New Police Series, ‘Golden Boy’ Premiering In March (VIDEO)

golden_boy

It’s rare that a series slips by us but it’s even rarer yet that a network does such a masterful job of burying a new series before its premiere but that’s exactly what CBS has done with its new, seemingly compelling police drama, Golden Boy, which follows the meteoric rise a of a young police officer in New York City from beat cop to police commissioner over the course of seven years.  CBS occasionally does this and it’s very puzzling. I saw ZERO trailers last year for the ill-fated police drama NYC 22 which lasted about 10 minutes on the network and it’s safe to say that the lack of promotion for the series contributed to its demise.

Here’s the thing, CBS, if you don’t have any interest in a show, don’t pick it up but for crap’s sake, don’t pick up a show and then not promote it.  Seriously, what are you… FOX?  In the case of Golden Boy, this seems particularly stupid because judging by the extended trailer below, it would seem to be the perfect lead-in for Blue Bloods on Friday nights.

Golden Boy premieres on March 5th at 10:00 p.m. and will move to its regular timeslot on Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. on March 8th.

The Digital Bits: ‘The X-Files’ Coming To Blu-ray In 2013?

According to The Digital Bits, 20th Century Fox is planning a Blu-ray release of the cult-classic SciFi series, The X-Files for 2013.  Normally, we don’t post rumors unless they are substantiated but when the source is TDB, we’ll give the attention it deserves.  There’s also the fact that this makes perfect sense to us as we predicted that the remastering of Star Trek: The Next Generation for Blu-ray would open the door for effects-heavy shows from the 1980s and 1990s to have the same treatment given to them and we actually mentioned The X-Files as one of the series that that would finally have a chance to get the HD treatment it deserves.

From TDB’s Bill Hunt:

So here’s today’s dispatch: A number of our industry sources are now telling us that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is planning (and in fact may already be gearing up to) release their classic TV seriesThe X-Files on Blu-ray. As fans will already be aware, the first four seasons of the show were produced in 4×3 format, like many TV programs of its era. The series then went to a 16×9 widescreen format for the remainder of its run, as anamorphic widescreen displays were starting to become common. The entire show was still broadcast in standard definition – not actual high-definition – and the visual effects and post-production were finished in SD. (Note that the first actual HD broadcast on Fox was for the 2004 NFL season, while X-Filesended its run in 2002.) Our sources say Fox has likely decided to “rebuild” the seasons in high-definition, in much the same way that CBS has done with Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Provided all the original camera negative has been properly stored and archived, it’ll presumably be an easier task as the show featured fewer and less elaborate visual effects.

This wouldn’t be the first time Fox has upgraded a show to Blu-ray: They did something roughly similar withFirefly on Blu-ray back in 2008, although to be fair all of the show’s visual effects were upconverted to HD rather than re-rendered in actual high-definition to save costs.

If all goes well, we’re told the first seasons of The X-Files could appear on BD sometime in late 2013. We’ll post additional updates as they come in. Stay tuned…

– Bill Hunt

We SOOOOOOOOOOO Want to Believe This News Is True

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

SCOOP: Showtime Releases First Two Minutes of Dexter Season Seven Premiere At Comic-Con [VIDEO]

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

If you didn’t see the season finale of season six of Showtime’s hit, Dexter, or you want to wait to see what happens immediately following the final shocking moment of the finale, stop right now and go no further because we don’t want to ruin anything for you.

But for the rest of you, enjoy!  We did!

Via Press Release:

SHOWTIME® PRESENTS AN EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT THE SEVENTH SEASON PREMIERE OF DEXTER®

San Diego Comic-Con Attendees Exclusively Viewed Homeland Season Two Trailer

 

SAN DIEGO, CA – (July 12, 2012) – This evening at Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012, SHOWTIME premiered the first two minutes of the upcoming season seven debut of the Emmy®-nominated series DEXTER, as well as an exclusive Comic-Con only trailer for the anticipated second season of the Golden-Globe®-winning drama series Homeland. Both trailers were unveiled in front of a standing room only crowd during the annual DEXTER panel presented on the first day of the world-famous gathering in San Diego.

