In Sci-Fi TV this week we get ready for the premiere of True Blood, get updates on the next seasons of Doctor Who, Torchwood,The Walking Dead and Fringe and learn about the still-planned live-action Star Wars TV series. All that plus much more, including the latest television ratings, and new images and video previews.
GENRE TV NEWS
Doctor Who won’t have a complete seventh season
BBC has confirmed recent rumors that the upcoming seventh season of “Doctor Who” won’t be a complete season. Here’s what BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said at the Church and Media Conference (via Doctor Who News Page):
“There will be some episodes but there won’t be a full series, so we won’t have a thirteen part run … but you know the man [Steven Moffat] has to sleep, he’s got a family! That’s the genuine reason, it’s about Steven Moffat – who’s the creative drive force behind Doctor Who at the moment and he also rather magically at the same time created and got to air Sherlock – we have to get that balance right.”
Cohen added that the second half of next season will return in 2013, which will be a big year for the franchise — its 50th anniversary. In other news, the title for the ninth episode of “Doctor Who” has been revealed. The episode which was originally going by the working title of “What Are Little Boys Made Of?” will be called “Night Terrors”.
Season 6.5 teaser trailer [YouTube]
Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres July 8 on Starz + NO Doctor Who crossover planned
The fourth season premiere of “Torchwood” — titled “Torchwood: Miracle Day” — will premiere on Friday, July 8 on Starz, but the new season won’t debut on the same night in the UK. Den of Geek reports that ‘Miracle Day’ will, however, debut within seven days of the US premiere. In other news, “Torchwood” showrunner and former “Doctor Who” showrunner Russell T. Davies says there won’t be a Torchwood / Doctor Who crossover:
“No, because actually the Doctor’s never gone into Torchwood, it’s always been the other way round, Torchwood’s gone into Doctor Who, which I think is correct because there’s a big child audience for Doctor Who and I think that would demand if we took the Doctor into Torchwood it would be a clash of styles”
And rounding out this week’s Doctor Who / Torchwood coverage is an update on the upcoming animated motion comic “Torchwood: Web of Lies”. It has been revealed that the comic, which features the voices of Eliza Dushku, John Barrowman and Eve Myles, will also be made available as an interactive game. The 10 three-minute chapters will be available in bundles of three for $0.99 each, or you’ll be able to purchase the entire series for $2.99.
Live-action Star Wars TV series still years away, but 50 hours of scripts reportedly already written
In development for several years, it’ll be several years more before we see the live-action “Star Wars” TV series on the air. Producer Rick McCallum confirmed that while 50 hours of third-draft scripts are already in place, Lucasfilm won’t start production on the show for at least three to four years [via Bleeding Cool]:
“Network television and cable television as we know it are completely imploding, so we’re not really sure that in five years’ time we can release a dramatic one-hour episode because it is all reality TV now,” he added.
McCallum also elobrated further on the content of show, confirming it to be set between the third and fourth movies and revealing Coruscant and mob-related activities to be the center focus:
Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution,” McCallum said.
In related news, one of the writers hired by George Lucas for the project has been revealed to be British writer Matthew Graham (“Life On Mars”, “Ashes To Ashes”). Graham confirmed to Den of Geek that he had done some work at Lucasfilm during 2008 and 2009, describing it as “something unbelivably cool”, but he wouldn’t say anymore except that he hopes to be able to talk about it one day and that his contract “had come to an end”.
Fringe producers discuss season four + Anna Torv reveals series finale has been written
“Fringe” producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel H. Wyman spoke to Examiner about the show’s upcoming fourth season, describing the new season as “like a new pilot”:
“We’ve had a lot of people say ‘We love the promos; we want to figure out time to watch’, but not everyone has time to sit down and watch [three full] seasons, so we tried to make this [fourth] season like a new pilot. We did that a little bit last season, too, but it will just be an entry point for people to come in who haven’t seen everything.”
Without revealing any details, Wyman teased what fans can expect in season four:
“We always look at it as a new chapter every season. It’s like you get the book and so you can expect something you did not expect. We like to say that. It’s not as easy as ‘Oh, it’s a jump forward’; we always try to go a little deeper than that.”
In related news, star Anna Torv told TV & Satellite Week that the series finale has already been written:
“I’ve been told the ultimate final episode has been written,” she said. “[The writers] know where they want us to go, but they don’t know yet when we will get there.”
Granted, this doesn’t mean season four will be the show’s last, just that the producers have worked out how the series will end, in fact the producers have previously revealed that they have a seven-year plan for the show. Torv also noted that the plans for the show’s series finale “could still change”. “Fringe” returns Friday, September 23.
