SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 84 – Our Interview with Kevin Sorbo
from Andromeda and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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The Podcast Listener Awards
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On the menu tonight:
- Interview with Kevin Sorbo
- A final chance to win $100 Thinkgeek Gift Certificate by answering our Caprica Trivia question.
- New Superman Trivia
- Our Listener Question
- Podcast Awards
- is This Fringe’s Last Season?
- Caprica DVDs are a coming
- The Event Relaunches in January
- Smallville Surprises; Supernatural Sputters
- Hulk is coming BACK to TV
- The Cape has a new trailer, and it looks Friggen AWESOME
- A bit on Blood and Chrome
- Human Target Begins
- Pirates of the Carribean 4 Teases us
- Wolverine gets Titled and rebooted?
- Harrison Ford Thinks Hans Solo Should have died
- A Green Lantern Clip
- 10 Green SciFi Movies
- Twist: First Look: The Edge from the Starfleet Academy Book Series
Past Week’s Trivia: In Caprica, Daniel Greystone the term Cylon is a acronym for what?
Answer: Cybernetics Life-form Node
Prize: $100 gift card.
Winner: Margaret Konczal
New Trivia this week:
Question: What does actor Michael Ironside and Superman have in common?
Answer is a two-part answer. When you respond, you must include the code word which we give in the show.
Prize: A signed Kevin Sorbo Andromeda Print
You will have until November 30th to answer this question. Send your answer with your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 18885084343, or DM us on Twitter at @scifidiner. Make sure you include the code word mentioned in the first 15 minutes of the podcast! You can find the episode here.
The Main Course:
Why we love Fringe—and why this could be its last season Miles: “Say it ain’t so!”
You’ve got to love a television show that throws caution to the wind and takes an enormous risk. Fox’s Fringe did just that this season when it split apart its storytelling by stranding its main character in an alternate universe and didn’t look back.
Suddenly in every episode we had two of everything (well, almost everything), with two compelling universes vying for our attention as Anna Torv’s Olivia found herself trapped “Over There” and then brainwashed, while Fauxlivia (or Bolivia or not our Olivia) worked against the “Over Here” Fringe gang and made time with Peter (Joshua Jackson).
“We love imagining that in the alternate universe there’s a show called Fringe, or there was for a couple years a show called Fringe, that was about this team of Lincoln, Charlie and Bolivia,” said executive producer Joel Wyman. “And exploring that other aspect of her life has been great for us. Again, in the stories we tell, choices and a life not lived, it’s really great to see this other Olivia’s life, because it tells us so much about ours. About the life our Olivia is living. And then all of the doppelgangers play are based on the choices that have been made or different life experiences, but for alt-Astrid. Alt-Astrid is an instance where she’s different genetically. Everybody else is identical genetically; they’re just different based on nurture.”
“We’re world-building, and it’s at a point where we can explore different pockets of the world and find great satisfaction,” added executive producer Jeff Pinkner.
That excitement the producers express shows through as the series takes turns visiting one storyline and then the other, dragging us into each universe with complete commitment. Fringe hasn’t just become one of the best SCI-FI television shows on the air … it’s one of the best television shows this season, period. And yet, fewer and fewer people are watching.
What’s the lowest-rated Fox series this fall? That’d be the soon-to-be-canceled The Good Guys on Fridays. However, Fringe isn’t doing much better. Last week, in a ratings low, the show couldn’t even manage 5 million viewers and had a 1.8/5 in adults 18-49. The important number to advertisers, by the way, is that 1.8 and those 18-49 viewers.
There’s been some speculation on the net that ratings aren’t as important for Fringe, and that it follows the path of another fan favorite. “I know it would be foolish to think Fringe is a shoo-in to be renewed, but I don’t think it’s crazy to think it might be renewed,” commented Brian on tvbythenumbers.com. “When it comes to ratings and renewals, Fringe might be Fox’s version of Chuck!”
The problem with that thinking is that NBC’s Chuck has a season average of 1.94 A18-49 and has been very steady in the ratings all season. Fringe’s ratings have been falling this season, and last week hit its lowest rating yet. (Thank you, baseball!)
