1. Netflix Renews: #TheOA and #Travelers
Netflix announced two renewals this week: paranormal series The OA will be returningfor a second season, and time travel entry Travelers will also return for a second year (that one comes in a partnership with the Canadian Showcase channel). Neither announcement comes as huge surprise because the streaming services have typically renewed their freshman shows more often than not. Though it is never a sure thing and it is hard to assess where these shows stand because these services do not share their viewership numbers. But to date, all of Netflix’s sci fi and fantasy entries have received a second season order, including this year’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which was picked up originally for two seasons. Both The OA and Travelers will return later this year or early 2018.
2. Netflix’s #Sense8 May Not Get a Third Season
As for Netflix’s Sense8, which will have its second season bow on May 5th, that series may be facing the end of its run. Rumors have been circulating that the rather divisive show would be cancelled by Netflix, in part due to the long delay between its first and second season. But the streaming service announced a Christmas special episode last year (which bowed on December 23rd) and a May 2017 return for the show’s second season. Hints of cancellation have continued to circulate, though, despite the fact that series star Brian J Smith has said “there’s definitely more story to tell after season two”. He has tried to downplay the cancellation rumors saying “that all rests with Netflix and also the fans, too – if they like what happens, and they like what they see in season two, we’ll hear about it”. Sense8 comes from the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski and follows a group of people from across the world who share a psychic connection.
3. R.I.P. Richard Hatch
Richard Hatch, best known by sci fi fans for playing Apollo on the original Battlestar: Galactica, passed away this week at age 71. Hatch got his start in television on soap operas and guest starring roles before taking the lead in BSG in 1978. After that show was cancelled in 1979, he returned to mostly guest star work and some movie appearances. In the 90’s he lobbied for a revival of Battlestar: Galactica, writing novels that continued the story and also producing a “proof of concept” trailer for a continuation series. That never materialized, but he did appear in the Syfy reboot of the series in the recurring role of the rebellious Tom Zarek. In 2008, Hatch starred in the sci fi horror film InAlienable which was written and produced by Star Trek veteran Walter Koenig.
4. #Legion Gets Off to a Good Start for FX
The X-Men spin-off series Legion had its bow this past Wednesday and pulled a 0.69 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 1.6 million total viewers. Those are good numbers for a cable entry these days and the positive buzz that the show generated leading up to its premiere apparently translated into good linear ratings. As long as that one holds above a 0.5 rating for the rest of its first season, I would say it is pretty much a lock for a second year renewal.
In other ratings news of note, NBC’s Timeless slipped to a series low 0.6 rating with 2.9 million total viewers this past Monday. That show only has two more episodes to go in its first season which is hardly enough time for a ratings surge, and at this point it appears that time is up. Keep up with how all the current sci fi and fantasy shows are doing over at CancelledSciFi.com.
5. AMC’s #Humans Has Its Season 2 Debut Next Week
AMC’s AI series Humans returns next week, nearly a year and a half since its first season wrapped up in Summer of 2015. Its Season 2 bow will be on Monday at 10 PM EST. You can keep up with the full listings of sci fi and fantasy shows each week at this link.
6. Netflix Releases the First Full Trailer for #IronFist
The debut of the fourth installment of Netflix’s Defenders series, Iron Fist, is just over a month away and the full trailer for the series has finally dropped. That one will bow on March 17th followed by the team-up series that will bring together Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist later in the year. You can see the full schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.
7. Castlevania Series Coming to Netflix
The streaming service has definitely been busy of late with genre entries, and you can add to their ever-burgeoning list the upcoming animated Castlevania series. It is based on a series of Japanese video games about a clan of vampire hunters battling against Dracula. io9.com noticed it mentioned in a press release and here is the info that Netflix has available so far:
Inspired by the classic video game series, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself. The animated series is from Frederator Studios, a Wow! Unlimited Media company, written by best-selling author and comic book icon Warren Ellis and executive produced by Warren Ellis, Kevin Kolde, Fred Seibert and Adi Shankar.
There was not a specific debut date and it looks like only four episodes are planned at this time. But this one should definitely be worth checking out once it debuts on the streaming service.
8. News Bites: Orphan Black Season 5 Return Set and More
BBC America’s Orphan Black will be returning for its fifth and final season and the network has finally announced the debut date. That show will return on June 10th with a ten episode season to wrap up its story. You can get a preliminary look at the Spring and Summer sci fi shows here.
For those who can’t get enough of Syfy’s The Expanse, there is a four part digital comic books series title The Expanse: Origins that gives the untold origins of the crew members of The Rocinante. This first issue, which focuses on James Holden, is available now at Amazon and Comixology.
Hulu’s Runaways series has already announced the leads for its show about a group of teenagers on the run from their evil parents, and now it has cast the villains. Among that group is Buffy the Vampire Slayer veteran James Marsters as well as Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Kevin Weisman, Brigid Brannagh, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue.