News Briefs: Farscape's Creator Confirms That a Movie Is in the Works

By Tim Surette

Apr 22, 2014

HOMEGROWN SCOOP NEWS

... A Farscape movie is in the works, according to series creator Rockne O'Bannon, confirming a rumor that's been circulating around the web and Abed's dreams for some time now. The news was dropped at WonderCon this weekend at a showrunners panel, with O'Bannon confirming the info and adding that Farscape writer Justin Monjo was penning a script. However, don't get too excited; it sounds like the project is still in the early stages and far from a lock. But the real news here is that the news broke courtesy of TV.com community member edshrinker, who used the power of mobile technology to bring the information to the masses! YOU GO, ED! You are also our new field reporter, please have 10,000 words on Lindsay Lohan's miscarriage on my desk by 6am! [TV.com / SpoilerTV]


RATINGS RATINGS RATINGS

... Orphan Black returned for Season 2 on Saturday (read Kaitlin's review right here) and it did... not bad, but not great either. The first airing of the show drew 620,000 total viewers, which is actually down from the Season 1 premiere, but the Season 1 premiere had the benefit of a Doctor Who lead-in. BBC America has to be a little disappointed in those numbers with all the word-of-mouth and critics' adoration that's spread since the little show premiered a year ago, and frankly, I thought they'd be a lot higher too since I told everyone I know about the show and got all of them hooked. Without big ratings to tout, BBC America focused on social media stats and noted that the premiere was tweeted about more than 36,000 times (more than FargoTrue Detective, and other big-buzz shows) and blew up Tumblr, where .GIFs of Hot Paul rule. [BBC America via press release]

... Over on HBO, Game of Thrones saw a rise in ratings on Easter, matching its all-time high of 6.6 million viewers as set by the Season 4 premiere. This isn't a typical trend for a show, so we should all bow before our ratings overlord. (Until The Walking Dead comes back, at least.) Here's I reviewed the controversial episode, which included one of the series' most vile and disgusting and therefore awesome scenes. [EW]

... Salem had a great start for WGN America on Sunday evening, when the network known for Cubs games and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reruns gives original programming a shot. The witch drama drew 1.5 million viewers, a number that's impressive for a network that reaches less than two-thirds of the country. I watched the premiere last week and I was totally like, "Whaaaaaat?" Kaitlin reviewed it, and she went easier on it than I did. [Deadline Hollywood]

... And in delayed viewing ratings news, Fargo's pilot episode (which I loved) jumped up to 4.68 million viewers from its initial round of 2.65 million viewers, a 68-percent increase. It's the largest drama premiere DVR jump in FX's history. [FX via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... truTV is working on some corporate rebranding, so it greenlit six new series designed to appeal to "funseekers." This is not a joke, it actually paid some people wearing ties to brainstorm ideas about a target demographic and they came up with the term "funseekers," which truTV has defined as "a younger, dual-gender audience that looks for television to take them on a fun ride that both surprises and entertains." You are nothing but part of a group to the corporate behemoths of America, and that's the sad truth. Here are the six shows that will take younger, dual-gender audiences on a surprising and entertaining ride:

– Fake-Off (early fall): A reality competition in which teams of performers recreate iconic moments in pop culture. 

Way Out West (July): A docuseries about a trio of Idaho families who work in the outfitting business and have been rivals for generations. 

– How To Be a Grown Up (Summer 2014): Comedians offer advice to adults who aren't quite acting their age through bits, sketches, and 'toons. 

– Local News (fall 2014): A docuseries following two news stations and the driven anchors who report small-time news. 

– Hair Jacked (fall 2014): A game show where a wrong answer gets you more than a mean-sounding buzzer, it gets you a bad hair cut! For real. 

– Jokers Wild! (TBD): A spin-off of Impractical Jokers, this show sees the gang in new sketches and bits. 

truTV has also renewed Impractical Jokers and added 13 more episodes to the first season of The Carbonero Effect, which debuts May 15. [truTV via press release]

... Discovery has canceled its big live event Everest Jump Live in the aftermath of an avalanche that killed 13 climbers last week. The special would have followed daredevil extreme sportsdude Joby Ogwyn as he strapped on a wingsuit and flung himself off of the mountain, but out of respect for the dead and their families, Discovery has decided to forgo the show. [THR]

... BET is getting into the daily talk show game with The Keke Palmer Project, starring singer and actress Keke Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee). The show will go after millennials (and maybe funseekers, too) and cover a variety of topics like pop culture, fashion, sex, and whatever else kids are into these days. At 20 years old, Palmer will be the youngest talk show host in the history of television. Look for the show this July. [BET via press release]  

... Syfy's Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge is moving on up! By an hour, to be exact. Beginning April 29, the reality competition series will air at 9pm on Tuesdays since its buddy Face Off ends its sixth season on April 22. [Syfy via press release]

