FOX Network Shows Announced

The Fox Network announced its FALL 2011 and MID-SEASON 2012 Schedules. FRINGE will continue at 9:00 -1o:00 PM on Fridays. The new genre (or borderline) shows are as follows.

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— “From executive producers Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park), Peter Chernin, René Echevarria (Castle, The 4400) and Brannon Braga (24) comes an epic family adventure 85 million years in the making. TERRA NOVA follows an ordinary family on an incredible journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a small part of a daring experiment to save the human race. In the year 2149, the world is dying. The planet is overdeveloped and overcrowded, with the majority of plant and animal life extinct. The future of mankind is in jeopardy, and its only hope for survival is in the distant past.
When scientists at the FERMI Particle Accelerator unexpectedly discovered a fracture in time that made it possible to construct a portal into primeval history, the bold notion was born to resettle humanity in the past – a second chance to rebuild civilization and get it right this time.
The series centers on the Shannon family as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage of settlers to Terra Nova, the first colony established in this beautiful yet foreboding land. JIM SHANNON (Jason O’Mara, Life on Mars), a devoted father with a checkered past, guides his family through this new world of limitless beauty, mystery and terror. Jim’s wife, ELISABETH (Shelley Conn, Mistresses), is a trauma surgeon and the newest addition to Terra Nova’s medical team. JOSH (Landon Liboiron, Degrassi: The Next Generation) is their 17-year-old son who is angry to leave life as he knows it behind; upon arriving at the settlement, he finds himself instantly drawn to the beautiful and rule-breaking SKYE (Allison Miller, Kings). MADDY (Naomi Scott, Life Bites), Josh’s endearingly awkward 15-year-old sister, hopes Terra Nova will give her a chance to reinvent herself. Although Elisabeth’s medical training secured the family a spot on the pilgrimage, a secret involving their five-year-old daughter, ZOE (newcomer Alana Mansour), soon endangers their place in this utopia. Upon the Shannons’ arrival, they are introduced to COMMANDER NATHANIEL TAYLOR (Stephen Lang, Avatar), the charismatic and heroic first pioneer and leader of the settlement. Taylor warns the travelers that while Terra Nova is a place of new opportunities and fresh beginnings, all is not as idyllic as it initially appears.
Along with blue skies, towering waterfalls and lush vegetation, the surrounding terrain is teeming with danger – and not just of the man-eating dinosaur variety. There is also a splinter colony of renegades led by the battle-hardened MIRA (Christine Adams, TRON: Legacy), who is vehemently opposed to Taylor and his leadership. Even more threatening than what lies outside the protective walls of the colony is the chilling possibility that something sinister is happening inside Terra Nova. The Shannons will come to suspect that not everyone on this mission has the same idea of how to best save mankind; in fact, there may be forces intent on destroying this new world before it even begins.
To Air MONDAYS 8:00-9:00 PM  FALL 2011

