Tag Archives: television

Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 02/27/17


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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

There’s going to be another superhero four-way crossover on the CW with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. EW has up some details on the logistics of it from executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.

Speaking of CW Superhero shows, new show Black Lightning has found its lead in actor Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie).

In other networks’ shows’ superhero news, ABC’s Inhumans has announced its first casting with Game of Thrones villain Iwan Rheon being cast as Inhuman Maximus.

The 100: TV Line has up an interview with actress Nadia Hilker on the show’s latest casualty.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Yep, *Blank* is back! Count me in as someone who is not happy about it. I wasn’t fond of them to begin with. EW has up some spoilers on the upcoming stories from executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. TV Line has up some tidbits as well.

American Horror Story: Ryan Murphy clarified some details on the upcoming “inspired by” election season.

American Gods: The show finally has a premiere date! It will first air on Sunday, April 30 at 9pm ET/PT.

Arrow: TV Line has up the promotional photos for Oliver’s upcoming impeachment.

Doctor Who: There’s a new teaser trailer out for season ten.

Iron Fist: Spoiler TV has up the promotional poster for the series. IGN has up a video interview with actors David Wenham, Jessica Stroup and Tom Pelphrey. They also have one up with lead actor Finn Jones on the dynamic with his character and Luke Cage.

Legends of Tomorrow: The show is bringing in J.R.R. Tolkein as a character (à la George Lucas) in the season finale.

The Magicians: TV Insider has up an interview with actress Stella Maeve on Julia’s struggle with redemption.

The Originals: TV Line has up the promotional photos for the season premiere.

Star Trek Discovery: Games Radar has a handy rundown of all of the current information out on the show.

Supergirl: EW has up some scoop on the fallout of the Danvers’ girls’ father’s return.

Timeless: EW has up a season finale post-mortem with executive producers Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke. TV Line has up an interview with the duo as well. Still no word on whether or not the show has been renewed or cancelled, but the ratings did pick up for the last three episodes of season one.

The Vampire Diaries: EW has up a look back from actor Paul Wesley on his time as Stefan. They also have one from actress Kat Graham on her time as Bonnie.

The Walking Dead: EW has up an interview with actor Josh McDermitt on what Eugene is up to. They also have one up with actor Norman Reedus on the big Darryl/Carol reunion. Both EW and TV Line have up interviews with new actress Pollyanna McIntosh, who plays the Jadis, the enigmatic leader of the new junkyard gang.

Over at E!Online, the latest Spoiler Room has spoilers on shows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supergirl, Once Upon a Time, Shadowhunters, Legends of Tomorrow, The Walking Dead, and Arrow.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

It’s official! The show has been renewed for a 13th season. This may well be (by a couple of weeks) the earliest renewal Supernatural has ever received.

The show has moved to 8pm. Still on Thursdays.

The Season 12 line-up (23 episodes) so far: “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You) (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis, preliminary photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.), and official photos and promo; “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis, promo and sneak peeks; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card, synopsis, and promo and official photos; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card and synopsis; “Unnamed Episode” (12.16) tech survey card; Unnamed Episode (12.17) tech survey card; Unnamed Episode (12.18) tech survey card, and Unnamed Episode (12.19) tech survey card and partial title card.

FYI, tech survey cards have director info. For example, 12.19 will be directed by Amanda Tapping, who played the angel Naomi in season eight. It will be co-written by Robert Berens and Meredith Glynn.

The promo and official photos for this week’s ep, “The Raid” (12.14), are up.

Some recent onset video is out, apparently from last week.

It appears we won’t have any mini-hiatuses before mid-March.

IMDb message boards are now gone. To add to the screw job they already did to fans, they closed out the boards early. I’ve moved my Official live recaps to this site and simul-recapping at Wayward Friends.com, with reviews to follow.

Overnight ratings for “Family Feud” (12.13) dropped a bit in demo to 0.6/2 and audience to 1.62 million. For some reason, final same-night ratings are late this week. Programming Insider gave ratings for half-hours: 0.6/2 in both half-hours, with 1.65 million for the first half-hour and 1.59 million in the second. Spotted Ratings reported the show’s A18-49 demo as 0.64.


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Whispers, Spoilers & Speculation Corner: 02/06/17


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Sci-fi Spoilerpalooza
By Heather S. Vina

BIG news for Doctor Who fans: After a lot of rumors swirling around, Peter Capaldi has confirmed that he’s leaving the show. This year’s Christmas special will be his last as the Doctor. No word if the other rumor is true that Pearl Mackie, AKA new Companion Bill, will be leaving as well. The radio announcer who helped Peter announce it said it was a very emotional time for them both.

