NBC Announces Midseason Schedule, ‘Community’ and ‘Smash’ Return Dates Announced

Congratulations, whiny Community fans!  You got the Thursday, 8:00 p.m. slot and it only took the cancellation of slightly poorer performers to get you there!

Via Press Release:

NBC REVEALS CHANGES FOR MID-SEASON 2013

SERIES PREMIERES:

— New Drama “Deception” (Formerly “Infamous”) January 7

— New Comedy “1600 Penn” January 10

— New Relationship Series “Ready for Love” from Eva Longoria March 31

ANTICIPATED RETURNS:

— “The Voice” Begins Fourth Cycle March 25/26

— The Season’s Newest Hit “Revolution” Returns March 25

— “The Biggest Loser” Weighs in January 6/7 with Return of Jillian Michaels

— “Smash” Dances Back to the Schedule February 5 with Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson

— “Community” Returns February 7

–“The Celebrity Apprentice” Debuts March 3

— “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” Comes Back January 8

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – October 30, 2012 – NBC today announced changes to its 2013 primetime mid-season schedule highlighted by the premieres of three new series, including comedy “1600 Penn,” from one of the architects of “Modern Family”; an intriguing drama “Deception” (formerly “Infamous”); and producer Eva Longoria’s big reality relationship show “Ready for Love.”

In addition, several of the network’s biggest hits will return, including “The Voice” with new coaches Usher and Shakira; fall hit “Revolution”; “Smash,” featuring Jennifer Hudson; and “The Biggest Loser,” with some innovative changes to the format and the return of Jillian Michaels.

Further scheduling announcements will be forthcoming.

Following are the highlights of the changes:

Mondays:

The new drama “Deception” – starring Meagan Good (“Think Like a Man”), Victor Garber (“Alias”), Tate Donovan (“Damages”) and Katherine LaNasa (“Alfie”) in a dark family murder mystery — debuts on January 7 (10-11 p.m. ET). Preceding “Deception” is the new season of “The Biggest Loser” which returns with a two-night premiere on Sunday, January 6 (9-11 p.m. ET) and Monday, January 7 (8-10 p.m. ET), and will continue on Mondays (8-10 p.m. ET) until the return of “The Voice.”

“The Voice” maintains its momentum as it returns March 25 for a fourth season (8-10 p.m. ET) and Tuesday, March 26 (8-9 p.m. ET). It continues its two-night Monday/Tuesday schedule as it did this fall. “Revolution” — the season’s only bona fide new hit series — will return and follow “The Voice” on March 25 (10-11 p.m. ET) when it concludes its current fall broadcast dates in November.

Tuesdays:

Last year’s acclaimed musical drama “Smash” makes its much-anticipated return with a two-hour episode on February 5 (9-11 p.m. ET) — with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson — and will resume on Tuesday, February 12 (10-11 p.m. ET) in its regular day and time. “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” premieres on January 8 with back-to-back episodes (8-8:30 p.m. ET and 8:30-9 p.m. ET) and will continue in that hour each Tuesday.

“The Voice” also will return on Tuesdays on March 26 (8-9 p.m. ET).

Thursdays:

The new comedy “1600 Penn” — starring Bill Pullman (“Independence Day”), Jenna Elfman (“Dharma and Greg”) and Josh Gad (Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”) as a typical American family who just happen to live in the White House — debuts on January 10 (9:30-10 p.m. ET). Jason Winer, Emmy-winning director of “Modern Family” is co-creator and director. The critically hailed comedy “Community” returns on February 7 (8-8:30 p.m. ET). “Parks and Recreation” moves up one hour on the Thursday schedule to 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) on January 17.

Sundays:

The new alternative series “Ready for Love” — an innovative and dramatic new relationship show about making real connections with executive producer Eva Longoria – premieres Sunday, March 31 (8-10 p.m. ET). Donald Trump’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” resumes with an “All-Star” edition of former celebrity contestants on March 3 (9-11 p.m. ET) for four weeks before continuing in one-hour episodes on Sunday, March 31 (10-11 p.m. ET).

For embeddable clips from the NBC shows, please visit: http://www.nbc.com.

For artwork and complete press kits from the shows, please visit the NBC Universal Media village website athttp://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.

