Cable network Spike, which re-brands itself as the Paramount Network tomorrow night, announced that it has dropped scripted series The Shannara Chronicles, which aired its second season on the channel after shifting from its sibling channel MTV.
Sonar Entertainment is reportedly shopping the show to other networks.
It previously announced that it canceled its first original drama, The Mist.
Parent company Viacom announced last February that it is re-organizing its portfolio of cable networks to focus on six “core” networks – BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and Paramount. Paramount will become the flagship “general entertainment” brand. It remains to be seen what happens to some of its smaller channels, such as TV Land and CMT, but two planned series for TV Land, Heathers and American Woman, will be taken over by Paramount.
In a bit of a surprise announcement, SpikeTV announced today that they will be taking on the second season of The Shannara Chronicles which will air this Fall.
The first season of the original scripted drama, based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, debuted on MTV in 2016.
Filmed on location in New Zealand, the new season will consist of 10 one-hour episodes. Details of the premiere date and time for season two will be announced in the coming weeks.
Spike will introduce its viewers to the critically-acclaimed series this summer as it will encore season one beginning on Thursday, June 29 at 11:00pm ET/PT, directly following the Spike original series, The Mist.
The Shannara Chronicles stars Austin Butler (Wil), Ivana Baquero (Eretria), Manu Bennett (Allanon), Aaron Jakubenko (Ander) and Marcus Vanco (Bandon) along with new cast members Vanessa Morgan (Lyria), Malese Jow (Mareth), Gentry White (Garet), Caroline Chikezie (Queen Tamlin), and Desmond Chiam (General Riga).
Season two takes place one year after the events of last season. The Four Lands are in chaos. The re-emergence of magic has the populace terrified, and an organization called The Crimson is hunting down magic users, using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races. Wil, scarred by the loss of Amberle and his separation from Eretria, has turned his back on his magical destiny to become a healer. But when a mysterious woman named Mareth saves Wil from a Crimson attack, he is forced to rejoin the fight.
The Shannara Chronicles is created by Al Gough and Miles Millar based on the Shannara series of books written by Terry Brooks. The series is executive produced by Gough & Millar, Brooks, Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, and Dan Farah. The series is produced and distributed worldwide by Sonar Entertainment in association with Millar/Gough Ink and Farah Films.
In less surprising news, Starz has renewed American Gods for a second season after just two episodes. The show, based on the novel of the same name by author Neil Gaiman, follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle, The 100) after he is released from prison and recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) into what appears to be a supernatural war between the gods of the Old World, brought to America by the immigrants, and the “new” gods, led by Technical Boy (Bruce Langley, Deadly Waters) and Media (Gillian Anderson, The X-Files – who appears in the form of Lucille Ball/Lucy Ricardo). The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America, with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green serving as executive producers/showrunners and also writing for the show.
Weekend catchup: Doctor Who companion; Shannara renewed; Iron Man meets Spider-Man; Krypton series; Grimm; Inhumans delayed
Sorry for the lack of updates lately…we had to attend to a family emergency this past week and returned home late last night, and we have a lot of decompressing to do while attending to an event this week with its own bit of drama attached…but here is a bit of catch up for this past week…
The big news yesterday is that we know who the next companion is on Doctor Who. West End stage actress Pearl Mackie, most recently appearing in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for the National Theatre, will play a character named Bill in the 10th season, which will not air until 2017. This will be Mackie’s first major role on television.
While we await renewals for a few shows (notably Supergirl), some others did get the nod this week. Grimm will return for a sixth season on NBC, but the network ordered a base of 13 episodes instead of 22 – but that could still increase. NBC has a lot of shows competing for the schedule next Fall, several of which are serials done in 13-episode chunks, and the shorter order will allow them to have more options in scheduling them. If things don’t work out for one of the other shows, Grimm could see the order increase. Also on the renewed list is MTV’s freshman fantasy series Shannara Chronicles, which had so-so live ratings, but picked up heavily in the L+3 and L+7 rating plus lots of social media buzz and digital downloads making it their best new show.
Syfy has given a green light for a pilot for the long-in-development David S. Goyer project Krypton. The series intends to see what life was like on Superman’s home planet years before its destruction, and follow the house of El and in particular Kal-El’s grandfather who seeks to bring hope and equality to a planet in disarray.
