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Old May 11 2012, 04:49 PM   #946
Guy Gardener
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I don't see how this is science fiction?

Every couple million years the magnetic poles switch.

That's going to fuck up 99 percent of our technology if there's no warning.
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Old May 11 2012, 05:31 PM   #947
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
Revolution: New Story Details

Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.
Eh--I'm not feeling this--it sounds like a cross between JERICHO and FLASHFORWARD and the idea of a conspiracy-umm-I think we've had enough conspiracy shows.
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Old May 11 2012, 05:49 PM   #948
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
I don't see how this is science fiction?

Every couple million years the magnetic poles switch.

That's going to fuck up 99 percent of our technology if there's no warning.
First off, science fiction can certainly be about things that are possible but haven't happened yet. That's why it's called science fiction rather than impossibility fiction. There was plenty of science fiction about trips to the Moon, and then we really went to the Moon. So if this were actually possible (which it isn't -- see below), it would still qualify as science fiction by any legitimate definition.

Second, geomagnetic reversal would not happen in an instant, but would be a gradual process taking thousands of years. There would certainly be plenty of warning, and it would happen far too gradually to have any significant impact on technology.

Third, even if it did happen abruptly, there's a huge difference between a magnetic disruption of technology and the complete cessation of all electric power.

Anyway, the concept is sheer fantasy. Has lightning ceased to exist? Has magnetism? For that matter, the forces that enable electric power to exist are the same ones that hold our atoms and molecules together. Electricity is simply the flow of electrons, and electrons are everywhere in the universe. Without them, matter as we know it would not exist. So if life goes on, if human beings still exist and think (an electrochemical process), then it should be possible for them to generate electricity.
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Old May 11 2012, 06:04 PM   #949
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

I hate stories there there is some big EMP and it is implied that all the technology will be gone forever (Escape from LA comes to mind). We know how to build new generators and go from there, magnets are not going to just cease to exist as Christopher has mentioned. It would have to be a situation where our technology is zapped and gone and AND humans no longer have the knowledge to build a simple electric generator.
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Old May 11 2012, 07:56 PM   #950
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Sorry Christopher.

I just sometimes think that there isn't a strong enough line drawn between science fiction and fiction.

Methinks if you take science into account that the easiest way to remove electricity is masshypnosis, or some virus that has a similar effect to change how mankind believes electricity works.

I mean if they just switch on-buttons into off-buttons, that would stump a lot a of people for months.

I saw this hypnotists remove the number 6 from the universe of the bloke he brought on stage.

"How many fingers do you have?"

"10!"

"Good. Now count them."

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11... Fuck!"

It was hilarious.
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Old May 11 2012, 08:51 PM   #951
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

That's why Revolution is science-fiction because there's no technological way that exists currently to prevent all the various forms of harvesting/creating energy.

The actual happening sounds similar to SM Stirling's Emberverse series of novels where suddenly all technology stops working. Electricity doesn't happen, engines don't work, steam power doesn't work anymore, even gunpowder doesn't work. None of that is a natural occurence though. The laws of physics were rewritten by a higher power or possibly aliens with technology at such a higher level that they may as well be Gods.

The interesting thing about Revolution to me will be how they portray the effect of this change on the rest of the population. In the Emberverse something like 90-95% of the population dies. You suddenly lose the ability to get food to these concentrated masses of population. The water purification and treatment facilities stop functioning so they have no water either. The farms where you would harvest food from suddenly lose the ability to use the machinery which takes the place of many workers who would have to work by hand to do the same task.

If Revolution shows everyone living in LA but without technology I'll be annoyed.
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Old May 11 2012, 09:21 PM   #952
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

In the Langoliers by Stephen King, there was a similar phenominon so while it might be a fantasy, it might have a science fictional rational to it. Does that make sense. That explains just about everything and anything though, so if only JJ knew like Sterling and Serling did but he ain't them.
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Old May 11 2012, 09:28 PM   #953
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
You're ignoring the success of Revenge and Once Upon a Time at ABC.
Those two;s success still escapes me but then again I don't see what millions of people do in CSI, Desperate Housewives or NCIS.
All those examples are successes because they are squarely "on brand" for ABC and CBS. CBS has become the most successful network because they stick to their knitting: cop shows, sitcoms, reality TV that appeal to an older-skewing audience; by sheer numbers, they get the demo the advertisers want, despite having the oldest audience of all the networks.

CBS can advertise new shows efficiently because the ads are for shows that already appeal to people watching their network. This sets up a virtuous cycle. Contrast this with NBC, which hasn't found a brand identity. They can advertise new shows, but they haven't had a common quality that helps guarantee they will appeal to NBC viewers. So with each show that gets cancelled, more of the audience departs, seeing nothing similar to watch on that network - a vicious cycle, because with no audience, you've got no one to advertise to.

ABC is trying to create its own virtuous cycle, built around female-skewing soaps, broadly defined. They could be fantasy soaps, horror soaps, historical soaps, or murder mystery soaps, but as long as they've got that common thread, they can help set up the virtuous cycle that builds an audience.

