Ever since ABC axed FlashForward after its first season its hardcore fanbase has been trying to pull whatever strings it can to revive the show. A Facebook group called “SAVE FLASHFORWARD!” has gained a substantial following; these rapid fans have been sending emails and letters to ABC head Steve McPherson and other network and cable presidents demanding the sci-fi drama deserves at least a second season. Some have even staged local “blackouts” in front of ABC offices. It appears as if these efforts might be picking up enough steam to actually influence the fate of the show. A fan recently posted this comment on the Facebook group wall:
“I just called Starz and the rep told me that they are aggressively seeking the license for FlashForward and that a lot of people have been calling about [the show].”
Upon seeing reading this statement the group moderator followed up with this: “McPherson is allegedly softening.”
I advise you to take what you’re reading here with a grain of salt. These statements are merely comments by eager fans of the show, so they may or may not be true. Whatever the case, this is great news for FlashForward fans. It’s a win-win-lose situation and here’s how. If these statements are true, FlashForward might just live to see another day on a cable station where Mark Benford can call D. Gibbons Dyson F**k if he really wanted to. If the statements are false, light of this news is already garnering massive fan support and encouraging people to email and call Starz to push for a renewal. And the lose situation–well that’s if all of this ends up being for naught and the show stays dead.
Let’s get realistic for a sec. In order for cancelled show to get brought back to life, the main cast needs to be on board if you want to appease the fans. As far as I know, four prominent cast members are already booked for fall and midseason shows. James Callis (Gabriel McDow) plays a new resident in Syfy’s Eureka; Michael Ealy (Agent Marshall Vogel) is joining The Good Wife on CBS; Christine Woods (Janis Hawk) is a series regular in the new NBC comedy Perfect Couples; and Joseph Fiennes (Mark Benford), the crux of the show, is signed on to play the wizard Merlin in the upcoming 10-part series Camelot on Starz. That’s right, Starz. If the FlashForward showrunners could somehow replace or remove Vogel and Hawk from the story and conjure up a contract with Starz that enables Fiennes to manage Camelot and FlashForward then a revival could technically happen. But remembering we’re talking realistically here, so I’m going to say that’s a LONG SHOT.
In the end it all comes to down to scheduling conflicts, network execs, and money. But if the hardcore fans continue to spread the word of save FlashForward who knows what might happen. Call Starz’ toll-free line (866-888-4010) to make yourself heard. Cuz it would be totally awesome to find out what all of little Charlie’s future visions meant!
FlashForward fans never say die! In a last resort effort to save the show from the dark and gloomy death by cancellation it received back in mid-May, FlashForward fans around the world are rallying together to show their support for the short-lived sci-fi drama. The fight to encourage ABC to bring back the show began when fans mailed over 20,000 friendship bracelets to ABC head Steve McPherson. (The bracelet was a significant item on the show; it was given to protagonist Mark Benford by his daughter Charlie…but if you’re reading this you know that already.) Also since April, fans have been signing online petitions and mailing handwritten letters to ABC studios to “save FlashFoward” from its (no longer pending, really) demise. All of these efforts to force ABC to open their hearts to fans and bring the show back culminate in what is about to happen later today: a staged “global blackout” in front of ABC studios.
On June 10, 2010 (that’s today people!) FlashForward super fans around the world will congregate in front of their local ABC affiliates and lay (as unconscious as possible) on the ground for two minutes and seventeen seconds at a designated time. A majority of the meetups will last about two hours; for the rest of the time fans will carry signs, wear FlashForward t-shirts, and raise awareness about the cause to bystanders. The following US cities will take part in the blackout today: Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, Seattle, and Chicago. North Carolina also has groups at the ready. And this will truly be a “global” blackout; fans from Toronto, Canada, London, England, Hanover, Germany, Endinburgh, Scottland, Italy, Brazil and many others are also anticipating blackout day. More details are available at www.preventtheblackout.com, a neat fan-made site that collates contact and RSVP information for the day’s events.
