Wednesday, October 31, 2007

World Fantasy 2007: Day -1

We've made it to Saratoga Springs for the 2007 World Fantasy convention. Nothing official is happening yet other than setup and a lot of people in the bar already. If it is anything like it was in 2004 in Phoenix, the bar will be packed all weekend and they will probably need to restock by Friday.

Just tonight we ran into Arizona author Adam Niswander, Brit Paul Cornell, Charles Vess, John Picacio, Gardner Dozoi, Locus editor Liza Trombi, and Locus publisher Charles Brown. Those were just the ones I easily recognized.


Hogfather is coming, as well as Colour of Magic

Its getting to that time of year when the Hogfather shows up to hand out toys to all the good boys and girls. At least in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. The TV miniseries adaptation of Hogfather will be broadcast in the U.S. for the first time on Sunday night, November 25th on ION TV at 7 pm ET/6 pm CT as part of the RHI Movie Weekend. ION Television (formerly the PAX Network) airs on many local stations and is also available on cable and satellite TV. To find out where the network is in your local area, go to the ION TV website and click on "Find us by Zip Code" in the upper right corner of the screen.

The full press release about the airing can be found here. Youtube has the trailer for the premiere The RHI Films Hogfather page has some information an pictures for the US broadcast. The Sky One TV page for the UK broadcast of Hogfather last year has a lot of good behind the scenes information. Sadly, at this time the video portions cannot be viewed by U.S. viewers. If you can't wait for the TV broadcast, a Borders Exclusive DVD release will hit Borders stores on Tuesday, November 13th. The DVD will contain the miniseries and an interview with Terry Pratchett. It apparently will not include the additional material that is on the U.K. DVD which includes several Making of Hogfather segments as well as The Twelve Days of Hogswatch that were made availabe on the Sky One web site. The general release of the DVD to the rest of the U.S. is planned for March and will likely be a 2 DVD set with the extra material.

The Hogfather miniseries is just the beginning, though. Currently in production is a miniseries based on the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. It stars David Jason as Rincewind, Sean Astin as Twoflower, and Tim Curry as Trymon. Sky One has an official production site for The Colour of Magic. It is expected to air in the UK around Easter and likely will air in the US later in 2008.
Yes, I will be chairing the first North American Discworld Convention coming up in September of 2009. Full details will be announced soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Schedule Lists Updated, TV BIg Shot

The latest schedules have been updated at I've also got a good bit of news in the Upcoming Schedule update as well. Things have been a bit busy as I get ready for a busy month of conventioning with World Fantasy Convention, TusCon 34 (still a maybe) and LosCon 34. I did make it out to the Horror/SciFi Film Festival and got to see Claudia Christian.

As for TV Big Shot, after some problems getting things working properly, things have settled down a bit. My SFTVPlus network is in the top 60 and moving up fast. I missed out on some of the initial ratings gains that garnered bonus points for those that caught on in time for the first week of ratings, but I've managed to keep pace to some extent. The main issue is that one of the users did make the right choices in the first couple of weeks and has several networks heading up the top of the heap. I think its still possible to catch him by making the best use of your budget during the heavy repeat weeks and if there's a writer's strike, trying to guess what will do well in the filler shows will not be a simple task. If anything, I've picked some shows this week that may garner significant bonus points if they do as I expect them to while the leader appears to be playing things safe this week.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bloodsuckers, Zombies, and Horror/SciFi Film Festival

Blood Ties Is Back.

First up, this weekend is the return of Blood Ties to Lifetime on Friday night at 11 pm ET/PT, following their new psychic shows. This is the back half of the first season production order of 22 episodes. Lifetime originally committed to 13 episodes when they aired it back in March and it did well enough for them they picked up the back 9, and also held back the last episode of the first block to make it an even ten episodes.

Tanya Huff, the writer of the book series the TV series is based on, has been continuing to blog about it on her livejournal, especially since it recently started airing in Canada as well. At this point, Lifetime has not indicated if they want more of the series and producers are encouraging Canadian Fans to write to CITYTV and Space.

Phoenix Zombie Walk

This past weekend as part of the Phoenix Cactus ComicCon and International Horror/SciFi Film Festival Promotion, they held a Zombie Walk during the First Friday Art Walk in downtown Phoenix. Lots of pictures can be found at Amy Black's flicker archive. She's the Zombie Beauty Queen and organizer of the walk. They will be having a Zombie beauty pageant at the Comic Con in January.

Horror/SciFi Film Festival in Phoenix - with Claudia Christian & Linda Blair

Coming up next weekend, Oc 19-21, is the International Horror/SciFi Film Festival in Tempe, Arizona. Brian Pulido judges the Horror films and Michael Stackpole judges the SciFi Films. In addition to the various films that were submitted and judged, they've got some special screenings with Linda Blair, Claudia Christian, some Star Wars Fan Films, and others.

If you want to catch a lot of films at the festival, the best way is to get the VIP pass, which normally costs you $100, but since I'm involved with Leprecon, Inc., which is a sponsor of the festival, if you use the code PARTNER, you can get the VIP pass for $80.

Monday, October 8, 2007

SFTV Network Ratings Update

The second week of the new season has come and gone and none of the new genre shows have been cancelled yet!

That doesn't mean that a few dropped off a bit in the second week and they better not keep sliding, though.

First up, NBC's SciFi Monday has some legs, although Journeyman's are getting a bit wobbly, in part due to losing a good chunk of the lead-in provided by Heroes. The first week's total ratings for Heroes were bumped up a bit due to a new Nielsen rule that allows a network to show the same episode twice in a week and add the ratings points together if all of the commercials are the same. Thus the second week of Heroes dropped quite a bit from the first week but in actuality was close to the same. Both Chuck and Journeyman dropped a bit over 10% from their first week, which isn't too bad compared to some of the other new shows in their second week.

On Tuesday, Reaper did OK, dropping about 15% from its debut, but not losing any of its Beauty and the Geek lead-in.

Wednesday saw a big drop by The Bionic Woman, about 18% in ratings and 27% in the adult 18-49 demographic. Wednesday also saw Pushing Daisies debut very strongly with an 8.3 overnight rating.

On Thursday, Smallville held fairly close to its season debut and Supernatural returned at about its season average.

Friday saw CBS's lineup hold fairly steady, with Ghost Whisperer, Moonlight, and Numb3rs dropping only slightly from their season debuts.

Thanks for The Futon Critic for the ratings info...

On the cable front, Stargate Atlantis returned to SciFi on Sept 28th and drew a 1.2 rating. Definitely better than Painkiller Jane or Flash Gordon had been doing. This past Friday, SciFi started airing the Battlestar Galactica Razor flashbacks during Flash Gordon, which in turn delayed the start of Stargate Atlantis. If you don't want to sit through Flash Gordon, SciFi is making them available online as well. Also, it appears that the Friday night before the Razor movie airs, SciFi will air all of them during the 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm time slot during an Enterprise marathon.

In other SciFi news, they announced that Ghost Hunters International will debut in January. It looks like between the original Ghost Hunters, the Ghost Hunters International, and the upcoming UFO Hunters, they'll be having something new each week year round.

As for my TV Big Shot Network(s), I've done fair the first week (didn't realize how significant the points were for a ratings gain, which really paid off for shows that debuted strong versus the network's average last year) but I hope to take advantage of the gains in budget I made selling sliding shows and buying rising shows to start to make progress. That's why there isn't much SFTV in SFTVPlus because most of the genre shows dropped in the second week. Yes, I have no clue about the image for my network, it keeps showing up even when I have replaced it with something else. There's still a few bugs to be worked out of the system.