Woke up this morning to the news – SYFY has elected not to pick up The Expanse for a fourth season – but that doesn’t mean it is dead just yet.
We are hearing that the decision may have been due to the deal the network had for the series, only allowing first run linear rights in the U.S., as opposed to complete streaming rights as well. This makes live viewers more important, and Season 3 thus far is running around 1 million total viewers, of which 40% of that is in the 18-49 demographic, and sits it below SYFY’s other show.
However, producers Alcon Entertainment are hopeful the show will go on. “We respect Syfy’s decision to end this partnership but given the commercial and critical success of the show,” said Alcon’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson in a statement. “We fully plan to pursue other opportunities for this terrific and original IP.” While this is traditionally a huge longshot for any show, my gut feeling is that they might have a better chance than most.
This chops yet another space-based show from the lineup. Killjoys I believe is the sole show with Nighflyers coming up.
TidBits: Six Billion Dollar Man departure; 12 Monkeys teaser; Dourif joins The Purge; The 100 renewed
It’s been a while since we said anything about the Mark Wahlberg starrer Six Billion Dollar Man project, but it was ready to go in front of cameras in a couple months and be released next May, or so we thought. Now it appears that scriptwriter and director Damian Szifron is off the project, apparently due to creative differences over his script and possibly a “language barrier” – Szifron (Wild Takes) is Argentinian, and this appears to be his first major English language project.
12 Monkeys will air its fourth and final season next month on SYFY, and the network will air the 11-episode season over four weeks, with a 3-episode premiere on Friday, June 15th from 8-11pm ET, and the final two episodes on June 6th from 9-11pm. Check out the teaser…
Fiona Dourif is set to join SYFY’s upcoming The Purge, based on the movie franchise of the same name. Dourif will play Good Leader Tavis, described as a “cool and offbeat” charismatic cult leader. Considering her wonderfully bizarre turn as Bart Curlish on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, I’m looking forward to “offbeat”…
The CW picked up The 100 for a sixth season, just two weeks after season 5 started airing. The show was left behind when the network renewed the bulk of its lineup last month, but it received the renewal yesterday after showing decent ratings on its return.
SYFY and Universal Cable Productions (UCP) today announced Channel Zero’s fourth installment will be titled Channel Zero: The Dream Door. Nick Antosca, who has an overall deal with UCP, will return as executive producer, writer and showrunner for the upcoming installment. It will be directed by Evan Katz (Small Crimes, Cheap Thrills), who will also co-executive produce. The installment will star Brandon Scott (Grey’s Anatomy), Maria Sten (Straight Outta Compton), Steven Robertson (Elementary) and Steven Weber (Wings) and will premiere on SYFY later this year.
Based on the “creepypasta” short story “Hidden Door” by Charlotte Bywater, Channel Zero: The Dream Door follows newlyweds Jillian and Tom, who have each brought secrets into their marriage. When they discover a strange door in their basement, those secrets start to threaten their relationship — and their lives.
Brandon Scott will star as “Tom Hodgson,” Jillian’s husband (and childhood best friend), a capable and thoughtful man who is deeply in love with his wife. But he’s troubled when secrets from their past threaten the marriage.
Scott previously appeared in the third installment of the series, Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block. His other television credits include Guerrilla, Grey’s Anatomy, The Middle, Masters Of Sex, and Stitchers, as well as a recurring role on Loosely Exactly Nicole. Scott recently wrapped a lead role in the indie film Village People, and also appeared in Stand-Up Guys and Wreck It Ralph. He is represented by Sweeney Entertainment and Innovative Artists.
Maria Sten will star as “Jillian Hope Hodgson,” a landscape designer who has just married her childhood best friend. They’ve just moved into the house where he grew up — a house they hope to transform, through their combined skills, into their dream home.
Danish American actress Maria Sten recently appeared in Straight Outta Compton and the digital series Persuasion. Sten debuted her first short film When It Burns — which she wrote, directed, produced and starred in — at Uptown Short Film Festival and LA Shorts Fest 2016. She is represented by Grandview and CAA.
Steven Robertson will play “Ian,” Tom and Jillian’s next door neighbor, an open-minded psychology grad student who becomes involved in Tom and Jillian’s bizarre experience with the mysterious door in their basement.
Robertson is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School’s prestigious drama division. He recently guest starred on CBS’ hit series Elementary and just wrapped production on the independent feature film Auggie. He is also the front man for NY-based rock band Red Jetty. He is represented by Gersh and Echo Lake Entertainment.
Steven Weber will recur as “Abel Carnacki,” Jillian’s therapist. He has been listening to Jillian long enough to know about her trust issues and where they stem from. His quiet, controlled, almost hard to read tone is sometimes infuriating for Jillian, especially when she tries to talk to him about what — or who — was behind the door in their basement.