Game of Thrones grows from premiere to finale
The season one finale of “Game of Thrones” last Sunday drew a season-high 3.04M viewers and a 1.4 A18-49 rating. Although weaker than HBO’s other fantasy hit “True Blood”, the finale audience did represent quite a signficant jump from the series premiere, which drew 2.22M viewers and a 0.9 A18-49 rating (+37% and +56%, respectively). Overall, the first season averaged 2.52M viewers and a 1.1 A18-49 rating through 10 episodes.
Locke & Key pilot to screen at Comic-Con
IDW has announced that the rejected FOX pilot “Locke & Key” will be screened at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, July 22, 2011. A question and answer panel will follow the screening with comic book creator Joe Hill, illustrator Gabriel Rodriguez, writer/executive producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci in attendance. Here are the details courtesy Comic-Con:
IDW show the screening in Room 8 and run the question and answer panel following in Room 9 discussion featuring Joe Hill, Rodriguez, the pilot’s writer/executive producer Josh Friedman and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Room 8 and Room 9
Comic-Con 2011 begins on Wednesday, July 20 with a special preview night. The event will run from Thursday, July 21 through Sunday, July 24.
Falling Skies premiere averages 5.9M viewers; #1 cable series launch of the year
The two-episode series premiere of the Steven Spielberg-produced “Falling Skies” last Sunday drew an average 5.90M viewers making it cable’s #1 new series launch of the year. The show also attracted an impressive 2.64M adults 18-49 and 3.24M adults 25-54. As a way of comparison, “Walking Dead”, which increased as its first season advanced, debuted to 5.3M viewers last October:
The enormous success of Falling Skies demonstrates what can happen when you partner with the best people in the business and give them what they need to do their very best work,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “TNT’s Falling Skies is an exciting, fascinating and often moving story made possible through the magic of DreamWorks Television, an incredibly talented cast led by Noah Wyle and the vision of one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Steven Spielberg.”
The third episode of “Falling Skies” airs tonight at 10 p.m. on TNT.
Promotional stills for episode 1×03 – “Prisoner of War” [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for “Prisoner of War” (and entire season) [YouTube]
True Blood season four premieres tonight; Watch the first eight minutes + Catch up with recap video
The fourth season of the hit vampire series “True Blood” premieres tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. Check out this eight-minute preview:
Also, if you’re in need of a quick refresher to get you ready for tonight’s premiere, HBO has released this five-minute video recapping the first three seasons of the show:
In casting news, TVLine reports that Scott Foley will play a major recurring role that will begin with the fourth season finale and continue into season 5. Foley will play Patrick, “a tough and ruggedly attractive old army buddy of Terry’s (Todd Lowe) who pays him a visit”. Speaking of that upcoming fifth season, show creator Alan Ball revealed to THR that he is currently in negotiations with HBO about the fifth season, but isn’t sure how many seasons the show has left in it:
“Right now I’m in the middle of negotiating for a fifth season…I don’t know if I have any left in me after that. We’ll see.”
Part of the concern is that there wouldn’t be a legitimate way to explain the natural aging of some of the cast:
“I think if we did 13 seasons we’d have to address why vampires are aging,” Ball joked. “Maybe there would be a bad batch of Tru Blood. … With the supernatural thing you can always go places storywise that you couldn’t go on another show.”
Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean the show wouldn’t advance without him, as he himself hinted at in a recent interview with Rolling Stone: “I don’t believe True Blood is 100 percent dependent on my participation. It has a strong following and a really strong cast, and there could be a future where I step back and the show would continue.”
Promotional still [SpoilerTV]
Clip from the season four premiere “She’s Not There” [YouTube]
Watch another clip here
The Walking Dead: Hershel Greene gets cast
The producers of the AMC hit “The Walking Dead” have cast the key character of Hershel Greene. The character will be played by Scott Wilson:
“He is the patriarch of the family,” says executive producer Gale Anne Hurd. “He’s a veterinarian with a great sense of humanity and a very unique take on the Walkers.” Meanwhile, Laura Cohan has been cast as Hershel’s daughter Maggie: “She’s in her twenties and is a survivor who ends up as a romantic interest for Glenn (Steven Yuen),” says Hurd
Meanwhile, Hershel’s daughter Maggie has also been cast. The character will be played by Laura Cohan (“Supernatural”): She’s in her twenties and is a survivor who ends up as a romantic interest for Glenn (Steven Yuen),” says Hurd. Another recent casting is for Otis. The character, to be played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, is descibred as “a foreman at Hershel’s Farm”. Production on season two fo “The Walking Dead” began on June 6. The new season is expected to premiere this fall on AMC. Check out an interview with comic book creator Robert Kirkman at the AMC TV blog.
