SyFy Cancels 'Eureka' — Yet More to Come

Season Four Cast

E! Online reports that the SyFy cable channel has indeed cancelled its whimsical sci-fi/fantasy show EUReKA.
However, the show, currently airing its “Season 4.5” episodes, will finish up the in-production Season 5, which will be broadcast next year.
Additionally, the cable channel has ordered an additional episode to serve as the series finale.
Showrunner Jaime Paglia admitted the cancellation of the series was a shock, adding that he thought the decision was ultimately something of a surprise to the powers-that-be, and the eleventh hour approval of a wrap-up was a sign of good faith from the network

They’ve all been amazingly behind us… We just want to go out on a high note in the most positive way we can.”

Star Colin Ferguson advised fans that there is a brighter side.

“We have a great season coming up: 17 episodes left to air. Take a moment, get sad if you want to get sad, but there’s some really great work coming. I’m really proud of it. We worked really hard on it.
I’d love it if instead of a tone of sadness people could watch it and go out on a tone of joy.”

'Futurama' Returns Thursday

Good News, Everyone! FUTURAMA returns with season 6B this week with two back-to-back episodes.
The former FOX show, now on Comedy Central begins with Neutopia wherein  Fry and the Planet Express crew clands on planet and encounters a powerful being unfamiliar with the concept of gender, and experiments by switching all their sexes, as seen in this preview clip.
Benderama, follows, in which Bender tries out self-replication, and winds up creating an ever-smaller ariny of duplicates that will eventually consume all the matter on Earth.
Further good news? Two more 13-episode season have already been ordered for the cartoon that would not die. 
 FUTURAMA airs Thursday on Comedy Central at  10:00 and 10:30 PM (ET/PT).

'Futurama' Renewed by Comedy Central

According to Entetainment Weekly, the sci-fi animated comedy series FUTURAMA has been renewed by Comedy Central.
26 new half-hour episodes have been ordered, which should translate into two more 13-episodes seasons, which will run through 2013.
This does NOT include the 13 already produced episodes that will begin airing this June on the cable channel.

FUTURAMA Characters
FUTURAMA Characters

Created by Matt Groening (THE SIMPSONS), FUTURAMA orignally aire don the Fox Netowrk, and continues to be produced by 20th Century Fox and the Curiousity Company.

'Red Dwarf' to return

REDdwarf-Robert_LLOn his Blog, RED DWARF actor Robert Llewellyn revealed to fans that the cult favorite UK Sci-Fi comedy (originally on the BBC) was returning in a brand new season for the Dave TV satellite/cable comedy channel.

“So, the thing is, the whole point was that I was told not to say anything. Doug (Doug Naylor, co-creator/producer) told me, face to face, ‘don’t tweet this bobby. Not yet.’
So I didn’t. I was really good. I said nothing.
Then I spend a day in my voice over cell and know nothing of the interview Craig had done on the radio, which was, it appears, picked up by the Daily Mail, which, as you know is my fave all time newspaper. Ahem.
So then I get back to my trusty lappy and there’s a great slew of tweets telling me that Craig has once again spilt the beans. You’ve got to love him, he knows how to spin the scoop.
I’ve just spoken to Craig, he was as usual gloriously funny about it. He said, and I quote.
‘I did a radio interview and it just sort of slipped out.’

RED DWARF: Back To Earth
RED DWARF: Back To Earth

So yes, we are making a new series, commissioned by Dave, not a special or a movie or a one off dooberry. A full 6 half hour episodes of a brand new series.
The previous Red Dwarf Back to Earth Dave specials were incredibly successful. For a Channel like Dave to get viewing figures which beat BBC 2 and Channel 4 combined was an unprecedented achievement which has never happened before or since.
The plan at the moment, and this could change, the plan is that we record the new series in front of an audience.
Now, this is a complicated issue. The last time we recorded a show in front of an audience was in 1998. Anyone remember 1998?
No YouTube, no Facebook, no Twitter, no broadband, no HD video cameras in mobile phones. Okay, a few people had e-mail. I had a crude web page already, but it really was basic.
So when the audience came in the producers would ask them politely not to reveal any spoilers ‘on the world wide web’ as we referred to it then. I’m sure some people did, but so few people would have seen anything it really didn’t matter.
The fear among the producers now is that it’s impossible to imagine an audience of around 400 people at the recording of a TV show like Red Dwarf, where nobody does a bit of a hint on Twitter, or sneaks a picture on Facebook or posts a bit of badly shot video on YouTube.
It’s just too tempting, it’s too easy.
The producers are very worried and I can see why. The gap between recording a show and it’s eventual broadcast is quite long, especially on Red Dwarf. It’s a show which uses a lot of post production time. Special effects, tweaking shots, CGI, even, dare I hope for it, model shots, all take time.
By the time the shows are released on Dave in 2012, half the potential bloody viewers could know an enormous amount about it.

