In Sci-Fi TV this week Walking Dead appears here to stay, Tron gets animated on TV, Marvel has big plans for TV, NBC shows off The Cape, SGU’s creator pushes a fan conspiracy theory, and more including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews.
GENRE TV NEWS
AMC’s Walking Dead renewed for 13-episode second season after strong premiere + new images
After an impressive record-breaking debut performance — 5.34M viewers / 3.6M within the key A18-49 demo — and a strong hold for episode two — 4.7M / 3.3M within the A18-49 demo — AMC has announced that they’ve picked up “The Walking Dead” for a 13-episode second season:
“The ‘Dead’ has spread!” said Charlie Collier, President, AMC. “No other cable series has ever attracted as many Adults 18-49 as ‘The Walking Dead.’ This reaffirms viewers’ hunger for premium television on basic cable. We are so proud to be bringing back ‘The Walking Dead’ again, across the globe.”
Season two has also been cleared internationally through Fox International Channels:
“I wish all programming decisions were no brainers like this one,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP Scripted Programming. “The Walking Dead is a TV masterpiece on so many levels. We want at least 10 seasons, if not more”
“The Walking Dead” airs Sunday nights at 10:00PM on AMC. Season one will comprise of six episodes. In other news, check out this amazing Google Map of all the appearances, deaths, events and locations from the Robert Kirkman comic book series [via Blastr].
Promotional stills for episode 1×03 – “Tell It To The Frogs” [more at TV Overmind]
Disney/Marvel has three live-action shows in development
Disney CEO Robert Iger spoke with the Wall Street Journal and revealed that the Marvel/Disney relationship has so far resulted in the development of three live-action TV series:
[With Marvel] we’ve taken back distribution, or bought back distribution from [Viacom Inc.’s] Paramount, for some critical franchises. Notably, “Iron Man 3″ will be distributed by us, and “Avengers.” We’re developing three live-action series for ABC and ABC Family. You can buy Marvel products at Disney stores. And we’re working on Marvel games.
One of those series is the previously announced “Hulk” for ABC, while another project is “Cloak and Dagger”, potentially for ABC Family. That leaves one more series, and according to Heat Vision | THR, these are the projects that are being presented to ABC:
- Heroes for Hire (focusing on ex-con Luke Cage offering to take on bad guys for a price)
- The Eternals (a race of superpowered beings live amid humanity in secret, inspiring legends)
- Agents of Atlas
- Alter Ego (private investigator Jessica Jones takes on cases involving superhumans)
- Moon Knight
- Red Hood (a low-rent criminal discovers a cloak that gives him superpowers)
- Ka-Zar (a Tarzan-type and his saber-toothed tiger must journey to the concrete jungle to seek justice)
- Daughters of the Dragon (a dynamic female duo, one with a bionic arm and the other a granddaughter of a samurai, open a private-detective agency)
- The Punisher (one man wages a war on crime; already adapted as two feature films)
TRON: Uprising TV series coming to Disney XD in 2012
Disney has announced that the animated TV series “TRON: Uprising” will debut on Disney XD in the summer of 2012:
The story focuses on an era of the “TRON” storyline that transpires after the popular 1982 feature film and before the story in Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming TRON: Legacy Its impressive list of artists, animators, directors, producers and digital technicians includes executive producer/director Charlie Bean (“Robotboy,” “Samurai Jack,” and “Powerpuff Girls”); and consulting producers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz (both screenwriters of TRON: Legacy / executive producers of “Lost”) and Justin Springer (co-producer of TRON: Legacy).
The new series will be preceded by a 10-part “TRON” micro-series that will launch in fall 2011 (also on Disney XD). The impressive voice cast for “TRON: Uprising” includes Elijah Wood as Beck, Emmanuelle Chriqui as Paige, Mandy Moore as Mara, Nate Corddry as Zed, Lance Henriksen as Tesler, Paul Reubens as Pavel, Reginald VelJohnson as Able and Bruce Boxleitner reprising his role as Tron.