If you’re a fan of the show and happen to live near a participating location, go out and support FlashForward! Though all signs point to this show being a goner (the show has been cancelled and both Joseph Fiennes (Benford) and Christine Woods (Janis Hawk) have been cast to new series), there’s no reason not to give the show a glimmer of hope for potential survival by joining this exciting grassroots movement. And when you make it there and wake up from the blackout don’t forget to ask your fellow supports, “What did you see?”
For some time now there’s been much discussion surrounding the fate of ABC’s two freshman sci-fi series, FlashForward & V. Overall both have been performing rather poorly in the ratings. But when it came to decision time, ABC decided to cancel one and keep the other. As much as I have enjoyed following FlashForward, there were many hints to its eventual demise. Two of them are the following: The ratings (FFpremiered to 12.47 million viewers and plummeted to 4.77 million viewers for last week’s ep) and a change in leadership (co-creator/showrunner David S. Goyer left the show in early February). And here’s another one: ABC heavily promoted the new series the wrong way; in a number of ad spots the network was hailing it as “the next Lost.” Although the show contains a myriad of characters, a complex mythos, and flashbacks to boot, it is most definitely not another Lost. The direction and plot of the show are quite different from Lost. ABC obviously felt some pressure to promote the show in this way since Lost is nearly finished, but I have a feeling FF might have fared differently if it was marketed in a more appropriate way. In my opinion, I thought FlashForward started out great, then it started to lose its focus (right around when Goyer made his announcement), and now it finds itself back on track with a bunch of potential. But now none of that matters anymore since it won’t be coming back after the May 27 finale. I wonder if the producers will try to wrap things up for us..
And then there’s V, the mini-series reboot that could. ABC aired this series in a very strange manner due to a number of early production issues. They aired an initial “pod” of four episodes starting in November which garnered a huge following, then the show did not come back until the end of March. Thanks to this long hiatus, viewership dropped during the latter half of the season. As of late, however, the show has seen a surge in the ratings, especially in the coveted 18-49 demo, and in my opinion, it’s become more creative and engaging with the addition of some new characters and exciting and fast-moving plot twists. According to the latest sources, V has been issued a 13-epsiode second season set to start this fall.
So what do I think about all this? As a fan of both shows, I have to say I’m not so surprised that ABC decided to cancel FlashForward and keep V. Although the potential for FlashForward is just starting to come to fruition, the delivery feels a bit “too little too late”. V, on the other hand, always packed an explosive punch, from the initial pod of episodes to where to series sits now. All I have to say is this: At least ABC decided to keep one of these shows; a sudden cancellation of both would have been devastating.
FlashForward airs Thursday nights at 8PM on ABC; the two-hour finale airs May 27. V ends its first season run next Tuesday at 8PM on ABC.
Just before ABC’s FlashForward went on its lengthy hiatus in December, a number of production-related changes came to light. Namely, co-creator and co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone) dropped out to focus on other projects. Today brings news that fellow co-creator and head showrunner David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight) is also stepping down from his top position. A new showrunner has yet to be announced. There’s no need to fret, FlashForward fans. Goyer will remain behind the scenes in some form, and he assures that the show will be put into “great hands:” “As my feature projects have started ramping up again, I felt I was being pulled in too many directions. I’m proud of the show and excited about the relaunch. It’s in great hands.” I am excited about the relaunch, too. During its first run of episodes, FlashForward proved to have much potential and this reshuffling of showrunners might just add a pinch of freshness the show needs to step things up to whole new and exciting level it certainly can achieve.
FlashForward returns March 18 on ABC.
It’s great to be a fan of TV these days. So many great shows to watch and discuss. This past week the TSA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour brought out TV’s stars, showrunners, and executives who talk to the press about what’s to come in the future. Below is a list of a handful of shows and clues to how their futures will pan out.