Please follow us on http://www.facebook.com/NBC and at http://www.twitter.com/NBC

 

UPDATE On Disney Acquisition Of Lucasfilm (VIDEO!): Lucas Discusses The Future Of Star Wars, He and Iger Announce Acquisition

If you haven’t already heard, it was announced today via press release that Disney would be acquiring Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Episode 7 would be released in 2015 (read the full story, here.).  A little while ago, Lucas released a video discussing the future of the Star Wars franchise and Disney released a video featuring Lucas and Bob Iger announcing  the acquisition.

HOLY! SH*T! Disney To Acquire Lucasfilm, ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ Set For 2015! THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!! UPDATED: ‘Indiana Jones’ Franchise, Too!

For the first time in recent years we are flippin’ speechless.

Via Press Release:

October 30, 2012

DISNEY TO ACQUIRE LUCASFILM LTD.

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. Details for the call are listed in the release.

Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.

Acquisition continues Disney’s strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world’s best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.

Lucasfilm to join company’s global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel and ABC.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks.Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT / 1:30 p.m. PDT today, October 30, 2012. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to /investors/eventsor dial in domestically at (888) 771-4371 or internationally at (847) 585-4405. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 33674546.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney Investor Relations website through November 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM EST/2:00 PM PST.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media, and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of over $40 billion in its Fiscal Year 2011.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company’s global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties; Lucasfilm Animation; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm’s entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

# # #

UPDATED:

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain statements in this communication and the attachments may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements relate to a variety of matters, including but not limited to: the operations of the businesses of Disney and Lucasfilm separately and as a combined entity; the timing and consummation of the proposed merger transaction; the expected benefits of the integration of the two companies; the combined company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical fact. These statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Disney and Lucasfilm regarding future events and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Neither Disney nor Lucasfilm undertakes any obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • legal or regulatory proceedings or other matters that affect the timing or ability to complete the transactions as contemplated;
  • the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully;
  • the possibility of disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships;
  • the possibility that the merger does not close, including but not limited to, due to the failure to satisfy the closing conditions;
  • any actions taken by either of the companies, including but not limited to, restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments or asset acquisitions or dispositions);
  • developments beyond the companies’ control, including but not limited to: changes in domestic or global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences; adverse weather conditions or natural disasters; health concerns; international, political or military developments; and technological developments.

Additional factors that may cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements are set forth in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Disney for the year ended October 1, 2011, under the heading “Item 1A—Risk Factors,” and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Disney.

ROBERT A. IGER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY REMARKS FOR ANALYSTS REGARDING DISNEY’S ACQUISITION OF LUCASFILM LTD., AS PREPARED

As we just announced, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm and its world class portfolio of creative content – including the legendary Star Wars franchise – along with all of its operating businesses, including Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.

George Lucas is a visionary, an innovator and an epic storyteller – and he’s built a company at the intersection of entertainment and technology to bring some of the world’s most unforgettable characters and stories to screens across the galaxy. He’s entertained, inspired, and defined filmmaking for almost four decades and we’re incredibly honored that he has entrusted the future of that legacy to Disney.

Disney has had a great relationship with George that goes back a long way – with Star Wars theme attractions in our parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo. This acquisition builds on that foundation and combines two of the strongest family entertainment brands in the world. It makes sense, not just because of our brand compatibility and previous success together, but because Disney respects and understands – better than just about anyone else – the importance of iconic characters and what it takes to protect and leverage them effectively to drive growth and create value.

Lucasfilm fits perfectly with Disney’s strategic priorities. It is a sustainable source of branded, high quality creative content with tremendous global appeal that will benefit all of Disney’s business units and is incredibly well suited for new business models, including digital platforms. Adding the Lucasfilm IP to our existing Disney, Pixar and Marvel IP clearly enhances our ability to serve consumers, strengthening our competitive position — and we are confident we can earn a return on invested capital well in excess of our cost of capital.

Star Wars in particular is a strong global brand, and one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with hundreds of millions of fans around the globe. Its universe of more than 17,000 characters inhabiting several thousand planets spanning 20,000 years offers infinite inspiration and opportunities – and we’re already moving forward with plans to continue the epic Star Wars saga.

