In Sci-Fi TV this week we have good news for Fringe fans, Wonder Woman getting a network pilot, new details on the next Battlestar show, possible hope for the future of Stargate Universe, and much more more including the latest television ratings, casting bites and new images and video previews.
GENRE TV NEWS
Surprise: Fringe ratings jump in new Friday night time slot + new previews/details
Most expected "Fringe" to drop at least a little in its new Friday night timeslot, but the show surprisingly held its own and returned with stronger numbers than where it left off in its highly competitive Thursday night time slot. According to preliminary numbers, "The Firefly" drew 4.86M viewers (+3%) and a 1.9 A18-49 rating (+12%). While the show is still down for the season compared to last year’s first 10 episodes (5.06M viewers and a 1.9 rating — or -17% in both categories), this is an encouraging sign. Expectations are lower on Friday nights and if the show can remain at these levels, it really does have a legitimate shot at being renewed for a fourth season. Looking towards the future, producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman were asked by io9 whether or not they have the show’s ending mapped out. Here’s what they told the site:
We know where the show ends. And we know several of the season-long chapters that will occur along the way. Much of our storytelling has been seeded from very early on. The only real question is how many of these chapters we will be able to explore.
The two producers were also asked about the origins of fan-favorite character Walter (John Noble), in which they reveal that J.J. Abrams, Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman created the character in the pilot but that he has since grown:
Every great Mad Scientist needs a healthy dose of curiosity, boundless imagination and elevated sense of his own abilities, along with some disregard for the consequences of whatever he may be doing. Walter and Bell were also products of the late 60s, when psychedelics and other drugs were viewed as a very viable tool for mind expansion — so his LSD use, etc was a natural choice.
This week’s episode is called "Reciprocity". Here’s the synopsis:
When the Fringe Team visits Massive Dynamic’s assembly of doomsday device, Walter becomes greatly concerned for Peter’s well-being, so he turns to Nina for added brain power to understand the relationship between Peter and the superweapon. Meanwhile, the discovery of a dead body triggers an intense investigation in the all-new “Reciprocity” episode of FRINGE airing Friday, Jan. 28 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (FR-311) (TV-14 L, V)
Sneak peek at "Reciprocity" [YouTube]
New details on the BSG prequel ‘Blood & Chrome’
Producers for the proposed prequel series "Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome" have begun the process of casting for the series. Casting calls have gone out to casting agencies and io9 recently got their hands on some of the pages which they say may come from the actual script. Here is just a small excerpt from their article [SPOILERS]:
So the arc of Blood and Chrome is the first mission for a young William Adama, a green pilot just out of training. Over the course of his first week on the job, Adama loses his innocence and discovers that things in war are more complicated than he’d believed when he signed up. The story starts at the end, with the battle-haunted William Adama looking up in a stained Colonial uniform under a tattered parka, with a "thousand yard stare," as a voiceover talks about you find out who you are in wartime, both the good parts and the bad parts… and we all get what’s coming to us.
There’s much more at io9, but here’s how the site closes their article:
The best thing I can say about Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome is that it feels like BSG. More than the BSG TV movies, more than Caprica, this feels like the gritty, intense show about real characters in impossible situations that we fell in love with. Of course, this time around, we’ll know how everything turns out in advance — but the journey may actually be pretty gods-damned compelling, judging from these pages.
NBC picks up David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman pilot
As noted in last week’s TV report, David E. Kelley hadn’t given up hope on his "Wonder Woman" project being picked up despite networks initially passing on it. Turns out his optimism was well-placed. Deadline reports that NBC has picked up the show to pilot. Here are the details as we currently have them.
The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A. but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.
Stargate Universe update: Joseph Mallozzi says "major hurdle cleared", Still a chance it could return
Despite Syfy canceling "Stargate Universe" after weak ratings — the series had the smallest audience of any program in the "Stargate" franchise — "Stargate Universe" still has a dedicated and strong cult audience and its producers remain committed to trying to bring it back for a third season. To that effect, executive producer Joseph Mallozzi provided an update to fans via his blog and he says the latest developments have brought encouraging news [emphasis mine]:
I was in the office yesterday to watch the Day 1 Mix of The Hunt. Great stuff! Anyway, while there, I talked to Brad [Wright]. Needless to say, he’s been working hard to ensure we all get the opportunity to work with Mark in 2011. Nothing definite as of yet to report but a minor hurdle was cleared. Quite a few hurdles still lie ahead and there’s always the chance it might all be for naught – but right now, things are looking positive.
We spent a couple of hours in the late afternoon discussing the potential game plan if all goes well – and, if all DOES go well, I can assure you that it’ll be very, VERY exciting for all.
