View Full Version : SciFi Weekly: 2004 Fall SF TV Preview

September 13th, 2004, 05:16 PM
From SciFi Weekly:


(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

2004 Fall SF TV Preview:
Part I

By Kathie Huddleston

This is the year we can point to and say—SF television will never be the same. With the loss of Joss Whedon's Angel and the overwhelming stampede of reality television and crime shows, the times they are a-changing.

Thanks to the success of the Emmy-nominated Joan of Arcadia last year, some of the networks have dipped their toes into the marginally SF or fantasy pool. The WB is offering up a future president with Jack & Bobby, and ABC, which for years has been the most daring of the big three networks when it comes to programming, explores a dead housewife's life in Desperate Housewives and a bunch of plane crash survivors a la Cast Away in Lost.

Fall usually brings a spate of unimpressive SF shows with one or two keepers, and this year's Jack & Bobby and Lost are outstanding. With Lost being J.J. Abrams' (Alias) second show on the air, he's making excellent progress into Chris Carter and Joss Whedon territory as someone who has very original, creative programming to offer and lots of it. Luckily ABC is footing the bill.

Most significantly, much of the new SF television has been relegated to cable. Once the bastion of good adventure shows, syndication is now completely dead (save Andromeda, which doesn't really count since it's on SCI FI, too). Adult animation is healthy, thanks mainly to the Cartoon Network, which appears to offer the only clear-cut sci-fi series programming in our future that doesn't come from SCI FI or USA Network. And even SCI FI has caught the reality bug bigtime, offering two new reality shows this fall (Ghost Hunters, Proof Positive) that will help kick off its new Wednesday night of original programming.

As for the biggest trend, Fox announced this summer that it was moving to year-round programming, something the networks and cable stations had been moving toward for years. While September, January and June will remain primary targets for new shows, it's become apparent that programmers have stopped being shy when it comes to pushing out a new series, especially if they feel it will face less competition and get a better chance at survival. This may all lead to a different way television ad rates are determined, with sweeps week, which now hits in November, February and May, changing or being eliminated.

So there it is. The good, the bad and the ugly. While I have to admit I wish there were at least one new series with a spaceship or a vampire, I'll take what I can get. Television may never be the same, but thanks to TiVo, I'll be able to check out every bit of it.

Check next week's Fall SF TV Preview: Part II to find out the scoop on all the returning shows, midseason replacements, movies and miniseries.

Shows Canceled or Not Returning

The 4400, USA (end of run)
Angel, The WB (may continue as a TV movie)
Century City, CBS
Crossing Over with John Edward, syndicated
Fearless, The WB (never aired)
Game Over, UPN
Jake 2.0, UPN
Jeremiah, Showtime
Justice League, Cartoon Network (morphing into Justice League Unlimited)
Kingdom Hospital, ABC (end of run)
Mutant X, syndicated
Still Life, Fox (never aired)
Tarzan, The WB
Wonderfalls, Fox

New Shows

**snippity doo-dah**

Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal
SCI FI, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.
Premieres Oct. 6

Taking a page out of C.S.I., SCI FI's second new reality series puts unexplained phenomena to the test. From the mysterious sea creature of Lake Champlain to the Roswell UFO crash to reincarnation, the series investigates some of our greatest mysteries with cutting-edge forensics. Filmed documentary style, Proof Positive will dig into three mysteries in each episode, examining the physical evidence and eyewitness testimony in an effort to uncover the truth. At the end of the episode the results will be revealed, proving that one mystery is "positive," while the other two are not. Due to the nature of the paranormal, Proof Positive will have a very fertile mix of stories to examine, said executive producer Terry Meurer (Unsolved Mysteries). "We're surprised that there are as many paranormal stories out there that have actual physical evidence." Stargate's Amanda Tapping will host the new series.

The Outlook: SCI FI's other new Wednesday reality show offers an intriguing new look into unexplained phenomena, using Forensic Files-type tactics to investigate the facts. Setting the show up as a mystery—we don't know which of the three mysteries will prove positive—should capture interest, and Amanda Tapping is a good choice to host. While I don't know if this will have the same following as Ghost Hunters, they are good companion shows. And Meurer and her team did the popular Unsolved Mysteries, so they knew how to put together a reality show before anyone called them reality shows. Look for SCI FI to be happy with the results of its new reality Wendesday lineup.

Don't miss Part II of our 2004 Fall SF TV Preview, which will cover returning shows like Enterprise and Smallville and more, in next week's issue. See you then!




Richard Dean Anderson Fans

Elwe Singollo
September 13th, 2004, 06:36 PM
Heh i can tell this person misses Joss Whedon's babies :D

September 14th, 2004, 07:23 AM
So do I