Fox has been willing to accept Fringe’s low ratings because it’s on during one of the toughest time periods on television at 9 p.m. on Thursdays and up against CSI and Grey’s Anatomy. But Fringe’s viewership has fallen from an average 9.96 million total viewers on Tuesdays in season one to 7.34 million total viewers in its present timeslot last season, and now we’re down to a 4.804. You might theorize it was just a bad week, after being pre-empted for baseball’s World Series. However, with Fringe at its most serialized and with its gruesome-murder-of-the-week quotient less noticeable, will people come back?
Fringe is competing with Fox’s Lie To Me as Fox’s most significant “bubble show” with a likelihood of cancellation. The network ordered 22 episodes this season, and our best guess is that we’ll see all of the show’s third season. But, honestly, this series is not helping Fox’s bottom line.
We love Fringe. We love all things Walter and Walternate, Olivia and Fauxlivia, Peter and the Astrids and the Broyles and Charlie and Lincoln. We haven’t even really noticed the missing Observers or the gore level moving down a notch. The show’s daring direction thrills us. This is the kind of storytelling other television shows should aspire to.
But if there is any more erosion in Fringe’s viewership, Fox will be forced to cancel (and rightfully so) one of the best series on television. Fox is a business, and it’s already been forced this season to cancel Lone Star, which was a critical success and a ratings bust.
We’re hoping that if things get worse, the network will give Fringe one last chance on Fridays or Mondays, which either will once and for all kill it or perhaps give this amazing series one final shot at finding the audience and keeping it deserves.
Why do you think Fox should or shouldn’t cancel Fringe? Do you care?
Caprica DVD News – c/o Cliff G.
Hey guys I was just looking up Caprica on Wikipedia and it said that the remaining unseen Caprica episodes were going to be released on DVD in December. Hopefully in a complete series boxed set.
“The Event” Will Relaunch In February
NBC recently gave a full season pick-up to its freshman drama, “The Event” and now the network is looking to bring in more viewers.
Ratings haven’t been spectacular for the new show and NBC wants to give the show a chance to build a new audience. In order to do that, they’ll relaunch the show in January. The series will wrap up its first 13 episodes in December and then look to relaunch things in January.
Part of that will be a one-hour recap to bring viewers up to speed. Then, the second half of the season will start, actor Bill Smitrovich tells EW.
We will finish up with our first 13 and then there be a break, and then we’ll come back with a one-hour compilation clip show of the first 13 so everybody can catch up with story,” says Smitrovich, who plays Vice President Raymond Jarvis. “I hope that will spark another increase in the audience.”
“Ratings are one of the variables that we don’t have control over,” said Blair Underwood (President Elias Martinez) at a recent SAG panel on the show. “There is the crossfire competition from Dancing With the Stars, football, and the No. 1 comedy Two and A Half Men. Then, this is the type of genre show like 24 and Lost where viewership always picks up in the second season because people go back and watch during the summer or get the DVD. That builds an audience. And this show was sold in 200 international markets before it premiered here so there is incentive to keep the show going. We are in a good place.”
‘Smallville’ Soars High, ‘Supernatural’ Sputters Superman series earns best ratings in a long, long time
Teri Hatcher still has her magical touch when it comes to Clark Kent and the Superman franchise.
The former “Lois & Clark” and current “Desperate Housewives” star let her guest stint on Friday lead “Smallville” to its best audience since February, and definitely its highest numbers of the season. “Smallville” earned a 1.8 rating/3 share, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co.
That audience was up more than 12 percent from the previous week, and beat its season average by the same percentage. The last time “Smallville” came close to these numbers was on Feb. 5 when the second part of a two-hour special earned a 1.9/3. The show wouldn’t top a 1.6 household rating the rest of the season.
However, that success didn’t spill over into “Smallville’s” lead-out program on The CW’s Friday night. “Supernatural,” which last season was outpacing “Smallville” as a Thursday lead-out to “Vampire Diaries,” actually went the other direction from “Smallville,” hitting a series low. The show, starring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, earned just a 1.3/2. That’s 13 percent below its average this season, but has been part of an overall downward trend for the series which has not hit its 1.5 household rating average since Oct. 15.
On average, “Supernatural” is losing 6 percent from its “Smallville” lead-in audience, but this past week, it actually lost nearly 28 percent of that audience.
That puts “Supernatural” in the middle of the pack at The CW in terms of ratings, tied with “90210.” It doesn’t necessarily put the show on the bubble, but if there is not a ratings rebound soon — especially compared to a show that is ending its run as a lead-in — there could be trouble for the Winchester Brothers, and it won’t have anything to do with demons. Well, that depends on how you view network executives.