The last Star Wars movie release was 2005’s Revenge of the Sith – and we believe there’s substantial pent up demand. In 2015, we’re planning to release Star Wars Episode 7 – the first feature film under the “Disney-Lucasfilm” brand. That will be followed by Episodes 8 and 9 – and our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years. We’re very happy that George Lucas will be creative consultant on our new Star Wars films and that Kathleen Kennedy, the current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm, will executive produce. George handpicked Kathy earlier this year to lead Lucasfilm into the future. She’ll join Disney as President of Lucasfilm, reporting into Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn and integrating and building the Star Wars franchise across our company.

Our successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel prove Disney’s unique ability to grow brands and expand high-quality creative content to its fullest franchise potential and maximum value.

We’ve leveraged Pixar’s terrific characters and stories into franchises across our company – from feature films to consumer products online games, major attractions in our theme parks, and more.

The 2006 Pixar acquisition delivered more than great Pixar content — it also delivered the means to energize and revitalize the creative engine at Walt Disney Animation – which was crucial to our long term success. Animation is the heart and soul of Disney and our successful creative resurgence will be on full display this weekend when Wreck-It-Ralphopens in theaters across the country.

Our acquisition of Marvel three years later combined Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and an integrated business structure that maximizes the value of creative content across multiple platforms and territories. Our first two Marvel films – Thor and Captain America grossed a total of more than $800 million at the box office. This year, Marvel’s The Avengers grossed more than $1.5 billion to become the world’s third highest grossing movie of all time – and an important and lucrative franchise for us.

We’re looking forward to a robust slate of new Marvel movies – starting with Iron Man 3and Thor: The Dark World next year, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014. And, as we announced previously, Joss Whedon is writing and directing Avengers 2and developing a Marvel-based series for ABC.

Pixar and Marvel both fit our criteria for strategic acquisitions – they add great IP that benefits multiple Disney businesses for years to come, and continue to create value well in excess of their purchase price. The acquisition of Lucasfilm is in keeping with this proven strategy for success and we expect it to create similar opportunity for Disney to drive long-term value for our shareholders.

We’re clearly excited about this move forward. We believe we can do great things with these amazing assets….we have a proven track record of maximizing the value of our strategic acquisitions…. and we’re poised to do the same with this one.

JAY RASULO, SENIOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CFO, THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY REMARKS FOR ANALYSTS REGARDING DISNEY’S ACQUISITION OF LUCASFILM LTD., AS PREPARED

Lucasfilm, and more specifically the Star Wars franchise, fits perfectly within the Disney portfolio of intellectual properties and the strategic and financial implications of this acquisition are compelling. Our team has spent a tremendous amount of time evaluating this deal and we have concluded we are uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Lucasfilm’s IP in a manner that can generate substantial value for our shareholders above and beyond the purchase price.

In this transaction we will acquire rights to the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, a highly talented and expert team, Lucasfilm’s best-in-class post production businesses, Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound, and a suite of cutting edge entertainment technologies. Our valuation focused almost entirely on the financial potential of the Star Wars franchise, which we expect to provide us with a stream of storytelling opportunities for years to come delivered via all relevant platforms on a global basis.

There are a number of ways our company will derive value from Lucasfilm’s intellectual property—some of which can be realized immediately while others will accrue to us over time. George and his team have built Star Wars into one of the most successful and enduring family entertainment franchises in history, as well as one of the best selling licensed character merchandise brands in the U.S. and around the world. However, we believe there is great opportunity to further expand the consumer products business. Today, Star Wars is heavily skewed toward toys and North America. We see great opportunity domestically to extend the breadth and depth of the Star Wars franchise into other categories. We also plan to leverage Disney’s global consumer products organization to grow the Star Wars consumer products business internationally.

Let me note that in 2012 Lucasfilm’s consumer products business is expected to generate total licensing revenue that is comparable to the roughly $215 million in consumer products revenue Marvel generated in 2009, the year in which we announced our acquisition. With renewed film releases, and the support we can give the Star Warsproperty on our Disney-branded TV channels, we expect that business to grow substantially and profitably for many years to come.

