Rejoice TV nerds: The time has come. After yet another year of incredible impatience (well done, by the way), the new fall TV season (September to December) is finally upon us. Now comes the bigger challenge: Sifting through all the noise and finding the perfect show to binge on. But not to worry, we've compiled a list of the most exciting shows of the new season.

    There are already too many shows being produced these days. Sure, it's the new golden age but there are literally hundreds of programmes vying for your attention.

    We're all aware of Priyanka Chopra's Quantico. Only a year after Nimrat Kaur gave a great performance in the worst season of Homeland, Chopra is taking it a step further. She's starring in her own show about a group of young agents in the FBI's Quantico facility, complete with soap-opera level drama and an iffy American accent.

    For the purpose of this preview, we're mostly ignoring regular network television because we all know that golden age has bypassed networks and that they're producing mostly rubbish (we're looking at you Gotham). We also won't be including any returning series (now we're looking at you X-Files). It's all about the fresh stuff here.

    Cable and streaming on the other hand is showing no signs of slowing down. And that's where the best storytelling is happening and where the best talent is headed. So here goes.


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    Narcos
    The puply, violent and extremely entertaining story of the world's most infamous drug trafficker Pablo Escobar, a man who used to earn a reported $60 million a day at his peak and the cops tasked to track him down. More than anything else, what this show will do is make your entire life's ambition to get yelled at by the great Wagner Moura. Want even better news? The show's already streaming on Netflix.

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    Moonbeam City

    Sample the cast: Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara and Will Forte. Now sample the setting: A 1980's cop show with neon pink visuals and a synth-infused score. Oh, and did we mention it's a cartoon? The show premieres on Comedy Central on September 16.

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    Into the Badlands
    Remember that really cool martial arts show that you were binge-watching all those years ago? That's right, neither do we. Why didn't anyone think of this before? The show's loosely based on the Chinese tale The Journey to the West, about the epic journey undertaken by a warrior and a young boy across a violent feudal land. It's another attempt by AMC to luck out in the post Breaking Bad/Mad Men age. It premieres on November 15.

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    Scream Queens
    This holds sentimental value, especially with the great Wes Craven's death still fresh in our minds. Although it's another in Ryan Murphy's (Glee, American Horror Story) never ending output, the cast kind of sells it. Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and the original scream queen herself Jamie Lee Curtis. You can safely chalk this down in the guilty pleasure category and contemplate whether Neve Campbell making a cameo is asking for too much. Look out for a September 22nd debut on Fox.

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    Flesh and Bone
    From ex-Breaking Bad alum Moira Walley-Beckett and visionary Aussie director David Michod (Animal Kingdom) comes an exciting miniseries set in the world of professional ballet. "Like Black Swan?" we hear you ask. Well, yes. Even the trailers look eerily similar to that great Darren Aronofsky movie. But ask yourself this: Is that really a bad thing? The show premieres on Starz on November 8.

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    Fargo
    We're going to cheat a bit here. Yes, we know this is technically a returning show and we promised not to include any of them here. But it's also an anthology, featuring a young Lou Solverson played by Patrick Wilson. Yes, we know how True Detective season 2 panned out. But while that show's overly grim tone killed it, this looks like a return to the darkly humourous universe we've come to love. FX has set a premiere date of October 12.

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    Hand of God
    Ron Perlman stars as a corrupt judge who, after suffering a breakdown starts thinking that God is compelling him onto a path of vigilante justice. Think Preacher meets Judge Dredd. With a pilot directed by World War Z's Marc Forster, this looks like another great entry in the Amazon Studios roster. All episodes premiere on September 4.

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    Red Oaks
    Another Amazon Studios show. This one boasts the incredible behind-the-scenes team of director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) Gregory Jacobs (Magic Mike XXL) and Steven Soderbergh (who's changing the game with his Clive Owen-starrer The Knick). Craig Roberts (Submarine) plays a tennis player who takes a temp job at the high-end Red Oaks Country Club in the 1980's. Amazon's other dramedies Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle were both brilliant, and this looks like it will live up to that high benchmark. All episodes stream on October 12.

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    The Bastard Executioner
    Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) returns with his new show. But this time there aren't any hairy bikers. There are however, lots of hairy medieval guys. On the surface this looks like a cheap cash-in on the Game of Thrones wave. But Sutter is running the show and it's set intriguingly during the Welsh rebellion. Oh, and Ed Sheeran has a recurring role. FX will premiere all the episodes on September 15.

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    Wicked City
    This is the sole network programme on the list so it must be extra special. It's set in '80s LA on the Sunset Strip featuring two LAPD cops on the hunt for a romantically-linked serial killer couple. Think Dexter meets that great Brad Pitt movie Kalifornia. There's something really enticing about a good old-fashioned noir drama. The show will premiere on ABC on October 27.

    The author tweets @NaaharRohan

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, ZTE target top tier

  • Reuters, Barcelona
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 26, 2013 12:52 IST

China's Huawei, little known to consumers just a couple of years ago, is now leading the pack of smartphone makers chasing Apple(AAPL.O) and Samsung, with ZTE, another Chinese company, snapping at its heels.


Huawei, which sold 32 million smartphones in 2012, up 60 percent on 2011, unveiled its new flagship Ascend P2 smartphone in Barcelona, boasting a connection speed of 150 MB per second, the fastest on the market.

The company was third in smartphone sales in the final quarter of 2012, according to research firm IDC, with ZTE in fifth place and Sony sandwiched in between. Samsung and Apple, however, were far in front with half the market between them.

Wan Biao, chief executive of Huawei Device Co, said the Ascend P2's faster download speeds would make a difference to customers using 4G networks in countries such as Japan.

The device also includes power-saving technology, developed using expertise from its networks business, which Biao said helped it stand out against other high-end phones running Google's (GOOG.O) Android software.

"Our target is for Huawei to provide the best smartphones in the world, better than the iPhone, better than Samsung," he said in an interview on Monday. "Our target is top three in market share."

Huawei, which became established by selling unbranded phones to operators, said the Ascend P2 would be available from the second quarter priced at 399 euros, hundred of euros less than flagship devices from its rivals.

Biao said that the company was still establishing itself as a brand in the minds of consumers, so its phones did not attract high subsidies from network operators.

"Operators give a high subsidy to Samsung and Apple," he said. "We have a very high quality product but the price we set is not as high as these two smartphones; we have to develop differentiated products."

Analyst Carolina Milanesi at Gartner said the Ascend P2 was a notable step forward for the Chinese company, showing a focus on the most important aspects for consumers, such as speed, an impressive screen and longer battery life.

ZTE, which also developed its technology by making devices for others, is equally ambitious. On Monday, it said it expected to increase smartphone revenue by 30 percent this year.

"We at ZTE consider ourselves as not tier one yet, we see ourselves as tier two, comparable to HTC, Sony and Motorola," He Shiyou, head of mobile services division, said in an interviewer via a translator. "We have to be as aggressive as possible."

He said ZTE would reduce its product range to achieve larger sales of fewer models, and focus on the strongest markets for smartphones - the United States, China, Europe and Australia.

It previously took ZTE six months to catch up with the Samsung's software and hardware specifications, he said, but now it only took a quarter. "We need to close that gap," he said.

"By 2015, we are hoping to achieve the top three by market share, but in terms of branding image and also pricing segmentation, we want to reach the top five," he said.

ZTE unveiled a 5.7 inch Grand Memo handset in Barcelona, firmly in the "phablet" screen dimensions that Samsung has popularised in its Note range, and the ZTE Open, a smartphone running on Mozilla's Firefox OS open ecosystem.

 

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