As to when the new Doctor will be announced, Radio Times has up an interview with new showrunner Chris Chibnall. The rumor is that he will be leading the hunt for a new Doctor beginning the middle of this year. He officially takes over the reins when Steven Moffat steps down at the end of this coming season.

As for my thoughts on who the new Doctor should be? I’m not sure. No one will top Matt Smith for me. As much as I like Peter, he never reached Matt’s heights. But I do hope the Doctor isn’t changed to female. I’m all for more female Timelords and female characters in general, but bring back the Rani or Romana or create a new Timelord. The Doctor is the Doctor. For over fifty years, he has firmly identified as male. That’s the Doctor for me.

12 Monkeys: EW has up a preview of the new season and its trippy 80s episode.

The 100: TV Line has up a recap and an interview with Jason Rothenberg on why that Clarke/Lexa moment in the season opener was so important. The TV Addict has up an interview with actors Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley and Richard Harmon on what is coming up for the show in season four. TV Line also has up a preview of the new season’s stories.

The Defenders: Comingsoon.net has up a set photo of Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) and Charlie Cox (Daredevil) as their characters.

Doctor Who: BBC America has announced that season ten will premiere on April 15, 2017.

Emerald City: EW has up an interview with producer Shaun Cassidy, on episode six, which aired this past Friday.

The Expanse: io9 has up a preview with interviews for season two.

The Flash: TV Line has up the promotional photos for episode 12, which show Iris in some dire straits. TV Line has up some details on the songs that will be sung in the crossover with Supergirl.

Game of Thrones: UFC fighter Conor McGregor has debunked the rumor that he will be appearing in season seven of the show.

Legion: IGN has up an advanced review of the pilot episode.

Once Upon A Time: It’s official: The show is doing a musical episode.

Outlander: The show has cast actors Gary Young (The Shannara Chronicles) as Mr. Willoughby, a confidant of Jamie’s, and Charlie Hiett as Captain Thomas Leonard, an inexperienced captain of the ship that Jamie and Claire take.

Powerless: The new DC comedy show premiered this week. While it didn’t do very well in the ratings, what aired is a big departure from the original pilot that premiered back at Comic-Con 2016. io9, which saw the original pilot, has up a list of the biggest differences between the two versions.

Preacher: Per Dominic Cooper’s Twitter, filming for season two has begun.

The Shannara Chronicles: TV Line is reporting that four new actors have been added to the cast. Malese Jow (The Flash, Vampire Diaries) is Mareth, “an unpredictable young woman with magical abilities.” Vanessa Morgan (Finding Carter) is Lyria, “a mysterious woman who is romantically linked to Eretria.” Gentry White (UnREAL, TURN) is Garet, “a sly and charismatic bounty hunter known throughout the Four Lands as ‘The Weapons Master.'” Caroline Chikezie (Footballers’ Wives) is Tamlin, “the cunning queen of Leah, the only human Kingdom in the Four Lands.” Actor/writer Desmond Chiam is Riga, “a once revered general in the Eventine’s army, now the leader of an extremist group of Elvin soldiers known as The Crimson Austin.” Actors Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, Aaron Jakubenko and Marcus Vanco from season one will be returning.

Per MTV, production on season two has begun in New Zealand. The season two synopsis: “The re-emergence of magic has the populace of the Four Lands terrified, and an organization called The Crimson is using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races. Wil, scarred by the loss of Amberle and his separation from Eretria, has turned his back on his magical destiny to become a healer – until Mareth convinces him to rejoin the fight. After reuniting with Eretria, Wil and Mareth seek out Allanon, only to learn that Bandon is on a mission to resurrect a creature of darkest evil: The Warlock Lord.”

Star Trek Discovery: There’s a new teaser out for the show, with some glimpses of the new uniforms!

Supergirl: The show has cast former Lois Lane Teri Hatcher (Lois and Clark) as this season’s mysterious Big Bad. They’ve also cast actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Andromeda) as one, as well. No details yet on either character. TV Line has up some details on the songs that will be sung in the crossover with The Flash. EW has up an interview with David Harewood on the upcoming J’Onn-featured episode.

Timeless: TV Line has up the promotional photos for Misha Collin’s guest appearance as Eliot Ness.

