In Sci-Fi TV this week, we have news on the early season two renewal of Game of Thrones, updates on the Wonder Woman pilot, Leonard Nimoy discussing Fringe, season six of Doctor Who begins, plus we get an extended look at Steven Spielberg’s upcoming TNT series Falling Skies. All that plus much more, including the latest television ratings, and new images and video previews.
GENRE TV NEWS
Game of Thrones renewed for second season
After a solid premiere, HBO has renewed "Game of Thrones" for a second season. The series debuted last Sunday with 2.2M viewers and a 0.9 A18-49 rating in its initial broadcast and drew a cumulative audience of 4.2M viewers when factoring in two additional airings on HBO:
“We are delighted by the way David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have brought George R.R. Martin’s amazing book series to the screen, and thrilled by the support of the media and our viewers,” said Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “This is the continuation of an exciting creative partnership.”
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime.
”… the novelist, who writes one teleplay per season, will pen the Battle of the Blackwater, a huge army/navy slugfest that takes up several chapters in the second book, “A Clash of Kings” (and could be, um, expensive).”
Here are two clips from tomorrow’s episode "The Kingsroad".
Interview with Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) [Moviesblog | MTV]
Interview with Sean Bean (Ned Stark) [Moviesblog | MTV]
Previously on TrekMovie.com: John de Lancie joins Torchwood + Stargate TV and DVD movies shut down
Star Trek: The Next Generation’s enigmatic Q John De Lancie is headed to another sci-fi series, this time the new season of Torchwood titled "Torchwood: Miracle Day". And in other sci-fi TV news, the Stargate franchise seems to have been completely put to an end (or at least hibernation) with the announcement that all Stargate DVD movie projects (including one with Voyager’s Bob Picardo) have been stopped.
Read this complete TrekMovie.com article here
Merlin season three draws series high 1.87M viewers
Syfy may be having problems scoring a hit with their original drama programming, but UK import "Merlin" continues to post strong numbers for the network. In fact, the season three finale drew a series-high 1.87M viewers and a 1.3 HH coverage rating. The episode also drew a season-high 788,000 A25-54 and 621,000 (a 0.5 rating) A18-49 and was up across all three categories from the week prior (+31% among viewers, +30% in A18-49 and +20% in A25-54).
Syfy renews Scare Tactics for fifth season
Syfy has renewed its hit hidden camera reality series "Scare Tactics" for a fifth season. The fifth season pick-up is for 13 episodes and actor/comedian Tracy Morgan will return as host and executive producer:
Syfy has re-upped its frighteningly funny hidden camera reality series Scare Tactics for a fifth season, it was announced today by Mark Stern, President Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. Actor/comedian Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) will return as host and executive producer for the half-hour, 13-episode pick-up order. Season Five of Scare Tactics begins production this spring and is scheduled to premiere Fall 2012.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing back Scare Tactics for another season,” said Stern. “Tracy is the ultimate prankster and Syfy fans will absolutely enjoy a new round of hilarious episodes,” said Stern.
Watch five minutes of footage from Steven Spielberg’s Falling Skies
TNT has released a five-minute sneak peek at the upcoming Steven Spielberg-produced post-apocalyptic alien-invasion series "Falling Skies". The sneak peek was shown to those in attendance at this year’s WonderCon.
"Falling Skies" premieres June 19 on TNT.
Leonard Nimoy discusses his return to Fringe
Here’s an interview with Leonard Nimoy discussing his role as William Bell on the Fox series "Fringe":
In other news, executive producer Jeff Pinkner discussed the rest of this season, confirming that a beloved character will die and that a third alternate universe isn’t in the cards…yet:
"Somebody who we all love deeply will die," confirmed Pinkner. "We’re not introducing a third world. There’s our world, and then there’s the world that Peter was taken from as a baby. … And we still have plenty of story to tell just in those two worlds. And maybe at some point in the future there will be a third world, but not yet."
Pinkner added that the final three episodes of the season will open up a new chapter for season four:
"In the last three episodes we’re always trying to finish the season off with opening a brand-new chapter for next season, and put the show in a new context for our viewers. So we can tell you that we’ve tried to achieve that this year as well."
"Hopefully it will be wholly unexpected and also re-contextualize the story of season three in a really cool way, and be fun and entertaining and mind-blowing," Pinkner added.
Pinkner also revealed that the show will continue to exist between both universes:
"It’s not going to end. That’s our plan to go forward," said Pinkner. Traveling back and forth between the universes is the language of the series now."
