This week’s Sci-Fi TV includes development news — and a first look — at the untitled Steven Spielberg alien invasion series (plus news on a U.S. version of Torchwood and TV adaptations of Push and Walking Dead), interviews with the cast and crew of LOST, updates on upcoming episodes of Chuck, Fringe, Smallville, Supernatural and more, including the latest television ratings, casting bites, images and videos.
GENRE TV NEWS
LOST Cast and Crew Talk Season Six
Terry Quinn (Locke) told CNN that we’ll learn the true identity of his character in the upcoming two-hour sixth season premiere of "LOST" (Tuesday, February 2nd on ABC):
"In the 2-hour premiere it is revealed who Locke actually is. Although that’s still kind of a mystery of who is that. But there’s still a pretty big revelation there."
Also courtesy CNN, Jorge Garcia (Hugo) and Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) said that although not all of the show’s questions will be answered, we can look forward to getting closure on some of the bigger ones:
Jorge Garcia: "There’s always going to be more to answer. I think some things are just going to have to be left as a mystery. But I think most of the big ones, you will have some sort of answer to. You’ll know this is kind of what is going on here and this is what is going on there. There’s no way we are ever going to satisfy everybody….Oh and this is Hurley’s last season on ‘LOST.’" (laughing)
Daniel Dae Kim: "…I think (the writers) I think they are pretty diligent and pretty conscious about answering the big questions and I’m pretty sure they will do that. I think you might see Charlie again sometime before the season is over. A lot of people who stopped watching after the first or second season will want to come back to see what happened to certain characters."
Meanwhile, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof were interviewed by Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune in a lengthy two-part interview. Ryan has posted both parts online and you can check it out here and here. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt with Lindelof discussing the time travel on the show:
Lindelof: We look at it in a lot of different ways, but the first reason that we did it was that, if you were going to make this huge deal out of moving the island in the Season 4 finale, there had to be a lasting ramification in the price that our characters would pay well into the fifth season. But also, we had already set so many things in motion — for example, the fact that Locke was going to leave the island to try to assume the alias of Jeremy Bentham. We had already shown him in the coffin. We were already so committed to a lot of that stuff.
But the real reason that we wanted to do time travel was, we’re not fans of expositional downloads where basically characters talk about the history of the island. We wanted to show it to people. We don’t want someone to say, "There used to be a huge statute here of an Egyptian god," we want to see it. And you don’t want to find Jughead and [have someone] basically say, “This must have been brought here by guys during World War II.” You want to see that. You don’t want Widmore to say, “I used to be an Other.” You want to see him as a 16-year-old kid saying, “My name is Charles Widmore."
The biggest reason that we had to do time travel was setting up what we’re doing this year. All of it was leading toward [exploring] this idea of [whether] you can change your fate. And that played into the overriding theme of the show from the word go. So it did have to be that much, in our opinion. And we make no apologies for it. Some people said it was their favorite season. Like, all they want to eat is that cherry pie.
Be sure to head on over to the Chicago Tribune to read the rest of the interview (Part 1 and Part 2). And to close out this week’s "LOST" news, here are a couple casting and miscellaneous bites:
- Mirelly Taylor has been cast as Richard Albert’s wife Isabella. She’ll appear in episode nine, "Ab Aererno". [DarkUFO]
- Samm Levine tweeted that he has been shooting scenes in Hawaii for the show, but doesn’t reveal anything further because legally, he "can’t talk about it." [@SammLevine]
- Fisher Stevens will reprise his role as the late George Minkowski this season. [EW]
- Check out a casting call for episode 13 at DarkUFO.
