Sci-Fi Storm

Archive for March, 2016

Supergirl gets boost from The Flash

by on Mar.30, 2016, under Television

[Minor spoilers ahead] So the big crossover episode of Supergirl aired on Monday, while we await word of renewal. Did The Flash give it a good enough boost? Time will tell, as there has been no announcement yet, but it definitely had an effect on the ratings. Overall viewers were up 21% and the all-important 18-49 demo was up 31% over last week, to see how the DC television universe would handle this network-and-multiverse-crossing episode. It also had the highest rating for any scripted show that night.

So, how did they handle the crossover, given that Flash’s Earth seems to have no awareness of Kara or her better known cousin or other aliens, while Kara’s version has no metahumans? Simple – the comic multiverse, DC-style.

The Flash has already established the multi-Earth concept, with the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick, coming to Barry Allen’s Earth-One, and Barry going to Jay’s Earth-Two. So to expand a bit, Barry does something (to be explained in The Flash‘s Tuesday episode) back home that results in him arriving on Kara’s version of Earth, where he helps out and then Kara gives him a boost – literally – to get back. This now opened up a myriad of possibilities in storytelling with other DC characters, in such a way that they can be independent of shows or even the movies – we already know that a movie version of Barry Allen’s Flash will be played by Ezra Miller instead of Grant Gustin. So it sets op independent franchises that in some ways can lean on each other occasionally.

It also provides a gimmick that can unfortunately be used as an end-around to any intractable situation, so let’s hope they keep this trick in the back pocket unless it actually helps with the story.

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BBC America’s Dirk Gently finds its lead in Samuel Barnett

by on Mar.30, 2016, under Television

Per Deadline, Samuel Barnett (Jupiter Ascending, Bright Star) has been cast in the title role of BBC America’s adaptation of Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels. The late Adams is best known for his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books and various adaptations.

Robert Cooper, who led the Stargate franchise for MGM, will be showrunner. Max Landis (Chronicle) is writing, and Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) will direct the first two episodes.

Dirk Gently is a serialized comedic thriller that follows the bizarre adventures of eccentric “holistic” detective Dirk Gently and his reluctant assistant Todd, as they wend their way through one big, seemingly insane mystery, crossing unlikely paths with a bevy of wild and sometimes dangerous characters, each episode landing them a few random steps closer to uncovering the truth. BBC America gave a straight-to-series order for 8 one-hour episodes in January, with it expected to debut this Fall.

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Supergirl left off CBS renewal list – for now

by on Mar.26, 2016, under Television

CBS announced a whole slew of renewals yesterday…but left off all of their freshman shows, including Supergirl. So what does it mean?

Well, first thing, it’s among good company. None of the freshman shows have been named yet, Limitless, Code Black and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which are generally believe to be getting renewed but haven’t been mentioned yet. However, all three of those shows are fully or co-owned by the network, whereas Supergirl comes from Warner Bros. TV. CBS also hasn’t made an announcement on flagship show Criminal Minds either, which is still solid but after 11 years the pricetag on another season is pretty high. But it at least shows that all the decision making is not done yet.

Numbers-wise, Supergirl is a step above its older DC siblings over on The CW – The Flash and Arrow, who are already renewed. The most recent episode for Supergirl was just shy of 6 million viewers, compared to 3 million for The Flash and 2.14 million for Arrow. Normally this would be great – but a show on CBS is different than on The CW…the latter tends to hold on to shows more as they have been struggling to find viewers in general – they are a distant fifth among the five primary broadcast networks, and those numbers are generally good for them. 6 million is OK, but not great for one of the Big Three. In addition, after a super-solid debut of 13 million viewers, Supergirl has been shedding viewers, with the last four continually dropping.

Les Moonves had already indicated that they had plans to renew their freshman shows earlier this month. Perhaps CBS is just waiting to see what happens over the final three episodes, which includes a crossover stunt with The Flash airing this Monday.

So hopefully we will hear soon – and hopefully it will be positive.

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Red Mars on hold after showrunner exits

by on Mar.25, 2016, under Television

This is never a good sign…Spike TV’s production of Red Mars is now on hold after showrunner Peter Noah exited, according to Deadline – and just a couple weeks after announcing Greg Yaitanes as director. One can’t help wonder if that played into the decision, with the standard “creative differences” between Noah and Spike being cited.

We were surprised to learn that Noah was in the lead position, as we last heard that J. Michael Straczynski was shepherding the show as well as writing, but apparently he opted out leaving it to Noah.

Spike TV is still working with Skydance on moving forward, but this will likely delay the release from the expected January 2017 date.

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JR Bourne and Toby Hemingway join Syfy pilot Prototype

by on Mar.24, 2016, under Television

JR Bourne (Teen Wolf) and Toby Hemingway (Black Swan) have joined the Syfy pilot Prototype as regulars, joining Jack Davenport (Smash), Cote de Pablo (NCIS), and Annabelle Dexter-Jones (Holy Motors). Written by Tony Basgallop (24: Live Another Day), Prototype centers on three unlikely cohorts who inadvertently stumble upon an invention that challenges the very nature of quantum physics – a discovery which in turn puts their lives in grave danger.

Davenport and de Pablo play two of the three central characters. Davenport is Edward “Eddy” Conway, an aging playboy and former Silicon Valley wunderkind who has retreated from the tech world to return to UCLA as a physics professor. Eddy’s lack of self-control, be it with coeds or sports cars, has made him familiar with some unsavory characters, but his latest project might prove to be his most dangerous endeavor to date.

de Pablo is Laura Kale, a driven, extremely intelligent mother of two. Excited about a potentially world-changing machine being developed by herself and two partners, she is certain that she is on the brink of something history-making. Propelled by a shot at glory, she is not about to give up despite numerous setbacks.

