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Alien: Covenant Empire Cover Unleashes a Terrifying Neomorph

When Alien: Covenant lands in theaters this summer, it will bring with it a frightening new extra-terrestrial species known as the Neomorph. Empire Magazine has wisely decided to put this scary dude on the cover of their latest magazine. And as you can see, s/he certainly has the ability to sell several more copies of the magazine than any of the movie’s main cast. This cover image gives us our best look yet at these scary Neomorphs, who may or may not have been genetically altered by David the android, played by Michael Fassbender.

Sadly, you won’t be able to find this collector’s cover lingering around the local newsstand. This particular image was created for the limited edition subscribers only version of this month’s issue. And as you can see, it is quite stunning. The cover is said to be embossed in cardboard. And it comes with an iconic quite from Ridley Scott’s original 1979 sci-fi masterpiece.

“Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality…”

This special subscribers only issue will be arriving in mailboxes soon. The general public will be able to pick up the latest issue of Empire Magazine when it hits retail stores on April 20. That version of the magazine will have a totally different cover featuring a new image from Ridley Scott’s hugely anticipated prequel to Alien, which also serves as a quasi-sequel to Prometheus.

This new cover was designed by graphic artist Jacey, who is clearly paying tribute to the work of H.R. Giger, which is as important to the legacy of Alien as Ridley Scott. Without Giger’s designs, the first movie wouldn’t be what it is.

This new images arrives on the eve of Alien Day, which happens April 26, a nod to planet LV-426 from the iconic Alien films. For this second annual event celebrating this franchise, cast members from Alien: Covenant will join fan-focused festivities including a live streaming event, an interactive trivia challenge, worldwide screenings, all-new product launches, special reveals and more. Fan activities include Alien Day live-streaming event at Fox Studios in Los Angeles: Beginning at 10 a.m. PDT on all ALIEN social channels and on the newly launched Alien Universe Hub (www.AlienUniverse.com), fans can interact with the cast via a question and answer session as well as view multiple behind-the-scenes segments highlighting the making of Alien: Covenant.

Fans should expect more product announcements, limited edition releases and exciting unveils to take place in the weeks ahead and through the theatrical premiere of Alien: Covenant. Among the key licensees joining the Alien Day celebration: Dark Horse Comics, Audible, Titan, NECA, Hallmark, PPW Toys, Cool Props, Funko and more. Fox Consumer Products is also partnering with multiple retailers including BoxLunch, FYE/TWE, Books-A-Million, and Spencer’s Gifts, which will showcase exclusive Alien franchise merchandise, celebrating the day with in-store activations, and social media sweepstakes. And look out for a special Alien Day broadcast message from Madame Tussauds with further details of a terrifying arrival at one of their iconic locations this summer.

Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with Alien: covenant, a new chapter in the groundbreaking Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Alien Covenant Empire Magazine Cover

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Watch the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Panel Live from Celebration

It has been about five years since Disney purchased Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion and we have had a lot of content dropped on us since then. But if there is one area that has been sorely lacking so far, it is the video game department. That looks like it may be changing very soon as we are about to get our first look at Star Wars Battlefront 2. And you can check out the panel live for yourself right now.

The folks from DICE are on hand in Orlando, Florida at Star Wars Celebration to debut the game at a panel that is appropriately titled The Galaxywide Premiere of Star Wars Battlefront II. Hopefully, this game can deliver on what fans are really hoping for, since the first Star Wars Battlefront wound up disappointing quite a few people, despite the fact that it was very successful. Here is how the Star Wars Celebration website is describing the panel.

“Join the award-winning developers from DICE, Criterion and Motive as they offer a first look of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II. Learn about how they’re partnering with Lucasfilm to deliver all-new interactive experiences that are authentic and connected to the greater Star Wars universe. Be among the first to get a sneak peek at what these creative minds are working on to make your Star Wars fantasies come to life.”

