L.A.’s hottest spot this fall is the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Jurassic Park. That’s the formula for this effects-heavy sci-fi thriller about a massive sinkhole opening up at the site of the famed La Brea Tar Pits. During the catastrophic rupture, “Dozens of people fall in,” says showrunner David Appelbaum (NCIS: New Orleans). “They’re transported to this primeval world where they have to band together to figure out how to survive.”
The disparate group includes a troubled psychiatrist (Chiké Okonkwo), a doctor and ex–Navy SEAL (Chicago P.D.’s Jon Seda) with his college-age daughter (Veronica St. Clair), and a Louisiana cop in L.A. on a mysterious quest (Karina Logue). Taking point: Natalie Zea’s Eve Harris, a “badass superhero trapped in a middle-management body,” jokes the Justified alum. Her character is plunged into this unfamiliar new reality with her son, Josh (Jack Martin), and a helpful array of physical abilities. “She grew up learning survival skills from her dad,” Zea says, “so when Eve begins to transform into a leader, out of necessity, that part of her that was lost so many years ago begins to wake up.”
That’s not the only reawakening. Thanks to the seismic event, some of the beastly residents down below have become more active…and interested in what lies above. “One of the early striking images is seeing some of these creatures come up through the sinkhole,” says an excited Appelbaum.
Eve’s daughter, Izzy (Zyra Gorecki), and estranged husband Gavin (The Night Shift’s Eoin Macken) are also up top. A former Air Force pilot, he’s spent three years being tortured by visions of a “strange place he hasn’t [seen] and can’t explain,” Appelbaum says. These two, plus Gavin’s best friend from flight school (The Good Doctor’s Nicholas Gonzalez), will try to connect the painful visions to what’s happened to their loved ones and hopefully bring Eve and Josh back home.
Which is really the heart of La Brea, Appelbaum says. “It’s a big adventure show — a little bit of Lost, a little bit of Land of the Lost. But it’s also a deeply emotional story about this fractured family that’s trying to reunite.”
La Brea, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 28, 9/8c, NBC
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2021 Fall Preview issue. For more inside scoop on the new fall TV season, pick up the issue, on newsstands Thursday, August 26.