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Old April 24 2012, 11:03 PM   #766
Caliburn24
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

SyFy presented 28 scripted and reality projects at upfronts, a record for the network.

And I will give them kudos for giving a few space opera shows a chance.

But 17 of those projects are freaking reality shows.

And I suspect that the scripted stuff will have limited seasons at best(not necessarily a bad thing), perhaps 10-13 episode seasons.
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Old April 24 2012, 11:23 PM   #767
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
It's probably too much to hope that they'd actually ditch wrestling.
They can't afford to. It's the cash cow that lets them pay the bills for the scripted dramas they'd rather be doing.

Seriously, wrestling is insanely more popular than science fiction. My Star Trek publisher Pocket Books also does pro-wrestling tie-ins, and when I'm at the New York Comic-Con and do signings of my Trek books, maybe a couple of dozen people will show up for autographs over the course of an hour, but when they have a wrestler in to sign a book, the booth is absolutely mobbed and the line for autographs is dozens of meters long.
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Old April 24 2012, 11:33 PM   #768
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Ah, here's the original press release that breaks things down. We won't see Defiance till 2013, and Rewind (which is the only other one cast) would be the next after that. But any of these other than Defiance could get axed along the way (and about half the list sounds pretty meh anyway).

Plenty of room for wrestling still. I'm just happy it isn't all ghosts and vampires.
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Old April 25 2012, 09:26 AM   #769
RJDiogenes
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
It's probably too much to hope that they'd actually ditch wrestling.
They can't afford to. It's the cash cow that lets them pay the bills for the scripted dramas they'd rather be doing.

Seriously, wrestling is insanely more popular than science fiction. My Star Trek publisher Pocket Books also does pro-wrestling tie-ins, and when I'm at the New York Comic-Con and do signings of my Trek books, maybe a couple of dozen people will show up for autographs over the course of an hour, but when they have a wrestler in to sign a book, the booth is absolutely mobbed and the line for autographs is dozens of meters long.
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Old April 25 2012, 09:59 AM   #770
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

You have t believe that the majority of the people paying to view, or paying thousands of dollars all up (Board, transport, food)to go to the events, must not know that it's scripted melodrama.
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Old April 25 2012, 07:53 PM   #771
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

People know Star Trek is scripted melodrama (okay sometimes a bit better than that) and they wait in line at cons for autographs. I see wrestling as just another fictional dramatic form, no worse than a lot of the crap out there.

It's not so much that Syfy should stop showing wrestling as they should make some room on their schedule for showing some sci fi worth bothering with, and at least one show set in actual outer space. If you can't get that from the alleged "sci fi channel," that's pretty sad.
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Old April 25 2012, 07:58 PM   #772
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Yeah, wrestling fans might have taste that I can't comprehend, but they're not stupid. They know it's fake.
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Old April 25 2012, 08:17 PM   #773
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
It's not so much that Syfy should stop showing wrestling as they should make some room on their schedule for showing some sci fi worth bothering with, and at least one show set in actual outer space. If you can't get that from the alleged "sci fi channel," that's pretty sad.
You know, I hear this a lot from TV audiences, this idea that if a science fiction-themed network isn't heavy on space opera, they're somehow out of touch with "real" science fiction. (In fact, I heard it on another board just this morning and I'm reposting this from there.) Now, personally I prefer space opera, but the fact is that for a while there, particularly in the '80s and '90s, the prose science fiction community (or at least its editors, critics, and tastemakers) held space opera in disdain as an outmoded and implausible genre, and the emphasis of SF literature shifted away from spaceflight and aliens toward near-future Earthbound themes like cyberpunk/virtual reality, genetic engineering/transhumanism, the technological Singularity, dystopianism, environmental disaster, and admixtures of all of the above. It wasn't until more recently, with the rise of authors like Greg Egan and Iain M. Banks and Dan Simmons who revitalized space opera as an innovative genre, that it became respectable to write stories or novels about interstellar travel and alien interactions once again, but the space opera is still largely outnumbered by more Earthbound tales.

