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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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Cosmos Returns From The Dead (As Do Some Dead People): Today In Science & Science Fiction

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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Fox, 9/8c)
Tonight is a big night for resurrections. The most exciting of them is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a new incarnation of the beloved science program co-created and hosted by the late Carl Sagan three decades ago. This new version is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, an eloquent defender and champion of science who is as close to a successor for Sagan as we have right now. The show is also executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan. Seeing MacFarlane’s name in the credits might not be something you’d expect, but this isn’t the first time he’s used his Hollywood clout to help preserve and empower Sagan’s legacy.

When MacFarlane first began talking about resurrecting Cosmos with Druyan and Tyson, the Family Guy creator told Tyson, “I’m at a point in my career where I have some disposable income…and I’d like to spend it on something worthwhile.” And without him championing it, it seems unlikely that Fox would have greenlit Cosmos in this age of vapid, idiotic reality shows, much less decided to premiere the science program on 10 Fox Networks simultaneously, including Fox, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and the National Geographic Channel.

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Walkers, Clones, And Cosmos: What To Look Forward To In Spring Sci-Fi TV

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WDeadThe Walking Dead (AMC, Feb. 9)
When AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead returns for the second half of its fourth season, the series may be in as good a spot as it’s ever been. The first portion of the year wasn’t spectacular, but with the exception of those standalone Governor episodes, and the flu story that went on for far too long, it’s been solid, and more importantly consistent.

After the kerfuffle at the prison left the group beaten, bloody, splintered, and down a few key members, The Walking Dead is poised to get into some meaty storylines. From the addition of new cast members, as well as what producers have said, it looks like we’re going to be following the arc from Robert Kirkman’s comics as close as we ever have. Scattered to the wind as they are, each splinter of survivors will have their own weight to bear. Carl (Chandler Riggs) is going to have to take care of his father Rick (Andrew Lincoln), who is in even worse shape, mentally and physically, than usual. I really, really, really hope they stay away from the whole dead wife on the phone thing from the comics. They tried that, and it failed miserably. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Beth (Emily Kinney) gave to cope with not only the loss of their father, but watching him get beheaded. We’ll see if Glenn (Steven Yeun) can help, or if he’ll fall to pieces, too. Michonne (Danai Gurira), well, it looks like she’s going to be alone, again, hacking zombies apart with her katana, you know, the usual.

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ABC’s Resurrection Returns With A New Poster

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ResurrectionLosing a loved one is a horrible thing to endure. No wonder so much horror and sci-fi has revolved around various ways that the dead can defeat death and return from the grave. Zombies, vampires, Frankensteins, android versions of dead children, you name it, it’s probably been done in some capacity. ABC’s upcoming hour-long drama, Resurrection, follows this well-worn path, telling the story of a small town where the dead come back to life, as if no time has passed and nothing has happened, and the spring replacement show has a new poster.

This poster, which debuted at The Hollywood Reporter, asks the question, “What if someone you lost, returned?” That is certainly the situation faced by the residents of the small town of Arcadia, Missouri. When an eight-year-old boy named Jacob, who, it may interest you to know, drowned 30 years ago, wakes up in a Chinese rice paddy, this is just the beginning of a strange series of events for the community. After immigration returns Jacob to Arcadia, the local sheriff, a man who lost his wife trying to save the boy all those years ago, digs deeper into the mystery that has presented itself.