To some it may sounds like "Alias 2.0," but if you watch a few episodes of NBC's "Undercovers" you will realize that it is a very different show with its own mythology behind it ... a mythology which will now be explored in a more serialized format.
So far, the spy-drama has taken a mission-of-the-week approach to storytelling with our caterers-by-day, spies-by-night heroes foiling a dastardly plot every other week. However, in those episodes there have been mutterings and whispers that there could be a larger agenda behind the reactivation of the Blooms (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) and that will become crucial to the future of the series.
"The mythology is represented by Shaw [Gerald McRaney] and his boss, and the plan they have for the Blooms," Kodjoe told TVGuide. "Every episode we find out new elements and new aspects about this master plan that was in place even before they came back to the CIA."
Who exactly is Shaw's boss? Well, his loyalties are yet to be determined but former "The O.C." and "Lost" star Alan Dale has signed on for the role and will soon be making his presence known. Dale has already recorded a voice over that will be heard in a telephone conversation in an upcoming episode (entitled "Crashed") and he will step into the show for the eleventh episode.
The series hasn't exactly struggled ratings-wise, but it hasn't pulled in any impressive numbers either meaning that it could be among this year's "on-the-bubble" shows when it comes to renewal. NBC have already given full season commitments to "The Event" and "Outsourced" but have instead chosen to order only an additional four scripts from "Undercovers" and an additional script order isn't a commitment to actually go ahead and produce the episodes.
If the series can pick up the pace though and show some improvement in ratings, it might stave off a cancelation order and complete a full season before the decision is made on whether or not an additional year will be commissioned.
"Obviously, we would have liked for [the network] to say, 'Go ahead and shoot your back nine episodes,' but I understand our ratings aren't exactly going through the roof," series co-creator Josh Reims said. "I'm hoping that when they see the episodes that are airing in the next few weeks, plus the scripts they are going to get, they'll realize, 'Oh, wow there's a lot going on in this show and we don't want to give up on it yet.'"
When "Undercovers" first launched, it dispelled comparisons to "Alias" (J.J. Abrams created both shows) by insisting that the series would not have such a complex mythology aspect and that casual viewers would be able to switch on the television and enjoy the adventure as a stand-alone event.
Now, the aim is to develop a mystery will help keep viewers hooked and also draw in new viewers to watch it unfold.
"Audiences are not to be underestimated," Kodjoe said. "We want to be entertained and there has to be some sense of escapism. On the other hand, people want to be challenged. I think that's part of the reason they made that adjustment. Obviously we want to challenge our audience and make sure they stay with us."
"Undercovers" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.