Hard to say what that means without additional information, but one would assume they may have found a way to continue the show without Syfy as its network home. Those of you interested in joining the fight to save the show can check out the Facebook group Save SGU for more information. After "Caprica", "Stargate Universe" remains the lowest-rated scripted program on the network (with an average viewership of 1.08M viewers).Unless producers find a way to continue the show elsewhere, the final half of season two will remain series-ending. They’re scheduled to debut on the network later this year.
Syfy renews Sanctuary for a fourth season
Syfy has picked up the Amanda Tapping-led sci-fi series "Santuary" for a fourth season. The network greenlit production on a 13-episode season that will begin shooting this spring in Vancouver, BC. Syfy says they are eying a premiere this fall:
Sanctuary follows brilliant scientist Dr. Helen Magnus (Amanda Tapping) and her team, who use their unique combination of instinct, medicine and cutting-edge science to find and aid a clandestine population of beings that the world refuses to believe exists. The series also stars Robin Dunne as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Will Zimmerman, Agam Darshi as the quick-witted Kate Freelander, Ryan Robbins as tech wiz Henry Foss and Christopher Heyerdahl as the sinister John Druitt.
"Sanctuary", although fairly lowly rated in the key A18-49 demographic (with a 0.4 rating) had consistent numbers for its third season, averaging 1.46 million viewers with a peak of 1.79M for the season premiere (with a 0.6 A18-49 rating) and a low of 1.26M (two episodes–3×04 & 3×06). The show never fell below a 0.4 A18-49 rating and ended its third season with 1.47M viewers (+5% from the episode prior). Also positively worth noting was that the show held onto 95% of its season two audience (1.53M viewers) and was down just a touch in A18-49 rating (from a 0.5 rating to a 0.4 rating). For the season, "Sanctuary" was the network’s fourth most-watched scripted program behind "Warehouse 13" (2.46M), "Eureka" (2.33M) and "Haven" (1.85M).
Nearly 2M tune in to premiere of Syfy’s Being Human (US)
In other Syfy series news, the network got a solid start out of their adaptation of the BBC series "Being Human (US)" . The two-hour series premiere drew 1.96M viewers and a 0.8 A18-49 rating. Syfy notes that the premiere was the most-watched Syfy winter scripted premiere since 2005 and also set a record for young female viewers in the A18-49 demo. Here are a few notes from the press release (emphasis mine):
The series about a vampire, werewolf and ghost who share a Boston brownstone and the secret of their true natures, set a network record for Syfy. Of the 1 million Adults 18-49 tuning in, 58% (582,000) were women — the highest percentage of female viewers ever for a Syfy original scripted series telecast.
Overall, with repeat airings on Syfy at 10:02PM and 11:02PM on a highly competitive night, Being Human reached an unduplicated audience of 3.8 million total viewers for the series’ debut episode (1.867 million Adults 18-49 and 1.967 million Adults 25-54).
Cutting through the spin, here is how "Being Human" compares to some other recent notable series premieres on the network:
- "Stargate Universe" — 2.35M viewers / 0.5 A18-49 rating
- "Haven" — 2.34M viewers / 0.7 A18-49 rating
- "Caprica" — 1.60M viewers / 0.4 A18-49 rating
"Being Human" airs Monday nights at 9PM on Syfy. Check out some promotional stills and a promo for tomorrow night’s episode below.
Sneak peek at episode 1×02 – "There Goes the Neighborhood, Part 2" [Syfy]
Fox hopes Tim Kring has the ‘Touch’
Tim Kring, better known as the creator of the once-promising canceled NBC series "Heroes", has gotten back into the TV business. Kring’s supernatural drama pilot "Touch" has been picked up by Fox:
Touch centers on a father who discovers that his autistic, mute son can actually predict events before they happen.
As noted, "Touch" marks Kring’s first pilot script since "Heroes".
Liam Neeson to voice Qui-Gon Jinn on Cartoon Network’s ‘The Clone Wars’
The Cartoon Network series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" has cast Liam Neeson to reprise his role as Qui-Gon Jinn in an upcoming three-episode arc beginning with the January 28 episode "Overlords". Neeson will be voicing the character in the January 28 episode and the February 11 episode. In the episodes, Qui-Gon will appear to Obi-Wan Kenobi in visions. The arc will deal with Anakin Skywalker’s destiny as the Chosen One. Some may find this casting news surprising, but Neeson told Inside TV | EW that he wanted to return because "these characters resonate…even after all these years," adding: "Growing up, my heroes were cowboys; they were strong and mysterious, and it seemed like they always rode off into the sunset. For kids today, Star Wars has that same kind of magic. I really wanted to be a part of that." "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" airs Friday nights at 8:30PM.
