First Look, Two Takes: Fox’s ‘Lone Star’ Sets Up A Sweet Con

'Lone Star's Adrianne Palicki, James Wolk and Eloise Mumford (Fox)

'Lone Star's Adrianne Palicki, James Wolk and Eloise Mumford (Fox)

As the fall TV season nears, it’s time to get a feel for the fresh fare coming our way. In Fancast’s First Look, Two Takes series, executive editor Matt Mitovich shares a snapshot overview of each new show, noting strengths and areas for improvement, and then invites senior editor Julie Zied to offer a second opinion.

Today we saddle up for…

Time slot:
Mondays at 9/8c, premiering September 20
Competition: The second hour of ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (ABC), ‘Two and a Half Men’/’Mike & Molly’ (CBS), ‘The Event’ (NBC) and ‘Gossip Girl’ (CW)
Cast: Includes newcomer James Wolk, Jon Voight (’24’), David Keith (‘Office and a Gentleman’), Adrianne Palicki (‘Friday Night Lights’) and Eloise Mumford (‘Crash’)
Executive Producers: Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (‘Party of Five’), Marc Webb (‘(500) Days of Summer’) and series creator Kyle Killen

The Bullet: Bob Allen’s got it all – a beautiful home in Houston, Texas; a gorgeous wife named Cat (Palicki); and upward trajectory at his father-in-law Clint’s (Voight) oil biz. Oh, did we mention that 400 miles west Robert also has a gorgeous girlfriend and wholly separate life? Yeah, turns out our boy’s in the midst of a long, potentially lucrative con, co-plotted by his grifter dad (Keith). This is gonna get messy.

What Works: Part ‘Dallas’ and part ‘Big Love,’ ‘Lone Star’ is all suds – and wonderfully so. Keith is so skeevy as Robert’s pop, you want to shower after his scenes, while Voight’s a sufficiently steely tycoon. With few credits behind him, Wolk seems up for this lead role, bringing at the very least to the screen a watchable hybrid of Kyle Chandler and George Clooney.

What Needs Work: For how long can this con go on? In the pilot alone, Robert/Bob is threatened with exposure at least a couple of times. Plus, a twist at the end promises to make his dual life more than doubly troubling. But heck, I’m way curious to see where this goes. Giddy-up!

Check out the full fall schedules for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW

Take Two, from Fancast senior editor Julie Zied: ‘Lone Star’ has all the trappings of a quality soap – the three D’s: deception, double lives, and daddy issues (and maybe merits a fourth – Dallas-esque, for the show it’s frequently been compared to). Wolk is both believably devious and sympathetic; on one side with his cunning smile and quick wit, and the other, his tortured self-hatred. To Matt’s point, my one grievance is simple: with so much resolved in the pilot, where can it go? Could Robert’s need for redemption in fact be a long con on us, the audience? I’m eager to find out.

The Fancast Forecast: Alas, ‘Lone Star’ is far from alone in its time slot, facing off against the always formidable ‘DWTS,’ an hour of Chuck Lorre sitcoms and NBC’s sure-to-be-hyped ‘Event.’ Hopefully, it can dig in its spurs early and lasso the audience it deserves.

Also Read Our First Looks at ‘Nikita,’ ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ ‘Mike & Molly‘ and ‘No Ordinary Family,’ and ‘Undercovers

Want scoop on your favorite show, from summer or fall? Send your question to and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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