DirecTV: ‘Damages’ Fifth and Final Season Summer Premiere Date Announced

We hate to say this, but we could really give two-sh*ts about this news.  Although we were happy to see SOMEONE save the fantastic drama Damages from cancellation after its third season, the idiots over at DirecTV think it’s a good idea to hide the show completely unless you subscribe to them.  They won’t even release the fourth season until the end of June… two weeks before the fifth season premiere!

So let’s get this straight: you want more subscribers and the only reason you picked up Damages was to get more subscribers but you think that by hiding the only scripted show you have will inspire more people to subscribe?  Brilliant, DirecTV and thank you.  Thank you for giving us one more reason to hate you besides the fact that you don’t offer Internet or telephone service and a swift breeze knocks out your service.

Via Press Release:

DAMAGES Fifth and Final Season Heads Toward an Explosive Showdown This Summer

DAMAGES, featuring Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Ryan Phillippe, Jenna Elfman, Janet McTeer and John Hannah, to Premiere July 11 exclusively on DirecTV’s Audience Network

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — DirecTV’s Audience Network (http://www.DirecTV.com/DTVAPP/content/premiums/audience) heats up this summer with the season five premiere of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning, critically acclaimed legal thriller, DAMAGES, starring Emmy Award-winner Glenn Close and Emmy Award-nominee Rose Byrne, on Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. The fifth and final season of the series, which has been nominated for nineteen Emmy Awards, centers on the timely and controversial subject of government and corporate transparency, focusing on how the ever-changing digital landscape shapes the way in which information is obtained and shared. DAMAGES is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with FX Productions and KZK Productions.

In true DAMAGES fashion, the season features a stellar array of stars including Ryan Phillippe, who joins the cast as a series regular. Emmy Award-nominee Jenna Elfman, Academy Award-nominee Janet McTeer, John Hannah, Chris Messina, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmett Walsh, Victor Garber, William Sadler, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Gillian Alexy and Zachary Booth will be featured throughout the season. DAMAGES was created and executive produced by KZK (Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler) and co-executive produced by Mark A. Baker.

DAMAGES (http://www.DirecTV.com/DTVAPP/content/damages) follows the lives of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), the nation’s most revered and reviled high-stakes litigator and her former protégé, the bright and ambitious Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). After four seasons of professional and personal manipulation and deceit, season five sets the stage for the final showdown between Patty and Ellen. Channing McClaren (Ryan Phillippe) is a computer expert and the iconoclastic founder of a website, McClarenTruth.org, devoted to government and corporate transparency. When McClaren is approached by Naomi Walling (Jenna Elfman), an investment bank employee troubled by her company’s conduct with insider information, it lays the foundation for the case that will finally pit Patty and Ellen against one another. In an attempt to triumph over her former mentor, Ellen hires Kate Franklin (Janet McTeer), a one time colleague of Patty’s who is all too familiar with how she operates, but whose loyalty could be called into question. Adding to the turmoil surrounding the case is Rutger Simon (John Hannah), the chief lieutenant and gatekeeper for McClaren. As the series builds to its electrifying conclusion, far more than the verdict is at stake for everyone involved.

Since its premiere in 2007, DAMAGES has received a total of nineteen Emmy Award nominations. In its first season, the series was nominated for an Emmy for Best Drama series and Glenn Close won the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, an award she has won twice for her role as Patty Hewes. In addition to DAMAGES’ multiple Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Series, Acting, and Casting, the show has also received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Writing and Outstanding Direction.

DAMAGES has been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards. In its first season, the series earned more Golden Globes nominations than any other show on television, with Glenn Close winning for Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama.

In addition to a variety of other wins and nominations, DAMAGES has been nominated for awards from the Writers Guild and the Producers Guild.

UPFRONTS 2012: SyFy Announces 2012 – 2013 Schedule, 12 New Scripted Series In Development

Upfront season is finally upon us and to kick it off, SyFy, in typical fashion, held theirs ahead of the pack, this time at the American Museum of Natural History.  As you can imagine, of course, SyFy is adding a ton of unscripted series, but what’s really interesting is the news of the upcoming scripted programming, for what was announced and what wasn’t announced.  Though SyFy is not launching any new scripted series this summer and have only one officially announced to premiere in 2013, they have 12 – count ’em – 12 new scripted series in development  currently with huge names attached to them. We’re looking at Rockne O’Bannon, Michael Taylor, Kevin Murphy, George Nolfi, Bryan Fuller, Greg Berlanti, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Neil Moritz, Mark Verheiden, The Jim Henson Company, Naren Shankar being involved directly with these projects, all of whom are legends or are rising stars in the genre.   Most surprisingly, none of these projects look like crap.  Here’s our analysis of SyFy’s upfront news, you can read the full press release below.

  • Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome… not even mentioned. Elephant in the room time, or lack thereof, as it were.  As you know, we’ve been following the development of B & C for some time now and last month we noted that the upfronts were where we’d find out what’s really going on with this series, despite the fact that SyFy announced that they would officially be moving forward with it as a digital series.  We expected one of two things to be announced; first, that the pilot movie would be aired this summer and in which case, all bets were off and it would be considered a backdoor pilot and its ratings would determine whether it would receive network or digital treatment.  The other option was that they would announce a mid-season 2012 – 2013 airing and that would confirm that the show would be indeed going digital (not that going digital is a bad thing).  The third, “WTF?” option that we didn’t even want to  consider because we didn’t think it would be possible but we threw it out there just in case is exactly what happened.  SyFy gave us crickets, “I knowz nothingz,” and “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” and although we didn’t expect that they would go the route of pretending that B & C doesn’t exist, they did and just like we predicted in last month’s piece, this course of action has left us completely perplexed as to what SyFy’s intentions with it are, although we are leaning toward accepting that it is indeed going digital, when exactly still remains a mystery, however, it should be noted that IMDb has a release date of 2013 listed on the show’s page.

(UPDATE 10/28/2012: IMDb now has a premiere date for the BSG:B&C pilot as March, 2013) 

To keep it simple, here’s a list of all of the new series that SyFy has in development for 2013 and beyond and what we think of them so far.