Fox greenlights Orci/Kurtzman-produced TV adaptation of Locke & Key
Fox has given a greenlight to a pilot for the Roberto Orci/Alex Kurtzman-produced TV adaptation of the graphic novel “Locke & Key”, Deadline reports:
Based on Joe Hill’s comic published by IDW Publishing, Locke & Key tells the story of Nina Locke and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, who survive an unspeakable horror and attempt to rebuild their lives at Keyhouse, their family home in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. It is a mysterious New England mansion, with fantastic and transformative keys hidden inside its walls that are also being sought by a hate-filled and relentless creature with ties to the Locke family’s past who will stop at nothing to accomplish his sinister goals.
Josh Friedman (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) is penning the adaptation, which Fox is eying for a potential summer run.
Syfy cancels Caprica and pulls remaining episodes until 2011; S1.5 DVD release still sched’d for December 2010
As we previously reported here on TrekMovie.com (see article here), Syfy has canceled the low-rated drama series “Caprica”. At the time of the announcement, the network also said it was pulling the remaining five episodes of season 1. At the moment, the plan is to air them in 2011, however, there may be a way for fans of the show to get their fix this year because NBC Universal still has the Season 1.5 DVD release scheduled for December 21, 2010. On top of that, Space, which airs the show in Canada, says they will finish airing all of season one.
Stargate Atlantis fans intentionally killing Stargate Universe?
Now that Syfy has killed Caprica, fans of Stargate Universe are starting to get nervous. Ratings are dropping and even dipping below 1 million viewers. The move to Tuesday could be part of the problem but some thing that Stargate Atlantis fans upset over their show being cancelled could also be ‘punishing’ SGU out of spite. That is the subject of an editorial by SciFiNow called “Atlantis fans need to stop punishing Universe“. What is surprising is that executive producer and co-creator Brad Wright seems to buy into this conspiracy theory, telling SciFiNow:
I don’t think if we for any reason go away, it is an issue necessarily of the quality of the product that we’ve been making. I think getting moved on the schedule has hurt us. And the fact that some of the fans that liked SG-1 and Atlantis were so angry that they have deliberately hurt us, which is unfortunate.
Of course it is possible that many fans of SG-1 and Atlantis just aren’t into the different style and tone of SGU. That appears to be the reasoning behind Syfy cancelling Caprica and greenlighting Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, which appears to be bringing back the sci-fi action of rebooted Battlestar Galactica.
In other Stargate Universe news, here is a sneak peek and some stills from this week’s episode “The Greater Good” [Syfy]
Watch another sneak peek here
Promotional stills for episode 2×07 – “The Greater Good” [more at SpoilerTV]
The Cape: New images, casting details and more
NBC has released new promotional cast photos for the upcoming midseason drama “The Cape”, including a first look at The Cape (David Lyons) with his mask (which he won’t get until episode two), Vinnie Jones as the deformed reptilian criminal Scales and James Frain as millionaire supervillain Chess [via AICN]:
The series also stars Summer Glau. There’s also more news on the casting front [via AICN]:
- Mena Suvari (“American Beauty,” “Six Feet Under,” “Rumor Has It”) will grace an upcoming episode as a girl named Dice
- Thomas Kretschmann (“King Kong,” “Wanted,” “Valkyrie”) will have a major role in an upcoming episode
- Elliot Gould (the “Ocean’s 11” movies”) has joined the series in a recurring role
And lastly, screenwriter Craig Titley (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) has joined the writing staff and has already penned the series’ fourth episode, “Kozmo”, which is currently filming. “The Cape” does not yet have a premiere date. Check out a clip from the series below.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Promo for “Chuck vs. the Fear of Death” [YouTube]
Set images [more at Alun Vega | Flickr]
Promotional stills for episode 1×07 – “I Know Who You Are” [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for “I Know Who You Are” [YouTube]
Promo for episode 3×06 – “6955 kHZ” [YouTube]
Sneak peek at “6955 kHZ” [YouTube]
On-set interview with Anna Torv, John Noble, Lance Reddick and Joshua Jackson [TV Guide / YouTube]
Season two trailer [YouTube]
No Ordinary Family
Promotional stills for episode 1×08 – “No Ordinary Accident” [more at KSiteTV]
The Sarah Jane Adventures
Promotional stills for episodes 4×09-4×10 – “Lost in Time, Parts 1-2″ [more at Blogtor Who]
Promo for episode 4×08 – “The Empty Planet, Part 2″ [YouTube]
Promotional stills for episode 10×08 – “Abandoned” [more at SpoilerTV]
Sneak peek at “Abandoned” [YouTube]
Sneak peek at episode 6×08 – “All Dogs Go To Heaven” [YouTube]
Season two poster [multipleverses]
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: NBC Cancels JJ Abrams ‘Undercovers’
- “Fringe” showrunners Jeff Pinkner and Jeff Wyman took time to answer several fan questions for the third season of the Fox series. Check out the two-part Q&A over at E! Online here and here.