The Vampire Diaries: TV Line has confirmed that actor Steven R. McQueen will be returning to the show for the series finale. David Anders hinted on his Twitter that he might be making a return appearance as well. The character that exited Friday night might be killed off, but apparently the actor isn’t gone yet. And finally, there’s a cute set photo of Nina Dobrev reunited with Paul Wesley and Kevin Williamson.

The Walking Dead: EW has up an interview with Sonequa Martin-Green about where Sasha’s head is this season. IGN has up an exclusive preview for the second half of season seven, which premieres February 12.

Zoo: Actor Aleks Paunovic (Van Helsing) has been cast as Dallas, the “leader of a shadowy group looking to stop the spread of the hybrids.” The show has also cast Athena Karkanis as Abigail, an “operative who does not shy away from dangerous situations and has a surprising tie to Jackson,” and Hilary Jardine (Van Helsing) as Tessa, “Jackson’s girlfriend who is instrumental in helping refugees to safety.”

Over at E!Online, the latest Spoiler Room has a spoiler on Timeless.

At TV Line, Matt’s Inside Line has spoilers on shows Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The 100.


Supernatural (Thursday nights, 8pm, CW)
By Paula R. Stiles

Check out my Patreon page. Help me keep this column going, pay Heather, and start doing Supernatural reviews again.

It’s official! The show has been renewed for a 13th season. This may well be (by a couple of weeks) the earliest renewal Supernatural has ever received.

The show has moved to 8pm.

The Season 12 line-up (23 episodes) so far: “Keep Calm and Carry On” (12.01) official photos and press release; “Mamma Mia” (12.02) synopsis and photos; “The Foundry” (12.03) synopsis, official photos, sneak peek, and promo; “American Nightmare” (12.04) synopsis, official photos and promo; “The One You’ve Been Waiting For” (12.05) synopsis, promo and set photos; “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox” (12.06) synopsis, photos and promo; “Rock Never Dies” (12.07) synopsis, photos and promo; “LOTUS” (12.08) synopsis, photos and promo; “First Blood” (12.09) synopsis, photos, promo and sneak peek, as well as an extended promo; “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) (this is the one with Alicia Witt) synopsis, photos and promo, and sneak peek; “Regarding Dean” (12.11) tech survey card, synopsis, set photo, promo and official photos; “Stuck in the Middle (With You) (12.12) tech survey card, synopsis and photo (this one’s directed by Richard Speight Jr.); “Family Feud” (12.13) synopsis; “The Raid” (12.14) tech survey card; “Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell” (12.15) tech survey card; “Unnamed Episode” (12.16) tech survey card; Unnamed Episode (12.17) tech survey card.

The promo and official photos for this week’s ep, “Regarding Dean,” are up.

The synopsis for “Family Feud” (12.13) is up. Oh, look. They decided to remember the plothole known as Gavin:

“Family Feud.”

SAM AND DEAN ASK ROWENA TO FIND CROWLEY’S SON – When Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) look into a murder at a museum, they learn a ghost from a merchant ship that sunk in 1723 may be at the heart of the mystery. After realizing “The Star” was the same ship that Crowley’s (Mark A. Sheppard) son Gavin McLeod (guest star Theo Devaney) should have been aboard, they enlist help from Rowena (guest star Ruth Connell) to track Gavin down. Kelly Kline (guest star Courtney Ford), still pregnant with Lucifer’s child, takes refuge with a demon after an angel attempts to kill her. PJ Pesce directed the episode written by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming (#1213). Original airdate 2/23/2107.

From the above date, it appears we won’t have any mini-hiatuses before March.

The longtime (26 years) Internet Movie Database is ditching all of its message boards, including the one for Supernatural. Fans are not at all pleased. It won’t affect the show, but it will definitely affect the fandom.

Ratings for “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” (12.10) remained steady in demo at 0.6/2 and went up slightly in audience to 1.73 million.


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Killing IMdb: It’s the End of the Fan World as We Know It – And I Don’t Feel Fine


By Paula R. Stiles


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Yesterday, 26-year-old movie and TV series database IMDb (Internet Movie Database) announced that it was closing its message boards as of February 20, saying that they were “no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide.” It said that it was giving two weeks notice to allow fans to say their goodbyes.

Fandoms all over the internet promptly exploded. And it wasn’t pretty. People were angry, upset, even grieving. The announcement was an across-the-board fandom apocalypse and it was as unexpected as a city-sized asteroid suddenly appearing in the sky.

