FALL SCI-FI TV PREVIEW: 28 midseason shows, movies and miniseries

In part one and two of our massive Fall TV Preview. we covered New, Canceled and Returning shows. But there's more! We're taking a look into our crystal ball to see what's headed our way for Midseason and Beyond, as well as what new Movies, Miniseries and Specials are in our future.

Coming soon, we'll get clones, conspiracy theories, aliens, vampires, a prophet and pirates. We'll also get a chance to see the return of Firefly and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Here's our list of 28 projects coming up for midseason and beyond, and movies, miniseries and specials. Most of the quoted descriptions below come from the networks' press releases.




Midseason and Beyond



Bates Motel, A&E
Expected to premiere in 2013

Who would have thought that more than 50 years after Psycho we'd be getting a prequel series? The show explores the formative years of Norman Bates and his relationship with his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). Vera is described "as passionate, and compelling, a smart, multidimensional character who is always capable of surprising us." No doubt. Bates Motel comes from Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Kerry Ehrin (Friday Night Lights). Ten episodes have been ordered.

Beware the Batman, Cartoon Network
Expected to premiere in Spring 2013

This new animated series with a more serious take than Batman: The Brave and the Bold, this Dark Knight faces "a rogues gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City's criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie." Here's a look:

Black Sails, Starz
Expected to premiere in 2014

Ahoy, matey! There be pirates on Starz! From executive producer Michael Bay, this new pirate adventure "centers on the tales of Captain Flint and his men, and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island. Flint, the most brilliant and most feared pirate captain of his day, takes on a fast-talking young addition to his crew who goes by the name John Silver. Threatened with extinction on all sides, they fight for the survival of New Providence Island, the most notorious criminal haven of its day—a debauched paradise teeming with pirates, prostitutes, thieves and fortune seekers, a place defined by both its enlightened ideals and its stunning brutality." Eight episodes have been ordered.

Continuum, Syfy
Expected to premiere in 2013

This Canadian sci-fi drama stars Rachel Nichols as a cop from the year 2077 who is transported back to present-day Vancouver, B.C., where she tries to stop a group of future rebels who are trying to change the future. Syfy has picked up the first 10-episode season. Continuum has been renewed in Canada for a second season. The series also stars Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Tony Amendola and Lexa Doig. Here's a preview:

Crossbones, NBC
Premieres in Midseason 2013

Yo ho ho, it looks like we've got pirates on NBC too! From Neil Cross, the creator of Luther, this tale, at least according to NBC, is the true story of the pirate Blackbeard and his greatest nemesis. "It's 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown, part marauder's paradise, this is a place like no other on earth — and a mounting threat to international commerce. To gain control of this fearsome society, Tom Lowe, a highly skilled undercover assassin, is sent to the pirates' haven to take down the brilliant and charismatic Blackbeard. But the closer Lowe gets, the more he finds that his quest is not so simple. Lowe can't help but admire the political ideals of Blackbeard, whose thirst for knowledge knows no bounds — and no law. But Lowe is not the only danger to Blackbeard's rule. He is a man with many villainous rivals and one great weakness — a passionately driven woman whom he cannot deny." Ten episodes have been ordered.

Cult, The CW
Premieres in Midseason 2013

The Vampire Diaries' Matt Davis stars in this strange conspiracy series about an investigative journalist named Jeff Sefton, who is trying to find his missing brother, Nate. Nate believed fans of the TV show Cult intended to harm him, a bizarre theory that Jeff begins to think might just have merit after Nate goes missing. Through Jeff's investigation he "uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show Cult and its rabid fans. The only person who seems willing to help Jeff with his investigation is Skye, a young research assistant for Cult, who has also started to grow suspicious of the increasingly dark happenings surrounding the show. The fictitious show, centered on the cat-and-mouse game between charismatic cult leader Billy Grimm and LAPD detective Kelly Collins, has become an obsession for its viewers — and now some of its devotees seem to be taking their fixation to deadly extremes in the real world." The series comes from Farscape's Rockne S. O'Bannon and also stars Prison Break's Robert Knepper. Here's a preview:

Da Vinci's Demons, Starz
Expected to premiere in Q1 or Q2 of 2013

From David S. Goyer (FlashForward), this historical fantasy tells the "untold" story of a young Leonardo da Vinci, played by British actor Tom Riley. The series tells the "story of the world's greatest genius during his turbulent youth in Renaissance Florence. Brilliant and passionate, the twenty five-year old da Vinci is an artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist. As a free thinker, with intellect and talents that are almost superhuman, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time. He begins to not only see the future, but invent it." Eight episodes have been ordered. Here's a preview:

Defiance, Syfy
Premieres in April 2013

This series combines TV with online gaming to feature an interconnected world with storylines that will co-exist through the scripted drama series and a multiplatform MMO shooter. The game and the show will premiere simultaneously. Defiance is set in the near future in "an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden — and tumultuous — arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area." The series stars Grant Bowler (True Blood), Julie Benz (Angel), Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene, Mia Kirshner and Fionnula Flanagan. From the busy Rockne S. O'Bannon. Here's the preview:

Dracula, NBC
Premieres in Midseason in 2013

From the Emmy Award-winning producers of Downton Abbey, this series "introduces Dracula as he arrives in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who maintains that he wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. In reality, he hopes to wreak revenge on the people who ruined his life centuries earlier. There's only one circumstance that can potentially thwart his plan: Dracula falls hopelessly in love with a woman who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife." Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the title role. Ten episodes have been ordered.