Gleeks rejoice! Glee has been renewed for a second season. FOX’s President of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly: “We’ve loved Glee ever since it was a pilot script, so it’s been an incredible thrill to watch the show take root and see audiences embrace these characters in such a huge way this season. The show is a true and rare gem in television. We couldn’t be more proud of what Ryan Murphy and the Glee team have created so far, and can’t wait to see what they come up with for Season 2.” In related news, the Glee execs will be holding a nationwide audition to fill in three new roles for season two. “Auditions will be open to amateur individuals as well as professionals between the ages of 16-26, and all hopefuls will be able to submit auditions online. Additional details will be announced soon [via] fox.com/glee.” Reilly adds that “the winners will be revealed in the first episode of the season.”
Glee returns Tuesday, April 13 on FOX. (Celebrate the news by watching a Glee flashmob after the break.)
Modern Family, the funniest new comedy of the season, has been given the green light for a second season! ABC also renewed Cougar Town and The Middle. Ugly Betty, Better Off Ted, and Scrubs are still in limbo. ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson says “I’m not going to lie. The numbers are not encouraging.”
Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9PM on ABC.
What’s going on with Fringe? Last we heard ratings dropped due to its competitive timeslot. It airs at the same time as Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, The Office, 30 Rock and Supernatural. FOX’s Reilly on the matter: “I wish the ratings were higher, but frankly, we’re going to keep it right where it is, because it’s doing a job for us.” On the future of this season: “We’re going to bring on Past Life, give this a breather, then going to play I think ten episodes in a row in the back half of the season, to really try and blast this when the other guys are in repeats.” So he definitely feels a good vibe around the show. But what does the future hold beyond season 2? “They’re in a creative groove with it. We have a great relationship with the producers. They’re delivering a quality show and it’s got an audience…The audience hasn’t entirely left it behind; they’re just watching it on their DVR. So I don’t know. We’ll just have to see what happens in May.” Fringe resides in the wait-and-see category, but I have a strong feeling it will be coming back for many more seasons.
Fringe returns Thursday, January 14 on FOX. (Look after the break for an exerpt from an IGN interview with Fringe creator J. J. Abrams.)
Oh, Heroes. Season 1 was fantastic. I even enjoyed watching seasons 2 and 3 on DVD. Unfortunately most of its original audience lost interest by season 2 due to lack of creativity, among other criticisms. Though the outlook for a potential season 5 looks bleak, Greg Grunberg (Heroes’ Matt Parkman) is very confident that the show will get renewed. “We wrapped yesterday and the [final episode] is nowhere near a series finale. It is cliffhanger-y and exciting, but it is nowhere near an end to a series that people are so invested in. It does not tie everything up in a neat bow… I don’t have any doubt that the show will be back.” He adds, “We will wrap it up properly in the next season and get to 100 episodes. At least that’s what I would like to see happen. They take so much care in writing the show that I would hope we get the chance to end it right. Lost announced an end [date] and I think that helped both the people working on the show and the people watching it. They see the finish line and I think it gives them something tangible to invest in and be excited about. It’s like it’s a movie and they want to see the end of it. That’s what I hope happens with our show.” Heroes is one of two “DVD shows” for me. I watch every season on DVD when it comes out. It’s the DVD sales and the international popularity of the show that keep it alive, so we will wait and see how it all plays out soon.
Heroes airs its season finale February 8 on NBC.
FlashForward’s long hiatus has just gotten a little longer. Its return is being moved from March 4 to March 18 so that it does not have to compete with TV juggernaut American Idol. When it does return it will air back-to-back episodes in a two hour event. It will run straight to its finale on May 27 with new episodes every week. Note that the finale will also be two hours in length. And we are all looking forward to the April 29 episode, aren’t we?
FlashForward returns March 18 on ABC.