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Chernin Entertainment, DreamWorks Television, Kapital Entertainment
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, René Echevarria, Brannon Braga, Alex Graves (pilot), Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein, Kelly Marcel
DIRECTOR: Alex Graves
CAST: Jason O’Mara as Jim Shannon, Stephen Lang as Nathaniel Taylor, Shelley Conn as Elisabeth Shannon, Landon Liboiron as Josh Shannon, Naomi Scott as Maddy Shannon, Alana Mansour as Zoe Shannon, Christine Adams as Mira, Allison Miller as Skye
ALCATRAZ — “From executive producer J.J. Abrams (FRINGE, Lost, Star Trek and the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Super 8) and writer and executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff (Lost, Deadwood) comes ALCATRAZ, the chilling new thriller centered on America’s most infamous prison and one-time home to the nation’s most notorious murderers, rapists, kidnappers, thieves and arsonists.
When San Francisco Police Department DET. REBECCA MADSEN (Sarah Jones, Sons of Anarchy) is assigned to a grisly homicide case, a fingerprint leads her to a shocking suspect: JACK SYLVANE (guest star Jeffrey Pierce, The Nine), a former Alcatraz inmate who died decades ago. Given her family history – both her grandfather and surrogate uncle, RAY ARCHER (Robert Forster, Jackie Brown), were guards at the prison – Madsen’s interest is immediately piqued, and once the enigmatic, knows-everything-but-tells-nothing government agent EMERSON HAUSER (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park) tries to impede her investigation, she’s doggedly committed. Madsen turns to Alcatraz expert and comic book enthusiast, DR. DIEGO DOC SOTO (Jorge Garcia, Lost), to piece together the inexplicable sequence of events.
The twosome discovers that Sylvane is not only alive, but he’s loose on the streets of San Francisco, leaving bodies in his wake. And strangely, he hasn’t aged a day since he was in Alcatraz, when the prison was ruled by the iron-fisted WARDEN EDWIN JAMES (Jonny Coyne, Undercovers) and the merciless ASSOCIATE WARDEN E.B. TILLER (Jason Butler Harner, The Changeling). Madsen and Soto reluctantly team with Agent Hauser and his technician, LUCY BANERJEE (Parminder Nagra, ER), to stop Sylvane’s vengeful killing spree.
By delving into Alcatraz history, government cover-ups and Rebecca’s own heritage, the team will ultimately discover that Sylvane is only a small part of a much larger, more sinister present-day threat. For while he may be the first, it quickly becomes clear that Sylvane won’t be the last prisoner to reappear from Alcatraz. Through the course of the investigation, Madsen and Soto will learn that Agent Hauser has known about the prison’s secret history and has been awaiting the prisoners’ return. Soto will witness his life’s work – the history of Alcatraz – come alive. Madsen will be forced to keep her supportive San Francisco cop fiancé, JIMMY DICKENS (Santiago Cabrera, Heroes), at arm’s length from the highly classified assignment as she sees everything she thought she knew about her family’s past shattered, all while fighting to keep the country safe from history’s most dangerous criminals.
To Air MONDAYS 9:00-10:00 PM MID-SEASON 2012
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Bad Robot Productions, Warner Bros. Television, Bonanza Productions Inc.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Danny Cannon (pilot)
WRITERS: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt
DIRECTOR: Danny Cannon
CAST: Sarah Jones as Det. Rebecca Madsen, Jorge Garcia as Dr. Diego Doc Soto, Sam Neill as Emerson Hauser, Parminder Nagra as Lucy Banerjee, Robert Forster as Ray Archer, Santiago Cabrera as Jimmy Dickens, Jonny Coyne as Warden Edwin James, Jason Butler Harner as Associate Warden E.B. Tiller
GUEST CAST: Jeffrey Pierce as Jack Sylvane
kiefer-sutherlandTOUCH — “From writer/creator Tim Kring (Heroes, Crossing Jordan) and executive producers Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope comes TOUCH, a preternatural drama in which science and spirituality intersect with the hopeful premise that we are all interconnected, tied in invisible ways to those whose lives we are destined to alter and impact.
Through masterful storytelling, the series follows a group of seemingly unrelated characters – beginning with a former firefighter tormented by his inability to save a dying woman, an Iraqi teenager who will go to great risks to help his family, a gifted singer whose actions at a karaoke bar save lives thousands of miles away and a British businessman desperately trying to retrieve a key piece of information from his lost mobile phone – who affect each other in ways seen and unseen.
At the center is MARTIN BOHM (Kiefer Sutherland, 24), a widower and single father, haunted by an inability to connect to his mute, severely autistic 10-year-old son, JAKE. Caring, intelligent and thoughtful, Martin has tried everything to reach his son who shows little emotion and never allows himself to be touched by anyone, including Martin. Jake busies himself with cast-off cell phones, disassembling them and manipulating the parts, allowing him to see the world in his own special way.
After multiple failed attempts at keeping Jake in school, Martin is visited by social worker CLEA HOPKINS, who insists on doing an evaluation of the Bohms’ living situation. Although new at her job, Clea sees a man whose life has become dominated by a child he can no longer control. She believes his attempts to communicate with Jake are just wish fulfillment, and determines that it’s time for the state to intervene.
But everything changes when Martin discovers that Jake possesses a gift of staggering genius – the ability to see things that no one else can, the patterns that connect everything. Jake is indeed communicating after all. But it’s not with words, it’s with numbers. And now he needs Martin to decipher their meaning and connect these numbers to the cast of seemingly unrelated characters whose lives they affect.
Along the way, Martin will be guided by BORIS PODOLSKY, a discredited aging professor who offers Martin a compelling but unorthodox theory about Jake and his rare ability. Whether it be chance, coincidence, timing, synergy or fate, there are events that touch us all, as part of an interconnected, dazzlingly precise universe.
Expected MID-SEASON, Day and Time not yet scheduled.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Century Fox Television, Tailwind Productions, Chernin Entertainment
DIRECTOR: Francis Lawrence
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Tim Kring, Francis Lawrence, Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Kiefer Sutherland, Suzan Bymel
STARRING: Kiefer Sutherland, other casting TBA.

Fox Cancels 'Human Target'

human_target_legs_poster2Deadline reports that the Fox Network has canceled the DC Comics-based action series THE HUMAN TARGET.
The J.J. Abrams -proced FRINGE was renewed, and  FOX ahs ordered his ALCATRAZ, an investigative show with a sci-fi element that some are comparing to LOST.
Steven Spielberg’s TERRA NOVA is penciled in for the Fall schedule, possibly to be paired with ALACTRAZ.
LOCKE & KEY, based on IDW’s comic book series, is apparently dead.

