1. #StarTrekDiscovery Still in Dry Dock
Trek fans continue to wait eagerly for the arrival of the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery, but will have to wait a bit longer as its debut has been pushed back again. According to CBS boss Less Moonves, the series premiere will now be “sometime late summer, early fall”. It was originally set for January 2017 then moved to May and now it is slipping further on the schedule. But Moonves tried to deliver some assurances saying:
It’s important to get it right, and ‘Star Trek’ is the family jewels. We’re not going to rush it in. There’s a lot of post production. But I’m very confident based on what I’ve seen so far.
The series has experienced some behind the scenes shakeups with Bryan Fuller originally onboard as showrunner and executive producer, but he has since stepped completely away from the series. The casting appears to be mostly complete, though, with The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green in the lead role.
2. Syfy Cancels #Incorporated After One Season
Syfy announced this week that their near-future, dystopian series Incorporated will not be returning for a second season. That news comes as somewhat of a surprise seeing as its ratings were not too bad and the network had previously shown a tendency to give its shows two seasons to prove themselves. But with now a third series from the past year cancelled after one season (the other two were Aftermath and Hunters), perhaps Syfy is no longer being quite as generous. And the network does have quite a lot of development in the pipeline now, so they may not be able to afford to keep as many shows on the schedule if they are not pulling in enough viewers. I had also thought that this counted as a high-profile entry for the network seeing as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were attached as executive producers. But their name-recognition value was apparently not enough to keep the show going.
3. RIP Bill Paxton
Fan-favorite actor Bill Paxton passed away this week from complications following heart surgery. Better known to genre fans for his big screen roles in films like Aliens, Weird Science, Apollo 13 and more, Paxton also stopped by ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a pivotal role during the show’s first and second seasons. He was still actively working at the time of his death (starring in the ABC procedural Training Day) and will definitely be missed by the many people who enjoyed his work.
4. Ratings for #TheExpanse Continue to Improve
On Wednesday, Syfy’s The Expanse improved to a 0.22 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 625k total viewers. That is its second week in a row of improving ratings after hitting a series low three weeks ago, and has the show looking more likely to get a third season nod at this point. You can read more about The Expansehere.
Over on FX, Legion slipped to a 0.37 rating with 750k total viewers, its lowest numbers yet in its first season. But I am betting this one’s survival is not heavily leveraged on linear viewing and still has a decent shot at a second season renewal. On Monday, Freeform’s Shadowhunters slipped to a 0.22 rating with 520k total viewers, but that one is still looking like a good prospect for a third season renewal. You can keep up with the ratings results and renewal/cancellation prospects of all your favorite sci fi and fantasy shows over at CancelledSciFi.com.
5. #OnceUponATime and #TheLastManOnEarth Return This Week
ABC’s Once Upon A Time and FOX’s The Last Man on Earth have been absent from the schedule since late Fall. But both are returning from their extended Winter breaks this coming Sunday. Also on that night, two new time travel shows will have their debuts: FOX’s comedy Making History and ABC’s action-drama Time After Time. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy shows here.
6. Jack is Back!
After a ten year absence, Genndy Tartakovsky’s acclaimed animated series returns with a new season on Adult Swim on March 11th at 11 PM EST. The fantasy drama resumes as the titular samurai continues his battle with the nefarious demon Aku. You can see a full rundown of the March sci fi and fantasy TV premieres and returns here.
7. Dracula Rises Again
A new television reworking of the infamous vampire is on the way with Dracula Now. The series is based on the 1900 book Powers of Darkness by Icelandic author Valdimar Ásmundsson which reworked Bram Stoker’s original tale. The TV adaptation will shift the story to modern times and executive producer Joni Sighvatsson had this to say about it:
‘Dracula Now’ will be an allegory of what’s happening today in the U.S., in the U.K. and in France. It won’t be like a ‘Dracula’ spinoff because there’s no need for that. ‘Dracula Now’ will explore the idea of Dracula as a dictator forging a reign of blood to control people in today’s world.
Ten episodes are currently planned, though no network or release date has been announced yet.
8. News Bite: The CW Casts Black Lightning and More
The CW’s Black Lightning pilot, based on the DC comic book, is moving forward and the network has cast Hart of Dixie veteran Cress Williams in the lead role of Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning. Also joining the show will be Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain as Pierce’s daughters who will suit up as the heroes Lightning and Thunder. The network is considering this show for their 2017-18 schedule.
FOX has cast a couple of big genre names for its X-Men spin-off pilot. Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (Person of Interest, Angel) will play a mother and father who discover their children have mutant powers and must take their family on the run from the government. The network is considering this one for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
And in more casting news, ABC’s upcoming Inhumans series has set Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) as Black Bolt, the leader of the royal family. Also cast for that show are Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) as Maximus and Ken Leung (Lost) as Karnak. That show is already set for a Fall debut on ABC and the first two episodes will get an early release in IMAX around Labor Day.