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TrekMovie.com Sci-Fi TV: Fringe, V, Stargate Universe, Being Human, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who + more

Cross-posted at TrekMovie.com

It is time once again to catch up on all the Sci-Fi TV news and this week we start off with a big move for Fringe, an original V cast member returns, talk of a 5-year arc for SGU, new shows developing for the CW,  and much more. including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews.

GENRE TV NEWS

Fox moves Fringe to Friday nights beginning in January

Fox has announced their mid-season schedule and one of the key changes includes moving the struggling sci-fi drama “Fringe” to Friday nights. At first glance the move seems like one of the first steps towards cancellation, but Fox and the show’s creative team remain optimistic:

“We are excited,” executive producer J.H. Wyman told Blastr. “We think it’s open territory that can be conquered. We really do believe our fans are loyal. I believe they’re going to follow. It’s a chance for us to get away from that statement that Friday night is not an opportune night. [We believe] we can actually deliver like The X-Files did. … I think we both agree it’s a good opportunity.”

“When Fox informed us of the move, what was most important to us is we understand that our audience is watching the show, not like a standalone audience watches the show, but their actually watching it as an investment over time,” added executive producer Jeff Pinkner. “We wanted to be able to tell our audience that the story, the ongoing, the long arcing story that we have planned for our characters, is going to get told. It’s funny, there are more Fringe fans in the building at Fox then any show we’ve ever worked on before. I think they and we all feel that if we can build a fan base on and carve out some territory on Friday night, we can be there for years.”

Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly also expressed optimism, insisting this is not a death blow for the low-rated series:

”We are not killing the show. Over the last week, over 45 percent of the audience time-shifted the show. That’s almost half of the dedicated audience watching it on their DVRs. It’s been such a loyal fanbase. I will be really disheartened if the viewer base decides to not watch because it shifted one night. I hope they go with it, and if not they have the option of picking it up on their DVRs. If it does anywhere near what it did on Thursdays, we can glue that show to the schedule because it can be a big win for us.”

The first Friday night episode will air on January 28, 2011 at 9PM. “Fringe” airs its mid-season finale episode “Marionette” this coming Thursday at 9PM. Check out a promo and sneak peek for the episode below:

Promo for episode 3×09 – “Marionette” [YouTube]

Sneak peek for “Marionette” [YouTube]

CW may adapt DC Comics Raven + Kevin Williamson developing potential Vampire Diaries companion series

The CW is looking into adapting the DC Comics property “Raven” into a TV series. Diego Gutierrez (recently a co-executive producer on “V”) is writing and will executive produce the project, which has a script order at The CW thorugh Warner Brothers TV and DC Entertainment. Here are some details on the character [via Variety]:

In DC Comics mythology, Raven — created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez — is the daughter of a human and a demon who has empath abilities to read emotions and divine secrets.

Raven, who’s able to teleport herself and enter the minds of others, uses her skills to fight crime while trying to keep her dark internal elements in check.

In other development news, “The Vampire Diaries” co-creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson is working on a new supernatural drama series for The CW that could serve as a companion series to the hit CW series “The Vampire Diaries”. The untitled project is in the early stages of development at Warner Brothers TV, but would focus on a group of people who investigate paranormal happenings. Fellow ‘Vampire Diaries’ co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec is also said to be in talks to co-write the project with Williamson. Because of the project is still in very early stages, it likely wouldn’t be ready until the 2012-2013 season at the earliest.

Original series cast member Marc Singer to appear in V season two finale

Marc Singer, who played Mike Donovan in the original ’80s “V” miniseries/TV show, will guest star in the season two finale — episode 10 — of the new ABC series. According to TV Guide, Singer will play a new character named Lars Tremont: “Lars is a member of a super top secret organization comprised of high-ranking military and government leaders from around the globe, who have long suspected that the Visitors — despite what they tell us — are very much not here in peace.” This is the second major original series addition to the series following Jane Badler, who will appear in the season two premiere. “V” returns for its second season on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 9PM on ABC. One would assume that if ratings are strong enough to warrant another season, we would see more of Singer’s character in the third season.

