sf/f TV development news - 2013

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    You'd think so, but I can't think of a time in the past several decades that vampires haven't been fashionable. Before Being Human and Twilight, it was Blade, before that it was Buffy/Angel, before that it was Forever Knight and the Dark Shadows remake series and Bram Stoker's Dracula, and before that it was The Lost Boys and Anne Rice's novels which started the whole vampire fad in the '80s. Although there was certainly vampire fiction on a continuing basis before then -- the original Dark Shadows, a whole series of Dracula movies, I Am Legend and its periodic movie adaptations, The Groovie Goolies and The Drac Pack in animation, Grandpa Munster, Count Chocula, you name it. Like its subjects, the vampire fad seems to be undying -- or at least prone to frequent resurrection.
     
  2. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    We definitely have more vampires on TV here in 2012 than we did in, let's say, 2006, so it's a fair enough observation.

    But the original series audience has nothing to do with American remakes of foreign TV shows - except, obviously, that since those shows worked in their domestic markets, the same premise transposed to the American market may also work.
     
  3. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    You beat me to the punch. Vampires aren't a fad. With the possible exception of the 1950s, when alien invaders and radioactive mutants briefly eclipsed Gothic horror, there hasn't been a decade when vampires haven't been popular. On top of the stuff Christopher mentioned, let's not forget Hammer Films, Blacula, Count Yorga, Vampirella, Marvel's TOMB OF DRACULA (which spawned Blade), Morbius the Living Vampire, The Night Stalker, etc.

    (The latter was once the top-rated TV-movie of all time, and that was back in the seventies, before Anne Rice or Buffy.)

    Vampires have been hot since at least 1819. They're not going anywhere soon.

    (Did I mention that my first book was a non-fiction history of vampire literature, published by a small academic press?)
     
  4. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Variety reports that FX is still developing Powers. The first pilot was rejected, but FX has ordered a rewrite and may shoot a second pilot with an entirely new cast (although there are no immediate plans to do so).
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Homeland and The Office are from genres that are generally healthy in America, the thriller and the workplace comedy. They could be pitched just on that basis alone.

    But trying to sell in a show from a genre that isn't so healthy nowadays is going to require more persuation. If they can't point to some kind of cult following in America, then what are they going to use to make their case? What is the value of Blake's 7' vs Generic New Space Opera Series? Or even worse, vs Yet Another Vampire or Fairy Tale Show?

    My theory is that the remake phenomenon on TV is more about making the suits comfortable with the notion of taking a risk, especially for sf/f which is inherently risky, and not so much about appealing to a fanbase which may not even be around in any large numbers by the time the remake is made.

    This is the only way I can think of to explain the sheer weirdness of green lighting something because it's a known property and then proceeding to ignore the substance of that property. Clearly the image and not the substance was what was green lighted in the first place.

    But even so, there needs to be something to that fig leaf. Show X was a success at some point, so the remake is more likely to be a success, even if it has little to do with the original, like BSG and now The Munsters. The problem with Blake's 7 is, it doesn't even have the fig leaf. So how are they going to sell it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  6. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The value of the international brand name would open up possibilities for a co-production, thereby reducing costs for the American outlet that aired it.
     
  7. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Yeah that could work...Good way to pitch to to SyFy,
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Its own merits and quality as a concept, and the strength of its characters and storylines. If what the producers have to offer sounds better than the other ideas competing for the network's funding, then the execs will go for it. And if the producers can't take a concept as strong as Blake's 7 and make it sound better than the other pilot proposals it's competing with, then we probably don't want to see their version of B7 anyway.
     
  9. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I'm sure there are plenty of pitches that have inherent merit, and are in a genre that has more current credibility, that will therefore have an advantage.

    Or to put it another way, as far as we know, the studios turn down great pitches ten times a day, each with plenty of merit. I don't doubt there is plenty of talent out there trying their best to sell stuff. but what gets bought, is driven by other considerations, such as that the pitch has some kind of guarantee of success, even if that guarantee is an illusion, such as a brand name that means nothing of substance if the resulting show gallops off in some completely different direction.

