Thursday Link-A-Mania

More True Blood and Saving Grace
HBO has commissioned a second series of vampire drama True Blood after just one episode (reports Sci Fi Wire while TNT has given the greenlight for a third series of cop-with-angel series Saving Grace. This second announcement is a bit of a relief for fans after season two of Grace mysteriously vanished off air after seven of 12 episodes, sparking fears it was due for the chop. TNT, though, have announced that ratings are healthy (averaging four million, which is very good for a cable channel), the rest of season two will air early in 2009, and a third season has been given the greenlight. There’s clearly an angel watching over this show.

True Blood, meanwhile, managed the impossible on HBO –viewing figures actually grew for the second episode by a stunning 24% – and it debuted with an impressive figure in excess of four million. The show stars Anna (X-Men) Paquin as a psychic waitress with a crush on a vampire, and has been developed for TV by the creators of Six Feet Under. Season two will start airing in the summer next year.

Fringe Grows
Carrying on with the US TV ratings surprises, the second episode of JJ Abrams’s Fringe increased its audience by a massive 45%, with 13.27 million viewers. But, as Variety points out, the second episode did have the advantage of following on from the season premiere of House in the schedules, but these two could prove to be a winning combination for Fox.

Rock Heading into Space
Now that the Pirates of the Caribbean films have run their course, Disney is plundering an entire section of its theme parks – Tomorrowland – as inspiration for a new epic, deep space SF move to star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. According to Variety .

Dark Fields
The Illusionist director Neil Burger has told Comin Soon that his next movie will be SF thriller Dark Fields, starring Shea LaBeouf. Based on a 2002 novel by Alan Glynn, it’s about a pill that makes you smarter… and no, we don’t mean in a What Not To Wear way...


Want a Conversation with Dead People?
And the prize for the most bizarre piece of tie-in merchandise this year goes to the "Conversation With Dead People" Ouija Board, based on the Buffy episode. It comes from Dark Horse , though notably the word "ouija" appears nowhere on the packaging. Yeah, right, that’s really going to fool religious zealots – "No, really, Father O’Damnation – it’s Scrabble."

Dorian Grey
The Bad and Ugly has a few pictures of the Oliver Parker-directed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Warning – Prince Caspian’s Ben Barnes may look sexy as the title character, but you should see the films stills he has hidden in the attic.