In Sci-Fi TV this week we kick it off with details on the Doctor Who Christmas special, find out what the next creature headed to True Blood, and get ready to laugh at Robot Chicken’s new Star Wars parody. Plus Darlton from Lost talk about their big set of Emmy nominations.
Summary of column contents:
- Doctor Who Christmas Special details
- Will Panthers enter the world of True Blood?
- Solid return and premiere for Syfy’s Eureka and Haven
- Robot Chicken readies third Star Wars spoof
- Smallville Comic-Con details (plus Supergirl returning) + Other Comic-Con panel highlights
- Lindelof & Cuse talk about LOST’s 13 Emmy nominations
- New episode titles for Stargate Universe
- The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural
- Premiere dates for Fringe and Human Target
All that plus all the new previews and more including the latest television ratings and casting bites after the jump.
GENRE TV NEWS
Doctor Who Christmas Special details
The BBC have released casting details for the 2010 “Doctor Who” Christmas Special. Joining Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill for the special will be Michael Gambon (“Harry Potter”) and opera singer Katherine Jenkins. The story is said to be called “Father Who? and will have a “clever twist on the much loved A Christmas Carol.” Here’s what lead writer and executive produer Steven Moffat said about the news:
“Oh, we’re going for broke with this one. It’s all your favourite Christmas movies at once, in an hour, with monsters and the Doctor and a honeymoon and – oh, you’ll see. I’ve honestly never been so excited about writing anything. I was laughing madly as I typed along to Christmas songs in April. My neighbours loved it so much they all moved away and set up a website demanding my execution. But I’m fairly sure they did it ironically.”
Meanwhile in “Torchwood” news, Gavin Barker Associates, the firm that represents star John Barrowman, has confirmed that the actor will only be filming the series in the U.S. from January to June. At that point he’s expected to return to the U.K. to film the remaining season four episodes over the next three and a half months.
Will Panthers enter the world of True Blood?
Looks like we may be seeing more than just Vampires and Werewolves on HBO’s “True Blood”. TV Guide passes along this photo from the set of the hit HBO series and the following comments:
“I’ve been working with the panthers and they’re a lot cooler than the wolves,” creator Alan Ball only says, “We have shot some scenes with actual panthers in the same way we have shot with actual wolves. But I won’t say there are or aren’t werepanthers on the show.” And if I were to tell you anymore, I’m afraid I might get my eyes clawed out.
Promo for episode 3×05 – “Trouble” [YouTube]
Mythological Creatures: “Werewolves” [HBO / YouTube]
Solid return and premiere for Syfy’s Eureka and Haven
Syfy’s hit series “Eureka” returned to strong numbers last Friday, drawing an audience of 2.52 million viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating for its fourth season premiere. It was the #1 show for the day among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 and was the series’ most-watched telecast since July 31, 2009. Lead-out “Haven” also got off to a solid start, drawing an average of 2.34 million viewers (93% retention from “Eureka”) and a 0.7 A18-49 rating. To put the premiere of “Haven” in perspective, “Stargate Universe” captured just slightly more viewers when it launched last October — 2.35M, although ‘SGU’ had a stronger A18-49 demo number — a 0.9 rating.
Cast images [more at Daemon’s TV]
Robot Chicken readies third Star Wars spoof
“Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III”, the third “Star Wars” spoof, will premiere on Adult Swim December 12, 2010. Creator’s Seth Green and Matthew Senreich offered up some new details on the series:
“We’re telling more of a linear story this time that covers the series from start to finish,” said co-creator Seth Green.
“We wanted to take the Star Wars universe and see if through the eyes of our Robot Chicken: Star Wars Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Gary the Stormtrooper,” said co-creator Matthew Senreich. “We’ll still flip around the universe but we’ll get a unique perspective from the bad guy side, from people who just want to rule the universe.”
“Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III” will see the debut Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Zac Efron, Donald Glover and “The Cleveland Show” co-creator Mike Henry. Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) will also return for the special.
