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The SCI FI Channel unveiled a new slate of "alternative reality" programs that deal with psychic investigation, science-fact documentaries and a candid look at life on Mars. The reality series are all in development. A full list follows.
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Life on Mars. This weekly one-hour reality drama focuses on two colonies of a dozen people each who must struggle to survive in a simulated version of the planet Mars. USA Cable Entertainment will distribute this series, which is produced by Wall To Wall.
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Psychic Investigators. From the producers of The FBI Files and The New Detectives comes an investigative series that follows real-life criminal investigations in which a psychic conducts surveillance on a suspect or provides the key to solving a crime. New Dominion Pictures produces.
The SCI FI Channel announced a hefty development slate for the 2004-'05 season that includes a spinoff of the hit series Stargate SG-1, as well as several projects from top writers and producers. A full list of projects follows:
Dead Lawyers. DreamWorks Television (Steven Spielberg Presents Taken) produces this one-hour series, about hotshot defense attorney Jimmy Quinn, who is run over by a bus and finds himself in a law firm composed of unscrupulous lawyers who must return from the dead to redeem themselves by defending everyone they screwed when they were alive---probono! The Zanuck Company and DreamWorks Television executive produce. Christopher Murphey and Andy Lieberman came up with the story, with a script by Murphey. The series will be distributed by USA Cable Entertainment, a unit of Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which also owns SCI FI and SCIFI.COM.
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Suture Girl. Developed from the Gretchen Culver character in the Spawn comic-book series, this series centers on a former advertising executive who was murdered by a serial killer and finds herself stitched back to life and imbued with special powers by a mysterious gypsy woman. Suture becomes a voice for the oppressed and a court of last resort as she fights evil with the help of a handsome crusading lawyer. Alan McElroy (Spawn) wrote this backdoor pilot, which will be executive produced by Fireworks Entertainment and Edmonds Entertainment's Tracey E. Edmonds, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Sheila Ducksworth. Spawn creator Todd McFarlane will also serve as a producer.
The SCI FI Channel announced a new slate of upcoming action-oriented original movies that are set to premiere in 2003-'04. The films will air during the Channel's Saturday action-movie slot.
Since introducing Saturday action movies in 2002, the Channel has averaged a household rating of 1.4 for the original films. SCI FI is currently slated to air 22 originals in 2003 and will premiere approximately two per month. Previously announced projects include Man with the Screaming Brain and Earwigs (both starring Bruce Campbell), Epoch II, Graveland and Puppetmaster vs. Demonic Toys. All will premiere in 2003-'04. A list of the upcoming films follows.
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Dragon Storm. Maxwell Caulfield, John Rhys-Davies and Angel Borris star in this film, about alien dragons who arrive on medieval Earth in a meteor and threaten humankind, forcing two enemy kingdoms to join forces and fight off the alien dragon threat. The film recently completed production in Sofia, Bulgaria, from UFO Films.
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Ghost Monkey. A freelance photographer and an American investigator join forces to stop a man-eating monkeylike creature that goes on a killing spree throughout the streets of India. Filming begins in the spring with Promark Entertainment.
[Hmmmm, sounds like a Letterman skit to me.]
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Gargoyle. The evil wizard Calabos wants to take over the world with an army of living gargoyles, and only Marcus, a magician who possesses an enchanted ring, can stop him. Produced by Chesler Perlmutter.
The SCI FI Channel announced two new major original miniseries projects in development for 2004: a four-hour remake of the The Thing and a six-night event. The six-hour 6 Days 'til Sunday unfolds over six consecutive nights and tells the story of J.T. Neumeyer, who stumbles upon a mysterious briefcase foretelling his own gruesome murder in six days.
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The Thing re-envisions John Carpenter's 1982 feature film and its predecessor, 1951's The Thing from Another World, which is based in turn on John W. Campbell Jr.'s classic SF short story "Who Goes There?"
A "re-envisioning" of both versions of The Thing and what looks like a "rip-off" of The Ring (both versions)? Have they anything left to do worth doing?
I was laughing so hard at some of titles alone---forget about the summaries---that I couldn't believe they're serious. Are they?
Well, as I said in the "Stargate: Atlantis" thread, it's tough to find any science fiction in there. Most of these, I think, are just pilot presentations, so it's not like they'll all actually be seen (notice there's little if any casting mentioned).
It's worth noting that most of the series are X-Files wannabes, shows that don't require much in the way of elaborate sets or effects work and are set in the present day. (Remember that Boston Globe article, where Hammer wanted new shows "accessible"?)
There are not-terrible ideas in here - "Life On Mars" could be interesting (although they'll never simulate low gravity), and I must admit that Dead Lawyers may be fun if they come up with a good fantasy world/backstory, rather than just make The Guardian and just tell you that the main character is dead.
Jay's Movie Blog - A movie-viewing diary. Transplanted Life: Sci-fi soap opera about a man placed in a new body, updated two or three times a week. Trading Post Inn - Another gender-bending soap, with different collaborators writing different points of view.
There are not-terrible ideas in here - "Life On Mars" could be interesting . . .
I imagine they would do it with a bunch of twenty-somethings living together in a "house" on Mars, playing sex- and mind-games with each other---and the audience---every week, and waiting for audience votes as to who gets kicked out.
. . . as I said in the "Stargate: Atlantis" thread . . .
I seem to have missed that one.
LennyP wrote (post #3):
Wow, what a great lineup. I'm a fan of Sci-Fi and ALL of that looks worthy to watch for me.
Even with the accompanying "grinny", I'm not sure whether you're serious or not.
I honestly couldn't tell whether they were playing an April Fool's Day prank on the readers of the SciFi Wire Website, so I wanted to get others' opinions of it. Too bad they are apparently serious.