CW’s early renewals; ‘Vampire Academy’ movie; AMC steers a ‘Terror’; ‘Shrinking Man’ reboot
One of the most unwavering networks –beyond CBS- is The CW. The mini network and its stable of cult like genre shows have been able to sustain good ratings in the all-important 18-34 demographic, at times beating last place NBC. So far, for the 2012-13 TV season, they’ve only canceled one show, the medical drama Emily Owens, MD. Now, the network has announced early pick-ups of freshman superhero show Arrow, The Vampire Diaries (which is headed into season five, with a potential spin-off called The Originals may be added) and Supernatural –which heads into season nine, becoming the networks longest running show behind Smallville. Beauty and the Beast is also likely to be renewed as well. But other shows like 90210, Nakita, and The Carrie Diaries remain questionable network until the network heads can look over the upcoming pilots.
Independent distributor The Weinstein Company has made its first foray into the highly profitable young adult book market by picking up the domestic rights to Blood Sisters, the first film adaption based on the young adult novel series, Vampire Academy. Mean Girls director Mark Waters will helm the film (written by his brother Dan), which begins lensing this summer, and is scheduled to bow on Valentine’s Day, 2014, which is also a long weekend due to President’s Day. The books are about two vampires, played by Zooey Deutch and Lucy Fry, who attend a school designed to help vampires remain somewhat human as they mature. The two eventually team with a guardian -Danila Kozlovsky – and together, they must battle evil forces intent on harming them.
AMC has put into development a drama series based on Dan Simmons historical/supernatural epic The Terror to be executive produced by Scott Free TV, Television 360 and feature producer Alexandra Milchan. The novel is a fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic to force the Northwest Passage between 1845 and 1848. The crewmen of the Terror, and its sister ship, the Erebus, have been trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw when the novel begins. As the story moves, we learn that the real threat to their existence is not the ever changing, ever shifting arctic landscape, the victuals that are poisonous even before they’re opened, or even the slow destruction of the two ships caught in the grips of unforgivable ice. The real threat comes from the darkness of the winter nights, and from a supernatural creature that is stalking the crews one by one or whole groups, leaving bodies mangled or just plain missing. David Kajganich, who is also adapting Stephen King’s The Stand for the big screen, has written the adaptation of this novel as well.
Legendary author Richard Matheson will be teaming up with his writer son, Richard Matheson, Jr on a reboot of his The Incredible Shrinking Man for MGM. The 1957 original remains a classic science fiction film of the era, with the author saying that “My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.” There have been attmpts over the years at a reboot, but the closet they got was the 1981 Lily Tomlin comedic take, The Incredible Shrinking Woman. As of last year, MGM was considering Eddie Murphy for another comedic redo, but that never got off the ground.
The Doctor Who story Tomb of the Cybermen will be BBC America’s next episode they’ll air on February 24th. This second Doctor adventure was thought lost until 1991, when it was found -in all places, Hong Kong. Each month through November, BBC America will revisit a Who serial from the 10 previous incarnations of the Doctor. Alongside Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, the story stars Frazer Hines as the young highlander Jamie McCrimmon and Deborah Watling as the Victorian refugee Victoria Waterfield. It sees the TARDIS crew land on Telos, where members of an archaeological expedition are searching for the legendary tomb of the Cybermen.