Smallville Comic-Con details (plus Supergirl returning) + Other Comic-Con panel highlights
“Smallville” premieres its 10th and final season on The CW on September 24 and the series is making its way back to Comic-Con. Series star/executive producer Tom Welling will be on hand with the cast and producers from the show on Sunday, July 25. Here are the details:
Making his second appearance at Comic-Con, Welling will join showrunners Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, as well as series stars Erica Durance, Cassidy Freeman and Justin Hartley, for the show’s panel session on Sunday at 10:00–11:00 a.m. in Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center. Featuring an exclusive sneak peek at clips from the final season’s premiere episode, the panel will answer fans’ questions and provide a look at what lies ahead on the acclaimed super hero series. Acclaimed writer/producer Geoff Johns (“Smallville,” chief creative officer at DC Entertainment) will moderate.
In related news, Michael Ausiello of EW is reporting that Laura Vandervoort (“V”) will reprise her role as Kara / Supergirl next season:
Vandervoort—who left the show at the end of season 7 only to return briefly the following fall to wrap up Supergirl’s story—will be back for one episode (tentatively scheduled to air in October).
Moving back to Comic-Con, here are some highlights of the other sci-fi / genre shows that will be appearing at the event:
Day 1 – Thursday, July 22 (Click for Complete Schedule)
- Caprica, Battlestar, and Beyond (12:00-1:00PM) — Hosted by actor/author Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, Capt. Apollo, So Say We All), this panel features composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar, Eureka, Caprica), producer/writer Michael Tayler (Battlestar, Caprica, Star Trek), science consultant Kevin Grazier (Battlestar, Eureka), and special guests. Richard and the panelists will proide reviews, discussion, and Q&A of Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, and the upcoming BSG movie, including trailers. Room 6A
- Transformers Prime— The talent behind Transformers Prime (4:30-5:30PM) — executive producers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Jeff Kline — the new animated series from Hasbro Studios, showcase exclusive footage and character reveals followed by a Q&A session. This original series will premiere in 2010 on the new television network The Hub. Room 7AB
- BBC America: U.S. Premiere Screenings of Doctor Who and Being Human (8:00-11:00PM) — Catch the all-new season opener of Being Human, written by Toby Whithouse and starring Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow, Aidan Turner and Sinead Keenan and the two-part finale of Doctor Who, written by Steven Moffat and starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Room 6DE
Day 2 – Friday, July 23 (Click for Complete Schedule–including preview night on Wednesday)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold Screening and Q&A (10:30-11:30AM) — The Caped Crusader swings back into San Diego as Batman: The Brave and the Bold returns to Comic-Con for its third consecutive year, with an advance screening of an upcoming episode as well as a lively discussion with voice of Batman Diedrich Bader (Surf’s Up), executive producer Sam Register (Teen Titans), producers James Tucker (Justice League Unlimited), and Michael Jelenic (The Batman), and voice director Andrea Romano (Superman Doomsday). As a special bonus for fans, the panel will also screen the world premiere trailer for the upcoming and highly anticipated Cartoon Network/Warner Bros. Animation series Young Justice…don’t miss this Comic-Con exclusive! From Warner Bros. Animation, Batman: The Brave and the Bold airs Fridays at 7:30 pm ET/PT on Cartoon Network, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season 1, Part 1 will be released on DVD August 17. Room 6A
- Stargate Universe (10:30-11:30AM) — Follow your Destiny. Catch the Syfy Stargate Universe panel, featuring Robert Carlyle (Dr. Nicholas Rush), David Blue (Eli Wallace), Ming Na (Camile Wray), and Louis Ferreira (Colonel Everett Young), moderated by Robert Cooper (series co-creator). Ballroom 20
- The Walking Dead (11:30-12:30PM) — Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), Laurie Holden (The Mist), Emma Bell (Law & Order), series creator/director/executive producer Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), executive producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator), executive producer Robert Kirkman (creator/writer of The Walking Dead comic), makeup artist Greg Nicotero, and Joel Stillerman (AMCs senior VP) discuss the making of AMC’s series The Walking Dead, based on the Image comic book series created and written by Robert Kirkman, premiering in October on AMC. Room 6BCF
- Caprica (11:30-12:30PM) — Syfy presents an exclusive glimpse into the future of humanity. Featuring Alessandra Torresani (Zoe Graystone), Sasha Roiz (Sam Adama), Ronald D. Moore (co-creator/executive producer), and David Eick (executive producer) and moderated by Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times. Ballroom 20
- Falling Skies (4:45-5:45PM) — They’re coming. Get the very first look at Steven Spielberg’s new series that envisions a world where aliens have invaded and the fate of humanity lies in the hands of a few survivors. Noah Wyle (ER, TNT’s The Librarian movies) and Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) join co-executive producer and writer Mark Verheiden (Heroes, Battlestar Galactica) for a Q&A on the new series. Falling Skies premieres on TNT next summer. Room 6A
- True Blood Panel and Q&A session (5:15-6:15PM) — Mixing romance, suspense, mystery, and humor, True Blood kicked off its 12-episode third season June 13 on HBO. The series, which has earned two Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series-Drama, follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, Golden Globe winner for True Blood season one; Oscar-winner for The Piano), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her soulmate, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy-winning HBO series Six Feet Under) created and serves as executive producer of the series, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The series also features Nelsan Ellis as Lafayette Reynolds, Sam Trammell as Sam Merlotte, Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton, Deborah Ann Woll as Jessica Hamby, Kristin Bauer van Straten as Pam, Denis O’Hare as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi, and Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux. (Note: names in bold will be appearing on the panel.) Moderated by Tim Stack of Entertainment Weekly. Ballroom 20
- Extra note: The panel scheduled for “Terra Nova” has been canceled.
