A Quick TV Update

I can watch Runaways! And other news!

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The Future in Movie and TV

A YA movie 15 years in the making, and a witchy series seems sure to hit the CW!

It looks like Artemis Fowl, first optioned for adaptation back in 2001, will finally be making its way to the big screen. Kenneth Branagh is locked in as director, and he is apparently bringing on Dame Judi Dench in an undisclosed role, after the two worked together on the not yet released Murder on the Orient Express.  The film, which will condense the first two books of the series into one movie, is set to hit theatres in August of 2019.

The Tracking Board notes that the legend of King Arthur will again be used for a move, one that will hopefully fare better than Guy Ritchie’s recent flick. This one, called The Kid Who Would be King, will follow a group of kids who must take on Arthur’s evil sister Morgana.  Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson are nearing deals to join the film.

Moving to television, Spoiler TV reports that the CW will look at adapting the comic series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, following the Archie Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The network also has the Charmed reboot as an option, so it seems like a pretty good bet that a witch show will be hitting the network next year.  I mentioned being interested in a new witch show back in my post about books that could jump to TV, so I’m definitely intrigued by this development!

I’m less enthused about the report that the CW is looking at adapting Lesley Livingston’s The Valiant, about a princess forced into life as a gladiator. Admittedly I have not read this series and I know many who did loved it, but again going back to my own post about possible adaptations, I’m holding out for Tamora Pierce’s lioness series for a YA fantasy.

Spoiler TV has also been reporting on casting for Carnival Row, the upcoming Amazon series that sees a group of mythical creatures flee into a city, where they must negotiate tense dynamics with the inhabitants. Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, and a number of others have been confirmed for the show.

Meanwhile Freeform is moving from Pretty Little Liars to a new series adapting Sara Shepherd’s The Perfectionists series. Alison and Mona will appear in the pilot, though I’m not clear on if they are meant to be regular characters or if they are just there to give the new show a send-off.  As someone who absolutely hates the last few seasons of PLL, especially anything to do with Alison, I’m torn between wanting all the PLL characters to stay away, and the other part of me that would get a chuckle out of Alison sticking around if it meant that Emison gets broken up.  Also, while I don’t want to spoil anything about The Perfectionists, there is a plot point that I would be interested in seeing how it would be handled on TV.

Finally, SYFY is setting up a pilot for an adaption of Rick Remender’s Deadly Class comic book series, about a school for assassins. As with The Valiant on the CW, this is another close but no cigar situation in regards to the TV adaptations I’ve been hoping to see, being a similar concept to Morning Glories.

 

 

 

Upfronts Week

With all the pilot pickups known, and all but the CW’s fall schedule announced, it’s time to say what could work for each network, and what I kind of hate about their plans.

First, it seems like there are a lot of projects being held back for midseason, thought maybe I just don’t remember how many show are typically reserved for later launch dates. And in theory this seems to make sense.  Why not wait to launch a show till you can place it in the perfect spot on the schedule and not have it get lost amongst all the other shows premiering at the same time?  But in practice, how often does a midseason show become a big success?

Anyway, right now ABC needs some consistent performers. After seeing Quantico and other show drop drastically from their first year, the network needs some stability.  To that end they’ve picked up a couple procedurals in Deception and The Good Doctor, as well as rebooting American Idol.  While some may scoff at this, arguing that the era of idol and procedurals has passed, there are still a lot of casual viewers out there who could be interested in shows they could watch each week and then not think much about until the next episode rolls around.

That said, I really hate that Idol is back again! We finally got rid of it, and a year later it rises from the grave?  And on the topic of procedurals, I think ABC should have found a spot for the lighthearted spy show Unit Zero.  Maybe in place of Once Upon a Time, especially given that they apparently want to try to keep Hook around even with all the people he care about being gone.  I could have gotten behind a new season focusing on the reformed villains Rumple, Regina and Zelena trying to find their way in the new world, but I don’t have high hopes for the next season.

Speaking of low expectations, I feel like The Gospel of Kevin could be DOA. Maybe I’m wrong, and I don’t want to criticize a network for trying something new, but I’ll be surprised if it works out for ABC.