We also expect to create significant value in the film business. We plan to release the first new Star Wars film in 2015, and then plan to release one film every two to three years. These films will be released and distributed as part of our target slate of 8-10 live-action films per year, and will augment Disney’s already strong creative pipeline for many years to come. Lucasfilm has not released a Star Wars film since Revenge of the Sith in 2005. However, adjusted for inflation, as well as growth in both international box office and 3D, we estimate the three most recent Star Wars films would have averaged about $1.5 billion in global box office in today’s dollars. This speaks to the franchise’s strength, global appeal and the great opportunity we have in the film business.

We also expect to utilize Star Wars in other businesses including Parks & Resorts, in games and in our television business. These initiatives were also considered in our valuation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Disney will buy Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, consisting of approximately fifty percent cash and fifty percent in Disney stock. Based on Friday’s closing price of Disney stock, we expect to issue approximately 40 million Disney shares in this transaction. We continue to believe our shares are attractively priced at current levels and therefore, we currently intend to repurchase all of the shares issued within the next two years– and that’s in addition to what we planned to repurchase in the absence of the transaction.

Our valuation of Lucasfilm is roughly comparable to the value we placed on Marvel when we announced that acquisition in 2009. Our Lucasfilm valuation is almost entirely driven by the Star Wars franchise, so any success from other franchises would provide upside to our base case. I realize it may be a challenge for you to quantify our opportunity given the limited amount of publicly available information. But to give you some perspective on the size of the Lucasfilm business– in 2005, the year in which the most recent Star Wars film was released, Lucasfilm generated $550 million in operating income. We’ve taken a conservative approach in our valuation assumptions, including continued erosion of the home entertainment market, and we expect this acquisition to create value for our shareholders.

In terms of the impact on our financials, we expect the acquisition to be dilutive to our EPS by low single digit percentage points in fiscal 2013 and 2014 and become accretive to EPS in 2015.

Our capital allocation philosophy has been consistent since Bob took over as CEO. In addition to returning capital to shareholders, we have invested, both organically and through acquisitions, in high quality, branded content that can be seamlessly leveraged across our businesses. Our acquisition of Lucasfilm is entirely consistent with this strategy, and we’re incredibly excited by the prospect of building on Lucasfilm’s successful legacy to create significant value for our shareholders.

NBC Will Not Pick Up ‘The Office’ Spinoff, ‘The Farm’

In what really comes as no surprise, NBC has decided to pass on spinoff of The OfficeThe Farm revolving around Dwight Schrute and the Schrute Family Beet Farm. Rainn Wilson confirmed this news today on Twitter.  The Office is currently in its final season and will air its series finale in May, 2013.

Aside

Deadline is reporting that AMC has renewed the post-Civil War drama, Hell On Wheels, for a third season.  This is fantastic news for a series that did nothing but improve exponentially in its sophomore season.  We’ll give you the press release when it’s available.

SCOOP! AMC Renews ‘Hell On Wheels’ For Third Season

EDITORIAL: An Open Letter To ALL Of The Science Fiction Blogs And Fans: Seriously… Get Over Yourselves

About a year ago, I was planning on writing a piece where I had to take issue with Den of Geek for their constant droning on about how’s there’s no Science Fiction on the SyFy channel.  Things happen, life gets in the way and I kind of lost interest so it never got written.  That being said, I’m really glad I didn’t, because I have so much more information and insight into the current situation at SyFy than I did last year, that it really makes more sense for me to address the lunacy of the self-important SciFi fan, now, than it did then. Before, there were just general complaints, but now, it’s the foaming-at-the-mouth over the lack of solid details regarding an air date for the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. Note, there is nothing really new about any of these complaints, it’s just that B&C has become the poster-child for the cause d’jour and it really it is about time that they were all called out for it.

Since Giant Freakin Robot is the most recent outlet to be on our radar regarding this issue, I decided to comment personally on their site with their piece, Editorial: Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome Could Save Syfy’s Soul and I want our readers to see their short-sighted take and their readers equally short-sighted comments, as well as our take which we’ll post below.  Please, understand, I actually like GFR – a lot – but they are so off the mark on this (as are most SciFi fans) that they needed to be called out.

Editorial: Battlestar Galactica: Blood And Chrome Could Save Syfy’s Soul

Hey, Syfy, how’s it going? Yeah, I know, I don’t visit as much as I used to. Sure, I still swing by for Alphas each week, but I know you’re really busy these days, what with all the wrestling and the ghost hunting and the game shows about people bumping into things in the dark. I don’t want to take up too much of your time here, but we need to have a little talk, you and I. It’s about Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. I think it could save your soul.

