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George R.R. Martin Is Developing 'Who Fears Death' For HBO

Mr. Martin has yet another show in the works for television, but it will not be based on one of his own stories. He is in the process of adapting the award-winning sci fi / fantasy novel Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafo to series for HBO. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the book:

'Who Fears Death' is set in a fictionalized post-apocalyptic future version of Sudan, where the light-skinned Nuru oppress the dark-skinned Okeke. The protagonist, Onyesonwu (Igbo for “who fears death”), is an Ewu, the child of an Okeke woman raped by a Nuru man. On reaching maturity, she goes on a quest to defeat her sorcerous father Daib using her magical powers.

Okorafo has also written a prequel that came out in 2015 titled The Book of Phoenix. There is currently no timeline for when the series will make it to HBO's schedule, and I am sure that many of Martin's fans hope that he will prioritize the last two Song of Ice and Fire Books over this and some of his other new projects.

Netflix Is Developing 'The Umbrella Academy'

Netflix has already had success with Marvel superheroes (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Punisher), now the streaming service is looking to add another superhero team to its lineup. They are in the process of adapting the Dark Horse series The Umbrella Academy, created Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, to television. According to Variety, the show will be

a live-action series that follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes, known as The Umbrella Academy — The Monocle, Spaceboy, The Kraken, The Rumor, The Séance, Number Five, The Horror, and The White Violin — as they work together to solve their father’s mysterious death while coming apart at the seams due to their divergent personalities and abilities.

The streaming service has ordered ten episodes and is targeting 2018 for the show's debut. Now, if they could only get to work on reviving Agent Carter...

'Westworld', 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Stranger Things' Pick Up Emmy Nominations

The Emmy Nominations have been announced, and HBO's Westworld is tied with Saturday Night Live for the most noms this year at 22. Other genre entries that received a fair amount of Emmy love included Netflix's Stranger Things with 18 nominations and Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale with 13 noms. Sadly, Syfy's The Expanse was completely ignored (not even an SFX nom) and American Gods only received two technical nods. Two other notable genre entries that were snubbed were FX's Legion and FOX's The Exorcist. For those wondering why Game of Thrones is not showing up on the list, apparently its sixth season was captured in the 2016 Emmys (where it cleaned up) and its seventh season (which debuts this Sunday) will be counted in the 2018 tally. You can see the full list of 2017 nominations here.

Anne Rice Wants You To Help Cast Lestat In The Upcoming TV Series

As previously covered in this column, Anne Rice is working on a television adaptation of her eleven book Vampire Chronicles series and she is looking for input on who to cast in the lead role of Lestat. She took to the show's Facebook page and made the following request:

Anne here: Guys, we talk a lot about who can play Lestat. And we all know that if we don't get that right, nothing else may matter. This is one series in which the star plays a super hero role. I am thinking an unknown will come to us for the part. But who are the up and coming young actors you all see and want to suggest?

So now is your chance to put on your casting director hat and make your suggestions on who should play the ageless vampire.

Rice is working with Paramount Television and Anonymous Content on the series, though no network has been announced nor timeline set for when it will reach the small screen.

Cast Announced

Freeform's upcoming superhero comedy series New Warriors now has its main cast in place. Playing fan-favorite and female lead character Squirrel Girl will be Milana Vayntrub (This Is Us, Other Space). In the male lead role will be Derek Theler (Baby Daddy) who will play Mister Immortal. Filling out the rest of the team, Jeremy Tardy will play Night Thrasher, Calum Worthy will play Speedball, Matthew Moy will play Microbe and Kate Comer will play Debrii. New Warriors is set to join Freeform's schedule in 2018 along with another Marvel series Cloak and Dagger.

Sci-Fi TV Status Report: 'Salvation' Has Okay Debut

On Wednesday, new CBS series Salvation, about an asteroid on course to destroy Earth, had its debut and pulled a 0.7 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 4.9 million total viewers. Those numbers are better than what Zoo has been seeing on the same network on Thursdays, but they are still not great. And Salvation lost 63% of its lead-in audience from highly rated Big Brother, so it is not taking advantage of its timeslot. We will have to see how this one tracks over the coming weeks, but the show is not off to a great start.

On Monday, AMC's Preacher improved a bit to a 0.40 rating with 1.2 million total viewers. That one has been seeing good delayed viewing gains and I believe it is okay for now. Over on Freeform, Stitchers slipped to a 0.11 rating with 295K total viewers and it needs a Call to Action from its fans to help it to a fourth season. Over on Syfy on Wednesday, Blood Drive improved just a bit to a 0.14 rating with 454K total viewers. But that one needs to get its ratings into a higher gear if it wants to race into a second season.

Be sure to follow my weekly Sci-Fi TV Status Report column on Tuesdays here on Creators.co which tracks the ratings results and renewal/cancellation prospects of the currently airing sci fi and fantasy shows. And you can get the latest ratings results at the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

Conan O'Brien Returns To Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con opens its doors for 2017 next week, and Conan O'Brien will be taking his show to the convention once again this year. He will have four Comic-Con episodes there on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Among his guests will be Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles from Supernatural, the stars of Game of Thrones and a "surprise film cast to be announced". Syfy will also be covering Comic-Con on three nights, Thursday through Saturday. You can keep up with the weekly sci fi and fantasy listings here.

The First Trailer For Arrives

Amazon's reboot of The Tick will be arriving in a little over a month (August 25th) and they have released the first trailer for the series. Based on the Ben Edlund series of the same name, it stars Peter Serafinowicz as the somewhat dim-witted titular hero and Griffin Newman as his partner / sidekick Arthur. You can see the pilot, which was upvoted by fans to series, at this link. And you can see the full schedule of Summer sci fi and fantasy shows here.

Premiere Dates Set For And

More Fall premiere dates were announced this last week as the networks are starting to set their schedule for the 2017-18 television year. For Stranger Things, I previously had a tentative date of October 31st, but that has been shifted to October 27th (Netflix prefers Friday releases). And fans of Starz's Outlander have been eagerly awaiting the return of that one which now has a Fall premiere date of Sunday, September 10th. You can see the preliminary schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.

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