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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"As a friend of mine once said, I'd like to test that theory."
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May 23 2004

'Transylvania' not coming to NBC. David Fury's new project writing for Van Helsing spin-off Transylvania is as dead as... well, Dark Shadows, according to Variety.

"Too expensive" says execs. Thus, the only horror to be found in the new season is The WB's lame programming.

I found the Variety article at Yahoo! News so I've changed the link so people can read it in full. Not sure how much David Fury was involved in 'Translyvania'. Last I read he was brought in to work on the pilot.

Amazingly, this is a Variety article that can actually be read with out people scratching their heads in trying to figure out what it means.
Thanks, Simon. I looked for it on Yahoo, but didn't see it. I had the link to the actual Variety article, but registration would be required for that.

According to the Sci Fi Wire news item from last month, Stephen Sommers wrote the pilot which led to NBC asking for six more scripts, thus Fury was brought on to write additional episodes.
The paranoid liberal in me is beginning to assume a rightwing conservative conspiracy against anything remotely dark that doesn't cater to the Judeo-Christian God in a positive way. So anything that has the word 'vampire' in it is getting erased. Frankly I'm surprised Harry Potter hasn't been sacrificed in effigy on the lawns of churches all across America, with bonfires that burn books by Bram Stoker and Edgar Allen Poe. But I'm just being paranoid, right?

End of Days or whatever.
Fury isnt involved with this anyway .. he didnt take the job. He told me on the bronze beta last time he posted there.
Hey! :) I'm a Christian who LOVES Harry Potter, Buffy, Angel, etc...
I know you are more than likely generalizing...and you know I TOO feel like that is what is happening with our beloved shows or the possibility of future shows dealing with "the dark stuff." There are a lot of religious fanatics out there who just don't "get it."
I think there's room for it all. :)
I'm a Christian too, Tracy. What I'm talking about is not just all Christians, but right wing religious zealots who give the rest of us a bad name. People who believe in the end of days so much they take steps that encourage the end, like poking jews and muslims in the Middle East with proverbial cattle prods. They also feel they have to save every human being from their own sinful intentions, while falling blind to their own transgressions.

But until I can find actual proof that there's a conspiracy seeking to stop an aetheist like Whedon from having a proper voice on prime time, it's all just paranoid speculation.
I agree. Not that you are a paranoid...but that the right wing religious zealots DO give the rest of us a bad name. It seems that they can't see beyond the noses on their faces.
I wasn't trying to "call you out" or anything. :)
The paranoid liberal in me is beginning to assume a rightwing conservative conspiracy against anything remotely dark that doesn't cater to the Judeo-Christian God in a positive way. So anything that has the word 'vampire' in it is getting erased.

Hey, I've been feeling this way too, for a while now. Glad to see I'm not alone in my unfounded-as-yet paranoia.

We really don't know who's making all these TV decisions, and I wonder if it doesn't have more to do with who's sitting on the board of directors of these major studios than the much-maligned suits taking the flack in the corporate offices? Some of them very likely are ultra-conservative, with controlling shares of stock in many companies that have ties to the WB (for instance). If the Black Thorn in Angel was actually veiled meta-commentary on the structure and dispensation of power at the networks, then Marcus Hamilton (Jordan Levin) was really a flunkie, and all the definitive action took place on sequestered levels of discussion we can't hope to penetrate.

Cabals exist everywhere that power exists -- sans black robes and mystical chants in most cases ;) -- and punitive restrictions that proscribe free thought always seem to come from those most convinced of their own righteousness; zealots could indeed be pressuring the nets to change their tunes.

If you're interested in looking at boards of directors at some major companies, check out They Rule. Pretty amazing how interconnected that elite five percent or so who run everything (that we know of) are.
it's all about fads kiddies. at some point sci-fi and fantasy were popular, but not anymore. and remember all the lawyer and medical stuff? religious exploration is in now, i.e. Joan of Arcadia , The Passion of the Christ . this trend will continue booming till it suddenly busts and some other genre will be "in."
i feel stuck in an extremely boring cycle.
it's all about fads kiddies. at some point sci-fi and fantasy were popular, but not anymore.

I don't know that sci-fi and fantasy are any less popular among fans, whether that applies to the hard-core or the more mainstream appreciators of the genre -- but certainly that appears to be the case among TV programming executives. Witness the surprise success of "Hellboy" and the huge popularity of "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings". Someone's buying all those movie tickets. A whole lot of someones, apparently.

In other words, these movies are getting support from the grassroots, from a wide-ranging fandom that crosses demographics to bring in huge revenue. Where such shows as Angel, Wonderfalls, Miracles, Farscape et. al. have failed to achieve a similar degree of recognition and approval is currently traceable to decisions made at the corporate level.

Top-down economics, not bottom-up demand, has dictated this trend on the small screen (not to say there's no room for the aforementioned paranoia in this scenario...). Someone (or a group of someones) is making the decision to withdraw financial support for such shows, for whatever reason. Them's the facts what am. The fans are out there in the world, whether they're rabidly active on line like us, making noise and posting to forums and boards such as this, or not. We as a group are just not being heard, or catered to, on the small screen at the moment. If anything, fantasy and sci-fi are more popular in both the underground and the mainstream than at any other time in my memory (and I can recall the original Star Trek in its first run, if that's any indication of the scope I'm talking about).

TV is also more problematic for making a profit with sci-fi and fantasy than film. Your cost is generally much higher with films upfront, but you get a more instantaneous return on your dollars because you're selling an immediate experience. First-run films are an event that can be milked for months in repetition, reaping additional dollars, whereas first-run TV shows are appointment- viewing once a week, at best, whose dollars go to advertisers based on aired commercials, not to the network in any appreciable way. TV relies on a balance between recouping costs spread over many months and advertising rates; films get money all at once during their intial theatrical runs, whereas TV shows bring in more of a trickle over time with syndication, reruns and repurposing. Different mechanisms for bringing eyeballs front and center, with their own distinct strengths and weaknesses.

Right now, the TV market apparently doesn't have the patience to wait for return from the loyal but geek-friendly/more experimental/more demanding segment of the viewing population; thus, 'reality', with its low overhead, continues to trample everything else on the boob tube, while sci-fi and fantasy films rule the day at the box office, racking up the most anticipatory buzz and the biggest money.

Not that I'm any sort of expert on TV or film. I just know what I see, read and like, and that there's a divergence happening between sci-fi and fantasy offerings on film and TV that's unique in my personal experience. Decisions are being made about which projects get greenlit and which get killed outright, and most of them are very likely based on money. But I'm willing to argue that not all of them are.

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