1. FOX Renews #Lucifer for a Third Season
FOX announced this week that their supernatural procedural Lucifer, based on the DC comic of the same name, will be returning for a third season with a full order of twenty two episodes. The announcement does not come as a huge surprise seeing as the show has been a pretty solid performer for the network on Monday nights. Its season to date average of a 1.1 rating (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic) is a little below the network’s overall average for non-sports, non-special, non-repeat programming (with outlier Empire also excluded), but it has been doing well enough for FOX which also claims the show pulls in around eight million viewers per episode when mutliplatform viewing is factored in.
Oddly enough, Gotham was not included in this week’s announcement which has been performing at the same level and is currently in the syndication stretch. They may still be negotiating contracts on that one, but I expect to hear word on a renewal before season end. Both Lucifer and Gotham are currently on a second hiatus with the former returning on May 1st and the latter returning on April 24th.
2. Syfy Will Keep #ChannelZero Tuned In Through Its Fourth Season
Slipping through the cracks last week was a notice that Syfy has gone ahead and given a third and fourth season renewal to their horror anthology series Channel Zero. That show, which adapts the “creepypasta” horror stories circulating on the internet, debuted last Fall with its first story arc based on the “Candle Cove” tale. It started with good ratings for a Syfy entry, but saw those drop off over its six episode run, though it did have to contend with competition from the presidential debates as well as election coverage. The network’s original order for the series included a second six-episode season which will be based on the “No-End House” creepypasta and will have its bow this coming October. During the show’s Fall run, I predicted that it had a high likelihood of receiving a third season pick-up, and Syfy apparently felt good enough to keep it going into a fourth year. Each of the upcoming seasons will run for six episodes like the first, but there has been no story arc announcements for the third and fourth years yet.
3. Has the #WalkingDexit Slowed?
AMC’s The Walking Dead returned with its mid-season premiere this past Sunday and saw its numbers improve to a 5.7 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with twelve million total viewers. Those are the best numbers that show has seen since its second Season 7 episode, but then it ratings generally spike with its mid-season bow. We will have to see how it trends over the next few weeks to determine if the Walking Dexit truly has slowed down for that show.
In other ratings news, NBC’s Timeless improved slightly on Monday to a 0.7 rating with three million total viewers, though that may be too-little-too-late for the low-rated show as its heads into its season finale on February 20th. ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. remained low at a 0.6 rating with 2.1 million total viewers on Tuesday as that one continues to look like it is in its final season unless Disney decides to keep it around a little longer to pad out its syndication package.
4. Ryan Murphy Has Announced the Theme of #AmericanHorrorStorySeason 7 . . . Or Has He?
Series co-creator Ryan Murphy has announced the theme for the upcoming seventh season of FX’s horror anthology American Horror Story, and it’s a doozy. In a recent interview, Murphy claimed the story arc will be “about the election that we just went through”, which definitely has plenty of potential to leave its audience trembling . . .
The only thing about that is that I believe he is actually just trolling us. They had previously said that they would keep the theme a secret just like with Season 6, and you may recall the many teasers and photos that did plenty to keep us guessing. So this may actually just be a diversion by Murphy (ye gads! FAKE NEWS!) in order to keep us from knowing what the seventh season is really about. But if not, that theme truly will deliver an American Horror Story!
5. #Timeless Has Its Season Finale Next Week
NBC’s time travel series Timeless will be wrapping up its first season next week with a somewhat timely episode dealing with the McCarthy era. You can keep up with the full weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy TV shows at this link.
6. It’s Almost Time for #TimeAfterTime
ABC’s new time travel drama Time After Time, about H.G. Wells pursuing Jack the Ripper through time, debuts on Sunday March 5th at 9 PM EST. On that same night, FOX’s time travel comedy Making History has its bow at 8:30 PM EST. So it looks like we will not be running out of Time any time soon! You can see the full mid-season schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.
7. Ronald D. Moore’s Phillip K. Dick Anthology Series is Coming to Amazon
BSG‘s Ronald D. Moore has been working on the anthology series Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams which was originally picked up by the British Channel 4, and now it looks like that will be coming to Amazon in the States. The ten episode series will adapt short stories by the acclaimed sci fi writer and will make a good companion to Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle, also based on one of Dick’s works. Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston will star in one episode of Electric Dreams and he will also be executive producing the series. Channel 4 was originally partnering with AMC on the series, but that cable network backed out, opening the way for Amazon to jump onboard. It will likely premiere later this year or early in 2018.
8. News Bites: #MST3K Comic Book is Coming and More
Dark Horse has announced a Mystery Science Theater 3000 comic book series that will be coming out in conjunction with the revival series set to hit Netflix. The details of how they will adapt that Z-Movie riffing series to the comic page have not been revealed, but it should be worth a look.
CBS has announced three more castings for the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series: Terry Serpico, Maulik Pancholy and Sam Vartholomeos. None of the three looks like they will be regulars on the Discovery itself, though.
Starz is zooming in on the return of its time travel / romance series Outlander, indicating that the show will have its third season bow in September, though it has not given and exact date yet. You can see a preview of the upcoming schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows at this link.