Look, Sci-Fi… can I call you Sci-Fi, just like in the good old days? No? Fine, “Syfy,” whatever. So here’s the thing. Yesterday your official Twitter feed told us that the incredibly awesome-looking Battlestar Galactica prequel spinoff, Blood and Chrome, was not dead, but would indeed air at some point, in some form. Probably. And while it’s great to hear that Blood and Chrome hasn’t been relegated to the trash bin, I have to ask…what the hell are you thinking, man?

Earlier this year, when the Blood and Chrome trailer hit the internet, the fans started frothing at the mouth because it looked badass. I’m actually one of the people who liked a lot about the admittedly flawed Caprica, but there’s no question that Blood and Chrome looks a lot more like the BSG spinoff fans were hoping for. Space dogfights. Human-on- Cylon carnage. That sucker has hit written all over it. With the right writers, it could still maintain the depth and humanity of its parent series, but up the action quotient to a degree that would keep fans hooked and coming back.

So where the hell is it? We’ve watched over the past couple of years as an exciting project has dwindled further and further every time there’s an announcement about it. First it was going to be a full series. Then it was going to be a web series. Then maybe a one-off TV movie. And now? Now all it is is “air date to be decided.” A solid concept for what could be an amazing show molders on the shelf while you keep churning out one shitty new show after another. For the love of god, Syfy, you’re about to premiere a show that airs “viral videos.” You do realize we all have the internet, right?

Look, you wanted to branch out and not be defined solely by science fiction content… fine, I get that. With the ever-increasing media landscape, you want to be able to attract as many sets of eyeballs as you can. But does that mean you have to abandon the one thing you’ve done really well several times over the years? You’re the network that gave us Farscape, for crying out loud! Does anybody seriously think Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica could have found a home anywhere but on your airwaves? And without you there’s no way Stargate would have flourished into multiple spinoffs as it did (even though you did cancel Stargate Universe awful quickly, as the show’s fans often remind me).

I realize you make all the reality shows and contest shows like Face Off because they’re cheap. That’s fine. But why not use some of that budget you’re saving on flotsam like Viral Video Showdown to greenlight one or two really strong science fiction shows? The sort of show that can be your flagship, earning critical praise like you did with BSG. The sort of show that defines Syfy as a brand. A show like Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome. Because honestly? I haven’t got a clue what that name is supposed to stand for. It just looks like somebody shook the cable landscape and all the shitty shows that weren’t properly secured slid down into your schedule.

And here’s the danger. Time was, the Sci-Fi Channel was one of the only homes for projects like Farscape or Battlestar Galactica or Stargate. But look around you. AMC, the channel that became a success on the shoulders of Mad Men, is earning dynamite ratings and acclaim with a zombie show based on a comic book. HBO, one of the most respected sources of cable programming around, is riding high with a series based on a dense, convoluted series of fantasy novels. Starz is developing a military science fiction series with the guy who created Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Those were all projects that, back in the day, we would have thought would be perfect matches for the Sci-Fi Channel. But the stigma around genre content is fading. The Avengers has made $1.5 billion worldwide, and now more and more exciting genre projects are going to other, more respectable networks, while you introduce yet another show about haunted tchotchkes.

Oh, there are still some promising lights on the horizon. I’m hoping that Rockne S. O’Bannon’s Defiance will recapture some of the old Farscape magic and become something truly amazing. I’ve got every finger crossed that you find a way to make your Blake’s 7 remake something other than a regrettable and ill-conceived footnote. You do still have a handful of genuinely good shows, like Alphas and Being Human. But with Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, you could make a statement. You could declare that you are about more than just cramming as many horrible paranormal “reality” shows as possible down our throats. That you still have what it takes to stand behind ambitious, well-written genre content.

It’s time to stop settling for mediocrity and aim higher. It’s time to take your own advice, Syfy: Imagine Greater.

My Response:

Seriously, you guys (both the writer and the commenters) need to get over yourselves. SyFy has a grand total of TWO hours of wrestling per week, so can we stop bringing that up? What next: Bill Clinton is a draft dodger? These arguments are getting seriously dated. Here’s the the thing: SyFy is doing better now than they ever have been so feel free to leave because you won’t be missed. But, waitaminute…. surprise, surprise, it’s their core SciFi series of Alphas, Haven, Being Human, Lost Girl and Warehouse 13 that are their biggest hits. And sorry, but Game of Thrones, due to its content and its production costs, could never see the light of day on SyFy or any other basic cable channel.