- The title for episode 10, originally called "TBD", has been changed to "The Package". [DarkUFO]
- Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) says that his character and Sun may not be getting back together: "Maybe Jin and Sun won’t get back together again. That’s a legitimate possibility, I think." [Movieline]
New promo shots of Ben, Sayid and Richard [more at DocArzt]
Another "Last Supper" shot [EW]
First very brief footage from season six (check at the 15-second mark) [YouTube via E! Online]
Michael Emerson (Ben) and Terry O’Quinn (Locke) discuss season six [E! Online]
Interview with Yunjin Kim (Sun) [YouTube via DocArzt]
Additional interviews: Naveen Andrews (Sayid) | Emilie de Ravin (Claire) | Evangeline Lilly (Kate) & Josh Halloway (Sawyer)
COMEDY: Final Season Of ‘Lost’ Promises To Make Fans More Annoying Than Ever [The Onion]
TNT Greenlights Steven Spielberg’s Alien Invasion Series + AMC Picks Up Frank Darabont’s Walking Dead
TNT has given a greenlight to the still-untitled alien invasion series from Steven Spielberg. The network has picked up the show — based on a story idea by Spielberg and Robert Rodat who also wrote the pilot — for 10 episodes. It stars Noah Wyle and the network also announced that Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) has been cast. Here’s how TNT explains the show:
The series opens shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival – all while struggling to maintain their humanity.
Wyle plays Tom Mason, a former college history professor who becomes the reluctant leader of one of the resistance groups. Also starring in the series are Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Anne Glass, a therapist who works with the surviving children to help them cope with the traumatic situation; Drew Roy (Lincoln Heights) as Hal and Maxim Knight (Brothers & Sisters) as Matt, Tom’s two sons; Jessy Schram (Crash) as Karen, who is one of the survivors’ motorcycle scouts; and Seychelle Gabriel (Weeds) as Lourdes, an orphaned teenager who helps run the group’s commissary.
And here’s a comment from TNT/TBS/TCM executive vice president Michael Wright:
“This series has the potential to be one of the most exciting and provocative shows on television,” Wright said. “It grabs your heart and mind from the start and doesn’t let go. It combines personal human drama with dynamic action to create the kind of series people will be talking about the morning after. We are especially thrilled to be working once again with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, as well as Noah Wyle and the extremely talented cast of veterans and newcomers around him.”
In other development news, AMC has picked up a pilot called "Walking Dead" based on a comic book by Robert Kirkman. Frank Darabont ("The Mist") will write, executive produce and direct the pilot. The network acquired the rights to the property last August.
First look at the new series [TNT]
Fringe Winter Finale Details + Peter Weller To Guest Star
There’s an article in next week’s edition of TV Guide (January 24-30) with executive producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman about the show’s upcoming winter finale "Jacksonville" set to air on February 4th (as previously announced, the show will be on a 7-week hiatus during the Olympics). Here are some excerpts courtesy Fringe Television:
According to Pinkner something happens that prompts the Fringe gang to head to Florida to investigate a case that gets more intense and more ‘life-altering’ as the hour goes on.
Pinkner adds more: "An event happens and our team realizes that something even worse is going to take place. The only way to identify what and where it’s going to happen is if they can trigger Olivia’s ability to recognize things from the other side."
According to the article this ability ‘has gone dormant,’ hence the team traveling to her roots in Jacksonville, Florida to try to turn it back on. Apparently being there stirs up memories and emotions for Olivia, some not so pretty, as you can imagine.
Joel Wyman states, "as a consequence of the testing , she became emotionally pyrokinetic and her ability to see beyond this realm shut down out of fear."
The article ends with a nice little teaser by Wyman: "One could think that Peter’s arrival over here initiated these bad feelings and the state of what is going on over there. The episode we come back with (in April) will answer all of these questions."
Here’s the official episode description:
After a violent tremor shakes a Manhattan office building to its core, leaving only one survivor who leads the Fringe Team to believe he is not from this reality. Walter surmises that what shook the building was not geologic, but rather something discovered by him and William Bell many years ago. With another catastrophe imminent, the team races to Jacksonville, the site of Walter and William’s experiments, forcing Olivia to face her mysterious past in an effort to save hundreds of people from certain death in the all-new “Jacksonville” winter finale episode of FRINGE airing Thursday, Feb. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX
And in casting news, Peter Weller ("Odyssey 5") will be guest starring in an upcoming episode. There are no details about his role, with the exception of his character’s name: Peck.
