SciFi Friday: New Movies and Rumors on TV Renewals


The hottest genre film of the year (at least until the release of Spiderman 3) is Cleaver, produced by Christopher Moltisanti and Carmine Lupertazzi. The film is described as “The Saw meets The Godfather II” and some believe it might provide some clues to the mysterious disappearance of Moltisanti’s former girl friend, Adriana La Cerva. Among those attending the premier was Anthony Soprano, who helped finance the film. An HBO Documentary on The Making of Cleaver is posted above.

We also have a little news on another upcoming film. JJ Abrams has confirmed that Star Trek XI will feature Captain James T. Kirk and respect Star Trek canon. “The respect we all have for Star Trek canon – and for a brand-new audience – is massive. The script is done. We’re now starting pre-prep, and we can’t wait to start shooting! Many more details to follow!” Trek Today quotes Star Trek consultant Richard Arnold as saying the film will also be true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision:

Arnold had explained the day before at the convention that Abrams called him after Leonard Nimoy (Spock) suggested that Arnold would be a good choice to bring a message to the fans. He said that he and Abrams had discussed Arnold’s perceptions of series creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision, adding that former executive producer Rick Berman had once described the original Star Trek as “‘pollyannish'” to which Abrams declared, “‘I think we can all do with some pollyanna.'”

Anyone else feel that 24 is spending the season simply taking elements of previous seasons and mixing them up in random order? We have a nuclear explosion early (making everything else seem anti-climatic), fights over the Presidency, and even Jack going rogue. We’ve seen it all before, with the one inexplicable twist that this time Cloe doesn’t back Jack. Maybe we need some new ideas for the writers, which leads to this suggestion from Lorelei Gilmore:


This week’s episode of Gilmore Girls might have done the best job of recapturing the old feeling of the show, with Lorelei’s ambivalence about Logan possibly foreshadowing changes in the relationship between Rory and Logan. The latest rumor is that Gilmore Girls might return for an additional season with reduced episodes.

While some rumors claim that Veronica Mars will not be renewed (and her Logan suffers a fate similar to Rory’s), The Toronto Star quotes Enrico Colantoni, who plays Veronica’s father, as having some hopeful news, even if he might underestimate the number of people who follow both Veronica Mars and Gilmore Girls:

“No one knows anything,” the actor insists over double espresso at his old haunt, Café Diplomatico. “But I love how people think they know …

“We were outside the bubble for the longest time…. And then they put us on after the Gilmore Girls. But people weren’t sticking around after Gilmore Girls, because it’s really a whole different audience.

“The thing is, anyone who actually sees Veronica Mars is going to love Veronica Mars. I mean, I have yet to meet anyone who’s like, `Eh …'”

That being said, and despite the failure of the experimental retooling, a new initiative came down from even farther out of left field to take the show in a whole new direction.

“Rob (creator/producer Thomas) and a couple of the other executives said, `Let’s make a little showcase pilot of what Veronica could be like in four years.’ They thought Dawn might latch on to the idea of Veronica as an FBI agent in a kind of sexy workplace environment, á la Grey’s Anatomy, that kind of thing.

“We shot 10 pages and they saw it and the reaction was, `That’s not our show.’ Then they saw the last episode of this season, and it was so on the money … it was like the first two years. And I think the network was very excited about that.

“You know how it works. They’ve got six new pilots. And if some of those tank, or if Gilmore Girls doesn’t come back, then of course they’re going to want us back.”

In other rumored renewals, SyFy Portal reports rumors that Jericho might be given a second season.

The third season of Doctor Who continues in Great Britain, and based upon all the on line talk about the current episodes I wonder if there will be any fans left who haven’t downloaded them by the time they ever air in the United States. The Doctor takes Martha to New New York, not understanding why she was a little upset about being taken to the same place The Doctor once took Rose (who has been mentioned every week since she left the show).

In Gridlock, New New York has changed since The Doctor and Rose were there. The story has so many clever ideas that it is easy to overlook the many flaws in the idea. The Doctor again meets Boe, who finally reveals the secret he promised to tell The Doctor in previous appearances. The Doctor is told he is not alone, which, in combination with the discussions with Martha about Galifrey during the episode, suggest that there is another Time Lord remaining alive. I bet this turns out to be The Master, who is rumored to be returning at the end of the season.

Last weekend we presented Saturday Night Entertainment with a music video from Billy Piper in her days prior to her role as Rose Tyler. Needing some better entertainment after hearing John McCain sing Bomb Iran, I’ll present another music video from Billy Piper tomorrow night.

Paul Krugman on The Plot Against Medicare

Paul Krugman provided some background into Bush’s Medicare legislation, and soon got to some of the major problems:

In the case of the drug benefit, the private drug plans add an extra, costly layer of bureaucracy. Worse yet, they have much less ability to bargain for lower drug prices than government programs like Medicaid and the Veterans Health Administration. Reasonable estimates suggest that if Congress had eliminated the middlemen, it could have created a much better drug plan — one without the notorious “doughnut hole,” the gap in coverage once your annual expenses exceed $2,400 per year — at no higher cost.

Meanwhile, those Medicare Advantage plans cost taxpayers 12 percent more per recipient than standard Medicare. In the next five years that subsidy will cost more than $50 billion — about what it would cost to provide all children in America with health insurance. Some of that $50 billion will be passed on to seniors in extra benefits, but a lot of it will go to overhead, marketing expenses and profits.

With the Democratic victory last fall, you might have expected these things to change. But the political news over the last few days has been grim.

First, the Senate failed to end debate on a bill — in effect, killing it — that would have allowed Medicare to negotiate over drug prices. The bill was too weak to have allowed Medicare to get large discounts. Still, it would at least have established the principle of using government bargaining power to get a better deal. But in spite of overwhelming public support for price negotiation, 42 senators, all Republicans, voted no on allowing the bill to go forward.