In Sci-Fi TV this week, we have news on original V actress Jane Badler joining ABC’s new V, a delay for Steven Spielberg’s prehistoric time-travel series Terra Nova and a sneak peek at the LOST‘s “The New Man in Charge”. There are also fresh updates on the new seasons of Chuck, Fringe, Torchwood and SGU plus a new BSG (online) spinoff. All that and more including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews.
GENRE TV NEWS
Jane Badler joins ABC’s V
When Scott Rosenbaum let slip at Comic-Con that season two of “V” would introduce Anna’s mom who so happened to have been given the name Diana, many fans took it to mean Jane Badler (who played Diana–basically Morena Baccarin’s role in the new series) would be joining the cast. Rosenbaum was non-commital at the time but ABC has now confirmed the casting: Badler is joining the cast as Diana, Anna’s mother:
Actress Jane Badler, best known for her role on the original “V” series, will join the cast of ABC’s “V” as a recurring guest star, playing Diana, mother to Anna (Morena Baccarin), who is now the leader of the Vs. Badler will make her debut in the Season 2 premiere of the series.
Season 2 will feature more character and lizard reveals, more details about the Vs’ mythology – in which Badler will play an important role — and more action and more plot twists. Viewers can expect a roller coaster ride week to week.
In related news, The V Files reports that the season two premiere will be titled “Red Rain” and adds that production resumes next Thursday (August 12) in Vancouver, Canada. In other casting news, Bret Harrison (“Reaper”) has joined the cast in a recurring role as Dr. Sidney Miller, “an evolutionary biologist who may have the scoop on what caused the sky to turn red in the finale.” Lastly, SpoilerTV has a round-up of some season two spoilers. Season two is slated to premiere on ABC in November 2010.
Fringe season three details + Fox satisfied with show’s performance; Won’t interfere
As expected, the third season of the Fox series “Fringe” will feature heavily in the alt-universe, perhaps as much as every other week:
“This is a great experiment—it’s like two Fringes,” says John Noble, who next season will play both Walter and Walternate. “Walternate appears cold and hard, and that’s the way he’s going to appear for a while. But we have to humanize him, otherwise he’s a two-dimensional character.”
But before we get more on Walternate, we’ll delve into Olivia’s fate in the September 23 premiere:
“You’ll see a massive episode set in the alternate universe, with our Olivia escaping from the place they put her in,” says Noble. “Anna [Torv] does a really amazing job.”
Noble admits that splitting the show into two is a risk, but he’s also certain that risk will pay off:
“We took a risk with the flashback episode and that paid off, we took a risk with the musical episode—but this is the biggest,” he says. “Everyone wants to have a good guy and a bad guy, and the alternate universe is the bad guy. But we want to get viewers to know the people there and say, ‘They’re really nice people. No wonder they’re angry.’ It’s almost counterintuitive.”
And thankfully, Fox appears willing to let the show be its own, with entertainment president Kevin Reilly telling press at the TCA panel for the show that they “have no intention of screwing with Fringe because the show has been going great,” assured Reilly. “It really came into its own last season. If I have any frustration it’s that I’d like the audience to be bigger because people deserve to see the work.” Check out an interview with Joshua Jackson, John Noble and Anna Torv here. And here are a few more links for additional interviews with the cast: John Noble / Joshua Jackson; Jasika Nicole; Lance Reddick
Terra Nova pushed to 2011; Sneak preview in May 2011
Fox has pushed back the release of the Steven Spielberg-produced prehistoric time-travel series “Terra Nova” to fall 2011. The series, of which Trek-vet Brannon Braga is an executive producer, was originally scheduled to debut this fall. Fox says they will air the first episode in May 2011 before the series’ fall debut:
“TERRA NOVA will be one of the most visually stimulating and dramatically grand series to air on network television,” said Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “It deserves to have an equally unique launch to distinguish that the show is unlike any other, and the spring promotional platform will give us the perfect opportunity to introduce this bold show to audiences.”
