Keeping you updated on the fates of everything sci-fi and fantasy on the small screen...
Agent Carter (ABC)
The long-expected Captain America: The First Avenger spinoff has just been greenlit by ABC and scheduled to air in the 2014/15 television season. Agent Carter , or Marvel's Agent Carter (as it's officially titled), will be set one year after the events of the first Cap film, following Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in 1946.
The official series description reads, "Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life – Steve Rogers." The Hollywood Reporter expects the episode order to be short, used as a "bridge show" during the midseason hiatus for Agents Of SHIELD . The executive producers of Agent Carter are Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters, Steve McFeely & Christopher Marcus, and Jeph Loeb.
DC Comics have had some good luck this pilot season, with all three of their potential shows receiving series pickups. Fantasy drama Constantine is one of them. It tells the story of supernatural detective John Constantine (Matt Ryan) and his role protecting mankind from the gathering forces of evil.
NBC describes the series thusly, "Armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wickedly naughty wit, he [Constantine] fights the good fight – or at least he did. With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to leave his do-gooder life behind, but when demons target Liv (Lucy Griffiths), the daughter of one of Constantine’s oldest friends, he’s reluctantly thrust back into the fray – and he’ll do whatever it takes to save her."
Announced in November , four Marvel series are coming to Netflix starting in 2015 and building to a culminating mini-series crossover with The Defenders . The shows will be Daredevil , Jessica Jones , Iron Fist and Luke Cage , with Daredevil being the first to arrive. The story will focus on the darker side of the Marvel universe, down on the street level, but still part of the same world occupied by The Avengers and SHIELD .
In December, Marvel confirmed that Drew Goddard will be the executive producer and showrunner for Daredevil , and that he'll write and direct the first episode. Casting rumours have been bouncing around, the most intriguing of them probably being Michael C Hall, who has denied his involvement. Filming begins in July.
Fantastic Four star Ioan Gruffudd plays Dr Henry Morgan in this ABC pilot. He's a renowned medical examiner with a secret: he's studying the dead to learnt the key to his own immortality. The network's official description of the show tells us that he's been alive for over 200 years, but has no idea why.
The show will have a procedural format, with Morgan using the skills he's accumulated over the course of his long life to solve crimes with his new partner detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza).
The Batman prequel was given a series order this week and will air at least 13 episodes in the next TV season. Gotham focuses on the titular city's fall into crime-filled depravity – the process of it becoming the city Bruce Wayne will one day strive to save as the caped crusader. The murder of Wayne's parents will feature, but the main character will be a young Jim Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie).
Other Batman villains will appear, including Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler and Poison Ivy. This is the only one of the new shows for which there is a trailer (below), and it's an exciting one. A Batman prequel may seem unnecessary, but Arrow has done a great job with essentially telling a story of the trials someone must go through to become a hero and Gotham will presumably follow its lead.
Heroes: Reborn (NBC)
Surprising many, especially considering how it isn't exactly a show anybody was desperately missing, NBC announced in February that it would be bringing back Heroes as a 13-episode miniseries. Heroes: Reborn will feature a new cast of characters, although NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke said, "We won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in."
Original creator Tim Kring will return. The characters and storylines of Heroes: Reborn will be introduced in a digital series before the miniseries launches.
iZombie (The CW)
This CW pilot is another of DC Comics' successful pickups. iZombie will focus on a medical student (Rose McIver) who becomes a zombie and then takes a job in the coroner's office so that she'll have access to the brains that she needs to eat to stay human.
There's more, though, because once she's had her fill this has the unintended consequence of causing her to inherit the memories of the brain's previous owner. She uses this knowledge to assist her medical examiner boss and a detective to solve homicides.
Last Man On Earth (Fox)
Created by and starring Will Forte, this single-camera comedy will be executive produced by the Lego Movie duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller. As the title suggests, Last Man On Earth will see Forte playing the only remaining human on the planet. Little else is known about the story, and the idea of a comedy with, presumably, only one character is undoubtedly ambitious (although there are ways to put other people into the idea – there could always be flashbacks or dream sequences.)
Fox originally bought the pilot after a bidding war in October 2013 (and then ordered it to series in February ) so it's safe to assume there's something intriguing about this concept.
This is another project about which little is known. From the Wachowskis and Babylon 5 's J Michael Straczynski, Sense8 will be a globe-spanning tale with each of the 10 episodes focused on a different character in one of many different international locations (Seoul, Mumbai, Nairobi, Berlin, Mexico City, San Francisco, Chicago, and the UK).