Hemlock Grove, Netflix
Premieres early in 2013

Netflix is offering this 13-episode series up for members to watch instantly, as soon as the episodes are posted. The show is "a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town," that stars Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard. "Hemlock Grove starts with the body of a young girl, mangled and murdered in the shadow of the former Godfrey steel mill. Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a biotech facility owned by the former steel magnates. Others believe the killer could be Peter, a 17-year-old Gypsy kid from the wrong side of the tracks, who tells his classmates he's a werewolf. Or it could be Roman (Skarsgard), the arrogant Godfrey scion, whose sister Shelley is disturbingly deformed and whose mother, Olivia (Janssen), the otherworldly beautiful and controlling grand dame of Hemlock Grove. As the crime goes unsolved and outlandish rumors mount, Peter and Roman decide to find the killer themselves, confronting unspeakable truths about themselves and Hemlock Grove as the mystery unfolds."

Marvel S.H.I.E.L.D./Joss Whedon series, ABC
TBD

We don't normally cover pilots, but this one is special because it comes from Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse). The pilot "is based on Marvel's peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D (which stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) found in both the Marvel comic book" and The Avengers film. Who knows if this will actually turn into a series, but we're hopeful for anything that brings Whedon back to the small screen.

Orphan Black, BBC America
Premieres in 2012 or 2013

This new BBC America sci-fi series explores what happens when a woman finds out she's a clone.

"Sarah is an outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon who, after witnessing a woman's suicide, assumes the stranger's identity. Oddly enough, the woman looks just like her. Sarah is keen to solve her problems by taking on her lookalike's identity and savings, but instead she is thrust into a dizzying mystery. Sarah, along with viewers, learns early on that she and the woman are in fact clones — and that there are more people out there like her. It doesn't help that an assassin is pegging off clones one by one." Created by Graeme Manson (Flashpoint) and John Fawcett (Spartacus). 10 episodes have been ordered.

Save Me, NBC
Premieres in Midseason 2013

Anne Heche stars in this series about a woman who nearly chokes to death on a hero sandwich and then suddenly discovers she has a direct line to God. While her husband Tom (Michael Landes) is skeptical, his mistress, played by American Horror Story's Alexandra Brekenridge, is stunned to learn his wife is a prophet. "But when inexplicable things begin to happen, everyone's beliefs are tested. Beth starts to say and do things that shock her family and entrance her friends, but she isn't going to be your typical 'fire and brimstone' prophet. Let's just say, if God had a desperate housewife as His mouthpiece, Beth would be it! She is the absolute last person on Earth who would be chosen. Then again, they say He works in mysterious ways. And this one is a real mystery!" Created by novelist John Scott Shepherd. Here's a sneak peek:

Teen Titans Go!, Cartoon Network
Premieres in 2013

Those Teen Titans are back with a new, half-hour animated series which shows the humorous side of being a teenage hero. The series "features the return of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg in all-new, comedic adventures. Character-driven comedy is the order of the day as this new take on the super hero series focuses on the funny business that happens between saving the world and living together as teenagers without adult supervision. They may be super heroes who save the world every day ... but somebody still has to do the laundry! With the ability to turn into any animal or detach their robotic limbs, teenage pranks reach a whole new level. And even super heroes have to take Driver's Ed. to get a license — especially after wrecking the Batmobile on an unauthorized joy ride to impress a girl!" Teen Titans Go! will air during the Cartoon Networks Saturday morning DC Nation.

Zero Hour, ABC
Premieres in Midseason 2013

Don't confuse Zero Hour with ABC's other generically titled series, Last Resort, which is about a renegade sub. In this midseason series, Anthony Edwards (ER) stars as a man in a race around the globe who is trying to save his wife and to keep an age-old secret that could affect the entire world from falling into the wrong hands. "As the publisher of a paranormal enthusiast magazine, Modern Skeptic, Hank Galliston (Edwards) has spent his career following clues, debunking myths and solving conspiracies. A confessed paranormal junkie, his motto is 'logic is the compass.' But when his beautiful wife, Laila (Jacinda Barrett), is abducted from her antique clock shop, Hank gets pulled into one of the most compelling mysteries in human history, stretching around the world and back centuries. Contained in one of his wife's clocks is a treasure map, and what it leads to could be cataclysmic. Now it's up to Hank to decipher the symbols and unlock the secrets of the map, while ensuring the answers don't fall into the wrong hands — a man they call White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist). With his two young associates, Rachel (Addison Timlin) and Arron (Scott Michael Foster), in tow, along with Becca Riley, a sexy FBI agent (Carmen Ejogo), Hank will lead them on a breathless race against the clock to find his wife and save humanity." Created by Paul Scheuring (Prison Break). Here's a preview:




Movies, Miniseries and Specials



Aladdin and the Death Lamp, Syfy
Premieres Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.

