1. 'Star Trek: Discovery' Is Getting Closer To Launch
The new Star Trek series has suffered setbacks and delays but it is finally starting to make some progress and CBS released the first trailer this week. The trailer starts with Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh on a desert planet then moves to outer space to deliver glimpse at a show going for a very cinematic and epic look at feel. Interestingly, they do not go back to the low-tech look of the original series (this one takes place ten years before that) with plenty of sleek touch-screens and holo-projections in site, so I'm not certain if they will try explain the ensuing regression or just ignore it. But then that is probably only something that old TOS fans like myself would pay attention to.
The trailer ends with the announcement that the show is coming in Fall (no specific date, though), so at least we have a target launch window. The trailer looks good and perhaps this show can give a kickstart to the franchise after it seems to have stalled with the big screen reboot.
2. Yet Another 'Game of Thrones' Spin-Off Is In The Works, But Probably Not What You Are Hoping For
As previously announced, there are four Game of Thrones spin-offs in the works, and George R.R. Martin indicated that the script for a fifth entry is currently being written. But while fans are hoping that one or more of these new entries will venture into certain times and places in Westeros, Martin has dispelled a few possibilities. He has said that none of the shows will cover the tales of Dunk and Egg claiming that "there are at least seven or eight or 10 more [stories] I want to write" before taking those characters to their own series (how about finishing up the current books you are working on, eh George?). He also said that Robert's Rebellion will not be the subject of one of the series because "by the time I finish writing A Song of Ice & Fire, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion".
Martin also said that "it's very unlikely that we'll be getting four (or five) series" as the current scripts are all just possibilities for new shows and that not all of them will go forward as a series.
3. FOX Cancels 'Scream Queens', Renews 'The Exorcist'
I covered most of the broadcast network cancellation and renewal announcements in last week's post (including the un-cancellation of Timeless by NBC), but the fate of two FOX shows was not finalized until right before their Upfront presentation to the advertisers on Monday. That network announced the expected cancellation of low-rated Scream Queens claiming that “Ryan [Murphy] felt that he told the story over the two seasons, he felt the story was complete”. But if the show's ratings had been higher, I'm betting he would have come up with a few more stories for the show (he sure seems to have plenty of them for American Horror Story which has been renewed through its ninth season).
Getting a surprise renewal was FOX's The Exorcist. That show was one of the network's lowest rated dramas, even when you factor in its low-viewership Friday timeslot, but it was well-liked by critics and apparently the network brass liked it as well. That one also has name recognition and likely will play well to international audiences. According to one network executive, the second season (which will air again on Friday nights) will bring “a new chapter of the iconic franchise”.
4. Ridley Scott To Get His Own Block of Programming On TNT
The cable network TNT announced at their Upfront presentation this week that they will be handing one night of programming to the iconic director Ridley Scott for a sci fi block. According to Deadline Hollywood: "Early plans call for the block to serve as a showcase for hourlong series, shortform programs and other formats to be developed in collaboration with the filmmaker." No specific shows have been announced yet and it will probably be 2018 before the genre block ramps up.
That network previously announced that M. Night Shyamalan would be developing a horror block of programming for the network and that will be led by the Tales from the Crypt reboot he is currently working on.
5. Netflix Is on a Witcher Hunt
The streaming service has announced that it is developing a television adaptation of the book and role-playing video game franchise The Witcher. The fantasy series written by Andrzej Sapkowski focuses on monster hunters known as "witchers" who have developed supernatural abilities to track and battle their prey. There are currently eight books in the series which has a large global audience and three video games. There is no word at this point on when production will start, but the show will likely be targeting a late 2018 or early 2019 debut.
6. Several Shows Will Be On The Move Next Season
The broadcast networks have released their Fall 2017 schedules and several of the sci fi and fantasy entries will be on the move when the season starts. FOX's Gotham will be switching to Thursdays with Lucifer shifting one hour to 8 PM EST on Mondays. ABC's Once Upon A Time and Agents of SHIELD will be plugging up the schedule for that network on Fridays and new series The Inhumans will air on that night as well for its eight episode run (then AoS moves into its 9 PM EST timeslot for the rest of the season). The CW's Arrow will be moving to Thursdays at 9 PM EST following Supernatural. And The Good Place will move to Tuesdays at 9:30 PM EST. You can see the full Fall schedule with my thoughts at this link.
7. It's Supergirl Vs. Superman In Next Week's Epic Season Finale
The CW's superhero shows will be wrapping up next week and Supergirl will go blow to blow with her cousin Kal El in that show's finale on Monday. Also wrapping up will be The Flash, Arrow, and The 100 (all of those shows have been renewed). You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi & fantasy shows here.
8. Casting News For 'Man In The High Castle', 'Snowpiercer', and More
William Forsythe has been cast as J. Edgar Hoover in the upcoming third season of Amazon's The Man in the High Castle. That show returns in late Fall.
Daveed Diggs has been cast in the role of Layton Well--"a prisoner barely surviving the harsh conditions in the tail end of the train"--in the upcoming TNT Snowpiercer television series. Based on the movie of the same name, that show will bow in late 2017 or early 2018.
Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, and Anneika Rose have been announced as guest stars in Ronald D. Moore's upcoming anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams. That show will likely have its debut on Amazon at some point in 2018.