So if mass-media SF these days has trended away from a focus on space opera toward a focus on Earthbound content, that's not losing touch with science fiction, it's just doing what mass-media SF has always done, which is reflecting the trends that began in prose SF a decade or two earlier. And since prose SF has been trending back toward space in the past decade or so, we can expect the mass media to begin catching up eventually.
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Old April 25 2012, 09:00 PM   #774
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I'm not saying they're out of touch with what sci fi fans want. I'm saying they're out of touch what I want, which is a far worse crime.

I actually am interested in sci fi that's not based in space, and also fantasy/horror. But broadcast and cable is doing plenty of shows like that. The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, American Horror Story, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, plus many of the new pilots (666 Park Avenue, 99 Stories, Beautiful People) sound promising. I also have some interest in non-space Syfy shows...Rewind, The Family and Booster Gold depending on casting.

I like a diverse range of show types, and for space to be ignored just isn't acceptable to me. If they wanted to ignore, say, superheroes instead, that would be okay.

And I do think that there's a huge unmet demand for a space based series, just going by all the carping I read all over the internet, not just here. Whether this translates into ratings is another matter. Maybe they're all going to pirate the show, and therefore their interest is worthless, but I think it's worth Syfy giving it a shot.

I wouldn't assume that written sci fi has any influence on this. It's more likely it's the usual Hollywood thing of everyone following the trend. Nobody's doing space opera so nobody wants to do space opera. Fairy tales are the new big thing, until they're not, and then everyone jumps on another bandwagon. And the budget problem is a real issue.
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Old April 25 2012, 10:26 PM   #775
Greg Cox
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
It's probably too much to hope that they'd actually ditch wrestling.
They can't afford to. It's the cash cow that lets them pay the bills for the scripted dramas they'd rather be doing.

Seriously, wrestling is insanely more popular than science fiction. My Star Trek publisher Pocket Books also does pro-wrestling tie-ins, and when I'm at the New York Comic-Con and do signings of my Trek books, maybe a couple of dozen people will show up for autographs over the course of an hour, but when they have a wrestler in to sign a book, the booth is absolutely mobbed and the line for autographs is dozens of meters long.
And, remember, this was at a Comic-Con!
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Old April 25 2012, 10:37 PM   #776
RJDiogenes
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
It's probably too much to hope that they'd actually ditch wrestling.
They can't afford to. It's the cash cow that lets them pay the bills for the scripted dramas they'd rather be doing.

Seriously, wrestling is insanely more popular than science fiction. My Star Trek publisher Pocket Books also does pro-wrestling tie-ins, and when I'm at the New York Comic-Con and do signings of my Trek books, maybe a couple of dozen people will show up for autographs over the course of an hour, but when they have a wrestler in to sign a book, the booth is absolutely mobbed and the line for autographs is dozens of meters long.
And, remember, this was at a Comic-Con!
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Old April 26 2012, 10:20 PM   #777
JD
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I'm not saying they're out of touch with what sci fi fans want. I'm saying they're out of touch what I want, which is a far worse crime.

I actually am interested in sci fi that's not based in space, and also fantasy/horror. But broadcast and cable is doing plenty of shows like that. The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, American Horror Story, Grimm, Once Upon a Time, plus many of the new pilots (666 Park Avenue, 99 Stories, Beautiful People) sound promising. I also have some interest in non-space Syfy shows...Rewind, The Family and Booster Gold depending on casting.

I like a diverse range of show types, and for space to be ignored just isn't acceptable to me. If they wanted to ignore, say, superheroes instead, that would be okay.

And I do think that there's a huge unmet demand for a space based series, just going by all the carping I read all over the internet, not just here. Whether this translates into ratings is another matter. Maybe they're all going to pirate the show, and therefore their interest is worthless, but I think it's worth Syfy giving it a shot.

