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I'll do my best to read and respond to your e-mails. Sci-Fi TV: Fringe, The Walking Dead, Alphas, Smallville, Doctor Who + more

Cross-posted at

In Sci-Fi TV this week, there is hope Fringe will get another season, Syfy orders a new show, Walking Dead finale scores big, and you can win a guest spot on Smallville.

Summary of Column Contents

  • Fringe midseason premiere moved up one week + Rumor: Renewed for fourth season?
  • The Walking Dead closes 1st season with record 6M viewers + Golden Globe nomination and Kirkman talks future
  • Syfy orders Alphas to series
  • Win a guest spot on the Smallville
  • Sam Neill joins J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz series

All that and more including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews.


Fringe midseason premiere moved up one week + Rumor: Renewed for fourth season?

Grain of salt required for this rumor, but SpoilerTV is reporting via one of their sources that despite the move to Friday night’s, Fox is close to giving “Fringe” a renewal for a fourth season. Ratings have been weak this season — 5.12M viewers and a 1.9 A18-49 rating — but Fox is said to be happy with how the show performs given the strong competition on Thursday night’s and how well it does with time-delayed viewing. As previously announced, “Fringe” makes its transition to Friday nights next year, but Fox has pushed up the premiere to Friday, January 21, 2011. Here’s a brief synopsis for the episode, which the creators have aptly titled “Firefly”. That’s right…”Firefly”:

In the “Firefly” midseason Observer makes contact with the Fringe Team to help rectify a mistake. Meanwhile, WALTER (John Noble) befriends one of his musical heroes (guest star Christopher Lloyd).

To their credit, Fox is using the whole “Friday Night Death Slot” to their advantage and have released this new promo for the show’s move:

Sneak peek at episode 3×10 – “Firefly” [Fringe Television / YouTube]

Interview with John Noble [YouTube]

The Walking Dead closes 1st season with record 6M viewers + Golden Globe nomination and Kirkman talks future

The season finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” went out with a bang last Sunday night. The finale drew a series-high 5.97M viewers with a 3.0 A18-49 rating to become the most-watched drama series in A18-49 delivery in basic cable history. For the six-episode season, “The Walking Dead” averaged 5.24M viewers and a 2.7 A18-49 rating. Looking towards the future, Inside TV | EW spoke with comic creator Robert Kirkman about last week’s season finale. Here’s an excerpt [SPOILERS]:

EW: The finale was very much a roller coaster episode in terms of my — and I suspect a lot of other viewers’ — thoughts about Shane. We really saw the extremes of his character.

Robert Kirkman: I agree. There were some great scenes in there with Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies. One of the things I like about this episode is there’s a very big, cataclysmic thing that happens in the sixth issue of the comic book series involving Shane and Carl and Rick and Lori. I’ve been asked countless times how many issues these first six episodes cover and does it cover the first six issues. Because a lot of people think that would have been the perfect end to a season. And there are a lot of scenes in this episode where it seems like it could be building to that. But I like that it seemed we were building to that at times and it didn’t actually go there. I think for comic book fans especially, this episode probably held quite a bit of tension because they were thinking it was going to go somewhere that it ultimately didn’t. I think that’s one of the great things about this show, that it’s always playing with people’s expectations.

Kirkman also gave an interview to Comic Book Resources in which he discussed the first season and what he’d like to see in season two:

CBR: In terms of length, it must have been difficult to fit in everything you wanted to with only six episodes for the first season. Thankfully, season two is going to have 13 episodes. For all of the first season’s successes, it was short, but now you have some extra time on your side. Is that something you’re excited about for season two?
Robert Kirkman: Yeah, it’s going to be kind of awesome. I’m very excited that we have 13 episodes instead of six. We’re going to be doing so much more and I’m really excited to get in there and figure out what it is we’re doing with these 13 episodes. Hopefully we’ll be able to do all kinds of crazy stuff that’ll blow people away. The six episodes, it wasn’t that hard to do that. We were always planning on there being more episodes, so we tried to fit in a bunch of cool stuff, but we were always keeping it in the backs of our heads that we would have more seasons if the show does okay. We’ll get to continue, unless it’s a complete disaster. It wasn’t really a matter of trying to cram as much as possible into the six episodes, but I think the second season will probably blow the first season out of the water. That’s cool, because I think the first season is already really good.

Check out the rest of the interview here. In other news, the show was nominated for Best Television Series – Drama by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for “The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards”. Unfortunately, that was the sole nomination for the show as none of the actors were recognized and no other Sci-Fi/Genre received nominations. Last year two Sci-Fi/Genre shows were recognized with nominations but no wins: “True Blood” (2) and “Lost” (1).