Season two promotional cast images [more at Multipleverses]

Promo for episode 2×01 – “Red Rain” [YouTube]

Stargate Universe Producer: Series has a five-year story

“Stargate Universe” producer Joseph Mallozzi told fans on his blog [via GateWorld] that the show has been planned out to air over five seasons, however they could “pay it off over the course of a single season.”:

“There are a number of arcs and elements that will figure into the ultimate finale we have planned,”: Mallozzi said. “Ideally, we’d get five years to tell the entire story in satisfactory fashion…”

Ratings this season continue to be weak, but Mallozzi says Syfy will take into account DVR-delayed and online viewers when making a decision about a third season:

I think our audience is there but simply growing more diffuse,” Mallozzi said of the ratings. “It would terrific if the television industry found a way to catch up with the modern media’s technological advancements, find a way to make sure everyone is counted in those ratings — but barring a major miracle, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

“The only alternative to ensuring a third season is to bring more viewers to Tuesday nights, be they SG-1 fans, Atlantis fans, or fans of Celebrity Circus.

“Stargate Universe” is currently averaging 1.08M viewers and a 0.5 A18-49 rating. Through the same span last season — 10 weeks — season one had averaged 1.90M viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating. That represents a year-on-year decline of 43% among viewers and 37% among adults 18-49. GateWorld notes that Syfy is likely to make a decision on a third season in December or January.

Syfy kicks off 2011 with new original series Being Human, Face Off and Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen

Syfy has announced premiere dates for new shows “Being Human” (Monday, January 17, 2011, at 9PM), Face Off (Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 10PM) and Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen (February, 2011). The network also announced return dates for “Ghost Hunters”, “Destination Truth” and “Ghost Hunters International. “Merlin” will also rejoin the network’s lineup beginning on Friday, January 7, 2011, at 10PM:

Syfy will ring in the New Year with a cavalcade of original programming, from the new series Being Human (Monday, January 17, at 9PM), Face Off (Wednesday, January 26, at 10PM) and Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen and returning powerhouses Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth and Ghost Hunters International (Wednesday, January 5, at 9PM), to Saturday Original Movies led by the highly anticipated clash of pop princess rivals Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in Mega Python Vs Gatoroid on Saturday, January 29, at 9PM (ET/PT).

Merlin, starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Anthony Head, will rejoin the prime time lineup beginning Friday, January 7, at 10PM (ET/PT) following WWE Friday Night Smackdown®.

To read the entire press release, click here.

Season preview trailer for “Being Human” [Syfy]

Launch promo for “Face Off” [Syfy]

Darabont may forgo writers room for The Walking Dead season two

“The Walking Dead” writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont has reportedly let go all of the writers for the hit AMC series. Deadline reports that Darabont will do the second season without a writers room, and will instead assign scripts to freelancers. AMC issued a statement confirming “that there will be changes to the writing staff”. However, executive producer/author Robert Kirkman says the report is “unfortunate” and “premature” and says the writing staff changes won’t affect the show:

“It’s kind of unfortunate that it’s being reported that our writing staff has been fired because that’s not the case,” Kirkman, who created the comic book series on which the AMC zombie drama is based, told TVGuide.com. “It makes Frank look bad. I don’t think Frank wants it out there that he’s just firing people off of a successful show seemingly for no reason.”

The series has been a huge hit for the network, with an average audience tune-in of 5.09M viewers and a 2.6 A18-49 rating through the first five episodes. Last week’s episode drew a series-high 5.56M viewers and a 2.8 A18-49 rating. The first season finale of “The Walking Dead” airs tonight on AMC at 10PM.

Promotional stills for the season finale, “TS-19″ [more at KSiteTV]

A Christmas Carol synopsis + New images

BBC has released the official synopsis for the “Doctor Who” Christmas special “A Christmas Carol”.

The thrilling adventures of the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and newlyweds Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) will continue in a Doctor Who fun-filled and heartfelt festive story, A Christmas Carol, this Christmas on BBC One.

In the grand tradition of Doctor Who Christmas specials, this year the show has once again attracted stellar guest stars, as veteran actor Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The Singing Detective) and Opera diva Katherine Jenkins, in her first acting role, join the Time Lord for what might be his most Christmassy adventure yet!

Lead writer/executive producer Steven Moffat teased the special, which will air on Christmas day in both the US (on BBC America) and in the UK (on BBC): “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.”