  • Defiance  Defiance is in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. The series stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Fionnula Flanagan, Mia Kirshner and Oscar-nominee Graham Greene. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. – Not surprisingly, the centerpiece of the upfront event was the groundbreaking “transmedia” (we like that made-up term soooo much more than “cross-over.” Congratulations, SyFy, you’ve permanently impacted the pop-culture lexicon.) series/MMORPG, Defiance.  Announced at last April’s upfront, we have been reporting on this project since last summer and just last month more news was released about its development and casting.  Good stuff, indeed, and very risky and progressive.  We are in love with this project.
  • Rewind  Rewind revolves around a team of military field operatives and civilian scientists who must use untested technology to travel back in time to alter events and change the future — and avoid a devastating terrorist attack. Shane McRae stars as Sean Knox, ex-Special Forces who ranks as a field operative in a special division of the Department of Homeland Security. – Proving our theory that there are no original concepts in SciFi any more, just recycled and repackaged concepts. Yep, thanks, SyFy, but we already saw this show.  It ran from 1998 – 2001 on UPN right before Star Trek: Voyager on Wednesday nights and was called Seven Days and it was one of the greatest and most underrated SciFi programs in history.  Not that we’re complaining, mind you, because we don’t mind recycling/repackaging provided it’s done well, but what we find notable is that this type of programming is in direct contradiction with the network’s stated intention of avoiding this particular genre which is what prompted the name change from SciFi to SyFy three years ago to begin with…. and it’s not the only entry at this year’s upfront to do this.
  • The Adjustment Bureau  In this drama, based on the hit movie starring Matt Damon, guardian angel-type agents work to keep the world according to The Plan. They create everything from plane crashes to coffee spills in order to steer people to realize their true destiny. But there is one thing the operatives and their Chairman can’t control — free will. – Ditto what we just said about no original concepts in SciFi, however we’ll let this one off the hook because when the incredibly underrated SciFi Action – Thriller starring Matt Damon hit theaters in 2010, it was certainly one of the most original concepts that the genre had seen in years (sorry, fanboys, as good as Inception was and is, there was nothing original about the concept). Last year, we felt that there were two recent feature films that would make great scripted television series; 2011’s Source Code and, of course, The Adjustment Bureau.  We’ve actually known about The Adjustment Bureau being picked up for series treatment by SyFy for a long time but we didn’t have much to go on until now which is why we didn’t report on it, but we certainly think that this project has a tremendous amount of potential and we’re looking forward to it.  Film to television adaptations haven’t always fared so well in the past but one thing to note is that George Nolfi, the director/screenplay writer/producer of the film is one of the two executive producers on the show so you can imagine that the show won’t stray far from the original vision. Oh, and, by the way… in case you haven’t heard, Source Code was also picked up for series treatment by CBS.
  • High Moon  Based on the novel, The Lotus Caves, by John Christopher, this imaginative, out-of-this-world series explores a world where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon’s resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover its powerful secrets. – Even though we’ve never read The Lotus Caves, we absolutely love the idea of bringing classic Science Fiction from the “space age” generation to contemporary audiences.  This is old school, big theme, cerebral SciFi the way it should be. 
  • Grave Sight   From the best-selling author of True Blood, this Charlaine Harris book series follows Harper Connelly – a young woman with a unique gift. After being struck by lightning as a teenager, Harper can sense the location and last memories of dead people. She teams up with her protective stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, to help find a missing teenage girl — only to uncover a network of lies and murders throughout a small town in the Ozarks. – For the ladies in the house. We’re not really sure what to make of this. There’s a couple of big gimmicks going on here.  First, the obvious is the need to take advantage of the Charlaine Harris brand when that may not necessarily be a recipe for success.  Yes, True Blood is an incredibly popular series based on the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novels but that has far less to do with the author and the source material and far more to do with Alan Ball and his ability to HBO-ize a concept.  The other issue here is the recycled nature of every aspect of this. It seems a lot like Ghost Whisperer meets Haven meets True Blood, oh and the whole notion of being able to see the dead’s last memories has been done on both Star Trek: Voyager and Torchwood.  That being said, it seems pretty safe and generic, which means it will probably be a big hit.
  • Untitled Booster Gold Project  Based on the best-selling DC Entertainment Comic, this is the story of a washed-up athlete from the future who travels back to the present in hopes of becoming the greatest superhero of all time. But instead of chasing criminals, his main priority is chasing fame and money. Booster Gold discovers that being a hero takes more than just a megawatt smile. – We know absolutely nothing about this comic book but it seems like a pretty fun concept (but there they go again… doing a project that focuses on the forever shunned time travel premise) and we like the fact that SyFy is finally putting its toe into the waters of the comic book genre.  It certainly seems a lot more appealing than The CW’s upcoming Arrow (based on DC Comic’s Green Arrow which by chance, Greg Berlanti is also producing).  To our shame, we didn’t get into Smallville during first-run but apparently Booster Gold made an appearance on that fan favorite, as well.
  • Seeing Things  Based on the comic Grey Legion from Platinum Studios, after a cop meets his violent demise, he returns as a ghost to close his last case. But the only person who can help him is a socially awkward man who is realizing for the first time that his hallucinations may not be all in his head. – More of the recycling/repackaging but, again, another comic book adaptation for the network.  Kinda like Ghost and A Gifted Man made into a police procedural (or serial… perhaps?).  It’s got our attention.
  • Defender  In the aftermath of an intergalactic war between humans and transhumans, the starship Defender, populated by a combustible mix of former enemies, is sent on a seemingly simple goodwill mission, which turns into a fight for their lives and for the safety of the Universe at large. – Our type of show… period, but again, for those keeping score, that’s four series so far that are in development that violate the policy of limiting space-based, aliens and time travel themed shows.
  • The Family  For generations, an alien family has hid amongst humans in plain sight using their advanced intellect to carve out a life for themselves as their family grew. But when the family patriarch that kept peace amongst the factions dies, a war begins to brew with some members believing the time has come to reveal themselves, and their superior power, to the inferior human race. – Ditto and that makes it five.
  • Darkfall  When, without warning, modern forms of power and technology become a thing of the past, Los Angeles, and the world at large, becomes a place where magic rules and life as we know it is turned upside down. – OK… this is a weird one.  Not that it doesn’t sound cool, but it sounds like a premise for a video game.
  • One Mile Straight Down  When a powerful earthquake hits California and opens up a chasm bigger than the Grand Canyon, it reveals an enormous hidden ocean lying deep beneath the earth’s crust. Billionaire adventurer James Exeter works with the government to take an advanced nuclear submarine down to explore it and discovers more than he ever could have imagined. – What we like about this one is that even though it’s a hodgepodge of several repackaged concepts (LostJourney to the Center of the Earth, The River, Terra Nova… to name a few) it’s high-concept and it seems like the kind of show that would work perfectly on the niche cable network.
  • Eyes of the Dragon  Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. A kingdom is in turmoil as the old king dies and his successor must battle for the throne. Pitted against an evil wizard and a would-be rival, Prince Peter makes a daring escape and rallies the forces of good to fight for what is rightfully his. – Is it just us or does this seem like another attempt by SyFy to capitalize on the popularity of an HBO show and a famous writer.  The first thing that came to mind with this was Game of Thrones and the second thing that came to mind was “When the Hell did Steven King start writing Medieval Fantasy?” The project seems amibitious though a tad bit obvious and we question SyFy’s ability to come anywhere close to HBO’s GoT production values just simply based on the limited budget that the show will have being on a basic cable channel, but, hey, then again, Merlin has been working out quite well for the network.
Via Press Release:

SYFY IGNITES THE IMAGINATION WITH MOST ORIGINAL PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING HOURS IN HISTORY

RECORD 28 SCRIPTED AND REALITY PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT

EPIC TRANSMEDIA EVENT DEFIANCE TO PREMIERE IN 2013

NEW YORK – April 24, 2012 – Coming off Syfy’s most watched First Quarter ever in total viewers, Adults 18-34 and key women demos, Syfy and Chiller President Dave Howe today ignited the imagination of the advertising community by unveiling the next phase of the channel’s largest original programming slate in history. This will feature Syfy’s most original primetime hours ever, a record 28 scripted and reality development projects and the 2013 premiere of the highly-anticipated Defiance, the visionary transmedia experience that will unite television and Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) gaming for the very first time.

Said Howe: “Syfy’s Upfront celebrates the power of Igniters, our influential audience who has the highly coveted ability to move brands forward faster. This audience Imagines Greater and, as a result, we will be bringing them the most groundbreaking entertainment phenomenon in 2013. Nearly four years in the making, Defiance is the first ever, weekly scripted television and Massively Multiplayer Online game, converging to create a singular, interactive and epic story. Along with this unprecedented experience, we will be unveiling our most ambitious development slate ever of relevant and contemporary original programming.”

The diverse Syfy reality slate features six new series: School Sprits, Paranormal Highway, Collection Intervention, Viral Video Showdown, Ghost Mine and, from the producers of the Smash hit series Face Off, Hot Set. Unscripted development projects include a chilling “found footage” paranormal experiment; an extreme concierge company; Destination Truth’s Josh Gates transforming awesome ideas into awesome reality and the unearthly challenges of selling haunted houses.