Smallville returns this week + Booster Gold and Blue Beetle cast + New teaser poster
With "Smallville" returning with new episodes this week, producers are filling out some remaining cast positions. First up, KryptonSite is reporting that Lucas Grabeel will guest star in the episode "Scion" (February 4). Grabeel first appeared in the season six episode "Reunion" where he polayed the role of Alexander/Young Lex. He’ll be playing an aged Lex clone in "Scion". In other casting news, "Days of Our Lives" actor Reric Martsolf will be playing Booster Gold while Jaren Brandt Bartlett has been cast to play Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle in the 17th episode "Booster". And lastly, SpoilerTV is reporting that episode 10×18 will be called "Kent". Rounding out this week’s "Smallville" coverage, check out two interviews with star Erica Durance at Newsarama and TVLine and a synopsis for episode 10×14 – "Masquerade" here. "Smallville" returns this Friday with the episode "Collateral". Check out a promo for the episode along with more media from the series, including a new teaser poster, below.
Promotional stills for episode 10×13 – "Beacon" [more at SpoilerTV]
Another "Clark as Superman" teaser poster [SpoilerTV]
Sneak peek at episode 10×12 – "Collateral" [YouTube]
Interview with Erica Durance [E! | YouTube]
Previously on TrekMovie.com: NBC Orders Supernatural Cop Pilot From Ron Moore
Veteran Star Trek writer/producer (and Battlestar Galactica re-imagineer) Ron Moore may be headed to network TV with a new genre show. NBC has announced they have picked up a pilot order for Precinct 17, a supernatural police drama written and produced by Moore.
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Promo for episode 4×12 – "Chuck vs. the Gobbler" [YouTube]
Karen Gillan Radio Times photo shoot [more at Blogtor Who]
Shot-for-shot recreation of The Incredible Hulk TV intro [The Daily Beast]
Game of Thrones
Trailer: "The Game Begins" [HBO]
Interview with series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss [Access Hollywood]
Sneak peek at episode 3×03 – "Goblins Gold" [Syfy]
Set images [more at Nigel Horsley | Flickr]
Promo for upcoming episodes [YouTube]
Promotional still [EW via SciFi Cool]
Conceptual art [EW via SciFi Cool]
Season four teaser trailer [HBO | YouTube]
Promotional stills for episode 2×05 – "Concordia" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional stills for episode 2×06 – "Siege" [more at SpoilerTV]
Sneak peek at episode 2×04 "Unholy Alliance" [YouTube]
The Vampire Diaries
Promotional stills for episode 2×13 – "Daddy Issues" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional stills for episode 2×14 – "Crying Wolf" [SpoilerTV]
Extended promo for "Crying Wolf" [The CW | YouTube]
- Joss Whedon teases what’s ahead for the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" comic book series (season nine). [Whedonesque]
- A video game adaptation of "The Walking Dead" may be on the way. [1Up]
- "Red Dwarf" star Robert Llewellyn may have inadvertently revealed that a new season of the British sci-fi series is on the way: "So, the thing is, the whole point was that I was told not to say anything. Doug told me, face to face, ‘don’t tweet this bobby. Not yet." Llewellyn goes on to say that new episodes could hit TV screens in 2012. [Robert Llewellyn via SFX.co.uk]
- "Chuck" co-creator Chris Fedak is hopeful that we’ll see a fifth season of the NBC dramedy: "I don’t use the word confident ever in my vocabulary. Television is a weird world. But we’re excited to consider the idea of actually doing a fifth season. That’s big news. That’s exciting to us."… [Give Me My Remote]
- …Looks like Ellie and Devon’s baby will be delivered in the January 31 episode, "Chuck vs. the Push Mix". [ChuckTV.net]
- Episode 6×17 of "Supernatural" will reportedly be called "Gallows Pole". According to reports, the episode will be set in 1861 and will feature a female angel named Rachel who is loyal to Cass and the cause. [SpoilerTV]
- Ratings for the new season of V" have only been so-so, but producer Steve Pearlman assures fans that the show still has a chance at being renewed for a third season…as long as we continue to watch: "YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT! TUES @ 9PM. You can make a difference!". [via SpoilerTV]
- "The Event" star Blair Underwood says there will be no more "confusing" flashbacks when the show returns with new episodes beginning on February 28: "We had been jumping around a lot and doing flashbacks and that was confusing to people…So when we come back, that device is done with! We are now telling the story straight through so people can track it and follow it easier." [Inside TV | EW]
- Here are the titles for episodes 6×14-6×18 of "Supernatural": "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning"; "The French Mistake"; "…And Then There Were None"; "Trailer of the Dead" and "Your Time Is Gonna Come". [KSiteTV]
- The seventh season/series finale of "Medium" experienced a solid increase in the ratings Friday night, drawing 7.77M viewers and a 1.6 A18-49 rating according to preliminary ratings. If the numbers hold, the episode was up 18% in viewers and 19% in A18-49 rating over season average before this episode (6.56M / 1.3 A18-49 rating). [PIFeedback]
- There’s a report that The CW will renew "The Vampire Diaries" for a third season. That wouldn’t be the least bit surprising. The show is BY FAR the network’s most-watched and most buzz-worthy program and has fared well in relation to its ratings from last year (3.41M viewers / 1.6 A18-49 rating vs. 3.66M viewers and a 1.7 A18-49 rating in its premiere year last season)… [The Voice of TV via SpoilerTV]
- …Check out interviews with "The Vampire Diaries" castmembers Nina Dobrev and Candice Accola here and here plus two more interviews with co-creator/executive producer Julie Plec here and here and an interview with fellow co-creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson here. [via SpoilerTV]
- "Torchwood: Miracle Day" is now through their second week of filming in the United States. Check out a great round-up of the latest news over at Doctor Who News Page.