... TLC has canceled Women of Homicide, a reality series following female detectives, after just two airings. Maybe the network will replace it with a rerun of a special about a guy with huge balls instead. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

... Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the 2015 Oscars for ABC, marking their third time producing the telecast. Congratulations, guys! How about less U2 this time around? [ABC via press release]



CASTING NEWS

... I knew it! First Lady Michelle Obama is just using this White House gig to get her to Hollywood! FLOTUS will make a guest appearance on Disney Channel's Jessie as part of the Joining Forces Initiative, a program designed to help veterans of the armed forces find work. In the May 16 episode, Michelle will help the kids on the show throw a party for a friend who has a brother fighting overseas. The First Lady is also scheduled to make an appearance on ABC's Nashville on May 7 and Parks and Recreation's Season 6 finale this Thursday, April 24. Hey lady, how about fixing that pothole on my street before you pad your IMDB page? [Disney Channel via press release]

... HBO's upcoming miniseries Criminal Justice has found a new lead. Again. John Turturro will take over the role played by the late James Gandolfini. The seven-hour mini follows an ambulance-chasing lawyer who finds himself taking on a case of a Pakistani man accused of murdering a girl in New York City. Robert DeNiro had agreed to take over for Gandolfini, but had to drop out for scheduling reasons. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Amazon's comedy pilot Really, about a group of friends whose circle is disrupted when two of them have an affair, has put together its cast. Jay Chandrasekhar (Broken Lizard), who also created the series, will star alongside Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane, Hayes MacArthur, Travis Schuldt, and Collette Wolf. [Deadline Hollywood]


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  • JT_Kirk Apr 24, 2014

    Good job edshrinker, that's awesome! (I have got to get my press credentials back in order to go to Wondercon next year, they screwed up royally this year and I missed out.) So yeah, Farscape movie, I hope this comes to fruition and I hope it isn't a reboot but a continuation with the same level of writing quality that made the series so good.

  • Svanehjerte Apr 22, 2014

    A Farscape movie would be awesome! How about a new Stargate as well?

    It is kinda laughable that the first lady do TV this way.

  • Akyriel Apr 22, 2014

    For those who don't know, or watch, Gigi Edgley hosts Henson's Creature Shop Challenge. She still is kind of cute.

    Both Tim and Kaitlin did posts on the ratings. Both of you should coordinate with each other.

    I don't see how Ogwyn making his wingsuit jump is disrespectful to those who died on Everest. That mountain will always be a challenge for people. People have died in the past and will do so in the future trying to take on those challenges. This was a natural avalanche and very likely an expected problem that might be, and was, encountered. I assume they knew the risks? I could understand Discovery postponing it, but to cancel it outright seems extreme itself. If he hasn't already, Ogwyn will probably do so anyway, someday. Discovery could have produced the show in a way that was very mindful of the dangers Everest poses and perhaps respectfully noted the tragedy as an example, but it won't stop people from trying to climb it and even jump off of it. Discovery could even tape the show instead of it being live just in case anything did go wrong. If Ogwyn himself chose not to do this now, that is another matter, and fine.

  • hbf716 Apr 22, 2014

    So excited about Farscape. One of my all time favorite shows.

  • MiraTellia Apr 22, 2014

    The spam situation is getting completely ridiculous at this point - theres' now more spam than real comments!

  • jackwagon Apr 22, 2014

    Re: truTV's new programming...

    Guys, April Fool's Day was three weeks ago. Unless you planned some long con and held back on this prank, I don't see why you're running this joke now. Still, that was a funny read.

  • Writerpatrick Apr 22, 2014

    Game of Thrones probably benefited from people catching up on the series during it's long off time, which would explain the ratings boost. And some people may have discovered that they were getting HBO as part of a package and didn't know it so they didn't need to download it after all. (For the record I always catch it on TV.)

  • kanniballl Apr 22, 2014

    Don't get me wrong: I'll take my Farscape where I can get it. This is coming from a guy that read the continuing comics.

    But I don't know... Farscape is a little "out of sight, out of mind" SyFy never reruns the show and the mini-series was a decade ago.

    Obviously there are still a bunch of Farscape fans out there, but some have probably moved on.

    Had they made a movie like 5 years ago I'd have better feelings about it. Or heck even rerun the series over weekends or something.

    But now... the actors / actresses have aged, the fans have moved, and the ratings for such a movie will be so low SyFy will say "THIS is why we cancelled it" even though it's mostly so low due to age.

  • dh4645 Apr 22, 2014

    yeah farscape! i remember it being one of my favorite shows, but it's been so long, i'd need a big recap video to remind me

  • bluefish Apr 22, 2014

    I loved Farscape but I thought it had a pretty good ending. Things were mostly wrapped up and I'm not sure what a movie would be about. It would be cool if they went back to Earth again but they closed the wormhole so unless they reopen it.

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