Watch every zombie death from season one [YouTube]

Syfy orders Alphas to series

Syfy has given a greenlight to “Alphas”. Production is slated to begin early 2011 in Toronto with an expected summer 2011 debut. Here’s how Syfy describes the series:

Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Lee Rosen (Strathairn), investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing, to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.

Syfy has ordered 11 episodes of the sci-fi series (in addition to the 90-minute pilot):

“With each step in the development and production of Alphas, we knew we were onto something very exciting,” said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head of Original Content for Universal Cable Productions. “Under [executive producers] Gail [Berman] and Lloyd [Braun]’s leadership, [writers] Zak [Penn] and Michael [Karnow] created a smart, fast-paced script that attracted an amazing director in Jack Bender and an incredible cast. We couldn’t be happier to see this first-rate project come to fruition as a Syfy series.”

Win a guest spot on the Smallville

The CW is running a contest where fans can win an opportunity to appear in the February 4, 2011 episode of “Smallville” – “Beacon”:

Do you believe in heroes? If so, The CW’s hit series SMALLVILLE (Fridays, 8:00–9:00 p.m. ET/PT) wants to hear from you. Fans of SMALLVILLE, from Warner Bros. Television, will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to appear in an upcoming episode of the 10th and final season via the “Smallville:” Believe in Heroes Challenge, a 10-day promotion running from Friday, December 10—Monday, December 20, on

Here are the rules:

  • Beginning Friday, December 10, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and continuing through Monday, December 20, at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time, SMALLVILLE fans can submit their own video testimonial as one of these hopeful citizens by uploading videos to The CW’s official website at
  • In these videos, viewers – speaking in character as impassioned citizens of Metropolis and around the world, fighting for the rights of their heroes – can express what The Blur means to them and talk about why they believe in these super heroes.
  • SMALLVILLE producers and the team will review the submissions and select a number of the user-submitted videos for broadcast as the testimonials that Clark watches during the “Beacon” episode airing Friday, February 4 (8:00–9:00 p.m. ET/PT) on The CW.
  • In addition to selecting the winning videos to be used in the episode, the SMALLVILLE producers and team will also select a number of additional favorite videos that will be posted to following the broadcast

Here’s the synopsis for the episode:

In the episode “Beacon,” to be broadcast on Friday, February 4, Clark (series star Tom Welling) is at an emotional crossroads, with Metropolis divided by a clash between supporters of the government’s Vigilante Registration Act and opposing rallies to generate support for indispensable heroes like The Blur. Clark’s friends assure him that he is, indeed, making a difference in his crime-fighting role as The Blur, and to prove their point, they show him videos from the Internet in which ordinary citizens express what The Blur means to them, what it means to be a hero – and what it means to have heroes and believe in them. One of these videos could be yours!

“Beacon” is the second episode back after the new year:

  • January 28, 2011 – 10×12 – “Collateral”
  • February 4, 2011 – 10×13 – “Beacon”
  • February 11, 2011 – 10×14 – “Masquerade”
  • February 18, 2011 – 10×15 – “Fortune”
  • February 25, 2011 – 10×16 – “Scion”

Promo for episode 10×12 – “Collateral” [YouTube]

Sam Neill joins J.J. Abrams’ Alcatraz series

Sam Neill has been cast opposite Sarah Jones in the J.J. Abrams-produced Fox pilot “Alcatraz”, which may or may not have a supernatural element to it. The show is described as a drama chronicling “the efforts of a cop (Jones) and team of FBI agents tracking down a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day“. Emphasis mine. Neill is set to play Emerson Hauser, “the head of a government agency who radiates authority and piercing intelligence”. “Lost” alum Jorge Garcia and Jonny Coyne have already been cast in the show — also as leads — along with Jason Butler, who is supporting.

