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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 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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William Shatner Is Live-Tweeting The CW’s Shows Now Because Of Course He Is

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One thing that has struck me recently as I’ve been rewatching Star Trek’s Original Series is that William Shatner kind of gets a bad rap. Sure, his style of acting can occasionally be a little over the top, but those really seem to be more the exception than the rule. I mean, I can understand why so many people’s image of Shatner involves him…only…speaking…likethis. But he’s gotten a lot of mileage out of milking and mocking that persona, overtly and otherwise. The latest installment in the strange cavalcade of eccentricity that is William Shatner? He’s now live-tweeting shows on The CW. No really, see:

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Cross The Streams With Gattaca, The 100, And An Icky STD

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Has the March Madness kicked in for any readers? Or does it make you crazy in a different kind of way? Know what I mean? That’s my schtick for this week. Hope you enjoyed it. There aren’t a lot of top quality choices like there were last week, but we make do, especially when Gattaca is back on Netflix. Here’s what’s new in streaming science fiction.

gattacaGattaca (Netflix Instant)
Easily the best film of Andrew Niccol’s career so far — his upcoming reteaming with Ethan Hawke for the drone thriller Good Kill sounds intriguing — Gattaca is just about as good as sci-fi gets, with a depressingly prescient story of genetic perfection performed impeccably by Hawke and Uma Thurman. (As well the rest of this packed cast.) Niccol and cinematographer Slawomir Idziak’s visuals still feel fresh today, and science is getting closer to making eugenics a disturbing reality, which means future generations may indeed see a Vincent Freeman rise up…or sit down in a wheelchair, as it were.

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The 100 Post-Game: Legitimately Interesting Plot Meets Sporadically Aggravating Teenagers

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the 100So, it’s been just over a month since The CW packed a shitty taste in our collective mouth with the romantically foul Star-Crossed. You can imagine my reticence to dive into their newest series, The 100, which is completely different as far as plot and tone are concerned, but still features a cast comprised mostly of angst-ridden (and beautiful) teenagers. Imagine my surprise when I found myself completely invested in the story, although not a single minute went by that I didn’t groan at some inane piece of dialogue or bit action. But still, considering this is a CW show, I’ll go on record as calling this premiere an unmitigated success.

Did I really just say that? Sheesh. Before you go forward, know that there are a few spoilers in here, but nothing too specific. There are a few reveals during the episode that are genuinely interesting and surprising, and I don’t want to ruin them for anyone.

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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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