length episode) 
Go Girls
Neighbours at War
Police Ten 7
Rescue One
Motorway Patrol
20/20