Where exactly are you getting this notion that “B&C was destined to be a hit,” David? If it was destined to be a hit, it would already be on the network. Here’s the reality: space-themed SciFi has been dead for a long time on television… period. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. For crap’s sake, BSG (which is the greatest show ever on television) was a ratings disaster in its final season, save for the series finale. [StargateSG-1 was on its last legs as was [Stargate: Atlantis]. Is it really a surprise that both [Stargate: Universe] and Caprica failed so miserably, so quickly, despite having the crap promoted out of them by the network? It shouldn’t be. You’re living in an era where a Star Trek series couldn’t last more than four seasons. One of your biggest mistakes in the piece was suggesting that SyFy didn’t want to be solely associated with Science Fiction. Nonsense. They were specific that when they changed the name that they didn’t want to be associated EXCLUSIVELY with space-themed science fiction and time travel and wanted to be all-inclusive in all areas of the genre. Look it up… after all, you’ve made a point to bring up the fact that you do have the Internet.

This isn’t SyFy’s fault, this is simply the fact of the ever-changing landscape of the 18 – 49 demographic. They simply have no interest in space-themed SciFi on television (for the most part… I’d say TNT’s Falling Skies might be the exception but that’s more [The Walking Dead] with aliens than it is space-themed SciFi) and attempting to force yet another quality BSG spinoff down the throats of an audience that has no interest in it only to placate a small amount of fans is not only foolish for the network from an immediate standpoint, but it’s ultimately damaging to the series and the franchise, as a whole. And make no mistake about it, BSG is their biggest property and they aren’t going to wreck it so the fanboys can get their fix on a basic cable network. At this moment in time, though there are signs that interest is growing again, space-themed SciFi on the network is far too risky (especially with their biggest property).

Taking this a step further, B&C isn’t dead, it’s just not going to be on TV (or if it is, you’ll only see the pilot. Bear McCreary told us that he has heard rumors that the two-hour pilot is going to air on the network within the next four to six months, which was something we had already surmised based on the grumblings of our inside sources and now, IMDb has it listed as March 2013, too). You folks need to understand that the television revenue model is changing and that SyFy is one of the innovators in the new marketplace. You’re going to get BSG:B&C but you’re probably either going to have to subscribe to Hulu for it or have an XBOX Live account to view it on the SyFy app or just pay for it from iTunes or Amazon and that’s how it’s going to go. The new world of television is not dependent on the traditional standard of Nielsen ratings, exclusively, anymore. It’s becoming dependent on direct targeting of niche markets and then repackaging the content for non-exclusive digital and international distribution deals. What do you think the “transmedia” Defiance is all about? Try to think outside of the box, folks. Even the aforementioned Game of Thrones has only been getting renewed due to its international distribution deals. What… do you folks think that there’s that many more people subscribing to HBO because of Game of Thrones? Holy crap, you probably do.

Also, you might want to actually keep track of the network press releases, as well. SyFy currently has 13 straight-up SciFi scripted series (including quite a few space-themed series) in development, plus two more imports within the next year (Sinbad and Continuum). So what it really comes down to is that SyFy has plenty of Science Fiction, it just doesn’t have the series that you want, right now, therefore, they aren’t truly a Science Fiction network and you’ll just bash all of their other programming… that has actually made them successful. Genius and completely rational.

Here’s the complete rundown of all of SyFy’s scripted series in development. Scroll down for the complete press release.

Science Channel Announces ‘Firefly’ 10th Anniversary Special, ‘Browncoats Unite’ And All-Day Series Marathon

Via Press Release:

10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL FIREFLY: BROWNCOATS UNITE LIFTS OFF ON SCIENCE CHANNEL THIS NOVEMBER

Highly-Anticipated Special Chronicling Joss Whedon cult sensation starring Nathan Fillion Premieres Saturday, November 11 at 10 PM ET/PT on Science Channel.