The gasps from last season’s finale can still be heard among every DEXTER fan as their worst fears were realized – Dexter (series star and executive producer Michael C. Hall) got caught and by none other than Deb (Jennifer Carpenter)! What will he do, what will she do…what’s next for America’s favorite serial killer? Watch and find out:

The network’s top-rated drama series, DEXTER and Homeland return on Sunday, September 30th – DEXTER will make its seventh season premiere at 9 p.m. ET/PT, followed by Homeland at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

SCOOP! FOX Quietly Renews Family Guy and American Dad!, The Cleveland Show and Napoleon Dynamite Still Up In The Air…

Thanks goes to Deadline for this scoop.  Looks like the Seth MacFarlane mainstays Family Guy and American Dad! have been renewed for eleventh and ninth seasons, respectively (Deadline is wrong about the season numbers for both but there’s a lot of confusion about the number of seasons for American Dad!, even on FOX’s part which we will explain momentarily).  We’re not really surprised about Family Guy because that property has just been gold after coming back for good after two cancellations in 2005, but how times have changed for American Dad!.  Last year, the concern was whether or not the under-appreciated animated comedy would make it past the May upfront cuts and then FOX surprised everyone by committing to it through 2012 – 2013 three months in advance of the upfronts.

At the time, back in February, 2011 this was a little confusing because in the press release headline it stated that the show was getting a “seventh term” (seventh season) through 2012 – 2013.  We noted then that those numbers didn’t jive because at the time of the announcement, American Dad was in its sixth season, already.  Don’t bother checking with IMDb to prove us wrong on this one because they’re mistaken, as well. FOX considers the first seven episodes of American Dad! which include the pilot on Super Bowl Sunday and the six episodes in May and June of 2005 along with the 16 that aired from September 2005 through May 2006 to be the official first season of the show.  The first seven episodes are not considered a standalone season (they make the same mistake with Family Guy’s first season, as well).  Believe it or not, Netflix spells it out perfectly in the episode selection section of their streaming service.

Really, when you think about it, it makes more sense because a standard episode order for a season is 22 episodes, as a freshman mid-season replacement American Dad! got seven and then 16 on the back-end to make 23 (close enough).  It’s not particularly uncommon for any new show to get a small order initially with an option for more episodes but it’s all considered part of the first season.

That being said, the show being in its sixth season last year then would mean that the seventh season would go through the 2011 – 2012 season and not the 2012 – 2013 season as that press release indicated and today’s news from Deadline actually clears up a lot of confusion about the contradictory information in the press release, whether Deadline intended this or not.

As Deadline notes, 20th Century Fox Television has a full season of episodes in the can ready to go in September 2012.  Despite the fact that they are incorrect about the season number claiming that the show is currently in its sixth season and that the shows in the can are for an upcoming seventh season (we don’t know where they came up with that, because unlike IMDb, they’re going the wrong way with their mistake, for both Family Guy and American Dad!.  IMDb’s error at least makes sense.), the information regarding the fact that they have already produced next season’s episodes confirms that the the announcement of renewal last year,  as the press release implied when stating that the renewal would be “… bringing the series through the 2012-2013 season” was, indeed,  renewal for two seasons, the series’ seventh and eighth.

So, to clarify, American Dad! was renewed for seasons seven and eight in February, 2011. We are currently nearing the end of season seven.  Season eight’s episodes have already been produced and are ready to begin airing in September, 2012 to kick off the 2012 -2013 season.  Deadline has reported that American Dad! has been renewed, yet again, for a ninth season to air during the 2013 -2014 season.

We couldn’t be more thrilled about this news because as we’ve noted before, as much as we’ve always loved Family GuyAmerican Dad! has consistently been far funnier since Family Guy‘s relaunch.

In other news that makes us at least optimistic, the very unfunny Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show has not been renewed as of yet with FOX holding off on the decision to see how well it does this fall.

In news that occurred when we were apparently asleep at the switch, back in January, FOX renewed the vomit-inducingly bad Bob’s Burgers for a third season but no word has come as of yet for the fate of the surprisingly likable Napoleon Dynamite which we expected would be a disaster but has turned out to be quite enjoyable.

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.)

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.

FOX: Bones Renewed For Eighth Season

Via Press Release:

BRENNAN AND BOOTH HAVE ANOTHER REASON TO CELEBRATE

AS FOX DELIVERS AN EIGHTH SEASON OF “Bones”

 It’s a Girl! Bones Returns with a New Arrival on the First of Seven All-New Episodes Monday, April 2, on FOX

FOX has renewed the hit series Bones for its upcoming eighth season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

“Over the past seven seasons, Hart Hanson, Stephen Nathan and the incredible Bones cast and crew have redefined the traditional crime procedural with an irreverent and adventurous sensibility and I’m really happy to have this distinctive, fan-favorite on our schedule for another season,” Reilly said. 