Among the scripted development projects are adaptations of popular works by best-selling novelists such as Stephen King (Eyes of the Dragon), John Christopher (The Lotus Caves) and Charlaine Harris (Grave Sight), as well as the hit movie The Adjustment Bureau and the DC Entertainment Comic Booster Gold. Syfy further announced shows about a Fifth Column of feuding aliens and a time-traveling elite military squad.

This record expansion, including eight scripted development projects from Universal Cable Productions, builds upon the channel’s powerhouse lineup of hit series such as Warehouse 13, Being Human, Alphas, Face Off and Ghost Hunters. These programs have transformed Syfy into a top 10 cable entertainment network among Adults 25-54 for 16 consecutive years.

Said Mark Stern, President Original Content, Syfy, and Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions: “Over its 20 year history, Syfy has always pushed the boundaries of our genre and the entertainment experience. This new crop of innovative, thought-provoking, emotionally-charged programming will propel us even farther as we imagine all the greater possibilities ahead for the powerful Syfy brand.”

For the gala, star-studded Upfront event at the American Museum of Natural History, Syfy created an opportunity for guests to live like an Igniter – highly imaginative people who move brands forward as showcased in the channel’s groundbreaking study with Simmons/PSFK — along with celebrity Igniters from the worlds of business innovation (Sir Richard Branson), music (Young the Giant, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid) and the culinary arts (Marcus Samuelsson).

Syfy is also expanding its multi-platform growth. Syfy Ventures announced a partnership with Hasbro to develop the first online social game based on the iconic G.I. JOE franchise. G.I. Joe: Special Ops, published by Syfy Games, will debut in June on Facebook and Syfy Games.com, among other platforms worldwide.

Continuing its expansion of original video content, mobile reach to new platforms and commitment to cutting edge technology, Syfy Digital unveiled four new initiatives, from its first ever unscripted program, new apps for Windows Phone and Roku and the upcoming addition of sync-to-broadcast functionality to its successful Syfy app for iPads and Android tablets for season three of the hit series Face Off.

A global brand, Syfy is currently available in 75 countries, reaching nearly 150 million households.

NEW SCRIPTED SERIES

Defiance – 2013 – Defiance is in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion’s multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. The series stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Fionnula Flanagan, Mia Kirshner and Oscar-nominee Graham Greene. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. Defiance is directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest) and written/executive produced by Rockne O’Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Hellcats) and Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions.

NEW REALITY SERIES

School Spirits – Premieres June 2012 – School Spirits will tell true ghost stories of hauntings that have happened at schools across the country. The stories will be told in first person narratives through the testimonials of real students, teachers, parents and staff that have encountered the paranormal activity, blended with bone-chilling cinematic reenactments to further bring the haunting experiences to life. Executive producers: Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) and Seth Jarrett & Julie Insogna Jarrett (Celebrity Ghost Stories).

Paranormal Highway – Summer 2012 – Paranormal Highway puts the pedal to the metal as Jack Osbourne and Dana Workman investigate the most frightening claims of paranormal activity along America’s remote back roads. Fueled by eyewitness interviews and evidence collected by state-of-the-art equipment, Jack and Dana will travel alone, self-documenting their harrowing road trip while coming face-to-face with paranormal legends. Production company: BASE Productions. Executive producers: John Brenkus, Mickey Stern, Ron Ziskin.

Collection Intervention – Collection Intervention follows Elyse Luray, a sharp and to-the-point collectibles expert as she helps couples who are divided over what to do with an overwhelming collection of memorabilia. Whether it’s a husband’s collection of mint-condition G.I. JOE action figures worth thousands of dollars or a girlfriend’s treasure trove of Star Wars movie posters, Elyse helps couples decide what’s worth keeping and what they can sell. For each couple, their new cash windfall will make their dream come true, whether it’s an engagement ring, a down payment for a home, or the honeymoon they never had. Production company: High Noon Entertainment. Executive producers: Pam Healey, Elizabeth Grizzle Voorhees, Jim Berger.

Hot Set – From the producers of Syfy’s hit series Face Off, Hot Set is an extreme design challenge pitting two Hollywood production designers each week in a head-to-head battle to design, build, decorate and ultimately create an original and signature movie set that transports the viewer into an immersive world. Production company: Mission Control Media. Executive producers: Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith.

Viral Video Showdown – The greatest viral video creators on the planet go head-to-head each week in an epic battle for bragging rights and a cash prize. Two teams will have to dig deep into their bag of viral tricks to create a video that best captures that week’s theme and impresses the expert panel of viral video judges. Production company: 495 Productions. Executive producers: SallyAnn Salsano, Kevin Pereira.

Ghost Mine – In the remote woods of Oregon lays one of the richest gold mines in the United States. For the last 100 years, it has remained abandoned — until now. Soon to be re-opened by a scraggly group of miners, these hardy souls will battle the elements to find their fortune. But with a rich history of paranormal activity surrounding the mine, they may just find something else. Production company: 51 Minds. Executive producer: Mark Cronin.

SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT/DRAMAS

Rewind – Rewind revolves around a team of military field operatives and civilian scientists who must use untested technology to travel back in time to alter events and change the future — and avoid a devastating terrorist attack. Shane McRae stars as Sean Knox, ex-Special Forces who ranks as a field operative in a special division of the Department of Homeland Security. The pilot also stars Jennifer Ferrin, Academy Award nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Robbie Jones and Keon Mohajeri, and is currently in production in Toronto. Jack Bender (Lost, Alphas) is directing the pilot, written by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), who will also executive produce with Tom Spezialy, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. A production of BermanBraun and Universal Cable Productions.

The Adjustment Bureau – In this drama, based on the hit movie starring Matt Damon, guardian angel-type agents work to keep the world according to The Plan. They create everything from plane crashes to coffee spills in order to steer people to realize their true destiny. But there is one thing the operatives and their Chairman can’t control — free will. Writers: Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (Melrose Place, Smallville). Executive producers: George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, The Bourne Ultimatum), MRC, Slavkin and Swimmer. A production of Universal Cable Productions.

High Moon – Based on the novel, The Lotus Caves, by John Christopher, this imaginative, out-of-this-World Series explores a world where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon’s resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover its powerful secrets. Executive producer: Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies). Co-executive producer: Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies). Writers: Bryan Fuller and Jim Danger Gray. Executive producer: Granat Entertainment. A production of Universal Cable Productions.

Untitled Booster Gold Project – Based on the best-selling DC Entertainment Comic, this is the story of a washed-up athlete from the future who travels back to the present in hopes of becoming the greatest superhero of all time. But instead of chasing criminals, his main priority is chasing fame and money. Booster Gold discovers that being a hero takes more than just a megawatt smile. Writer: Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, Warehouse 13). Executive producers: Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern, Arrow) and Andrew Kreisberg. Producers: Greg Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television. The Booster Gold comic book series is published by DC Entertainment, which will also act as an executive producer.

Grave Sight – From the best-selling author of True Blood, this Charlaine Harris book series follows Harper Connelly – a young woman with a unique gift. After being struck by lightning as a teenager, Harper can sense the location and last memories of dead people. She teams up with her protective stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, to help find a missing teenage girl — only to uncover a network of lies and murders throughout a small town in the Ozarks. Writer: Kam Miller (Law And Order: SVU). A production of Universal Cable Productions.

Seeing Things – Based on the comic Grey Legion from Platinum Studios, after a cop meets his violent demise, he returns as a ghost to close his last case. But the only person who can help him is a socially Awkward man who is realizing for the first time that his hallucinations may not be all in his head. Writers: David Slack (Person Of Interest, Lie To Me) and Gabrielle Stanton (Haven, The Vampire Diaries). Executive producers: David Slack, Robert Cort and Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. A production of Fox Television Studios.