Reilly elaborated on the decision during Fox’s TCA panel:
“It was mainly due to the scope of what the show is going to take,” Reilly said. “We got into it knowing it was going to be ambitious, knowing we had some groundbreaking digital effects we were bringing to it, knowing we had to create an entire world and mythology. Frankly, even locking in a location has had a unique set of challenges. A lot of the world will be created digitally, but we’re trying to find a prehistoric world. We’ve explored everywhere from Louisiana to Hawaii to Australia to Orlando. Each has had pluses and minuses. We’re getting close to locking in a location. It’s actually been very, very exciting. We’ve got a great team, we’ve seen a lot of design work, but it really became apparent to do this show right, we’d need the time. So we decided to make a virtue of it, slow it down this season.”
In related news, production on the show is expected to start this October in Queensland, Australia. Here’s the synopsis for the show if you’ve missed it previously:
TERRA NOVA, an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making, follows an ordinary family embarking on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a massive experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149 the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped, overcrowded and overpolluted. Knowing there is no way to reverse the damage to the planet, a coalition of scientists has managed to open up a fracture in the space-time continuum, creating a portal to prehistoric Earth. This doorway leads to an amazing world, one that allows for a last-ditch effort to save the human race…possibly changing the future by correcting the mistakes of the past.
The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the tenth pilgrimage of settlers to TERRA NOVA, the first colony of humans in this second chance for civilization. JIM SHANNON (O’Mara), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family – wife ELISABETH and children JOSH and MADDY – through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. In addition to blue skies, rolling rivers and lush vegetation, TERRA NOVA offers new opportunities and fresh beginnings to its recent arrivals, but the Shannons have brought with them a familial secret that may threaten their citizenship in this utopia. These adventurers soon discover that this healthy, vibrant world is not as idyllic as it initially appears. The areas surrounding TERRA NOVA are filled with dangerous dinosaurs and other prehistoric threats, as well as external forces that may be intent on destroying this new world before it begins.
First look at Linda Hamilton as Chuck’s mom + Lou Ferigno to guest-star
A new promo for the fourth season of “Chuck” gives us our first look at Linda Hamilton as Chuck’s mom (15-second mark). Watch the clip below [YouTube].
Check out an interview with Zachary Levi here. In other casting news, Lou Ferigno will guest star in the second episode of the season playing the bodyguard of an evil spy model (played by former Victoria’s Secret model Korolina Kurkova) while Bronson Pinchot (best known for his role as Balki in the sitcom “Perfect Strangers”) will also guest star in the second episode. He’ll play Victor, “a tacky and audacious wannabe-matchmaker Chuck (Zachary Levi) meets at Milan’s Fashion Week.” And rounding out the guest-starring news, Stacy Keibler will guest star in the third episode as undercover agent Greta, “a new recurring character that will be played by a different actor every week.” The character will be played by Olivia Munn in the series premiere and Isaiah Mustafa in episode two.
“Greta can be a guy or a girl, which is brilliant,” Zachary Levi explained. “The Buy More has now been taken over by the CIA and it’s a fully functioning operation by the government, so there are these constant agents that are in the store. First it was Olivia Munn, who looked hot in her little Nerd Hereder outfit, and [next was] Isaiah, who was a hoot to work with.”
And lastly, SpoilerTV reports that the fourth episode of the season will be called “Chuck vs. The Coup D’Etat”. “Chuck” returns Monday, September 20, 2010 on NBC.
Torchwood: The New World
Starz has unveiled the title for the fourth season/U.S. reboot of “Torchwood”. The 10-episode series will be called “Torchwood: The New World” (as you can see from the two promotional posters above). Series creator Russell T. Davies offered some details about the show during Starz’s TCA panel:
The new story will follow a CIA agent (Rex) and analyst (Ester) who tackle an alien-related global issue. Torchwood, having been destroyed and disbanded, is “like a legend now … it’s like something that’s ceased to exist and is now spoken of only in whispers.” Soon, Rex and Ester are on the run and are seeking out the help of Captain Jack and Gwen.