Series Marathon at 7 AM ET/PT Followed by Back-to-Back FIREFLY: SPECIAL EDITION Enhanced Episodes at 8 PM and 9 PM ET/PT–

TWITTER: @ScienceChannel  #FireflyNov11

(Silver Spring, Md.) — After months of intense buzz and two blockbuster panels at both San Diego and New York Comic-Con, it’s finally time for the main event – FIREFLY: BROWNCOATS UNITE on November 11 at 10 PM (ET/PT), Science Channel reunites Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion and the entire renegade crew of the Serenity for the first time ever to provide the complete oral history on the franchise that continues to explode in popularity – despite meeting its end a decade ago.  The 60-minute special includes secrets from the set, exclusive cast interviews, and footage from this year’s colossal Comic-Con panel that dominated the pop culture conversation.  Joining Whedon and Fillion for FIREFLY: BROWNCOATS UNITE are Serenity crewmembers Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Jewel Staite; along with executive producer Tim Minear and executive story editor Jose Molina.

This summer, FIREFLY creator Joss Whedon triumphantly exclaimed to a crowd of thousands at San Diego Comic-Con that “the story is alive.” Legions of fans across the world couldn’t agree more, proving that a series which is comprised of only 14 episodes had endured the test of time.  Guided by Entertainment Weekly senior writer Jeff Jensen, Science Channel re-created the set of the Serenity for this epic gathering capturing the insights and memories of space’s most-rebellious flight crew – including the moment they realized they were canceled and where they believe the FIREFLY universe could live next.

“When Science Channel began airing FIREFLY in 2011, we immediately realized that these fans are a subculture united by a unique and fanatical passion for the series,” says Debbie Adler Myers, general manager and executive vice president of Science Channel.  “Our goal is to present them the series they love – but in a totally new and surprising way.  Whether that’s through exploring the science behind the show or reuniting the entire cast for the first time, we want Science Channel to be the home for Browncoats everywhere.”

Science Channel’s FIREFLY Saturday extravaganza begins at 7 AM ET/PT with an all-day marathon of the series.  That evening, at 8PM ET/PT, the final two episodes will be enhanced and presented as FIREFLY: SPECIAL EDITION.  Here, Molina gives fans unique insight into the inner workings of the series by revealing FIREFLY facts and behind-the-scenes info.  Finally, at 10PM ET/PT, The Event Browncoats everywhere have been waiting for – FIREFLY: BROWNCOATS UNITE premieres on Science Channel.

FIREFLY the series is set in the year 2517, in a new star system and follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of Serenity, a “Firefly-class” spaceship. The ensemble cast depicts nine distinct characters who, have all banded together for very different reasons.  Led by Captain Mal Reynolds (Fillion), who fought on the losing side of a civil war, viewers engage with characters who, are now living on the outskirts of society.

FIREFLY: BROWNCOATS UNITE is produced by Science Channel.  Debbie Myers is general manager and executive vice president of Science Channel. Bernadette McDaid is vice president of production and Kaitlin McIntyre is producer for Science Channel.  Jose Molina is executive story editor for the FIREFLY: SPECIAL EDITION enhanced episodes.

About Science Channel:
Science Channel, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is home for the thought provocateur, the individual who is unafraid to ask the killer questions of “how” and “why not.”  The network is a playground for those with audacious intellects and features programming willing to go beyond imagination to explore the unknown.  Guided by curiosity, Science Channel looks for innovation in mysterious new worlds as well as in its own backyard.  Science Channel and the Science Channel HD simulcast reach more than 74 million U.S. households.  The network also features high-traffic online and social media destinations, including ScienceChannel.com, facebook.com/Science Channel and twitter.com/Science Channel.

About Discovery Communications:
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 200 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through more than 140 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as US joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

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FOX: ‘Touch’, ‘American Idol’ And New Kevin Bacon Thriller ‘The Following’ Premiere Dates Announced

Just a note here:  It’s not a coincidence that the Fringe series finale will be on the same night as the season two premiere of Touch.  Also, The Following is moving into the horrible The Mob Doctor‘s timeslot so we assume that it’s been cancelled.  We can’t imagine that they are moving it to another night.