Promotional stills [AMC]
Set images [more at SpoilerTV]
First day of shooting season two [YouTube]
Comic-Con 2011 panels: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Torchwood, Fringe, Supernatural + more
Unexpectedly, several sci-fi/genre shows will be present at this year’s Comic-Con. Studios and networks announcing programming so far are HBO, Starz and Warner Brothers TV. Shows confirmed to be at the event include HBO’s “Game of Thrones and “True Blood”; FOX’s “Terra Nova”, “Fringe” and “Alcatraz”; The CW’s “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries”; Starz’s “Torchwood: Miracle Day”; Cartoon Network’s “ThunderCats” and “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” and more.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Cast images [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional stills [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional stills for season 4.5 [more at Multipleverses]
Game of Thrones
“Game of Thrones” theme (8-bit style remix) [YouTube]
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Cartoon Network series sneak peek [YouTube]
Promotional stills for the season 2 premiere, “A Tale of Two Audreys” 
Promotional posters [the live feed | THR]
- David S. Goyer is adapting the DC Comics graphic novel “100 Bullets” as a TV series for Showtime. Goyer will write and executive produce the project. [Deadline]
- G4 and Marvel will premiere the original animated series “Iron Man” and “Wolverine” on Friday, July 29, 2011. [G4]
- FX is bringing “Archer” and “Wilfred” to Comic-Con 2011. Both panels will be taking place on Thursday, July 21 with stars and the creative teams expected to be in attendance. A screening of a new episode of “Archer” will also take place before the panel. [FX]
- HBO has signed on for a planned six-season TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel “American Gods”. The project would feature 10-12 episodes per season at a cost of between $35-40M per season. The show is expected to premiere no earlier than 2013. [Deadline & Bleeding Cool]
- Author Salman Rushdie has announced that he has written a script for a commissioned sci-fi pilot called “The Next People” for Showtime. Rushdie says the series will be based in factual science but will also contain elements of the supernatural or extra-terrestrial. [The Guardian]
- HBO has announced that production on the second season of “Game of Thrones” will begin on Monday, July 25 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. [HBO]
- Syfy has announced season premiere dates for the summer season. Syfy’s summer premiere week kicks off Monday, July 11 with the season 4.5 premiere of “Eureka” at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) followed by the season 3 premiere of “Warehouse 13″ at 9 p.m. and the new series “Alphas” at 10 p.m. The third season of “Ghost Hunters International” premieres Wednesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. followed by the series debut of “Legend Quest” at 10 p.m. Then on Friday, July 15 “Haven” begins its second season at 10 p.m., and premiere week ends on Saturday, July 16 with the Syfy Saturday Original Movie “Super Eruption” at 9 p.m. [Syfy]
- The series premiere of the FX comedy “Wilfred”, based on the Australian hit drew 2.6M viewers Thursday. That’s the highest-ever opening for an FX comedy premiere. [Show Tracker | LA Times]
- Fox is planning to screen the pilot episode of “Terra Nova” at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. In related news, Fox has announced that the series will premiere on Monday, September 26 with a two-hour premiere (8-10 p.m.) and will air subsequent Monday’s from 8-9 p.m. [Crave Online & FOX]
- Jim Uhls (“Fight Club”) has been hired to write the HBO miniseries “Year Zero”. The series is based on the 2007 album by Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails and is a co-production of HBO and BBC Worldwide Productions. [the live feed | THR]
- Lucy Punch has been cast as rookie detective Denna Pilgrim in FX’s superhero pilot “Powers”. The series, based on the comic book by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, is about a police department set in a world where superpowers are real and there’s a ‘Powers’ division within the police force that investigate crimes involving those with special abilities… [the live feed | THR]
- …Meanwhile, Jason Patric will play the male lead (Christian Walker) in the pilot and Bailee Madison will play Calista, “an otherworldly young girl raised by her stepdad Eagle, a man with powers.” [TVLine & Deadline]
- Syfy’s new superhero thriller “Alphas” has added Valerie Cruz as a recurring guest star. She’ll play “mysterious Department of Defense Special Agent Kathy Sullivan”. The character will first appear in the third episode. “Alphas” premieres Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m. on Syfy. [E! Online]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
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