News: Compiled by Dominic May  
Earth: Final Conflict
Think you've seen Earth: Final Conflict? Then think again. Although the show recently finished its first season as the top-rated new drama series in American syndication, a number of major changes will be unveiled in Season Two, which recently entered production in Toronto. Speaking a few days after the start of filming, executive producer Paul Gertz outlined some of those changes to TV Zone.


"There are going to be surprises all the way this season," Gertz promises. "I think one of the main reasons the show was successful last year was that people just didn't know what to expect. So we really want to keep the audience guessing this year.
"The first year of the show was based on a simple premise: the Taleons were here, nobody really knew what they were doing, and there was a lot of speculation about why they were here. We played that out for 22 episodes and kept that tension going really well, with little hints about what might be going on.
"This year, we're going to take things to the next level. We're going to start telling people about some of the things we set up last season and we're going to set up a whole new dynamic - which will probably change again in the third season.
"The stakes are going to be raised for everybody in the new season. There are going to be more Taelon agendas at work. There will hopefully be more tension, more excitement - and definitely more Sci-Fi. Judging by all the feedback and comments we've had from people, that's one of the things viewers really want to see more of." (David Bassom)

Read the full exclusive report on Earth: Final Conflict Season Two - including a suprise departure from the main cast - in TV Zone #104.
New Who - No Cannes Do
A seeming non-story managed to reach the national newspapers, Variety, teletext and of course the Internet concerning a proposed new Doctor Who feature film, which led to the usual speculation about a female Doctor. This apparently followed a reply on 18th May during the Cannes Film Festival by BBC Head of Film and Single Drama David Thompson to a journalist's question about the possibility of such a production. It is believed Thompson replied along the lines of it being something the BBC might like to do at some point or has not ruled out. From this the story escalated, although Variety went as far as to mention the involvement of a company called HAL Films - no doubt for production in 2001!

US Autumn Primetime Schedule Announced
During May the US television networks presented advertisers and media buyers with their provisional Autumn schedules. You can find all the schedules for major stations in TV Zone #104, but here's a sneak preview of what's going to be showing on the Fox network:

This is the main place for your fix of cult television, the network having found programming which brings in the audience demographic advertisers love. Re-commissions have been extended to The Simpsons, The X-Files, Ally McBeal, King of the Hill and Millennium. Newcomers are Brimstone and Hollyweird. The former stars Peter Horton as New York detective Zeke Stone, who on his demise is sent to Hell for having avenged his wife's death. Following a mass jailbreak by 113 of Hell's most depraved souls, he is offered heavenly redemption if he can capture them and eternal fire and brimstone if he fails. The latter comes from Wes Craven (Scream) and Shaun Cassidy (American Gothic/Roar) and tells the story of three Midwest teenagers who end up in Hollywood with their unsolved murders cable show and find the more bizarre aspects of the city. Two new animations are in preparation for midseason. Matt Groening's Futurama sounds like a cross between The Simpsons and Woody Allen's Sleeper. Fry, a 20th Century Everyman trying to escape his dull life, finds himself 1,000 years in the future, befriends a robot called Bender and a woman called Leela and finds the future holds many changes and challenges, yet the traffic is still a bitch! Family Guy is a satire about family life featuring dysfunctional middle-class New Englanders.

Crusade - Racing the Night
Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade will première on TNT (US) on 6th January with a standard length episode Racing the Night, which, in an attempt to start the series in high gear, is so ambitious in production terms, it will be third to enter production, thus enabling additional preparation time. John Iacovelli stays with Babylonian as production designer on Crusade but is being joined by some new design colleagues. According to jms, the set for the Excalibur "may be the coolest starship I've ever seen on film for tv". The seven-day production period is being restored for Crusade following the six-day episode turnaround for B5 Season Five.

Read all the latest cult television news in TV Zone #104. 
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