A Preview of Blood & Oil

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

ABC and CTV have had a pretty good run with Sunday soaps, from Desperate Housewives to Revenge, and they’re diving into that well (ahem) again with Blood & Oil, a primetime sudser grounded in the current oil rush happening in really remote regions of the U.S.

Headlined in theory by Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford and Red Band Society‘s Rebecca Rittenhouse, the draw for me is Don Johnson. Full disclosure: before we had DVRs and time-shifting, I spent about 11 combined years watching Miami Vice and Nash Bridges live on Fridays, and I’ve missed not having Johnson on my TV.

Here, he’s Hap Briggs, an oil baron with a gorgeous younger wife, Carla (Revenge‘s Amber Valletta), who’s as equally motivated as he is at making more and more money. He’s saddled with a very angry, rebellious son, Wick (Chasing Life and OUaT‘s Scott Michael Foster), who mars the family name at every turn.

Enter into this Billy (Crawford) and Cody (Rittenhouse), the idealistic young couple who come north to start a string of Laundromats (an idea which actually doesn’t suck and is sort of sweet) until the scene all over the trailer happens and they have to rethink their big plan. There are also other real-life developments that come into play.

When they land in town, they find out exactly how many other people have had the same idea about success, and then Cody overhears something that she tells Billy and they decide the time is now to go big or go back home with a very huge gamble.

And that’s about all you need to know going in. One interesting tidbit behind the scenes that came to light earlier this month is that with a post-pilot showrunner swap, the series is supposedly running two separate writers rooms, which I believe is a first. How that works is a mystery — does each room present a script and then the network makes the call on which one shoots?

It seems that it came down to a battle of earnest storytelling vs. sexy sweeps-worthy soapiness. We’ll see who wins. The pilot has a balance that worked for me. Since I’m not a devotee of the highly successful Thursday night OMG soap troika, if the show goes more toward that route it will probably lose me. But for now, I’m in.

Blood & Oil premieres tonight at 9 pm e/8 c on ABC in the U.S. and 9 pm e/p on CTV in Canada.

Here are a few sneak peeks. Check back later for Kate’s Pilot Perception!





Photos and Videos courtesy of ABC.

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