Day 3 – Saturday, July 24 (Click for Complete Schedule)
- Chuck Screening and Q&A (10:00-10:45AM) — Chuck executive producers and co-creators Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl) and Chris Fedak appear along with series stars Zachary Levi (Alvin and the Chipmunks), Yvonne Strahovski (upcoming The Killer Elite), Joshua Gomez (Without a Trace), Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence (The Pursuit of Happyness), Vik Sahay (Good Will Hunting), Scott Krinsky (The O.C.), Sarah Lancaster (upcoming The Good Doctor) and Adam Baldwin (Serenity) for their usual hijinks — a Q&A to discuss the upcoming season four (made possible by the devoted fanbase) and a special video presentation. Produced by Fake Empire, Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television, Chuck airs Mondays at 8pm ET/PT on NBC, and Chuck: The Complete Third Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7. Ballroom 20
- Futurama (12:45-1:30PM) — Celebrate Futurama’s triumphant re-return to the airwaves! World-premiere footage will offer an exciting and informative glimpse of Comic-Con in the year 3010. Panelists include executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, cast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, and Maurice LaMarche, director Crystal Chesney-Thompson, writers Ken Keeler and Patric M. Verrone, and animation producer Claudia Katz. Ballroom 20
- Sanctuary (1:00-2:00PM) — Walk on the wild side at Syfy’s highly anticipated Sanctuary panel. Moderated by Josh Gates (Destination Truth) and featuring Amanda Tapping (Helen Magnus), Robin Dunne (Will Zimmerman), and executive producers Martin Wood and Damian Kindler, you’ll experience this revolutionary Syfy original series like never before. Indigo Ballroom, San Diego Hilton Bayfront
- V Screening and Q&A (2:30-3:15PM) — The cast and creative team behind this thrilling drama series about the world’s first alien encounter make their return to Comic-Con. Actors Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Morris Chestnut (Boyz n the Hood), Joel Gretsch (The 4400), Logan Huffman (America), Laura Vandervoort (Smallville), Charles Mesure (Xena: Warrior Princess), Morena Baccarin (Firefly), and Scott Wolf (Go) join executive producers Scott Rosenbaum (Chuck, The Shield) and Steve Pearlman (Related) for a Q&A session with fans and to screen a special highlight reel from the show’s first season. From HDFilms in association with Warner Bros. Television, V will return midseason on ABC, and V: The Complete First Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD this fall. Ballroom 20
- Fringe Screening and Q&A (3:15-4:15PM) — Fringe returns to Comic-Con as Lance Reddick and Blair Brown make their first appearance at the convention, joining fellow series stars Anna Torv , Joshua Jackson, John Noble, and Jasika Nicole plus executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J. H. Wyman for a Q&A with fans and an exclusive video presentation. Join the discussion of this critically acclaimed thriller, which explores the ever-blurring line between science fiction and reality, where hybrid monsters tear through sewers, thieves walk through walls and portals open to worlds unknown. From Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Fringe airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on FOX, and Fringe: The Complete Second Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 14. Ballroom 20
- The Vampire Diaries Screening and Q&A (4:15-5:00PM) — The cast and creative team behind The Vampire Diaries return to take a bite out of Comic-Con! Series stars Nina Dobrev (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Paul Wesley (Roll Bounce), Ian Somerhalder (Lost), Michael Trevino (Cane), and Matt Davis (Blue Crush) join executive producers/writers Kevin Williamson (Scream) and Julie Plec (Kyle XY) to show fans a fang-tastic season-one highlight reel, followed by a Q&A session. This edgy, romantic drama quickly became the number one series on The CW in its first season. The Vampire Diaries director/co-executive producer Marcos Siega (Dexter) will moderate the panel. From Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, The Vampire Diaries will return for its second season this fall, airing Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW, and The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD August 31. Ballroom 20