Via Press Release:

FOX ANNOUNCES WINTER PREMIERE DATES 

12TH SEASON OF “AMERICAN IDOL” KICKS OFF WITH

TWO-NIGHT PREMIERE EVENT

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, AND THURSDAY, JANUARY 17 

KEVIN WILLIAMSON’S NEW PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER “THE FOLLOWING”

STARRING KEVIN BACON AND JAMES PUREFOY

DEBUTS MONDAY, JANUARY 21 

SEASON TWO OF “TOUCH” MAKES CONTACT FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1 

FOX is announcing the winter season and series premiere dates for new and returning series, including the returns of AMERICAN IDOL and TOUCH, and the debut of new thriller THE FOLLOWING.

Featuring host Ryan Seacrest and new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban, along with returning judge Randy Jackson, the 12th season of AMERICAN IDOL begins with the exciting two-night premiere Wednesday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, Jan. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

THE FOLLOWING, a psychological thriller created by Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Scream” franchise) and starring Golden Globe Award-winning actor Kevin Bacon (“X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Frost/Nixon”) and James Purefoy (“Rome”), launches Monday, Jan. 21(9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The intense, spellbinding drama follows RYAN HARDY (Bacon), an ex-FBI agent called out of retirement to track down JOE CARROLL (Purefoy), a devious and diabolical serial killer, and the mastermind behind an ever-growing web of killers.

Season Two of TOUCH, starring Emmy Award winner Kiefer Sutherland (“24”), kicks into gear Friday, Feb. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). As the action shifts dramatically from New York to Los Angeles, single father MARTIN BOHM (Sutherland) and his gifted son, JAKE (David Mazouz), find themselves at the center of a global conspiracy involving a mother in search of her missing teenage daughter, a mathematical genius and a religious zealot assassinating others with abilities like Jake’s. Joining the cast this season are Maria Bello (“ER”), Lukas Haas (“24”), Said Taghmaoui (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of The Cobra”) and newcomer Saxon Sharbino.

-more- 

FOX WINTER PREMIERE DATES – Page 2

FOX WINTER SEASON AND SERIES PREMIERE DATES

(Times for All-New Episodes are ET/PT Except as Noted)

 

Wednesday, Jan. 16:

8:00-10:00 PM            AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part One)

Thursday, Jan. 17:

8:00-9:00 PM              AMERICAN IDOL (Season Premiere, Part Two)

Monday, Jan. 21:

9:00-10:00 PM            THE FOLLOWING (Series Premiere) 

Friday, Feb. 1:

9:00-10:00 PM            TOUCH (Season Premiere)

 

-FOX-

[EDITOR’S NOTE 1:  THE GOODWIN GAMES premiere date will be announced at a later date.]

[EDITOR’S NOTE 2:  For photos and more information on FOX programming, please visit http://www.foxflash.com/d+iv.php/main/page?aID=1.]

CBS: ‘Elementary’ and ‘Vegas’ Get Full Season Orders

Via Press Release:

CBS GIVES FULL SEASON ORDERS TO TELEVISION’S #1 AND #2 NEW SERIES — “VEGAS” AND “ELEMENTARY”

Freshman Dramas Win Their Time Periods in Viewers and Key Demographics

October 23, 2012 – CBS has given full season “back nine” orders to television’s top two freshman series — VEGAS and ELEMENTARY.

“VEGAS and ELEMENTARY have opened strong, delivering big audiences and winning performances in important time periods,” said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment.  “Each of the shows has rich characters, big stars and a unique visual style that have stood out in the crowd, helping make two of our strongest nights even stronger.”

VEGAS, the #1 new series of the season and ranked sixth overall, wins its Tuesday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in viewers and key demographics, averaging 14.94 million viewers, 2.7/08 in adults 18-49 and 3.8/09 in adults 25-54.  VEGAS has improved the year-ago time period by +8% in viewers.

ELEMENTARY, the #2 new series of the season and ranked ninth overall, also wins its Thursday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in the key ratings measures, averaging 14.30 million viewers, 3.5/10 in adults 18-49 and 4.6/11 in adults 25-54. Compared to the time period last year, ELEMENTARY is up +17% in adults 18-49 and +10% in adults 25-54.

VEGAS stars Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jason O’Mara, Taylor Handley and Sarah Jones.  Greg Walker, Nicholas Pileggi, Cathy Konrad, Arthur Sarkissian and James Mangold are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn and Jon Michael Hill.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

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