There was a very specific expectation from fans when it was announced that EA was going to be making a new Battlefront game. The original remains one of the most beloved Star Wars video games ever made and one of the highest-selling. But Star Wars Battlefront was more of a strictly online, first-person shooter that didn’t bare many similarities to the original games. That disappointed a great many fans, but plenty of people took to and enjoyed the game we wound up with. But there is plenty of room for improvement. We already know that a single player campaign has been added this time around in Star Wars Battlefront II, which will help with matters. But what is really missing from the first game is local co-op modes. Hopefully, that is something that will be addressed as well. Fortunately, the folks at Lucasfilm are good at learning from their mistakes.

Even though this is going to be the first official public unveiling of Star Wars Battlefront II, a trailer recently leaked online which revealed that there will be characters from every era of Star Wars, including Darth Maul and a prequel era Yoda. We will definitely be learning more about the game today though, so this panel is well worth your time. Be sure to check out The Galaxywide Premiere of Star Wars Battlefront II panel live stream for yourself below and keep your eyes peeled for all of the Star Wars news coming your way this weekend.

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Pennywise Attacks in Creepy New IT Set Photo

This weekend might be all about Star Wars, but let’s not forget that IT currently holds the all-time trailer view record. Of course, the Stephen King adaptation may not be able to hold onto that title much longer after all the numbers are tallied from yesterday’s big Last Jedi teaser launch. But one thing’s for certain, when it arrives in September, IT is going to destroy the box office. And helping fuel that reign will be Pennywise the Clown, who we get a new look at in a recently released behind-the-scenes image.

We’re not sure where this image came from, but it shows Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise attacking some poor unsuspecting soul. In the background, we see star Finn Wolfhard and a few other actors and crew members looking on. It’s an exciting image, with a lot going on. And we see the sewer set along with one of the young cast eating his lunch. All in all, it shows the lightheartedness of the set atmosphere while truly horrible things are happening in front of the camera.

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema’s horror thriller IT, directed by Andy Muschietti (Mama), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries. IT stars Bill Skarsgard (Allegiant, TV’s Hemlock Grove) as the story’s central villain, Pennywise.

An ensemble of young actors star in the film, including Jaeden Lieberher (Midnight Special), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip), Sophia Lillis (37), Finn Wolfhard (TV’s Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), Chosen Jacobs (upcoming Cops and Robbers), Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) and Nicholas Hamilton (Captain Fantastic). The cast is rounded out by Owen Teague, Javier Botet, Stephen Williams and Stephen Bogaert. Muschietti directed IT from a screenplay by Chase Palmer & Cary Fukunaga and Gary Dauberman, based on the novel by Stephen King. Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Seth Grahame-Smith, David Katzenberg and Barbara Muschietti are the producers, with Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Walter Hamada, Marty P. Ewing, Doug Davison, Jon Silk and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers. Slated for release on September 8, 2017, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Entertainment Company.

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema announced that, after 24 hours, the IT trailer was seen more than 197 Million views globally with more than 81 million views and over 1.8 Million shares on the US Facebook instance alone. At 36 hours, that figure stands at an astonishing 246 million views! The 197 Million views bests the previous 24 Hour record holder The Fate of the Furious who recorded 139 Million views in a single day. But just judging fro our own numbers, the first teaser trailer for The Last Jedi is going to blow this out of the water. Sorry, Pennywise.

<em>IT</em> behind the scenes Pennywise Photo

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Fate of Skywalker Saga Undecided After Star Wars 9

The Skywalker saga has been going strong for forty years now, ever since the release of Star Wars: A New Hope back in 1977. This year will see the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which we finally got a look at via the first teaser trailer. That is leading up to the conclusion of this new Star Wars trilogy, which will wrap up with Star Wars 9 in 2019 and, according to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, that could be the last Star Wars movie we ever see as part of the Skywalker saga. Or, it might not.

Star Wars Celebration is currently going on now through Sunday in Orlando, Florida and that means we have been getting a ton of news. During the event, Kathleen Kennedy spoke with Fandango and she was asked whether or not the Skywalker saga will continue on after Star Wars Episode IX. Here is what she had to say about it.

“I certainly foresee movies past nine. Whether or not we carry on the Skywalker saga… you know, George always intended nine movies, and whether we continue that or not is something we’re talking about right now. If the story warrants it, we’ll absolutely do it. If it actually inspires new ideas, then we’ll probably head in that direction. We just don’t know yet.”

Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney for more than $4 billion back in 2012, which is really the only reason we are getting these new movies at all. That means that George Lucas is no longer in control of what happens to the franchise. But as Kathleen Kennedy points out, and she happens to be one of the main people in charge of Star Wars now, Lucas always had the saga mapped out as nine movies. So, after Star Wars 9, that would kind of wrap up his intended arc. But even if the Skywalker saga does truly conclude, there will definitely be more movies to come, which shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Logically speaking, it was recently revealed that Carrie Fisher will not return as Leia in Star Wars Episode IX, which means that there isn’t all that much Skywalker blood left out there. We can probably assume that Kylo Ren won’t have a happy ending in this trilogy and if Rey isn’t a Skywalker, Luke will really be the only remaining character to carry on the bloodline. And if he bites the dust in either Star Wars: The Last Jedi or Star Wars Episode IX, which is definitely not out of the realm of possibility, the Skywalker saga could logically end by the time this trilogy is over.

Outside of those movies, we know that Lucasfilm is going to continue with anthology stories like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the upcoming Han Solo movie. But there are plenty of opportunities for more trilogies and saga stories. Something like The Old Republic comes to mind. We will probably have a much better idea of whether or not the Skywalker saga will actually end when Star Wars 9 hits theaters on May 23, 2019. But first, we have to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on December 15.

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Mark Hamill Teases Luke’s Possible Turn to the Dark Side in The Last Jedi

‘It’s time for the Jedi to end.’ That one line has sent Star Wars fans into a speculation frenzy. Those seven little words bring the The Last Jedi trailer to a close. And they offer a tantalizing hint at what’s to come this December. But many are wondering if Luke Skywalker has been pulled to the dark side. Or if he’s seen one too many of his former friends and pupils, and his own father, get seduced by the Sith, causing him to wipe out the ancient religion for good. Making his presence well known at Star Wars Celebration this week, Mark Hamill commented on this line. And as he tells it, the poster released yesterday gives us all a good hint that Luke could be pulled in either direction. Asked if Luke does go to the Dark Side, Hamill says this.

“It’s possible, anything’s possible”.

Speaking with ABC News, Hamill was asked to extrapolate on that answer. Always one to toy with, and ruthlessly play with fans emotions, the actor, who has been with the franchise for the past 40 years, did admit that he wasn’t exactly sure about director Rian Johnson’s intentions with Luke, and claims that he never saw any of it coming. He explains this about what was revealed in the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

“There’s a difference between teaser and a trailer. A teaser is supposed to show you dynamic images that heighten your awareness and make you want to see the trailer, but avoid all story points if at all possible. [But] I think that’s the only story point that’s in the teaser, which is Luke saying it’s time for the Jedi to end… It was as shocking to me to read what Rian [Johnson] had written as I’m sure it will be for the audience.”

The question of whether or not Luke turns to the dark side won’t be answered until this December. But there will be a lot more speculation and rumors popping up over the next few months. It’s possible that if it happens, the turn won’t be complete until Star Wars 9. Though it must be pointed out that most fans believe it is Rey who turns to the Dark Side, something that is hinted at on the first poster, also released yesterday.

On that poster, Rey is seen thrusting her lightsaber into the sky in an homage to the original A New Hope Poster released in 1977. The lightsaber begins as blue, but turns red. This has many speculating that Rey is the one who turns to the Sith. It has already been confirmed that Rey is quite disappointed in Luke as a Jedi teacher, and not at all the man she thought he’d be. While all of the Last Jedi fun happened on Friday, expect to see even more surprises come from Star Wars Celebration as the weekend continues.

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Roman Polanski Compares U.S. Court To Nazis Over Order Denying No Jail Time

EXCLUSIVE: “Mr. Polanski was as justified in fleeing this Court’s illegal conduct as he was to flee the Germans who invaded Poland,” starkly proclaims a new filing today by the Oscar winner’s lawyer. The blast against U.S. justice comes just over a week after a judge denied the fugitive director’s latest desire to be assured of no more jail time for the 1977 rape of a 13-year old girl if he returned to America.