The eight characters will be connected by a disturbing vision, as one mysterious figure will attempt to unite and kill them. The Wachowskis have said they decided to create the show after “a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us.”
The Flash (The CW)
The Flash was initially designed as a backdoor pilot that would air as part of the second season of Arrow . Grant Gustin's Barry Allen was intended to appear in three episodes of Arrow , the last of them being the pilot for the spinoff. Ultimately, he appeared in two episodes. As buzz for The Flash increased and the chaos-filled endgame for Arrow Season Two kicked off, the plan was abandoned and the show filmed a traditional pilot for the 2014/15 season.
Pre-empting the leak of set photos, the show gave us our first glimpse of the costume for the speedster (below) in March. Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg have insisted that they will honour the comic book version of the character, with Kriesberg saying, "No sweat suits or strange code names; he will be The Flash."
Reception of Gustin's portrayal of Allen was positive, meaning expectations for The Flash (which was ordered to series on 8 May) are high.
The Whispers (ABC)
The Whispers is an ABC pilot about an alien invasion. The twist? The extraterrestrial force are attacking the world by getting to us through our children. Kids end up unwittingly coerced into aiding the would-be rulers of Earth while, as the official description states, "the clock counts down in this suspenseful race to save humanity."
NEXT PAGE: WHAT'S BEEN RENEWED
Agents Of SHIELD (ABC, Channel 4)
The troubled but recently greatly improved series will return for a second season. This news came with the announcement of Agent Carter 's pickup and, while it's unsurprising, it suggests Marvel remain serious about building their TV universe.
American Horror Story (FX, FOX)
Having somehow not tapped into the inherent horror of carnivals, the anthology drama is returning for a fourth season that will be titled American Horror Story: Freak Show . The story will see Jessica Lange playing a German who manages one of the last freak shows in the US (it's set in 1950, in Jupiter, Florida).
Arrow (The CW, Sky1)
The CW's superhero drama has had a stormer of a second season, constantly impressing with how much it's able to achieve on a modest budget and deepening both its characters and relationships confidently. Unsurprisingly, it'll be back for a third season.
Beauty And The Beast (The CW, Sky Living)
Joining the previously announced renewals ( Arrow , Supernatural , The Vampire Diaries , The Originals were all confirmed as returning back in February), Beauty And The Beast will be coming back for a third season. Considering the low ratings and lack of acclaim, this one is a surprise.
Da Vinci's Demons (Starz, FOX)
Announced on Wednesday, Da Vinci's Demons will be back for a third season, albeit with a change of showrunner. Busy series creator David Goyer is departing, with John Shiban ( The X-Files ) taking over.
Doctor Who (BBC)
Renewed for Series Eight in May last year, Doctor Who will return this year with a new star. Peter Capaldi's Doctor began filming in January and the series is planned to be broadcast as one consecutive run of episodes.
Game Of Thrones (HBO, Sky Atlantic)
The renewal of Game of Thrones was such a no-brainer (the producers had already signed on for more before the announcement) that HBO has given it two more seasons. It's one of the most popular shows out there, and it beats its own ratings record with each passing week.
Grimm (NBC, Watch)
Renewed for a fourth season in March, NBC's fan-favourite supernatural drama will be back for a full 22 episodes.
Helix (Syfy, 5*)
Ron Moore's sci-fi drama will return for a second season consisting of 13 episodes. It will air in winter 2015. The story follows researchers exploring a viral outbreak at a bioresearch station.
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
The fairytale drama from writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz ( Lost and Tron: Legacy ), has been hugely successful and is frequently praised for its unpredictable storytelling. It has just been renewed for a fourth season.
Person Of Interest (NBC, 5USA)
The vigilante drama veered into sci-fi with an increased focus on the sentience of the Machine, and has built more of a superhero tone. The series has received plaudits for these developments and it was renewed for a fourth season in March.
Apparently not inspired by The Returned (or Les Revenants ) despite having an identical premise, Resurrection has pulled in strong audience figures and ABC has just confirmed it will be back for a second season.
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, Universal)
The gutsy drama ended its first 13 episodes with a quintuple cliffhanger of craziness, and it will be coming back for a longer second season of at least 15 episodes that will apparently have a "war" theme.
Supernatural (The CW)
The long-running and incredibly popular drama continues. The CW has given Supernatural a tenth season to be filled with the hunting of all manner of demons, ghosts and monsters.
The 100 (The CW, E4)
The post-apocalyptic drama following 100 kids sent to earth to test out its habitability has been renewed for a second season (it will begin on E4 at some point in July).