Defender – In the aftermath of an intergalactic war between humans and transhumans, the starship Defender, populated by a combustible mix of former enemies, is sent on a seemingly simple goodwill mission, which turns into a fight for their lives and for the safety of the Universe at large. Executive producer/writer: Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas). A production of Universal Cable Productions.

The Family – For generations, an alien family has hid amongst humans in plain sight using their advanced intellect to carve out a life for themselves as their family grew. But when the family patriarch that kept peace amongst the factions dies, a war begins to brew with some members believing the time has come to reveal themselves, and their superior power, to the inferior human race. Writer: Dan Harris (Superman Returns, X2). Executive producers: Neal Moritz (21 Jump Street, Total Recall), Mark Verheiden (Falling Skies, Battlestar Galactica). A production of Sony Pictures TV.

LONGFORM SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT

Eyes Of The Dragon – Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. A kingdom is in turmoil as the old king dies and his successor must battle for the throne. Pitted against an evil wizard and a would-be rival, Prince Peter makes a daring escape and rallies the forces of good to fight for what is rightfully his. Writers: Michael Taylor (Defiance, Battlestar Galactica) and Jeff Vintar (I, Robot). Executive producers: Michael Taylor and Bill Haber. A production of Universal Cable Productions and Ostar Productions.

Darkfall – When, without warning, modern forms of power and technology become a thing of the past, Los Angeles, and the world at large, becomes a place where magic rules and life as we know it is turned upside down. Writers: Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris (Kung Fu Panda, Sleeper Cell). A production of The Jim Henson Company and Universal Cable Productions.

One Mile Straight Down – When a powerful earthquake hits California and opens up a chasm bigger than the Grand Canyon, it reveals an enormous hidden ocean lying deep beneath the earth’s crust. Billionaire adventurer James Exeter works with the government to take an advanced nuclear submarine down to explore it and discovers more than he ever could have imagined. Writers: Skip Woods (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Naren Shankar (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) and Deran Sarafian (CSI: NY). Executive producers: Skip Woods, Naren Shankar and Deran Sarafian. A production of Universal Cable Productions.

REALITY DEVELOPMENT

The Genie – The Genie follows Steve Sims and his extreme concierge company, Blue Fish, as they make outlandish experiences and imaginative adventures come to life for their clients. Whether it’s rebuilding the chocolate river from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory or experiencing life as a Hobbit, making the impossible possible is the job of “The Genie.” Production company: Smart Dog Media. Executive producer: Craig Plestis.

Stranded – In each episode of this frightening paranormal social experiment, a family or group of friends moves into an infamously haunted location, self-documenting their experience in total isolation. Production company: Ping Pong Productions. Executive producers: Brad Kuhlman, Casey Brummels, Josh Gates.

Awesome Foundation – In this new project starring Destination Truth’s Josh Gates, each week inventors, artists and regular people from all over the country pitch their amazing and imaginative ideas to the Awesome Foundation, a group dedicated to turning awesome ideas into awesome reality. The members grant their own money to the lucky three people with the best ideas, leading to a race to complete the projects in the given time and budget. Production company: Idiot Box Productions. Executive producer: Dan Taberski.

Exit – Based on the hit Japanese format, Exit is a nail-biting game show where two teams of contestants battle to escape three diabolical rooms. To do so, they must beat the clock while solving rapid-fire brain games and navigating booby-traps and bottomless pits. Production company: Zig Zag Productions. Executive producer: Danny Fenton.

Buyer Beware – What does someone do when they need to sell their house — but it’s haunted? They call in a real estate professional who specializes in matching haunted properties with eager buyers. In each episode, viewers will see what it takes to sell a home — still occupied by the spirits — and what kind of buyers have the guts to take it off the market. Production company: Zodiak USA. Executive producers: Natalka Znak, Claire O’Donohue.

Untitled Mark Burnett Project (wt) – From acclaimed producer Mark Burnett comes a competition show where fans of science fiction/fantasy books and movies compete to create the most flavorful and inspired dishes from the foods featured in the imaginary worlds that they love. Production company: Mark Burnett Productions. Executive producer: Mark Burnett.

Deadfinder – When the morgue drawer closes on a Jane or John Doe, rarely is it reopened. Deadfinder follows a group of mediums as they search through the vaults of cold cases using their paranormal skills to bring the mysteries of the murdered back to life. Production company: NorthSouth. Executive producers: Charlie DeBevoise, Mark Hickman.

Ghost Town, USA – Settled in 1677, Mount Holly, New Jersey, is a town teeming with reports of paranormal activity. And for the residents of this town, that’s just the way they like it. Ghost Town, USA follows the colorful characters and real drama that plays out among the town’s living residents, from renovating a haunted house to organizing the annual Witches Ball. Production company: Cream Productions. Executive producers: David Brady, Christopher Rowley.

The Wrights – Joe and Chris Wright are relatives of the famous Wright Brothers, but instead of building airplanes, this father-and-son-duo build paranormal contraptions to communicate with the dead. Each week the show follows the Wrights as they use their inventing ability to gain answers from the “other side.” Production company: Jarrett Creative Group. Executive producers: Julie Insogna Jarrett, Seth Jarrett.

Chris Cox Project – Young and charming, Chris Cox is the mind reader who can’t read minds. Cox has the mind-manipulating abilities of Derren Brown, the mischief of Ferris Bueller and the comic eccentricity of Mr. Bean all wrapped in a style uniquely his own. In everyday situations and locations – at a coffee shop, the post office, or just walking down the street – Chris amazes and confounds real people. Production company: Mission Control Media. Executive producers: Dwight Smith, Michael Agbabian, Erich Recker.

Divas of Dress Up – This program follows the six hottest cos-play stars as they push the boundaries of creativity and costuming in this docu-series that takes viewers inside the amazingly creative world of cos-play competition. Each week, the top women competitors transform themselves into fictional characters with visually arresting costumes, pushing the boundary between fantasy and reality. Production company: Skip Films. Executive producers: Skip Chaisson, Brian Gallagher.

Fan Girl/Fan Boy Project – From the producer of Jersey Shore comes a docu-series that celebrates the incredibly unique, often misunderstood and infinitely fascinating fan girl and fan boy cultures. Production company: 495 Productions. Executive producer: SallyAnn Salsano.

Limitless – Limitless is a cutting-edge series that recounts firsthand, true-life tales of ordinary men and women who discovered hidden powers – that they never knew existed – when faced with extreme life and death circumstances. Every story will explore the often unexplainable potential of the human body and psyche, leaving viewers to wonder what hidden abilities humans might possess. Production company: Karga 7. Executive producers: Kelly McPherson, Miriam Leffert, Sarah Wetherbee, Emre Sahin.

Superhumans – Superhumans uncovers the secrets of unbelievable stunts, record-breaking abilities and exceptional feats of human power and skill by putting real people through physical on-location challenges and a series of tests in a high-tech lab to answer the question: “How did they do that?” Production company: BASE Productions. Executive producers: John Brenkus, Mickey Stern.

Toy Traveler – Shane Turgeon, the Indiana Jones of toy collectors, travels to remote corners of the world to find the rarest and most valuable toys and collectibles. Whether it’s in an old toy warehouse in a remote Guatemalan town or a small swap meet in the Ukraine, Shane will go to all lengths to find the most unique and collectible toys. Production company: Jarrett Creative Group. Executive producers: Seth Jarrett, Julie Insogna Jarrett.