“An analysis of the legal and factual issues in this 40-year old criminal case may conclude that this Court’ s Order of April 3, 2017, is morally incoherent, legally illogical, and factually deceptive,” adds the motion to reconsider submitted Friday in LA Superior Court Friday by attorney Harland Braun.

“The Court claims that Mr. Polanski is not entitled to request the court ask the DA her position because he ‘openly stands in contempt of a legal order’ from this very Court,” the 13-page filing for Judge Scott Gordon, who ruled against Polanski’s unique request for a public declaration from the L.A. Country D.A.’s office on his status. Essentially, as a prolonged hearing on March 20 in Jude Gordon’s court room spotlighted, is whether Polanski’s side could get Jackie Lacey’s office to say if they would seekadditional incarceration if the 83-year old filmmaker were to step back into the United States for the first time since scampering away on a flight out of LAX in 1978. “It was this Court that that stood in con tempt of its basic judicial obligations by making one promise to Mr. Polanski and then breaking its promise,” the paperwork submitted today unflatteringly says of LASC’s legacy in the matter.

In past filings the past few months reopening the matter, Braun has alleged the often touted point that the Chinatown director was originally assured only 90 days behind bars in the late 1970s after he pleaded guilty on five charges stemming from having sex with then-minor Samantha Gailey on March 10, 1977. Upon being informed in 1978 that then-presiding Judge Laurence Rittenband had changed his mind on the plea deal and was looking to put the in jail for up to 50 years, Polish-born Polanski, who lost members of his family in World War II,  fled to Europe. Settling in the non-extradition haven of France, Polanski has fought off repeated botched efforts by U.S. authorities to have him brought back stateside via countries like Switzerland and, as recently as 2015 and 2016, Poland itself – whose Supreme Court ruling, Braun has sought to have injected into the American court proceedings. In 2014, Alan Dershowitz unsuccessfully tried to have the case resolved for the director.

After the rejection by the court on April 3 of Polanski getting open assurances from D.A. Lacey’s office his chances of more jail or the right to be sentenced in absentia, another hearing in another portion of the matter is scheduled for April 25 in DTLA. Surely to be as contested by the L.A. D.A. as the previous court appearances in this new chapter in the soiled saga, this hearing in front of Judge Gordon again will center on Polanski and Braun’s now renewed efforts to unseal 2010 testimony given by former Deputy D.A. Roger Gunson. The ex-DDA supposedly confirms in the sworn testimony there was a deal in place for the director to serve no more than 90-days behind bars – a time span they feel he has more than met when his 1977 duration and the house arrests and more he has be subjected to in the extradition attempts.

“As is plain, Mr. Polanski is looking for an economical and practical solution to a four-decade-old case,” says today’s filing. “But for whatever reason, this Court seems to want to overly complicate this case,” it adds. “There is no issue about what the Court promised. There is no testimony or evidence to contradict the sworn statements of District Attorney Gun son, defense attorney Dalton and civil lawyer Lawrence Silver. There is no factual issue and, a matter of law, this Court must enforce its own promise.”

We’ll see if Judge Scott Gordon agrees later this month or if he is even willing to entertain reconsidering his previous order, which seems highly unlikely being how strident he was.

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Bad Batch Trailer #2 Gets Weird with Keaun Reeves and Jim Carrey

Neon has released the second trailer for their upcoming indie thriller entitled The Bad Batch, the second film from heralded indie filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night). After a critically-acclaimed debut at the Venice Film Festival last fall, where the writer-director won a Special Jury Prize, and subsequent screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival and Fantastic Fest, Neon will release The Bad Batch in theaters this summer. While it may not be a big-budget affair, this low-budget indie seems to have what it takes to become an instant cult classic and a sleeper hit, with a diverse all-star cast.

Neon has debuted this new trailer, which offers new scenes and a glimpse at this crazed ensemble, including a peek at Jim Carrey’s Hermit, who is practically unrecognizable. He’s seen trudging through the wasteland, wearing sunglasses made out of cardboard. It seems that he’s dragging something through the desert, with a dark presence looming behind him. It isn’t known how large his role is in The Bad Batch, but he’s just one major star in an impressive ensemble.