“The two teams coming together is a big part of the story — are they friends or enemies? There’s a lot of sparks and excitement.”
“We definitely have a really big story to tell,” added executive producer Julie Gardner. “It’s absolutely rebooted to welcome in a new audience.”
In related news, Davies revealed the writers for season four (in addition to himself): former “Torchwood” writer John Fay; John Shiban (“Supernatural”); Doris Egan (“Dark Angel”) and Jane Espenson (“Game of Thrones”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “Caprica”)
Star Wars live-action TV show on hold due to costGeorge Lucas told an audience at one of the special ‘Empire Strikes Back’ screenings a few months back that the live-action “Star Wars” TV show is on hold due to cost: [Rebelscum via Techland]
“The live action TV show is kind of on hold because we have scripts, but we don’t know how to do ‘em. Because, they literally are Star Wars, only we’re going to have to try to do them…a tenth the cost. And, it’s a huge challenge…lot bigger than what we thought it was gonna be.”
So not canceled, but definitely on hold.
Stargate Universe season two detailsStargate Universe star Robet Carlyle (Dr. Rush) spoke with GateWorld at Comic-Con last month and offered some new details about what fans can expect in season two:
“Rush is still at it in the second season,” Carlyle said, “but even more so this time. When we join the second season, we discover instantly — in the first two or three scenes in fact — that Rush has discovered the bridge of the ship. Not only has he discovered the bridge, but he knows how to fly the thing. He’s steering it around. [The others] don’t know that. He hasn’t told anyone this.
“He’s under pressure, because the countdown clock when they stop the ship is not activating. The ship is stopping, the clock is not activating, and there are no planets in sight. Rush keeps leaving the room at these points.”
Carlyle added that the rest of the crew is being kept in the dark and it actually won’t be until episode seven (“The Greater Good”) that the secret will be revealed:
“Rush and Young go investigate an abandoned alien craft which is just outside the Destiny,” Carlyle explains. “When they’re over there, it hits the fan back on [Destiny]. They find the bridge. They find Rush is responsible for all this stuff.
“That puts Rush in a difficult position, as you can imagine, because the last time he was left with Young anywhere, he left [Rush] on the planet.”
Check out the complete interview over at GateWorld. “Stargate Universe” premieres its second season on Syfy Tuesday, September 28, 2010. In other Stargate news, Netflix has added season 1.0 to their service effective August 1. Also, according to GateWorld, Netflix is prepping season 1.5 for release at a later date along with all five seasons of “Stargate Atlantis”.
More details on Alabama: “It’s Reno 911! meets Battlestar Galactica.”Last week we reported on the news that FX ordered a sci-fi comedy pilot called “Alabama” from “Reno 911!” creators Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant:
“Set a thousand years in the future, the show follows the crew of the space ship USS Alabama as they continue a seven-year mission to maintain interplanetary peace.”
A few more details have been revealed. Collider interviewed Lennon who told the site that FX has only committed to shooting a pilot (which will film either end of September-beginning of October) and he also said that in their minds it’s really not a “Star Trek” parthey, but instead more like “Reno 911! meets Battlestar Galactica”:
“So you know we basically wanted to take the feel and it’s not…you know people keep saying it’s a Star Trek parody. In our mind it’s not really a Star Trek parody in any way. The Sunny in Philadelphia guys kind of already did one of those called Boldly Going Nowhere, which was very funny. This is more of an improvised kind of gritty, you know, the look and feel as if you’re watching people who are in the actual Navy. We’re going to shoot it on an old Russian submarine I think. And we want it to basically feel like “Das Boot”.”
Lennon even admitted that they haven’t decided whether it will be more human drama or sci-fi-based:
“We’re still kind of figuring the show out. The only thing we know is that technically no one on the ship is supposed to have sex with each other for the entire 7 years of the mission, but male and female…everyone on the ship showers together. So it leads to lots and lots of sexual tension basically.”