The fact that the success of ABC and CBS mystifies you just means you aren't in the target audience for either. I'm not in the target audience for CBS, but I understand what they're doing and why they're smart to do it. As for ABC, I've got one foot and one foot out, and if they would only pick up 666 Park Ave, I'll do the hokey pokey.

Speaking of ABC, here's the update:

Beauty & the Beast is dead.

The fantasy slot is now a battle between 666 Park Ave, which has the upper hand, and Gotham.

ABC is hedging its bets with its sole male-skewing pilot, The Last Resort, which may get a limited midseason run. If it's too off-brand to find an audience, they can cancel it without having invested too much.

And it looks like we'll have the chance to check out yet another series about space aliens as your neighbors, creatively named Neighbors.

For Barrowman fans, looks like Gilded Lilys is out of contention - not being mentioned this late in the game is a bad sign. It's one thing for PBS to air fancy costume dramas that they don't need to pay to produce, and get 4M viewers, but for ABC to produce a series like that, they'd need twice that number.

NBC is done with pick-ups (no Midnight Sun or The Frontier) Looking at their dramas overall, I'm still not seeing that common thread they need for a strong brand identity (male-skewing, to take advantage of their large sports audience):

Revolution - sci fi adventure
Do No Harm - doctor show, sci-fi-ish
Republic of Pirates (spring?) - historical adventure
Chicago Fire - firefighter drama (probably similar in structure to an episodic cop show)
Infamous - mystery soap, very ABC flavored
1313 Mockingbird Lane (spring?) - fantasy comedy, also more ABC-ish

This is actually very few dramas in the context of NBC's annual need to rebuild their schedule. They've picked up and renewed a lot of comedies, but frankly I find broadcast comedies so interchangeable that I don't see how an identity can be forged from them, unless NBC wants to be The Comedy Channel.

They should have picked up The Frontier and started building an adventure-based identity, and start excluding fantasy-based soapy series that sound more like ABC's thing (while ABC continues to do the reverse).
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Old May 11 2012, 09:35 PM   #954
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

startrekwatcher wrote: View Post
Enterprise is Great wrote: View Post
Revolution: New Story Details

Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.
Eh--I'm not feeling this--it sounds like a cross between JERICHO and FLASHFORWARD and the idea of a conspiracy-umm-I think we've had enough conspiracy shows.
I can see far more ways for this to be a tedious slog vs. a fun, compelling adventure. There's nothing interesting in the situation, so it will have to depend on the charisma of the actors and whether there's something superdupercool about the "conspiracy" - dangerous things for any series to have to depend on.

A supernatural-tinged Western (that reportedly is beautifully shot) would have been a better bet, because the genre is different from what broadcast has given us lately, and the characters are going somewhere, with a goal. so there's always the allure of what's over the next hill. And they don't have electricity either, if that's some kind of draw.
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Old May 11 2012, 10:01 PM   #955
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Ooh, a dark horse (but not Dark Horse) emerges at ABC. And startrekwatcher will not be pleased because it's got global conspiracies up the wazoo.

UPDATE FRIDAY AM: I’ve started hearing that drama pilot ZERO HOUR is heating up again and looks promising for a series order.
Zero Hour hasn't been mentioned much. It's the X-Files-ish one starring Anthony Edwards. "A bizarre twist of fate pulls a man who’s spent 20 years as the editor of a skeptic magazine into one of the most compelling conspiracies in human history."

The villain from the last Mission Impossible movie is also in it (not sure if it's a guest shot or recurring):

[Michael] Nyqvist [is] on board to play White Vincent, one of the villains at the heart of the global conspiracy, a mercenary with eyes somewhere between mystic and shark. He's one of the world's most dangerous assassins who has worked for dozens of governments and secret cabals and possesses a special connection to the Hero (Edwards), that when uncovered delivers a shocking blog of gigantic proportions.
Well, he's not old enough to be Edwards' father...and I think that's "blow" not "blog"?

It would be great to see one more genre show sneak onto the schedule. I was rooting more for Dark Horse, but two demonic series is probably too much for ABC.

Overall, it looks like ABC has a promising lineup that should appeal to their female audience with some male-skewing shows thrown in for good measure. (Zero Hour will probably have cross-gender appeal).

NBC is all over the map, again, and FOX's lineup is uninspired. My prediction is that ABC will dig itself out of the basement in 2012-13, but NBC will continue to flounder and FOX will start to slip off its perch. CBS will continue strong as usual.
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Old May 11 2012, 10:17 PM   #956
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

The CW makes their pickups.

Arrow, Beauty & the Beast and Cult are in. The Selection is apparently dead. Sounded like it turned out kind of bad, so no great loss. I look forward to Robert Knepper returning to his scene-stealing ways on Cult.

