This Week in Sci Fi TV: Showtime Orders Halo Series, Patrick Stewart to Voice Animated Star Trek, and More

By | June 29, 2018

Halo Finally Makes the Leap to Television

After years of development Hell, a series based on the Halo video games is finally headed to the small screen. Showtime has placed a ten-episode order for a live-action series based on the property. According to Entertainment Weekly, the series will deliver “an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. . . Halo will weave deeply drawn personal stories with action, adventure and a richly imagined vision of the future.” Kyle Killen (Awake) will be the writer / showrunner for the series and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will executive produce and direct several episodes. Due to the scope of the show, the network will likely be targeting late 2019 or early 2020 to get it on its schedule.

Patrick Stewart Is in Talks to Voice an Animated Star Trek Series

Last week I reported that new Star Trek is in on the way from CBS All Access with Alex Kurtzman shepherding the development. I also mentioned that Patrick Stewart was in talks to join one of the upcoming projects and more information on that came out this week. Stewart has a verbal agreement to return to the franchise and it looks like he could be voicing Captain Jean-Luc Picard in an upcoming animated series. No additional information about the planned series is available, and its possible there could be multiple animated series in the works (a live-action series is also in the works, but it appears he will not be part of that). With Stewart onboard, expect more of the TNG cast to join as well as this project continues to develop.

Sci Fi TV Development: Netflix to Adapt Salman Rushdie Novel, Amazon Looks at YA Shows

And yet more development announcements came out this week as Peak TV has not slowed just yet. Netflix has ordered a series based on Salman Rushdie’s book Midnight Children that will be targeted at the Indian viewers that service is trying to bolster. Variety gives the following description of the project:

The book follows the life of Saleem Sinai, born on the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the time of India’s independence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of India’s national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.

Amazon has ordered three YA projects, a couple of which might be of interest to genre fans. Panic “brings viewers to a forgotten rural town where every year the graduating seniors risk their lives in an illegal, high-stakes game to win life-changing money and a chance to escape.” In The Wilds, “a group of teenage girls from radically different backgrounds find themselves stranded on a remote island, unaware that they’ve just become the subjects of an elaborate social experiment.” The streaming service has ordered pilots for these and will likely consider adding them at some point in 2019.

DC Universe is Ramping Up for a Fall Start

The upcoming DC Universe streaming service is prepping its launch and has put out a press release detailing what will be available once it starts. Membership to the service offers the following

WATCH exclusive originals and classic favorites;
READ from an extensive list of curated comic books;
CONNECT with the DC community;
EXPLORE the latest breaking news and the ever-expanding DC encyclopedia;
WIN premium rewards and participate in sweepstakes and contests;
SHOP for exclusive merchandise.

Among the original series, the live-action Titans is scheduled for later this Fall while the animated Young Justice, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn, and Doom Patrol will bow in 2019. Among the “classic favorites” are the four original Superman movies, several of the animated DC movies such as Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Wonder Woman, along with classic TV shows such as the first two seasons of Batman: The Animated Series and the 70’s Wonder Woman (in HD). You can read the full press release at this link and you can sign up to test the beta version of the service there as well.

RIP Harlan Ellison

Legendary science fiction writer Harlan Ellison passed away this week at age 84. Ellison was a prolific writer of short stories, but also contributed to several major sci fi TV shows. He wrote the original script for the classic Star Trek episode “City on the Edge of Forever” and also wrote the acclaimed episodes “Demon with the Glass Hand” and “Soldier” for The Outer Limits. He contributed to The Man from UNCLE, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Logan’s Run (TV Series), and the 80’s revival of The Twilight Zone. He created the 70’s television series The Starlost, though he took his name off that one because he was unhappy with the final project. He also served as creative consultant for Babylon 5 and wrote two episodes for that series.

Sci Fi TV Status Report: FOX Cancels Ghosted, Colony Slips in the Ratings

FOX announced this week that its supernatural comedy Ghosted will not be continuing beyond its current season. That show debuted in Fall 2017 in the post-Simpsons timeslot on Sundays and posted good ratings throughout the Fall months, though its numbers were typically inflated by bleed-over from the NFL games on Sunday afternoon. The show had some behind the scenes shakeups, and the network brought in a new showrunner for the later episodes. FOX also appeared to lose faith in the series as it only briefly returned after its Winter hiatus then disappeared from the schedule altogether. In May the network indicated that it would air the remaining episodes in Summer then make a decision on a second season, but the show was slipped on the schedule with little notice amidst repeats, suggesting a burn-off run. The ratings results were predictably low and the cancellation was pretty much expected.

In ratings news, USA’s Colony slipped to a 0.15 rating with 704K total viewers on Wednesday. That show had trended up from its earlier season numbers the last few weeks, but dropped with its latest episode and remains firmly On the Bubble as its year-over-year ratings are down notably. Be sure to follow and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site to keep track of the renewal / cancellation prospects of your favorite shows.

Sci Fi TV Schedule: The Purge TV Series Gets a Release Date and Trailer

The upcoming television series based on The Purge film franchise will be arriving on the small screen on September 4th. That series will air on both USA and Syfy. FOX has announced its Fall premiere dates and the X-Men spin-off series The Gifted will be returning for its second season on Tuesday September 25th at 8 PM EST (shifting from Monday nights). That network has no other genre entries on its Fall schedule, but The Orville will be returning in late December with a boost from NFL Football. As for this coming week, there is not much activity with the holiday on Wednesday (though Colony will air a new episode that night), but Syfy’s 12 Monkeys will have its two-hour series finale on Friday night. You can see the full Summer schedule of sci fi and fantasy shows at this link and you can keep up with the weekly listings at this link.

More Sci Fi TV News

The upcoming 14th season of Supernatural will have only 20 episodes instead of the usual 23.  No reason has been given, but The CW has an overload of shows for next year and may need the schedule space.

Jeremy Irons (Batman vs. Superman) and Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow) have been cast in lead roles in HBO’s upcoming Watchmen series. The specifics of the characters they will play has not been revealed yet.

The upcoming eighth season of American Horror Story will crossover the storylines from the first season’s “Murder House” and the third season’s “Coven”.  It is set to bow at some point in September.

Last Week’s Post: New Star Trek Series (Possibly with Patrick Stewart) in the Works at CBS All Access, Invincible Headed to Amazon, and More Read

This Week in Sci Fi TV Archive

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