We are in Upfront season when the networks are making their presentations to the advertisers and also getting out early announcements prior to their scheduled meetings. A lot of news came out this week (and I expect that to continue through May), and will be covering the major stories here each week throughout the Upfronts.
1. FOX Continues to Believe in the #XFiles
Last week, I mentioned the full cast X-Files audiobook that is coming out this July and also that we should expect to hear word on the show's eleventh season by the time that FOX had its Upfront presentation in May. But apparently the network wanted to get a jump on that and has officially announced that the eleventh year of the show will be hitting the schedule during the 2017-18 season. That has been assumed for some time, but the decision involved bringing the principals together amidst the other projects they are currently working on. The upcoming new season will have ten episodes (four more than the first revival season) and will air late Fall or early in 2018. David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, Chris Carter and the rest will all be returning to the show.
2. Hulu Picks Up #LockeAndKey Pilot
Amidst heavy competition for the property, Hulu has picked up the pilot for Locke and Key, based on the well-regarded Joe Hill comic book series. Carlton Cuse (Lost, Colony) will be onboard as executive producer and Doctor Strange's Scott Derrickson will direct the pilot. FOX had previously produced a pilot based on the comic back in 2011 and it received many accolades when screened at Comic Con. That one came from Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Fringe, Star Trek) with Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) penning the script, but the network decided to pass on it. There is no word at this point if any of the previous creative team will be involved with the new pilot (likely not) and I would expect Hulu to target early 2018 to get this one in their lineup.
3. Crackle Renews #SuperMansion for Third Season and Queues Up 'Tribes' and 'The Row'
The streaming service Crackle made several announcements at their upfront including an official third season renewal for their animated superhero parody series SuperMansion. That show, with Bryan Cranston voicing the lead character Titanium Rex, is currently streaming its second season and its first year is performing well in an encore run on Adult Swim.
For new series, Crackle has picked up two shows that should be of interest to genre fans. Tribes takes place twenty years in the future after a nano-virus has ravaged the country and survivors living in a quarantined zone have reverted to tribal culture. The Row focuses on death-row inmates who are given the choice of being sent on an experimental space mission with a 1% chance of survival. Both of these will likely stream at some point in 2018.
4. HBO is Working on an Adaptation of Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'
The premium cable network has announced that it will be adapting Ray Bradbury's classic dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. In that story, books have been banned and the job of firemen is to burn all books that people are keeping illegally. Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Friday Night Lights) will play the lead role of Guy Montag and Michael Shannon (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) will play the fireman captain. The movie will likely air at some point in 2018. Fahrenheit 451 was previously adapted to the big screen in 1966 by François Truffaut.
5. Freeform Releases Trailers for 'Cloak and Dagger' and 'Siren'
We have known for a while that Freeform has been working on a television version of the Marvel comic book Cloak and Dagger, and the network has just released the first trailer for the show. That one follows the two titular mutants who struggle with their powers as well as their feelings for each other. The network has ordered ten episode for the show's first season which will air at some point in 2018.
Freeform also has Siren on the way, a dark fantasy about mermaids returning to the town of Bristol Cove where they were once run out by humans. The ten-episode first season is set to air at some point in 2018, though an exact debut date has not been set yet.
Freeform has also announced the full cast of its upcoming, Marvel-based New Warriors series, and you can see that rundown here.
6. #WheelofTime and #KingKong TV Series are in the Works
Sony Pictures Television is moving forward with a Wheel of Time series based on the fourteen-book chronicle written by Robert Jordan. There is no network attached at this point, but this project will likely draw plenty of interest because of the popularity of the book series. There was a previous attempt to adapt this epic tale that resulted in a low-budget pilot starring Max Ryan and Billy Zane. But after some legal wrangling, Sony has picked up the torch and will move forward with the project.
MarVista Entertainment and IM Global Television are working on bringing King Kong to the small screen in the series titled King Kong Skull Island. Not related to the recent movie, this is actually a continuation of the original film set in the same time period and will have a female lead. No network is attached at this point and this would likely not make it to television until mid-2018 or later.
7. The Upcoming Fourth Season of #StarWarsRebels Will be Its Last
The trailer for the fourth season of Star Wars: Rebels debuted last week at the Star Wars Celebration, but coming with that was the announcement that the show is heading into its final year. That news does not come as a huge surprise, though, because there have been rumors for a while that Rebels would be ending to make way for a new animated Star Wars series (not much information is available on that one yet). Some fans worried that Rebels would end after its third season, but I figured that it would at least get the fourth year nod to wrap up its storylines. The fourth season will debut in September.
8. Next Week: Premieres for 'American Gods' and 'The Handmaid's Tale' Plus the Return of the Superheroes
Spring season kicks into high gear next week with two premieres and several shows returning from hiatus. On Wednesday, Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale will be available for streaming and on Sunday American Gods has its premiere on Starz at 9 PM EST. Also, all the The CW's superhero shows (minus Legends of Tomorrow which has wrapped up its second season) will be back with new episodes along with The 100 and FOX's Gotham. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi & fantasy shows here.
9. Starz Drops the First Trailer for #Outlander Season 3
Starz's time travel romance Outlander is set to return for its third season this September and the network has released the first trailer to whet fans' appetites. You can see a preliminary rundown of the sci fi & fantasy shows returning / premiering during Summer and beyond here.
10. News Bites: Tyler Labine to Join the Cast of 'Dirk Gently'
Fan favorite Tyler Labine (Reaper, Deadbeat) will be joining BBC America's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency as Sherlock. Sherlock Hobbs, that is. A small-town sheriff who is eager to help Dirk with his latest case.
A trailer leaked online this week for Syfy's upcoming Superman prequel series Krypton, though it was quickly removed (if you do some deep searching, you can still find it). That show will likely be joining the network's schedule later this year.
HBO has released fifteen first-look photos from the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones and you can see those here.