Battlestar Galactica's Kandyse McClure stars in this movie about an evil genie that is trying to take over the world. Aladdin kicks off a Syfy Saturday night double bill, with Pegasus Vs. Chimera following. Here's a preview:

American Horror House, Syfy
Premieres Saturday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m.

Morgan Fairchild and Caprica's Alessandra Torresani star in this spirited flick about a sorority house that gets overrun by ghosts on Halloween night and the vengeful housemother who goes on a killing spree.

The American Scream, Chiller
Premieres Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.

This documentary explores the Halloween cultural phenomenon of homemade haunted houses and the people behind them. In Fairhaven, MA, three haunted houses are being created for Halloween, and this doc delves into the creative minds who create them and what they end up doing to get ready for their big day. From Michael Stephenson (Best Worst Movie). Here's a look:

Dead Souls, Chiller
Premieres on Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m.

In this Chiller original film, Johnny Petrie learns he inherited a farm in Maine on his 18th birthday. Johnny's decision to start a new life at the farm is, of course, a really bad one. As he digs into his past, he releases decades-old forces trapped in the home and that's never be a good thing. The movie is adapted from the Bram Stoker finalist novel by Michael Laimo and stars Jesse James (The Amityville Horror), Bill Moseley (House of 1,000 Corpses), and Magda Apanowicz (Caprica). Here's a preview:

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, The CW
Premieres on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m.

Oh, yeah! Finally here's a one hour special TV presentation of the Joss Whedon internet classic. The musical was created during the 2008 Writers Guild of America strike and run in three parts online. The tale is about an insecure evil mastermind named Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), the girl he secretly loves, Penny (Felicia Day), and his arch nemesis, Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion). If you've missed this wonderful Joss Whedon gem, take an hour out. Sure you can watch it on the internet, but why not give the CW the reward of your viewership for breathing new life into Dr. Horrible. Here's a clip:

Browncoasts Unite, Science
Premieres Sunday, Nov. 11 at 10 p.m.

In other Joss Whedon/Nathan Fillion news, the Science Channel is planning on airing a one hour reunion special for the 10th anniversary of Firefly, featuring the cast reunion at Comic-Con and an in-depth roundtable interview with the cast. Besides Whedon and Fillion, the special will include Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Adam Baldwin, Sean Maher and writer Jose Molina. The Science Channel will also offer a Firefly marathon just to make sure you've been properly whipped up into a frenzy. Here's a look:

Girl Vs. Monster, Disney Channel
Premieres on Friday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

Disney moves into Buffy territory. In this film, Olivia Holt stars as 15-year-old Skylar, a singer who discovers she comes from a long line of monster hunters. When she tries to sneak out to perform at a Halloween bash against her parents wishes, she accidentally unleashes a monster. Oops! Here's a preview:

The Good Witch's Charm, Hallmark
Premieres on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m.

The fifth installment of Hallmark's popular Good Witch movie series has Cassie juggling a newborn daughter and her job as the town mayor. However, when a crime wave hits the town, it sets about a series of events leave the witch with no choice but to dig into her bag of magic tricks. The film stars Catherine Bell and Chris Potter.

Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, Syfy
Premieres on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 9 p.m.

Yancy Butler and Robert Englund star in this final installment about really big crocs chowing down on the population who live around an otherwise pleasant little lake. This time the lake has been fenced off, but you just know that's not going to stop the hungry crocs from finding a meal.

Pegasus Vs. Chimera, Syfy
Premieres Saturday, Sept. 15 at 9p.m.

In the second part of Syfy's Saturday night double header, Fringe's Sebastian Roche stars in this film which pits the two legendary creatures against each other in a tale of "good versus evil". Here's a preview:

Rise of the Zombies, Syfy
Premieres on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 9 p.m.

October only means one thing... zombies! In this film a small group of survivors have been hold up on Alcatraz after a zombie outbreak, but they must escape when the island is overrun. So they hit the zombie-filled road and go on the hunt to find a scientist who may just have a cure for the disease. The film stars Danny Trejo, French Stewart, Star Trek's LeVar Burton, and Mariel Hemingway.

The Wishing Tree, Hallmark
Premieres on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m.

Jason Gedrick stars in this film about a young professor who takes on a group of orphan students who have no where to go for the holidays. He has them decorate a tree with handwritten wishes and helps them believe that wishes really do come true.

Year Zero, HBO
TBD

No word on when we'll see this interesting project, but how often is there a miniseries based on an album? Year Zero delves into the concept of the 2007 album by Nine Inch Nails, which criticizes the U.S. Government, primarily the Bush years, and presents a dystopian vision of the year 2022. Screenwriter Jim Uhls is attached to write the mini, which is being produced by Nails' frontman Trent Raznor and Lawrence Bender and Kevin Kelly Brown for HBO and BBC Worldwide Production.

Check out Part One of our 2012 Fall Sci-Fi TV Preview which covered New and Canceled Shows, and Part Two which covered Returning Shows.

What midseason shows and movies are you looking forward to?

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