As we all start getting pumped for 24 season 8 to begin, talk about a potential season 9 is already making waves. Keifer Sutherland (24′s Jack Bauer) told reporters that he is “absolutely open” to making another season if the fans want it. Sutherland: “I’ve always said that as long as people wanted us to make it , and people were really interested in watching it, I would be interested. There are a lot of components involved. Right now my focus is on finishing season 8.” FOX’s Reilly: “Collectively, we just made a decision to launch the season [first] and then sit down in the next four to six weeks. But my sense is Kiefer will want to keep it going.” Executive producer Howard Gordon: “The way I’ve looked at it is that every single season [finale] could have been a series ender. We just want to take it across the line credibly and then let the [other part] take care of itself. As long as Jack’s not dead, anything is possible.” Hell yeah! Sounds like season 9 is a definite possibility. And don’t forget a 24 movie is in the works after the show ends.
24, Day 8 premieres Sunday, January 17 on FOX.
As for the future of V…no one knows yet. ABC’s McPherson was not keen on running such a short first “pod” of episodes this past fall, but due to production issues the show was forced to limit itself to four initial episodes. ABC plans on airing uninterrupted episodes of V starting in March which will run to its finale in May so that they can “turn [it] into an event.” As long as there’s more Ana, I’m hooked!
V returns March 30 on ABC.
Check back here for the latest news in popular network TV series; I’ll make sure to update when they are renewed or cancelled and when their premieres and finales are televised.
Comic Con: Day Two was jam-packed with great stuff. Let’s get right to it…
10:30AM-11:30AM – Meet The Guild Panel (Room 5AB)
The Guild is a very funny and highly inventive web series created by Dr. Horrible’s Felicia Day. The panel opened with a Guild music video directed by Jed Whedon. It was great; it actually made nerds (or people who play World of Warcraft) seems very, very cool. The music video will be available as a free download on Xbox Live in August. After the music video played, the entire Guild cast came onto the stage, that is, Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, Jeff Lewis, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, and Vincent Caso. To everyone’s surprise, the cast came out wearing detailed costumes of the characters they play in the show. After a quick introduction, series director Sean Becker unveiled the first episode of Season 3 of The Guild. It was freaking hilarious! It’s great to see The Guild back in action. In the final scene, Star Trek: TNG actor Wil Weaton made a surprise cameo as the leader of a nemesis guild. After the episode, Wil Weaton joined the cast on stage. There was a breif Q&A and then the guild dispersed. Season 3 looks to be the best one yet. If you haven’t heard of The Guild, check out their website (www.watchtheguild.com) or download the first two seasons for free on Xbox Live. It’s great for WoW fans and non-fans alike.
11:45AM-12:45PM – FlashForward Panel (Room 6A)
One word: AMAZING. FlashForward, known to many as “the next Lost” is going to rock everyone’s world this September on ABC. The premise is simple yet compelling: The world wakes up to what seems like a totally normal day. While everyone is going about their business, something strange happens. Every single person on Earth falls unconscious and blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During this period of time, everyone sees a flash of their own personal futures, six months into the future to be precise. Some people’s future are dark and sad, some are happy and funny, and some people have no future at all. During this short period of blackout, something unknown attacks cities all around the world creating blazing fires and explosions all over the place. Many people are injured and killed during this time. At the panel we were shown three scenes from the premiere episode, as well as a trailer covering where the series plans to take us. This footage is Comic Con exclusive and has never been seen before. The main character of the show is played by Joseph Fiennes, an FBI agent who has the most interesting flash forward of them all: he sees clues (undefined and currently meaningless) as to what may have happened on that fateful day, thus leading me to believe that there is some sort of over-arching conspiracy theory to the cataclysmic turn of events. His partner is played by Star Trek’s (and yes, Harold and Kumar’s) John Cho. Also joining these two cast members on the panel were actors Christine Woods and Courtney B. Vance, and executive producers and writers Brannon Braga, Marc Guggenheim, and David S. Goyer. While they did not reveal any spoilers, they did give us some information to ponder. The writers already have an end game to the series; they know exactly where it is going and how it will finalize. They say it could take as short as three seasons or as long as five seasons to tell the entire story. Of course, all of this will depend on ratings and viewer reactions. It was revealed (after being long rumored) that Lost’s Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) will be joining fellow Lost alum (Sonya Walger, who played Penny) as an important character in the show. He turned out to be a surprise guest and he joined the panel with the others. From the three scenes I watched during the panel, I can tell you that this new show has major potential to be huge hit this fall. As sad and depressing it is that Lost will be airing its final season this year, it is equally uplifting and exciting that such a great new show will be taking its slot on ABC this television season. The season premiere airs on September 24; don’t miss it.