Check out an interview with Anna Torv at NYPost. "Fringe" airs Friday night’s at 9PM on Fox.
Promo for episode 3×21 – "The Last Sam Weiss" [YouTube]
Sneak peek at "The Last Sam Weiss" [YouTube]
Doctor Who returns with sixth season + R.I.P. Elisabeth Sladen
"Doctor Who" premiered its sixth season today on BBC One in the UK and BBC America here in the US. Check out interviews with Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill embedded below [via Life, Doctor Who And Combom].
Sadly, actress Elisabeth Sladen passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 63. Tom Baker, David Tennant and Matt Smith paid tribute to their former co-star [via Doctor Who News Page]:
Sarah Jane dead? No, impossible! Impossible. Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions. She can’t be dead. But she is: she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone. A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith. … Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen. I am consoled by the memories. I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her.
Full tribute is here
I just can’t believe that Lis is gone. She seemed invincible. The same woman who enchanted my childhood, enchanted my time on Doctor Who and enchanted generations who have watched her and fallen in love with her – just like I did. I feel very honoured to have shared a TARDIS with Sarah Jane Smith, and I feel very lucky to have shared some time with Lis Sladen. She was extraordinary.
What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane.
Sixth doctor Colin Baker paid tribute via Twitter:
Very sad to hear of the death of Lis Sladen. Great sympathy for her husband and daughter. She was far too young to be lost to them.
And here’s the official statement from BBC:
It is with much sadness that we can announce Elisabeth Sladen, the much-loved actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who and CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures, passed away this morning. She was 63.
Lis first appeared as Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 alongside the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and stayed for three and half seasons working alongside Jon and the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. She returned to the role on numerous occasions over the years and, in 2007, was given her own spin-off series on CBBC – The Sarah Jane Adventures – where she would appear alongside new Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith.
The Sarah Jane Adventures brought Lis a whole new generation of fans who grew up to love her alien-busting adventures. The series was hugely popular with fans young and old and won this year’s RTS Award for best children’s drama.
Controller of CBBC Damian Kavanagh said tonight: "I’m deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Lis’ untimely death. Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will."
The creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures Russell T Davies said: "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."
Steven Moffat, Doctor Who’s Lead Writer and Executive Producer said: "’Never meet your heroes’ wise people say. They weren’t thinking of Lis Sladen.
"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody’s hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah-Jane – Lis Sladen herself – she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.
"There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma – but I can’t think of one other who’s done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. "But that’s Sarah Jane," he said, confused "In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?" It’s not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that fifty years from now."
Keith Jones, Director, BBC Cymru Wales, said: "The Sarah Jane Adventures has been one of the most successful children’s programmes on television in recent years – and without Elisabeth Sladen it would not have happened. A brilliant presence on screen and on set, she brought the excitement and energy of the Doctor Who family of programmes, of which we are very proud at BBC Wales, to a whole new generation. She will be missed by all at BBC Wales who worked with her."
Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said. "She was not just a client, but a dear friend. She was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating. She couldn’t believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series."
Lis had been suffering from cancer. She leaves behind a husband, actor Brian Miller, and her daughter, Sadie.
"Doctor Who" airs every Saturday night at 9PM. Episode 6×02 – "Day of the Moon" airs next Saturday, April 30.
Season six promotional stills [more at Life, Doctor Who And Combom]
Clip from the season six premiere, "The Impossible Astronaut" [YouTube]
Watch another clip here
Interview with Karen Gillan [YouTube]
Wonder Woman gets a pilot re-write + Lynda Carter may cameo
We’ve already seen an updated costume for the NBC project Wonder Woman, now comes news that NBC has re-worked the script. Via io9:
When David E. Kelley’s draft pilot script for Wonder Woman leaked online, the early reaction was not kind, to say the least. The script included lots of Diana crying, moping over ice cream, and hunching in a fetal position.
But since that draft, which was dated December 2010, there have been a ton of rewrites on Kelley’s script. And at least some of them seem to have been aimed at making Diana more of a formidable ass-kicker. We read the new pages, and here’s what’s different.
Included among the changes are a beefed up final battle and an overall more aggressive Wonder Woman . Click here to read io9’s thoughts on the updated script. In other news, Lynda Carter who played Diana from 1975 to 1979, revealed that she has spoken to David E. Kelley and she hints that she may have a cameo in the new project:
‘I’ve talked to David E. Kelley, who’s a brilliant writer, a number of times and we’re hoping to plan something,’ she said. ‘But I cannot reveal.’