Weber soared to national attention for his role on Wings, which he starred on for seven seasons. He is also known for his roles in the television version of The Shining and in The Kennedys of Massachusetts. In film, Weber can be seen in Single White Female and The Temp, as well as the title character in the gay romantic comedy, Jeffrey. Most recently, Weber can be seen in the recurring role of Councilman Douglas Hamilton on NCIS: New Orleans. He also appears in Thirteen Reasons Why as Principal Gary Bolan and will make appearances on the upcoming season of Ballers. He has also performed on Broadway in The Real Thing, The Producers and The Philanthropist. Weber is represented by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
TidBits: Anime-style Star Wars series; YouTube’s Origin sets familiar cast; Tremors dead; Clarkson likely first in Star Trek director’s chair; Sackhoff returns to space in Another Life
I’m still getting caught up after some personal travel and a variety of various things related to the end of the school year, musicals, plays, etc. – so, so busy! So here is a quick recap of notables this past week!
Star Wars will get animated again, but this time it will have an anime-inspired style. Disney has ordered up and production started on Star Wars Resistance, which is set in the period preceding Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The show will follow young Kazuda Xiono, a pilot recruited to spy on the growing First Order. Familiar and new characters will be featured, including BB-8, Poe Dameron (voiced by Oscar Isaac) and Captain Phasma (voiced by Gwendoline Christie). It will premiere this Fall on the Disney Channel in the U.S., followed by regular airings on Disney XD worldwide.
YouTube has cast two familiar Harry Potter alums in its upcoming SF thriller series Origin. Tom Felton and Natalia Tena will join newcomer Sen Mitsuji to star in the series which follows a group of strangers who are stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet and must work together to survive.
SYFY has elected not to pick up the Tremors series, which would have brought back Kevin Bacon. Bacon posted on Instagram, “#Tremors Sad to report that my dream of revisiting the world of Perfection will not become a reality. Although we made a fantastic pilot (IMHO) the network has decided not to move forward. Thanks to our killer cast and everyone behind the scenes who worked so hard. And always keep one eye out for GRABOIDS!”
Paramount apparently plans to move forward with two separate Star Trek films simultaneously. We already knew about the Tarantino-helmed R-rated production, but now it appears that Tarantino’s project is in some way independent of the current Kelvin-timeline movies, but it is very hazy what that means yet. It could be a different ship and crew, or it could be yet another timeline. Instead, a new Kelvin-timeline movie to follow up Star Trek Beyond is now getting started, with female British director S.J. Clarkson in negotiations to take point – which would make her the first female to head a film in the frachise’s history. This film would also bring back Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk, James Kirk’s father, who appeared in a cameo in 2009’s Star Trek.
Last but not least, Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star Katee Sackhoff will launch back into space aboard the Netflix series Another Life, about astronaut Niko Breckinridge (Sackhoff) on a mission to search for extraterrestrial intelligence and explore an alien artifact.
SYFY’s untold Superman series Krypton, premiered to an audience of over 2.6 million people in the Live+3 ratings, the best new series premiere on the network since Ascension in 2014. Krypton debuted on March 21 and was the #1 entertainment program on cable for the night.
The show was the #1 entertainment program on cable in total viewers on its premiere night, beating Riverdale in all key demos, and was the best cable genre series premiere in key 18-49 demo since Legion on 2/8/17.
Set 200 years before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, Krypton follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, as a young man who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. He must redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while being challenged by familiar DC characters Brainiac (Blake Ritson) and Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos).
Krypton is from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) through his Phantom Four banner, alongside Cameron Welsh, who serves as showrunner. In addition to Cuffe, Sipos and Ritson, the show also stars Georgina Campbell (Black Mirror), Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons), Ann Ogbomo (World War Z), Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness), Wallis Day (Will), Aaron Pierre (Tennison) and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones). Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
SYFY’s jump into the DC universe takes a jump back in time to explore not really the origin story of its most famous superhero, but of his ancestors instead. An ambitious move, to eschew the draw of having a well known character to revolve around, instead developing a backstory for the world he ultimately came from.
We know the planet Krypton explodes, and we know Jor-El sends his only son Kal-El to Earth just before that, where he grows up to become Superman. But this isn’t about that exactly – we’ve seen that in a few different versions of the Superman mythos.
Instead, we are set a couple generations before those events, focusing instead on Kal-El’s grandfather, Seg (Cameron Cuffe), in his younger days. Seg’s own grandfather, Val-El, is declared a heretic and banished to the Phantom Zone, leaving the House of El disgraced and nameless. Seg becomes one of the Rankless – the lowest class of Kryptonians. He gets the chance to rejoin the ranks, but learns about his grandfather and what may happen after an Earth man from the future named Adam Strange (another DC comics character, played by Shaun Sipos), warns that someone is coming to change the course of history to prevent Superman from being born.
