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April 21 2008

It's Official! Fox Says They'll Be Back. The Hollywood Reporter says Fox has issued a 13-episode order for "Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles". No word yet on a time slot, but that may be announced in upfonts next month.

Great news.
Wooot ! Not a surprise but ... woooot ! ;)
Dollhouse and Terminator back to back, please.
I very heartily second that notion.
So not a full season then.
They can pick up the remaining episodes if they want, Simon. They're hedging their bets the viewers won't dip any more, basically.
Fox is now my favorite network. 24...Terminator...Dollhouse...J. J. Abram's Fringe...Ronald D. Moore's Virtuality...Prison Break (as long as they start wrapping things up instead of sending them back to jail again; I'm still expecting it to turn to complete crap though). Now if only they'd cancel American Idol...
24...Terminator...Dollhouse...J. J. Abram's Fringe...Ronald D. Moore's Virtuality...Prison Break

House. Bones.
If you look at FOX's upcoming line up for 08-09, assuming there's not radical changes, it's actually one of the most sci-fi and genre friendly networks out there. Now.
My only current must see tv is BSG, really hope some show from the list Dollhouse, Fringe, Virtuality will deliver the sort of arc heavy tv I crave, just rewatched the old BBC 'Secret Army', not bad for a 70's show.

If one of them is a hit thats probably all Fox needs.
I loved Secret Army, have been wanting to get it on DVD for a while.
The 'Secret Army' method of good tv, without any CGI whatsoever.

Set the show in difficult times
Add some bad good guys
Add some good bad guys
Show that anything can happen, anytime, anywhere
Stir with plenty of tension
I really don't understand all the AI hate. It's a lot more enjoyable than any other shlocky "reality" program out there - it's not scripted, there's real talent involved, and very many of the singers, whether or not they win, go on to amazing things: Jordin Sparks in "Dream Girls," Fantasia on Broadway in "The Color Purple," the chart-topping hits for Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Elliot Yamin, Reuben Studdard...

Plus the big huge two-hour event Idol Gives Back. I didn't hear the final total for this year, but last year's inaugural event raised $76 million for people in need in Africa and here in the States, including those families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

But back on topic - YAY T:SCC! More Summer! More Lena! More lines like "If you move things around the turkey will reveal itself to you" and "I call shotgun." "I call 9mm."
I'm sorry about the swipe at Americal Idol. I realize it has a large, devoted following. I'm just not a big fan of most reality television. My reality viewing only consists of Judge Judy, Cops, Jeopardy and sometimes Beauty and the Geek.

Edit: You're right. I think the "Gives Back" special is a great cause that makes good use of the show's popularity.

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2008-04-21 20:18 ]
This is good news, indeed.
I don't have an opinion on American Idol either way, but I think for a lot of people it's come to represent (unfairly) all the "reality" television that they hate, simply because it's the biggest and most popular. (The term "reality TV" bugs me--really they're just game shows. On the other hand, game shows are usually more genuine.)

It's really those wretched hives of scum and villainy like Temptation Island and The Real World that people should be hating on, but AI gets the ratings.

Oh, and Yay for SCC!

[ edited by flakbait on 2008-04-21 21:53 ]
I don't watch American Idol, but the thing that bugs me about is how its on 3 times a week! There could be good drama/comedy instead.
If you look at FOX's upcoming line up for 08-09, assuming there's not radical changes, it's actually one of the most sci-fi and genre friendly networks out there. Now.

I think FOX has always and will always have a small part of their mindset dedicated to finding "The Next X-Files" - and I mean in regard to genre, not its wavering quality over the years. So they have always been SF friendly in regards to greenlighting new genre shows, but have rarely been very supportive of them beyond, well, a season.

So while the line-up looks friendly, it's still FOX. And I know there's new people there now, but FOX remains the runt of the four majors and wishes it was like its big brothers. It's not and likely won't ever be, but it expects its shows to perform like that.

The sooner they recognise their ability to hold a niche market, the better. But it's going on 20 years now and they still never change.

That said - yay for Dollhouse and yay for Sarah Connor. But I won't laud the network until I see more than grudging support.
crossoverman, I don't disagree on any point.
hitnrun017, it's not. Tuesday night is the performance, and Wednesday night is the results show. The only times it was on more often was in the beginning of the season, and when they did the Idol Gives Back special.

And it really cannot be compared to Survivor or The Bachelor or any of those other "reality" programs - there are no teams, no plotting, no "secret" talking to the camera & dissing the other contests or previews for "Next week on..."

Now, what I want to know is: Was Cameron actually in the jeep when it blew?
Oh, well, I suck then. I definately think American Idol is better than most other reality shows and sends out a better message, but I just have no interest in it.
Knowing networks, FOX will probably put "Dollhouse" up against "Lost," "Heroes," or "The Office." Or maybe even BSG.
Never watched it but does 'American Idol' have an audition stage ? Because, though i've not seen much of it, that's the part of 'X-Factor' that depresses me the most. Ricky Gervais' character said it best in the 'Extras' Christmas Special of all places, it's "where we wheel out the bewildered to be sniggered at by multi-millionaires". It really is just pointing and laughing at "freaks", dressed up as mass entertainment IMO.

And unless they did a full-on "King of the Rocketmen" style cheat, Cameron was in the Jeep.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-04-21 23:54 ]
Saje: "Never watched it but does 'American Idol' have an audition stage ?"