Promotional images from episode 2×14 – "The Bishop Revival" [FOX]
Promotional images from episode 2×15 – "Jacksonville" [FOX]
Promo for episode 2×14 – "The Bishop Revival" [YouTube]
Interview with Anna Torv (Olivia) [YouTube]
Smallville: Absolute Justice Synopsis + Martha Kent and Returning
The CW has released an official description for the upcoming Geoff Johns-penned two-hour "Smallville" TV movie "Absolute Justice". As previously noted, the episode features DC Comics characters Hawkman (Michael Shanks), Star Girl (Britt Irvin) and Dr. Fate from the Justice Society of America. Star Tom Welling (Clark Kent) directed the second hour (Glen Winters directed the first) [via OSCK]:
A man named Sylvester Pemberton tracks down Chloe (Allison Mack) and tells her he knows about her team of superheroes and needs their help. However, before he can explain who he is, he is attacked and killed by Icicle (guest star Wesley Macinnes). Clark (Tom Welling) and Chloe’s (Allison Mack) investigation leads Clark to the former headquarters of the Justice Society of America where he meets up with Nelson AKA Dr. Fate (guest star Brent Stait), Carter Hall AKA Hawkman (guest star Michael Shanks) and Courtney AKA Star Girl (guest star Britt Irvin). Courtney pleads with Hawkman and Dr. Fate to help her catch the killer that is targeting their group but they are reluctant to resume their duties as superheroes. Clark, John Jones (guest star Phil Morris), Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) and Chloe team up to help the JSA stop Icicle before he murders another member of the group. Meanwhile, Lois (Erica Durance) receives a package from a mysterious agency called Checkmate, run by Amanda Waller (guest star Pam Grier).
The DC Universe blog The Source has a few more details about the episode:
"It’s the first live action Justice Society of America. Hawkman, Doctor Fate and, my personal favorite, Stargirl. But don’t expect them to be the one ones you see. Look closely in this episode. There’s more cameos and easter eggs than Green Lanterns," said writer Geoff Johns.
In casting news, EW is reporting that Annette O’Toole has signed a new deal to reprise her role as Martha Kent. Her appearance will most likely happen during May sweeps and the reunion between her and Clark will be accompanied by an "unexpected surprise" or two. Also returning to the show is Michale McKeen (Perry White). McKeen will be back by the end of the season: "We’re thrilled to have Michael back on the show and to be able to link it with the anticipated return of Martha Kent is just a phenomenal way to gear up to the end of the season."
Web clip for episode 9×10 – "Disciple" [YouTube]
More Details on Chuck’s Final Six Episodes of the Season
"Chuck" star Sarah Lancaster (who plays Chuck’s sisters Ellie) talked about the show’s last six episodes of the season, which extended the season to a total of 19 episodes:
"Essentially, they’ve taken from the potential season four and looped it into season three," she said. "The writers definitely had a reboot. They knew a few months back now, so there was some kind of recalculating and kind of extending the arc and going beyond. I think 13 does escalate to a certain degree, but then, knowing what they’re going to do for 19, they found a way to keep it going."
Lancaster also hinted that her character may get involved in the spy world:
"Ellie’s very ambitious, obviously, and very goal-oriented," she said. "There’s some talk of Ellie acquiring a new job that directly interferes with Chuck and Awesome wanting to keep her away from the spy world. This might slam her right into it."
In other news, EW reports that we’ll find out the real name of Yvonne Strahovski’s character in episode eight, a Sarah-centric episode set to air after the Olympics finish. Rounding out this week’s "Chuck"-related news, SpoilerTV has a casting call for episode 15, "Chuck vs. The Role Models" and NBC has released an official description for episode six, "Chuck vs. the Nacho Sampler", which airs on February 1st:
Chuck MUST TURN AN ENEMY AGENT INTO A SPY FOR THE CIA- KRISTIN KREUK (”SMALLVILLE”) GUEST STARS-Chuck (Zachary Levi) juggles his two lives as he trains new Nerd Herder Hannah (guest star Kristin Kreuk) and gets his very own asset who is caught up with The Ring. Chuck thinks he can handle his asset all on his own but Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) and Casey (Adam Baldwin) feel the need to intercede. Meanwhile, Awesome (Ryan McPartlin) must lie to Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) when she starts to ask questions about Chuck and Morgan (Joshua Gomez), Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay) do some recon work to learn more about Hannah.
Promo for episode 3×05 – "Chuck vs. the First Class" [YouTube]
Interview with Kristin Kreuk [YouTube]
Sneak peek from episode 3×05 – "Chuck vs. First Class" [YouTube]
Watch another sneak peek here
Fox Developing U.S. Version of Torchwood
Considering the network’s history with sci-fi/genre fare, fans will surely take this news with a fair amount of cynicism, but it’s good news none-the-less. THR Feed is reporting that Fox is developing a U.S. version of the "Doctor Who" spinoff "Torchwood":
Unlike U.S. adaptations that have gone awry, “Torchwood” fans can take comfort that the original producing team is on board. In addition to Davies, exec producers include Davies’ producing partner Julie Gardner (former head of drama at BBC Wales for the show’s first season) and Jane Tranter (another BBC vet, now exec VP programming and production at BBC Worldwide Prods. in the U.S.).
Also, some of the current cast — most likely John Barrowman, who plays the immortal Capt. Jack Harkness — might star if Fox orders “Torchwood” to pilot.
As for the new show’s plot, the U.S. version will contain a global story line compared to the more localized sensibility of the first two BBC seasons.
Guest star James Marsters [EW]
Farscape (Boom! Studios comic)
Teaser image of comic series (releasing this April) [io9]
Promotional cast images [Pizquita via SpoilerTV]
Promotional images for episode 4×18 – "The Wall" [more at SpoilerTV]
- A new casting call for the 18th episode of "FlashForward" is looking for an actress to co-star as Dr. Carla Weaver, "an experienced physician whose knowledge of her field carries weight". [SpoilerTV]
- The producers of the Syfy series "Warehouse 13" are looking for an actress to portray a female H.G. Wells described as "a beautiful woman ahead of her time in Victorian England, Helena is a gifted author and inventor. She is strong-willed, independent, and brilliant". [SpoilerTV]
- Michael Shanks ("Stargate SG-1") will guest star on "Supernatural" as a character named Rob who is part of a local militia. [TV Guide Magazine]
- "True Blood" creator Alan Ball says he’ll be casting the part of a female werewolf named Debbie Pelt. Ball describes the character as "a badass bitch you do not want to get on the wrong side of," adding, "She is not going to like Sookie." [TV Guide Magazine]
Promo for episode 1×02 – "Rebirth" [YouTube]
David Tennant interviews Stephen Moffat on "Doctor Who Confidential" [YouTube]
Promo for episode 4×17 – "The Art of Deception" [YouTube]
Promo for episode 1×03 – "Embassy Row" [YouTube]
Promo for episode 5×12 – "Swap Meat" [YouTube]
Interview with Sam Trammell (Sam Merlotte) [About]
The Vampire Diaries
Promo for episode 1×12 – "Unpleasantville" [YouTube]
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: Video and Photo Previews of Jolene Blalock In This Week’s Legend of the Seeker
- Previously on TrekMovie.com: Gene Roddenberry’s “The Questor Tapes” Being Developed As New TV Series
- British actor Stephen Fry says he was approached by David Tennant to write an episode of "Doctor Who", but that the "window passed" and he "never really got around to it." Fry says he would like the opportunity again. [Digital Spy]
- Summit Entertainment has hired screenwriter David Hayter ("Watchmen") to write a pilot for a TV series they are developing with E1 and Dark Hero Studios based on the film "Push". [via /Film]
- NBC has released a brief synopsis for the season finale — and let’s just be honest with ourselves, possible series finale — of "Heroes" called "Brave New World": "Everyone bands together to try to stop Samuel from taking the lives of thousands; Peter teams with an unexpected ally to save Emma; H.R.G.’s life hangs in the balance; Hiro comes to grips with decisions he has made"… [EW]
- …Meanwhile, check out the description for the penultimate episode of the season, "The Wall" at HeroSite…
- …In case you haven’t heard, last week’s episode of "Heroes" drew a series low audience of just 3.98 million viewers and a 1.8 A18-49 rating. It’s the first time the show has fallen below both 4M viewers and a 2.0 A18-49 rating.