Though the RED DWARF: BACK TO EARTH three part mini-series was successful, many fans felt the comic edge of the somewhat downbeat, reflective storyline was lacking. Perhaps shooting in front of a live audience, despite the dangers of spoilers, will give the new series the spark and energy some thought was missing from the single camera movie-style TV venture.
red_Dwarf_cast4For those not familiar with the series, it aired from 1988 to 1999 on BBC 2, and starred Craig Charles as Dave Lister, probably the the last human being from Earth left in the galaxy, after being revived from suspended animation (the brig) on the immense miing ship the Red Dwarf. All of the rest of the crew are dead from a radiation leak, and three million years have passed, before the sentient computer Holly (Norman Lovett or Hattie Hayridge, depending on what season or sex Holly currently was) determines it’s safe to resurrect him. He’d be all allone, save for the hologram of Arnold Rimmer (Brit Sitcom star Chris Barrie), Lister’s obnoxious room mate, the only person on the ship that Lister really knew. Death has not improved Rimmer, and they continue their “Odd Couple”-like dysfunctional releationship.
Fortunately for Lister, also onboard is Cat (Danny John-Jules), the sharp-dressing, vain and preening humanoid decendent of Lister’s pet cat, Frankenstien — the last of his kind, as well. The eager to please android Kryten (Llewellyn) joins the crew in Season 3, when the series really kicked into high gear.
Lister’s lost love Kristine Kochanski (played few times by Clare Grogan before Chloë Annett joined as a regular) rounded out the cast. She was actually a Kochanski from an alternate universe, where she rather than Lister had been saved. The female version of Holly originated in that reality, as well, and Holly Prime fell in love with her, causing the flaky AI to actually become her for  a good strech of time.
The series, created by Doug Naylor and Ron Grant, played skillfully with science fiction tropes and cliches, as well as twiting a wide range of TV and movie plots and conventions.
It also introduced a number of invented expletives, such as “smeg”, “smeg-head”, and “gimboid”, which are great fun to use.

SyFy Developing Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)

Randall And Hopkirk(D)According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jane Espenson and Drew Z. Greenberg (both late of the cancelled CAPRICA) are writing a new version of the 1960’s UK supernatural detective/comedy series RANDALL AND HOPKIRK (DECEASED) for SyFy.
Known in the U.S. under the syndication title MY PARTNER, THE GHOST the original series, the show featured the hangdog private detective Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt) being helped out by the ghost of his former partner, Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) on various cases, begining with his own murder.
Jeff is then only one who can see Marty, sometimes to the confusion of his widow, Jeannie (Annette Andre) who takes an interest in the agency, serving as secretary and occasion aide.
The ITC series was created by Dennis Spooner (DOCTOR WHO, THE CHAMPIONS) and produced by Monty Berman (THE SAINT). ITV Studios America has the rights to the show, which had an attempted full-on comedy re-launch a decade ago.

Leslie Nielsen, R.I.P.

Nielson_FPLanet_TintLeslie Nielsen passed away yesterday, November 28th, 2010. He was 84.

