This Week in Sci Fi TV: Ringworld, Scanners, and Snowcrash Shows In The Works, Arrow-verse Crossover, and More

By | October 1, 2017

 TV Series Headed To Amazon

Amazon is trying to catch up to streaming leader Netflix and has announced several high profile projects that, according to Deadline Hollywood, are in the “big-scope genre drama series in the mold of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead“. Among these is a series based on Larry Niven’s Ringworld novels:

‘Ringworld’, a co-production with MGM, is based on Niven’s science fiction book series from the 1970s and tells the story of Louis Gridley Wu, a bored man celebrating his 200th birthday in a technologically advanced, future Earth. Upon being offered one of the open positions on a voyage, he joins a young woman and two aliens to explore Ringworld, the remote artificial ring beyond “Known Space.” The books cover their thrilling journey as they attempt to fulfill their original mission to uncover the mysteries of Ring.

Syfy had previously been working on a mini-series based on the Ringworld books, but that stalled in production. Amazon will likely be looking at late 2018 or early 2019 for this one to join their slate of originals.

 And  In Development At Amazon

The streaming service also has two more genre works moving forward according to Deadline Hollywood, Neil Stephenson’s Snowcrash and Greg Rucka’s comic book series Lazarus:

‘Snow Crash’, a co-production with Paramount TV, is a one-hour science fiction drama based on Stephenson’s novel, which is set in futuristic America. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain.

‘Lazarus’ is set in an alternative near future where the world has been divided among 16 rival families, who run their territories in a feudal system. Each family has allies and enemies among the other families. To crush uprisings and fight wars, most families have a Lazarus: a one-person kill squad.

Both of these would likely be looking at late 2018 at the earliest to start streaming.

Arrow-verse Crossover Gets Title And Premiere Dates

The CW’s superhero shows have not started up their new seasons yet (they return the week of October 9th), but we are already getting information on the next cross-over event. It will be title “Crisis on Earth X” and will air over two nights, November 27th and 28th. Here is the official logline for the event (which does contain a bit of a spoiler):

With all of the heroes in town to celebrate Barry and Iris’s wedding, villains from Earth-X crash the festivities with a deadly agenda.

Unlike last season, the Supergirl episode will be fully encorporated into the crossover.

A ‘Scanners’ TV Series Is In The Works

David Cronenberg’s classic 1981 sci fi film Scanners could be heading to a small screenadaptation soon. Deadline Hollywood gives the follow description of the project:

Written and directed by Cronenberg, ‘Scanners’ is about an underground network of people born with telekinetic powers living on the fringes of society that are hunted down by the forces that created them. [Michael] Ellenberg and Bron [Studios] plan to develop and package the TV series adaptation with a high-end filmmaker and showrunner before shopping it to premium services.

There is no network attached at this point, but expect plenty of interest because there was a bidding war for the rights to the property.

Underworld TV Series On The Way

The Underworld film franchise appears to be headed to the small screen with original direct Len Wiseman attached. That film series has produced five installments following a war between vampires and werewolves with the vampire “Death Dealer” Selene (played by Kate Beckinsale in the movies) as the central focus. Wiseman has said about the television adaptation that “the series will be a pretty big departure from the films. I don’t want to say it’s more adult, but it’s definitely less comic book in its tone and character.” At this point, there is no indication that Beckinsale will continue the role of Selene in the television series. No network is attached to the project, but expect plenty of interest.

Stephen King’s N. To Be Adapted To TV Series Titled 8

Stephen King’s stock is high these days and yet another television adaptation of one of his works in on the way. The horror novella N. will be the basis for the series which will be titled 8Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the project:

N, now 8, takes place in Maine where a group of eight imposing stones contains an ancient evil so terrifying that it can drive visitors mad. In the summer of 1992, three teenagers escaped the malicious force, and are confronted 25 years later.

No network is attached at this point, but there is sure to be interest in the project despite Spike’s recent cancellation of the series based on his book The Mist.

Sci-Fi TV Status Report: Holds Steady

On Thursday, FOX’s The Orville held at a 1.1 rating with 3.7 million total viewers in its second Thursday outing while facing stiff competition from Grey’s Anatomy on ABC and Football on CBS. If it can hold at or above a 1.0 score, I believe it has a shot at second season. Gotham slipped to a 0.9 rating with 2.9 million total viewers which might still be enough for that fourth year show. Over on NBC, The Good Place had a 1.4 rating with 4.7 million total viewers for its Thursday premiere and even outpaced its lead-in Superstore. That show is off to a good start for its second season.

On Wednesday, Syfy’s Channel Zero slipped to a 0.11 rating with 375K total viewers. That one has already been renewed through its fourth season, but I have to wonder if the network may be reconsidering that at this point. On Monday, People of Earth slipped to a 0.25 rating with 612K total viewers for its season finale, but that one has already been renewed for a third season.

Premieres for  And More Next week

The Fall season continues to roll ahead at full speed with seven new and returning shows having their premieres next week. On Monday, the X-Men tie-in series The Gifted has its bow on FOX and that is preceded by the third season premiere of Lucifer. On Tuesday, ABC’s new series Kevin (Probably) Saves the World debuts. On Thursday, Syfy’s Van Helsing returns for its second season, followed by the series premiere of the supernatural series Ghost Wars. On Friday, ABC’s Once Upon A Time is back for its seventh season and later in the evening Syfy debuts another supernatural-tinged series Superstition. You can keep up with the weekly listing of sci fi and fantasy shows here and you can see my full rundown of Fall sci fi TV here.

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