- ABC has given a full-season pick-up to the new superhero drama “No Ordinary Family”. With the back-nine order complete, co-creator and executive producer Jon Harmon Feldman discussed what that means for the rest of the season: “I mean, obviously we have thoughts and ideas and hopes in places we like to build to…We do have a lot of ideas that we’d love to explore on the back nine.” [Blastr]
- The first four episodes of the Syfy online series “Riese: Kingdom Falling” are now available to watch online. You can watch new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at Syfy.com.
- Fox has layed off most of the writing staff for the upcoming Steven Spielberg-produced prehistoric time-travel series “Terra Nova”. due to its previously announced production delay (preview in May 2011 / series premiere in the fall) “…because that pushed the bulk of episode production back until next summer, 20th Century Fox Television was faced with the prospect of paying a lot of writers to do not very much over the next few months. Instead, it decided to hand out a pink slip to any writer it did not have an overall deal with.” ‘Trek’ vet Brannon Braga remains attached as showrunner. [Show Tracker | LA Times]
- “Thundercats” producer Michael Jelenic says the new series — scheduled to premiere in 2011 — will have a simplified mythology: “One thing is that I tried to simplify the mythology a little bit,” he said. “It’s a pretty complicated backstory that borrows from a lot of other sci-fi stuff, like Superman and Star Wars. In developing this, I wanted it to be a little more simple…” [Splash Page | MTV]
- CBS has cut the season seven episode order of “Medium” from 22 episodes down to 13, a possible sign that the struggling series — currently averaging 6.34M viewers and a 1.3 A18-49 rating — may not see an eighth season. Despite the cut in episodes, “Medium” is actually on an up-turn in ratings. Last Friday’s episode drew a season-high 6.97M viewers and a 1.5 A18-49 rating, so all hope is not yet lost. [Blastr]
- NBC is developing a supernatural drama series called “Vines”. The show “centers on a troubled family desperate for a fresh start that takes over a Napa Valley winery whose ancient vines possess dangerous mystical powers”. Mark Kruger (“The 4400″) is the writer and Michael Aguilar (“The Departed”) and Taka Ichise (“The Ring”, “The Grudge”) will produce. Hideo Nakata (“The Ring”) may executive produce and/or direct. [Deadline]
- “LOST” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have sold a sci-fi/fantasy/mystery hour-long drama script to ABC. The pilot, titled “Once Upon a Time” is described as “a modern-day take on fairy tales, with a female protagonist who comes from a unique background.” [On The Air | Variety]
- Episode 1×05 of “The Cape” will be called “Scales on a Train”. [SpoilerTV]
- Filming has concluded on seasons four and five of the ITV sci-fi series “Primeval”. The fourth season will consist of seven episodes, while season five will comprise six episodes. [Den of Geek]
- Episode 3×08 of “Fringe” will be called “Entrada”. [SpoilerTV]
- The BBC has announced that there will be a sneak preview of the “Doctor Who” Christmas special during the annual “Children in Need” special (airing on November 19). [Blogtor Who]
- The second season of the UK series “Misfits” will premiere on E4 Thursday, November 11. [Den of Geek]
- Check out an interview with David Eick about the upcoming BSG prequel “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” at Hero Complex | LA Times.
- The season four premiere of “True Blood” will be called “She’s Not There”. [SpoilerTV]
- Episode 6×12 of “Supernatural” will be called “How To Train Your Dragon”. [SpoilerTV]
- Check out an interview with “Torchwood: The New World” executive producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner at Collider.
- ABC will be hosting a live Twitter chat with “No Ordinary Family” star Kay Panabaker (Daphne Powell) and guest-star Jackson Rathbone (“The Twilight Saga”) during the Tuesday, Novemeber 9 (8:00-9:00) episode “No Ordinary Visitors”. You can follow the two on Twitter at @kaypandabaker and @NOF_JacksonR. [ABC]
- The Syfy original movie “Red: Werewolf Hunter”, which starred Felicia Day, drew 2.06M viewers (746,000 of which were in the key A18-49 demo). [via YourEntNow]
- Toshinobu Nishizaki, the producer of the animated series “Space Battleship Yamato” (“Star Blazers” in the US), has died after he reportedly fell from the steamship Yamato which was set to make its trial voyage. [Mainichi Daily via io9]
- Various episode synopses/descriptions:
- “Smallvillle” – 10×09 – “Patriot”. [OSCK]
- “Supernatural” – 6×08 – “All Dogs Go to Heaven”. [TV Guide]
- “Supernatural” – 6×09 – “Clap Your Hands If You Believe”. [SpoilerTV]
- “The Sarah Jane Adventures” – 4×09-10 – “Lost in Time”. [Doctor Who News Page]
- “The Sarah Jane Adventures” – 4×11-12 – “Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith”. [Doctor Who News Page]
- “Chuck” – 4×08 – “Chuck vs. the Fear of Death”. [ChuckTV.net]
- “Chuck” – 4×09 – “Chuck vs. Phase Three”. [SpoilerTV]
- “Fringe” – 3×06 – “6955 kHZ”. [Fringe Television]
- “Stargate Universe” – 2×07 – “The Greater Good”. [SpoilerTV]
- “Stargate Universe” – 2×08 – “Malice”. [SpoilerTV]
- “Stargate Universe” – 2×09 – “Visitation”. [SpoilerTV]
- “Stargate Universe” – 2×10 – “Resurgance”. [SpoilerTV]
- “The Event” – 1×08 – “For the Good of Our Country”. [SpoilerTV]
- “The Event” – 1×09 – “Your World to Take”. [SpoilerTV]
- “No Ordinary Family” – 1×07 – “No Ordinary Mobster”. [SpoilerTV]
- “The Walking Dead” – 1×03 – “Tell It To The Frogs”. [Zombie Diary]
- “The Walking Dead” – 1×04 – “Vatos”. [Zombie Diary]
- “The Walking Dead” – 1×05 – “Wildfire”. [Zombie Diary]
- “The Walking Dead” – 1×06 – “TS-19″. [Zombie Diary]
- Landon Liboiron, Elisabeth Shannon and Naomi Scott will play young family members in Fox’s prehistoric time-travel series “Terra Nova” …[Hollywood Insider | EW]
- ..Fox has also cast the final series regular on the show. Christine Adams (“The Whole Truth”) will play Mira, “a battle-hardened resident of Terra Nova who gets to know the Shannon family.” [Hollywood Insider | EW]
- South African model/actress Tanit Phoenix (“Lost Boys: The Thirst”) will reportedly be one of the contenders to play the lead in the new “Wonder Woman” TV series being written by David E. Kelley: “She will definitely get to screen test, says an insider.” [what’s playing]
- Rick Schroder will guest star in a January episode of “No Ordinary Family”. He’s currently only scheduled to appear in one episode, but it’s possible he could return for more. [TV Guide]
- Trent Ford, Daniel Gillies and Lauren Cohan have joined the cast of “The Vampire Diaries”. They’ll play the vampires Trevor, Elijah and Rose, respectively: “They have deep ties to Katerina Petrova,” said exececutive producer Julie Plec. [Ausiello Files | EW]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
After hitting a series-low, episode 1×13 – “False Labor” increased a bit to 843,000 viewers (+17%) and a 0.3 A18-49 rating (nc). Then again, it really doesn’t matter any more because Syfy has already canceled the series and pulled all remaining episodes. As of now, this will serve as the final-aired episode of 2010 (on Syfy). The season average thus far is as follows: 1.08M viewers and a 0.4 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 2×05 – “Cloverdale” – 1.01M viewers (+4%) and a 0.4 A18-49 rating (nc).
- Episode 2×06 – “Trial and Error” – 967,000 viewers (-4%) and a 0.4 A18-49 rating (nc).
For just the second time in its history, “Stargate Universe” dropped below 1M viewers. The most-recent airing is a new series-low in viewers and ties a series-low in A18-49 rating. The season two average is now down to 1.07M viewers and a 0.5 A18-49 rating.
