Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Paul Cornell's New Who Kudos

Paul Cornell's New Who Gets Rave Reviews

This past weekend in the UK saw the debut of part one of a two part Doctor Who episode (Human Nature/Family of Blood) written by Paul Cornell. His first season episode Father's Day was one of the three Doctor Who episodes nominated for a Hugo award last year. This time, reviewers and fans alike are touting the first half of the two parter as the best episode of the new Doctor Who series ever (that's all three seasons, not just this year). Congrats to Paul for the kudos. The two-parter is actually an adaptation of his original Doctor Who New Adventures novel published in 1995! Paul's original novel British Summertime has just been released in the US by MonkeyBrain Books and he just completed the Wisdom miniseries for Marvel. He's got more stuff in the works from Marvel (what it is specifically he isn't saying yet) and he's also writing an episode for series 2 of Primeval. Let's hope that Russell T. Davies has him lined up for another episode or two of Doctor Who next season. You can read Paul's reports on the episode on Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness. He's also a fun guy to hang around with at a convention.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales Videos, Fall TV Clips

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales Videos online

Warner Bros. Home Video has started making available some of the promo videos and other clips to promote the upcoming release of Babylon 5: The Lost Tales on July 31.

The ISN News web site has a Lost Tales web page listing the known clips available so far.


TV Week has set up a page hosting preview clips of most of the fall shows including the various genre shows.

Most of the networks are also hosting clips on their sites with the various video players and some have turned up on You Tube as well. Here's links to the official web page on the network sites as well as other clips elsewhere for the various shows:

Bionic Woman - You Tube long Preview
Chuck - You Tube long Preview

New Amsterdam - You Tube Promo Reel
Sarah Connor Chronicles - You Tube Promo Reel

Pushing Daisies - ABC Now has a full promo video on their web site
Eli Stone

The CW
Reaper - You Tube Reaper Preview

Moonlight - Preview Video on Innertube (or maybe not, the link is the one provided by CBS in their "Bloggers toolkit" to be a direct link to the clip. Instead it just takes you to the main Innertube page. To get to the preview clip, select the link on Moonlight, which takes you to the Fall Preview page and then click on the "video" link in the Moonlight box.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's looking like 2005 All Over Again....

The network upfronts are happening this week and it's looking like we'll get a lot of new genre shows this year on almost all of the networks. For a full slate of press releases and reports, check out The Futon Critic's UpFront Guide. It's looking like the success of Heroes has gotten the programming execs wanting to give SF/F shows a chance for the new season. It was just two years ago we had six genre shows debut (Surface, Invasion, Threshold, Ghost Whisper, Night Stalker, and Supernatural) in the fall, only two of which made it past the first season. This fall we look to have even more new genre shows.

Here's a rundown with a few comments and links to the Futon Critic's show page.

NBC - They have a lot of holes to fill and are heavy on genre stuff.
Bionic Woman - Half of the creative team of the new Galactic (David Eick) reimagines The Bionic Woman (with Starbuck as part of the series). It will also be repurposed on SciFi like Heroes this year.
Journeyman - "Journeyman" is a romantic mystery-drama about Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd, "Rome"), a San Francisco newspaper reporter and family man who inexplicably begins to travel through time and change people's lives." Didn't Quantum Leap already do this? No jumping into other peoples bodies or an equivalent to Al, though. NBC hopes this will hang on to some of Heroes audience.
Chuck - A comedic spy thriller about a computer technician who gets a server full of secret data downloaded into his brain. The premise is definitely SF, how much the actual show will be remains to be seen.
Heroes: Origins - A companion/spinoff to Heroes where will will meet new Heroes and fans can vote on one for season three (glad to see NBC is optimistic about the show!)

NBC is also planning lots of online companion stuff to their shows and doing even more with Heroes.

CBS - They have fewer holes to fill, so fewer dramas and only one new genre show.
Moonlight - "a private investigator/vampire who struggles with the repercussions of immortality, his adversaries in the vampire world and the love he feels for a mortal."

ABC - Riding on the crest of Gray's Anatomy, ABC has a couple of genre entries (and still has Masters of Science Fiction gathering dust on their shelf). Looks like the Americanized Life on Mars or the Mr. & Mrs. Smith pilots didn't make the grade (but could have life in mid-season).

Pushing Daisies - Bryan Fuller and Barry Sonnenfeld get together for "an unprecedented blend of romance, crime procedural and high-concept fantasy." Ned discovers he can bring the dead back to life, but if he touches them a second time, his recipient is dead again. Things get complicated when he brings his childhood sweetheart back to live, but he can never touch her again. They are using LOTs of comparisons to other things as in "a fairytale in the spirit of Amelie, Stranger than Fiction, and Chocolat. From the producers of Big Fish comes an equally magical and delightful series that offers a weekly dose of sweet, heartwarming, quirky fun." It might do well depending on where they put it, which hasn't been announced yet.

