Next week the broadcast and cable networks hold their ‘upfronts,’ their annual presentations to advertisers on pickups and renewals for the 2011/2012 seasons. But news on the 2011-12 shows has already been released and we’re here to provide you with a quick run down related to all the shows picked up, canceled or renewed involving Star Trek vets. [Update: CBS has canceled William Shatner’s comedy $#*! My Dad Says + Renewal likely for Hawaii Five-O]
TV SHOW PICKUPS (& PASSES) FOR STAR TREK VETS
Two J.J. Abrams pilots get picked up: Alcatraz at Fox; Person of Interest at CBS
CBS scooped up the JJ Abrams’s drama "Person of Interest." The series was written by Jonah Nolan and stars Jim Caviezel, Kevin Chapman, Michael Emerson and Taraji P. Henson. As with "Alcatraz", Bryan Burk is also an executive producer on this series. Here’s the description courtesy TV Line:
Person of Interest is a crime drama centered on an ex-CIA agent played by James Caviezel (The Prisoner). Presumed dead, he teams up with a mysterious billionaire (Lost‘s Michael Emerson) to prevent violent crimes in New York City.
And as previously reported, Fox has picked up the J.J. Abrams’-produced "Alcatraz". The drama stars "Lost" alum Jorge Garcia and is centered on "a group of missing Alcatraz prisoners and guards who reappear in the present day and the efforts of a team of FBI agents to track them down and unravel the mystery behind their disappearance 30 years prior." Bryan Burk ("Star Trek") is also an executive producer on the project.
Perception to premiere next year on TNT; LeVar Burton a recurring character
This past March TNT gave a greenlight to "Perception" co-created by executive producer Kenneth Biller ("Star Trek: Voyager", "Legend of the Seeker") and co-executive producer Mike Sussman ("Star Trek: Voyager", "Star Trek: Enterprise"). According to the press release, the series "centers on a neuroscientist who works to solve complex criminal cases." Here’s the complete description:
In PERCEPTION, [Eric] McCormack plays Dr. Geoffrey Pierce, an eccentric neuroscientist who uses his unique outlook and expertise to help the federal government crack difficult cases. Pierce’s intimate knowledge of human behavior and masterful understanding of the mind are matched by his equally odd and imaginative view of the world. [Rachael Leigh] Cook co-stars as FBI agent Kate Rossi, Pierce’s former student and the person responsible for recruiting him to work for the government. [Arjay] Smith plays Max Lewicki, Pierce’s teaching assistant who has spent nine years at college. [Kelly] Rowan is Natalie Vincent, Pierce’s best friend and every bit his intellectual equal.
"Perception" also features LeVar Burton as a recurring character, playing Paul Haley (an homage to Roots’ Alex Haley), the dean of a fictional Chicago university where "Perception" is set. The order was for 10 episodes, with the series expected to premiere in 2012.
ABC picks up The River, starring Bruce Greenwood
Bruce Greenwood ("Star Trek") stars as a famed explorer in this thriller from the creators of Paranormal Activity and Michael Green ("Heroes", "Kings"). Here’s how ABC describes the show:
Famed explorer Dr. Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood) went looking for magic deep in the uncharted Amazon and never returned. Now, the shocking truth about his disappearance is out there, somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. To the millions of kids who grew up watching his nature show, Dr. Cole was a hero. To his own son Lincoln (Joe Anderson), he was more of an enigma. Now, six months after he vanished, Lincoln is finally ready to bury the past when Dr. Cole’s emergency beacon suddenly goes off. At the urging of his mother Tess (Leslie Hope), Lincoln reluctantly joins her on a search for his father. To fund the rescue, they agree to let Dr. Cole’s cagey ex-producer Clark (Paul Blackthorne) film the mission documentary-style. The mixed crew of old friends and new acquaintances includes the sexy and resourceful Lena (Eloise Mumford), loyal mechanic Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and lethal bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Kretschmann). Once they find The Magus, the real adventure begins. In the search for Dr. Cole, they will encounter a scary new mystery each week, while struggling with their own personal jealousies, insecurities, secrets and desires. As they venture further into the Amazon, away from the world they know, the crew of The Magus will discover a place where one bad decision can be fatal, and where powerful magic is as real as science.
