Category Archives: tv

Game of Thrones gets 3 acting Emmy nominations

You go, Dame Diana Rigg.We’re all familiar with major awards shows not being big on geek content, and the Emmys have been no different… Unless HBO is involved, apparently. This year, Game of Thrones has nabbed not just one, nit just two, but three acting nods. One-time winner Peter Dinklage is up again with his third supporting actor nomination for playing Tyrion Lannister, and this time he’s joined by actresses Emilia Clarke (supporting) and Dame Diana Rigg (guest.)

Alas, not nominated was Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, who’s been getting tons of buzz for her impressive work as a mind-boggling seven clones. Better luck next year?

American Horror Story: Asylum is up for miniseries, as well as a nice spread in the acting categories, with nods for Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell and Zachary Quinto. Of course, the big story this year? Netflix.

Her Universe scores The Walking Dead license

'Dead Inside' hoodieRicktatorship tee

Just in time for SDCC, Her Universe adds another franchise – They’re now making products based on AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead. It’s not a show I’m all that familiar with, but one thing’s for sure – that hoodie is killer. (There’s more, including a dress, at the link!)

The line isn’t online yet, but it will be available at at San Diego Comic-Con so we’ll no doubt be seeing it soon.

(Star Wars fans, there’s something new for us, too – An Artoo dress at Hot Topic!)

BBC: Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who

Matt Smith

The 2013 Christmas Special will be Matt Smith’s last on Doctor Who, the BBC announced today. Smith, the eleventh and youngest actor to play the role, took over from David Tennant in 2010 and has done 3 seasons of the show – plus the upcoming 50th Anniversary and Christmas specials.

There’s been nothing about who will be cast as the next Doctor, but reports do have both showrunner Steven Moffat and the current companion, Jenna Coleman, staying on.

Amazon wants to pay folks to write fanfic

Sorry, no threesome fic.
Sorry, no threesome fic.

There’s a long history of fans monetizing their fanfic – but generally they do it by filing off the serial numbers, changing the names, and repurposing it as ‘original’ work. Fifty Shades of Grey may be the most infamous example, but it’s hardly the first.

Now Amazon wants to cut out all that work to get your fanfic published: They’ve launched Kindle Worlds, “the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so.”

How are they not getting their asses sued? Well, they’re actually licensing the stuff. First up is Alloy Entertainment, the Warner-Bros. owned book packager responsible for such book-series-turned-TV as Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. Not your bag of blood? They plan “to announce more licenses soon.” (For what it’s worth, I really doubt that Lucasfilm or Disney would sign on to something like this – at least not this early on.)

Naturally, they’re not allowing porn or crossovers, which disincludes plenty of fandom right from the start, but it’s still pretty troubling – and something that could end up very disturbing precedent.

The first and only rule of fanfic fandom is you don’t sell your stuff. I firmly believe that the line between fanfic and profic is something that should only be crossed very carefully and with great caution. And, let’s face it – most fanfic is awful, porn or no porn.

The idea of actually monetizing fanfic is no real surprise – it’s been tried, and failed, a dozen times over, and the runaway success of 50 Shades made this nigh-inevitable. To have the Powers-That-Be actively involved in fanfic has a real potential to change this very specific fandom activity – and not for the better. Part of the point of fanfic, to my mind, is the complete lack of tether. It rarely pays off, but when it does, those are the moments that make the whole enterprise worth it.

This alone is no great shakes – Alloy and a couple of writers making a couple bucks off some PG smolderfests is not going to change the whole landscape of fandom. But it’s a very dangerous first step that could lead to more corporate policing in the fanfic realm, the making such a thing mundane – and that’s something I am not in the least comfortable with.

UPDATE: Scalzi looks at the fine print… He raises a few good questions, but for our purposes: What does it mean for the ‘official’ tie-ins?

Trailer park special edition: Fall’s new genre shows

The TV stations held their upfronts last week, giving advertisers (and viewers) their first look at fall’s new shows. So your first trailer park of the week is devoted to genre and genre-ajacent TV show trailers.

Up top, the biggest gun: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Joss Whedon and the Disney/Marvel conglomerate, coming at you on ABC, Tuesdays at 8:00. And yes, there is already a push to abbreviate this as MAoS, so pass it on.

Note that yes, some of these are spoiling their show’s first episode, but love it or leave it, their main purpose is to sell ads.

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Warehouse 13 gets renewed for six-episode final season

warehouse-13-season-2-promoIt looks like Warehouse 13 is getting renewed and canceled at the same time: the Syfy show will be getting a fifth and final season for 2014, but that season will be severely abbreviated: six episodes to wrap everything up.