And finally moving from the small screen to the large one with a couple of Marvel tidbits…it appears that Iron Man/Tony Stark will be making an appearance in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film starring Tom Holland as the webslinger in Sony’s reboot of the franchise. Whether this is an attempt to bring Spider-Man closer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe following his upcoming appearance in Captain America: Civil War, or it is just a courtesy crossover for Sony allowing Spidey in the Avengers universe, who knows. But it can only be a plus.
And lastly, Marvel’s Inhumans film, planned for 2019, has been taken off the release slate – at least temporarily. While this could put the production in doubt, it may just be a scheduling matter – the new Indiana Jones movie was scheduled to release just a week later which would have a Disney/Lucasfilm likely overshadowing a Disney/Marvel film. Plans are still in place for the movie, but they just don’t have a release window picked out yet.
MTV has set January 5th as the debut date for the The Shannara Chronicles with a two-hour premiere starting at 10/9c.
Thousands of years after the destruction of civilization as we know it, magic begins to return. Amberle Elessedil (Poppy Drayton, When Calls The Heart), an Elven princess; Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler, The Carrie Diaries), a half-elf; and human Eretria (Ivana Baquero, Pan’s Labyrinth) embark on a quest to stop a demon army from destroying the Four Lands.
MTV has released the official trailer for the upcoming and newly-dubbed The Shannara Chronicles, based on the best-selling books of Terry Brooks.
Thousands of years after the destruction of civilization as we know it, magic begins to return. Amberle Elessedil (Poppy Drayton, When Calls The Heart), an Elven princess, Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler, The Carrie Diaries), a half-elf, and human Eretria (Ivana Baquero, Pan’s Labyrinth) embark on a quest to stop a demon army from destroying the Four Lands.
The Shannara Chronicles will debut in January 2016.
John Rhys-Davies, who has graced screens in a variety of genre roles and most famously as Gimli and Treebeard in The Lord Of The Rings, will go back to the fantasy realm as King Eventine, the patriarch in Shannara, MTV’s scripted series based on Terry Brooks’ novel The Elfstones of Shannara, the second in the series.
The Shannara stories are based hundreds of years in the future in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has reverted to medieval times and in which magic has re-emerged. The most recent book, The High Druid’s Blade, was release this past July and is the first of a new trilogy, The Defenders of Shannara.
Production is expected to begin next month in New Zealand.
Australian actor Aaron Jakubenko (Neighbours, Spartacus: War of the Damned) will join the MTV straight-to-series fantasy series Shannara from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films. Jakubenko will play Ander Elessedil, an Elven prince with the reputation for being the wild party boy who has yet to find his way in the world.
The fantasy drama is based on the popular Shannara series of novels by Terry Brooks. MTV has committed to 10 episodes.
At Syfy, another regular cast member for pilot The Magicians was announced, with Summer Bishil (Towelhead, The Last Airbender) playing Margo Hanson, a brilliant young student at the Brakebill’s Academy.
The Magicians is an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book series from Universal Cable Productions, the pilot script was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural). The one-hour drama follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses a grave danger to humanity.
The Shannara series, in development from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films we reported on over a year ago, took another step closer to reality as MTV has given a script-to-series commitment as the network continues its move into scripted programming.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man) would direct the potential first episode at least, if MTV likes the script from Al Gough and Miles Millar. The pair worked previously with MTV president of programming Susanne Daniels to develop Smallville for the CW.
The fantasy drama is based on the popular Shannara series of novels by Terry Brooks. The first season is to be based on The Elfstones of Shannara, mimicking the novel-per-season format used by Game Of Thrones.
Here are some of the big and our favorite stories we covered in 2012…
Variety reports that Sonar Entertainment has acquired the rights to Terry Brooks long-running bestseller Shannara fantasy series and plans to adapt it for television in partnership with Farah Films.
No distribution outlet has been signed yet.
Warner Bros had previously owned the rights and planned to adapt a movie directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), but the rights reverted in 2010.
The Shannara stories are based hundreds of years in the future in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has reverted to medieval times and in which magic has re-emerged. The 20th book, Wards of Faerie, was just released and is the first of a new trilogy, The Dark Legacy of Shannara.