The Originals (The CW, Syfy UK)
The spinoff of The Vampire Diaries focused on the original family of vamps and their war to own New Orleans was rewarded for its consistently engaging first season with a renewal in February.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, ITV2)
While Season Five has been an uneven one, The Vampire Diaries remains one of The CW's most popular dramas and its renewal doesn't come as a surprise.
The Walking Dead (AMC, FOX)
Unquestionably one of the most-watched shows on television, The Walking Dead was renewed for its fifth season almost immediately after its fourth premiered. The experimental second half of the season didn't scare viewers away, and the show went with a cliffhanger ending to keep the audience desperate for its return.
NEXT PAGE: WHAT'S BEEN CANNED
Almost Human (Fox, Watch)
It wouldn't be a TV season if Fox didn't cancel some poor sci-fi show. The network may have earned some goodwill by keeping Fringe on the air long enough for the writers to plan out the ending they wanted, but most fans still haven't forgiven them for Firefly , or Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . Now, Fox has pulled the plug on futuristic buddy cop drama Almost Human , despite it having a decent audience and critical buzz.
Believe (NBC, Watch)
The JJ Abrams effort was modestly rated but never found a committed audience. As with a number of this year's cancellations, it had a strong impact on its debut but lost viewers each consecutive week after that. Sunday nights in the US are a competitive time, and there was just no way Believe could convince against the larger and more established shows that air in its timeslot.
Community (NBC, Sony TV)
We're in the darkest timeline. NBC has cruelly dropped the axe on Community when the show was so close to reaching "six seasons and a movie". With series mastermind Dan Harmon rehired, the fifth season has seen a resurgence in quality and it brought the comedy to a finale that it is both hilarious and resonant. While fan efforts to save the show are in full swing, it doesn't look like it'll be a simple matter of petitioning Netflix to keep Community alive.
Dracula (NBC, Sky Living)
NBC has really cleaned out its slate of dramas, and newbie series Dracula was another inevitable casualty in this annual bloodbath. The show hasn't pulled in anything close to the numbers it would need to survive, and the renewal of critical darling Hannibal made it clear Dracula would be consigned to the grave.
Intelligence (CBS, Sky1)
CBS has little patience for under-performing shows, and Intelligence's ratings fell sharply between its pilot and its second instalment. The " Chuck, but with Sawyer" drama didn't really stand a chance in the end. Here's hoping Josh Holloway finds himself another show where he can showcase his roguish charm.
Once Upon a Time In Wonderland (ABC)
While Once Upon a Time has continued to be a hit, its failed spinoff never worked as well as fans hoped it might. The show was confirmed to be ending after one season in March, with Michael Socha's character, Will Scarlet, moving to Once Upon A Time to become a series regular there.
Revolution (NBC, Sky 1)
The lights are out for good on NBC's Revolution ; the struggling series won't progress beyond its second season. It has been a real fall from grace for the drama, with it positioned as one of the network's success stories in its first year. Its ratings have been consistent but not as strong as they could be in Season 2, and the show's high price tag made it a clear choice for cancellation.
Star-Crossed (The CW, Sky1)
This alien love story, set in 2024, was recently cancelled by The CW. The ratings have been consistently poor and the critical reception was hardly overwhelmingly positive. Ultimately, this was a show the network was going to have to lose, like The Tomorrow People , in order to move forward with its new pickups.
The Tomorrow People (The CW, E4)
The remake of The Tomorrow People has been cancelled by The CW after just one season. The show's ratings dwindled over the course of its life and this eventuality does not come as a surprise.
HANGING IN THE BALANCE/UNKNOWN etc
Atlantis (BBC) – A second series will begin at some point this summer
Bitten (Syfy) – Season 1 recently finished in the US and it'll be coming to Syfy UK soon
Continuum (Showcase, Syfy) – Season 3 currently airing
Defiance (Syfy) – Season 2 arrives on Syfy in June, likely soon afterwards in the UK
Falling Skies (TNT, FOX) – Season 4 will air in June in the US and on FOX UK from 15 July
Haven (Syfy) – The fifth season is split in half, with one half in 2014, the other in 2015
Hemlock Grove (Netflix) – Season 2 of the werewolf drama arrives on 11 July
In The Flesh (BBC) – Series 2 currently airing
Orphan Black (BBC) – Season 2 currently airing
Teen Wolf (MTV) – The fourth season premieres in late June
True Blood (HBO, Sky Atlantic) – The seventh and final season airs in June stateside, returning to Sky Atlantic on 7 July
Under the Dome (CBS, Channel 5) – Season 2 will air in late June in the US and is expected to return to Channel 5 in August