Master Control – Master Control is a weekly competition that pits user-generated videos against each other in a battle for viewer popularity. Each week, self-submitted videos must entertain the host, celebrity panel and the entire viewing audience, who are all simultaneously rating the video and anointing a winner. Production company: The Gurin Co. Executive producers: Phil Gurin, Kevin Pereira.

Stranger than Fiction – Stranger than Fiction is the only viral video clip show where comedians compete for laughs while commenting on and arguing over the strangest clips from the web. Good jokes earn points, while lame jokes lose them. At the end of the show, one comedian is crowned the irreverent victor. Production company: BASE Productions. Executive producers: John Brenkus, Mickey Stern.

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

ALERT! We Called It! FOX: Fringe Renewed For Fifth And Final Season

As we predicted, FOX has renewed their SciFi thriller, Fringe, for a fifth and final season despite its continuing declining ratings. FOX announced Thursday that they had ordered 13 episodes of the fan-favorite to wrap up the series next season, though no details have been provided as of yet for a season premiere date (see the full press release below).

Despite the naysayers, this comes as no surprise to us whatsoever simply due to the fact that against all odds, FOX renewed the struggling series for a fourth season last year after being dumped into the Friday night “death slot” and the reasons for this are pretty basic.

The key for a bubble-show like Fringe with a small but dedicated fanbase is getting to a fourth season, not a fifth.  A fifth season for any show like Fringe is almost a guarantee if they can get to that magical fourth season.  Why?  Well, if the network thinks a fourth season is viable despite mediocre ratings, it’s only because the production studio is giving the farm away to get it to the fifth season.

Five is the magic number for scripted television for several reasons.  The first is the most talked about and that is getting a show to that magic 100 episode mark which makes the show more valuable for syndication.  At the end of this season, Fringe will have 87 episodes under its belt, 87 plus the 13 ordered for season five and voila… 100 episodes.  This doesn’t mean a whole lot to FOX, but it does mean a lot to Warner Bros. Television who is far more concerned about the success of the show after its original run than it is while it’s in first-run.  Because of that, Warner Bros. and FOX have been in negotiations since January to lower the series licensing fee (what Warner Bros. charges FOX to air each episode) so FOX could mitigate their losses on it and though no details have been released as to what was negotiated, we can guarantee you that Warner Bros. is practically giving Fringe away for the final season.  This should come as a surprise to no one because it’s exactly what Warner had to do last year to get FOX to agree to a fourth season.

And U.S. syndication isn’t the only outlet for Warner Bros. to profit off of the franchise.  Fringe is currently shown in 30 countries worldwide and with 100 episodes it makes it a very attractive property globally for U.S. and international cable and satellite services and smaller local markets.

There is also the issue of home video sales but even more important is digital distribution through Video On Demand services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. None of these services offer instant access to Fringe to their subscribers (Hulu offers the last five episodes of the current season but that means a whole lot of nothing because you can get that from FOX’s website for free) and that’s because there’s no deal in place between Warner and these services and that is a huge key for future profitability, especially for Fringe which has typically been the largest gainer in Live +7 DVR viewings over the past four years.  

Fringe has become a DVR show which means that it’s become a VOD show.  That and the fact that science fiction and serialized drama is incredibly popular on these digital services makes it ideal for those providers to add it to their stable.  This means non-exclusive deals for Warner Bros. with multiple providers globally ans potentially bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars for the foreseeable future for a product they don’t even have to spend money on to produce any more.

So the lesson to be learned here, again, is that it’s a whole new world out there when it comes to the television industry.  Here we have a series that was given two additional seasons despite miserable ratings and the fact that the network airing it is losing money on it and why?  Because the production company sees the bigger picture of its potential profitability and is willing to take a hit on it now in order to reap the benefits from it in the future, Nielsen ratings be damned.

Via Press Release:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

HOT FROM FOX…

FOX BOOKS “FRINGE” FOR A FIFTH AND FINAL CHAPTER 

13 Episodes Ordered for 2012-2013 Season

FOX has picked up FRINGE for a fifth and final 13-episode season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

“FRINGE is a remarkably creative series that has set the bar as one of television’s most imaginative dramas. Bringing it back for a final 13 allows us to provide the climactic conclusion that its passionate and loyal fans deserve,” said Reilly “The amazing work the producers, writers and the incredibly talented cast and crew have delivered the last four seasons has literally been out of this world. Although the end is bittersweet, it’s going to be a very exciting final chapter.”

FRINGE co-creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams added, “We are thrilled and beyond grateful that FOX – and our fans – have made the impossible possible: FRINGE will continue into a fifth season that will allow the series to conclude in a wild and thrilling way. All of us at Bad Robot are forever indebted to our viewers and the amazingly supportive FOX network for allowing the adventures of Fringe Division to not only continue, but to resolve in a way that perfectly fits the show.”

“This pickup means the world (both of them) to us, because we love sharing these stories with our enthusiastic fans,” added FRINGE showrunners and executive producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman. “On behalf of the cast and crew, we applaud our fans and FOX for allowing us to imagine the impossibilities together for so long. Season Five is going to be a conclusive thrill ride for all of us.”

FRINGE’s compelling fourth season concludes with three all-new FRINGE Friday episodes in a row, counting down to the two-part season finale on Friday, May 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Friday, May 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). In “Worlds Apart,” airing Friday, April 27 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), team members on both sides, including Olivia (Anna Torv) and Peter (Joshua Jackson), continue to fight for a common cause, and there are shocking developments tied to the Cortexiphan children.

Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, FRINGE is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Jeff Pinkner, J.H. Wyman and Joe Chappelle serve as executive producers, while Kurtzman, Orci and Akiva Goldsman are consulting producers. Additionally, Pinkner and Wyman serve as the series’ showrunners. “Like” FRINGE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fringe. Follow the series on Twitter @fringeonfox and join the conversation at #Fringe.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Full episodes of FRINGE are available for viewing at www.fox.com and www.hulu.com. For episodic and gallery photos and for more information, please visit http://foxflash.com/div.php/main/page?aID=1z2z2z248.]

-FOX-

ABC Announces Summer 2012 Schedule

Via Press release:

ABC ANNOUNCES ITS 2012 SUMMER SCHEDULE

“Duets,” “Rookie Blue,” “Secret Millionaire,”

“Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” “Wipeout,”

“Trust Us With Your Life,” “Final Witness” and “Bachelor Pad”

Join Previously Announced “The Bachelorette”

 

ABC announces the following summer premieres for new series and returning favorites (all times ET):

Thursday, May 24:

8:00-10:00 p.m. “Duets” (series premiere)

10:00-11:00 p.m. “Rookie Blue”

Sunday, June 3:

8:00-9:00 p.m. “Secret Millionaire”

9:00-11:00 p.m. “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”

Thursday, June 28:

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Wipeout”

Tuesday, July 10:

9:00-10:00 p.m. “Trust Us With Your Life” (series premiere, back-to-back episodes)

10:00-11:00 p.m. “Final Witness” (series premiere)

Tuesday, July 17:

9:00-9:30 p.m. “Trust Us With Your Life” (regular time period premiere)

Monday, July 23:

8:00-10:00 p.m. “Bachelor Pad”

Following is a list of the upcoming summer programming in chronological order (all times ET):

THE BACHELORETTE – PREMIERES MONDAY, MAY 14 (9:30-11:00 p.m.)

