Sci Fi TV Development: New Show Pickups for the 2016-17 Season Include The Exorcist, Time After Time, Frequency, and More (Including the Trailers)

By | May 20, 2016

The networks have announced their new series pickups for the 2016-17 season at this week’s Upfronts when they presented their schedules to the sponsors (and you can read a recap of the renewal / cancellation announcements at this link).  Below are the pickups that have been announced so far by networks (now with the trailers added where available).  And you can get a preliminary look at the Fall schedule for broadcast network sci fi / fantasy shows at this link.


Time After Time: It’s based on the novel and movie Time After Time and described as a fantastical cat and mouse adventure through time when famed science fiction writer H.G. Wells is transported to modern day Manhattan in pursuit of Jack the Ripper. Once H.G. arrives in New York City, he finds a world he never thought possible and a young woman who captivates him.  Freddie Stroma (UnREAL), Josh Bowman (Revenge) and Genesis Rodriguez star in the drama from Warner Bros. Television and Williamson’s Outerbanks Entertainment. Source: THR

Also, the non-genre entry Conviction which stars Haley Atwell has been picked up by ABC.


MacGyver: A reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he creates a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.  Source: Deadline Hollywood

Star Trek: Not much is known about the upcoming Star Trek series other than it will be set between the timelines of TOS and TNG and might be a season-long anthology series.  CBS did not announce much during their Upfronts, but they did release a teaser (see below).  This show will debut on the network in early 2017, but then it will shift to their streaming service CBS All Access.

The CW

Frequency: Based on the 2000 movie of the same name and centers on a police detective (Peyton List, “Mad Men,” “The Tomorrow People”) who discovers she can communicate via ham radio with her dead father (Riley Smith, “Nashville”).  Source: TV by the Numbers

No Tomorrow: A dramedy about a straitlaced young woman who falls for a guy who doesn’t think beyond the present — because he thinks the apocalypse is imminent. Tori Anderson and Josh Sasse (“Galavant”) star. (This one may have minimal or no genre elements) Source: TV by the Numbers

Also, the Archie Comics based series Riverdale has been picked up by The CW (could they exist in the Arrow-verse?)


The Exorcist: A re-imagination of the classic horror film. The psychological thriller is set more than four decades after the movie, and returns in series format as a propulsive psychological thriller following two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. Geena Davis, Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Brianne Howey and Hannah Kasulka star in the drama from 20th Century Fox TV and Morgan Creek Productions. Source: Variety

Making History: A single-cam comedy from writer Julius “Goldie” Sharpe and exec producers Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Seth Cohen. The series chronicles three friends from two different centuries as they try to balance the thrill of time travel with the mundane concerns of their present-day lives. Described as two shows in one, it’s both a rollicking historical adventure and a contemporary comedy about love, friendship and trying to fit in to an increasingly complex and impersonal world.  Source: Variety

Son of Zorn: Upon arriving home on Earth for the first time in 10 years, ZORN (the voice of Jason Sudeikis, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, “Saturday Night Live”), a fully animated, legendary warrior, finds that reconnecting with his live-action son, ALAN (Johnny Pemberton, “21 Jump Street”), and ex-wife, EDIE (Cheryl Hines, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), while suffering through a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life, is harder than waging actual war in his distant, mystical homeland of Zephyria. Tim Meadows (“Saturday Night Live”) also stars. The series is scheduled to debut during the 2016-2017 season. Source:


Emerald City: In the blink of a tornado’s eye, 20-year-old Dorothy Gale and a K9 police dog are swept into a world far removed from our own — a mystical land of competing realms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy. Starring Vincent D’Onofrio (“Daredevil,” “Jurassic World”) as the guileful Wizard and directed by the visionary Tarsem Singh across three European countries, this is Oz completely reimagined — a place where familiar characters show up in fresh, unexpected ways, and where an unsuspecting young woman holds the fate of kingdoms in her hands. As Dorothy navigates this dangerous world and uncovers her true destiny, we’ll see there’s no place like… Oz.  Source: Variety

Midnight Texas: From Niels Arden Oplev, the visionary director of Mr. Robot,and based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (True Blood), comes a journey into a remote Texas town where no one is who they seem. From vampires and witches to psychics and hit men, Midnight is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures from rowdy biker gangs, ever-suspicious cops and their own dangerous pasts, they band together and form a strong and unlikely family.  Source: Deadline Hollywood

Powerless: In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens (“Grease Live,” “High School Musical”) plays Emily, a spunky young insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult “hero” in her own right … even if it’s just to her group of lovably quirky co-workers. Now, while she navigates her normal, everyday life against an explosive backdrop, Emily might just discover that being a hero doesn’t always require superpowers.  Source: Variety

Timeless: A mysterious criminal steals a secret state-of-the-art time machine, intent on destroying America as we know it by changing the past. Our only hope is an unexpected team: a scientist, soldier and history professor who must use the machine’s prototype to travel back in time to critical events. While they must make every effort not to affect the past themselves, they must also stay one step ahead of this dangerous fugitive. Source: Variety Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan are the Creator / Producer team on this one.

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