First look at the LOST epilogue “The New Man in Charge”Although the epilogue has actually leaked online, for those of you willing to wait it out until the official release on DVD/Blu-ray August 24, here is just a sneak peek at the feature, courtesy Access Hollywood:
In other news, a listing for the LOST auction confirms E! Online’s scoop last May surrunding the name of The Man in Black (played by Titus Welliver): “Samuel“. Ending on a lighter note, executive producer Damon Lindelof shared his list of the five meanest tweets he received after the series finale aired:
• “Hey, douche! Instead of backpacking in Europe or whatever the fuck you’re doing, how about you give me six years of my life back?”
• “My very first tweet. I started this account just to let you know how disappointed I am in you.”
• “Has anyone accused you of being an emotional terrorist yet? And research these words: closure and actual explanations.”
• “You suck. Please don’t ruin Star Trek by ending it in Klingon purgatory.”
• “You’re a dirty liar. You never knew, you made it all up, you betrayed us all. You betrayed me and I hope you rot, motherfucker.”
That last slam, Lindelof said jokingly, was from none other than J.J. Abrams.
Syfy developing online BSG spinoff
Syfy is developing an online BSG spinoff titled “Blood & Chrome”. The series will follow a young William Adama during the first Cylon War. It’s unknown if Nico Cortez, who played a young Adama in the BSG movie “Razor”, would reprise his role for the online series. “BSG” and “Caprica” co-executive producer Michael Taylor will write the script for the project which is expected to consist of nine or 10 episodes at 10 minutes each if greenlit:
“Blood & Chrome” is “about a young man’s initiation into war: both the realities of war as fought by soldiers on the ground (and in Battlestars and Vipers), and the somewhat less real version portrayed in the media,” according to Taylor.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Taylor said the show will make use of the latest in digital technlogy and special effects to depict the Cylon War and could potentially be done in 3D:
“I’ve seen the virtual, 3D version of CIC ['Battlestar's' Combat Information Center] and it’s pretty damn cool,” Taylor said. “And yet the movie isn’t confined to Galactica. Far from it. It’s a story that will take us to new corners of the ‘Battlestar’ world (or worlds), and yet it aims to be a very contemporary war movie in a lot of ways. I would say I’m thinking as much of Afghanistan and Iraq–the reality of ‘Hurt Locker,’ Sebastian Junger’s ‘Restrepo,’ and similar movies–as I am about about the largely implied past of ‘Battlestar.’”
If successful, “Blood & Chrome” could serve as a backdoor pilot for a new TV show.
Syfy announces development of 7 new shows
Syfy announced an extensive development slate of 7 shows, featuring projects from Kevin Sorbo, Lee Majors and the “Sanctuary” creative team. Here are a few highlights (head on over to blastr for the full press release):
ME AND LEE
In this 1/2-hour single-camera series, a down-on-his-luck 20-something undergoes back surgery, only to find that the procedure did not go well. Enter Lee Majors, who claims he has the perfect solution. He entices the young man into his ultra high-tech lab and makes him bionic. Now intrinsically bound together, Majors tries helping his new partner get his life back on track.
National Treasure meets Firefly in this swashbuckling space opera about an adventurous female relic hunter and her team as they hunt down — and sometimes steal — valuable and powerful objects to sell on the black market, all while staying one step ahead of the bounty hunters hot on their heels.
In this “Robin Hood” story for the 23rd century, a young man of privilege teams up with a misfit spaceship crew to right the wrongs of his family.
A 1/2-hour single-camera series in which Kevin Sorbo plays an exaggerated version of himself … a former syndicated television series star. When a fan approaches Sorbo to enlist his skills in combating the underworld mythological creatures that threaten to destroy Los Angeles, an unlikely partnership is formed. Together, they use their intimate knowledge of the myths of Hercules to defeat a myriad of beasts.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Comic-Con 2010 trailer[Syfy]
Promotional stills for episode 4×07 – “Stoned” [more at SpoilerTV]
Character posters [E! Online]
Character videos [NBC]
Promo for episode 1×06 – “Fur” [YouTube]
No Ordinary Family
Promotional stills [more at SpoilerTV]
Sneak peeks [ABC]
Season nine on DVD/Blu-ray TV spot [YouTube]
Animated TV series trailer [The CW Supernatural / Twitvid]
Extended season six preview [The CW / YouTube]
Promo for episode 3×09 – “Everything is Broken” [YouTube]
The Venture Bros.
