sf/f TV development news - 2013

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Temis the Vorta, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just have to shake my head at all the people claiming there is no scifi on tv and that it's dying...to which I am endlessly pointing out examples. In fact, webseries, TV and movies have a tremendous amount of genuine scifi coming out in the next 2 years.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^A lot of people assume that science fiction needs to involve space. Maybe that's what they really mean, that there aren't many space-based shows anymore.
     
  3. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Defiance is on the top of my list for most anticipated new shows. Some of the newer trailers have started to put a little more emphasis on the story over the action. If you watch some of the longer trailers they do show more of the story and characters.
     
  4. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mark Harris is (was?) a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly, which makes him an industry flack, even if his boy friend is Tony Kushner. His first question is completely misconceived, because the vast majority of supposedly good shows are every bit as committed to likable and relatable characters. It's just that cable's version of likable is sexy, which is a tougher to broadcast. Cable's version of relatable is bad ass, which many relate to because they can't imagine anything else they would want to be.

    The second question is disingenuous. Broadcast really asks "Will the advertisers get it?" Or the FCC. This country's commitment to free speech depends largely upon the widespread tacit agreement not to exercise it in any major venue.

    The last questioni is also disingenuous. Marris is a professional, so he knows very well that the broadcast networks have always offered some innovative programming, particularly when they were desperate enough that even smaller audiences would have been acceptable. There's a good case they have been more open to genuinely different formats than most cable offerings. I offer Cop Rock as the prima facie example.

    Harris' examples (NBC's My Own Worst Enemy, Awake and Do No Harm) are complete BS. First, there are in fact very significant differences which shouldn't have been overlooked. Second, and more importantly, Do No Harm may not have been any good artistically. But it doesn't matter, because no one bothered to find out. Not getting an audience at all simply is not the same thing as being rejected as bad entertainment. The assumption is that popularity is a sign of artistic merit, and obscurity is the devil's mark of failure. This is mental bankruptcky.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I use "sci fi" pretty broadly to mean stuff that is near future semi-sci fi like Person of Interest and even fantasy tinged stuff but when something has a space element, I pay more attention because of the rarity.

    Defined broadly, sci fi is doing great because shows like Revolution, Once Upon a Time and Grimm manage to latch onto loyal audiences, which is nothing to sneeze at in the broadcast world now. We'll get a crop of new sci fi/fantasy shows on broadcast next season but nothing too earthshaking. I could go for a couple shows that break more from the pack.
     
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Agreed completely.
     
  7. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Who said anything about artistic merit? The article is about broadcast TV as a business, which is failing because the audience is abandoning it, not because it's un-artistic but because it's boring. Broadcast is pretty weak tea when everyone can switch over to The Walking Dead and compare for themselves.

    Don't take my word for it, wait next season and watch a whole new crop of ratings catastrophes occur. The pilot premises this season sound just like the crop from last year (more boring, even), which are failing all over the place, and those were the ones that survived the process to go to series.

    I keep wondering how long it will take the industry to realize that they can't keep doing the same shit over and over, and expecting different results.

    Do you see anything interesting here?

    I can pick out a few that pique my interest: S.H.I.E.L.D., The Sixth Gun, Abrams' robot cop series...Hatfields & McCoys for the cast, maybe...that's about it. Even fewer than last year, and most of the ones I liked never went to series.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    That about sums it all up right there. :rommie:
     
  9. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, Harris was steadily confusing popularity with artistic merit. His example of the Jekyll-imitation, Do No Harm, shows this. He talked about NBC's disaster as his prime example of failure of imagination (i.e., a key aspect of artistic merit.) But the thing about Do No Harm is that nobody bothered to watch at all. They have no valid opinion about whether Do No Harm is good entertainment, or whether it was too disemboweld for US television. Do No Harm is a failure of marketing. (I suppose the business and marketing acolytes would define it as a dual failure in marketing for the show and branding for NBC.) Harris attributed it to unoriginality, as if anyone really knows whether the show was original for US networks or not.

    Yes, everything Harris said was couched in terms referring to artistic merit, when he was only talking about popularity and financial success. And still doing a piss poor job of doing that.
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I've always thought that there was vocabulary problem at work here, in that we tend to use the same words--bomb, flop, disaster--to describe both commercial and artistic failures, which are very different concepts. With the result that we often end up talking past each other.

    Granted, there are plenty of shows that fail on both levels, and there may even be a causal link sometimes, but they aren't the same thing --and it can get confusing when we throw the terms around interchangeably.

    Just because something bombed doesn't mean it sucked, and vise versa.

    (There's also the understandable human tendency to conflate our individual opinions with the general audiences', as when we assume that because we and our like-minded friends all disliked something, it must have bombed at the box office, right?)
     
  11. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Josh Lucas & Lynn Collins To Topline A&E Pilot ‘Occult’

    Minka Kelly To Co-Star In Fox’s J.H. Wyman/J.J. Abrams Pilot

    Meghan Ory To Star In CBS’ ‘Intelligence’

     
  12. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I once thought the same. But I can only believe now that the confusion is too useful for people who are primarily interested in the financials. These people control too much of mass media criticism for ordinary people to straighten up the language.
     
  13. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hmmm...She was made a regular on OUAT in order to prevent her from jumping ship?
     
  14. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Very nice couple of posts, Stj.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The ironic part is, this sort of confusion can muddle financial decisions, too. I've run into people in the business who truly believed that such-and-such book or movie had lost money because they didn't personally know anybody who liked it or because they had perhaps seen some negative reviews.

    "Wait, you're saying SPACE VIXENS was a hit? I heard the movie was a bomb?"

    "No, the movie was #1 at the box office, and the novelization went through ten printings . . . "

    "Wow! Who knew? Maybe we should do more SPACE VIXENS books."

    "That's what I'm saying . . . ."
     
  16. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^I expect you're right. In the end, honesty (even, no, especially in thinking) really is the best policy, even if your in the arts and entertainment for the money. I suppose that sounds too childish to contemplate, much less try.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Well, I doubt that anybody in their right mind goes into the arts and entertainment only for the money, but that's a whole other issue. :)
     
  18. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You think I don't see through you?:scream:

    You just wanted to quote my typo!:guffaw:
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    If I quoted every typo on the internet, I'd never get anything else done.

    Just don't confuse "role" with "roll," okay? That drives me nuts! :)
     
  20. degra

    degra Fleet Captain Newbie

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    tv, not just sff, has been pretty lousy in the last ten years. Sff in particular seem to base their shows on such limited premises that rely heavily on introducing way too many mysteries that are drawn out that after one season they have no idea how to keep it going. Add to that poor writing, bland characters, lacklustre casting and complicated incoherent mythologies.

    whatever happened to modest ensembles, a few linear arcs that aren't interconnected and rely on contrivances.
     

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