Meanwhile, NBC president Robert Greenblatt revealed to TV Line that in addition to the two previous looks we’ve seen at the character, we’ll also see her in shorts:
"There was an initial outcry about the long pants – you know, skintight pants as opposed to those little shorts [worn by Lynda Carter in the original TV series]. But the shorts were always planned. They are actually used in the final confrontation when she beats Veronica Cale (played by Elizabeth Hurley)."
Greenblatt is also quick to note that the project actually still hasn’t been picked up to series yet:
"I’ve been doing this long enough to know that nothing is a safe bet. Even with the best of intentions and the best people, you just don’t know until you see it finished – and we’re a few weeks away from that. But it’s been getting a lot of attention. A lot."
Set video [YouTube]
PREVIEW Videos & Images
Page one of the comic book (uncolored)[Bryan Fuller | Twitter]
Sneak peek at episode 3×13 – "One Night" [Syfy]
Promotional stills for episode 10×19 – "Dominion" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional stills for episode 10×20 – "Prophecy" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for episode 10×19 – "Dominion" [YouTube]
Promotional stills for episode 2×18 – "Epilogue" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for "Epilogue" [YouTube]
Sneak peek at "Epilogue" [YouTube]
Promotional stills for episode 6×19 – "Mommy Dearest" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promo for "Mommy Dearest" [YouTube]
Featurette: "An Invitation To The Set" [HBO | YouTube]
The Vampire Diaries
Promotional stills for episode 2×21 – "The Sun Also Rises" [more at SpoilerTV]
Promotional still for episode 2×22 – "As I Lay Dying" [TV Guide]
Extended promo for episode 2×20 – "The Last Day" [YouTube]
Watch a shorter promo for the episode here
Joss Whedon has revealed that several songs for the proposed "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" sequel have been completed. [New York Times]
FX has set a June 23 premiere date for the new comedy series "Wilfred" which is based on the Australian series and stars Elijah Wood and Jason Gunn. [FX via YourEntNow]
"Supernatural" executive producer Bob Singer says they’ve considered doing both a musical and animated episode of the The CW series: "How do you do a musical? And how do you do a cartoon? We haven’t found a way to do either one of those yet, but I’m sure it’ll come up in conversation for next season, an animated show or a musical. Musicals are really risky ground, but we do talk about it.". [TVLine]
Check out an interview with "Smallville" star Tom Welling reflecting on the final season of the hit show at TV Guide.
"The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman discusses upcoming issues of the comic series in an interview with Comic Book Resources.
The season four finale of "Chuck" may be called "Chuck vs. the Cliffhanger", but Yvonne Strahovski says the episode has closure but also leaves openings in the event the show does get picked up for a fifth season: "It’s a good ending, but it also serves as a good beginning if we do get a fifth [season."… [TVLine]
…So it basically ends just like all the other finales, adds Zachari Levi: "It ends in the same Chuck way that we’ve ended any season or half-season that later became a full season. It’s open. You’re going to see the whole team collaborating and working together to make things right and have some closure about certain things that are really big, but also leave the potential for it to be continued later." [TVLine]
Former "Heroes" star Masi Oka is teaming with writer Alex Sabeti for a time-travel series called "The Correctors" for Syfy. The series "follows two agents of the Exceptions Bureau who are dispatched to a parallel universe where they inhabit the bodies of their identical selves in order to stop events from occurring." Sabeti will write the script, with Oka executive producing and possibly starring. [THR]
BBC America has picked up all 80 hours of the Syfy series "Battlestar Galactica" including the two-part mini-series. The series will debut on June 18 at 7PM. [THR]
- "Smallville" – 10×20 – "Prophecy". [SpoilerTV]
- "Smallville" – 10×21 & 10×22 – "Finale Part 1" & Finale Part 2". [SpoilerTV]
- "Doctor Who" – 6×03 – "The Curse of the Black Spot". [SpoilerTV]
- "Chuck" – 4×22 – "Chuck Versus Agent X". [SpoilerTV]
- "Chuck" – 4×23 – "Chuck Versus The Last Details". [SpoilerTV]
- "Fringe" – 3×22 – "The Day We Died". [SpoilerTV]
- "The Vampire Diaries" – 2×21 – "The Sun Also Rises". [SpoilerTV]
- "The Vampire Diaries" – 2×22 – "As I Lay Dying". [SpoilerTV]
SCI-FI RATINGS (Based on final national numbers unless otherwise noted) [@TravisYanan]
CHART (3/28/2011 to 4/3/2011)
CHART (4/4/2011 to 4/10/2011)