This Week in Sci Fi TV: NBC Boots Xena Reboot, Hasselhof Wants Knight Rider to Go Dark, and More

By | August 26, 2017

NBC Will Not Go Forward With Its  Reboot

Work began in late 2015 on a reboot of the 90’s fan-favorite series Xena: Warrior Princess, but that project appears to be dead at this point. A new actress would have been brought onboard to play Xena, but original creators Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi would have still been involved in the project. Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The MiddlemanLost) was writing the script and he wanted to explore further the relationship that was previously only implied between Xena and her companion Gabrielle. NBC did not much care for that direction and Grillo-Marxuach dropped out due to creative differences. The network’s entertainment president Jennifer Salke has recently said that “nothing is happening on that right now” and that “the current incarnation of it is dead”. Many of the show’s fans would have a hard time accepting any other actress than Lucy Lawless in the lead role, so perhaps this is for the best.

David Hasselhoff Wants A ‘Logan’-Style Knight Rider Movie

David Hasselhoff seems determined to bring Knight Rider back out of the garage, and he has considered going dark with the property. I previously mentioned that he had talked with James Gunn while on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 about bringing back the TV series. And apparently he has also had discussions with Robert Rodriguez about a potential move to the big screen. If that happens, Hasselhoff wants to take Knight Riderin a darker direction: “It’ll be kind of like Logan. It will be dark. Hasselhoff as Michael Knight in 2017″. All of this is just in the discussion stage at this point, so don’t expect anything to happen in the near future. But Hasselhoff definitely wants to get behind the wheel again, either on television or in the theaters, so a return of Knight Rider could be down the road at some point.

Obama And Biden As Time-Traveling Heroes?

So now that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are done running the country, what’s next for these two politicians? How about becoming time-traveling heroes? At least that is the idea that creator Adam Reid has for Barry & Joe: The Animated Series. He currently has a Kickstarter campaign in place to fund the pilot of his proposed politicians-meet-Quantum-Leap series. The story will follow the two former leaders who are transported back in time via a secret project to younger versions of themselves:

Their only guide on this journey is Neil deGrasse Tyson. A brilliant scientist from the present who appears in the form of an augmented reality that only they can see and hear.

And so they find themselves leaping throughout their own lifetime. Looking for the best in people… Striving to right injustice wherever they find it. Forever hoping that their next jump in time will take them to a future that’s not scary and fucked up.

A world which they can proudly call… home.

You can read more about the Kickstarter here.

AMC Streaming Service Picks Up French Sci Fi Series ‘Missions’

AMC’s streaming service Shudder has picked up the French sci fi series Missions for viewing in America and will partner on the upcoming second season of the show. Varietygives the following description for the series:

‘Missions’ is set in an alternate present and follows a group of explorers on their epic journey back from Mars. The series weaves in contemporary themes such as trans-humanism, artificial intelligence and environmental issues.

You can see the rather cinematic trailer for the first season (in French) above. The first season will be available for streaming on Shudder on September 28th. The second season will start streaming later in 2018. Shudder is accessible on the internet and on devices such as Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV.

TNT Is Adapting ‘The Fifth Season’

TNT is in the process of adapting N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth Trilogy to television. Titled after the Hugo-winning first book in the series The Fifth SeasonDeadline Hollywoodgives the following description of the project:

‘The Fifth Season’ is described as an epic drama set in a world where civilization-destroying earthquakes occur with deadly regularity. A small minority of inhabitants has the ability to quiet these earthquakes, but they also can cause them. The series follows three women, each of whom possesses these special, Earth-controlling abilities: Damaya, a young girl training to serve the Empire; Syenite, an ambitious young woman ordered to breed with her bitter and frighteningly powerful mentor; and Essun, a mother searching for the husband who murdered her young son and kidnapped her daughter mere hours after a Season tore a fiery rift across the land.

This is in the early development stages and would likely not make it to the small screen until later in 2018 or possibly early 2019.

‘The Progeny’ To Be Adapted To Television

A television adaptation of Tosca Lee’s conspiracy-laden thriller The Progeny is in the worksDeadline Hollywood gives the following description of the property:

[The story brings] a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding Elizabeth Báthory, the 16th-century countess known as the world’s most notorious female serial killer. The story centers on Audra, a regular girl from Maine who is suddenly made aware that she is a direct descendant of “the blood countess.” She also discovers that a cabal of global assassins, sworn to wipe out the countess’ offspring, are on her trail. Her quest for survival takes her to the underground subculture of costumed rave parties in hidden caves and secret nightclubs of Europe.

No television network is attached and it would be some point in 2018 before this makes it to the small screen if it moves forward.

Sci-Fi TV Status Report: ‘Midnight Texas’ and ‘Zoo’ Slip Notably

It was not a good week for the broadcast network sci fi and fantasy shows as all experienced pretty low ratings returns. On Monday, NBC’s Midnight Texas, which had been doing relatively well so far this Summer, slipped to a 0.6 rating based on the overnights for the 18-49 demographic with 2.9 million total viewers. It may have been impacted by delays from the presidential address, so perhaps it will rebound next week. On Tuesday, ABC’s Somewhere Between remained low at a 0.4 rating with 1.6 million total viewers and that one will likely be gone after its “limited run”.

On Wednesday, Salvation remained low for CBS at a 0.4 rating with 3.1 million total viewers. That is another show that has been given the “limited run” tag and it will likely not stick around beyond that. On Thursday, Zoo slipped from two weeks of improved numbers to a 0.4 rating with 2.4 million total viewers. CBS will almost certainly be closing the Zoo after that show wraps up its third season. As a gauge of performance, all four of these shows are outside of the broadcast net Top 25 at a time of year when the networks are airing mostly reality shows, game shows, and repeats.

First Trailer For ‘American Horror Story: Cult’

American Horror Story‘s seventh season debut is just a couple of weeks away, and it looks like it is adding Donald Trump into its creepy mix this season. Series co-creator Ryan Murphy had previously teased that the 2016 election would play a part in the upcoming storyline, and this last week he told reporters that “the election is the jumping-off point of the show, but it’s really about the rise of a cult of personality”. The trailer released this week gives us a glimpse of that. That show returns on September 5th and you can see the preliminary schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows here.

Return Dates For ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ And ‘Dirk Gently’

Spike has announced that the second season of The Shannara Chronicles will debut on Wednesday October 11th at 10 PM EST. That series has moved over to Spike (soon to be the Paramount Network) from Viacom sister network MTV. And later that same week, BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency will return for its second season on Saturday October 14th at 9 PM EST. You can see the Season 2 trailer for that one hereand you can see the preliminary schedule of Fall sci fi and fantasy shows here.

News Bites: ‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 Info And More

Netflix has released cast and episode title information, along with a teaser, for the upcoming fourth season of their anthology Black Mirror. It is set to debut later this Fall.

Marvel is developing what VP of Original Programming Karim Zreik describes as a female-centered, “Jessica Jones-esque” series for ABC. There are no specifics on the central character at this point, though.

Cube director Vincenzo Natali has agreed to direct the pilot to Syfy’s Tremors TV series which will return Kevin Bacon to the franchise. Still no word yet on whether Michael Gross will be returning for that one as well.

Anna Diop (24: LegacyThe Messengers) has been cast as Starfire in the upcoming Titanslive-action series. That show, along with the third season of Young Justice, will be available on the new DC streaming service in 2018.

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