NBC passes on 17th Precinct, Locke & Key Being Shopped, + Fox retooling Exit Strategy
Three projects from different Trek vets did not get picked up for the fall (although some still may have life in them). First up, NBC took a pass on Star Trek: TNG/DS9 (and Battlestar Galactica) writer/producer Ronald D. Moore’s "17th District". The futuristic police drama was set in an alternate version of San Francisco where magic ruled instead of science. NBC decided to pick up the magic-themed "Grimm" instead.
Fox passed on Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman’s adaptation of the Joe Hill graphic novel "Locke & Key." There was talk about doing a limited series event, but that’s unlikely given cost. 20th Century Fox TV is reportedly shopping the show to other networks. Orci is certainly not giving up, tonight he sent out a tweet on Locke and Key saying: "Props, cheers, & mucho respect to Josh Friedman Who wrote and produced AMAZING pilot for Locke and Key. U have not heard the end of this;)." Meanwhile, another of Orci and Kurtzman’s pilots, the CIA action drama "Exit Strategy" (starring Ethan Hawke) is reportedly being retooled and remains in contention for midseason.
Chuck renewed for fifth and final season
"Chuck" has done it again. Year after year this beloved, but low-rated (down to 5.19M / 1.7 A18-49 rating this season), spy-fi series is on the brink of cancellation and this year was no different. But just as with years past it has escaped cancellation, however, this time that renewal comes at a price. The fifth season will be the show’s last and run at a shortened 13 episodes. Robert Duncan McNeill (Star Trek: Voyager) serves as a producer and director. McNeill has directed a total of 18 episodes over the course of 4 seasons, including two this season. "Chuck" concludes its fourth season this Monday at 8PM.
Body of Proof (starring Jeri Ryan) renewed for second season
The ABC drama "Body of Proof" (which stars Voyager’s Jeri Ryan) has been picked up for a second season. The Tuesday night drama has done well airing out of the "Dancing With the Stars" results show, drawing an average audience of 11.03M viewers and a 2.3 A18-49 rating.
Update: CBS cancels William Shatner’s $#*! My Dad Says + Renewal likely for Hawaii Five-O
There was some hope CBS would renew the comedy "$#*! My Dad Says", which stars William Shatner as the titular Dad, but that hope is now gone. CBS has decided to cancel the series. Ratings were okay, nothing amazing, basically right at the middle in terms of performance. Of the network’s seven comedies, "$#*! My Dad Says" ranked fourth among viewers (10.3M) and fifth among adults 18-49 (3.0 rating). As TrekMovie.com previously reported, CBS was considering a second season with a retooling that would have removed Jonathan Sadowski, who played the son Henry to Shatner’s Ed.
There’s also an update on the “Hawaii Five-O” remake (from creators/producers Roberto Orci / Alex Kurtzman-created/produced ), with Deadline reporting that the series is a “lock” for renewal.
GENRE SHOW SUMMARY
Beyond the shows from Star Trek vets, we’ll have a more comprehensive article up next week detailing all the old and new sci-fi/genre shows that will be airing next season (including Fox’s "Terra Nova" from Brannon Braga), but in the mean time, here’s a basic list of the renewals and cancellations:
- Chuck [NBC]
- Fringe [FOX]
- Supernatural [THE CW]
- The Vampire Diaries [THE CW]
- The Cape [NBC]
- The Event [NBC]
- Medium [CBS]
- Human Target [FOX]
- No Ordinary Family [ABC]
- V [ABC]
- Smallville [THE CW]
To Be Determined: Nikita [THE CW]