- "Survivors" creator Adrian Hodges says her show distinquishes itself from other similiar shows through its characters: "I think [the difference] is character." "You’re right, there is a lot of stuff out there and a lot of different angles on it. The fact of survival is a given. What it’s about is how your character responds. So the interesting thing for me as a dramatist, and for the actors, is it gives you a brilliant chance to explore characters outside of society." [SCI FI Wire]
- The February 4th "Back to the Future II" episode of "Supernatural" features Sam and Dean Winchester heading back to the future "to try to save their mom and dad — from a threat that also travels back in time from 2020", according to executive producer Sera Gamble. [TV Guide Magazine]
- Although Elena’s conversion on "The Vampire Diaries" is a fundamental part of the books, it’s not something that will be explored anytime soon on The CW series: "right now it’s a little too Twilight similar for us to feel comfortable dabbling in it", says executive producer Julie Plec. [EW]
- Syfy has released the scheduled for the next six episodes of "Caprica", airing January 29th through March 5th (off February 12th). The titles are: "Rebirth" (Jan. 29), "Reins of a Waterfall" (Feb. 12), "Gravedancing" (Feb. 19), "There Is Another Sky" (Feb. 26) and "Know Thy Enemy" (Mar. 5). [Syfy]
- "True Blood" creator Alan Ball revealed that in the upcoming season, Bill and Sam will forge "an erotic connection"… [EW]
- …And with regards to the character Eric, actor Alex Skarsgard says his character’s journey this season will partly be one of "revenge": "He will continue to explore the whole Sookie thing and what that’s all about. He’s trying to figure out what’s different about her. He’s intrigued by that. And in addition to that, there’s something that happened a thousand years ago that he’s still carrying in his heart. All I’ll say is he’s trying to avenge someone." [EW]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
CHART (1/11/2010 to 1/17/2010)
Follow Russ on his blog: Your Entertainment Now and on Twitter: Twitter.com/YourEntNow.
I’ve always stayed away from TNT/TBS/Spike… this new Spielberg season might give cause to change that.
#1: oops… Spielberg series… (not season)
got a little sidetracked watching the boxed set of the old NBC series ‘Earth 2.’ Anyone remember that one?
#2. Yeah I never saw much of it on tv but picked up the dvd when it came out, figured some of those short complete scifi series didn’t hurt to catch up on. Wasn’t bad, wish it had been resolved like so many others…
2 – Earth 2 was very goo, and died before it’s time.
As for the US “remake” or Torchwood… oh please god no… the original is where it should be left, it works so well. (US versions of Red Dwarf, Life on Mars etc any one…? no, thought not).
NO REMAKE OF TORHWOOD!
Boooo, don’t mess with Torchwood! American versions of British shows dont work!
TORCHWOOD USA, sure ,why not
It sounds like a good idea, but please keep John Barrowman as Captain Jack.
The Doctor who forums are ablaze which elitist fans hating the idea!
de ja vu
“American versions of British shows dont work!”
Sanford and Son
All in the Family
Of course, more than a few sank on the way to the colonies:
Having said all that, stripped of Britishisms, Torchwood would seem to look like scads of existing shows on US TV.
Great update! Can’t wait for Lost and Fringe! Also an American Torchwood with John Barrowman? Count me in!
Is Spielberg doing Battlefield Earth now?
Lost. I’m a sucker for it, and I can’t wait ’til Feb. 2.
Really, the smartest thing on broadcast TV in eons.
I bet they’re only bringing back O’Toole’s character on Smallville so that they can kill her off during sweeps week!
They saw Spock’s mother get killed off in the new Star Trek movie and thought, “Hey, there’s an original idea! Kill off the hero’s mother!”
