Sci-fi Newsflash: NBC's Fall schedule, a 'Doctor Who' treat, and more TV news

Today, I’m focusing on some of the interesting TV news that’s been swirling about. It’s never too early to look ahead…

  • Christianslater_espys07_240NBC’s 2008-2009 schedule is up and it’s got quite a few Sci-fi tinged shows. We already know Heroes and Chuck are returning, but it’s interesting just how many pilots are appealing to our inner (or outer) nerd. There’s My Own Worst Enemy with Christian Slater about a normal guy who is actually a super-spy, only he doesn’t know it. I’ll be interested in watching it – there was a Dark Horse comic called “SpyBoy” about a high school kid with a similar problem that I enjoyed. There’s also Knight Rider, Kings (described as “David vs. Goliath set in a modern metropolis), Merlin (think of it as “Camelot: the Adventure Begins” – with Anthony Stewart Head!), The Philanthropist (about a vigilante philanthropist – get some), and The Listener (about a telepathic paramedic).
  • BBCAmerica will be airing the Season Three finale of Doctor Who with a special audio commentary by stars David Tennant, Freema Agyeman and John Barrowman available on on Saturday, April 19th at 7pm. You can download or stream it and it’s done in real-time. Brilliant!
  • The casting is going well, but for some bizarre reason FOX has only ordered 7 episodes of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. What the hell?
  • Speaking of people who get me obsessed with things, J.J. Abrams has two shows in development for the fallFringe on FOX (featuring the triumphant TV return of Joshua Jackson – Ducks fly together!) and Captain Cook’s Extraordinary Atlas for ABC – and has found showrunners for each.  Interestingly enough, Thomas Schlamme is also working on the transplant of Life on Mars for ABC that was supposed to have premiered in 2007-2008.
  • AMC’s march of quality television continues with the Darren Aronofsky developed series called Riverview Towers. The thriller centers around a family that movies into a apartment complex that’s a hub for paranormal activity. This is one of the shows I’m most looking forward to – so much potential!
  • Two CBS shows have been busy casting – The Meant to Be’s and Harper’s Island. Ioan “Mr. Fantastic” Gruffudd joins Amy Smart in The Meant to Be’s – about a woman in limbo who helps people get their lives back on track. I like Ioan but Amy Smart has always been kind of blah to me. Like Heather Graham. Harper’s Island is about a group of people going to an island wedding…who get picked off one by one by a mysterious killer. If the bride or groom bites it, I hope the wedding gifts are returnable.
  • I’m fairly certain you’ve all heard about ABC remaking the brilliant and underrated Cupid (which originally aired on ABC, ironically). Well, they’ve cast their lead – Bobby Cannavale (Third Watch, Will & Grace).I have mixed feelings about this. It’s a great enough concept that it deserves more than one season and I do enjoy Rob Thomas’ work (I still can’t get over the fact that Veronica Mars has been canceled yet One Tree Hill continues to live its unholy life). But a remake? Eh, I don’t know.
  • In other TV news, USA Today has recently posted a list of current shows and they’re renewal status. Eli Stone, Moonlight, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Reaper are all on the bubble which is a shame. They’re all shows that have great promise in the future. Sadly, Journeyman is officially canceled and the prospects for New Amsterdam seems somewhat bleak. I really don’t get FOX – it barely has any programming that wasn’t created by Simon Fuller or Mephistopheles in some capacity (I’m looking at you, evil lie detector show). Anyway, Bionic Woman has unsurprisingly also been canceled. When the “bad guy” is more entertaining than the hero, usually that’s a bad sign. Going through so many showrunners didn’t help either.

Do you have high hopes for the 2008-2009 season? Have you given up on TV all together? Who wants to pick up a pitchfork or torch and join me in storming the FOX offices?

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