1. The Doctor is Out
Peter Capaldi, who currently portrays the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor on Doctor Who, has announced that he will be leaving the series at the end of the year. He is still set to star in the tenth season of the show, which will debut on BBC America in April, but then he will bow out with the Christmas special that will air in December. Capaldi—who has been well-received by fans--has starred in the role since the show’s eighth season and will have thirty-six episodes and four Christmas specials to his name when he departs. His replacement has not been announced yet, but there will definitely be an intensive search for a suitable candidate.
Also leaving at the end of the season will be controversial showrunner Stephen Moffat who has been regularly criticized by fans while helming the show since his tenure began in 2010, the same time Matt Smith came aboard as the eleventh Doctor. Chris Chibnall will be taking over showrunner duties after Moffat departs. Chibnall previously worked on the British crime drama Broadchurch which starred former Doctor David Tennant.
2. NBC Renews #TheGoodPlace for a Second Season
NBC announced this week that their afterworld comedy The Good Place–which wrapped up its first year two weeks ago–will be returning for a second season. The announcement does not come as a complete surprise, but the show was also not a sure thing for renewal. It has performed moderately well for the network and its numbers are in line with the averages for NBC’s other Thursday shows, a night when the network faces pretty stiff competition. The Good Place is likely more expensive to produce than the typical thirty minute comedy because of its special effects and the fact that its two leads (Ted Danson and Kristen Bell) certainly take home a higher than average salary. But these days a middling performer is good enough for the broadcast networks, and NBC felt comfortable greenlighting this one for a sophomore run. Its second season will have thirteen episodes like its first in order to keep costs down and will likely bow in Fall 2017.
3. #TheExpanse Returns to Syfy with Good Ratings
On Wednesday, Syfy's space drama The Expanse returned for its second season and pulled a 0.25 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 700K total viewers. Those are decent numbers for that network these days and slightly above the show's first season average rating, quite an accomplishment when most shows are seeing double-digit year over year losses. This one will also likely see a good lift from delayed viewing (more important to the cable channels than the broadcast nets), and its first two episodes are available for streaming on the Syfy website, so it should have good digital viewing numbers. At this point a third season renewal looks like a good bet, but we will have to see how it tracks over the coming weeks.
4. Paul Fieg Wants You to #ShareOtherSpace
The outer space comedy Other Space--from Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig--debuted on Yahoo's streaming service back in 2015, but never received much attention. It wasn't the fault of the show, though, which is much-beloved by those who did catch it. The Yahoo! Screen service proved a huge flop, and Yahoo cancelled all of its original series including Other Space. But fortunately, the rights for the show reverted back to Feig and he has posted the entire first season online here.
He is asking people to watch the show and share it with others through social media using the hashtag #ShareOtherSpace. He is hoping that will generate some interest in the series and possibly lead to one of the networks or streaming services picking it up for a second season and more. You can see the trailer for the series above.
5. The CW Orders a Pilot for Greg Berlanti's 'The Searchers'
Greg Berlanti seems to be everywhere these days. He is the guiding force behind The CW's superhero shows while also working on the Archie comics series Riverdale and the conspiracy-laden Blindspot for NBC. He also has several pilots currently in the works, including the fantasy project Searchers which has just been ordered by The CW. The Wrap gives the following description of the show:
Ten years after the death of their parents, a pragmatic brother and free spirited sister are forced to team up when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories may be a road map to discovering the great legends, myths and unexplainable mysteries of the world.
This will be one of several pilots, including the Charmed reboot, that The CW will be considering for the 2017-18 season. You can see a complete rundown of the sci fi and fantasy entries from the 2017 Pilot Season here.
6. CBS Offers a Behind the Scenes Glimpse at #StarTrekDiscovery
Fans eagerly await the arrival of the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery--which has been delayed again--but CBS has offered a quick look behind the scenes to tide them over for now. The clip above is pretty short, but at least we know they are finally making progress on the show. The first episode of Discovery will debut on CBS and then it will move to that network's streaming service CBS All Access. Currently, it looks like Summer is the earliest it will arrive.
7. #TheWalkingDead Has its Mid-Season Premiere Next Week
AMC's The Walking Dead wrapped up the first half of its seventh season back in December, but now it is just a little over a week away from its mid-season return. It is back with a super-sized episode (an hour and fifteen minutes) on February 12th, immediately followed by the return of discussion series The Talking Dead. Also next week, FX's Legion has its much-anticipated debut. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy TV shows here.
8. #Humans Returns for its Second Season in Two Weeks
Fans have been waiting a while for the return of AMC's acclaimed series Humans, about a group of androids becoming self-aware in a world where their kind is used for servile tasks. Its first season bowed in the States in Summer of 2015, and the followup to that is now just two weeks away. The second season of that show bows on Monday, February 13th at 10 PM EST. You can see the full mid-season schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.
9. News-Bites: Hulu Announces the Cast of 'Runaways' and More
Hulu's Runaways, based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, is moving forward and the six leads for the show have now been cast: Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, and Allegra Acosta. Following is the official synopsis:
Every teenager thinks their parents are evil. What if you found out they actually were? 'Marvel’s Runaways' is the story of six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe–their parents.
It will likely bow on the streaming service later this year, and SlashFilm.com has a full rundown here.
The CW has picked up the British made series Hooten & the Lady which was produced by SkyVision and has already proven a hit across the Atlantic. The first season of the Indiana Jones-like series consists of eight episodes and the network will likely add it to its Summer schedule.
Just when you thought it was safe to turn the television back on . . . Syfy has announced that Sharknado 5 will happen with Ian Ziering and Tara Reid returning in the lead roles. The following brief description has been given for the telefilm: "with much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado". Expect it to surface on a Saturday night at some point this Summer.