Day 4 – Sunday, July 25 (Click for Complete Schedule)
- Supernatural Screening and Q&A (11:15-12:15PM) — Cast members, executive producers Sera Gamble (Eyes) and Ben Edlund (Angel), and creator/executive producer Eric Kripke (Boogeyman) present an exclusive sneak peek at footage from the highly anticipated sixth season of Supernatural, which moves to a new day, Fridays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW this fall. The panel will answer questions from the audience and also show a portion of the special features from the upcoming Supernatural: The Complete Fifth Season DVD and Blu-ray release, in stores September 7. Supernatural is produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision in association with Warner Bros. Television. Ballroom 20
- Comic-Con Debut: International Hit Merlin (11:45-12:45PM) — There will be magic and adventure aplenty as the global sensation Merlin (airing on the BBC and in 170 countries, including Syfy in the U.S.) makes its Comic-Con International debut. Series stars Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Merlin himself, Colin Morgan, join co-creators and executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy to guide fans through a mystical behind-the-scenes tour of the popular series, providing an exclusive sneak peek at scenes from the upcoming third season and taking an insightful and often humorous glance back at the series’ first two seasons. Room 6BCF
- Buffy the Musical (4:00-5:00PM) — Let’s end this show with a bang! The powers that be behind Fandom Charities Inc. and Whedonopolis.com present a screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode “Once More With Feeling” as Comic-Con 2010’s big closing event! Many say this is the finest, funniest, most ingenious episode ever to come out of the Buffy-verse. But remember, the best part of the show is up to you! This episode was made for talkin’ — back, that is — and singing and shouting and dancing in the aisles, with or without your dry cleaning! Audience participation: it isn’t just for Rocky Horror and mob riots anymore. Ballroom 20
Lindelof & Cuse talk about LOST’s 13 Emmy nominations
The nominations for the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced and the final season of “LOST” received 13 total nominations. The show was nominated in the follwing categories:
Best Art Direction
Best Actor (Matthew Fox)
Best Supporting Actor (O’Quinn and Emerson)
Best Guest Actress (Elizabeth Mitchell)
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
The ABC program “ABC’s LOST Presents: Mysteries Of The Universe – The Dharma Initiative” also received a nomination. The 12 nominations matches the show’s previous best (season 1: 12 nominations / six wins). “LOST” executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse offered the following reactions to the nominations:
Lindelof: “It sounds so cliche that it’s great to be nominated but that’s what we’re basking in now. We don’t take this for granted. And the fact that the love was spread to Michael Giacchino, Jack Bender, the sound mixers and art direction is great. It’ll be cool to put on the monkey suits again and get together one last time.”
Cuse: “My strategy is to sleep through these type of things. I checked my phone and saw there were a lot of emails. Bad news avoids you like the plague. … For Matthew (Fox) , he’s labored almost unfairly on a show that’s more ensemble-oriented than the guys he’s competing aginst. Fortunately, the finale was Matthew-centric and he was finally given a chance to be front and center in such a way that allows voters to take notice. He was so critical to our show.”
Other genre shows receiving Emmy nominations include: “True Blood” (5); “FlashForward” (3); “Human Target” (3); “Alice” (2); “Stargate Universe” (2); “Batman: The Brave And The Bold” (1); “Caprica” (1); “Chuck” (1); “Fringe” (1); “Heroes” (1); “V” (1); “Virtuality” (1) and “Warehouse 13″ (1).