    Another important factor is the track record of the people making the pitch of having successful shows on American TV. If JJ Abrams were pitching B7, I bet it's odds would be a lot better. In fact, that's probably the most important element - the person, followed by the brand name. As for the quality of what theyre pitching, it's all in the execution anyway.

    Space opera has already got a heavy strike against it, just being a space opera, which is expensive, niche audience, and the suits cant point to another current success to justify their decision. So thats going to make any B7 pitch sound bad to the ears of the people with the money.

    That doesn't mean it couldn't be a good show, just that it probably won't make it through all the hoops it faces. The idea of lining up international co-production to spread the risk is a good idea, since that squarely addresses one of the biggest obstacles it faces.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  10. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Actually, Prisoners of War (the source material for Homeland) is not a thriller. It's a drama, and most of the focus of the drama is on the impact the returning Israeli veterans have on their family's lives.

    Homeland shifts the equation, going from two prisoners returning home to one prisoner returning home, and giving far greater emphasis (and immediacy) to the part of the series that dealt with intelligence agents analyzing the veteran's behaviour, turning them into the show's protagonists rather than distant secondary characters.

    While Homeland still recycles a lot of elements from the Israeli series it's a very different show. Which leads to the following:

    This one has been successful, somewhere. Honestly why bother getting the rights to Prisoner of War for Homeland, a series that probably owes as much to 24 if not more? An adaption of a specific space opera property sounds a little safer than a brand new space opera venture.
     
  11. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I know it's kinda OT, but if anyone is interested Hulu just added the original Israeli Prisoners of War a week or two ago. I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to check it out eventually.
     
  12. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    "A series that's like 24" would be a great pitch for any network; there's nothing like it on broadcast now, and there really should be. There's a big audience there that's not being served. Most people don't get Showtime. Not that a premium cable version of 24 isn't also a good idea...and sure enough, Homeland has been a success. But that same idea on broadcast, tamed down of course, could also be a ratings winner.

    Space opera is not a safe bet. A known brand is safer than unknown, of course, but known in America is safer than unknown in America. My first choice for a space opera brand to reboot is Stargate. I've never been particularly happy with what they did with it, but it has a still well known movie and three series of varying degrees of success for its bona fides.
     
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I'd say a lot of the SFF types have at least heard of Blake's 7. There seems to be something to mining old territory even if it's just psychological. Plus there's a safety net of a previous storyline and characters to lean on out of the gate (even if they deviate heavily).
     
  14. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Mix vampires and a space opera and you might have a winner! :guffaw:
     
  15. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Vampires + space opera = Borg.

    Still want that? ;)

    Okay seriously, you could also say they're the Wraith or even go further afield for the Goauld or those critters on Falling Skies. Wasn't Rev Bem of Andromeda another of that general type? I might be veering into zombie territory now, but they're no slouches in the ratings either.

    Any new space opera series could do worse than try to integrate popular elements like the eternally tragic and sexy vampire character. Or just drag in some kind of cop show angle. Either would increase its marketability.
     
  16. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^^ Wouldn't the Borg be more analogous to zombies? Mindless part of the collective, emotionless consumption, body mutilation....
     
  17. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    I say vampires and the orbit patrol. Takes place in the Sol System...could involve mining and such...maybe a cruise ship...like Love Boat in space with vampires. Ha! :D

    ETA - Okay...we have a generation ship heading to a near by star system...but there are vampires aboard too. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  18. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    The Borg are the intersection between zombies and vampires. They have the contagion feature that is common to both, but don't devour their prey, either by drinking blood or cannibalism, so it's hard to say which one they really are.

    But let's say that the Borg are more zombies. That leaves the concept of vampire Borg wide open to interpretation. A new character type for a space opera producer searching for a marketable angle? The immortality angle is probably key here, which leads right back to cyborgs. Give up your humanity and live forever.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    Buck Rogers already did it.
     
  20. Taylirious

    Taylirious Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

    ^ Remake Buck Rogers. :shrug: I always liked Twiki. :D