Eli Stone - "a unique, character-driven drama that explores the very different worlds of law and spirituality in a humorous and heartfelt way. Joining the fantasy and spirituality from "The Ghost Whisperer," sincerity and passion from "The Practice" and quirky humor from "Monk," the show explores whether we can change the course of our lives in midstream". Apparently, Eli is "hallucinating larger-than-life visions of pop stars and his dead relatives". Sounds like a lot in common with Raines as well. Always not a good sign when they cite three other shows that the show is a mixture of.

Cavemen - The premise has some SF/Fantasy mixed in it, but expanding the Geico commercials into a half hour sitcom probably means it will all be jokes as current as It's About Time when the astronauts brought the cavemen back with them.... Maybe someday we'll get a reimaginingg of "My Mother the Car".

FOX - Still looking for some new dramas to fill in when American Idol isn't on or when viewers have gotten tired of House repeats.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Are Terminator fans really wanting to know what happened between the second and third movies? Or will this change the timeline so the third one never happened? It does have Summer Glau as a terminatrix (supposedly), so it might be worth checking out for that. The big question is, can they get a cameo by the Governator?

New Amsterdam - An immortal cop living in New York with flashbacks to when it was New Amsterdam. He'll be immortal until he finds his true love. Will we see flashbacks to 1930 when the Daleks were involved with the building of the Empire State Building. Probably not. Will they use Elvis Costello's song on the soundtrack? Probably not. I'll give them points for not saying this show is like three other shows in the press release, even if it is long enough to be the series bible! Might be worth checking out.

The CW - They have renewed Smallville and Supernatural.
Reaper is about a bounty hunter for the devil has been picked up. The pilot was directed by Kevin Smith, so don't expect it to be a serious take on the subject.


Monday, May 7, 2007

SFTV Updates & More

Blood Ties Update - 12 now, 10 in October.
According to Broadcasting and Cable, Lifetime's plans for Blood Ties has them ending the current airing run at 12 episodes, with the remaining 10 episodes airing over five weeks in October, two episodes each week. According to the article, the show has averaged 1.4 million viewers including 460,00 women 18-49 and 220,000 women 18-34. Showing up today is the official press release from Lifetime, viewable here on The Futon Critic

SciFi Gets Anime-ted.
The SciFi Channel will launch an Ani-Monday Anime block starting Monday, June 11. They're hoping to draw in some younger viewers to try to get their median age down below the 45 years it is currently at. Thier full press release about it can be found here at The Futon Critic (again). In checking Broadcasting and Cable, they have an article about it that goes into a bit more detail on why they are giving it a shot and what they will be up against from the other cable networks.

Lost & Medium Renewals
ABC announced a renewal for Lost for three more seasons at 16 episodes a season, with each season starting in January. NBC also announced a renewal for Medium for next season. Press releases for Lost and Medium can also be found at The Futon Critic.

Up Fronts Next Week
Next week is the annual Up Front presentations by the main broadcast networks to preview their fall schedules and other programming plans. There may be more news later in the week about early renewals or pilot pickups in advance of the Up Fronts.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Vampires, Bunnies, and More!

A few Random bits of news and information:

Blood Ties Gets Full Pickup from Lifetime
According to author Tanya Huff on her livejournal (and a follow up email from producer Peter Mohan), Lifetime has picked up the back nine for the first season of Blood Ties. They were producing a full season of 22 episodes to begin with for airing in Canada. Lifetime initially committed to 13 episodes and picked up their option for the full 22 episodes. It isn't clear when Lifetime will air the rest of them and it appears that their planned two episode "season finale" has dropped the second episode, likely keeping it for the next block of episodes to air later in the year. Huff has recently blogged about the process of writing the recent episode "Stone Cold" as well as her cameo appearance in it. It sounds like she has been having a good time seeing her creations turned into a TV series. Along with The Dresden Files, it's neat to have a couple of SF or Fantasy novel series adapted to TV with the creators actually getting a chance to be involved as well and liking the end result.

Speaking of Vampires, the Eurovision song contest's Switzerland entry tries to do for Vampires what Michael Jackson did for Zombies with DJ Bobo's "Vampires are Alive" (You Tube version)(What's with the horse?)

Dresden Files News
No word yet on if SciFi will pick up the Dresden Files for a second series. The low ratings (Sub 1.0 for weeks 2 & 3) for Painkiller Jane are certainly making the ratings Dresden was drawing on Sunday nights look much better. There is now an organized fan campaign for The Dresden Files to encourage SciFi to pick it up.

When Jim Butcher was in Phoenix, he got interviews by The Dragon Page and their show with Jim is now up and available. They also absconded with John Scalzi when he was here and should have that show up in a week or two. According to the official Jim Butcher web site, Jim just sold books 12 and 13 of The Dresden Files (White Knight, the new book, is #9 in the series and has been in the top rankings of the last few weeks of the New York Times bestseller list). Congrats Jim!

A Special Bunny Film
This entry on Neil Gaiman's blog should be checked out. See what happens when someone takes a random comment and runs with it.