Most famous for his later-in-life comedy roles in THE NAKED GUN series, Nielsen was also a well-known sci-fi and horror performer. In 1956, he starred as Commander J.J. Adams in FORBIDDEN PLANET, the first big-budget, full color, and Cinemascope  Outer Space-set science fiction film. A classic of the genre, the film would be the blueprint for serious SF productions for years to come.
Born in the North West Territory of Canada, he attended Toronto’s Academy of Radio Arts before moving to New York and joining The Neighborhood Playhouse. Soon he became a regular performer in live television, including a number of science fiction-themed shows.
Among the live performances were OUT THERE (1951), LIGHTS OUT, SUSPENSE, and several episodes of TALES OF TOMORROW (1952-53). In one of the TALES shows, Appointment on Mars, Nielsen’s astronaut character was supposed to shoot another (played by Brian Keith). However, the prop gun refused to fire its blanks during the live program, so he was forced to rush his adversary and strangle him instead.
His powerful voice and leading man looks lent Leslie Nielsen an air of authority, making him a natural for FORBIDDEN PLANET’s serious-minded skipper of the United Planet’s Cruiser C57D.  Nielsen invested the stock character with a touch of  quiet humor in lighter situations and a sense of at-times barely-controlled fury at the strange predicament that imperils his ship and crew.
For Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,  Nielsen played Col. Francis Marion in the eight-part THE SWAMP FOX, based on the historical figure,  who was an originator of the use of intelligence-gathering and guerilla tactics during the Revolutionary War.
He appeared in episodes of THRILLER and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, starred as modern policeman Lt. Price Adams in THE NEW BREED (1961-62).
Dark_IntruderIn 1965, he played 19th century occult detective Brett Kingsford in  DARK INTRUDER, originally planned as a supernatural mystery series to be called THE BLACK CLOAK. Not picked up by a network, Universal released it as a feature film.
During the 60’s  and 70’s Leslie Nielsen appeared on many TV shows, often playing straightforward or ruthlessly corrupt authority figures. SF/Fantasy shows included VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, WILD WILD WEST, and THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
 TV Movies NIGHT SLAVES, THE AQUARIANS, HAUSER’S MEMORY (all 1970) shared some SF slant. Nielsen guested in two episodes of the supernatural anthology THE EVIL TOUCH (1973-74), played a recurring adversary for Caine in KUNG FU, and faced off against a bear in the ecological SF flick DAY OF THE ANIMALS (1977).
Leslie Nielsen visited FANTASY ISLAND three times (1978-80) before spoofing his screen image in AIRPLANE. He brought a deadpan delivery of nonsensical dialog as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 film, a chance to show off his real-life sense of humor and love of the absurd. 
Dracula_dead_and_lovingThis film would lead to a short-lived TV series POLICE SQUAD! as the disconnected from reality Detective Frank Drebbin, later spun off into the NAKED GUN films, and eventually other thick-headed characters in comedies such as THE CREATURE WASN’T NICE and DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT.
He also appeared in horror movies PROM NIGHT (1980) and CREEPSHOW (1982), and horror spoofs REPOSSESSED (1990), and SCARY MOVIE 3 & 4.
Leslie Nielsen is sure to be missed, by several generations of TV and Movie viewers, and fans of both genre and mainstream entertainment. 

ROBOT CHICKEN's Matt Senreich – New York Comic Con Special Podcast

Smell the Nerdiosity: ROBOT CHICKEN.
Smell the Nerdiosity: ROBOT CHICKEN.

So how about a break from the Fab Three ragging on the latest release? How about a few, carefree minutes with Matt Senreich, the twisted mastermind who, along with the equally twisted Seth Green, oversees Adult Swim’s wickedly funny, sharply satirical, and supremely nerdy stop-motion animated puppet show, ROBOT CHICKEN? Before he was felled by the dread Martian crud, Dan Persons sat in on the New York Comic Con roundtable with the amiable Mr. Senreich, and found out more than anyone needed to know about what kind of person throws it all in to start playing with toys for fun and profit. Turns out it’s the kind who still has his original, C-3PO carry-case of mint STAR WARS action figures.  Not a surprise, actually.
Click on the player to hear the discussion.

'EUReKA' Renewed for 5th Year

SyFy has renewed their SF “dramedy” EUREKA for a fifth season. Ratings for the fourth season has been high since the premeire on July 9th, averaging over three million viewers — a high number for the cable station.
 From their Press Release:

“Eureka seems like any other cozy, Pacific Northwest town, but is actually a secret community of geniuses assembled by the government to conduct top-secret research. What they’ve unwittingly created is a place where anything imaginable can happen… and does.
Eureka stars Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Erica Cerra, Neil Grayston, Niall Matter, James Callis and features Jordon Hinson. Co-creator Jaime Paglia and Bruce Miller are Executive Producers.”

Also mentioned was an additional, stand-alone holiday special. SyFy has also commisioned a WAREHOUSE 13 Christmas-themed episode. See item at