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Old November 13 2010, 08:33 PM   #22
Christopher
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Re: SMALLVILLE: JL or L*?

There was an animated Legion show that only lasted two seasons. But then, it wasn't very good.

And yeah, I certainly would enjoy watching Alexz Johnson on a weekly basis, but that wasn't really the issue I was addressing. As a rule, no matter how relatable your characters are, futuristic or outer-space settings tend to drive off a large portion of the general television audience. You might have awesome characterization and drama but lots of people just won't bother to watch it because they're put off by the exotic setting. Remember Century City? It was a courtroom drama set in the near-ish future, exploring the new questions of law and ethics that would be raised by cutting-edge advances in biotech, computers, and the like. It was a fascinating, innovative idea. And it was cancelled after about four weeks, because the lawyer-show audience was scared off by the futurism.

The sad fact is, most TV viewers will accept anything weird -- aliens, Kryptonite mutants, ludicrous "fringe science," vampires, werewolves, superpowers -- if you give it to them in a familiar, present-day setting; but if you try to give them a story about realistic, relatable characters and situations that happens to take place in the future or on another planet, odds are they'll reject it. It's weird, but it's true.

Then again, Galactica managed to last four years. There's kind of a built-in audience for action-oriented space shows, even if more drama-oriented SF like Century City or Caprica can't catch a break. So yeah, in theory, an action-oriented superhero show set in the future might have a chance. But I don't see the WB or the CW going for it. After all, action has always been secondary in Smallville. It's first and foremost a drama, and the superheroics make up only a few moments out of any given episode. And I can't see the big three networks going for it either. NBC and ABC both prefer present-day SF/fantasy, and genre has always been thin on the ground at CBS. FOX might go for it; they've always been the network most willing to buy and air genre shows, even if those shows don't often last long. Syfy would probably be the most likely home for it, but whether they could give it the budget it would need is open to question.
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