sf/f TV development news - 2013

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

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Here's some news that has broader implications for genre TV and TV as a whole. The beginning of the end for ad-supported TV? (AKA, Firefly's revenge.)

    Aereo or no aereo, the writing is on the wall. Ad-supported TV is losing its struggle to compete with cable and streaming, which have the advantage of subscription revenues and the luxury of catering to niche tastes. Firefly was the future, ya dopes! :D

    Maybe he's just crying and bluffing now, but this isn't the end of the story.
     
  2. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    Looks like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell has found co-pro partners and is going in to production this summer as a 7 part mini-series. Funding between BBC, BBC America, Screen Yorkshire and Space, with filming taking part in Canada and Yorkshire.
     
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The thing is, JJ is one of those rare people who can assemble a great team, express his "vision", and establish the mechanism(s) to translate that vision without having to micro-manage it like, say, J. Michael did on Babylon 5.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Although these days, a lot of what Bad Robot does is to help get other people's visions on the air. Person of Interest is Jonathan Nolan's show top to bottom, Revolution is Eric Kripke's. Abrams has become an executive who bankrolls and produces other people's creations alongside making his own -- much like Spielberg before him. (I remember that back in the '80s, a lot of people assumed that Gremlins and Back to the Future and Young Sherlock Holmes were Spielberg films, because Spielberg's name was more familiar at the time than Joe Dante's or Robert Zemeckis's or Barry Levinson's, and when people saw him listed as executive producer, they just assumed he was the director/auteur as well -- although of course it didn't help that the advertising played up Spielberg's name to get people into the theater. Now much the same thing seems to be happening with Abrams.)
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Abrams' involvement in a project means nothing to me. I loved Lost, didn't give a flip about Alcatraz, don't see what the two had in common other than being generally genre and Jorge Garcia. Person of Interest is even further afield, it's very much a CBS show, therefore not to my taste. Ditto for his movies, love one, hate the next one, etc.

    He's not a brand-name in the sense that you can tell that his name = yes it will be great or no it will suck. So his involvement with Inhuman or Human or whatever they're calling it doesn't make any difference. But I do like the premise and the cast.
     
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    He appears to be very talented at making money, and little else. :rommie:
     
  7. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    He's very talented at getting stuff greenlit in Hollywood. That's no small feat. ;)
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Since that money comes from entertaining people, then I'd say he's pretty talented at providing entertainment. Which strangely enough is his job.
     
  9. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    He's a hack. 'Inhuman' is 'Questor'. He'd like to be Roddenberry. Who wouldn't and doesn't think they are already. BTW, Nolan is another thieving hack who thinks he's more than a good director too. OTOH, Scorcese is a great writer. No kidding.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    While he has had a few misses for me, mainly Alcatraz and Person of Interest, I've enjoyed enough stuff Abrams has been involved with, that I'll at least try anything with his name on it. I know he isn't that involved with most of the stuff he's producing, but he seems to choose to put his name and behind stuff that I enjoy. So as long as this trend continues I'll gladly continue to pay to see his movies and watch his TV shows.
    Lost, Fringe, and Alias are some of my favorite TV shows.
    I've really enjoyed Revolution.
    His Star Trek movie is one of my favorite movies, and I really enjoyed his MI movies, Cloverfield, and Super 8.
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds more like Yoyo and Holmes than Questor. Unless there's a show called Questor that's about an android cop.
     
  12. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Did he write Cloverfield and /or Super 8?
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No and yes.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The show you're thinking of was called Holmes and Yoyo, and it was just one of multiple "human cop with android partner" series in TV history. There was also the more serious Future Cop a year later, and in 1992 there was the Yancy Butler series Mann & Machine (co-created by Law and Order's Dick Wolf), which I'd think would be far better remembered.
     
  15. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was the first on that popped in my head, even if I reversed the title. What can I say, I'm a John Schuck fan.
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    I mentioned Mann and Machine many pages earlier in the thread when one of these cop and robot shows was first announced.
     
  17. degra

    degra Fleet Captain Newbie

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    add me to the camp that thinks Abrams is overrated. He seems to love twists for the sake of them and doesn't care about developing a story I.e. Alias, lost. In fact lost was one of the worst things to happen to tv. It unfortunately ushered in an era of an overreliance on flashbacks, non linear storytelling, overly large casts, convoluted mythologies, breakneck pacing, a need for podcasts and q&a to clarify poor editing and sloppy writing, dragging out answers that never come or are unsatisfying, character deaths meant to shock but come off as predictable and lame. Now all sff wants to do is emulate this flawed format as evidenced by the endless failures we see every season from v, invasion, the event, game of thrones, persons unknown, caprica, flash forward etc. And it isn't just him but the writers he staffs. Orci, kurtzman, pinkner, Wyman, lindelof, cuse,,,they may be fanboys but they aren't very good writers. Fringe was a poorly cloned x files with bland characters and not very entertaining plotlines. Star trek was a two hour mess-plotholes galore, a one dimensional villain that they covered up with add pacing and lots of FX. Alcatraz, undercovers, person of interest, fringe, alias all crap.

    Abrams is what happens when an overgrown fanboy is allowed to take control. But then again maybe he's perfect for the poor tastes of American audiences who eat that kind of crap happily.
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Game of Thrones is a failure?? Someone should tell HBO.
     
  19. degra

    degra Fleet Captain Newbie

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    GoT imo is a creative failure. Another example of an unnecessarily complicated drama that has too many characters and plotlines to be entertaining. I don't mind ambitious large scale storytelling but to this degree begins to overwhelm the series. Plus for me the material isn't all that interesting,,,only seeming somewhat sophisticated. Gratuitous nudity and in your face gore just underscores the writers trying too hard to be bold.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Again, you're making the mistake of assuming that Abrams is the head writer on every show he executive-produces. That's true of Alias but not Lost. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were Lost's showrunners.

    Okay, I'll make it simple. Here's an exhaustive list of all the Abrams-produced TV shows where Abrams was actually the guy running the writers' room:

    Felicity
    Alias


    That's it. Two shows, the last one of which ended seven years ago.

    Next, here are all the shows that Abrams co-created and wrote and directed the pilot for, but then turned over to others to write and produce on a weekly basis:

    Lost (created with Jeffrey Lieber & Lindelof, run by Lindelof & Cuse)
    Fringe (created with Kurtzman & Orci, mostly run by J.H. Wyman & Jeff Pinkner)
    Undercovers (created with Josh Reims, run by Reims)

    And here are the Bad Robot shows where Abrams is just an executive producer:

    What About Brian (created by Dana Stevens, run by various)
    Six Degrees (cr. Raven Metzner & Stu Zicherman, run by Kenneth Biller)
    Alcatraz (cr. Steven Lilien, Elizabeth Sarnoff & Bryan Wynbrandt, run by Sarnoff & Jennifer Johnson and later Daniel Pyne)
    Person of Interest (cr. Jonathan Nolan, run by Greg Plageman)
    Revolution (created & run by Eric Kripke)

    Granted, Abrams does supervise all these productions; the various showrunners all consult with him and he contributes to the creative process and has approval over their decisions. But in recent years he's concentrated primarily on writing and directing movies and thus has left the day-to-day work on Bad Robot's TV shows in the hands of other people.
     

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