The highly anticipated follow-up to Ana Lily Amirpour’s acclaimed directorial debut, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, The Bad Batch follows Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) as she is unceremoniously dumped in a Texas wasteland fenced off from civilized society. While trying to orient her unforgiving environment, she is captured by a savage band of cannibals and quickly realizes she’ll have to fight her way through her new reality. As Arlen adjusts to life in ‘the bad batch’ she discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who you’re standing next to.

The cast also includes Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Giovanni Ribisi, Diego Luna, and Yolanda Ross. Following its successful festival run, Neon has given The Bad Batch a June 23 release date, which puts it right in the middle of a competitive summer movie season. The movie will go up against Transformers: The Last Knight, although The Bad Batch won’t get a wide release like the Transformers sequel. It will go up against other limited release indies such as Focus Features’ drama The Beguiled and Lionsgate’s comedy The Big Sick.

Ana Lily Amirpour directs from her own screenplay, with Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison producing with Vice Media’s Danny Gabai and Sina Sayyah. Annapurna and Vice have previously collaborated on critically-acclaimed indies such as Spring Breakers, The Grandmaster and Her, and it seems possible that The Bad Batch could be the next in a string of beloved independent films. Take a look at the new trailer for The Bad Batch below.

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Bubble Watch: Status Report On ‘Once’, ‘Elementary’, ‘2 Broke Girls’, ‘Exorcist’, ‘Timeless’ & Other Series In Limbo

While a number of broadcast series at all five networks already have secured early renewals a month before the upfronts, there are quite a few that are yet to hear, some of them heavily on the bubble. Here is rundown of the broadcast scripted series whose fate beyond this season has not been unveiled yet, along with my assessment of their chances. You can stay up to date with the status of the current TV series with Deadline’s Series Renewal Status Scorecard.

CBS  already has renewed 19 series for next season, including 16 comedies and dramas, leaving only several in limbo.

CBS

The highest profile CBS series yet to learn their fate are veterans Elementary and 2 Broke Girls. Elementary surprisingly did not make the list of early renewals for the first time, spending its first spring on the bubble. But I hear the crime drama, 100% owned by CBS, looks good to return and is making writer staffing deals for next season. While its linear ratings in the Sunday 10 PM hour are soft (7.7 million viewers, 1.1 in 18-49 Live+7), the series has off-network and SVOD deals with WGN America, Hulu Plus and broadcast stations that fetch in as much as $3 million total per episode; and it is a nice international seller too. Just last May, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves used Elementary as an example of a program ownership success story, telling investors that the show had “made approximately an $80 million profit for the corporation” the previous year.

CBS

2 Broke Girls, now in Season 6, is likely to go down to the wire as CBS and producer Warner Bros. TV are locked in intense negotiations. The sitcom, which got off to a blazing hot start in its first season, has been a utility player for CBS. Its L+7 adults 18-49 average, 1.9 rating, matches that for renewed CBS comedies Mom and Life In Pieces. It ranks above picked up Man With A Plan and Superior Donuts and is CBS’ youngest-skewing comedy. But CBS has no ownership in 2 Broke Girls while having to cover its costs because of the show’s age. Meanwhile, 2 Broke Girls holds the record for the biggest off-network comedy series sale, earning Warner Bros. TV $1.7 million an episode from TBS alone. I hear CBS may be trying to tap into the studio’s lucrative backend, making negotiations even tougher. There is too much money at stake not to make a deal in the end, but it will be tough.

CBS

Hopes are fading for The Great Indoors, the only freshman CBS comedy series that has not been renewed yet. The comedy, which has some internal support at CBS, failed to take full advantage of its strong lead-in, The Big Bang Theory, and it also didn’t pass a recent test, logging mediocre ratings for a special Monday airing. Also unlikely to continue is The Odd Couple reboot after a low-rated third season. Medical drama Code Black clinched a last-minute renewal last season and, while being a long shot, should not be written off just yet despite modest ratings. The medical drama, from ABC Studios and CBS Studios, is liked by CBS brass, the network does not have a medical drama pilot for next season and observers see a scenario for Code Black to possibly come back if CBS could negotiate a license fee reduction with ABC Studios. Also heavily on the bubble, and possibly on the wrong side of it, is another ABC Studios/CBS TV Studios co-production, the low-rated Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, whose mothership series was recently renewed by CBS for next season.

