This Week In Sci Fi TV: Karl Uban Talks Judge Dredd TV Series, The CW Dips Into DC Vault Again,and More

By | October 20, 2017

Weekly rundown of the latest sci fi and fantasy television news. See a list of prior week columns at this link.

Karl Urban Explains What It Will Take To Get Him Back To TV For the Judge Dredd TV Series

Earlier this year, Rebellion Productions and IM Global Television announced plans to do a Judge Dredd TV series titled Judge Dredd: Mega City One. Karl Urban, who played the title character in 2012’s acclaimed Dredd film, has been in talks with the production companies about returning to the lead role. He is very interested in the series, but has some expectations on how it will come to fruition. In a recent interview with Screen Rant, he had the following comments:

Well, Rebellion, who owns the rights to Judge Dredd, are currently developing a television series called ‘Mega-City One’, and I’ve had many discussions with them about my involvement of which I am interested, and I said to them, ‘Listen, if you write a character that has a function and a purpose and contributes to the overall story, then I might be very interested in reprising that role.’ I certainly wouldn’t want to step into it and just pay lip service to the movie. There has to be some material there that warrants further exploration of that character. So the ball’s in their court.

We can only hope that the two come to terms and the Urban dons the helmet once again as Judge Dredd. Urban previously played a law enforcer in a sci fi TV series with 2013’s cult favorite Almost Human and he also played Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek reboot films. He will be appearing as Skurge in the upcoming Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok.

Peter Dinklage And Charles Dance Working On Quasimodo Series

Game of Thrones alums Peter Dinklage and Charles Dance are teaming up on a new television project as they will executive produce Quasimodo, based on Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both are currently only listed as EPs on the project with no indication that they will step in front of the camera, despite the fact that Dinklage as Quasimodo seems like a perfect fit. There is also no indication at this point if the series will be more of a historical drama or focus on the supernatural/horror elements sometimes interjected into the tale. Atrium TV is developing the series, but there is no network or streaming service attached at this point.

CBS Renews Salvation for a Second Season, No Word Yet on Zoo

Coming as a complete surprise, CBS announced yesterday that its freshman Summer series Salvation will be returning for a second season of thirteen episodes. That show started out in July with decent enough ratings for a Summer entry, but saw those drop off pretty quickly and it only averaged a 0.5 score based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic through its first season (ratings levels that got Braindead cancelled last Summer by CBS). It also lost well over half of the audience from its Big Brother lead-in. But CBS does have Amazon onboard as a streaming partner, so perhaps that was enough to keep it going and to allow the network to keep some scripted programming on its schedule during the Summer months amidst the repeats and reality shows.

There has been no word yet on the fate of third season series Zoo which also aired on CBS in the Summer and had the same ratings average (that one has a streaming deal with Netflix). I had considered both Salvation and Zoo to be certain cancellation candidates, but perhaps yesterday’s renewal of the former series suggests that the latter still has a chance to return for a fourth season.

The CW To Adapt DC Comics Series Project 13 To TV

The CW is ever busy in development and is looking at yet another property from DC Comics. The characters Traci Thirteen and her father Dr. Terrance Thirteen are the latest to catch the network’s attention and they will be the focus of a TV series titled Project 13. Variety gives the following description:

The one-hour drama would center on Traci, a twenty-something forensic scientist and believer in the paranormal who discovers her own hidden extra-sensory abilities when she joins her estranged, skeptic father to investigate mysterious cases of the paranormal and unexplained phenomena. Traci and Dr. Thirteen have appeared in multiple comics within the DC Universe, including ‘Flashpoint’ and ‘Batman’.

This sounds like an interesting idea and offers plenty of cross-over potential with the network’s Arrow-verse shows. But if The CW is going to do a DC series with supernatural/paranormal overtones, I’m sure fans would much rather they just bring Constantine back as an ongoing, live-action series (and animated version with Matt Ryan voicing the character is on the way to CW Seed).

The CW Working On Dead Inside Series

And yet more development news from The CW as that network is working on the supernatural cop-drama Dead Inside. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description for the project:

After surviving an explosion that killed her hotshot detective big brother, an underachieving beat cop starts seeing his ghost, flipping their sibling dynamic on its head and allowing her to truly live her life for the first time, as they work together to help crime victims both living and dead, and figure out the unfinished business keeping his spirit on Earth.

The network will likely be looking to add this one to their 2018-19 schedule, but with all their current shows and new development, they will have challenges working this one into the lineup.

Sci-Fi TV Status Report: Gotham Remains Low, Mr. Robot Slips

On Thursday, FOX’s Gotham remained at a 0.8 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.7 million total viewers (according to the preliminary numbers). But whether that show gets a fifth season or not will likely depend less on its ratings and more on what sort of deal Warner Bros. offers FOX. A repeat of The Orville‘s premiere on Thursday pulled a 0.6 score, which was even with the ratings that new episodes of Supernatural and Arrow pulled over on The CW. NBC’s The Good Place slipped to a 1.1 rating with 3.9 million total viewers, but it is still doing well enough for a Thursday comedy on that network.

On Wednesday, USA’s Mr. Robot slipped to a 0.23 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 519K total viewers for its second Season 3 episode. That is pretty low for the show, but that Emmy winner is bringing enough attention to USA that I believe it will get another season. Over on Spike, The Shannara Chronicles remained low at a 0.10 rating with 206K total viewers, and that show is definitely not in good standing at this point. The CW’s Riverdale slipped to a 0.6 rating with 1.8 million total viewers, but that show is doing okay for the fifth place network at this point.

On Tuesday, The CW’s The Flash slipped to a 0.9 rating with 2.5 million total viewers. But that is still the network’s top-rated show and should race into a fifth season. Legends of Tomorrow slipped to 0.5 rating with 1.6 million total viewers, but that should be sufficient to keep that show alive. Kevin (Probably) Saves the World remained at a 0.8 rating which has it at an iffy status for now.

Be sure to follow my weekly Sci-Fi TV Status Report column on Tuesdays here at which tracks the ratings results and renewal/cancellation prospects of the currently airing sci fi and fantasy shows. And you can get the latest ratings results at the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site.

Channel Zero: No End House Has Its Finale Next Week

Syfy’s horror anthology Channel Zero has its second season finale next week, wrapping up its “No End House” storyline. That one will be back for its third round, based on the “Staircases” creepypasta next Fall. Also next week, the second season of Netflix’s 80’s-throwback paranormal series Stranger Things has its debut. The full season will be available for streaming on Friday. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy shows here and you can see the full Fall schedule here.

News Bites: Teen Titans Finds Its Beast Boy And More

Ryan Potter (Hiro from Big Hero 6) has been cast as Beast Boy in the upcoming Teen Titans live-action series that will stream on the new DC service.

An Inhumans cross-over with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could be on the way as it appears that the Kree assassin Sals-Bek will be appearing on the latter show, and that character is known for hunting the Inhuman royal family in the comics.

Netflix has released some viewer data that indicates The Defenders is one of their most binge-watched shows.

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