Even though we as a collective tentatively look at Fox with apprehension, they do have the largest collection of sci-fi genre shows out there (barring the Sci-Fi Channel, of course). They've got The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Fringe on the air; they've got Joss Whedon's Dollhouse around the corner and they're developing Ronald D. Moore's Virtuality (I'm going to use the word "develop" lightly here).
So here's the rundown, according to Reilly:
With regards to The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the show needs to perform ratings-wise when they launch season 3 on Friday, February 13th, and we finally get to see that dang UFO plot line resolve itself. Though their ratings weren't the best last season, advertisers favored the show (which I suspect is due to the upcoming Terminator Salvation movie).
Despite Dollhouse getting some rewrites and being moved to Friday nights, Reilly says they've more or less left Whedon alone so he can just do his show. That almost sounds like Fox made a good decision. It's a start.
As far as the move to Friday nights, Whedon's initial reaction to the schedule change was "mixed." As he puts it: "I’ve had a bad experience on a Friday; you may have heard about it." But he's also said that he's happy to have Dollhouse paired up with The Sarah Connor Chronicles, considering that Fox is now actively promoting both shows as their Friday night lineup. So he says. I suspect the ratings will determine how happy (or not) Whedon ends up feeling.
And surely there is concern with the abysmal failure of NBC's My Own Worst Enemy, a show that also dealt with multiple personalities, much like Dollhouse. Whedon says it's not the premise but the creative forces behind a show that make the difference. He also mentioned that he's happy that Dollhouse is not competing with 'Enemy.'
On a strange note, Fringe has been a solid performer for the network but it hasn't been renewed yet, but Reilly is confident that it will be. Personally I don't know why he's "confident," since he is a central part of the process. Shouldn't he be "assured," or "certain," or am I just being silly?
Will the cast of Fringe be back for a second season?
Of course where would we be if Fox didn't "retool" something? Yeah, I'm talking about Virtuality. As we reported last June, Virtuality is about the crew of an interstellar ship who entertain themselves in virtual worlds to pass the time until a flaw emerges in the system.
The two-hour pilot is being directed by Peter Berg and was written and produced by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Taylor. But Fox says the show is going to need to be retooled before the network will make any kind of commitment to it, because as it stands, the story is too dense. But hey, why take chances on Moore and Taylor, two guys who helped revive a little show called Battlestar Galactica and turn it into a hit?
Speaking of Battlestar Galactica, tune in for my Thursday morning weekly TV recap for a little bit of news on the upcoming BSG episode. And in the meantime, my fellow sci-fi fans, keep your fingers crossed and hope that Fox does right by its sci-fi lineup. We'll keep you posted.
Sources: SciFi Wire, THRfeed,