Emily Maynard, the beautiful, sweet, young mom who captured America’s and Brad Womack’s heart on the 15th season of “The Bachelor,” finally thought she had her happy ending. She accepted Brad’s proposal but unfortunately their relationship ended, along with her dream of moving to Austin with her daughter, Ricki, and starting a family. But Emily, 26, is ready for her luck to change and to bring her the love she so richly deserves. It’s hard to meet men as a single mom, but Emily will have her pick of 25 bachelors when she gets a second opportunity to find love starring in the eighth edition of “The Bachelorette.” Instantly popular with “Bachelor” fans, Emily’s strength, passion and southern charm – as a mother and as a woman – would make anyone happy to make her his wife. She feels incredibly grateful to have found her first love when she was very young, although her fiancé, famed NASCAR driver and team owner Ricky Hendrick, tragically died in a plane crash. She then discovered she was pregnant with their child, the apple of her eye – Ricki. Despite not having dated a lot, Emily knows what it’s like to be truly in love. In the past seven years, she has been looking for someone with the same spark she has for life, and she believes that she will find her soul mate on “The Bachelorette.” Chris Harrison is the host. “The Bachelorette” is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

DUETS – PREMIERES THURSDAY, MAY 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

“Duets” is a one-of-a-kind singing competition that takes the Superstars out from behind the judges’ panel and onto the stage. Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke set out on individual journeys across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy of being their protégés. Ultimately, each Superstar will choose two singers for their duet partners, and together the Superstars and their protégés will take the stage each week and perform in front of a live studio audience. In the end, only one duet will be at the top of the charts, and the winning amateur will receive a recording contract with Hollywood Records. “Duets” is a production of Keep Calm and Carry On Productions. Emmy winner Robert Deaton (“The CMA Awards”) is executive producer. Emmy winner Charles Wachter (“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”) is co-executive producer.

ROOKIE BLUE – PREMIERES THURSDAY, MAY 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

A group of young and ambitious rookie cops continue to navigate the emotional trials and tribulations of their professional and personal lives. After two years on the job, these rookies are well on their way to becoming experienced cops, but at what cost? What price will they have to pay, both professionally and personally, to succeed at their job? And how can they stay true to themselves – maintaining their individuality and compassion — along the way? While a new rookie — ex-soldier Nick Collins, who is trying to adapt to policing after serving in Afghanistan — has joined 15 Division, the rest of the rookies are now entering their third year on the job. They have overcome the sophomore curse — that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However this year the rookies of 15 Division are going to learn to be careful what they wish for – and they’re going to learn it the hard way. Emmy Award winner William Shatner (“Boston Legal”) guest stars on the premiere as Henry McLeod, a belligerent drunk driver with a haunting secret. “Rookie Blue” stars Missy Peregrym as Andy McNally, Gregory Smith as Dov Epstein, Charlotte Sullivan as Gail Peck, Enuka Okuma as Traci Nash, Travis Milne as Chris Diaz, Peter Mooney as Nick Collins and Ben Bass as Sam Swarek. Also starring in the series is Melanie Nicholls-King as Noelle Williams, Matt Gordon as Oliver Shaw, Noam Jenkins as Detective Jerry Barber and Lyric Bent as Frank Best. Tassie Cameron, Ilana Frank, David Wellington, Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss are executive producers. “Rookie Blue” is produced by ICF Films Inc. and Entertainment One.

Secret Millionaire – Premieres Sunday, June 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m.)

“Secret Millionaire” follows 13 of America’s most successful business people as they spend a week in the country’s poorest areas and ultimately gift deserving members of the community with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money. Originally based on the hit UK series of the same name, each episode follows one of America’s most successful business people for one week as they leave behind their lavish lifestyles, sprawling mansions and luxury jets, conceal their true identities, and go to live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in the country. Surviving on welfare wages, their mission is to discover the most deserving individuals who continually sacrifice everything to help those in need, and ultimately encourage others to do the same. Throughout this incredible, life-changing experience, the Secret Millionaires will attempt to remain undiscovered, coming face to face with extraordinary people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, they reveal their true identities. Ultimately, the millionaires will each give away a great deal of their own money, changing lives forever and encouraging others to keep giving back. “Secret Millionaire” is executive-produced by Claire O’Donohoe, Grant Mansfield, Natalka Znak and Leslie Garvin. Paul Osborne is co-executive producer. The series is a Zodiak USA Production.

Extreme Makeover: WEIGHT LOSS EDITION – PREMIERES SUNDAY, JUNE 3 (9:00-11:00 p.m.) The hit series returns for Season 2 as transformational specialist and bestselling author Chris Powell documents the amazing makeover of eight courageous, “super obese” people who, in an

unprecedented 365 days, set out to safely lose half of their body weight, ultimately revealing an amazing metamorphosis. In each of the eight stand-alone, two-hour episodes, the participants, whose ages range from 19 to 50 years, undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. By assuring that the participants have the proper nourishment and exercise movement, Powell provides a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight. He guides each of the eight participants through their transformation process by moving into their homes with their families or loved ones. The upcoming season is filled with remarkable and eye-opening changes, including one participant who loses 50% of his body weight, despite being homeless for most of the year. Another loses a staggering 142 pounds in the first 90 days, while still another will lose a grand total of 281 pounds over the year. In a show of support, one participant’s family challenge themselves to lose 500 pounds together. In 2012 Chris Powell became a bestselling author when his Hyperion book, Choose to Lose, hit No. 2 on the New York Times Bestseller List. From the producers of “The Biggest Loser” and “MasterChef,” “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” is executive-produced by JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson and Matt Assmus. The series is produced by 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA.

Wipeout – PREMIERES THURSDAY, JUNE 28 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Nothing says summer like completely new “Wipeout” courses, this year featuring the Panic Hammocks, Snakes on the Plain and Batter Up. Other featured obstacles making their debut are The Hangover, Spin Psycho, The Comma-Kaze and Spinergy. There’ll also be many specials this summer, including a salute to our Armed Forces, Bring your Teacher to Wipeout Day, and an All-Star episode of winners and losers. Returning are some of some favorite specials too, including Families, Hotties VS Nerds and Blind Date. “Wipeout” executive producers are Matt Kunitz (“101 Ways to Leave a Game Show,” “Fear Factor”) and Scott Larsen. Shye Sutherland, Kevin Wehrenberg, Trice Barto and J. Rupert Thompson are co-executive producers. The series is produced by Endemol USA. David Goldberg is chairman of Endemol North America.

TRUST US WITH YOUR LIFE – PREMIERES TUESDAY, JULY 10 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

From the creators of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Mock the Week,” “Trust Us With Your Life” is a brand new studio-based improvisation series that redefines both the chat show and television improv formats. Hosted by Fred Willard (“Best in Show,” “Modern Family”), featured celebrities include David Hasselhoff, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Jack & Kelly Osbourne, Jane Seymour, Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. The exciting new format finds each celebrity reminiscing about key episodes that have happened in their lives, then brilliant improvisers acting out those moments which the celebrity has just described. These key moments in the life of the guest celebrity will be improvised as straight comedy or in game formats such as forward/rewind and sideways scenes. The tone of the show is friendly, funny and cheeky. Comedians on the show include Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), along with Jonathan Mangum (“Fast and Loose”) as the main improvisers. They will be joined by guest starring performers such as Greg Proops and Nicole Parker. Eight episodes were shot in London for ABC. “Trust Us With Your Life” is produced by Angst Productions. Dan Patterson (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) is executive producer.

Final Witness – PREMIERES Tuesday, July 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)

What if a murder victim could tell you about their final moments? The voices of the dead come to life in this true-crime series which offers a unique look at some of the nation’s most shocking murders. Each of the seven episodes will examine one case from start to finish, taking viewers inside the murder from the victim’s point of view. “Final Witness” is a compelling hybrid of documentary and drama, featuring interviews with real-life witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement, family and friends, along with riveting scripted scenes with actors, thrusting viewers into the heart of each crime. Shot around the world at the actual locations, infused with an indie-band soundtrack and told like a feature film, “Final Witness” creates an Unforgettable look at the human psyche at its darkest. The series is produced for ABC by Lincoln Square Productions. Executive producers are Rudy Bednar and Christine Connor.