On Fox, the World Series hangover recovery didn’t materialize. “Fringe,” which has really been struggling all season, hit a new low with a 2.9/5, following its previous series low of a 3.0/5 just the week before.
“Fringe” is losing more than 9 percent of its audience compared to its already low average, but it might not be the show’s fault. “Bones,” its lead-in, also has been losing audience the past two weeks, its most recent outing of a 5.4/9 off more than 5 percent from its average.
Both shows are finding themselves hitting the CBS brick wall with “Big Bang Theory” at 8 and “CSI” at 9 staying consistent with its numbers, while the new William Shatner show “$#*! My Dad Says” has stayed real close to its 6.5/11 average, which is making it one of the top new shows of the season.
Top Genre Shows, Week of Nov. 7 — [Audience Loyalty Index rating]
|1. (-)||No Ordinary Family (ABC)||4.9/8||[80.4]|
|2. (-)||The Event (NBC)||3.6/5||[67.0]|
|3. (2)||Fringe (Fox)||2.9/5||[91.0]|
|4. (3)||Vampire Diaries (CW)||2.1/3||[94.9]|
|5. (4)||Smallville (CW)||1.8/3||[89.6]|
|6. (5)||Supernatural (CW)||1.3/2||[86.0]|
Fast Nationals usually provide a snapshot of what Americans are watching by pulling numbers from the top urban markets that include both live viewing and same-day timeshifted viewing. A rating point generally represents more than 1.1 million households while the share indicates the percentage of televisions turned on that was tuned to the specific program. These numbers typically shift when final ratings are issued.
Data collected from The Nielsen Co., as distributed by Zap2it. BlipNetwork tracks non-news, non-event programming, and figures for this story reflect airing of new episodes only. For more information on the Audience Loyalty Index, click here.
del Toro and Battlestar producer reimagining The Hulk for TV
As part of Marvel’s big push onto the small screen, the Hellboy director and the Battlestar Galactica producer are teaming up to bring the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant to ABC in the fall of 2012.
This new Hulk series will be likely be an origin story, featuring an energized, twentysomething Bruce Banner. And while the various movie Hulks were entirely CGI beasts, the series will use a mixture of prosthetics, puppetry and CGI to realize Banner’s alter ago, the design of which will be overseen by Del Toro. The two men will develop the pilot episode’s story together, with Eick doing the scripting and Del Toro directing—if he’s free from his other 94 commitments.
“I have always been attracted [by] the combination of comic-book heroics and monsters, Jack Kirby’s Demon or Kamandi or DC’s Deadman or Marvel’s Dr. Strange, Morbius, Metamorpho, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, etc,” said Del Toro, who tried to get The Hulk up and running as a feature almost a decade ago but focused on Blade II instead.
The Hulk would most likely premiere in fall 2012, on the heels of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. If there’s anyone in geekdom who knows the inner workings of the misunderstood monster, it’s Del Toro.
Batman Heading Back to the Small Screen? C/O Slice of ScIfI
It’s a big day for superheroes returning to television.
Earlier we brought you news that ABC is developing a new live-action version of the Hulk for the fall of 2012.
Now it looks the Green Goliath could face competition from the Dark Knight.
Warner Brothers is reportedly pursuing a new weekly television version of Batman. Based on the success of reinventing Superman via “Smallville” and Sherlock Holmes on the recent BBC production, Warner Brothers wants to bring Batman back to our screens.
According to reports, the Dark Knight would come back to TV following the mold of the Christopher Nolan films. The show wouldn’t be set in the same universe as the Nolan films (meaning it will be a reboot) but would follow the same dark, gritty, grounded model of the Nolan films.
And that means we could see the Joker back. Warner reportedly wants the Clown Prince of Crime back as part of the show. With a reboot series, the show could give us a new Joker who wouldn’t be the same one played by the late Heath Ledger on the silver screen.
Warner reportedly has a high-ranking show runner developing the project. While we don’t have a name yet, the talent is linked to shows like “The West Wing,” “Friends” and “Two and a Half Men.”
Also, studio execs have reportedly targeted Karl Urban (best known for his role as Dr. McCoy in the “Star Trek” reboot) for the lead role as Bruce Wayne aka Batman.
