Remember that story about the Desilu Studios name being revived when someone acquired the name rights and was going to reboot V?
Well, we now doubt it is going to happen.
Apparently Charles B. Hensley, who announced he had acquired the Desilu Studios name earlier this year, apparently has a shady past including a conviction for selling a bird flu vaccine that was never approved by the FDA. And now CBS has accused him in a lawsuit for using the Desilu name to dupe investors into his shell companies, and not actually using the name for legitimate purposes, as well as creating a false valuation letter claiming the company was worth $11.2 billion. His Desilu Studios and Desilu Corporation did not obtain the catalog of original Desilu productions, which are wholly owned by CBS through it’s acquisition of Paramount.
This might be interesting to see how it pans out.
With Star Trek: Discovery pulling in good numbers for CBS All Access, the parent network is looking to bolster original programming, it’s once again digging into the vault for a beloved classic – and this time pulling out The Twilight Zone.
During the earnings report investor call, CBS boss Les Moonves said today that they will reboot the iconic series for the streaming network, but also said that the new series would need to “stand out” to draw audiences. The audience for CBS All Access skews much younger than the broadcast network – an average of 20 years younger.
CBS has rebooted The Twilight Zone twice already – first in 1985 for three seasons (one of which was in syndication), and once more in 2002 for sister network UPN for a single season. Neither were considered successful – the third syndicated season was largely to meet obligations as they had pre-sold syndication rights before the show aired – but with the increasing interest in anthology-style shows (such as the long-format American Horror Story and Channel Zero), perhaps the time approaches for short-form anthologies again?
Beware…I’m sensing…The Love Boat…
CBS has set the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery for September 24th, 2017 – about 9 months after originally intended. And according to showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, the primary reason for the delays was building the world in which they explore.
In an interview with EW “There’s is so much artistry and custom craftsmanship that go into every prop, every costume, every set,” Harberts explained. “These things have to be designed and manufactured. We flew a costume designer to Switzerland to pick up the fabric for the Starfleet uniforms. Several items on our uniforms are 3D printed. Some of our sets can take over six weeks to make. CBS has given us the time and the money to make something the fans will find worthwhile.”
Added Berg: “You can’t cut corners or have 95 percent of what’s on screen be completely original and inspired and then have five percent something you bought at a store. It has to be cohesive — and it is. I’m so proud of what’s on screen, it’s so beautiful and it’s taking world-building to a whole new level.”
But this is not something unique to this show. Other shows have to build sets, make props, etc. and that should have been figured in to the production cycle from the start.
The show will premiere on CBS at 8:30pm-9:30pm ET/PT (a strange slot, but it follows a football doubleheader), followed by the first two episodes being available on the pay-streaming CBS All Access. 6 more episodes will premiere on succeeding Sundays through November 5th, after which it will have a short break and pick up again in January for 7 more episodes. The break will allow more post-production time on the later episodes.
CBS dropped some info on the upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery – not a lot, mind you, but some – and more importantly, the trailer for the show.
Today at the network’s upfront presentations, they announced that they ordered an additional two episodes, bringing up the first season to 15 episodes. In addition, there will be a companion “Talk” series called Talking Trek – a strategy that is becoming increasingly popular with off-broadcast genre shows.
And then there is this…
I still have fears that limiting this series to the CBS All Access pay-streaming service will limit the audience too much to support such an expensive show, but I’m not sure what the All Access subscriber numbers look like currently.
Syfy has canceled the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck produced Incorporated after just a single season. The hyped-up show failed to get hyped up ratings, averaging well below Syfy’s other flagship shows. Syfy is lining up pilots with four given green lights so far along with Superstition, which was given a straight-to-series order.
On the opposite side, CBS’ Les Moonves is very confident that the twice delayed Star Trek: Discovery will be ready to debut in early Fall and perhaps late Summer – and he understands the importance of the show to the network.Star Trek is the family jewels,” Moonves says. “We’re not going to rush it in. There’s a lot of post production. But I’m very confident based on what I’ve seen so far.”
Star Trek: Discovery was most recently delayed from a May release last month, given they hadn’t actually started filming yet. Filming started shortly after that announcement, so a Fall debut seems more realistic.
While others are just teasing their new shows, CBS decided to give a whole trailer to MacGyver, after it was picked up for series earlier this week. Interestingly, all this footage is from the pilot, but there is some chatter that the pilot might not make it to air, since they are dropping the supporting cast outside of George Eads. If the do show the pilot there would be a “what happened” issue, but it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened – it’s happened on many shows in the past. Even the original Star Trek aired the second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, which had a different doctor, some other crew members, and set differences (the snake-armed communicator from the first pilot is still on the captain’s chair, and the forward viewer was shaped differently for instance.) Even weirder in that case, it was shown as the third episode, which made for a continuity issue.
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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.
CBS is picking up the idea of a MacGyver reboot, and James Wan (Furious 7 director) is running with it. In fact, Wan has been interesting in working on MacGyver for some time, to the point that he had already developed a “Young MacGyver” feature film.
While they aren’t actually calling it a “Young” MacGyver, it does appear that they are setting the character about 10 years younger than the original (played by Richard Dean Anderson), and plan to show how he gained his abilities to “macgyver” contraptions to save the day.
MacGyver was previously being eyed for a feature film from creator Lee Zlotoff and the De Laurentiis clan behind it for New Line Cinema, but it apparently went nowhere.
This new potential series will bring back original executive producer Henry Winkler, to be joined by R. Scott Gemmill (NCIS: Los Angeles), who will also write the pilot, Wan (who will direct) and Michael Clear, who runs Wan’s shingle Atomic Monster.
The series will come from the network’s corporate sibling CBS Television Studios, who owns the rights to MacGyver through its merger with Paramount Network Television.
CBS just announced that it will not order a fourth season of summer series Under The Dome.
The show, which is generally credited with making the summer TV season a potential ratings boom (and with it, advertising dollars), debuted in June of 2013 with nearly 18 million viewers (Live+7), outdoing all but one of the fall debuts in 2012. But with various plot twists over three seasons it shed viewers pretty quickly. It proved a strong performer for streaming services via Amazon, and will continue to be available there.
It is almost certain that CBS will renew Zoo, and it is believed that with Under The Dome out of the way, Extant has a stronger chance at renewal as well.
The infiltration of the comics industry into the TV networks is now complete. The last U.S. broadcast network has fallen; CBS has given a series commitment to a Supergirl series from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Tomorrow People) and Ali Adler (Chuck, Glee).
Based on the DC Comics character, the series will follow the less-famous cousin of Kal-El/Superman, Kara Zor-El, who has been hiding on Earth since the destruction of Krypton, then at the age of 24 decides to use her powers for the greater good.
The series was presented to broadcasters just Wednesday, and the deal reportedly closed last night. It is interesting for CBS, as the demographic for network skews older than the others. However, aside from being the only network lacking a comics-based series, it also has been making a heavy push for more female-driven shows, just this week having the debut of The Mysteries of Laura, another series headed up by Berlanti. He also recently sold CBS a put pilot commitment for The Things The Left Behind, based on a Stephen King short story.
Supergirl will join ABC’s Agent Carter for a female-led comics series, and it will give DC Comics presence on all networks except ABC – which shares a corporate parent (Disney) with DC’s chief rival, Marvel.