Sci Fi TV News Briefs: Quick hits keeping you updated on sci fi and fantasy television news.
The CW’s Fall Schedule: The fifth place network announced its Fall schedule this morning with plenty of changes coming in the new year. We already knew about the new show pickups of Batwoman and Nancy Drew (with the latter adding a supernatural twist to its mystery stories) and both of those will be joining the network’s Fall Schedule. Batwoman will team up with Supergirl on Sundays for an all-female superhero night. Black Lighting will be remaining in the 9 PM EST hour on Mondays. Arrow will be teaming up with The Flash on Tuesdays, the first time the two flagship shows of the Arrow-verse have aired together. On Wednesdays, Nancy Drew joins the schedule following Riverdale. Thursdays remain the same as this season with Supernatural and Legacies airing together. And Charmed will move to Fridays at 8 PM EST. Legends of Tomorrow and Roswell New Mexico will be held until Mid-Season. Stay tuned as we will be putting together a preview of the full Fall schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows shortly as well as a rundown of all the new pickups.
The CW and Netflix Are Headed for a Split: The CW, aka the Happy Net, has had a tendency to renew most of its shows the last few seasons in a large part because it has factored digital viewing very heavily into its model (much more so than the other broadcast networks). That includes watching shows on the network’s website or app as well as encore viewings of its shows on Netflix (the seasons become available shortly after the broadcast airings have ended). But that lucrative Netflix deal (which has been in place since 2011) is ending and that could have a significant impact on The CW’s shows going forward. It doesn’t mean that the shows will not end up on Netflix anymore, they will just not automatically go that streamer at season end as they did before. The CW will shop each show individually, and I would expect CBS All Access and/or the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service to be likely landing spots due to the fact that The CW is a join venture between CBS and Warner Bros. If the shows go to those platforms, it may not impact their status too much. But if The CW has to spend too much effort shopping them around, that could directly affect their renewal chances, especially the new shows. This is all part of the changing landscape of the streaming business and we will be keeping an eye on how this is affecting the currently airing sci fi and fantasy shows going forward.
The Picard Series Has a Name: We have known for a while that CBS All Access is working on a new Star Trek series that will focus on Jean-Luc Picard, but only sparse details have been available about that show, and it previously had no official title. CBS All Access has rectified that last point, though, and announced the name of the show as Star Trek: Picard. Set to star alongside Patrick Stewart in the show are Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Michelle Hurd. Jonathan Frakes will also be jumping onboard, but behind the scenes as director. We do know that the show will focus on Jean-Luc Picard in his later years, but not too much official information is available beyond that. The series is currently set to debut later this year on the CBS All Access Streaming service.
The Streaming Wars: Because we need another streaming service, NBCUniversal has announced that they will be launching their own platform in 2020. But unlike Netflix, Disney+, WarnerMedia, and others, this one will be free and will be ad supported:
Next year we’re going to unveil the largest initiative in our company’s history: We’re going to have our own ad supported platform. While other companies are pushing advertisers out, we’re bringing them in. It will have a slate of originals and a gigantic library of all favorites. The shows that people love the most and stream the most are coming home at a price that every person can afford: free.
The service will likely include many NBCUniversal properties and will probably also result in more shows leaving Netflix. NBC.com already has older shows like 1978’s Battlestar: Galactica, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Heroes available for streaming with ads on their site in the Throwback section.
This is Upfront week when the networks are announcing their schedules for the Fall 2019-20 season. Be sure to stay tuned to this site and r/SciFiTV for breaking news throughout the week.
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