Laserblast, September 14: Prince of Persia, Fringe, The Twilight Zone


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A wide variety of horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles arrive in stores on Tuesday, September 14: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blu… (ray, that is). Walt Disney Video offers PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME in three formats: DVD, Blu-ray, and a 3-disc combo back with both formats, plus a digital copy. The bonus features are parceled out in a way that makes the latter the only complete edition: the DVD includes the behind-the-scenes featurette “An Unseen World: Making Prince of Persia”; the Blu-ray contains the featurette and a deleted scene, “The Banquet: Garsiv Presents Heads”; and the combo pack includes all of the DVD and Blu-ray features, plus “CineEsplore: The Sands of Time,” interactive feature that allows you to “take control of the dagger and use it to unlock secrets behind your favorite scenes! Turn back time and uncover over 40 spellbinding segments – including ‘Walking Up Walls,’ ‘Filming in Morocco,’ and ‘Ostrich Jockey Tryouts’.'”
The only other new title arriving this week is FRINGE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON, which shows up on DVD and Blu-ray. Bonus features include: four audio commentaries; The Mythology of Fringe; sidebar analysis on six episodes; In the Lab with John Noble and Rob Smith; a gag reel; unaired scenes; and “The Unearthed Episode,” starring Kirk Acevedo as Charlie.
On the 50th anniversary of its first appearance on network airwaves, Rod Serling’s classic television show gets the Blu-ray treatment with THE TWILIGHT ZONE: SEASON ONE. The multi-disc set will be packed with extras: audio commentaries from surviving cast members (Earl Holliman, Martin Landau, Rod Taylor, Kevin McCarthy, etc); vintage audio recollections with Burgess Meredtih, Anne Francis, Richard Matheson, and more; the unaired pilot version of “Where is Everybody?” Billed as new for this edition are audio commentaries with film historians and filmmakers (Marc Scott Zicree, Gary Gerani, director Ted Post, etc); a never-before released pilot “The Tiem Element,” in high-def; a TALES OF TOMORROW episode titled “What You Need” (which was also a TWILIGHT ZONE episode); a vintage audio interview with director of photograph George T. Clemens; 13 radio dramas; and 34 isolated music scores by Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, and others.
Other oldies coming out on Blu-ray and/or special edition DVDs include the following:

  • Walt Disney’s THE BLACK CAULDRON gets a 25 Anniversary Special Edition DVD release. Only two new extras have been added that were not on the previous DVD: an deleted scene and a game.
  • CARRIE, the 1976 horror hit directed by Brian DePalma and based on Stephen King’s first novel, arrives in a new DVD-Blu-ray combo pack.
  • JACOB’S LADDER gets another DVD re-issue.
  • THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985) is resurrected in a Collector’s Edition. There is a two-disc DVD and a two-disc combo pack with Blu-ray and DVD.
  • STARCRASH, the Italian, 1979 STAR WARS rip-off starring Caroline Munro and Marjoe Gortner, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the Roger Corman Cult Classics line.

And if you’re looking for laughs, RiffTrax offers two DVD collections of short subjects: RIFFTRAX: SHORTS-A-POPPIN’ and RIFFTRAX: PLAYS WITH THEIR SHORTS.

Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy announces retirement

Leonard Nimoy in his last appearance as Spock
Leonard Nimoy in his last appearance as Spock

Leonard Nimoy – the original Mr. Spock – told the Toronto Sun that his appearance in the 2009 big-screen reboot of STAR TREK will be his last appearance as the world’s most famous Vulcan:

“I don’t think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto,” he said of his successor, who played a younger version of Spock in last year’s “Star Trek” reboot. “He’s a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it’s time to give him some space. And I’m very flattered the character will continue.”

Not only will Nimoy no longer play Spock; he will give up acting entirely, including his role on FRINGE, the show produced by J. J. Abrams (who directed the STAR TREK feature).

“I was away from acting for 12 years, so I guess I was seducible,” he said of his part as Dr. William Bell on the FOX show. “But since (producer) J.J. Abrams revived the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, I felt I owed him something. And I’m glad I did it because he promised me a good story, and it was.”

Nimoy feels now is the right time to take his final bow.

“I’ve been doing this professionally for 60 years,” he said. “I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I’ve had a great, great time.”