Bones returns with seven in a row, all-new episodes on a new night and at a new time beginning Monday, April 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). In the first of these episodes, “The Prisoner in the Pipe,” the remains of an escaped convict are found in a residential sewer, but an examination of the sewer pipes indicates that the murder occurred within prison walls. When Brennan (Emily Deschanel) insists on solving the crime – despite Booth’s (David Boreanaz) pleas for her not to overexert herself – the expectant couple experience a very untraditional arrival of their baby daughter.

During the upcoming eighth season, Bones will celebrate its 150th milestone episode. 

Bones is a darkly amusing procedural centered on a highly skilled forensic anthropologist who can read clues left behind in victims’ Bones and an FBI agent. These unlikely partners take on homicide cases involving human remains that most forensic specialists can’t handle. The series stars Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, TJ Thyne, Michaela Conlin, Tamara Taylor and John Francis Daley.

SyFy: Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome Going Forward As Digital Series. We’re Thrilled! Teaser Trailer HERE!

We’ve been following the development of the prequel series, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome for going on two years, now, and we haven’t had much news to report for some time as SyFy has been very quiet about their plans for it.  Although the pilot finished filming in February of 2011, post-production wrapped up in September 2011 and there really hasn’t been anything released aside from rumors that SyFy was considering possibly releasing it as a web series.  There was no confirmation on this and in fact, we received conflicting reports from sources that SyFy was internally going back and forth on their plans for the epic series.  Well, SyFy has officially commented on it and it looks as if they have indeed decided to go forward with B & C as a web series, airing the 90-minute pilot at a future date on television.

We’ll comment on these developments in a moment, but first we wanted to give our readers a chance to check out the incredible teaser trailer that was shown recently at Wondercon and has been yanked every time it’s been posted on YouTube, since, and in fact, no matter were we’ve tried to post it (YouTube, DailyMotion, Facebook, Photobucket) it’s gotten immediately yanked.  So, we decided to get creative and do a little editing so that it didn’t raise any red flags.  In the beginning and at the end of the video we included a slide show of concept art from B & C and this apparently has allowed us to fly under the radar… at least for now.  So, enjoy until someone gets wise to the fact that we put the trailer up.

EDIT:  08/03/2012   Our video was blocked but we were able to find someone’s who’s wasn’t because he changed the audio completely.  Don’t know how long this will stay up either but his has been under the radar for a while.

Now, as we noted, SyFy has announced that they intend to go forward with this project as a digital series instead of a traditional network series and believe it or not, we’re actually O.K. with that.

From a statement issued by SyFy’s president of original programming, Mark Stern:

“Though the vision for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome has evolved over the course of the past year, our enthusiasm for this ambitious project has not waned.  We are actively pursuing it as was originally intended: a groundbreaking digital series that will launch to audiences beyond the scope of a television screen. The 90-minute pilot movie will air on Syfy in its entirety at a future date.”

Now of course, the fanboys are all up in arms about the fact that it’s going to be a digital series as opposed to a network television series but we’re going to set the record straight for you as to why this is a good thing as it stands right now.

One of the biggest problems we’ve noticed over the past couple of years with many of the respected sources for television news and commentary is the absolute inability of these outlets to see beyond the standard Nielsen-centric model of the television industry.  As we’ve made the point time and time again, it’s not just about network programming and 18 – 49 demographics.

From TV By The Numbers:

“Despite the “limited scope” of the television screen, TV is still where the big advertising dollars are and I can’t really see how the economics will work out, unless someone like Netflix steps in, so this sounds like the sort of  inevitable “being shopped to other networks” talk when TV shows are canceled. As a BSG fan, I hope I’m wrong…at least until I’ve seen the pilot!”

From io9:

“Last we heard, this pilot was going to be demoted to a webseries, instead of being aired as a TV movie. But this trailer is too amazing to be relegated to the internet — put this pilot on TV now, Syfy!”

*Sigh*

MAKE! IT! STOP!