Of course, all of this is just a rumor right now. All or none of it could change as details and official word gets out. But do you think it sounds interesting and would you like to see a weekly Batman show back on our screens?
The Cape trailer: Hunted superhero, Summer Glau (yes!) and more
NBC just announced a premiere date—and released a full-length trailer—for The Cape, its series about a framed cop who dresses like his son’s favorite comic-book superhero to fight crime. And unlike other recent superhero shows, this one has that extra-special sci-fi essential ingredient we love to see—Summer Glau!
Check out the trailer in the show notes, and let us know what you think. The Cape will premiere with a two-hour episode on Sunday, Jan. 9.
Blood and Chrome
Nico Cortez just won the endorsement of Edward James Olmos for the new BSG series, according to Crave Online
|Len Wein (@LenWein)
Only a week till the return of HUMAN TARGET on Fox, Wednesdays at 8PM. We promise even more major butt-kicking than last season. Tune in.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides that will be released on May 20th, Captain Jack Sparrow meets a woman from his past (Cruz), and he is not sure if it is love, or if she is just using him for finding the Fountain of Youth. She forces him aboard the ship of the horrible pirate Blackbeard named “Queen Anne’s Revenge”, and on this trip Jack faces an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know who to fear more: Blackbeard or this woman. Below you will find the first teaser poster for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides that will be open in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters on May 20.
Harrison Ford: Han Solo ‘should have died’ in Return of the Jedi
It doesn’t matter what movie Harrison Ford is promoting—the interviewers always bring the conversation around to Star Wars, hitting him with questions that he answers reluctantly. And we don’t usually hear anything new anyway. But in a recent interview, Ford revealed that if he’d had his way, the character that made him famous … would have been killed.
Speaking with ABC News about his new movie Morning Glory, Ford was asked why there were no new Star Wars films featuring Han Solo, and he explained that not only was there no reason for the character to return, but also:
“As a character he was not so interesting to me. I thought he should have died in the last one, just to give it some bottom. George [Lucas] didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”
First Green Lantern Movie Footage: What’s Your Take?
This TV promo for a TV promo makes the upcoming Green Lantern movie look like some kind of goofy romantic comedy with some cheesy special effects thrown in. But bear in mind: The short clip was made to promote Tuesday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight, which will show off even more of the movie.
It’s early footage that will undoubtedly get polished prior to the movie’s June 2011 release — and there’s still time for them to kill Ryan Reynolds‘ ridiculous “I know, right?” line when he shows off his CGI superhero suit — but it’s a long way from the dark tone of The Dark Knight, the most successful DC Comics movie ever. It’s also not what you might expect from a production Badass Digest called the “biggest, most epic, most sweeping, most cosmic superhero film yet.”
Still, the lightweight first look isn’t too surprising, since director Martin Campbell is on the record saying the movie will be closer to Iron Man than Batman Begins. “The tone is light,” Campbell told MTV News. “It has a lot of humor, but I think the relationships between all the characters are very real. We try to keep the action very real.” At least Kilowog looks undeniably cool.
What do you think about this first glimpse at Green Lantern?
10 green sci-fi movies in which we learned how to live with less
The future might not be full of laser pistols, galactic rebellions and sexbots. Decades, if not centuries, of pollution, overpopulation and the exhaustion of natural resources could leave mankind with hard problems, and even harder solutions.
Take part in NBC Universal’s Green Week by checking out these 10 classic sci-fi movies that show humanity running on empty.
THE ROAD WARRIOR
Running out of: Fuel
Solution: Scavenge. And kill, if need be.
We’re told in Road Warrior’s opening montage that after “two mighty warrior tribes went to war” the fuel stopped flowing. And then everyone slapped on as much leather as they could find, hopped into muscle cars and took to the open road to scrounge whatever gasoline they could get their hands on. Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Running out of: Air
Solution: Operation Vacu-Suck
In Mel Brooks’ somewhat thin Star Wars spoof, the planet Spaceball is running out of breathable air—so, naturally, its president plans to send a giant vacuum to siphon off the planet Druidia’s atmosphere. Yes, it’s actually as dumb as it sounds.