TV News: Abrams on the Fringe

Mark Valley and Anna Torv in the series from J. J. Abrams

FRINGE is a new fantasy-themed show from producer J. J. Abrams (LOST) that will debut on Fox this September 9. It follows the adventures of three characters – a young FBI agent (Ann Torv), a demented scientist (John Noble), and the scientist’s son (Joshua Jackson) – who combine forces to solve inexplicable mysteries each week. Continue reading “TV News: Abrams on the Fringe”

"Shutter" Star Joshua Jackson Goes Beyond the "Fringe"

Joshua Jackson as an American photogrrapher haunted by a ghost in Japan.Actor Joshua Jackson (DAWSON’S CREEK) was at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Friday, promoting his new horror film SHUTTER, which opens March 21. While discussing the challenges of shooting an English-language remake of a Thai ghost story, shot in Tokyo with a Japanese director, Jackson offered some comments on FRINGE, the upcoming sci-fi television series that earned a bit of buzz last year when Fox plunked down big bucks to purchase the spec script for the pilot. Written by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, all of whom serve as executive producers, the $10-million, two-hour opener of FRINGE stars Jackson as Peter Bishop, the estranged son of Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), who is described as a cross between Albert Einstein and Dr. Frankenstein. The show, which will combine elements of horror, science-fiction, action, and comedy, will focus on a female FBI investigator who teams up with the brilliant but possibly unstable doctor to find rational explanations for apparently preternatural phenomena. FRINGE also pays homage to ALTERED STATES, David Cronenberg’s SCANNERS, and medical science thrillers of Michael Crichton and Robin Cook, with a “slight TWILIGHT ZONE vibe” according to Abrams. Alex Graves directed the pilot. The cast also includes Charlotte Rampling, Kirk Acevedo, Lance Reddick, Mark Valley, and Blair Brown.
Describing his work on the new show, Jackson says, “We’re actually almost finished. We have about a week and a half left. If this movie [SHUTTER] is in the paranormal, that one’s on the outside of normal. It’s the science side of science fiction. It takes the physical world that we live in and goes just past that edge.”
FRINGE sounds like an attempt by Fox to recapture the ratings success of THE X-FILES. The new show will even feature stand-alone episodes, plus a long-term mythology. Jackson, however, indicates that FRINGE is not another series about paranormal investigations.
“X-FILES to me would be a paranormal detective show – these ideas that are slightly outside the rest of our experience,” he explains. “FRINGE takes the world that we all live in and says, ‘What you think you know about this cup, you don’t actually know, because if you look at it from over here, it’s something entirely different.’ That will be the thrust of the show. The physical world that we live in, without the addition of any magic or anything supernatural, is far more than we all see it as being.
FRINGE marks the first television commitment for for Abrams since LOST became a hit. Since then, the Abrams-Kurtzman-Orci team have been busy with the feature films MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III and the upcoming STAR TREK revival. Jackson also has been away from the small screen (not counting a couple episodes of GREY’S ANATOMY), and it took some convincing to get him to sign a six-year contract. 
“Working in television is as close to a real job as an actor will ever have, and life has been pretty good for the last five years,” he says of his film career. “So yeah – it took not convincing, but me convincing myself and really making sure that I was ready to make [the commitment]. The crazy thing about television: you’ve got to sign a contract for six years, so you psychologically have to prepare yourself for that amount of time, and then most things don’t make it past the second season. So it might all be over tomorrow. But I had to be really ready to go back.”

Part of the decision was based on the desire to work with Abrams. “He was the reason I was interested in the beginning. He got me to the shore, and then I sort of backed away from the shore a little bit. The guys who wrote STAR TREK for him and TRANSFORMERS, with Rachael [Taylor, who co-stars in SHUTTER], wrote this script, and it’s an incredibly dense two-hour pilot, the likes of which you don’t see…well, you don’t see it in film either, but you really don’t see it in television. It’s really layered to give you the possibility for just about anything from here on out. So that got me into it. It’s a rare type of character – especially in television, but in film as well. Usually, if you’re smart, you are inert, and if you are capable, you’re a moron. Well, this person is a smart, capable person. You put the two together, which is not often the case. You hire the lunk-head guy to go do the stuff, and the guy with the glasses to figure stuff out.”
Jackson has had some opportunity to be creatively involved behind the camera with his film and TV work, directing an episode of DAWSON’S CREEK and serving as executive producer on his recent film ONE WEEK. On FRINGE he was happy to find himself part of a creative team that welcomes input, even on an unofficial level.
“I’m not one of the producers on the show, but as I’m learning, one of the great things about J.J. and his whole company is that they work always with the same people. By promoting from the inside there’s this very open group of people, which is not usually the case. Usually, it’s the Big Brain, and everybody else just does the job.”
Jackson was attracted by the science-fiction aspects of FRINGE, which he sees as a natural progression from his previous small screen roles. “The last time I was on television…the dreams [had] to be smaller about what can happen to the character. But if you can dream it, we can do it on FRINGE. Nothing is taboo. If there is any semblance of an explanation for any phenomenon, it will be in the show. That’s cool.”