Typical Staff of io9

Once again, what we have here is a typical moment where we have to repeatedly punch ourselves in the face.  Now, for the record, we can’t stand io9 because their articles are written from the perspective of a twelve year-old kid in a Batman costume and have ZERO insight into the reality of the film/television industry. io9 is simply a reposter and commenter and most of those comments are similar to the fanboy comments above.  TV By The Numbers, on the other hand, is a source that we have greatly respected over the years and a source where we regularly go to for information.  Generally speaking, they understand how the industry works as far as analysis of Nielsen numbers are concerned and have had a history of being right more often than not.  Lately, though, and in particular over the last two years, TVBTN has been showing their age and unwillingness to look outside the box as far as the direction of the television industry is going and they are making a lot of bold statements about the fate of television shows based solely on the old media model.

Recently, we called them out in the comments section of their article about the Deadline piece (that was also confirmed by THR) that reported that Netflix was in preliminary talks with 20th Century Television about the possibility of bringing the recently canceled FOX series, Terra Nova to Netflix streaming service for a second season.  TVBTN not only dismissed the report as foolishness and wishful-thinking, but they openly mocked the piece and Deadline, who, for the record is an elite source of entertainment information has been correct far more often than TVBTN has been.

As we noted then, the Deadline piece was very careful to note that these were only preliminary talks and that it was far too early for fans to get their hopes up, however they noted that considering Terra Nova‘s bubble-show status, it’s huge Live+7 DVR gains and the fact that picking it up would be perfectly in line with Netflix business model expansion, it was certainly possible that it could happen.  Besides the fact that their mocking of Deadline was childish, it represented a cognitive dissonance about the evolving landscape of the television industry that the old-guard simply either doesn’t want to accept or doesn’t understand. We’re not going to post the entire contents of our response to them (which, by the way, went unanswered whereas they responded to every other critcism of their piece and defended themselves) but if you want to understand more of what TVBTN doesn’t, read our piece, here, on the Deadline and THR  Netflix/Terra Nova story.

How does this all relate to the future of B & C?  Well, to put it simply, the television landscape is not exclusively dependent on Nielsen ratings and television advertising any more.  The fact is that the networks and studios are looking for more and more avenues to expand their brands and profit from their programming beyond the traditional outlets of live television and home video sales.  It’s taken them a while, but the industry has come to the realization that Video on Demand Services, the Internet and digital platforms offer as much if not more than traditional live viewings and the advertising associated with it.  So, here are a few points to consider as to why Syfy has announced this direction for the series and the BSG franchise and why it is actually a positive and what viewers can possibly expect.

It’s dead, JIm… get used to it.

1.) Space-Based SciFi is Dead on Television.     This is the elephant in the room that no one wants to believe no matter how many times we explain it and no matter how many times the evidence to this presents itself.  The fact is, though, that on network television it’s been dead since the late 1990’s and on cable it’s been dead for about five years.  The Star Trek television franchise officially died in 1998 despite the fact that it continued with Enterprise until 2005. Farscape struggled to find an audience and was unceremoniously ended after four seasons with a cliffhanger that had to be resolved with a miniseries… and don’t even get us started with Firefly.  The simultaneous collapse of the Stargate and Battlestar Galactica  franchises around 2007 marked the official beginning of the end of the genre on cable television.  SyFy saw it coming which exactly why they changed their name in 2009 from SciFi to the current moniker.  SyFy president, David Howe said this back then:

“If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future. That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes.”

The writing was on the wall for space-based SciFi and they knew it as well as we did because they saw the same numbers that we did.  Despite the criticism from the pundits in the blogosphere over the name change (CNet’s “Digital City” blogger and television flat-earther Dan Ackerman called it “…perhaps the most ill-advised branding move since New Coke” which was just stupid on its face because New Coke was a completely different formula and not merely a name change), SyFy has seen record ratings and revenues on their original programming (both scripted and unscripted, and it has nothing to do with one hour of wrestling per week)… that is of course with the exception of the two attempts since the name change at space-based SciFi, which were, Stargate: Universe and the BSG prequel series, Caprica.  Both of those shows, which SyFy gambled on and invested an enormous amount of money in development and promotion, were miserable failures not because they weren’t any good, but because general viewing audiences just DO NOT have any interest in the genre any more.