The new ABC show I’m most looking forward to is The Crossing. I had my doubts about it working as a long-term series, and I can’t say those are completely allayed, but I’ll definitely be tuning in when the show makes its debut.

Moving on to CBS… it’s CBS. It picked up exactly what you would expect CBS to pick up. The good news is that after a year where the network was criticized for a lack of diversity, the new show include one a black actor in the starring role of one, and a bisexual actor playing a gay character in the lead of another.  The network also passed on Missions Control, which would have been a unique choice for the network, but also would have opened the door to some more controversy given that the two lead characters were cast with white actors in spite of being intended to be minorities in the concept stage.

As for the bad moves, I feel like Wisdom of the Crowd could challenge The Gospel of Kevin to be the first show cancelled, while a show like The Get could have at least had a chance. I’m also a bit surprised that the net is going with both military shows in the fall, when it seems like they could be fighting for the same audience.

Fox has one of the more buzzed about projects this year with the Marvel Comics show Gifted. Interestingly enough, they will be trying to use the DC Comics show Lucifer to launch it.  I do expect the pairing to work well enough, though a case could be made for using Gifted to lead off a night at 8.

Fox’s other new Fall “drama” is The Orville, the tongue-in-cheek space exploration show from Seth MacFarlane. It has been placed Thursday at 8.  I have my doubts about how well the show will work, but it shouldn’t have much audience overlap with the other shows in that time slot.  There’s not a lot I really dislike about the Fox schedule, and I’ll definitely be watching Gifted this fall.

NBC basically has two goals this fall, launch Brave on Mondays, and try to take over Thursday night. So for the second year in a row, NBC is trying to use The Voice to premiere a new show which is part of the fall’s biggest trend.  Hopefully for the network, military shows will go over better than the time travel shows did this past year.

As for Thursday, NBC is putting freshman star This is Us in the middle of the night, which seems like a good, aggressive move. But of all the show to follow up their new hit with, they choose the true crime series about the Menendez brothers.  Because what better to watch after a heartfelt family drama than a show about brothers who murdered their parents?  I also think putting Will & Grace opposite The Big Bang Theory is expecting a bit much from the reboot.

CW has yet to release their schedule, but we know they will be picking up Valor, Dynasty, Life Sentence and Black Lightning, while passing on Searchers and Insatiable. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m disappointed Searchers didn’t make the cut.  And honestly, I’m more than a little confused.  A few years ago the CW seemed determined to use Supernatural to launch a new show or two, even trying to put together a spinoff for the long-running fantasy show.  But since then they just keep passing on all the potential shows they could have used to appeal to the Supernatural audience Searchers, Transylvania, Tales From the Darkside, maybe the Mars project.  Has there rally not been even one of these shows that could have found an audience.

As for the shows the network did pick up, CW head Mark Pedowitz has apparently always wanted a military show, though I’m really not sure why. It just doesn’t seem to me like a good fit for The CW audience.  Life Sentence is another dramedy, which I expect to do about the same in the ratings as the ones that came before.  I’ve seen some people suggesting that having Lucy Hale as the star could bring in a bigger audience, but I’m skeptical.  Nothing against her, but I just don’t think she’s got that kind of drawing power.

Black Lighting will probably get good numbers to start with. Much as I don’t think the network needed another superhero show, these shows are still their best performers.  And Black Lighting should be a different take on the genre, with an older hero who has a grown family to care for. Then there is Dynasty.  I’ve seen some people saying it will flop because the CW audience won’t watch a show with old people.  I can’t agree with that, as the people behind the show has good track record of meshing stories about older characters with younger ones.  My concern is that it seems like the creators of the show and the people at the network expect the show to sell itself, with people tuning in just because it’s Dynasty.  But does the CW audience really care about the original Dynasty, let alone a reboot?  And what in the recent history of reboots makes anyone think that any reboot is a guaranteed success?  Ultimately I think it will do okay, but be a big disappointment for the network if they really are expecting it to be a massive success.