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Sci-Fi Cancellation Watch: What’s Alive, What’s Dead, And What’s Brand New

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upfronts-2014The five major broadcast networks are set to deliver their “upfronts” in New York this week, an annual event where the networks get to show off their new fall and mid-season series to advertisers and press. We get to find out which shows will survive another season, which won’t, and what new things we’ll be watching later this year. And because we here at GFR love making your life easier, we’ve broken down the genre-related canceled/renewed/brand new announcements by network. If you need a sign to protest the death of Almost Human, you can have some of our posterboard.

While GFR’s primary focus is on science fiction, we’re including news about a few noteworthy shows that don’t fit within that genre, but which will likely be of interest to many of you. Let’s get to it!

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The Flash And iZombie Each Get A New Teaser Poster

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The FlashThe end of the 2013/2014 television season is drawing to a close, and there has already been lots of news. We’ve already received word that a number of genre show shave gotten the axe from their various networks. So far Almost Human, Revolution, Believe, Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People, and Community have all fallen to low ratings and vindictive executives—we like to imagine them as twisted, shriveled little monsters giggling maniacally as they send sci-fi shows to their graves. It hasn’t all been bad news, however. The CW did renew The 100, so there’s that, and the network also ordered The Flash and iZombie, both DC Comics titles, to series starting this fall. To mark the occasion, the they’ve released a new poster for each show.

It isn’t too much of a surprise that The Flash got picked up. One, it’s based on a classic comic, and it can’t be much worse than the short-lived 1990 television series. For some reason I really liked it, but even 13-year-old me would never have argued that it was good. Secondly, it’s framed as a spin off of the CW’s hit Arrow, an adaptation of DC’s Green Arrow title and character. The protagonist, played by Grant Gustin, was introduced on a multi-episode arc on that show, with generally positive reactions.

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The CW Renews The 100, Adds Two More, And Cancels A Few

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The 100Weirdly enough, it’s been The CW—you know, the melodrama-heavy, teen-centric network—that has been holding it down lately on the science fiction front lately. The results have been mixed, but you have to give them points for trying. Syfy is about to have an original content renaissance, but until then, we’ll take our regular programming where we can get it. Now that we’ve reached the latter stages of the current TV season, networks are thinning the herd, but they’re also announcing new shows for next year. In that spirit, the CW has trimmed a few genre shows, but they’ve also added a couple that we’re interested in checking out.

Let’s start with the current slate of programs. The futuristic Lord of the Flies-inspired drama The 100 will be back for another season. We’re pretty psyched about this one, despite some initial misgivings. When nuclear war renders the surface of the Earth uninhabitable, the human race jumps ship, living in a cobbled-together space station called the Ark. After nearly a century, and multiple generations, they’re digs are falling apart and space is getting tight. In order to see if people can return to our ancestral home, they send down 100 imprisoned juvenile delinquents to test it out, like canaries in a sketchy old mineshaft.

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iZombie Casts Rose McIver As Series Lead

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iZombie Lives!With the popularity of zombies across pop culture at the moment, it’s no wonder that The CW is getting in on the game with the upcoming series iZombie. Based on the popular comic book of the same name from Vertigo Comics, iZombie is being brought to life by writer/producer Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

As reported on ScreenCrush, Warner Bros. and The CW cast Rose McIver as Olivia “Liv” Moore for the show’s lead. McIver’s character is a med student who turns into a zombie, then takes a job in a coroner’s office to gain access to brains, so she can maintain her humanity and sanity. In the comic book series, the protagonist’s name is Gwendolyn “Gwen” Price. She is playing the same character, but they changed her name for some reason.

Rose McIver has a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, and also appeared on ABC’s Once Upon a Time as Tinker Bell. The New Zealand-born McIver had a main role as Summer Landsdown on Power Rangers RPM back in 2009. She also made a guest appearance on the syndicated fantasy TV show Legend of the Seeker. McIver’s movie roles include The Lovely Bones, The Piano, and Brightest Star.

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iZombie Pilot Digs Up Three New Cast Members

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IzomWith zombies overtaking vampires as pop culture’s favorite monster of the moment, Hollywood is racing to grab up new zombie properties after the success of The Walking Dead. Just throw in a young adult angle and you’ve got the recipe for success. The CW recently ordered a pilot based on iZombie, a popular comic book series from Vertigo Comics, and now it looks like the pilot has found its cast.

According to Deadline, writer/producer Rob Thomas has cast Malcolm Goodwin, David Anders, and Alexandra Krosney for the iZombie pilot. The show would center on Gwendolyn “Gwen” Price, a med student who turns into a zombie, then takes a job in a coroner’s office to gain access to brains, so she can maintain her humanity and sanity.

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The CW Orders iZOMBIE Pilot From Veronica Mars Creator Rob Thomas

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izombieIf creators could get royalties from other people who follow in their footsteps, The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman would be in the running for the richest man in the galaxy. Not only did his landmark comic series usher in a new wave of indie horror comics, but its transfer to the small screen for A&E has turned “the zombie” into one of the most ubiquitous characters in fiction. One of the latest examples of this phe-zom-enon (a term I’m going to copyright) is Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas’ take on the popular DC/Vertigo comic iZOMBIE, which ended its run last August. News of the adaptation came out a few months ago, and now the CW is confirming that Thomas’ vision is obviously top quality, as they’ve confirmed a pilot order.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean the network will want a full season, but the CW has been snatching up all kinds of genre properties that they can stick a beautiful cast into, which I think is a contract thing. And while iZOMBIE will no doubt feature loads of corpses, its central characters could easily be portrayed by good-looking youths who aren’t afraid to act a little wild.