1:00PM-2:00PM – The Big Bang Theory Panel (Ballroom 20)
TBBT panel was exciting for all fans of the brilliantly humorous show made for geeks and non-geeks alike. The panel included executive producers Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, and all main cast members including Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons (Emmy-nominated), Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, and the beauiful Kaley Cuoco. After a comedic reel of season two highlights, the panel took questions for the audience. Not much was revealed about the current plot for the new season. It was confirmed that Jim’s Sheldon will not have a girlfriend in the foreseeable future. Very funny and entertaining panel.
2:15PM-3:00PM – 24 Panel (Ballroom 20)
Day 8 here we come. 24 has survived on air for a magnificent seven seasons, and season 8 looks to be yet another exciting and pulse-pounding adventure for Jack Bauer and company. The panel included Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chole O’Brien), new cast members Freddie Prince Jr., Battlestar Galactica’s beautiful Kattie Sackoff, and Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor, showrunner Howard Gordon, other executive producers, and composer Sean Callery. I watched an exclusive, never-before-scene clip of the first episode of season 8. Jack is back and better than ever. Season 8 starts off shortly after last season’s cliffhanger. Jack is healthy, thanks to his daughter Kim, and he is in a current state of restfulness (quite a change from last season). While not much was divulged about the upcoming season, some tidbits of information was leaked out. The over-arching theme of this season is “peace.” The season starts out with a peace-making event in the UN between the President of the U.S., (still Alison Taylor) and the leader of Iran. There will be an assassination attempt at this event, and that is where the action beings and when the blood starts pumping. There will be tons of crazy explosions and things blowing up (duh!). Elisha Cuthbert will return as Jack’s daughter, Freddie Prince Jr. will play Cole Ortiz, Kattie Sackoff will play Ortiz’s love interest, and Anil Kappor will play the representative from Iran. This season of 24 will take place in a new location–New York City. The main ensemble will be working in a brand new (and re-instituted) CTU, which by the way looks so awesome! Kiefer made it clear that this season will truly bring things full circle, back to season one. Everything that has happened in Jack’s life thus far will culminate in this season. He also mentioned that a 24 movie is something he and the staff have thought about as a future franchise for the 24 universe. Look forward to a reinvented 24, coming in January 2010.
4:00PM-5:00PM – Dollhouse Panel (Ballroom 20)
Creative genius Joss Whedon presented the unaired episode thirteen of Fox’s Dollhouse titled “Epitaph One.” It starred Felicia Day and show star Eliza Dushku. It was awesome. For those of you who have yet to see season one, do yourself a favor and purchase the season one DVD which includes the unaired episode. The panel included Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, and special guests (other cast members) Fran Kranz and Dichan Lachman. Joss is a very funny man and an ingenious visionary. His latest creation Dollhouse will enter its second season this fall, picking up right from where it left off in last season’s finale. On the brink of cancellation, Fox decided to keep Dollhouse and give it another shot for better rating with a second season. Thank goodness for that. He has many surprises and twists ahead hidden away in mind. He says the show will take a new direction in season two that will continue the same story from season one but will also shed new light on the characters and relationships. Let it be known: Eliza Dushku is smoking hot in person. Just take a look for yourself in the gallery below.
All in all, Day Two was a great one. So many new shows to look forward to, and so many classics making bold returns. Tomorrow: the final Lost panel, among others! Enjoy the image galleries here as you await my reporting from my final day at Comic Con. Cheers.