PREVIEW Videos & Images

The Cape

Promotional cast images [more at Daemon’s TV]

Promo: “Orwell” [YouTube]

Watch another promo here

Dirk Gently

First look promo [YouTube]

Doctor Who

Inside look at “A Christmas Carol” [YouTube]

Clip from “A Christmas Carol” [YouTube]

Watch more clips here, here and here

Doctor Who Adventures: Shadows of the Vashta Nerada (Video Game)

Promotional stills [Doctor Who News Page]

Human Target

Promotional stills for episode 2×05 – “Dead Head” [more at IGN]

Promo for “Dead Head” [YouTube]

Sneak peek at “Dead Head” [YouTube]


Promotional stills for episode 2×05 [more at Daemon’s TV]

Promotional stills for episode 2×06 [more at SpoilerTV]

Promo for episode 2×06 [YouTube]


Promotional stills for episode 3×10 – “Hollow Man” [more at Daemon’s TV]


Promo for episode 6×12 – “Like a Virgin” [YouTube]


Behind the scenes promotional stills [more at SpoilerTV]

Promotional stills for episode 2×02 – “Serpent’s Tooth” [more at SpoilerTV]

Promo for the season premiere – “Red Rain” [YouTube]

Sneak peek at “Red Rain” [ABC]


  • The third season of the UK series “Being Human” will see the introduction of a new supernatural being: a zombie: “It kind of puts Annie in place,” Lenora Crichlow (Annie) explains. “This zombie exposes Annie to all the things she’ll never have again. Often the things that happen in Annie’s adventures really make her realise how in limbo she is, and just how unsettling that can be when you’re looking at that for eternity.” []
  • Shout! Factory has announced that the animated series “Black Panther” will arrive on DVD on January 18, 2011. [IGN]
  • ‘Vampire Diaries’ co-creator Kevin Williams talked about the recently announced un-titled supernatural series that could serve as a companion to ‘TVD’: “It’s set on a college campus. There’s a little bit of some paranormal investigation involved, but it’s more about the characters…A young girl goes to college, and it turns out there’s a lot more going on.” [Inside TV | EW]
  • Episode 6×15 of “Supernatural” will be called “The French Mistake”. [SpoilerTV]
  • Brian Michael Bendis has confirmed that former ‘Walking Dead’ writer Charles H. Eglee is “helping” get an adaptation of Bendis’ comic book series “Powers” into development. [IGN]
  • Syfy has announced that the U.S. adaptation of “Being Human” will premiere on the network on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 9PM. [Syfy via YourEntNow]
  • …The network also announced a Friday, January 7, 2011 debut date for the third season of “Merlin” (10PM). [Syfy via YourEntNow]
  • In other premiere news, the fourth season of the UK sci-fi series “Primeval” will premiere on Saturday, January 1, 2011 at 9PM on BBC America. [Daemon’s TV]
  • Episode 4×15 of “Chuck” will be called “Chuck vs. the Cat Squad”. []
  • Syfy has annouced the first-ever live episode of “Destination Truth”. The episode will air live from Ireland on March 17, 2011 and center around the “search of the truth behind the legend of the legend of the banshee”. [Syfy via YourEntNow]
  • The CW has announced their midseason schedule, slating the return of original episodes of “The Vampire Diaries”, “Smallville” and “Supernatural” for January 2011 (1/27 and 1/28, respectively). [The CW via YourEntNow]
  • Here are the titles for episodes 2×12-2×14 of “The Vampire Diaries”: 2×12 – “The Descent”; 2×13 – “Daddy Issues” and 2×14 – “Crying Wolf”. [SpoilerTV]
  • Here’s the synopsis for “No Ordinary Family” – 1×11 – “No Ordinary Friends”. [SpoilerTV]
  • We’ll learn a little about the meaning of the title of the “V” season two premiere — “Red Rain” — in the episode. We’ll also learn of a possible traitor in the Fifth Column… [Inside TV | EW]
  • …Here are the titles episodes three and four of season two: “Laid Bear”, “Unholy Alliance”. [The V Files]
  • …Check out an interview with Elizabeth Mitchell at


  • Mekhi Phifer has joined the cast of Starz’s “Torchwood: The New World”. Phifer will star opposite John Barrowman and Eve Myles in the sci-fi drama. [Deadline]
  • …In related news, Kai Owen, who played Gwen’s husband Rhys on “Torchwood”, has confirmed that she will be returning for the new season: “In about one month from today I’m gonna be putting on my ‘Rhys’ costume once more!!”. [Doctor Who News Page]
  • …Also, actor/comedian Tom Price hinted that he too will be making an appearance on the show: “Doing a little bit of Torching Wood in America next year. Already trying out my Welsh/LA accent. It’s SO hot, like.” [Doctor Who News Page]
  • Leslie-Ann Brandt will guest star alongside John Larroquette in an upcoming episode of “Chuck”. [Chuck via SpoilerTV]
  • HBO has announced that Christina Moore, Neil Hopkins and Chris Butler will all appear in multiple episodes of “True Blood” during season four. [Inside TV | EW]

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

CHART (11/29/2010 to 12/5/2010)

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