We have no doubt that SyFy still has an interest in the BSG franchise, because, after all, it’s their most successful property of all-time and the fact is that they didn’t spend all that money on that kick-ass pilot two months after the cancellation of Caprica to have it sit on a shelf and not make money, but SyFy and NBC-Universal view it in a much larger context than the dopey fanbase and bloggers do.  At this point, they aren’t going to make the same mistakes they made on SGU and Caprica by putting it on television for an audience that simply has very little interest in it and thereby destroying the franchise the same way that Paramount did with Star Trek.  SyFy is thinking global distribution with this to maximize profits and that’s the absolute best approach for this series.

Uhhhhh… no.

2.)  The Definition of a “Digital Series.”     How simplistic viewers and bloggers are when the phrase “digital series” is uttered as they sit around lamenting six minute mini-episodes for free that are used to promote shows like The Office on NBC.  We hate to burst the bubble of the Negative Nancys but when SyFy refers to this as a “digital series,” that’s not what they have in mind and simply because they offered webisodes to supplement Battlestar Galactica when it was in first-run, you have to understand that using webisodes to supplement and promote the primary product is not the same thing as having the primary product distributed digitally.  This is the typically short-sighted understanding of the television industry in this new global market that permeates the Internet and it really couldn’t be more ignorant of the facts.

The Internet’s impact on television has grown exponentially over the past five years and this is partly the result of a defensive posture by the networks and studios to combat piracy and partly because they realize that if they take advantage of the Internet it broadens their audiences and their customer base (if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em).  The old model of television really was less about programming and more about advertising. Unlike feature films where consumers actually purchase the entertainment product directly, television and television programming has traditionally been a means simply to expose viewers to advertising.  It’s been an intricate dance of providing programming that enough people watch to make it inticing for advertisers to spend money on advertising. This is why fan campaigns don’t work.  Despite quality of programming, if the numbers aren’t there, a show will not survive.  io9 and similar fan outlets as well as the fans themselves do not understand that the show itself has not traditionally been the product and can’t seem to get it through their heads that a demographically insignificant amount of fan signatures does nothing to keep a show alive if it doesn’t have an appeal to a larger consumer audience that will actually see the advertising.

But this is changing.  Studios and networks, though still tied to traditional methods of revenue, are now beginning to look at their shows themselves as the product. International distribution deals as well as non-exclusive distribution contracts with companies such as Apple, Amazon, Netlfix and Hulu are making advertising less of a concern  than they have been traditionally.  This is exactly why at least the notion of shows such as  Terra Nova and The River going to Netflix, a service that depends on subscribers, not advertisers, makes so much sense in the new economy (however, advertising may still be part of the picture for B & C even, digitally).

Again, just consider what we’re talking about, here.  We’re talking about BSG and we’re talking about SyFy, not just some random series on a generic network.  This is an incredibly valuable and profitable property for SyFy and SyFy has made it very clear that they are actively pursuing innovative ways to deliver entertainment that is not only profitable, but takes advantage of existing and developing popular technology.  Although the rest of the experts in the blogosphere may have not been giving this much attention, SyFy’s upcoming new series/MMO crossover, Defiance is the prime example of the network’s dedication to using innovative digital methods to change the landscape of television and delivering original content to consumers.  The Defiance project alone should be enough of an indication to fans and critics alike that SyFy has something far bigger planned for B & C than a handful of crappy 10-minute webisodes.

Naga… naga… nagunna happen.

Even though it’s nice see that TVBTN  is begrudgingly at least sort-of understanding that Netflix is a viable option for original programming and and keeping alive shows that have been canceled by networks, this news is not a harbinger of SyFy shopping the series to Netflix (or another television network, for that matter), in fact don’t expect this series to be on Netflix for years.  The concern that these Internet outlets have is that they think that the 90-minute pilot movie will be cut down into 10-minute webisodes and once all of the episodes have been released, that will be the end of B & C.  Though it’s possible that it could be cut down into individual webisodes, we don’t think this is very likely, and we certainly don’t think that once the pilot movie is shown its entirety, it will be the end of the project.

First, unlike the BSG webisodes that supplemented the television series and were available for free, the pilot film wasn’t designed to be a story spliced up into a web anthology and furthermore the webisodes were incredibly inexpensive to produce and not produced as direct revenue generators.  The B & C  pilot movie was produced with the intention of telling a stand-alone story in the form of a film while leaving setting it up as a launching point for a series.  That format simply won’t work with a 10-minute webisode experience with the end of each ten minutes being a cliffhanger for the next webisode.  That’s simply not how the pilot was produced or written.  SyFy knows this which is exactly why they are airing the pilot movie in its entirety on the network.

