Goodbye Supernatural, Hello Farscape?

The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company

Sky Living’s decision to drop Supernatural has been causing a fair amount of teeth-gnashing over at TVClaw Towers. (We don’t watch Cougar Town anymore so meh to that.)

However, Winchester fans, fret ye not: The CW is searching even now for an alternative UK home for the show. Stay tuned for updates.

Perhaps the Sam ‘n Dean-sized hole can be filled by some John Crichton action? The frelling awesome Farscape will soon be back on screens. Pick TV is airing the ground-breaking sci fi series from the beginning, starting 21 April at 7pm.

How do we know this? It is courtesy of the bods over at GeekTown who maintain a list of UK air dates for US and UK shows.

If you’ve never seen Farscape before, give it a go. The stylish precursor to Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica, Farscape has it all: comedy, drama, action, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. And a lot of shiny black leather. Like, a lot.

@TVClaw

 

 

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DWTS: Lando Calrissian Does The Cha Cha Cha With Princess Leia And Some Stormtroopers

“I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I’m sorry.”

This deal is getting worse all the time  (Photo: ABC)

This deal is getting worse all the time (Photo: ABC)

Dancing With the StarWars kicked off Season 18 in spectacular fashion on St Patrick’s Day.

Billy Dee Williams vamped it up Cloud City style as he did the Cha Cha Cha with Princess Leia (Slave version, natch), R2D2 and some Stormtroopers.

Time to revive the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special?

Enjoy!

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Game Of Thrones 4: The ‘Secrets’ Trailer Is Amazeballs

HBO

HBO

It’s only a matter of days until Game of Thrones Series/Season 4 hits our screens and to whet fans’ appetites HBO has been releasing a steady stream of trailers.

This latest, third, trailer focuses on the women: Sansa hell-bent on revenge for the slaughter of her family; Cersei still seeking to make her loved ones safe (at the expense of making lots of other people considerably less safe); Daenerys continuing to dish out justice The Targaryen Way.

Oh, and there’s also Jon Snow. And Samwell Tarly. And Giantsbane. And dragons. Big dragons. My, haven’t they grown? Enjoy!

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the US on HBO, Sunday 6 April at 9pm ET

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the UK on Sky Atlantic, Monday 7 April at 9pm

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BBC Three Has Been Cancelled: TV Channel Will Move To Online-Only

“It’s not the end of BBC Three, it’s the beginning of a new BBC Three.”

Remember this? BBC Three in happier times.

Remember this? BBC Three in happier times.

As widely predicted, it seems that rumours of its demise were not premature: the BBC is axing digital TV channel BBC Three.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall has announced that as part of an extensive cost-cutting exercise BBC Three will become an online service, with all programmes moving to the BBC’s iPlayer.

As part of the move, BBC Three’s budget will be slashed from an estimated £90 million per year to £25m, and some shows will go out on other channels.

BBC One will reap the financial benefit, gaining around £30 million for new drama plus a substantial chunk of BBC Three’s budget to pay for a new BBC One +1 service. Some money will also be diverted to children’s programming via creating an evening extension of CBBC.

Alluding to the mobile, on-demand TV viewing market, “the environment that younger audiences are living in,” Lord Hall hailed the “historic” decision.

“It’s the first time we’ve asked a channel to transform itself to meet the needs of the audiences we’ll have in the future,” he added.

In its heyday, the younger-skewing BBC Three was the Sargasso Sea for ground-breaking, money-making, worldwide hits Torchwood, Little Britain, Being Humanand Gavin & Stacey. It launched The Mighty Boosh and Chris Lilley on an unsupecting public.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a breakdown of just how much money BBC Three shows like these have made for the corporation since the channel’s inception in 2o03? All those lucrative foreign rights, sales and remakes? Not to mention all the licensed Torchwood tie-in merchandise.

BBC Three not only reinvigorated John Barrowman‘s career, it was also a springboard for comedy gold, launching stars such as Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Jack Whitehall, Richard Ayoade, Ruth Jones and James Corden. Most of whom have come out swinging on social media since the news broke. (#SaveBBC3)

BBC Three is currently airing the second series of innovative comedy Bluestone 42 as well as imports like Family Guy and Lilley’s latest, Ja’mie: Private School GirlHowever, in latter years the channel has been heavily criticised for its roster of cheaper, formulaic, reality TV offerings such as Snog, Marry, Avoid? and Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents.

With a healthy annual budget it has also attracted the ire of BBC grandees like Jeremy Paxman and John Humphrys as well as viewers unhappy with the absence of arts programming.

Hoping for a Radio 6 Music- type reprieve, BBC Three veterans and fans have taken to the internet to protest the closure plans and an online petition to save the channel is up and running.

So why is it a bad thing to have BBC Three online-only? BAFTA-nominated comedy director, Ben Gosling Fuller (Pramface, Bad Education, The IT Crowd) points out that it’s all about the money. An online BBC Three will have considerably less money to spend on the legions of freelancers who work on TV shows.