“I don’t think if we for any reason go away, it is an issue necessarily of the quality of the product that we’ve been making,” said executive producer and co-creator Brad Wright. “I think getting moved on the schedule has hurt us. And the fact that some of the fans that liked SG-1 and Atlantis were so angry that they have deliberately hurt us, which is unfortunate.”
Episode 4×07 increased to 1.19M viewers (+19%) and a 0.5 A18-49 rating (+25%). That’s second only to the season premiere in highest audience of the season among viewers and ties a season-high in A18-49 rating. Worth noting, the show is up a total of 33% among viewers and 67% in demo since hitting season-lows with the fifth episode (0.894M / 0.3 rating) . Season four is now averaging 1.04M viewers and a 0.4 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 6×20 – 1.97M viewers (-11%) and a 0.9 A18-49 rating (-10%).
- Episode 6×21 – 1.81M viewers (-8%) and a 0.8 A18-49 rating (-11%).
Also, the special Live Halloween edition drew 1.70M viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating last Sunday night. Season six is averaging 2.10M viewers and a 0.9 A18-49 rating (2.08M / 0.9 A18-49 rating with the Halloween episode).
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Episode 3×07 “Assassin” drew 1.85M viewers (+3%) and a 0.4 A18-49 rating (nc). The third season is currently averaging 1.90M viewers and a 0.4 A18-49 rating. In the network’s key demo (K2-11), the show is averaging a 2.2 rating.
- Episode 1×01 – 1.50M viewers and a 0.7 A18-49 rating.
- Episode 1×02 – 1.39M viewers (-7%) and a 0.6 A18-49 rating (-14%).
- Episode 1×03 – 1.13M viewers (-19%) and a 0.5 A18-49 rating (-17%).
- Episode 1×04 – 986,000 viewers (-13%) and a 0.4 A18-49 rating (-20%).
Solid start for the new Syfy reality series, but the quick decline — two episodes aired per Wednesday night over the last two weeks — is obviously concerning. From premiere to episode four, the show is down 34% in viewers and 43% in A18-49 rating.
“Fringe” returned Thursday night with a disappointing season-low 4.80M viewers (-8%) and a 1.8 A18-49 rating (-10%) for episode 3×05 – “Amber 31422″. Season three is averaging 5.24M viewers and a 2.0 A18-49 rating in its tough Thursday night time slot.
Episode 4×06 – “Chuck vs. the First Fight”, which featured a guest appearance by Timothy Dalton, drew 5.47M viewers (+0%) and a 2.0 A18-49 rating (+5%). The season average of “Chuck” now stands at 5.43M viewers and a 1.9 A18-49 rating.
The Vampire Diaries
- Episode 2×07 – “Masquerade” – 3.55M viewers (-2%) and a 1.7 A18-49 rating (nc).
- Episode 2×08 – “Rose” – 3.63M viewers (+2%) and a 1.9 A18-49 rating (-6%).
The numbers for “Rose” mark a new season-high (ever so slightly beating the 3.62M tune-in for “Plan B”). As you can see above, the show declined slightly among A18-49 rating, so there’s no new high there. The season average for “The Vampire Diaries” is now 3.42M viewers and a 1.6 A18-49 rating. Compared to the final eight episodes of season one, TVD is up 4% in viewers and even in A18-49 rating (3.28M / 1.6 A18-49 rating).
- Episode 1×07 – “The Recruit” – 2.48M viewers (-12%) and a 1.7 A18-49 rating (nc).
- Episode 1×08 – “Phoenix” – 2.41M viewers (-3%) and a 1.9 A18-49 rating (-10%).
New season-lows for “Nikita”, and what I hinted at in our last column has happened: the show has dropped below 3M viewers for its season average (2.90M / 1.1 A18-49 rating). Even more concerning, “Nikita” is failing among the network’s key demos with season averages of a 1.0 rating among A18-34 and a 1.3 rating among W18-34. Contrast that to the season averages of its lead-in — “The Vampire Diaries” — within those demos (1.9 / 2.6) and you’re looking at retention rates of a dismal 53% among A18-34 and 50% among W18-34. A statistic that only gets worse when comparing strictly to the last episode (0.9 out of 1.9 = 47% and 1.1 out of 2.6 = 42%).
CHART (10/18/2010 to 10/24/2010)
CHART (10/25/2010 to 10/31/2010)
You can follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/YourEntNow.