Anything for ratings!!
Please don’t anyone make an American version of Torchwood! An American Torchwood would end up being a remake of The X-Files with a bisexual Fox Mulder and Dana Scully married to some goofy “regular guy” stereotype.
Hey, I’m glad that The Office is a success, but it’s a different genre, and some genres translate better than others. Has anyone else seen Law & Order:UK? It’s pretty good. I just don’t think that science fiction translates well. FOX tried to make an American Doctor Who in 1996 – it failed. The American Life on Mars was such a disappointment it hurt. The American movie version of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was almost as bad.
I don’t know why RTD is even trying, Fox will cancel Torchwood within six episodes. Except for X-Files, they do not have a good track record with genre fare.
Don’t forget, they also got eight(!) seasons of Three’s Company out of Man About the House.
RTD is probably doing it because he could get way more exposure (and potentially way more MONEY) working in Hollywood than continuing with the BBC.
I don’t think RTD would be crass enough to make a US ‘version’ that is outside the established Whoniverse: and barrowman’s a busy man. Maybe what we’re hearing is a continuation – S4 set Stateside (considering that the cardiff team and the Hub are gone that makes sense).
As for US fans taking umbrage about Who fans being dead set against a ‘version’, how would TOS fans feel about the news that the BBC was about to launch it’s own version of Trek?
That’d actually be cool, as long as it was a spinoff series and not TOS. As this is.
I’ve never seen Torchwood–wouldn’t Barrowman coming to the US mean that the UK series would have to stop?
Eh, let’s leave Torchwood alone. I’m okay with it the way it is/was. Really.
The Steven Spielberg things seems like “Terminator: Salvation” on a lower budget and with aliens instead of robots. But it might have an interesting plot, so I’ll check it out when it comes on in the future. I’m liking TNT well enough with the awesomeness that is “Leverage”, so I have faith in the network.
Frankly, I don’t see how any alien invasion show is going to work, considering they put at least one or two out there every year. People are sick of it, and it’s no longer on people’s minds. During the cold war, the “fear” of invasion contributed greatly to this concept, not to mention movies like Close Encounters, E.T., Alien Nation, Fire in the Sky, and many more.
A US Torchwood would effectively be a continuation of the ‘RTD-verse’ which encompassed his version of Doctor Who, SJA and Torchwood.
Since RTD has departed these shores, he could simply continue with John Barrowman in the lead role in a US setting. It doesn’t need to be a remake: simply a restart.
Can’t see what all the fuss is about: if it succeeds, fine; if it doesn’t the UK version can continue.
Doctor Who’s restarting with a new team, so it effectively gives the shows a completely independent life.
Well there was a UK version of Law & Order, why not a Torchwood: USA. Perhaps Captain Jack could be a consultant to the US branch. It could ba an “alongside” series as opposed to an American remake.
Sadly, I don’t run the show. “If I were king of the foreeeest…”
Chuck is awesome. Not Awesome, that’s his brother-in-law, of course. But yeah. Chuck is a fun show. I’ll be content when it hits 100 episodes.
Spielberg’s alien invasion sounds like Resiklo starred by Bong Revilla in the Philippines. Ripoff!
I LOVE CHUCK!!!
Not on this topic of shows but does anyone here watch 24?
I was not a fan of Torchwood even though I am a big fan of Doctor Who and Sarah jane Adventures.
Can’t wait for the new series of Doctor Who. However, Torchwood was really lame for me.
Lost track of 24. I know it’s very good, but when the BBC lost the rights, I didn’t get round to watching it on Sky.
I’m not wild about Torchwood either. I thought Children of Earth was better than what went before, but still very derivative, particularly of Childhood’s End and the 1979 Quatermass.
I haven’t liked much of nu-Who but will give the new team a shot. I have a fondness for anything Sarah Jane-related. And I’m rather looking forward to the K9 series too!
I enjoyed The Stepfather- this was just as a great as the first. Dylan Walsh did a great job filling the shoes of Terry O’Quinn http://bit.ly/dicg8I