CBS

As for the two unscripted CBS veterans left on the bubble, the Emmy-winning The Amazing Race and Undercover Boss, the expectation is that the reality staples will return in some shape or form based on their pedigree. They also may be needed for plum spots in case there is a writers strike.


There is no chance for the other three CBS series — midseason dramas Doubt, which was yanked from the schedule after two airings; Training Day, which was banished to Saturdays and also tragically lost its star Bill Paxton; and fall entry Pure Genius, which did not get a back order after an anemic initial run.

ABC so far only has renewed the original TGIT lineup of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder and comedy The Middle.

ABC

On the drama side, freshman drama Designated Survivor, a strong delayed viewing and international performer (ABC Studios co-produces with indie Mark Gordon Co.) is certain to come back,and in anticipation of a renewal the series is in the process of hiring a new showrunner. Things also look promising for veteran Once Upon a Time, contingent on closing deals with four cast members identified to lead a planned reimagining of the series, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue. I hear the show is meeting with writers as two of its key producers, Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, left to become co-showrunners on Fear the Walking Dead. Even Quantico, which has been struggling this season after a solid first year, appears likely to continue as it makes money for ABC Studios via international and SVOD (Netflix) deals. (It also features a global star in Priyanka Chopra.) Ditto for Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which serves as a marketing platform for the Disney-owned Marvel. The Catch survived a low-rated first season to clinch a second-season renewal as part of TGIT. A creative reboot heading into Season 2 did not lead to a ratings boost as The Catch continues to lag far behind TGIT’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and HTGAWM, with its ratings also below two new fall ABC dramas that are not expected to come back, Notorious and Conviction. While a third season of The Catch appears a long shot, there is internal support for the series, which has appealing leads in Peter Krause and Mireille Enos, a big producer behind it, Shondaland, and potential international play for ABC Studios. ABC’s prestige drama American Crime is heavily on the bubble with low ratings offset by strong critical acclaim, leaving ABC to weigh the two and make a renewal decision. Not expected to be in the running for a third season is anthology crime drama Secrets & Lies, with swiftly pulled midseason drama Time After Time also gone.

ABC

The bulk of ABC’s comedy lineup looks hopeful to return. Modern Family and The Goldbergs, which come from outside studios, are in negotiations for new seasons. Black-ish and American Housewife, both from ABC Studios, are considered sure bets. Black-ish is a rare acclaimed broadcast comedy series, it does well in the ratings and has been selling off-network, making money for the company. Meanwhile, American Housewife is one of ABC’s most promising new comedy series this season, along with Speechless. It will likely be another complex negotiation season between ABC and 20th Century Fox TV, which co-produces Speechless with ABC Studios and produces Modern Family as well as Fresh Off the Boat and Last Man Standing. Neither is in serious danger of cancellation though there will likely be some wheeling and dealing involved as ABC and 20th TV go down to the wire on renewals every year. Friday ABC comedy Dr. Ken is heavily on the bubble, with its future possibly tied to larger negotiations between leading studio Sony TV and ABC. Not expected to continue is sophomore family comedy The Real O’Neals, the lowest-rated of ABC’s  Tuesday and Wednesday comedies, with the network’s newest half-hour addition, Imaginary Mary also looking unlikely.

Fox

Fox

Fox has renewed flagship Empire as well as Lucifer and freshmen Lethal Weapon, Star and The Mick.

Fox

Expectation is that the Batman drama Gotham would make it back eventually. And despite not getting a back order, there is talk that well-received new drama Exorcist also looks good to come back. Prospects are not as bright for Fox’s fellow new fall drama that earned strong reviews and soft ratings, Dan Fogelman’s baseball-themed Pitch, which appears unlikely, and I hear its writers are being released. Also on the wrong side of the bubble at the moment appear to be sophomore crime procedural Rosewood, whose ratings dropped significantly in Season 2 after leaving the Empire ratings force field, and supernatural drama Sleepy Hollow, which flirted with cancellation last season too. But as Fox has only four drama pilots that are being produced, it is not inconceivable to keep any of them, possibly as backup, and Sleepy Hollow does well for the studio internationally. And then there is 24: Legacy. There were very high expectations for the reboot of Fox’s signature drama, with the network giving it a post-Super Bowl launch. Based on that, 24: Legacy‘s delivery has been disappointing, with its future in limbo, possibly contingent on finding a premise for Season 2 that could re-energize the franchise. Still, with a marquee worldwide title and dearth of new drama options at Fox for next season, the reboot is in the mix. Fellow midseason drama entry APB is not expected to continue.