Season 4.5 trailer [[adult swim]]
The Walking Dead
Featurette: “The Bicycle Girl” [AMC]
Promotional stills for episode 2×06 – “Around the Bend” [more at SpoilerTV]
Sneak peek at “Around the Bend” [Syfy]
- The BBC has confirmed that the sixth season of “Doctor Who” will be 13 episodes. Showrunner Steven Moffat will write a total of six episodes: the Christmas special plus five regular episodes. [Den of Geek]
- While we were away, the U.S. version of BBC’s “Being Human” began production in Montreal, Canada. Syfy has ordered 13 episodes of the series, which stars Sam Witwer, Meaghan Rath, Sam Huntington and Mark Pelligrino. [Syfy]
- Cartoon Network has announced that “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” will premiere its third season on Friday, September 17 at 9:00 p.m. Watch the trailer embedded below. [The HD Room]
- Ben Browder will star along side Juliet Landau, Chase Masterson and Jennifer Sky in an online sci-fi series called “Naught for Hire”. The show is described as a “lighthearted sci-fi romp in the style of ’30s noir movies…about a detective who has issues with modern technology, including a car that is in love with him, an elevator that won’t cooperate and an answering machine that wants to do nothing but pull pranks on him.” Filming begins this summer on the 13-part series. A run date hasn’t been announced. [SFX]
- Episode 6×04 of “Supernatural” is now called “The Third Man”. It was originally title “Weekend at Bobby’s”… [SpoilerTV]
- …and episode 6×05 will be called “You Can’t Handle The Truth”. [SpoilerTV]
- HBO has released the episode synopsis for the “True Blood” season three finale “Evil Is Going On”. Here’s an excerpt: “Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) grapples with his conscience while plotting his perfect revenge against Russell (Denis O’Hare). Fed up with being “vampire crack,” Sookie (Anna Paquin) considers a new life without Bill (Stephen Moyer) – or any other vampire.” [read the rest at Cinema Blend]
- Now that Lois knows Clark’s secret, the tables will be flipped this season on “Smallville”: “For the first time Clark doesn’t know everything; Lois has the secret. So that dynamic will flip everything in that relationship, and it really brings those personal feelings to life,” said producer Brian Peterson… [Fancast]
- …Here’s what fellow producer Kelly Souders said about Allison Mack’s return to the show: “Allison comes back and has a really strong storyline, and I think fans will be very happy with it. They will not have seen the last of Chloe Sullivan.”… [Fancast]
- …Three more titles for season 10 have been revealed: 10×05 – “Isis”; 10×06 – “Harvest” and 10×07 – “Ambush”. [SpoilerTV]
- The producers of the NBC series “The Event” are hopeful they can gain the trust of their audience and consider the pilot “kind of an invitation to the series, really. It’s an appetizer. I think as a viewer myself and a fan of ‘Lost,’ I’d ask for people’s trust – that even though I was a huge fan, that’s what I’d want them to do,” said creator Nick Wauters. [HitFix]
- Check out some highlights/observations from MTV’s TCA panel for their new “Teen Wolf” series over at blastr.
- “Chuck” composer Tim Jones is taking his scoring duties over to the Fox series “Human Target”. Jones is taking over for Bear McCreary who will be shifting to AMC’s zombie drama “The Walking Dead”. Jones will continue to score NBC’s “Chuck”… [THR]
- …Speaking of “Human Target”, Fox has pushed back the second season premiere of the show by one week to Friday, October 1, 2010. [SpoilerTV]
- Sky1 has announced the return of several U.S. properties, including “Fringe” (October 2010), “Stargate Universe” (October 2010) and “Caprica” (Winter 2011). [Sky1]
- “No Ordinary Family” co-creator Greg Berlanti says the whole origin story won’t be revealed in the pilot: “We were just going through ways for how we could begin it and we wanted a lot of mystery to it. As time goes on, we show that maybe the crash wasn’t totally responsible. It seemed like a great trope to play with, and it plays a part, but it may not play the complete part.” [Collider]
- Check out an interview with “The Walking Dead” director/writer Frank Darabont at Comic Book Resources.