The show is set in the domed city of Kandor, the capital city of Krypton and one of nine city-states that exist in the remaining inhabitable areas of the planet after a previous catastrophe. In recent years, the democratic government has been overthrown by a theocratic form that revolves around the worship of the sun god Rao, who is embodied by the Voice of Rao, a mysterious figure who wears a six-faced golden mask. All other religions have been banned. Several guilds exist to maintain the functioning government and the members live the “high life”, literally, while the Rankless occupy the streets.
Brakebills students rejoice! SYFY has renewed The Magicians, currently in its third season, for a fourth season of 13 episodes! The series is one of the network’s top shows over the past several seasons.
SYFY announced today a second season pickup of the network’s original series Happy!, starring Christopher Meloni and featuring the voice of Patton Oswalt. From Universal Cable Productions, this twisted graphic novel adaptation has been hailed as “one of the craziest, most utterly off-the-wall TV series ever produced” by The New York Times Syndicate and launched as the network’s best series premiere since January 2016 across all key demos. The shocking Season 1 finale is set to air this Wednesday, January 31 at 10/9c on SYFY.
“Happy! struck a chord with our SYFY audience and disrupted the TV landscape with its unique storytelling and outrageous performances led by Christopher Meloni,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “If people thought this season was crazy – I can’t wait for fans to see what Grant Morrison, Brian Taylor and the entire cast and crew have in store for Sax and Happy!”
Based on the New York Times best-selling author Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel of the same name, Happy! follows Nick Sax (Meloni) – an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man – who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse named Happy (Oswalt). In the must-see finale, Sax and Happy are locked in a climatic confrontation to rescue Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo) from Very Bad Santa’s (Joseph Reitman) lair, as Merry (Lili Mirojnick) sets out to save Amanda (Medina Senghore) from a far more powerful foe. The series also stars Ritchie Coster (Blue) and Patrick Fischler (Smoothie).
Tidbits: Daredevil and Krypton cast; Ready Player One date; The Greatest American Hero pilot; Nightflyers boost
I am once again trying to play catch up, so here is a rundown of the last several days worth of news…
On the casting side, Syfy’s Superman prequel Krypton has signed Hannah Waddingham (How to Lose Friends & Alienate People) as Jax-Ur, once one of Kypton’s eminent scientists turned leader of the terrorist group Black Zero. An interesting choice, as the character has traditionally been portrayed as a male.
On the opposite side of the comic world, Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil added Joanne Whalley (Willow), in an unspecified role. However, the finale of The Defenders made mention of a “Maggie” who is believed to be Sister Maggie, a character in the comic series who is in fact Matt Murdock’s mother who left her family to become a nun, and return to nurse her son back to health.
The much anticipated Ready Player One will open a day earlier than originally scheduled. Instead of opening on Good Friday, March 30th, of the Easter weekend it will now open on the Thursday, March 29th. Thursday openings for big movies is becoming more common…based on the 2011 SF novel, the story is set in a near-future dystopian society, in which teenager Wade Watts enters a virtual reality game to look for the game’s “easter egg” which could net him wealth – but there are those willing to kill to stop him.
ABC has ordered a pilot for the remake of The Greatest American Hero with a put commitment (ABC will at a minimum air the pilot as a special/TV movie, or pay a penalty). This version centers around a tequila and karaoke-loving 30-year-old Indian-American woman who becomes entrusted with a suit that gives her the power to protect the planet – but it doesn’t work out so well. Cast has yet to be named. This is the first collaboration between 20th Century Fox Studios and ABC, who are set to become siblings. Fox and ABC studios are co-producing with Fresh Off the Boat‘s Rachna Fruchbom and Nahnatchka Khan’s Fierce Baby.
Lastly, the Irish Film Board just gave a huge boost to the production of George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers, which will be filming at Troy Studios in Limerick, Ireland. The board granted €850,000 (about $1.1 million) to the production, which is the largest such award in the current funding cycle. Syfy ordered the 10-episode series earlier this month from Universal Cable Productions, with Netflix on board for international distribution.
Just released today at the Television Critics Association…
What if Superman never existed? Set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, KRYPTON follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, as a young man who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. With Krypton’s leadership in disarray and the House of El ostracized, Seg finds himself in a difficult position. He must redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while being challenged by familiar DC characters Brainiac (Blake Ritson) and Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos).
Krypton is from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Dark Knight Trilogy) through his Phantom Four banner, alongside Cameron Welsh, who serves as showrunner. In addition to Cuffe, Sipos and Ritson, the show also stars Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch), Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons), Ann Ogbomo (World War Z), Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness), Wallis Day (Will), Aaron Pierre (Tennison) and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones). Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.