This Week in Sci Fi TV Series: A Discworld Series is in the Works and Halo is Back On; Wayward Pines Gets Cancelled; and More

By | March 2, 2018

Sci Fi TV Development: BBC Studios is Bringing Discworld to Television, Halo to Star Filming

Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens is already moving forward with Amazon and BBC Studios, and now another of his works will be coming to television.  BBC Studios is working on a six-episodes series based on his fantasy Discworld books.  That long-running series takes place in the fictional Discworld, a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin. He produced 41 books before passing away in 2015 and the series parodies a lot of the themes and ideas common in fantasy books as well as mythology and folklore. There is no indication at this time if the series will be based on one book in particular or if it will draw from several of the Discworld tales. BBC Studios is starting with a six-episode series but will plan for more if it proves popular and will be looking for global partners to help with the production. This is still a developing story, so expect more updates in the coming months.

The long in development Halo TV series is scheduled to start filming in 2018. That series, which comes in partnership with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Showtime, will likely debut early-to-mid 2019.

Apple has placed a ten-episode order for an as yet unnamed psychological thriller that will be executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan and written by Tony Basgallop. There are no further details on the show at this point, but this is yet another original that Apple has in the works to expand their offerings and compete with the other major streaming services. Interestingly, Shyamalan had previously been working with TNT to develop a horror block of programming, but his Tales from the Crypt reboot stalled and now it looks like he may be busy with commitments elsewhere.

Sci Fi TV Status Report: FOX Cancels Wayward Pines, Syfy Renews The Magicians

FOX finally got around to announcing the fate of its Summer series Wayward Pines as word broke that it will not be coming back for a third season. The network had been hanging on to that M. Night Shyamalan produced series and had indicated in January of 2017 that they would like to do a third season but that it “didn’t come together quickly enough” for the Summer 2017 season. Shyamalan had said previously that he hoped the show would continue for one more year so that they can “finish the story”.  But now any hopes of a third season are gone unless he shops the show around to other venues.  It’s possible that Wayward Pines got purged from the development queue because of the Disney buyout. It’s also possible that scheduling issues made it too difficult for Shyamalan to turn his attention back to the show. But the fact is that its ratings were not great in its second year and perhaps FOX just decided to close the book on this one and move on with new projects.

Coming as absolutely no surprise, Syfy announced this week that its fantasy series The Magicians will be returning for a fourth season. That show has performed well for the network thus far this year and has been the top-rated Syfy series since its debut in 2015. It’s numbers are down a little bit from last season, but I assumed that it was a lock for renewal short of disputes over licensing fees or other behind-the-scenes intangibles. The fourth season will comprise thirteen episodes and will air in 2019.

Sci Fi TV Schedule: Returns for Timeless and Jessica Jones, Premiere for Hard Sun

Next week brings three more sci fi and fantasy shows to the mid-season schedule, two returning and one premiere. On Wednesday, Hulu’s pre-apocalyptic series Hard Sun has its debut on the streaming service. On Thursday, Netflix’s Jessica Jones returns for its second season. And on Sunday, NBC’s fan-favorite Timeless kicks off its second season. Also next week, Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels has its one and a half hour series finale on Monday and ABC’s Kevin (Probably) Saves the World has its season finale on Tuesday. All of the rest of the shows on the schedule will air new episodes, so it is a pretty full week for sci fi TV. You can see the full mid-season schedule at this link and you can keep up with the weekly listings at this link.

More Sci Fi TV News

There is plenty more of fan-favorite character Constantine on the way. Matt Ryan will reprise his role on the March 15th episode of Legends of Tomorrow as well as the season finale on April 9th. And he will be voicing the character on the upcoming animated Constantine series that debuts on CW Seed on March 24th.

Netflix plans on adding 30 anime series and movies in 2018, which will include existing shows and originals. No word yet on whether this year’s Devilman Crybaby will be coming back for a second season.

Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson has come aboard TNT’s Snowpiercer as showrunner. He will be replacing Josh Friedman who previously held those duties and who wrote the pilot. Friedman allegedly left the series due to “creative differences”.

Gabriel Chavarria (War for the Planet of the Apes) and Jessica Garza have been cast in the lead roles of the upcoming Purge TV series that will air on Syfy and USA.

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