To paraphrase Addison DeWitt, that's almost all American Idol is.

I mean, yes.
Putting it up against the Office would be smart programming (putting it in that timeslot would also put it up against Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy which would be stupid) and it can't be up against BSG since that airs later than Fox has national programming.
Ah, you know, I understand and (to some point) believe in the grief that FOX gets.

But, come to think about it... who else has given the (our) shows a chance? You may SAY the WB & UPN... but they don't exist anymore... and barely exist now in the CW.

I applaud FOX for the fact that, as it has finally made its way into the top contenders, it still gives our shows the chance for a pilot, at least. When's the last time we watched SciFi drama on ABC or NBC or CBS(non-comedies, please)?

I currently heart FOX. I hope FOX will take me to prom. :)
If Fox takes you to the Prom be sure to check the punch very carefully ;).

(by coincidence a couple of us have just been mentioning 'Journeyman' on another thread korkster - great sadly cancelled sci-fi show on NBC. Not seen it but 'Jericho' was on CBS I think as was 'Threshold'. 'Lost' is an ABC show, 'Surface' was another NBC show and of course there's 'Heroes' from them too - i'm sure there are others. Not saying they necessarily treat them any better than Fox but other networks definitely do sci-fi too)

To paraphrase Addison DeWitt, that's almost all American Idol is.

Ah, probably not really my bag then ;).
Once was enough for me. I saw William Hung that one lucky time, and I was frightened and ran away and there was winter for six more weeks.
I could get into AI as a guilty pleasure, but yeah, it's that audition stage that I really hate. For every decent singer they show, they trot out six people who really, really canít sing. Usually itís someone who is acting like a freak just to get air-time, or someone who is genuinely challenged in some way and can't sing, and then they proceed to make vicious fun of the usually clueless person. Not my idea of entertaining.

Last year was fun, though, because one of the instructors at my college was the person behind the whole "vote for the worst" website. Made the show interesting around here, heh.
Well, since I don't watch those other shows... my view, of course, is biased. (I did notice Journeyman, as I try to read every thread here, but I wasn't familiar with it so I couldn't really comment.)

Perhaps what I should have said is that FOX is the only network to successfully make me watch their Sci-Fi shows. I guess I'm just a FOX girl, no matter how badly they beat me time to time.

Should I sway my taste to another network? Maybe, but not this year. :) (Bones, T:SCC, Dollhouse... to name my few)
A bit off topic, but I would LOVE to see AMC try their hand at the sci fi/fantasy genre.
Wasn't Warren Ellis writing a pilot for AMC at some point?
Holy shit, yeah! Dead Channel! Thanks for the heads up. Hope that pans out. I tried searching Google for "Dead Channel" but those hippies have taken over everything.
I wasn't trying to toot FOX's horn. I'm just fickle when it comes to genre television. I only like it when it's smartly written, brilliantly acted, have some realism to it, and (most of the time) preplanned with an overall arc. I not a fan of the cheesy humor and wooden acting that a lot of the time pops up in this realm of TV.

Realistic, down to earth genre works didn't really happen often in film until the 70s and 80s with things like Spielberg's Jaws and Poltergeist and Cameron's Terminator and Aliens. This trend didn't translate to TV until The X-Files in '93 and Buffy in '97.

The only major creators doing this type of thing really well these days are Joss, J. J. Abrams (Alias/Lost), Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars). FOX buypassed the pilot process for both Dollhouse and Abrams' Fringe, sending them right to series. When NBC told Moore his pilot idea was "too scifi" for them, FOX picked up Virtuality as a two hour backdoor pilot with an online series.

Look at what's going on with Rob Thomas. His two pilots for ABC and one pilot for the CW are just that...pilots. Who knows if any of them will even make it to series. This new regime at FOX is giving three already established creators with quality works and loyal fanbases a guaranteed spot of their schedule a month before they usually make these announcements. I think that's pretty cool of them and is a practice that should happen more often.
Yay. Now I have two reasons to watch Fox which is two more than I ever thought I would again. Bones. SCC. And someday soon Dollhouse! Wow. Maybe I'll have three reasons at the same time?
The only major creators doing this type of thing really well these days are Joss, J. J. Abrams (Alias/Lost), Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

Well, one out of three aint bad.
The modern era in genre SF has to begin with "Forbidden Planet."
Interesting, why 'Forbidden Planet' specifically doghouse ?
My view: it's the SF movie that built on serious SF themes but still engaged a general audience with literate references ("Tempest," Freud). It doesn't assume that this is the first SF story we've encountered (as, for example, "Them," or the original "War of the Worlds" from the same period). Even "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" (early version) weren't set in a recognizably SF landscape, but "Forbidden Planet" was out there from the opening sequence. The next big step would be "2001." (Aside: I cut school to go to the first showing of "Forbidden Planet" in downtown Chicago, on a Wednesday, at 9:30 AM. Probably the smartest thing I did in 7th grade.)
Aha, so rather than sci-fi impinging on the character's lives, it's already accepted as a part of their lives (whereas, as you say, 'Them', 'The Day the Earth...' etc. all show a standard contemporary world when suddenly BANG! sci-fi elements arrive). So sci-fi is more the framework for 'Forbidden Planet' than the point itself (kind of like the "We live on a spaceship dear" ... "So ?" exchange between Zoe and Wash) ?

That's an interesting way of defining the line between eras, I quite like that.

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