Sci-Fi Saturday (TV): Flash Forward, Heroes, BSG, Virtuality, Lost, Doctor Who + more

Our weekly wrap up of TV news starts off with big updates and previews from the shows with ST09 stars, Heroes (with Zach Quinto) and Flash Forward (with John Cho). We also have details on Ron Moore’s BSG and Virtuality TV movies, news updates on Lost and Doctor Who and much more.  

 

TV NEWS

FlashForward’s First Season Is Mapped Out
Marc Guggenheim, executive producer of the upcoming ABC Sci-Fi drama "FlashForward", told SCI FI Wire that the series will tell a complete story in its first season:

"We know exactly … what season one is, with great specificity, because at … the outset, we had to plan the entire season," Guggenheim said, adding: "The first season ends with our characters’ catching up to their futures. So you can’t do that on the fly. I mean, I suppose you could, but I don’t think it would be a very satisfying viewing experience for anybody."

Guggenheim continued, noting that he and fellow show runner/executive producer David S. Goyer and executive producer Brannon Braga "made the commitment at the outset [to] plan out the entire first season before we start breaking episode two."  Read the rest of the interview here.  In terms of the show’s pilot, SCI FI Wire was among a select group to watch a special screening Wednesday night by Disney/ABC and came away very impressed.  Here are some excerpts:

It’s not Lost, though it has elements of that show: a high-concept sci-fi premise, told intimately through the lives (present and future) of about 10 main characters, as well as a deep, abiding mystery that will be unraveled over the course of the first season and subsequent seasons right up to the last minute.

It’s not The X-Files, though it has an FBI agent (Joseph Fiennes) at its heart and a procedural element to its storylines, with potential criminals and other bad guys and creepy weirdness here and there.

It’s not ER, Fringe, Heroes or any other hit drama, though it shares elements with all of those shows, including a main character who’s a surgeon, weird science and people who may or may not have access to strange visions.

No, it’s that rare thing in television: something completely new. And, at least judging by the big-screen Blu-ray version we saw, it will look absolutely gorgeous, not to say epic, for a TV show.

Read the site’s full report of the screening here. And lastly, you can read another screening report at NY Daily News and more coverage for the show can be read at The Futon Critic and Time’s Tuned In blog. "FlashForward" premieres Thursday, September 24th at 8:00pm on ABC.

New promos

One more promo here

Heroes Comic-Con Panel, Adrian Pasdar on First Day of Shooting + more
Contrary to initial reports, "Heroes" will have a limited panel at Comic-Con this year:

“I [Adrian Padar] plan on being there, along with some cast and writer/producers, etc, and we’re fully expecting to have a great sneak peek at Season 4 to show. The fans that come to Comic-Con are the best, most loyal that we have. We wouldn’t miss it.”

Pasdar also offered up some of his thoughts on the first day of shooting the show’s fourth season:

What a great first day we had. Shot a load of stuff in my office, no dialogue, just me acting up a storm. Solo. Then Mr Q joined us and the fireworks began. What a gentle man. This is going to be an amazing season. Everybody dropped by the set at one point or another today. This is one seriously tight cast. I am a better person for knowing? all of them. I feel lucky.

In casting news, Sci-Fi veteran actor Rick Worthy (most recently seen playing the Human Cylon Simon on "Battlestar Galactica") is currently in negotiations for a recurring role on the show.  If cast, Worthy would play a new partner of Matt Parkman: an experienced and capable Los Angeles cop and someone who Matt can lean on for advice.

Set images featuring Zachary Quinto and Milo Ventimiglia [more at The ODI: here and here]

Set images featuring Hayden Hayden and Madeline Zima [more at The ODI and SpoilerTV]

Interview with James Kyson Lee (Ando)

Ron Moore Teases Battlestar Galactica: The Plan + BSG Science Panel
During a recent conference call "Battlestar Galactica" co-creator Ron Moore talked about what to expect from the upcoming two-hour movie "Battlestar Galactica: The Plan":

“There are definitely surprises,” said Moore. “If you loved Battlestar Galactica you’re probably going to be really intrigued by The Plan because it’s going to have all of these little breadcrumbs and throwaway lines and indicators and suggestions from other episodes. You’ve seen the show. You’ve watched the finale. You know how the story ends. OK, here’s like an additional slant on some things that you didn’t know about.”

‘The Plan’ was written by writer/producer Jane Espenson, but Moore offered input:

“I supervised and gave suggestions and follow-ups and I tried to keep the story and the concepts within the Battlestar world, but I really let Jane run with it,” Moore said. “I mean it’s really her piece and [Olmos’] piece. I was very happy to sort of let them take the reins on this one.”

In other ‘BSG’ news for the week, io9 has a rundown of a ‘BSG’-themed event from last weekend featuring cast and robotic experts at the World Science Festival panel, "Cyborgs on the Horizon", while SCI FI Wire has posted a video clip (see it below) of interviews with the cast and crew from earlier in the month about the panel discussion with United Nations delegates about the series’ role in global issues.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Trailer

 

BSG/UN Emmy Event – Red Carpet

Region 2: Complete Series DVD, Blu-ray and Online-Only DVD (September 21, 2009) [DVD Active]

Chuck Season Three May Include Subway Shop
Given Subway’s involvement in securing a third season of "Chuck", more promotion of the brand was expected and star Zachary Levi says that they’re kicking around some ideas on how to incorporate the company into the show more, hinting that The Orange Orange will likely morph into a Subway shop [EW via io9]:

"There’s a couple of ideas that’re being kicked around, and one of them is that the [secret spy HQ] Orange Orange will become a Subway… That’s, I think, what everybody’s expecting is going to happen. Obviously, we’re not too precious about keeping the store one particular thing. It was the Wienerlicious, then it was the Orange Orange… I think it’s perfect integration. Keep something a standing set, that way you don’t have to constantly be worrying about, how do we work it into dialogue, just let it be what it is. That’s why I was so astonished when Best Buy didn’t jump on the opportunity to be our big box store."

You can watch the entire interview with Levi at EW.


Russell T. Davies Sticking With Torchwood + Other Doctor Who News
Russell T. Davies was at the National Film Theatre in London a little over a week ago and presented a preview of the first episode of the five-episode third season of the "Doctor Who" spinoff, "Torchwood: Children of Earth"Bleeding Cool reports that although a fourth season hasn’t been greenlit, Davies has no plans to leave.  By the way, BBC has just announced the premiere date for the series in the U.K.  The show will run from July 6-10 on BBC, a few weeks earlier than we’ll be getting on BBC America (July 20-24).  BBC also put up episode descriptions which you can read here.  Davies also confirmed prior reports that the TARDIS will get a more retro look for the fifth season of "Doctor Who" and that the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) will face off against Daleks in his first episode.  Rounding out this week’s "Doctor Who"/"Torchwood" news, BBC announced that Davies will be joined by David Tennant and John Barrowman at San Diego Comic-Con in July.  In terms of content, the final episode of ‘Children of Earth’ and "Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead" will be screened at the convention.  BBC America’s full press release about its Comic-Con schedule can be read here.

Doctor Who Set images [io9]

One more spoilery image featuring the Doctor and a few guest stars here

"Torchwood" Australian Trailer

"Torchwood" BBC America Featurette

Michael Emerson Talks Lost Season Six + More Cast Rumors
Most of what follows here is spoiler-related, so don’t read any further unless you’re ok with that. E! Online caught up with Michael Emerson at the "True Blood" premiere last week (his wife Carrie Preston plays Arlene on the show) and Emerson indicated that his character Ben will be returning to "Lost" next season: "My feeling is that [Ben] will have a role to play in the next season," he said. "And I hope he survives until almost the end at least."  Although his return never seemed in doubt, a confirmation is always welcome. Here’s more from Emerson:

"I don’t know what Ben’s ultimate station will be," he said. "Ben’s become such a cringing little follower, hasn’t he? ‘Who is that guy who looks like John Locke?’ [That guy]’s sort of taking things over, and what can Ben do except sort of mope along and follow orders? Although [Ben] did have a moment of angry violence there in the finale. I was sort of proud of him for that. I mean, he’s looked all these years for a proper father, hasn’t he? And this guy [Jacob] says, ‘What about you?’ I would have stabbed him, too."

