This Week in Sci Fi TV: A Foundation TV Series in the Works, Sense8 Gets a Finale, and More

By | June 30, 2017

1. The  Of An Epic TV Series

Skydance Television is in the process of acquiring the rights of the Foundation book series from the Asimov estate with plans on adapting it to television with David S. Goyer (The Dark KnightConstantine) and Josh Friedman (The Sarah Connor ChroniclesEmerald City) attached. This is yet another attempt to adapt the seminal science fiction series penned by Mr. Asimov, and I thought about not even posting this or just mentioning it in passing so as not to get the hopes up in the sci fi community. But who knows, maybe this one will get some traction and actually make it to the small screen to deliver the epic space saga we have been looking for. There had been talks of adapting books to a feature film series, but that stalled. And the most recent attempt at a television version–with Jonathan Nolan working on the project for HBO–went nowhere (likely because of all the money the network committed to Westworld).

There is currently no network attached to this, but there will certainly be plenty of interest if development starts to ramp up. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates.

2. Netflix Will Give  A 2 Hour Finale

It happened this last season with NBC’s Timeless, and now the uproar from fans is leading to another show getting an extended lease on life. Netflix announced earlier this month that their sci fi series Sense8 would not be coming back for a third season because it is too expensive and did not draw enough viewers. But fans of the show started up a raucous effort to convince the streaming service to give it a third season or to let another network continue the show. Neither of those scenarios came about, but Netflix has agreed to do a two-hour finale for the show. You can read the letter thanking the fans from co-creater Lana Wachowski at the Sense8 Facebook Page.

I was actually surprised that Netflix outright cancelled this one because the trend lately has been to give shows a final season to resolve their storylines so that they play better to binge-watching. Apparently that would have been too expensive for Sense8, but at least they are giving it the chance for some level of resolution. And this again shows that in the Social Network Age, fans do have notable influence on the networks and they should continue to remain active in support of their shows.

3. First Trailer For ABC’s  Drops

There has been a lot of build-up to the upcoming debut of ABC’s The Inhumans and the network finally released the first trailer for the series this week. That show will be filmed with IMAX cameras and the first two episodes will get a limited theatrical release on September 1st ahead of its television debut on Friday, September 29th. The series, which is not a spin-off from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will follow the royal family of Inhumans (originally introduced in the Fantastic Four comic book in the 1960’s) as they encounter the human society that they have kept themselves separated from. You can see the preliminary schedule of Fall  and  shows here.

4. There Is A Tremor In The Franchise

The 1990 cult-favorite monster film Tremors sparked off an enduring franchise that has delivered four sequel films (with a fifth on the way in 2018) and one short-lived television series, and now it looks to be adding another chapter. Syfy has ordered a pilotfor a television series that will bring original star Kevin Bacon back to the franchise for the first time. Variety gives the following description:

The TV series would pick up 25 years after the original film left off. The killer Graboid worms that nearly destroyed the small town of Perfection, Nevada 25 years ago are back and the town’s only hope for survival is Valentine McKee (Bacon) who beat them once, but to do it again, he’ll have to overcome age, alcohol and a delusional hero complex.

There is no word yet on whether co-stars Fred Ward or Finn Carter would be asked to reprise their roles from the original film. And Michael Gross’ name has not been mentioned either, even though he has become the face of the franchise since he has appeared in every spin-off.

Interestingly, the previous television version also came from Syfy (then known as The Sci Fi Channel), but it only lasted for one 13-episode season. It appears that the new series will retcon the story and ignore the events from the 2003 show as well as the spin-off movies.

5. Syfy Orders A Pilot For George R.R. Martin’s ‘Nightflyers’

Syfy remains busy working on future projects and is considering a series based on George R.R. Martin’s sci fi / supernatural novella Nightflyers which was previously adapted to the big screen in 1987. The story takes place in a future where Earth faces destruction, and Deadline Hollywood gives the following breakdown of the premise:

In the hope of making contact with alien life, eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard the Nightflyer, a ship with a small, tightknit crew and a reclusive captain. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place, they start to question one another — and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.

The network has ordered a pilot for the show and will be considering adding this one to their 2018 schedule.

6. Sci-Fi TV Status Report: ‘Preacher’ And ‘Blood Drive’ Drop

On Monday, AMC’s Preacher had its timeslot debut the day after its Season 2 premiere received a bit of a boost with a lead-in from Fear the Walking Dead. It’s numbers dropped from its 0.58 Sunday rating, though, to a 0.43 score (based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic). That has the show below its Season 1 average, but it is still performing okay for a cable series these days as the Peak TV crunch continues to drive down ratings across all the networks. If it does not slip too much further, I believe that this one has a decent at getting a third season.

On Wednesday, Syfy’s Grindhouse series Blood Drive down-shifted to a 0.13 rating with 444K total viewers. Those numbers suggest a rough road ahead for this one, especially considering that the network has a lot of other shows in the pipeline that could replace it. Over on Sundance, Cleverman barely registered for its Season 2 debut with only a 0.02 rating and 74K total viewers. That show’s fate is more heavily determined by its performance in its home country of Australia, but word is that viewership is down there as well.

7.  Debuts On Netflix Next Week

Netflix’s animated series Castlevania, based on the classic video games about vampire hunters, has its debut next Friday. The first season will be comprised of four thirty-minute episodes, and a second season is already planned for 2018. All four Season 1 episodes will be available for streaming on Friday. You can keep up with the weekly listings of sci fi and fantasy TV shows here.

8. “Justice Is Coming” In Netflix’s 

Netflix has another original on the way as the Death Note movie, based on the classic Anime series, is set to debut on August 25th. In that story, a young man discovers a mysterious book that causes the death of anybody whose name he writes in it. He decides to use it to kill those he considers “unworthy of life”, but learns that there are consequences to acting as the angel of vengeance. The first trailer was released this week. You can see the full Summer schedule of sci fi and fantasy television here.

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