In Sci-Fi TV this week, it is season finale time and we have big updates on V, Fringe, and of course Lost. We also say goodbye to FlashForward and Heroes, and say hello to new shows like The Cape and Undercovers. All that and more including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews, including new looks at Doctor Who.
GENRE TV NEWS
LOST: New interviews with cast and crew + George Lucas letter
As we enter the final week of the series — episode 6×16 – “What They Died For” is this Tuesday followed by the two-part 2 1/2-hour series finale “The End” on Sunday, May 23 — here are some excerpts from some interviews with the cast and crew of “LOST”. First up is NY Mag’s Vulture blog interview with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse:
Annetay knows there will be some questions left unanswered. Are there any questions left unanswered that you wish you would have answered?
Lindelof: We answered all the questions that we wanted to answer. And our rule has always been: We answer the questions that were important to answer for the characters on the show. If Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Locke, and Kate didn’t care about it … It’s not that we didn’t care about it, or that we don’t acknowledge that the fans are curious about it, but we didn’t answer it. That being said: There might, possibly, be some questions that we, as storytellers, will answer in the body of the show that might not be appearing in the finale. And that’s all we’re willing to say …
Here’s an excerpt from NY Post’s interview with Michael Emerson:
A lot of fans have wondered what the actual purpose for the flash-sideways is — will it eventually be explained?
Emerson: Yes, but they’re not going to spoon feed it to you. For me, the ending of the series required some analysis. It’s not given to you on a dish, neatly organized with a fancy bow put on the end of it. What it does have is a great soulfulness and the ending is human scale.
Here’s Mark Pellegrino (Jacob) echoing past cast and crew statements that many of our questions will be answered [TV Guide]:
A lot of fans griped after the episode because they still felt confused about the mythology. Will there be more explanation in the last few episodes?
Pellegrino: There will be. There will be some ends tied, but I can’t guarantee that for everyone. People have been debating the meaning of the show and the various subplots for years, and I wonder if all of the questions are going to be answered. That’s a tall order, but I think many people will be satisfied.
In other news, George Lucas sent a letter to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. The letter was read aloud at Thursday nights “Lost Live: The Final Celebration”. Here’s the text courtesy Zap2It:
Congratulations on pulling off an amazing show. Don’t tell anyone … but when ‘Star Wars’ first came out, I didn’t know where it was going either. The trick is to pretend you’ve planned the whole thing out in advance. Throw in some father issues and references to other stories — let’s call them homages — and you’ve got a series.
In six seasons, you’ve managed to span both time and space, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I never saw what was around the corner. Now that it’s all coming to an end, it’s impressive to see how much was planned out in advance and how neatly you’ve wrapped up everything. You’ve created something really special. I’m sad that the series is ending, but I look forward to seeing what you two are going to do next.
After the text was read, co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof responded: “I just want to apologize to Mr. George Lucas for everything I said about the prequels …” A few more bites follow below.
- Maggie Grace says the series finale gives her character Shannon “a sense of closure”. [TV Guide Magazine]
- Contrary to recent rumors, Jeff Fahey says his character, Frank Lapidus is really dead and he won’t be seen in sideways universe. [MovieLine]
- We’ll meet Ben’s (Michael Emerson) “surprise love interest” in next week’s episode “What They Died For”. [Fancast]
- Check out a great feature about the show called “Life After Lost” over at Time.com.
- We’ll see a resolution to the Penny and Desmond relationship by the end of the series. [ComingSoon.net]
- Synopsis for episode 6×16 – “What They Died For”. [The ODI]
- You can get your hands on several props from the show at an upcoming auction. Check them out at Profiles in History. [via SCI FI Wire]
Promotional stills from the penultimate episode “What They Died For” [Lyly Ford]
Sneak peek at “What They Died For” [YouTube]
Watch another sneak peek here
Jimmy Kimmel’s Lost Parody: “Jacob and the Man in Black: LOST Game” [YouTube]
More videos here
Matthew Fox talking about the series finale [THR]
Jorge Garcia talking about the series finale [TV Squad]
FRINGE: alt-Universe details + Nimoy talks finale
Some of the differences in alt-universe of “Fringe” were clear (with regards to characters and a different $20 bill), but maybe some weren’t so much. During last week’s episode there’s a scene which shows a map of the alt-United States. It’s not completely clear (see below), but SCI FI Wire visited the set in March and got a better look. Here are the changes:
- California has clearly suffered a major catastrophe; half of it is gone, presumably underwater.
- The state of Washington is called “Southern British Columbia.” (A wink to the crew of Fringe, which is shot in Canada’s British Columbia?)
- Nevada is called “Independent Nevada.”
- Texas is divided into two states: North Texas and South Texas.
- Oklahoma and Kansas are combined into a large state called “Midland.”
- North and South Carolina are combined into a single state called simply “Carolina.”
- Louisiana is called “Louisiana Territory.”
- The area around Washington, D.C., is called “District of Virginia” instead
- The upper peninsula of Michigan doesn’t exist.
And here’s the map:
Meanwhile Jasika Nicole (Astrid) says the season finale — Thursday, May 20 at 9:00 p.m. on FOX — had the “most shocking script” since the pilot:
We finally get to go to the alternate universe and meet everyone in their altered state. But that’s not even what I’m talking about — the very end of it, what’s going to keep audiences on the edge of their seats is in the last minute.
Jasika also revealed that the first “three or four episodes” in season three will take place in the alternate universe. Check out the rest of the interview at the NY Post.
Promotional stills from episode 2×22 – “Over There, Part 2″ [more at SpoilerTV]
Trailer for the finale – “Over There” [YouTube]
Watch two sneak peeks here
“The Bell Tolls” (Leonard Nimoy) [YouTube]
V’s Laura Vandervoort talks season finale
“V” star Laura Vandervoort, who plays Anna’s daughter Lisa, told TV Guide that the season finale features a “huge cliff-hanger”:
“It’s Earth-shattering and detrimental to the human race and really shakes up everyone’s state of being. A lot of the characters that haven’t interacted before will for the first time and Erica does get to visit the ship.”
In a separate interview with io9, Vandervoort expands a little on the culture of the Visitors, specifically the hierarchy:
“And that’s Anna, and she’s given birth to every single V, even the ones on the other ships hovering [out in space]. And only one queen is born every generation… There are soldier Vs, there are worker Vs, and then one is royalty.”
“V” airs Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. The season finale airs this Tuesday, May 18.
Promo and sneak peek from “Red Sky” [YouTube]
Watch another promo here
Behind the scenes: “Ask Val” [YouTube]
Watch Behind the scenes: “Ask Jack” here
Heroes, FlashForward & Better Off Ted canceled; V, Human Target & Chuck renewed
After much back and forth, NBC has decided to cancel “Heroes”. There were rumors that the network was considering bringing the show back for a shortened season to wrap it up. However, THR reports that NBC could still close it out with a 2 or even 4-hour TV movie. NBC also confirmed that “Chuck” will be renewed for a fourth season (picked up for a 13-episode season with the possibility of a back-nine order). Over on ABC, the network has announced that the low-rated comedy “Better Off Ted” will end after two seasons while the once-promising freshman drama “FlashForward” won’t make it to another season. On the plus side, “V” has been renewed for a second season thanks to a leveling off in viewers in recent weeks. “V” will also receive a 13-episode order. And lastly, Fox has ordered a 13-episode second season for the comic to TV adaptation “Human Target”. Fox also announced that former “Chuck” producer Matt Miller has been hired as co-show runner.
2010/2011 Sci-Fi/Genre TV outlook
On the new genre TV front, we have ABC announcement that they’ve picked up “No Ordinary Family”. Here’s the official description:
The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim and Stephanie’s relationship lacked the spark it once had, and their family life now consists of balancing work and their two children; leaving little time for family bonding. During a family vacation set up by Jim in an attempt to reconnect, their plane crashes into the Amazon River. But this is where the fun starts for the Powells as they soon discover that something’s not quite right. Each of them now possesses unique and distinct super powers. But saving and savoring their family life will be equally important as they try to find purpose for their new power and embark on a journey to find out what defines and unifies them. The Powells are a totally relatable family that happens to be a little bit amazing.