Promotional stills for “A Christmas Carol” [more at Blogtor Who, (2), (3)]

PREVIEW Videos & Images

The Cape

Promotional cast images [more at CapeSite]

Interview with creator Tom Wheeler [Comic Book Movie]

Promo [NBC]

Eureka

Sneak peek at the Holiday special, “O Little Town…” [Syfy]

Family Guy

Trailer for ‘Return of the Jedi spoof’, “It’s A Trap!” [YouTube via THR]

Watch another trailer here

Game of Thrones

Teaser trailer #3 [YouTube]

Inside Game of Thrones preview [HBO]

Promotional stills [more at EW]

The Guild: Tink

Cover art for the upcoming comic book [io9]

Human Target

Promo for episode 2×04 – “The Return of Baptiste” [YouTube]

Ice Quake

Sneak peek (airs Saturday, December 11 at 9 ET on Syfy) [Syfy]

Misfits

Promotional stills for episode 2×05 [more at SpoilerTV]

Promo for episode 2×05 [YouTube]

No Ordinary Family

Promo for episode 1×10 – “No Ordinary Sidekick” [YouTube]

Primeval

Season four trailer [YouTube]

Riese: Kingdom Falling

Season finale – “Reunion” [Syfy]

Sanctuary

Sneak peek at episode 3×09 – “Vigilante” [YouTube]

Smallville

Promo for episode 10×11 – “Icarus” [YouTube]

Supernatural

Character designs for the upcoming anime adaptation [more at SpoilerTV]

Promo for episode 6×11 – “Appointment in Samarra” [YouTube]

Transformers Prime

Behind the scenes with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman [YouTube]

Warehouse 13

Sneak peeks for the Holiday special, “Secret Santa” [Syfy]

TV BITES

  • Episode two of the fourth season of “True Blood” will be called “You Smell Like Dinner”. [E! Online]
  • The final five unaired episodes of the canceled Syfy series “Caprica” will air during a marathon on Syfy on January 4, 2011 from 6-11PM. [E! Online]
  • Kelly Manners (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is joining the Starz’ upcoming U.S. edition of “Torchwood” as a producer. In related news, Starz hasn’t announced an exact premiere date for “Torchwood: The New World”, but the network reportedly expects to launch the show in July 2011. [the live feed | THR]
  • Episode 1×07 of “The Cape” will be called “Ghosts of Palm City”. [SpoilerTV]
  • Episode 6×14 of “Supernatural” will be called “Mannequin 3: The Reckoning”. [SpoilerTV]
  • Mark Romanek is in negotiations to direct Fox’s pilot “Locke & Key”, from producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” creator Josh Friedman wrote the pilot. [Deadline]
  • …Meanwhile, Jonas Pate has been tapped to direct the two-hour “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome”. [Deadline]
  • The BBC has announced that the fourth game in the “Doctor Who Adventures Games” series will be released in the UK on Christmas day. The game will be called “Shadows of the Vashta Nerada” and will be available for purchase worldwide at a later date. [via Doctor Who News Page]

CASTING BITES

  • Steven Moffat confirmed that the character Ianto Jones, who was killed in 2009’s “Children of Earth”, will not be returning. [Steven Moffat | Twitter]
  • Vinnie Jones discusses his role as Scales on the upcoming NBC series “The Cape”: “Scales is the main boss, trying to take over, and he will be trying all different angles to do that,” he told SciFiNow. “He’s going to be teaming up wherever he can to try to take over Palm City.”… [Digital Spy]
  • …Chad Lindberg has revealed that he will be guest starring on the show as a villain. [via CapeSite.net]
  • “True Blood” star Jessica Tuck has been promoted to series regular…
  • …In related casting news, Janina Gavankar, Alexandra Breckenridge and Vedette Lim have been added to the cast. Gavankar will play Luna, “a super-sexy public school teacher and shapeshifter who is first seen attending an informal gathering with others like her”. Breckenridge will play Daisy, “a member of a wiccan group founded by Marnie. And lastly, Lim will play Naomi, “a fierce fighter who participates in underground cage matches for money.” [Deadline]
  • Miranda Otto has been tapped to star in Fox’s drama pilot “Locke & Key”. [Deadline]

SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]

CHART (11/8/2010 to 11/14/2010)

CHART (11/15/2010 to 11/21/2010)

CHART (11/22/2010 to 11/28/2010)

You can follow me on Twitter at: Twitter.com/YourEntNow.

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