Self-employed camera operators, editors, writers, directors and actors all have bills to pay. The people who find and nurture new talent have bills to pay. And if BBC Three can’t afford to hire them, they’ll find someone else who can.

What say you? Has BBC Three run its course? Or does it still have a role to play? Tell us in Comments!

Watch Tony Hall’s announcement here.

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Ripper Street Has Been Saved! By Amazon Prime Instant Video

Time for Ripper Street fans to dust off the bowler hats, fire up a cheroot and do the happy dance: Ripper Street is coming back from the dead. Yes, really!

BBC

BBC

The recently axed drama is being revived by Amazon’s brand, spanking new service, Amazon Prime Instant Video. It will re-run the first two series/seasons followed by an all-new third.

Lead actors Matthew Macfadyen and Jerome Flynn are confirmed for Series/Season 3, which starts filming in May. Fingers crossed, the rest of the fantastic cast will also be back. Step away from the razor, Artherton…

Flynn, who broke the news live on-air that Ripper Street had been axed, thanked fans with a heartfelt message on his Facebook page:

Dear friends, I’m sorry you have been kept in suspense for so long, but I’m afraid my hands have been somewhat tied whilst all the small details have been ironed out..but I’m delighted to say I can now officially share with you that Ripper St is going to a third series! And we start filming in May. … Its wonderful news, and I want to thank you all for being such a huge part in getting the show back after what felt like a premature death. So congratulations all of you! I know everyone involved is keen to make it even better than the 1st two series, and I really do believe we can do that…thank you again and catch you soon with another important post! A happy heart full day to you all, Jerome. X

Rumours of an Amazon/LOVEFiLM deal to save Ripper Street have been circulating for a while, and programme makers Tiger Aspect confirmed back in December that they were in talks to relaunch the drama.

Announcing the deal, Jason Ropell, Head of Amazon Instant Video International Content Acquisition, said: “We’re delighted to have secured not only the highly popular first two seasons of Ripper Street for our Prime Instant Video customers, but we can also confirm today that we will making season three, news that we know will delight the millions of fans of this brilliant British drama.”

Pantomime villain BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson said: “This deal gives fans another series of the show they love at excellent value to the licence fee-payer, ensuring that the BBC can also commission an entirely new, yet-to-be-announced drama series.”

Never heard of Amazon Prime Instant Video? You’re not alone. It is being launched today, with this most serendipitous news. From the horse’s mouth:

Amazon has announced that it is combining two of the most popular subscription services in the UK, Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM, to become Prime Instant Video from Wednesday (26th February). Amazon Prime offers members unlimited One-Day Delivery on over 7 million items and access to 500,000 Kindle books to borrow. LOVEFiLM Instant includes unlimited streaming of more than 15,000 popular movies and TV episodes. When the two programmes combine, Prime will be offered at the low price of £79 a year – a 35% savings for all the benefits of the two previously separate services. As a special offer customers can lock in a full year of Prime at £49 until 26 February. Current Prime members can enjoy unlimited streaming at their current price until their renewal date. Customers who are not already members can start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime by visiting http://www.amazon.co.uk/prime.

Excited, much? Stay tuned for updates. @TVClaw

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Sherlock Competition: Win Dinner For Two In Cardiff

BBC

BBC

Watching the Sherlock Series/Season 3 Finale keen-eyed viewers in Cardiff may have noticed a local gastronomic landmark: Giovanni’s Italian restaurant.

It was used as the backdrop for tense negotiations between Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Magnussen (Lars Mikkelsen), and while they talk owner Giovanni can be spotted polishing glasses in the background.

Now Giovanni is offering Sherlock fans the chance to dine like Holmes by winning dinner for two in the very spot used to film that scene. All you have to do is correctly answer one simple question (TVClaw Top Tip: check Giovanni’s website for clues):

In the scene, Sherlock is eating a pasta dish. What dish was it?
A) Lasagna
B) Penne Amaffia Pesto
C) Spaghetti Carbonara
Email your answer along with your name and mobile number to: marketing@giovanniscardiff.com
Entries close Friday January 17th 2014

@TVClaw

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Game of Thrones 4: HBO Unveils New Trailer

“veni, vidi, vici” – Winter, to Ned Stark

HBO

HBO

Cold winds are rising, so it must be time for the new Game of Thrones Series/Season 4 trailer. And it looks good (obvs). Thank you HBO!

Dragons, Wildlings, ginger beards, John Snow’s curls vs. Jamie Lannister’s new ‘do, it’s a jam-packed 93 seconds of Game of Thrones action fit to whet anyone’s whistle.

Though after last season the thought of another GoT wedding is enough to set anyone’s nerves a-jangling.

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the UK on Monday 7 April, 9pm on Sky Atlantic

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the US on Sunday 6 April, 9pm ET on HBO

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