New Zone for Sci-Fi Staples

Good news for fans of Grimm and Falling Skies if Sky launches its sci-fi channel The Zone in HD: the latest series of each will screen on the service when it blasts off in November.

Falling Skies previously aired in SD on The Box and Grimm in SD on Four until MediaWorks dropped the Once Upon a Time rival as part of restructuring its deal with NBC Universal.

The Zone will add seasons four of Falling Skies and three of Grimm to a roster of premieres that includes The Strain, Defiance and From Dusk Till Dawn.

It will also travel back in time to the beginning of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, which originally aired in SD on TV3, and the former TV2 series, Stargate SG-1.

Meanwhile, at Comic-Con this month, producers Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse discussed the prospect of The Strain which went to air in the US this month, running for five seasons.

Reports Deadline Hollywood: “The first 13-episode season would cover the story told in the first book. Books two and three split in half would make up the show’s remaining anticipated run.

“’We’ve used the best stuff from the books and invented the rest,’ said Cuse of the transformation from the source material to more than 13 hours of TV for the first season.

“FX has not yet officially renewed the show for a second season, though that seems to only be a matter of when.”

Falling Skies, however, will run for only one more season, climaxing what the publicity describes as season four’s “ambitious and thrilling story arc” .

It started last month in the US, where Variety argued the Steven Spielberg production had gone “a little gaga” with its alien-invasion metaphors.

“Based on the first few hours, it would be premature to suggest the sky is falling. But as the producers labour to manage and advance all the show’s moving parts, they appear to have lost a couple of battles.

“Let’s just hope that doesn’t bode ill for the larger war.”

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10 Responses to “New Zone for Sci-Fi Staples”

  1. Thank god! Finally (maybe) now we’ll be allowed to view shows like Extant and Doctor Who in HD as they should be shown. I would have paid to see them in HD on SoHo but never got the option … I hope they won’t charge me another $10 though …

  2. Don’t praise the lord too soon, Paul. Prime won’t be relinquishing Extant or Doctor Who to The Zone — and while it’s highly probable, Sky has yet to confirm the new channel will be in HD. However, it’s definitely ruled out stiffing subscribers an extra $10 a month to view it, as it does with SoHo.

  3. Is there any room on Sky’s sats for any more HD channels?

  4. 50/50 it will be in HD. I vaguely recall the Battlestar reboot was in HD on TV3?

  5. Paul re Sky capacity: Absolutely! Look at the pop-up channels they already run to promote seres like Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire (next month), movie events like the recent Clint Eastwood season, and the extra HD channels the operate for the Olympic and Commonwealth games. The problem isn’t capacity but economics — Sky gets more bang from its buck with SD (4 channels vs 1 HD channel) — and the lack of competition: why offer a premium service when you already have 50% penetration and have locked up top programming rights?

  6. thx1138 re BG: Possibly the final season but TV3 didn’t go HD until 2008 and BG ran from 2004-2009. The first time I saw it in HD was on Blu-ray, and I couldn’t get over the variable picture quality, ranging from exceptionally grainy and noisy to pristine.

  7. Sky have capacity for 16 HD channels, they are running 16 currently.

  8. I wonder if the tv series Teen Wolf will be included on this new channel considering it does not air on NZ TV.

  9. Thanks, Leo. I’ll add it to the shows I’ll be raising the with programmer when I interview her on Monday morning. If anyone else has titles they wish me to quiz Lightbox on, let me know.

  10. Thanks, Philip, and I look forward to reading about your interview. Could you also please add shows such as Winners & Losers, UK zombie show In the Flesh, the ex MediaWorks properties Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Parenthood, season 2 of Smash and the numerous other titles that have been left with no broadcaster due to the renegotiated deals MediaWorks sought last year.

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