On the comedy side, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is considered a good utility player and is expected to return. The consensus is that veteran New Girl, a legacy show for Fox as it carried the torch for comedy at the network for a long time, would likely get a limited final season for a proper sendoff. Things are shaky for The Last Man On Earth, which has become more narrow in appeal with time, and freshmen Son of Zorn, which had been looking to find a new showrunner, and Making History. Neither has a made a strong argument to continue, but as all three come from top producers Pill Lord and Chris Miller, if one series should return, it may be Last Man.

The question at NBC is whether all five Dick Wolf shows — half of NBC’s drama series in contention for next season — would come back.

NBC

Law & Order: SVU is an institution and still doing well, 18 seasons in. “We don’t see a reason why SVU would go anywhere,” NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said in January. There has been some chatter that one of the newer Chicago shows –Chicago Med or Chicago Justice — may not continue. As can be expected after 30 years in business, the financial relationship between Wolf and NBC is complex, and, with few exceptions, network drama series are not as lucrative these days, with very limited possibilities in the SVOD and cable off-network space. There have been no syndication sales yet for Chicago Fire, now in Season 5, or Chicago PD, in Season 4. That said, flagship Chicago Fire is NBC’s second-highest-rated and most watched drama series behind breakout This Is Us, which has been renewed for two seasons, and all four Chicago shows are performing respectably; they are higher rated than NBC’s Shades of Blue, which was recently renewed for a third season. They still make money for NBC and are efficiently produced, with Wolf known for always delivering his shows on time and on budget.

With strong delayed viewing, The Blacklist remains one of NBC’s top dramas, No.3 behind This Is Us and Chicago Fire. It is fully expected to come back though its spinoff, The Blacklist: Redemption, has disappointed and is on the wrong side of the bubble at the moment. Both shows come from Sony TV, which also has Timeless on the bubble at NBC. It is one of two dramas, along with Warner Bros. TV’s Blindspot, which find themselves in a similar position where they are hopeful though not certain to come back. With some DVR help, I hear both have done OK not great in the ratings but well enough for the network to not lose money on them. Both shows have strong lead casts — Sullivan Stapleton & Jaimie Alexander (Blindspot); Abigail Spencer, Matt Lanter & Malcolm Barrett (Timeless)and have developed a following, creating a dilemma for NBC whether to stick with series that already have established (albeit modest) viewership or spend tens millions of dollars to market new shows that may or may not stick. Additionally, Timeless has drawn praise for its depicting of history, recently earning recognition from the Smithsonian, with talk to potentially move the series from 10 PM, where it aired this season, to an earlier time slot where families with kids can watch. NBC’s midseason action thriller Taken is meeting with writers for a potential second season, though there is no decision yet, while fellow newbie Emerald City is not expected to continue.

On the comedy side, NBC already has renewed Superstore and The Good Place. The two midseason entries, the true crime spoof Trial & Error and DC-themed Powerless, have been ratings-challenged, though Trial & Error has been well received, and I hear there are conversations about a second installment of the anthology comedy. Powerless appears a long shot. The network is yet to premiere two new comedies, Great News and Marlon.

On the unscripted side, NBC has bubble series The Celebrity Apprentice, which will likely go dormant, at least for awhile, after a season marred by constant attacks from executive producer (and former star), President Donald Trump.

The CW has renewed almost all of its current scripted series — 9 in total — only leaving midseason entries The Originals and iZombie for a May decision. I hear Rob Thomas’ iZombie is the hotter of the two as there are questions about the future of The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals with the mothership series gone, though I hear limited runs for both series are very much on the table. A second season for new fall series No Tomorrow and Frequency is highly unlikely.

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