We suspect that B & C will most likely wind up on Hulu after the pilot airs on SyFy and available ad-free/limited ad-supported for Hulu Plus subscribers (and video game consoles, TV’s and other devices that  have the SyFy App) simply because of the fact that NBC-Universal has a stake in that company.  We think they will probably use the broadcast of the pilot movie to promote subscriptions to Hulu Plus which will be the exclusive content provider for B & C.  We don’t currently subscribe to Hulu Plus because we have no need for it and we suspect a lot of consumers feel the same way.  Our cable package includes an HD DVR, every channel that Cox Communications offers as well as all of the premiums.  If we want to watch a show that we have missed or isn’t on the DVR, we go to Cox’s VOD service.  If we want to see older shows, we simply go to Netflix.  That being said, if Hulu Plus carried B & C we’d subscribe tomorrow and there is no question in our mind that if SyFy does bring full series treatment of B & C to Hulu Plus, they would immediately gain one to two million new subscribers.

And this would not be Hulu’s first venture into high-profile web content.  Last year we reported on and reviewed the groundbreaking web series, The Confession, starring Kiefer Sutherland and John Hurt. The web series, consisting of 11 six to eight-minute episodes, was an incredible success for Hulu and its producers that was deficit-funded and began producing a profit by the second episode.  The company that produced it, Digital Broadcasting Group, noted that each episode had a 95% viewership rate (in other words, viewers watched each episode, including ads right up to the credits) and that the only complaint was how short each episode was, which was exactly why didn’t give it a perfect score when we reviewed it.

What The Confession proved is that original digital content can be profitable provided that it has strong production values and a strong cast.  Add these features to the popular nature of the BSG franchise and you’re looking at the future of entertainment and B & C seems ideally suited for it as it’s also destination viewing in that it targets specifically the audience that wants to watch this show without trying to profit from it by airing it to an audience that has little interest in it (the old throw enough sh*t at the wall and see what sticks method that’s been used for 70-years).

3.)  Smoke and Mirrors?  Possibly.     There is another possibility that makes as much sense as any other and that is that though SyFy continues to plan to move forward with this as a digital series, depending on which way the wind blows, the series itself may wind up being aired on the network after all.

The truth is that no matter what SyFy says right now, nothing will really become clear until after they announce their 2012 – 2013 schedule.  Unlike the major networks, who announce their schedules at the upfront advertising events in May, SyFy has a history of announcing theirs in April.  In April, if an airdate for B & C is announced for the summer, that will be very important because it kind of means all bets are off as far as what SyFy is actually going to do.

If they air it in the summer, it could very well wind up being given full-series network treatment depending on how well it does in the ratings.  What they have in the can right now is not just a pilot film but they may be consider it to be a backdoor pilot if it can garner high enough ratings to support a network series.  What that means is that it was written produced as a stand-alone film with the opportunity to expand on the story if there is enough interest in it for a series.  This is a common practice within the television industry and we’ve discussed this concept before in regards to B & C.  It’s called hedging your bets and considering the hype and anticipation they’ve already built around this recently with the Wondercon release of the teaser trailer and almost Gestapo-like patroling of the Internet to curb its avaialbility, it almost seems like this is a viral campaign to spike interest in it and create hysteria.

Right now, as we write this, there are hundreds of fan campaigns actively harassing SyFy to bring this series to the network and we have a funny feeling that this is exactly what SyFy wants.  Just like the name change controversy, SyFy may be intentionally trying to piss everyone off by making what appear to be very definitive statements about their programming in an effort to spike brand awareness.  Remember, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Now, we could be dead wrong with this theory and we’ll only have an indication of whether or not this is the case when SyFy releases their schedule, but again, this section is dedicated to idle speculation, only, not hard facts.  The key is a summer release date.  If it’s announced for an early 2013  release and not announced for Summer 2012 or at the latest Fall 2012, then we think it’s safe to say that this isn’t a viral campaign and SyFy will definitely be moving forward with their digital plans.

But again, that’s not a bad thing and fans should embrace SyFy’s leap forward in digital distribution.  It will have a dramatic effect on the rest of the industry if B & C finds success in this format and will usher in a new era of innovation and creativity in television.  It will prove once and for all that the old business model is irrelevant and that good shows that couldn’t survive through traditional broadcast mediums can indeed find life digitally and furthermore it will give programming that may have never seen the light of day a chance to find an audience.