Last edited by Temis the Vorta; May 12 2012 at 01:05 AM. Reason: typo
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Old May 12 2012, 12:35 AM   #957
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Tom wrote: View Post
I hate stories there there is some big EMP and it is implied that all the technology will be gone forever (Escape from LA comes to mind). We know how to build new generators and go from there, magnets are not going to just cease to exist as Christopher has mentioned. It would have to be a situation where our technology is zapped and gone and AND humans no longer have the knowledge to build a simple electric generator.
Also EMPs can be shielded against, the military does it, not a big deal.

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Old May 12 2012, 01:00 AM   #958
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Looks like Revolution will spark a lively Science Does Not Work That Way! discussion. Maybe we should start a thread with that title and sticky it.

ABC pickups: 666 Park Ave and Zero Hour are in! Global conspiracies are the new pirates! And Neighbors, so aliens are back on broadcast TV.

EDIT: And now The Last Resort has joined the list. ABC is being nice to genre fans.

They passed on two of their hottest soaps: Americana and Devious Maids. So they're not jumping in with both feet to the sudsy end of the pool after all.
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Old May 12 2012, 01:33 AM   #959
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Here's some more info on the pickups that haven't gotten much discussion yet:

Zero Hour - has an Indiana Jones feel to it, or maybe Friday the 13th (the TV series).

Hank Foley (Anthony Edwards) is no stranger to adventure. But this one is a little more than he bargained for. As the publisher of Modern Skeptic magazine, Hank has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and solving conspiracies. A confessed paranormal junkie, his motto is "logic is the compass." But when his beautiful young wife (Jacinda Barrett) is abducted from her store, an antique clock shop, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries of human history, stretching around the world and back centuries. Contained in one of his wife's clocks is a treasure map, and what it leads to could be cataclysmic. Now it's up to Hank to decipher the symbols and unlock the secrets of the map, while ensuring the answers don't fall into the wrong hands. With his two young associates Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster) in tow, along with Deck a sexy FBI agent (Carmen Ejogo), Hank will lead them on a breathless race against the clock, to find his wife and save humanity. Executive produced by Lorenzo DiBonaventura (the Transformers and GI: Joe franchises, Salt, Red), Paul Scheuring (Prison Break) and Dan McDermott (Human Target) comes this fast-paced thriller that will take you on quest around the globe to reveal one of mankind's most riveting conspiracies, one that powerful forces have kept hidden for too long.

666 Park Ave
- sounds like soapy fun, even if it can't possibly be as crazed as American Horror Story.

If you could make one wish, what would it be? And what would you do to get it? At 666 Park Avenue, all of your dreams and burning desires can come true: wealth, sex, love, power, even revenge. But just be careful what you wish for, because the price you pay... could be your soul. Welcome to The Drake, the premiere apartment building on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Owned by the mysterious Gavin Doran (Terry O'Quinn - Lost) and his sexy wife Olivia (Vanessa Williams - Desperate Housewives), The Drake is home to dozens of residents who are unaware they're living in the dark embrace of supernatural forces. They think their dreams are all coming true, only to find they've been lured into making, what feels like, a deal with the Devil. When a young Mid-western couple - Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor - Charlie's Angels, Grey's Anatomy) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable - Brothers & Sisters) - is hired to manage The Drake, they soon discover that evil, obsession, and manipulation has a home. Allow yourself to be seduced by 666 PARK AVENUE, and unravel the mysteries of this devilish new drama from Alloy Entertainment (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars) and executive producers David Wilcox (Fringe, Life on Mars), Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries) and Gina Girolamo (The Secret Circle, The Lying Game).
Neighbors - sounds insipid, but you never know...

How well do you know your neighbors? Meet The Weavers: Debbie (Jami Gertz) and Marty (Lenny Venito). Marty, in hopes of providing a better life for his wife and three kids, recently bought a home in "Hidden Hills," a gated New Jersey townhome community with its own golf course. Hidden Hills is so exclusive that a house hasn't come on the market in 10 years. But one finally did... and the Weavers got it! It's clear from day one that the residents of Hidden Hills are a little... different. For starters, their new neighbors all have pro-athlete names like Larry Bird, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Reggie Jackson, and Dick Butkus. Over dinner, Marty and his family discover that their neighbors receive nourishment through their eyes and mind by reading books, rather than eating. The Weavers soon learn that the entire community is comprised of aliens from Zabvron, where the men bear children and everyone cries green goo... from their ears. The Zabvronians have been stationed on Earth for the past 10 years, disguised as humans, awaiting instructions from home, and the Weavers are the first humans they've had the opportunity to know. As it turns out, the pressures of marriage and parenthood are not exclusive to planet Earth. Two worlds will collide with hilarious consequences as everyone discovers they can "totally relate," and learn a lot from each other. Dan Fogelman (the writer of Cars, Tangled, and Crazy, Stupid, Love), Director Chris Koch (Workaholics, Modern Family), Jeff Morton (Modern Family) and Aaron Kaplan (GCB, Terra Nova) executive produce this new comedy about close encounters of the 3rd kind, in New Jersey.
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Old May 12 2012, 01:36 AM   #960
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

Zero Hour sounds like National Treasure: The Series. That might not be a bad thing, if it doesn't take itself too seriously.
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