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Promotional stills [SpoilerTV]
The Vampire Diaries
Promo/Trailer: “Damon” [YouTube]
Sneak peek at tonight’s episode (featuring Jewel Staite) [SCI FI Wire]
- “Stargate Universe” executive producer Joseph Mallozzi has revealed three more episode titles for the back-half of season two. The new titles are “Seizure” (2×15), “Blockade” (2×19) and “Gauntlet” (2×20). [GateWorld]
- The second season premiere of The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” is titled “The Return”. [Ian Somerhalder]
- Erica Cerra, who plays Deputy Jo Lupo on “Eureka” says the fourth season is their “best season yet”, adding ” the show is essentially being flipped upside down, although the characters are still all the same. Relationships are slightly changing, and situations are changing. Unfortunately, I can’t…..well, I wouldn’t even want to give it away, because if I were a viewer….it’s just really great. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed by what this season has in store…” [Fancast]
- Sam Ernst, one of the creators of the new Syfy series “Haven”, says that although Stephen King was not involved in the TV adaptation (loosely based on his novella “The Colorado Kid”), he was pleased by the finished product. [Philly]
- Greg Melton, production designer on the upcoming AMC series “The Walking Dead”, discusses his approach to designing for the show in an interview with AMC TV.
- Fox has announced that “Fringe” will premiere its third season on Thursday, September 23 (9:00-10:00) followed by “Human Target” the following day (Friday, September 24 – 8:00-9:00). [Fox]
- The titles for episodes two and three of “Supernatural” season six have potentially been leaked. They are “Exile on Main Street” (6×02) and “Two and a Half Men” (6×03). [via SpoilerTV]
- Andre Royo (“The Wire”) will guest star in the third season premiere of “Fringe”. Royo will play Harry, “a soulful taxi driver who is unexpectedly forced into a tense situation with Olivia (Anna Torv)…” [EW]
- …Kevin Corrigan will make at least two appearances in season three of “Fringe” playing the character Sam Weiss. [EW]
- Mark Pellegrino (“LOST”, “Supernatural”) has landed a leading role on the Syfy version of the UK series “Being Human”. The series centers around three twenty-something roomates: Aidan (Sam Witwer), a vampire, Josh, a werewolf and Sally (Meaghan Rath), a ghost. Pellgrino will play Bishop, “Aidan’s charismatic but menacing mentor”. [Deadline]
- Corin Nemec (“Stargate SG1″) will play the recurring role of Christan Campbell, Sam and Dean’s cousin, for season six of “Supernatural”… [immaterialdepth via SpoilerTV]
- …In other “Supernatural” casting news, Fredric Lehne has confirmed that he will be reprise his role as the demon Azazel. Lehne adds that he starts shooting tomorrow (July 14). [Zap2It]
- Aidan Gillen (“The Wire”) has been cast as a new series regular in the upcoming HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones”. Gillen will play Littlefinger on the show: “In the adventure series, Littlefinger is an adviser to King Robert who manipulates those in power to fit his own agenda.” [THR Live Feed]
- Taylor Kinney has joined the cast of “The Vampire Diaries” in the recurring role of Mason Lockwood, younger brother of late Mayor Lockwood. Kinney will make his appearance in the second season premiere (September 9). [EW]
- John Casey’s daughter, Alex (played by Mekenna Melvin) will be a recurring guest star next season on “Chuck”. [EW]
- David Strathairn has been tapped to star as the lead in Syfy’s new pilot series “Alphas”. Strathairn will play Dr. Leigh Rosen, “the eccentric Alphas leader who is willing to bend the rules for his objectives and team.” [TV Guide]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
Episode 3×04 (“9 Crimes”) of “True Blood” drew 4.68 million viewers (+5%) and a 2.7 A18-49 rating (+8%). That brings the show’s four-episode season average to 4.62 million viewers and a 2.7 A18-49 rating.
“Futurama” fell a bit further for its fourth episode (“Proposition Infinity”), drawing 2.01 million viewers (-7%) and a 1.0 A18-49 rating (-9%). The current season is averaging 2.47 million viewers and a 1.3 A18-49 rating.
The “Doctor Who” fifth season finale “The Big Bang” drew a total audience of 6.70 million viewers (6.12M on BBC One and 0.58M on BBC HD). [The Doctor Who News Page]
CHART (6/28/2010 to 7/4/2010)
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