- Malik Yoba and Laura Mennell have joined the cast of Syfy’s 90-minute pilot “Alphas” which stars David Strathairn. [Syfy]
- Courtney Ford will play a recurring role in The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries”. Ford will play Vanessa, “a grad student at Duke who helps Damon, Alaric, and Elena go through Isobel’s old reasearch”. [EW]
- The 10th season of “Smallville” will see the addition of two new characters: Floyd Lawton (aka Deadshot) and Shayera (aka Hawkgirl). The roles will be played by Bradley Stryker and Sahir Biniaz, respectively. Both characters will appear in episode two, which will also feature a return appearance by Michael Shanks as Hawkman. [Kryptonsite]
- Canadian actor Noah Reid has been cast as the lead in Syfy’s pilot “Three Inches”. Reid will play Walter, “a twentysomething underachiever who acquires a seemingly worthless superpower after getting struck by lightning: he can move any object three inches with his mind.” [Deadline TV]
- Jonna Walsh has joined the cast of ABC’s “No Ordinary Family”. She will play a recurring role as Megan, described as the BFF of Kay Panabaker’s character Daphne. Walsh will make her first appearance in the show’s third episode. [KSiteTV]
- Sarah Carter has joined the cast of the Steven Spielberg-produced TNT sci-fi series “Falling Skies”. She’ll play a regular character on the series, “a motorcycle gang member who helps Tom and Anne (Moon Bloodgood) escape”. [Deadline TV]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
Here are the key sci-fi/genre cable show ratings from where we left off lin our last regular report (along with a season average recap), followed by the broadcast charts:
- Episode 5 – 4.86M viewers / 2.8 A18-49 rating
- Episode 6 – 4.74M viewers / 2.8 A18-49 rating
- Episode 7 – 5.24M viewers / 3.0 A18-49 rating
- Episode 8 – 5.09M viewers / 3.0 A18-49 rating
Season average: 4.80 million viewers and a 2.8 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 6 – 1.92M viewers / 0.9 A18-49 rating
- Episode 7 – 2.05M viewers / 1.0 A18-49 rating
- Episode 8 – 1.95M viewers / 1.0 A18-49 rating
Season average: 2.25 million viewers and a 1.2 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 3 – 2.28M viewers / 0.8 A18-49 rating
- Episode 4 – 2.48M viewers / 0.8 A18-49 rating
- Episode 5 – 2.74M viewers / 0.9 A18-49 rating
Season average: 2.56 million viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 2 – 2.21M viewers / 0.6 A18-49 rating
- Episode 3 – 2.29M viewers / 0.7 A18-49 rating
- Episode 4 – 2.27M viewers / 0.7 A18-49 rating
- Episode 5 – 2.56M viewers / 0.8 A18-49 rating
Season average: 2.37 million viewers and a 0.7 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 2 – 2.09M viewers / 0.6 A18-49 rating
- Episode 3 – 1.84M viewers / 0.5 A18-49 rating
- Episode 4 – 2.13M viewers / 0.6 A18-49 rating
- Episode 5 – 1.88M viewers / 0.4 A18-49 rating
Season average: 2.06 million viewers and a 0.6 A18-49 rating.
Also noteworthy, the series premiere of “Stan Lee’s Superhumans” on History drew 1.34 million viewers and a 0.5 A18-49 rating.
CHART (7/12/2010 to 7/18/2010)
CHART (7/19/2010 to 7/25/2010)
CHART (7/26/2010 to 8/1/2010)
You can follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/YourEntNow.