‘THE CAPE’ – “The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife, Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes “The Cape” his son’s favorite comic book superhero — and takes the law into his own hands. Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming — The Cape’s nemesis — who moonlights as the twisted killer: Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape, Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; and Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday. http://www.nbc.com/the-cape/
‘UNDERCOVERS’ – Acclaimed writer/producer/director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Fringe,” “Lost,” “Alias”) serves as co-writer, executive producer – and also directs – his first direction of a TV series pilot since “Lost” in “Undercovers” with executive producer/writer Josh Reims (“Brothers and Sisters”). “Undercovers” is a sexy, fun, action-packed spy drama that proves once and for all that marriage is still the world’s most dangerous partnership. Outwardly, Steven Bloom (Boris Kodjoe, “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Soul Food,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife”) and his wife, Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, “Doctor Who,” “Bonekickers”), are a typical married couple who own a small catering company in Los Angeles and are helped by Samantha’s easily frazzled younger sister, Lizzy (Jessica Parker Kennedy, “Smallville”). Secretly, the duo were two of the CIA’s best spies until they fell in love on the job five years ago and retired. When fellow spy and friend Nash (Carter MacIntyre, “American Heiress”) goes missing while on the trail of a Russian arms dealer, the Blooms are reinstated by boss Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney, “Deadwood”) to locate and rescue Nash. The pair is thrust back into the world of espionage as they follow leads that span the globe — and Steven and Samantha realize that this supercharged, undercover lifestyle provides the excitement and romance that their marriage has been missing. Also starring is Ben Schwartz (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”). http://www.nbc.com/undercovers/
Watch clips from “The Cape” and “Undercovers” below [THR].
“Chuck” will stay on Monday nights at 8:00 p.m., while “Undercovers” will open Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Fox is expected to pick up Steven Spielberg’s prehistoric time travel drama “Terra Nova” for midseason. The show is executive produced by “Star Trek” alum Brannon Braga. As previously reported, “Terra Nova” is about a family 100 years in the future that travels back to the prehistoric era. In related news, EW has obtained the script for the pilot. Here’s what they write about the opening scene which takes place in the year 2149 A.D.:
The scene: a large group of settlers are preparing to leave the apocalyptic world they live in to time travel back millions of years via a massive, high-tech contraption. Their goal is to see trees, enjoy a blue sky, eat real food – basically, to start over in this so-called Eden. But what they find is unlike anything they were expecting.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Ashes to Ashes
Promotional stills from episode 3×07 [more at Den of Geek]
Promotional stills from episode 3×17 – “Chuck vs. the Living Dead” [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for “Chuck vs. the Living Dead” [YouTube]
Watch another promo here
Promotional stills from episode 5×07 – “Amy’s Choice” [more at SpoilerTV]
First look at the Silurians appearing in episode 5×08 – “The Hungry Earth” [TV Overmind]
Three clips from “Amy’s Choice” [YouTube]
Matt Smith interviewing Karen Gillan [Blogtor Who]
Watch Karen Gillan interviewing Matt Smith here
Promo for episode 5×08 – “The Hungry Earth” [Blogtor Who]
Interview with Colin Ferguson and Salli Richardson [SCI FI Wire]
Promotional stills from the season finale “Future Shock” [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for episode 1×21 – “Countdown” [YouTube]
Still from the season six premiere [Comedy Central]
Storyboards [more at Comedy Central]
Promo for episode 1×18 – “Subversion” [Syfy]
Jamil Walker Smith Q&A, Part 2 [Syfy]
First 6 pages of the comic book [see the rest at io9]
Poster #8 [People TV Watch]
Season three trailer [YouTube]
Minisode #3 – “Sookie, Tara & Lafayette” [YouTube]
Interview with Rutina Wesley and Sam Trammell [OTRC]
Season two promo [Syfy]
- Starz will produce a six-part “Spartacus” prequel series to premiere in January 2011. Original series star Andy Whitfield — who is receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma — will appear briefly in two episodes, with Lucy Lawless, John Hannah, Peter Mensah “plus other returning and new characters.” [Chicago Tribune]
- ABC has pulled the poorly performing “Happy Town” from its schedule and will air the remaining five episodes starting June 2. [EW]
- Former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star Nicholas Brendon, who was arrested in March, has checked himself into rehab for alcohol abuse and the sleeping pill Sonata. [RadarOnline]
- Episode 5×11 of “Doctor Who” will be called “The Lodger”. [BBC]
- Check out some updates on the latest filming of “The Sarah Jane Adventures” at Planet Gallifrey.
