This Week in Sci-Fi TV: John Carpenter Developing Two TV Shows, Godzilla Anime, Teen Wolf Return Date, and More

By | July 8, 2017

1. John Carpenter Has Two Shows In The Works For Syfy

Horror and sci fi legend John Carpenter (HalloweenThe Thing) has been in talks with Universal Cable Productions and has now worked out a deal to produce at least two shows for Syfy: Tales for a Halloween Night and Nightshade. THR gives the following description for the two shows, both of which will be looking at 2018 to join that network’s schedule:

‘Tales’ is based on Carpenter’s award-winning graphic novel anthology of stories in which he unites storytellers from movies, novels and comics for a collection of horror stories featuring graveyards, sunken ships and ghosts, among others.

‘Nightside’, meanwhile, is based on New York Times best-selling author Green’s literary series. The title refers to the secret heart of London hidden in eternal darkness, where creatures of the night congregate and where the sun is afraid to shine.

This appears to be a continuation of a trend started with TNT in which big screen genre veterans are being asked to develop multiple shows for television. That network has M. Night Shyamalan and Ridley Scott developing blocks of programming that will also likely hit the schedule at some point next year.

2. First Teaser For The Godzilla Anime Drops

Toho is working on their first Godzilla Anime–titled Godzilla: Monster Planet–and they have released the initial teaser for the film. This will be the first in a trilogy of films and it will debut on November 17th in Japan before streaming on Netflix globally later that month. The trailer only has Japanese audio, but I believe that English subtitles will be added once it is on Netflix. The movie follows a group of humans trying to escape from an Earth ravaged by Godzilla’s rampages. You can read the full synopsis here.

3. Japanese Series ‘FACE: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit’ Is Coming To Amazon

'FACE: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit' [Credit: Amazon Video]
‘FACE: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit’ [Credit: Amazon Video]

Yet another Japanese-made sci fi entry is headed to one of the streaming services as the series FACE: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit has landed at Amazon. This live action series follows an agent that investigates crimes involving hacking and stars Ayame Goriki (Black ButlerGatchaman). It will be available a lot sooner than Godzilla: Monster Planet, though, as it bows on Amazon next week on July 11th. Last year, Netflix imported 3% from Brazil, and that one is headed into a second season. Perhaps even more foreign-made sci fi shows will start to make there way to the States on the streaming services over the next few years if FACE proves successful.

4. Sci-Fi TV Status Report: ‘Preacher’ Slips, ‘Zoo’ Improves

On Monday, AMC’s Preacher slipped to a 0.37 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 1.1 million total viewers. It likely took a hit because of the holiday, but it was still the ninth highest-rated cable original for the night and looks to be doing okay for now. On Wednesday, Syfy’s Blood Drive held steady at a 0.13 rating with 490K total viewers, but those numbers are pretty low for that network. On Thursday, Zooimproved for CBS to a 0.6 rating with 2.9 million total viewers. But those are the preliminary numbers, so we don’t know if they might adjust down, and that one once again lost nearly 70 percent of its lead-in from Big Brother.

5. MTV Sets Premiere Date For The Final Ten Eps Of 

Fans have had to wait longer than expected for the return of Teen Wolf (it was originally supposed to be back in June), but MTV has finally set a premiere date for the final ten episodes of the show. It will be moving to Sundays at 8 PM EST and the second half of season six will debut on July 30th. Apparently MTV decided to delay the start because they plan a big send-off at the San Diego Comic Con before the final ten episodes air. You can see the full run-down of July  and  premieres and returns here.

6.  And Return Next Week, ‘Salvation’ Has Its Premiere

Next week brings us more Summer  and  shows, starting with the long-awaited seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones which has its bow on Sunday July 16th at 9 PM EST. Also on that night, FX’s The Strain kicks off its fourth and final season at 10 PM EST. On Wednesday, the new CBS series Salvation–about an asteroid headed to destroy earth–has its debut at 9 PM EST. And as mentioned above, the Japanese import FACE: Cyber Crime Special Investigation Unit begins streaming on Amazon on Tuesday. You can keep up with the weekly listings of genre shows here.

7. Quick Thought: Does Not Need To Go The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Route

'Star Trek: Discovery' [Credit: CBS TV]

Showrunners for the new Star Trek series, Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg, have indicated that they have been influenced by Game of Thrones to kill off major characters at any time. And while that has worked for the HBO series as it tells its epic and bloody tale of war, I don’t believe that fits as well in the happier universe of Trek. I understand that they want to take this series in some new directions, but The Walking DeadThe 100, and other genre entries have already demonstrated that “big deaths” just for the sake of shocking the audience can do more to hurt a show than to keep it interesting. Herberts does claim that “death isn’t treated gratuitously on this show”, but major deaths do appear to be part of their plans for this one.

If it makes sense to kill off a character and it fits in with the storyline, then I don’t have a problem with it personally. But while death is part of the Game of Thrones, other genre shows–especially the Trek franchise that has a very different tone–need not follow the same path just as a ratings grab. Chime in below in the comments section with your own thoughts on the matter.

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