Meanwhile, Maggie Grace hinted at the possibility of her character Shannon making a return: "I’m looking forward to visiting Hawaii soon," she teased to E! News. "I don’t know why…," adding: "I think that they are brilliant writers." "If they found the right reason, then I’m sure I would be on." Rumors of Dominic Monaghan returning to the show for its final season also don’t seem to be dying die, with E! Online again reporting on the possibility.  Turns out that Twitter posting from over a week ago may not have been a hoax after all…

Virtuality Webisodes Released + Watch 12-minute Preview
Webisodes from co-creator Ron Moore’s upcoming pilot/two-hour Fox movie "Virtuality" have surfaced online at someone’s Facebook page.  The webisodes are in the style of a reality show-within-a-show called "Edge of Never: Life on Phaeton". For even more content check out YouTube user JonTFolden’s page which features a bunch of new content for the show. [via SCI FI Wire]

Trailer for "Edge of Never: Life on Phaeton"

Watch the rest of the webisodes on Facebook

Also, Fox has released a 12-minute preview/sneak peak for the show.  Watch it below. "Virtuality" airs Friday, June 26th at 8:00pm on Fox.


Primeval Canceled by ITV
ITV has confirmed to BBC News that the three-year Sci-Fi drama "Primeval" will not be renewed for a fourth season.  The cancellation was originally reported by Total SCI FI and is entirely based on production cost (ratings were stable in season three at around 5 million, just a tad below the 6 million average for seasons one and two):

"Basically ITV have changed their policy about drama before 9pm in that they’ve decided they really don’t want any, at least not of the quality and cost of Primeval. The show remained as popular this run (in terms of audience share) as ever before but the fact is that everyone knows ITV have money problems and they’ve decided that whatever drama budget they’ve got left is better spent after 9pm. It’s a great shame as Primeval was bringing new viewers to ITV who will now only be served by the BBC, but there’s nothing we can do about that," said a source close to Total SCI FI.

Warehouse 13: Character Inspiration + Episode Titles
In a Q&A session with reporters, "Warehouse 13" executive producers Jack Kenny and David Simkins talked about the upcoming SCI FI series, including their inspiration for the characters:

Simkins: …Jack and I, in going back and sitting with the characters, and with the characters in the writers’ room, we talk a lot about the Thin Man series, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

It goes far beyond the more sort of recent aspects. We’re really digging into those, past those, beyond those, and looking at real good basic storytelling archives that we can constantly reflect on and occasionally use to help us tell a story.

I think what you’re talking about, though, is in those kinds of relationships, and those kinds of settings, is just the friction. The story to me with characters like Pete and Myka, the story of those characters always lives in the space between them: What they believe at a certain moment or a potential betrayal or a revelation of a hidden secret. Those things play in any relationship, whether it be in Men in Black or Indiana and Marion. They’re really, really right avenues to explore. So I would say, in answer to your question, a little, but not really. …

Read the rest of the Q&A session at SCI FI Wire.  Meanwhile, SpoilerTV has a list of the episode titles/dates for the show’s first 10 episodes (the season is 12 episodes/13 hours, including the two-hour pilot):

Episode 1.01 7th Jul 09 Pilot
Episode 1.02 14th Jul 09 Resonance
Episode 1.03 21st Jul 09 Magnetism
Episode 1.04 28th Jul 09 Claudia
Episode 1.05 4th Aug 09 Elements
Episode 1.06 11th Aug 09 Burnout
Episode 1.07 18th Aug 09 Implosion
Episode 1.08 25th Aug 09 Duped
Episode 1.09 1st Sep 09 Regrets
Episode 1.10 8th Sep 09 Breakdown

Brian Austin Green To Guest Star on Smallville + Spinoff Being Planned?
Brian Austin Green, who played Derek Reese on the canceled Fox series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", has been cast on "Smallville" as the DC Comics villain Metallo (alter ego Daily Planet journalist John Corben), reports TV Guide.  Green will appear in at least two episodes of the show’s upcoming ninth season.  Meanwhile, TV Guide reports [via OSCK] that Laura Vandervoort (Supergirl) was expected to appear in the show’s season finale last year, but her return was put on hold when the show was renewed. And on the renewal front, EW reports that the ninth season may actually be the show’s last with rumors circulating that The CW is looking for ways to extend the franchise via a spinoff.

The CW and Fox Announce Fall 2009 Premiere Dates
Speaking of The CW, the network announced the premiere dates for its fall 2009 programming. "Smallville" kicks off its ninth season with a move to Friday nights at 8:00pm beginning on September 25th, preceded by the series premiere of "Vampire Diaries" in its old timeslot on September 10th at 8:00pm. The fifth season premiere of "Supernatural" debuts on the same date, Thursday, September 10th, at 9:00pm.  Fox also announced its premiere schedule which includes the second season premieres of both "Fringe" (Thursday, September 17th at 9:00pm) and "Dollhouse" (Friday, September 18th at 9:00pm).

David X. Cohen Talks Futurama
"Futurama"
executive producer David X. Cohen told Wired that the recently renewed series — which returns in mid-2010 with 26 new episodes — will explore the dark side of gadgets such as iPhones and social media sites like Twitter:

“I keep thinking of the insidious possibilities of the iPhone, which I use every five seconds of the day. How you can track anyone anywhere, or market your taco stand to people standing 4 feet away. Or the sinister possibilities of Twitter, and so forth,” said Cohen. “Cellphones were the size of bricks when we first went on the air, so we made jokes about tiny cellphones. Now, they’re everywhere.”

Cohen also talked about a recent report that show creator Matt Groening was thinking of rebooting the series, or its characters:

“Obviously we’re not going to recast it,” said Cohen, who spoke with Wired.com by phone after rumors of Futurama’s television comeback broke. “Fortunately our characters are still young and good-looking, so there’s no need for that yet. But in upcoming episodes we want to talk about the characters’ lives and the everyday tech of the future. We’re already working on one involving a shocking sexual relationship. We like to both shock and inform our viewers in equal measure.”

Read the rest of the interview at Wired.

TV BITES

  • A casting call has gone out for the character Lucifer on "Supernatural": "30s – 40s, male. This is the devil – he is soft-spoken, strangely sympathetic, more vulnerable than evil and should have piercing eyes. This is an amazing role that will be heavily recurring…HEAVILY RECURRING GUEST STAR" [SpoilerTV]
  • And here’s a casting call for "Fringe" for three characters: a Nurse in her early 30’s (guest star), Rebecca aged 18-22 (gust star/possible recurring) and Lloyd Parr aged 30’s to early 50’s (guest star).  Full character details at SpoilerTV.
  • Reiko Aylesworth has been cast in "Stargate Universe: SGU".  The actress will play Sharon, Camille Wray’s (Ming-Na) long-time life partner back on Earth in the episode "Life". [GateWorld]
  • "Human Target": Bleeding Cool has a script preview and pilot review of this upcoming Fox comic-book adaptation…
  • …While co-star Jackie Earle Haley told reporters that he’s excited about about the show: "It should be a real fun kind of throwback to ’80s action films, like Die Hard and stuff, and kind of the weekly action show of the week." [SCI FI Wire]
  • Here are some titles for four upcoming "Eureka" episodes: "It’s Not East Being Green", "Insane in the P-Brane", "Your Face or Mine", "Welcome Back Carter". [SpoilerTV]
  • The "Fringe" season two premiere, written by J.J. Abrams and Akiva Goldsmen, will be called "A New Day In The Old Town". [FringeTelevision]
  • "Eli Stone" returns tonight on ABC at 10:00pm with the first episode ("Sonoma") of the show’s final four episodes of its second season/series.  Co-creator/executive producer Marc Guggenheim previews the show’s final episodes in an interview with SCI FI Wire.
  • Last Sunday’s second season premiere of "True Blood" on HBO drew a series-record 3.7 million viewers and was the most-watched program on the network since "The Sopranos" series finale two years ago… [THR]
  • …Meanwhile star Alexander Skarsgard, who plays the thousand-year-old vampire elder Eric Northman on the show, says that the second season will dig deeper into his character. [SCI FI Wire]
  • Here are two reviews for ABC’s two-part miniseries "Impact" (Sunday, June 21st and 28th at 9:00pm): Salon and CinemaBlend
  • …And check out an interview with James Elliot who stars in "Impact" as well as NBC’s summer miniseries event "Storm" (Sunday, July 26th and August 2nd at 9:00pm). [SCI FI Wire].

MISC BITES

  • Captain America will return next month in a five-comic series called "Captain America Reborn".  The character has been off the comic book scene for two and a half years and Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Joe Quesada says now is the time for his return. [New York Daily News]
  • Nominations for The Chesley Awards, given out each year by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Arts recognizing the best art of the last year, have been released.  Check out a complete list at the ASFA website. [SCI FI Wire]

SCI FI RATINGS

CHART (6/1/2009 to 6/7/2009)

CHART (6/8/2009 to 6/14/2009)

Follow Russ on his blog: Your Entertainment Now and on Twitter: Twitter.com/YourEntNow.


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