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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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The Tomorrow People Evolves A New Time Slot, But Will It Be Enough To Survive?

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TomorrowMondays have become approximately 50 times less interesting now that Almost Human has wrapped up its first — and hopefully not final — season. Still, if you’re craving science fiction in any form tonight, you do have a few options. We’re not saying any of those options are very good, but hey, that’s network television for you.

The big news for the night is that The CW’s The Tomorrow People is shifting from its Wednesday-night berth after Arrow to Monday nights, pairing it with another freshman series, Star-Crossed. Shifting time slots often bode ill for a show that isn’t a breakout hit, and the fact that The Tomorrow People is moving in next to Star-Crossed, another show that isn’t exactly tearing up the ratings, is definitely telling. I’m not saying the two shows are dead on their feet, but I sure as hell won’t be surprised if both become one-season wonders. In the mean time, both shows remain “on the bubble” until The CW makes a yea or nay announcement. And honestly, I can’t see many people jumping into them at this point when they could instead wait a few weeks to find out if they have a future or not.

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2013 Saturn Award Nominees Include Ender’s Game, Riddick, And More

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GravityBullockAnytime the Academy Awards rolls around, there’s usually an outcry from fans that not enough genre films are recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Luckily, this year the movie that has the most nominations is Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but even if the Academy doesn’t give science fiction the respect it deserves, there are several long-standing and prestigious awards focused specifically on honoring genre material. Last night we posted the Nebula Award nominations, and now the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has announced its nominees for the 40th annual Saturn Awards.

Unsurprisingly, Gravity is a front-runner for the Saturns as well, earning eight nominations including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actress for Sandra Bullock, Best Supporting Actor for George Clooney, and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Gravity is tied with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the most nominations. Some of the other nominees for Best Science Fiction Film are Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pacific Rim, Riddick, and Star Trek Into Darkness.

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2014 Midseason TV Premiere Guide: What’s Coming Back When?

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AhumanWe’re in the midst of the holiday doldrums when it comes to TV, so unless you’ve had a serious craving for Christmas specials or the odd marathon, your choices have been limited. (Then again, I’m sure a lot of you have been like me — using the barren TV landscape as an excuse to binge-watch stuff on Netflix.) Thankfully, the winter break is about to be broken, with shows returning or premiering beginning next week. So settle into the comfy chair and pull up that DVR menu, it’s time to schedule the next few months of TV sci-fi.

Thursday, January 2

Community (NBC, 8/7c)
Okay, okay, so Community isn’t really science fiction. But it is hilarious, and since creator Dan Harmon has returned to the show, we can now recommend it again in good conscience. Besides, it’s delved into alternate realities and was nominated for a Hugo, so that puts it right inside our wheelhouse.

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