- “Torchwood” star John Barrowman says he would be happy to return as a guest star on “Doctor Who”, but he wouldn’t answer the question directed at him about reprising his role on “Torchwood”. [STV]
- “True Blood” executive producer/creator Alan Ball plans to delve into the fairy world in future episodes of the series… [E! Online]
- …Meanwhile, Joe Manganiello talks about his new role on the show playing the werewolf Alcide. [Fancast]
- Episode titles for the second half of “Caprica” season two have been confirmed: “Unvanquished”, “Retribution”, “Things We Lock Away”, “False Labour”, “Blowback”, “The Dirteaters”, “The Heaven Will Rise”, “Here Be Dragons” and the season finale “Apotheosis”. [ATV Network via battlestar_blog]
- The “Doctor Who” fifth season premiere “The Eleventh Hour” is now the most-requested program ever on the BBC iPlayer. Overall the episode has been requested over 1.78 million times. The previous record was held by an episode of “Top Gear” (1.66 million times). [Doctor Who News Page]
- The “Doctor Who” stage show “Doctor Who: Here Come The Monsters” will play in October as part of a nine-city UK tour. [The Scotsman via Doctor Who News Page]
- Check out interviews with “Stargate Universe” stars Alaina Huffman (Lt. Tamara Johansen) and David Blue (Eli Wallace) at SCI FI Wire and io9.
- Press release for “Doctor Who” – 5×09 – “Cold Blood”. [Blogtor Who]
- Press release for “FlashForward” – 1×22 – “Future Shock”. [SpoilerTV]
- Jamie Bamber (“Battlestar Galactica”) has joined the cast of BBC’s “Outcasts”. The series is about “a diverse group of individuals who left their old lives behind in extraordinary circumstances; promised a second chance at life they created a society, far away from their home, friends, family… and their pasts.”. [Bleeding Cool]
- British actress Lara Pulver (“Robin Hood”) has been cast in the recurring role of Sookie’s fairy godmother, Cludine on HBO’s “True Blood”… [EW]
- …Also joining the cast will be Michael Steger (“90210″) who will guest star as Tony, “A gay prostitute who gets picked up by King of Mississippi Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) because of his resemblance to his current steady, Talbot (Theo Alexander). [EW]
- Jim Beaver is reassuring fans that he’ll be back next season on The CW’s “Supernatural”. [Jim Beaver]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
After a nice increase the week prior, last week’s (5/7/2010) episode of “Stargate Universe” drew 1.39 million viewers and a 0.6 A18-49 rating. That was down -13% in viewers but even in A18-49 rating from the week prior (1.59M / 0.6 rating). Meanwhile, lead-out “Merlin” managed to post a gain of 13% from its previous episode (even in A18-49 rating), drawing a season-high 1.44 million viewers and a 0.4 A18-49 rating. That’s right, “Merlin” managed to climb past “Stargate Universe” in total viewers. Even though ‘SGU’ has already been renewed for a second season there’s no way to spin this as anything other than a major disappointment. Here are the current season averages for the two shows (where ratings are available) [@TravisYanan]
- “Stargate Universe” (15 episodes) – 1.76 million viewers / 0.7 A18-49 rating
- “Merlin” (6 episodes) – 1.26 million viewers / 0.4 A18-49 rating
“Legend of the Seeker” dropped to a season low of 1.96 million. That was off a steep 19% from the episode prior (2.41M viewers). The show has averaged 2.36 million viewers through 19 original episodes. [TV by the Numbers]
The final viewing figure for “Flesh and Stone”, episode 5×05 of “Doctor Who”, was 8.50 million viewers (8.02M on BBC One and 0.48M on BBC HD). That was down slightly from the week prior (8.59M — 8.13M on BBC One and 0.46M on BBC HD). Also, the initial overnight figures show that “Amy’s Choice” (5×07) was watched by 6.2 million viewers (5.85M on BBC One and 0.34M on BBC HD). [The Doctor Who News Page, (2)]
CHART (5/3/2010 to 5/9/2010)