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Old March 10 2012, 09:04 PM   #541
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Oh now I get it - Disney was financing this series via their Stage9 studio. Here's some info on how it all works.

With Disney backing this production, I'm surprised it isn't a lot slicker. They could have thrown a lot more money at it, and never noticed it on their balance sheet, just as a way of testing the waters for made-for-web productions, made it on par with the best cable productions, not just something that wouldn't be out of place on SyFy on a Saturday night.

Programming that is made for new media has different economics than film or television; our projects are made for 4-6% of what it costs to produce one episode of a primetime TV drama.
That's not a shoestring, that's a mouse whisker. How about something that's made for 50% of one episode of a primetime drama? 5% or 50%, it's nothing to Disney.

They should get a little bolder, do a fair test of web productions, make something that would really stand out as a departure from the low budget productions everyone's used to, and see if it takes off strongly enough that it can be ad-supported, or at least get a read on how close it gets to being ad-supported. I'm a bit astonished that the studios aren't doing more experiments just for market research purposes, but I guess I shouldn't be amazed at dinosaurs acting like dinosaurs...

Given that the most recent "news" item is from 2008, is Stage9 even still in business?
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Old March 10 2012, 09:30 PM   #542
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Joey Dakota lead casting.

I think this is a good point to start bitching about the pilots we already dislike. Of all the sf/f pilots in contention this year, Joey Dakota is probably my least favorite. If you're going to time travel, why pick the 1990s?

Other meh pilots:

The two Beauty & the Beasts. We've already got two fairy tale based shows returning next year, isn't that enough?

Zero Hour, because it's all built around some kind of super duper top secret conspiracy, which a bad sign for a TV series. Conspiracies have a way of inspiring lazy writing.

Arrow
. Those superhero TV shows just never appeal to me, particularly the ones involving costumes.

The Dover Agenda and Rewind, because time travel stories have this dilemma: either they can be wholly episodic and get repetitive or they can add a serialized plotline and end up with a Future Guy style mess on their hands.

Also skeptical about...

The Last Resort. So once they've founded their island nation, what exactly do they do? No doubt the pilot will be kickass, but then what.

Revolution. Giancarlo Esposito makes me hopeful, but this could just be The Walking Dead sans zombies.

Midnight Sun. Again, the conspiracy-based plotline problem. Titus Welliver should keep things watchable though.

Isabel. Sounds mawkish.

The Dead Beat and Gotham. My tolerance levels for cop shows in sf/f window dressing is notoriously low. (I am happy to see that their numbers have diminished compared with previous years.)
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Old March 10 2012, 11:30 PM   #543
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

So basically every week this woman tries to go back in time to keep this rock star from dying? So some weeks she does and fails and other weeks she doesn't time travel? How do you do this show 22 weeks a season for several seasons without it getting reptitive? It seems more suited to a film or miniseries.
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Old March 11 2012, 12:12 AM   #544
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
So basically every week this woman tries to go back in time to keep this rock star from dying? So some weeks she does and fails and other weeks she doesn't time travel?
That's not the impression I get from the description. It sounds more like a serialized arc than an episodic mission-of-the-week approach.

Here's part of the Google translation of a page I found about the Israeli show this is based on:

Like "Back to the Future", Danielle, Dale, Mia and Noah find themselves stranded in Tel Aviv in the year [19]68. Danielle has one goal, to find out why Danny Hollywood is dead. Members have a different purpose, to return home as quickly as possible, to the present.
Although the description of the US version sounds like it focuses on her trying to get back to the past after returning to the present. Still, I don't think it's a Seven Days or Quantum Leap sort of thing.
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Old March 11 2012, 01:51 AM   #545
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Here are a couple stories from io9 on a few of the genre pilots that give more details and hints of how they might turn out (if they go to series). There are details about plot twists in the pilot episodes, but no substantial spoilers for the series beyond that.

Beautiful People.

My question is how well this series could transcend the well-known limitations of broadcast TV. "...really dark, and more than a little sadistic at times," but "not at all subtle." Sounds like what Caprica would have been like, stripped down to its essentials so it could get right to the point.

So, a mixed bag, but has potential and it certainly doesn't sound like it would bore the audience. If NBC can make a civil-rights for androids analogy work on broadcast TV, they might be cracking the code for how the networks can stay (or become) relevant and in business.

And several other series.

Roland Emmerich "Antichrist" series - Some colorful characters, so at least it will have personality. The fact that the lead character is an astrophysicist apparently has no relevance to the story.

The Last Resort
- The description gives us the setup, but no real idea what the story will be about. Simply the group's survival on the island? This one is real hard to read.

Midnight Sun - Sounding more and more like a Lost sequel, starring Smokey. Not necessarily a bad thing...

Zero Hour
- Sounding more and more like Emmerich's show, except without de debbel. I think ABC's going to have to choose one or the other, and to be shallow but realistic about ABC's heavily female audience, they'd be wise to choose the one with the cuter lead (ie, the Emmerich show).