Running out of: Land
Solution: Find more land
In the distant, distant future—distant enough that humans, like Kevin Costner’s Mariner, have evolved gills—the ice caps have melted and the Earth is covered, pole to pole, by ocean. Pirates maraud while honest men just try to drink their filtered-urine water in peace. But the myth of a place called Dryland persists, and the Mariner must fend off Deacon and his motley pirate crew to ensure that a pair of female wanderers get there safely.
Running out of: Water
Solution: Defeat the super-corporation Water and Power
As Malcolm McDowell’s tycoon-despot Kesslee puts it, he who controls the water has all the power. And in a world that hasn’t seen a drop of rain in 11 years, Water and Power keeps the precious liquid under lock and key. Sounds like a revolution is very necessary, and lipsticked rapscallion Tank Girl (Lori Petty) and her band of outré outcasts are only happy to provide it.
Running out of: Food
Of course, the cannibalism isn’t overt. In fact, no one knows they’re doing it. You see, in 2022 the earth is barren, incapable of growing anything. No fruits, vegetables, livestock—and the teeming populace are starving. That’s where the Soylent Corporation comes in: They provide rations, even though no one knows what they’re made of. But New York City detective Ty Thorn (Charlton Heston) knows that something’s not quite right about the corporation’s newest product: Soylent Green. And uncovering the secret will bring him face to face with lots of death … perhaps even his own.
Running out of: Everything
Solution: Vastly shortened life spans
Life is good inside the great domed city. No one wants for anything, the scarred world outside is all but forgotten, and there’s an orgy around every corner. The only catch is that once a citizen hits 30 years of age, the light implanted in his or her palm at birth blinks red—and death is to follow shortly thereafter. It works like a charm, unless one decides to buck the system and become a Runner, hoping to find a life free from what amount to ritual sacrifice.
Running out of: Sunlight
Solution: Detonate a nuke in the sun
Everything has a beginning and an end, even stars. And in Danny Boyle’s outer-space pressure cooker, the sun is dying prematurely. And the last resort is a nigh-suicide run: A crew is sent to the center of the solar system, with a bomb the size of Manhattan, in hopes of detonating it and kickstarting the sun. How good are their chances of success? The spacecraft is named the Icarus II.
Running out of: Room
Solution: Terraform Mars
Rather than learn to curb our tendencies for ruining the planet while simultaneously overpopulating it, humanity is spreading into the cosmos. First stop: Mars, after seeding it with algae to get some oxygen into the atmosphere. Of course, nothing goes to plan—maybe the red planet wasn’t as empty as initially assumed.
CHILDREN OF MEN
Running out of: Humans
Solution: Find someone with functioning ovaries.
A world where everyone is infertile, and no one is having any babies, is a world devoid of hope. Until a man with nothing left to live for encounters a pregnant woman who needs his help. He must escort her through a Britain falling apart at the seams to a floating salvation.
STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME
Running out of: Whales
Solution: Travel back to the 20th century and hijack a pair. Duh.
Well, what would you do if an alien race were going to flay the Earth in order to find someone to respond to their whalesongs—even though humpback whales were nowhere to be found on the home planet of the Federation? If you’re Capt. James T. Kirk you take a stolen Klingon Bird of Prey, slingshot it around the sun and get into all kinds of adorable trouble in San Francisco while hijacking that pair of whales.
TWIST: This Week in Star Trek
First Look: The Edge from the Starfleet Academy Book Series
The new Starfleet Academy book series got off to a flying start earlier this month with The Delta Anomaly, and now StarTrek.com has a sneak peek of book two, The Edge, by Rudy Josephs. Check out the exclusive cover image, and heres some scoop about the story straight from Simon Spotlight:
In The Edge, Kirk finds out how much of a toll the intense training classes and grueling schedule of academy life is taking on all the cadets, including himself. But some recruits seem better equipped to handle the challenges. Is there something that is giving them an edge? Kirk is determined to find out, especially since one of the cadets with a little something extra is his new girlfriend.
Starfleet Academy: The Edge will be available on December 28. As with The Delta Anomaly, it will be released simultaneously in hardcover, paperback and e-book editions.
You can find out more about all of the Star Trek books from Simon & Schuster here.
Scifi Five In Five
The Top Five Guest Star You Want To Have Appear In Your Show.
1. Wil Weaton Big Bang
2. Robert Knepper – on SGU Robbert Knepper
3. Allison Mack on Riese: kingdom falling
4. Linda Hamilton Chuck
5. Terry Hatcher Smallville