BACHELOR PAD — PREMIERES MONDAY, JULY 23 (8:00-10:00 p.m.)

Fan-favorites, arch rivals and villains from the hugely successful “Bachelor” franchise reunite under one roof for a second chance at love as ABC’s “Bachelor Pad” returns for a third season. For the first time, the show is upping the ante by opening up casting to the general public, and participants who have never appeared in a “Bachelor” franchise will be included. Will these fresh new faces be able to find romance? And which bachelors and bachelorettes from seasons past will rekindle old flames or ignite new ones? “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor Pad” are all produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette”) hosts. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

ALERT! FOX: House Series Finale on April 21st… Fans Given Opportunity To Take Part (And Lose Their Dignity)

Well, House has officially crossed the line into nerd-dom. Mind you, we’re all in favor of fan enthusiasm when it comes to television (or any hobby) but this is blurring the lines between procedural drama enjoyment and genre obsession.  Reading this we were immediately struck by the fact that last time we saw fan interaction like the kind suggested below was at a Star Trek convention.  Seriously, no one should be making fan films,  writing poetry or choreographing dance routines honoring medical dramas. After all, it’s we SciFi and genre fans that have the market on this kind of goofy crap.  Please let us have that to ourselves.

And for crap’s sake… did they put enough links in this press release?

Anyway, don’t forget to check out the series finale and the preceding hour-long retrospective for House on April 21st.

Via Press Release:

As HOUSE counts down to the series finale this spring, fans can become a part of the history of this critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite show in two ways: they can submit original content which could be chosen to be included in the one-hour HOUSE retrospective special and they can enter the HOUSE SERIES WRAP PARTY Sweepstakes for a chance to attend the show’s finale party in Los Angeles.

The HOUSE series finale airs Monday, May 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), immediately after the one-hour HOUSE retrospective special (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

Have you ever wanted to record an original song or create an original video about HOUSE? Have you ever thought about reciting an original poem or choreographing a dance to reflect how the show has moved you over the last eight years? If so, now is your chance to be recognized by HOUSE star Hugh Laurie and the producers!

Fans from around the world can send in original video, photos and audio to www.fox.com/House/finale. Your material could be chosen to be included in the one-hour retrospective special. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 13.

To see a personal video invitation for submissions from HOUSE star Hugh Laurie, please visit www.fox.com/House. For more information and submission deadlines (preferable in photo or video form), log on to www.fox.com/House/finale. Full submission guidelines are listed at the link above, but all participants must be 13 years of age or older. Submissions must be original and must not contain any third party content that violates or infringes the rights of others, including but not limited to, privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights. Please do not include HOUSE episode clips, images, copyrighted music, key art, brands or products. Be as original as you can, and have fun!

In addition, HOUSE fans residing within the continental United States can enter for a chance to win a trip for two to the exclusive series wrap party in Los Angeles on Friday, April 20 and celebrate the finale with the cast! The deadline to enter the Sweepstakes is Thursday, April 5. For more details on the HOUSE SERIES WRAP PARTY Sweepstakes, please visit www.fox.com/superperks. Fans should check out FOX Super Perks for amazing once-in-a-lifetime experiential prizes with their favorite FOX show. “Like” Fox Broadcasting on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FOXBroadcasting to keep up-to-date on the latest Super Perks opportunities and more!

HOUSE is from Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions in association with Universal Television. Katie Jacobs, David Shore, Paul Attanasio, Bryan Singer, Russel Friend, Garrett Lerner, Thomas L. Moran, Peter Blake, Greg Yaitanes and Hugh Laurie are executive producers. “Like” HOUSE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/House. Follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HouseonFox and join the conversation at #House.

CONFIRMED – HBO: Premiere Dates For True Blood Season Five And New Series The Newsroom

Via Press Note:

The debut dates for the new seasons of the HBO series True Blood and THE NEWSROOM have been confirmed.

The 12-episode fifth season of True Blood will kick off SUNDAY, JUNE 10 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Based on the popular Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, this Emmy®-nominated hit drama series was created by Alan Ball, creator of HBO’s Emmy®-winning series “Six Feet Under.” The show follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård).

THE NEWSROOM kicks off its ten-episode season SUNDAY, JUNE 24 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). This new series centers on a cable news anchor (Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn) and their boss (Sam Waterston). Together they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal relationships. Aaron Sorkin created the series and executive produces along with Scott Rudin and Alan Poul.

CONFIRMED: Breaking Bad Fifth And Final Season Premiere Date And News On Split Season

Fans, we finally have an (almost complete) answer to the question on everyone’s mind, which is, “When does the new season of Breaking Bad begin?”  After last season’s shocking finale, we can’t blame them.  To our eternal shame, we only got into Breaking Bad in October of 2011 and that was solely based on a recommendation from Brian Volke over at The Movie Bros.  To our credit, we were so captivated that we watched the first three seasons on Netflix within 72 hours, not even stopping for bathroom breaks (iPad), grocery store (iPhone), school Halloween carnivals (iPhone) or while driving (iPhone… plugged it into the AUX jack and listened to the third season episode, Fly).  After that, we went to VuReel, downloaded 11 of the 13 season four episodes and then we realized that we could by them at iTunes so we picked up the two remaining… and watched all of season four in a day.  Needless to say that we discovered very quickly that Breaking Bad is not just the best show on television currently, but it’s one of the best shows ever produced.

Bryan Cranston arrived in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 23rd to begin production on the fifth and final season of AMC’s acclaimed dramatic series and less than a month later he has confirmed that the new season will premiere in July, 2012 (in about three months for those of you not so good at math).  The interesting part is that it was announced last year that the final season would consist of 16 episodes so that got everyone speculating that the final season would likely be split into two parts.

Well, it’s not speculation any more as Cranston has stated that they will indeed be splitting the final season into two parts, producing the first eight episodes and then halting production for four months and finally shooting the final eight episodes which will air in early 2013.

So there you have it, Breaking Bad is coming back in around 90 days or so and when we have an exact date we’ll, of course, let you know.

GEEK ALERT! SyFy: Eureka Final Season, Lost Girl Season Two Premieres TONIGHT, 2012 – 2013 Schedule Info!

Hitting us like a shovel to the face, we just found out that not only is Eureka‘s fifth and final season starting tonight, but the second season of the Canadian transplant and now SyFy hit, Lost Girl will begin immediately after the Eureka premiere.  In the annals of television history that has to be the quickest transition between seasons a show has ever had in the U.S.  If you’ll recall, Lost Girl‘s first season just premiered in January and it just wrapped up a few weeks ago.  Yes, we are aware that the show has been on in Canada sice 2010 and we are just catching up with it here in the states, but still, SyFy S.O.P. on imports is to wait and have them air a season behind their country of origin.  This tells us that SyFy is very high on this show and that they are scrambling to get the season two episodes aired so that they can air season three episodes simultaneously with the Canadians.  Good for them as short breaks between seasons only help to keep audiences interested.  Read the full press release for more details below.

In other news, we just found out that SyFy’s upfront advertising event will be on April 24th.  As we’ve noted in the past, SyFy traditionally holds their upfront events in April ahead of the major networks upfronts in May.  For those unfamiliar with the upfront advertising events, these are the events that the networks hold to sell airtime to their advertisers.  This is the Christmas morning for television junkies like us when the networks announce their upcoming schedules and we find out what’s new, what’s renewed and what’s been canceled.