Entertainment Weekly calls it a cancel but The Wrap calls it a renewal. Sci Fi Stream goes a bit further in depth and examines the viewership, and the previous hopes that the series would be the one to break the five-season curse of the Syfy channel (No original scripted show has lasted more than five seasons on the network). Currently, the show just recently started the second half of season four.

I’ve been a fan of Warehouse 13 from the start – it’s a fantastic show with great characters and a cool world, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s also one of the few shows I’ve found recently that not only casts women in a majority of the main character roles (Myka, Claudia, Leena, Mrs. Frederick to Pete, Artie, and Jinx) but also shows all the characters as positive and competent but still human. While it started off as fairly light and it still maintains that bit of comedy, it also has gotten a bit more serious in the past season or two, with some major character drama. In the more recent seasons, they’ve brought on a cavalcade of well known sci-fi actors as guest stars (like Kate Mulgrew, James Marsters, and Lindsay Wagner), but the core of the show is “snag it, bag it and tag it” with wacky artifacts that wreak havoc (and sometimes global destruction) when in the wrong hands.

It’s sad that Warehouse 13 will be coming to an end, but at least it won’t be coming to an abrupt end – that the show’s creators will have a chance to give a somewhat proper ending for the enjoyable characters and the mythology of the show. Having Syfy produce six episodes to wrap it up is certainly better than say, unspecified (and not likely to be aired) ‘bonus content’ for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Warwick Davis on Doctor Who, and what’s coming for SF/F TV next season?

In ‘Nightmare and Silver,’ the Doctor and Clara head for ‘the greatest theme park in the universe,’ only to find it closed and inhabited only by a shabby few, including Warwick Davis. Cybermen ensue, because of course they do. The episode is written by Neil Gaiman and is the last before next week’s season finale, ‘The Name of the Doctor.’

Agents of-ShieldIn other sci-fi TV news, it’s pilot season! ABC picked up Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., bringing the Marvel synergy to live-action TV. (ABC will air a preview of the show on Sunday.) They also picked up Once Upon a Time spin-off Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and sci-fi mystery show Resurrection

Two J.J. Abrams pilots were picked up as well: Fox nabbed robot police drama Almost Human, while Fox picked up Believe, a collabration with Alfonso Cuarón about a telekinetic ten-year-old. It’s no big shock that The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals got picked up, but the CW also greenlit post-apocalyptic The 100, a remake of The Tomorrow People and the human/alien romance Star-Crossed.

Meanwhile, in the cable realm, both SyFy’s Defiance and BBC America’s Orphan Black are getting second seasons.

You can check out the full slate of pilots – picked up and passed over both – at The Hollywood Reporter.

J.J. Abrams dances around Star Wars and Episode VII questions, says third Star Trek is a ‘possibility’

J. J. Abrams on the set of Star Trek Into Darkness

J.J. Abrams gave his most revealing Star Wars interview so far (which isn’t really saying much) to Playboy? Well. If you want to hear about Star Trek you can head on over there, but Star Wars fans, read on.

Okay, okay, he does say that doing a third Star Trek isn’t out of the question.

As for Star Wars, he wouldn’t comment on still-unofficial of returning cast members, or if the new trilogy will be ‘distinct.’ He’s “not going to give my opinion on the original movies or characters.”

When asked about broad ideas and the reaction to The Phantom Menace:

I try to approach a project from what it’s asking. What does it need to be? What is it demanding? With Star Wars, one has to take into account what has preceded it, what worked, what didn’t. There are cautionary tales for anything you take on that has a legacy—things you look at and think, I want to avoid this or that, or I want to do more of something. But even that feels like an outside-in approach, and it’s not how I work. For me, the key is when you have a script; it’s telling you what it wants to be.

On the pressure of taking on the franchise:

I meant if I viewed this from a fan’s point of view—and no one’s a bigger Star Wars fan than I am—or from a legacy standpoint, it would scare the hell out of me. But instead of trying to climb this mountain in one giant leap, I’m just enjoying the opportunity and looking to the people I’m working with. I’ve known Kathy for years. I’ve worked with the screenwriter, Michael Arndt, for a long time. I’ve known George for a number of years and he’s now a friend. Even if this wasn’t Star Wars, I’d be enormously fortunate to work with them.

And of course:

For me to talk to you about what the big themes or ideas are before they exist is disingenuous, but naturally I have a big say in how this gets put together. When I get involved with something, I own it and carry the responsibility of the job.

Well, Playboy, you tried.

It’s a big interview, so he also talks about his TV shows, growing up in Hollywood, Tom Cruise and more.