The Munsters aka Mockingbird Lane - Sounds like its full of bizarre, borderline tasteless humor, and since when was Grandpa a Jedi? But it doesn't matter, Brad Garrett's got a different pilot, so it's ruined. RUINED! Anyway we wouldn't see this for a year if we ever see it at all.

Beauty & the Beast (ABC) - This one's easy. If you already watch Once Upon a Time, it's for you.

Beauty & the Beast (CW) - Brooding hero, spunky heroine, plenty of angst. Vampire Diaries fans, set your DVRs (assuming you're not vampire only bigots. )
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Old March 11 2012, 02:57 AM   #546
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Somebody needs to post a link to a sci fi internet series that's worth watching. I've sampled a few and for whatever reason, the part where they fall down is usually the acting. (Is it really that hard to find talented out of work actors willing to do a free or low paid gig?) I've never found one where I wanted to see more than five minutes. Maybe money is not the problem but then what is the problem?
Monsters was made for about quarter of a million and is a good movie with some big effects.
I did a quick check on Netflix, which is giving that one a star rating below my usual tolerance threshold. I've learned the hard way not to ignore those ratings.
Have you checked out Syfy's ( I know you hate it, but just stick with me here) Riese: Kingdom Falling? It's kind of a steam-punkish fantasy series with cast members from Smallville, BSG, and Sanctuary. I haven't seen past the first episode, but I thought the first one was pretty good.
I believe the other "you might like these" shows on the bottom of the page are also web-series.
They've also released The Mercury Men, which I believe is done as a new Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers style series. I haven't watched any of this one.
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Old March 11 2012, 03:13 AM   #547
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

D'oh, I can't believe I forgot about The Mercury Men. I enjoyed that one, too, despite some problems. There was a thread about it a few months back.
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Old March 11 2012, 10:29 AM   #548
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I've seen Mercury Men and liked it pretty well, but I don't think there's been a new episode in a while. They've had it up on On Demand.

Trenches was well made but I didn't like the first episode. Nothing but explosions, military shit, gritty film quality and washed out colors-- all stuff I have no use for. But it shows what can be done.

I will now check out Riese. I haven't heard of that one.
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Old March 11 2012, 09:07 PM   #549
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I didn't get very far with Trenches either, for the same reason - explosions are fine by me, but unless there's some story or characters to pull me in, I get bored with that stuff very quickly. I'll find some time this week to watch the other suggestions.
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Old March 11 2012, 10:02 PM   #550
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I didn't get to watch Riese-- it's not working for me on Hulu. I'll try the Sciffy site later, but it drives me crazy because it's slow as molasses. I saw the Riese trailer on YouTube, though, and it looks pretty good.
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Old March 11 2012, 10:09 PM   #551
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Argh, I hate Hulu! Everything should be available on YouTube. It's also available at http://www.syfy.com/riese. Why not just put everything anyplace where you can and increase the audience that way?

Anyway, it looks like low-rent Game of Thrones. Not really interested.

Mercury Men looks lots more interesting. They should have a channel for that on YouTube, too.

YouTube had a link to http://www.mercuryseries.com/, which said "click here to see episodes on SyFy," which lead to Error 404. And thus ends my interest in this series, since the effort to find it has now exceeded my interest in it. If you're competing with TV, it's gotta be as easy as turning on the TV. Just put the episodes on YouTube. Every click is another opportunity to lose your impatient audience to the myriad distractions of teh internets. Oh look, a piano playing cat.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; March 11 2012 at 10:22 PM.
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Old March 12 2012, 02:10 AM   #552
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Well, Reise was before GOT so it's not fair to compare it to that, and it's got some steampunk elements that you wouldn't find in GOT from what I've seen. I haven't tried it yet, but they do have it as a movie on Netflix. I don't know it was actually edited together or if they just have all of the episodes playing back to back though.
If you're looking for another good web-series, the recent Mortal Kombat: Legacy was actually pretty good. I've seen the first 6 or 7 eps, and even thought I know nothing about MK I was able to really enjoy each one. The only real problem with it is that it basically just sets up the characters' stories for the games, so you don't get a whole lot of closure on the different storylines.
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Old March 12 2012, 02:17 AM   #553
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Game of Thrones isn't the first in that genre. There was Legend of the Seeker and more stuff before that. Not a genre I have much interest in.
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Old March 12 2012, 02:23 AM   #554
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Have you watched GoT?
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Old March 12 2012, 03:18 AM   #555
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I've seen "Mercury Men" listed in the Syfy On Demand menu, but didn't know what it was; I don't know why, but I figured it must be a reality show. I guess that's since I would've recognized the name if it had been a scripted show from the network, and the possibility of a series of shorts didn't occur to me.

Anyway, I just finished watching it, and it was weird, but interesting. I'm not sure what point episode 10 serves, unless it was meant to be a teaser for a second miniseries. Episode 9 is a better finale.
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