Now, what should be of particular note is, as we mentioned in our big Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome piece, that this is where we’ll really have an idea of what’s really going on with the BSG spin-off prequel.  As we noted, despite statements to the contrary by SyFy, we think it’s certainly a possibility that B & C will wind up being broacast on the network and not digitally, (or at the very least, they’re hedging their bets and it’s still up in the air) and the upfronts will give us a real indication of what direction they plan to take it.

Again, if SyFy announces that they will be airing the 90-minute B & C pilot in the Summer or Fall of 2012, all bets are off and they will be treating B & C as a backdoor pilot and will rely on its Nielsen 18 – 49 numbers, to determine which medium the saga will be distributed on.  If, on the other hand, they announce it for early 2012, then you can pretty much expect that it will be launched as a digital series exclusively, as they claim that they have intended from the beginning.  That being said, that’s nothing to fear.  Read all about why a digital B & C is actually a good thing, right here.

Now, what if they don’t tell us when they plan to air the 90-minute pilot?  Well, then… we’re screwed.

Via Press Release:

NEW YORK – April 9, 2012 – The spring season of Syfy’s “Powerful Mondays” programming block will feature the fifth – and final – season of the beloved, iconic series Eureka on Monday, April 16 at 9PM (ET/PT), followed by the second season of the sexy supernatural drama series Lost Girl at 10PM (ET/PT).

As Eureka’s thrilling fifth and final season kicks off, the town is reeling after the Astraeus and her crew mysteriously vanished just before their planned launch to Titan. When they finally crash land, Allison and the crewmembers are shocked to find themselves back in Eureka – and that they’ve been missing for four years. As the town copes with the shocking personal changes that have happened during their long absence, Sheriff Carter and Henry try to uncover the truth about the forces behind the crew’s bizarre disappearance – with deadly results.

Eureka stars Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter) Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Allison Blake), Joe Morton (Henry Deacon), Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo) and Niall Matter (Zane Donovan). Returning for the final season will be popular guest stars Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the contentious Dr. Parrish and Felicia Day (The Guild, Red) as Dr. Holly Marten. Co-creator Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller are executive producers. The series is produced and distributed by Universal Cable Productions.

In the Lost Girl season two opener, a nomadic Fae sideshow comes to town to take advantage of the chaos caused by both the bombing of the Light Fae headquarters and the declining physical condition of The Ash. Lost Girl stars Anna Silk as Bo, co-starring Kris Holden-Ried as Dyson; Ksenia Solo as Kenzi; Zoie Palmer as Lauren; Rick Howland as Trick, and K.C. Collins as Hale. Lost Girl is a Prodigy Pictures Production in association with Showcase. Executive producers are Jay Firestone, Michelle Lovretta and Peter Mohan. Lost Girl was created by Michelle Lovretta.

FOX: New Girl, Raising Hope, and Glee RENEWED!!!

Woo, hoo! We got renewed!

Gotta give FOX credit for raising the bar on their comedies even if we still think Glee jumped the shark in season two.  FOX has proven that they are a player, now, that can stand up to any of the other networks, even CBS.   Both Raising Hope and New Girl are solid comedies and they deserved renewal.

Via Press Release:

“New Girl,” “Raising Hope” AND “Glee”

TO CONTINUE LAUGHS IN 2012-13 SEASON ON FOX

Spring Into Tuesdays Tomorrow with the Return of Glee,

Followed By All-New Episodes of New Girl and Raising Hope

FOX has ordered a second season of freshman breakout hit New Girl, a third installment of the irreverent family comedy Raising Hope and a fourth season of the genre-defying musical sensation Glee, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

“Over the past season, New Girl has become the hottest new appointment series for young adults; Raising Hope has established itself as one of the smartest and most unique offbeat comedies on television; and Glee has continued its success as a genre-defying, global cultural phenomenon,” said Reilly. “All three of these comedies add a fresh and distinctive flavor to our Tuesday nights, and I’m really happy to bring them back to our air next season.”

All-new episodes of Glee return to Tuesdays (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), beginning tomorrow, April 10, with New Girl remaining at 9:00-9:31 PM ET/PT, and Raising Hope returning to its regular time slot at 9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT.

Currently in its first season, New Girl is the No. 1 new series among Adults 18-34 and the No. 2 new scripted series among Adults 18-49. The show stars Zooey Deschanel as a school teacher who moved in with three single guys, and their new friendships changed their lives in unexpected ways. The Golden Globe-nominated series also stars Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone. In the all-new “Normal” episode airing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10 (9:00-9:31 PM ET/PT), Jess (Deschanel) invites Russell (guest star Dermot Mulroney) to spend the weekend at the loft. Created by Liz Meriwether (“No Strings Attached”), New Girl is produced by Chernin Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Meriwether, Jake Kasdan, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Dave Finkel and Brett Baer are executive producers.

In the two-part season finale of Raising Hope beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT), and concluding on Tuesday, April 17 (9:31-10:00 PM ET/PT), Nancy Grace guest-stars as the host of the newsmagazine series “Inside Probe,” which turns its focus on the Chance’s history, culminating in the family going on trial to fight for custody of baby Hope. Created by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia, the series follows the Chance family as the unplanned addition to their family becomes a toddler. The show stars Lucas Neff, Emmy Award nominee Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Shannon Woodward and Cloris Leachman. Raising Hope is produced by Amigos de Garcia Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television.

Now in its third season, Glee continues to be a Top 10 comedy among Adults 18-49 and the No. 1 scripted series among Teens. The hit series returns this spring answering the dramatic cliffhangers of Quinn’s (Dianna Agron) car accident, Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel’s (Lea Michele) wedding and Sue’s (Jane Lynch) pregnancy, as graduation at McKinley High approaches. In the Spring Premiere “Big Brother” episode airing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), Blaine’s (Darren Criss) big-shot Hollywood actor brother Cooper (guest star Matt Bomer, “White Collar”) comes to visit. Glee is produced by Ryan Murphy Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto serve as executive producers.

Become a fan of the shows on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NewGirlonFOX, www.facebook.com/RaisingHope and www.facebook.com/glee. Follow the series at www.twitter.com/NewGirlonFOX (#NewGirl), www.twitter.com/RaisingHopeFOX (#RaisingHope) and www.twitter.com/gleeonfox (#Glee).

HBO: Game Of Thrones Renewed For Third Season

Shocker!

Via Press Release:

HBO RENEWS GAME OF THRONES FOR THIRD SEASON

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First Episode Of The Second Season Has Already Grossed 8.3 Million Viewers

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LOS ANGELES, April 10, 2012 – HBO has renewed GAME OF THRONES for a third season, it was announced today by Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.

“Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season – and then surpassed them,” said Lombardo. “We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series, and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season.”

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years. The Emmy®- and Golden Globe-winning fantasy series began its ten-episode second season Sunday, April 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), with other episodes debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time.

Among the early critical praise for the second season, Newsday called GAME OF THRONES “the best show on television,” while the Los Angeles Times termed the series “a cinematic feast” and “masterful.” The Wall Street Journal hailed the show as “magnificent” and USA Today called it “near perfection.”

According to early data, GAME OF THRONES’ season two premiere has already accumulated a gross audience of 8.3 million viewers, and is on track to easily surpass the season one average of 9.3 million viewers.

Season two cast members include: Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Sophie Turner, Jack Gleeson and Alfie Allen.

Season two credits: The executive producers of GAME OF THRONES are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger; co-executive producers, George R.R. Martin, Vanessa Taylor, Alan Taylor, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis; produced by Bernadette Caulfield.