1. Netflix Cancels #Sense8 After Two Seasons
Netflix announced this week that its sci fi series Sense8 will not be continuing to a third season. VP of original content Cindy Holland stated that “after 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end”. The news does not come has a huge surprise as it took almost two years for the second season to arrive (it debuted in May) and there were rumors in the interim that the show would be cancelled. Sense8 had a big budget because it was shot in locations around the world and it also required a fair amount of production time. But it never quite achieved the viewership levels of the more popular genre entries on the streaming service like Stranger Things, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and the Defenders shows. The actors were contracted for third year, but apparently Netflix decided instead to wrap the show up after its second season. Sense8 did have a small but loyal following that was fighting for a third season, and they may try to lobby other networks to pick it up.
2. ‘Tales From The Crypt’ Heads Back To The Tomb
TNT’s reboot of the horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt looks to be on lifeline as it has been postponed again. That series, with M. Night Shyamalan onboard as executive producer, was intended to be an update of the HBO show that aired for seven season in the 90’s and was based on the classic EC comics from the 50’s. But budget and rights issues have led to a halt in development and it could be sent back to the grave altogether. A TNT representative did comment that “we look forward to the potential for further active development of this valuable franchise once the clearance process is fully resolved”. So it is possible that the show, which was targeting a Fall 2017 debut, could go forward at some point. But for now, the Crypt Keeper is stuck in development Hell.
Tales From the Crypt was supposed to be part of a three-hour block of horror shows that also included horror/slasher anthology Time of Death and psychological thriller Creatures. As far as I know, the other two shows are still moving forward, though no premiere date has been announced.
3. Vampire Drama ‘The Passage’ Casts Its Leads
FOX’s pilot for the supernatural/vampire series The Passage, which comes from Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions and is based on the Justin Cronin book, has cast its leads and several more roles. Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Pitch) and Saniyya Sidney (American Horror Story) will take on two of the main roles. And the show has scooped up several other genre veterans as well including Genesis Rodriguez (Time After Time), Brianne Howey (The Exorcist) and Jennifer Ferrin (Time After Time). Deadline Hollywood describes the show as
An epic, character-driven thriller that morphs into a post-apocalyptic odyssey. The story in The Passage is told in two timelines. In the present, a 10-year-old Amy Bellafonte seems to have special powers that allow her to communicate with “virals,” terrifying monsters that once were human. Through flashbacks, Amy tells her tale, which is directly tied to the genesis of these creatures.
FOX will be considering this one as a mid-season entry on their schedule.
4. AMC Is Adapting Joe Hill’s ‘NOS4A2’ And More
Television development continues at a furious pace as AMC has three shows in the works that would interest sci fi and fantasy fans. NOS4A2 (pronounced “Nosferatu”) comes from Locke & Key‘s Joe Hill and follows a woman who has a talent for finding things and who is tasked with trying to track down a superhuman child abductor. Also in the works is Pandora, described by THR as “a global mystery-thriller following three converging storylines as ordinary individuals try to piece together dark secrets leaking out into the world after advanced malware dismantles encryption across the internet.”
The third project in development is Silent History which is based on the award-winning app and novel created by Eli Horowitz. According to THR, this one “tells the story of a generation of unusual children — born without the ability to create or comprehend language, but with other surprising skills of their own. As the condition spreads to epidemic levels, theories form and society is faced with how to deal with this new evolution of human.”
Word is that AMC has fast-tracked these shows, and the network will likely be targeting 2018 to get them on their schedule.
5. ‘The Happiness Machine’ Headed To Television
In yet more development news, IM Global Television is adapting Katie Williams’ upcoming novel The Happiness Machine as a television series. Deadline Hollywood offers the following description:
The story is set in a world where a technology has been created that can determine, with nearly perfect accuracy, what someone needs to do to be happy. The device, called Apricity, reads a person’s DNA and gives them a “contentment plan” with recommendations that range from the mundane (“sing out loud”) to the severe (“leave your spouse”) and the bizarre (“amputate your right index finger”). Williams’ book explores how the lives of a number of characters are affected by this new science in their search for contentment.
No network is attached at this point and it is not clear if this is intended as an ongoing series or a limited run adaptation of just the book.
6. Blast From The Past: ‘Wonder Woman: Who’s Afraid Of Diana Prince?’
The new Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot hits the theaters today by storm, but did you know that way back in 1967 there was a very different attempt to do a live action adaptation of the comic book character? It was intended as a sitcom titled Wonder Woman: Who’s Afraid Of Diana Prince? and it came from William Dozier who had previously given us the camp classic Batman series (you will recognize his familiar voice as the announcer). Only a five minute test film was produced and ABC decided to pass on the show because the camp superhero wave had already crested. There is a low-quality version of the tryout film available on YouTube, and it is a ton of cheesy fun that could have turned into a decent show (it appears to have rather dated views of women’s roles at that time, but I believe it is actually making fun of that).
There was another attempt at a Wonder Woman series in 1974 that produced a TV movie-of-the-week starring Cathy Lee Crosby. ABC passed on that one as well before finally greenlighting the well-known series that starred Linda Carter
7. Premieres For #OrphanBlack, #DarkMatter, #Stitchers And More Next Week
The Summer season kicks off this Sunday with the return of Fear the Walking Dead for its third season, then brings even more premieres next week. On Monday, Freeform’s Shadowhunters returns for the second part of its second season followed by the Season 3 premiere of Stitchers. On Friday, Syfy’s Dark Matter has its two-hour Season 3 premiere followed by the second season return of Wynonna Earp. And on Saturday, Orphan Blackreturns on BBC America for its fifth and final season. You can keep up with the weekly listings of all the sci fi and fantasy shows here and you can see my full rundown of June sci fi TV premieres for Movie Pilot here.
8. News Bites: #Sharknado 5 Gets An Official Title
Syfy’s upcoming fifth Sharknado movie (previously referred to as Sharknado 5 . . . Earth 0) has officially been given the subtitle Global Swarming. Sadly, that is all too appropriate considering recent political events.
Disney XD has set June 17th as the premiere date for the animated series Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars. You can read more about that one here.
We already know that The Office‘s Rain Wilson will be playing the role of Harry Mudd in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series, and according to TrekMovie.com he will be appearing in multiple episodes of the show’s first season.