I wouldn't assume that written sci fi has any influence on this. It's more likely it's the usual Hollywood thing of everyone following the trend. Nobody's doing space opera so nobody wants to do space opera. Fairy tales are the new big thing, until they're not, and then everyone jumps on another bandwagon. And the budget problem is a real issue.
Wow, I actually agree with Temis for once. As much as I love Eureka, W13, Alphas, Frige, Supernatural, ect. I would love to get some new space opera. I don't think we've had any real space opera since ENT ended. I know BSG is baisically space opera, but I've always considered it more of a straight drama that just happened to be in space.
Actually now that I say that, we do have 2 space opera shows going right now, The Clone Wars, and Green Lantern: TAS. I know GLTAS is technically a superhero show, but with the Interceptor and the GLs traveling through space, it's almost more of a SO, than a superhero show. With the whole Invasion, and "Secret Invasion" storylines in Young Justice and Avengers: EAM respectively, I wouldn't be surprised if we got some space opera style eps of those shows.
So I guess what I'm saying is I would like a live action space opera.
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Old April 26 2012, 10:33 PM   #778
xortex
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

They should have a reality war show in some foreign country where halfe of the stars are actors and half are soldiers, or NBC should just pave CBS over with a new space opera show that blows Trek away and I agree it doesn't have to be expensive as those Trek incarnations were where it was all about money. Either or. Maybe co-opt a movie property. What happened to John Scalzi's 'Old Man's War'?
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Old April 26 2012, 10:49 PM   #779
Christopher
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I actually am interested in sci fi that's not based in space, and also fantasy/horror. But broadcast and cable is doing plenty of shows like that.
Fair enough. But I feel there's too much of a tendency in the general public to assume that something has to be set in space to be science fiction at all, so it bugs me when people say that Syfy somehow isn't doing science fiction just because its SF, like the majority of prose SF from the past 20-30 years, is set on Earth.


I like a diverse range of show types, and for space to be ignored just isn't acceptable to me. If they wanted to ignore, say, superheroes instead, that would be okay.
In this media climate, that's not likely to happen. Heck, there's a superhero trend going on even in prose SF/fantasy these days, which may have helped me sell Only Superhuman (which is both a hard-SF space opera and a superhero novel).


And I do think that there's a huge unmet demand for a space based series, just going by all the carping I read all over the internet, not just here.
The majority of people may use the Internet these days, but I daresay the percentage of people who actually post their opinions about TV shows online (as opposed to simply lurking or looking for funny cat videos) is still a pretty small fraction of the TV audience. So I'd be wary of assuming that online chatter represents a "huge" anything.

And I'm saying that as someone who'd love to see more space shows as much as you would. If it happens (and it's inevitable that the pendulum will swing back eventually, and it may already be starting to), it probably won't be just because the fans griped online.


I wouldn't assume that written sci fi has any influence on this. It's more likely it's the usual Hollywood thing of everyone following the trend. Nobody's doing space opera so nobody wants to do space opera.
Well, yes, that's basically what I'm saying. New ideas and trends originate in written SF, then they gradually trickle out into pop culture and it takes a decade or two before popular awareness of those ideas reaches enough critical mass that they start showing up in film and TV. Naturally, the audience and creators will eventually come to see any trend as played out and cliched and will turn away from it until someone comes along to reinvigorate it, but since TV and movies have always lagged behind prose to begin with, the decline of interest in space opera happened later in the mass media than it did in prose.
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Old April 27 2012, 12:35 AM   #780
Temis the Vorta
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

So I'd be wary of assuming that online chatter represents a "huge" anything.
The definition of a "huge" audience on TV has also changed a lot over the years - what used to be considered skimpy ratings can now be acceptable.

I'm going on the "where there's smoke, there's fire" philosophy. Every time someone mentions Star Trek or space opera in general, there's a tsumani of postings complaining these things aren't on TV, here and on various other sites. I don't see that kind of passion for other sub-genres of sci fi.

What that means, who knows. I always suspect online posters of being pirates so their opinion doesn't count anyway. Also, it's very possible that you give them a space opera, but it's not exactly what they want (too dark, too light, the Klingons' foreheads are too turtley) and they'll reject it.

And I often do see people making the sci fi = space opera only mistake. I sometimes try to correct them but mostly I just shrug and move on.

the decline of interest in space opera happened later in the mass media than it did in prose.
I don't think interest has declined. But audiences have fragmented so it's hard for any given show to build an audience. That means the more expensive genres like space opera are out of luck. There's an audience that wants space opera, but the networks aren't willing to approve the budget level required, with ratings declining across the board for everything.
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