Fox showed little faith in the intriguing drama that followed a crew of astronauts haunted by a malfunctioning VR system and a bit of space madness. After ordering several changes to the show in order to make it more "mainstream," the network scrapped plans for a full series and dumped the premiere on a random Friday night last June with little promotion.
Needless to say, nobody watched.
- At 8, ABC has a new Surviving Suburbia, followed by a new episode of The Goode Family.
- FOX has the two-hour Virtuality movie at 8.
- NBC has a new episode of The Chopping Block at 8, then a new, two-hour Dateline.
- PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, followed by new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
- MyNetwork TV has a new Smackdown! at 8.
- At 9, Animal Planet has a new Whale Wars.
- Travel Channel has two new episodes of Ghost Adventures at 9.
- At 10, E! has a new episode of The Soup.
- HBO has a new Real Time with Bill Maher at 10.
Check your local TV listings for more.
After the jump, the late night talk shows.
The concept is solid. It's about a group of 12 space travellers (each of whom could be mistaken for an underwear model) who are on Earth's first interstellar spacecraft, the Phaeton. Earth has become all but unlivable and they are traveling to a nearby star for ten years (five there, five back) and try to save the planet.
Frankly, the show should have been taken by SyFy considering how much marketing effort they gave to Battlestar Galactica. On the other hand, they already have Caprica coming up (which undoubtedly will get more respect than Fox will give Virtuality) so they might consider that single show to be "Moore" than enough.
You'd think, given how the relaunch of Battlestar Galactica renewed interest in mature, complex science fiction that Fox would have more faith in the series. They were probably looking for something akin to 24 and all they got was a bunch of crew members playing video games on a long space mission.
On the other hand, the show could legitimately suck. I would tend to doubt it as I've always liked Moore's work on the Star Trek franchise and certainly BSG. Caprica wasn't as good as I'd hoped, but it's only the pilot.
In order for Virtuality to have any chance of survival than all it has to do is get good ratings on a Fox Friday night during the summer. Yeah, good luck with that.
Our pals at Airlock Alpha recently gave us hope about the series getting be picked up. This weekend, they pointed us to a blog post by Doug Drexler, the CG supervisor for the Virtuality pilot. Here's what Drexler posted:
Fox reportedly ordered a bunch of changes to the show last December, hoping to make it more of a mainstream drama. Now, some folks, like our buddies at Airlock Alpha, seemed convinced that airing the pilot on July 4 is a sign that Fox has already given up on Virtuality.
On Inseparable, Yoba and Kole will play detectives: Yoba, an officer who works with the main character but is unaware of his condition; Kole, a young officer ready to move on up.
Erik Jensen, Jose Pablo Cantillo, and Clea DuVall were added to Fox's two-hour pilot Virtuality. The show is set on the Phaeton, a starship exploring other solar systems. Jensen of The Bronx is Burning will play the ship's navigator. Cantillo of Standoff will play a mathematician. And DuVall, who was in Heroes and starred in Carnivale, will play Jensen's co-pilot.
What do you think of these new pilots?
According to the interview with Ron Moore that Brad wrote about, Virtuality is scheduled to start shooting in July. That's like, soon. So a leading man would be a fantastic thing to have. Here comes Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to the rescue. The former star of New Amsterdam is staying with Fox to take the lead in the two-hour pilot. If any crazed fan groups were whittling away at some old-world furniture to send in to the network to save New Amsterdam, they can stop now.
Virtuality tells the tale of Earth's first starship, making its way on a ten year journey to a distant solar system, where no man has gone before... To pass the time during the trip they go into virtual reality machines, assuming different identities and having whatever adventures they choose. That's what we know so far, but I'm assuming that somewhere along the lines something goes drastically wrong so we have some real world conflicts that can't just be switched off. Moore wrote the script with his Galactica pal Michael Taylor and Peter Berg is slated to direct.
Wired Magazine has posted online an interesting interview with Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron D. Moore. In it he discusses several topics such as his philosophies behind the Battlestar Galactica relaunch and its prequel series Caprica and his new Fox show Virtuality, his work on the Star Trek franchise as well as his personal history and religious beliefs.
In the interview, Moore confesses that he was both jock and nerd. He went to a California high school in a town that was so small, he was a quarterback for the football team yet watched the original Star Trek. Or maybe he just simply didn't believe in such labels.
He also discusses dealing with online fans, stated best in this quote: "oh really, they don't like it when we do that? Well that's what were doing. We kind of go the other way. Oh, that'll piss them off? Well let's really piss them off. This'll really piss them off, that'll drive them insane. They'll say, oh, there's this guy who really hates the show, and all he talks about is how much he hates Starbuck. Oh, yeah? OK. Let's do a Starbuck episode."
It's a very good interview. Recommended.
Things are looking good for Ronald D. Moore as Battlestar Galactica wraps up its run on SciFi. Brad already posted about the new show for Fox, Virtuality. Now comes word that the former Star Trek scribe has a new deal with United Artists. It seems Tom Cruise has tasked Moore with creating an original sci-fi trilogy. Feel free to insert your own Scientology joke here.
Details of the trilogy are, quite obviously, scarce at this point. That being said, if you want to go out and make a big budget sci-fi epic, having Tom Cruise on board is a great first step. It means this thing has a solid chance of actually coming to fruition. And while I'm not the biggest Tom Cruise fan, I'm on board to give anything Moore pens a shot.
The premise involves a crew of a starship going on a 10-year journey to a distant solar system. To occupy themselves during they trip, they go into virtual reality machines to assume whatever identities and adventures they want. In short, it's the holodeck. If Moore continues his current trend, it will probably be more mature holodeck scenarios then we ever saw in the Star Trek franchise.
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