Bourne will play Ethan, Laura’s husband. Frustrated by Laura’s long hours and split focus, he doesn’t believe in Laura’s time-consuming, after-hours project. Readers of this site may also remember Bourne for the recurring character Martouf of the Tok-Ra in Stargate SG-1.

Dexter-Jones is Donna Neuring, a young coder and math whiz whose help has been enlisted to bring a potentially momentous invention to life. But while Donna may be the key to getting a working prototype, her home life is anything but functional. Hemingway is Forde, a model-actor and Donna’s abusive live-in boyfriend.

Prototype is a purely original idea from a talented writer with a unique vision,” said Bill McGoldrick, Executive Vice President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We can’t wait to see this original idea come to life in this pilot for Syfy.”

Oscar nominee Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Esposados) will direct. Escape Artists Productions (Southpaw, The Pursuit of Happyness) will serve as executive producers along with Fresnadillo and Basgallop. Taylor Latham (Freeheld) will be co-executive producer.

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Lucas Till to be the next MacGyver

by on Mar.21, 2016, under Television

CBS has chosen the next MacGyver…Lucas Till, who plays Havok in the X-Men franchise, has been tapped for the pilot of the rebooted TV series.

Till will play a twenty-something version of the character as he’s first recruited to work for the Phoenix Foundation. Also announced is Joshua Boone (Fan Girl) as Gunner, MacGyver’s best friend.

The pilot is being written by Paul Downs Colaizzo and Brett Mahoney and directed by David Von Ancken, with James Wan executive producing. Other executive producers include Colaizzo, Mahoney and Ancken, along with original creator David Lee Zlotoff and original producer Henry Winkler, and Michael Clear.

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Amazon Prime the exclusive U.S. streaming outlet for Doctor Who

by on Mar.21, 2016, under Television

The rumors were true…Amazon Prime has struck a deal with the BBC to be the exclusive streaming provider for Doctor Who.

Starting next Sunday, March 27th, Amazon Prime subscribers (click here for a free 30-day trial) will be able to stream all eight series of the revived show and all the holiday episodes except for “The Husbands of River Song”, which will become available this Fall with Series 8.

Currently absent from streaming is any classic series episodes. Netflix generally had at least one episode from each series available at any given time. No word if this will change.

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A chat with Eddie McClintock about Supergirl, Shooter, and missing Warehouse 13

by on Mar.18, 2016, under Television

I had the fortune to chat with our friend Eddie McClintock, star of Warehouse 13, who will be making a guest appearance on Supergirl this Monday (8PM ET on CBS), and will be starring in the new USA series Shooter later this year. While drifting off on many topics, we did talk about those shows, portraying a member of the Marine Corps, working away from family, and of course, end up back at the Warehouse…

Eddie appeared last year on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the alien Vin-Tak…and now he’s entering the other side of the comic universe with the DC Comics/CBS series Supergirl, after surprising us with the announcement last week on Twitter.

Doc: You only announced it last week…

Eddie: I had to hold off on it until it was announced. I’ve been sitting on it for a couple, three months.

Doc: You had to have filmed this a while ago…they really like to keep guest stars under wraps.

Eddie: I really learned that lesson on S.H.I.E.L.D.. When you work on S.H.I.E.L.D., when you show up to the set you don’t even say, “I’m here to work on S.H.I.E.L.D.,” you say, “I’m here to work on…” and some weird name. And S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t even on any of the scripts.

Doc: They like to keep the surprises…on Supergirl you are playing a Marine Colonel…that must have been cool.

Eddie: It is…it’s cool to be able to…it was important for me to be able to make sure my uniform was correct. There’s a scene where I’m in my digital camos, and I wanted to roll up my sleeves because it was hot when we were shooting, so I texted some of my buddies who are in the Marines and I was like, “Where does my sleeves have to be?” and they were, “It has to be one inch above the elbow.” So I made sure that my sleeves were proper. It’s important for me to show respect for the Corps. I mean, there are worse things than to be hired to represent a member of the military. If I have a chance to talk about it, talk about the veterans and veterans organizations, I’m OK with that.
(continue reading…)

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Look back on Ahsoka and Anakin in a teaser for the Star Wars Rebels season finale

by on Mar.18, 2016, under Television

This awesome teaser for the season finale of Star Wars Rebels looks back on the story of Ahsoka Tano and her former master Anakin Skywalker – leading up to a confrontation that is likely to be both epic and tragic.

The one hour long season finale airs March 30th at 9PM ET/PT on Disney XD.

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Sylvia Anderson, co-creator and voice of Lady Penelope on Thunderbirds, passed away

by on Mar.17, 2016, under Television

Sylvia Anderson, who was the voice of Lady Penelope and co-creator with her husband (at the time) Gerry Anderson on Thunderbirds, passed away after a brief illness at home at the age of 88.

Describing her as “a mother and a legend”, daughter Dee Anderson said, “Her intelligence was phenomenal but her creativity and tenacity unchallenged. She was a force in every way.”

She worked for years with Gerry on the various supermarionation shows they were famous for as a writer and producer, but also on live action productions such as UFO and Space: 1999, including designing the “future 1980s” fashion in the former.

For Space: 1999, she was on record as against the casting of American lead actors, but was overruled by Sir Lew Grade, then head of ITC Entertainment, as they wanted to insure an American TV market. She capitulated, but threw her vote for Robert Culp (I Spy) and Katharine Ross (The Graduate) – instead her husband went with then-hot husband and wife team of Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. It was between the first and second seasons of the show that the Anderson’s separated and later divorced.

I’ve mentioned before that the Andersons were among the architects of my childhood, having grown up with Thunderbirds and Space: 1999. Their influence has been great, and will be greatly missed.

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