The passionate response may seem like an overreaction on the part of a few nerds, but IMDb wasn’t just another site. It was a major way for fans of film and TV media to meet other fans. I have several friends and artistic colleagues that I met there with whom I have worked on various projects over the years. It was a real hotbed for artists to meet and then scamper off to collaborate. IMDb itself even encouraged this by creating a fees-supported pro area and doing its best to turn the whole place into an industry site.

I’ve been lurking on IMDb since the late 1990s and finally registered in October of 2002. I’ve been hanging out there on nearly a daily basis for over a decade. I even had a Pro account that I won’t be renewing at the end of this month, and a page as a producer of various indie horror flicks. That’s close to two decades with the place. And now they’re turning out the lights.

Yes, there were trolls, but that was in large part due to IMDb’s hands-off and impersonal reporting policy that got everyone’s stuff deleted at times. The trolls came in because they knew IMDb wasn’t going to do jack. In fact, they’re now arriving in droves to get their last licks in before the lights go out, like looters in a city before a nuke hits.

On the other hand, the site’s impersonal nature avoided the pitfalls of crazy Big Name Fan moderators that choked off participation and reduced the range of opinions on other sites like the late, lamented Television without Pity. IMDb blaming the closure on troll activity was like an indifferent bystander blaming a sexual assault on a victim for not fighting back hard enough and then shooting the victim. It’s not as though IMDb tried very hard to correct the problem.

The most insulting thing is that IMDb wasn’t originally a corporate site. It was ours. And the message boards reflected that. IMDb began life as lists of actors and directors on a British Usenet group (remember them?) back in 1990. Yep, it predates the World Wide Web. It spent most of the 90s as a database on a server in Cardiff, Wales, then was bought out by Amazon in 1998.

Amazon, perhaps out of sheer laziness and cupidity, continued the fan participation by creating the message boards and allowing the site’s entries to be built via user-generated content (unsurprisingly, that lucrative database spanning a century of Hollywood and world media isn’t going anywhere, just the people who created it for free). It began to turn IMDb more into an industry site with the establishment of IMDbPro in 2002, but since this largely helped indie filmmakers who were themselves essentially fans, it didn’t change the nature of the beast.

Over the years, IMDb has increased user participation (and tried to claim copyright over everything generated on its site) while also becoming increasingly indifferent to moderating or fostering discussions on its boards. The site began cutting off the older ends of archives of the busier boards around the mid-to-late-2000s and even started to “prune out” archives of older films and canceled TV series around 2009. The apparent reason was a lack of server space to house so many old discussion threads.

It was well-known that the reporting system was automated and that bots, not people, made the decision to delete a post or thread if it had enough reports. Naturally, this led to abuse, bullying and stalking by trolls of other users. Really popular boards like those for HBO show Game of Thrones and AMC’s The Walking Dead, or films like The Dark Knight, became bywords for out-of-control troll activity. In recent times, African American movie boards like the one for hit film Hidden Figures, as well as boards for feminist films and television shows like the CW’s Supergirl, were targeted by racist and misogynistic trolls straight out of 4Chan and StormFront by way of Reddit.

The writing was on the wall for years. Like Naples, we all knew Mount Vesuvius would blow eventually. But the end, when it came, was sudden and unexpected.

Theories on the cause ranged from the site’s losing money on the boards, to the influx of toxic trolls (both proferred as causes by the site itself, so therefore probably not the real reasons), to threatened libel suits by Big Name Actors over criticism on movie boards, to Donald Trump.

The most likely cause is dumber, more mundane, and buried in the site announcement’s second paragraph. Currently, only about 10 million of their vaunted 250 million users patronize their social media and it seems they want to strong-arm the site’s users onto their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and Snapchat accounts. This attempt will almost certainly fail and may well kill the whole site in the end, but, like Yahoo’s ill-fated and clumsy revamp of its Groups section a few years ago, Teh Stupid will still be permanent.

The larger ramifications for fandoms, as well as artists, worldwide, will be unclear for a while. Other sites have come and gone, and are much missed, but fandom moved on. Nothing lasts forever and it certainly doesn’t last forever on the internet.

But IMDb’s fan participations predate social media. They even predate the World Wide Web. The site, however inadvertently in its latter years, had become an incubator for social interaction and discussion, even creation, of artistic endeavor. Now those fans and creators will scatter to the four winds to who knows where – but it likely won’t be to IMDb’s social media sites the way it hopes. It’s not the end of the world, but still, there is no joy in Mudville this February. IMDb has struck out.


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