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Premieres: October 21, 10pm on Starz
Plot: Chicago is home to one of the most complex, powerful political machines in the country, and at the center of it is Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer). Kane wields his power to get the jobs that need to be done completed, by any means necessary. Because of this, he's perceived as being on his way up the political ladder. But what his allies, enemies, and even his wife Meredith (Connie Nielsen) do not know is that he's suffering from a degenerative brain disorder that is slowing destroying his faculties.
Why We're Excited: Grammer has spent years trying to emerge from the shadow of one of the most successful sitcoms in recent memory, "Frasier". Subsequently starring in two high-profile comedy failures ("Back to You" and "Hank") did nothing to help him in that quest. From what we've seen of "Boss" and Kane's outsize, explosive and tragically dark persona, this could be the role that gives Grammer's serious dramatic skills a very public workout. Unlike the aspirational vision of politics that powered "The West Wing," this is an exploration of the high-stakes chess game side of things, driven by dirty deals, corruption and backstabbing. Even more intriguing, it represents director Gus Van Sant's first foray into television production. It's perfect fare for the premium channel that has risen on the success of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand."
Why We're Not: With the economy performing so poorly and the view of government effectiveness plummeting further with each passing day, a show like this will either provide a touch of catharsis for viewers or be shunned in favor of more easily digestible escapist fare.
Trivia: The first season of "Boss" will follow Kane through three weeks of a primary campaign.