- The five-episode January 4, 2011 burn-off/marathon event (6PM-11PM) of "Caprica" averaged just 660,000 viewers and a 0.2 A18-49 rating for Syfy. Among those episodes was a series-low producing result for "Blowback", the first episode of the marathon (528,000 viewers and a 0.2 A18-49 rating), but the series finale "Apotheosis" at 10PM perked up slightly to 782,000 viewers and a 0.3 A18-49 rating. Overall, the 18-episode season averaged a dismal 966,000 viewers and a 0.4 A18-49 rating. "Caprica" was the lowest-rated scripted drama on the network last season. [PIFeedback]
- "Supernatural" – 6×14 – "Mannequin 3: The Reckoning". [SpoilerTV]
- "Chuck" – 4×13 – "Chuck vs. the Push Mix". [ChuckTV.net]
- "Chuck" – 4×14 – "Chuck vs. the Seduction Impossible". [ChuckTV.net]
- "Being Human (UK)" – 3×03 – "Type 4". [SpoilerTV]
- "The Vampire Diaries" – 2×14 – "Crying Wolf". [SpoilerTV]
- "Human Target" – 2×12 – "The Trouble With Harry". [SpoilerTV]
- "No Ordinary Family" – 1×15 – "No Ordinary Powell". [SpoilerTV]
- "The Cape" – 1×05 – "Dice". [CapeSite]
- Starz has selected Australian film and TV star Liam McIntyre to play the title role in the second season of the hit original series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand". [Starz via YourEntNow]
- Lauren Ambrose has joined the cast of "Torchwood: Miracle Day", the upcoming fourth season of the "Doctor Who" spinoff. Ambrose will appear in 7 of the 10 episodes playing Jilly Kitzinger, "a sweet-talking PR genius with a heart of stone who’s just cornered the most important client of her career … and maybe of all time." [InsideTV | EW]
- Lauren Cohan will play Vivian, "a beautiful, charming and sophisticated socialite who is currently enrolled at Oxford studying history. She is the daughter of a criminal mastermind," in an upcoming multi-episode arc on "Chuck"… [TVLine]
- …Also cast in the show is Robin Givens. Givens will play "a powerful and controlling agency bigwig who makes an intriguing offer to Casey (Adam Baldwin)." Both characters will debut in March. [TVLine]
- Former "Battlestar Galactica" star Tricia Helfer has revealed that she’ll appear on an upcoming episode of the new ABC series "No Ordinary Family"… [Tricia Helfer | Twitter]
- …Meanwhile, Eric Balfour has signed on to play "a death row inmate named Marcus Winnick". His character will appear in two episodes that are expected to air in March.[TV Guide]
- "The Cape" is getting two new villains. Michael Irby and Romeo Miller will play Pokerface and Lil’ Z, respectively. Pokerface is a "high-level associate of Scales (Vinnie Jones)" and described as "a ghoulish-looking thug dressed in a suit whose face is frozen in an expression of glum murderousness". Miller meanwhile will play "a baby [gangster] and a mean, smack-talking chatterbox." [TVLine]
- Samatha Ferris has confirmed that she’ll be returning to reprise her role as Ellen on "Supernatural". [Samantha Harris | Twitter via SpoilerTV]
- Roger Bart is joining the cast of "The Event". He’ll play the White House Chief of Staff to Blair Underwood’s character (President Elias Martinez). [Inside TV | EW]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
CHART (1/10/2011 to 1/16/2011)