28th Jun2009

watchoo problem FOX!?

by jerad.formby

this is not a case against fox strangely

look whose back everyone the messiah ronald d moore

Here’s an old question with a new twist. I’m not asking how long until Fox cancels Ronald D. Moore’s Virtuality, I’m asking how long until Fox picks it up? The show aired as something called a “backdoor” pilot, wherein everyone’s fine leaving it as a TV movie (except its creators) but if the audience wants more of it –everything’s ready to load in from actors to storylines.

And what a storyline it is!

hey star trek denies the use of any stereotypes within this presented scene

Ready for your science fiction show to begin and end in the civil war? Ready for your science fiction show to be on a spaceship? Ready for your science fiction show to utilize a “slingshot” around Neptune? Ready for your science fiction show to try and save the world? Ready for your science fiction show to utilize reality TV show stars?

Your show is here. It’s created by Ronald D. Moore and Micheal Taylor. Those guys are two of the biggest hitters from the new Battlestar Galactica and they’ve developed something awesome for FOX.

megan fox vs. fox the tv channel

FOX can’t decide if they want a show or not so they are billing it as a “movie.” Its creators have no idea if that stance is negotiable or dependent on critical/audience response to the airing of the movie. What is known is that if there is a decision to be made, they are making it right now or in the coming week after I post this.

I don’t want to sound critical of Battlestar Galactica, because I loved it. But I didn’t realize what I was missing until I saw Moore’s follow-up “Caprica” and especially “Virtuality.” Science fiction elements were trace or really thin in Battlestar, but the new stuff Moore is putting has a lot more meat to it.

Some fear “Virtuality” has too much meat to be able to survive a major network like Fox. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but I’m gambling “Virtuality” is way more demanding then some of their more recent fair . . .

sometimes reinforcement is key

Fox, of course, has a very nasty reputation with us nerds. This is the network that canceled “Firefly” and “Futurama.” Fox is the network that axed “The Sarah Conner Chronicles” and very nearly “Dollhouse.” “John Doe” didn’t last. Going back further, they had “Space: Above and Beyond” too.

That show’s only crime, it seems, was that it wasn’t this:

yeah this image quality is not up to hey star trek standards but strangely is

I went into this piece to pick another bone with FOX in this never ending war for good genre programming. Somewhere in the midst of an appropriately verbose rant, I suddenly had a very chilling thought.

What if . . . FOX didn’t exist at all? Where would we be without these (as short lived as they were)?

lets look at the old fox track record briefly

i wish i could remember the title of it though

I hope you sweet, lovable, passionate haters all keep that in mind the next time that you want to be cute on a message board and write FUX instead of FOX. I’m not discouraging you from passion, just tempering it with a little perspective.

Complain. Please.

I would have loved to see any of the above shows remain indefinitely, but alas, I have only a cliché to keep you warm.

It is better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all.

All clichés aside and perspective squarely in front of me, I still rue the day when this happens:

with dollhouse only renewed for half a season there is little left to conclude

After that day comes and a new show is developed, I hope FOX the good sense to go against its programming instincts:

these choices are made in an effort to find a new audience

am i confusing myself on purpose gentle readers

this is how it always seems to be for us fox genre fans

I read something online that said if someone you love is developing something with FOX it’s because every other network said ‘no.’ Read ‘network’ and not ‘channel.’

There are three major networks. And a fourth. Fox is fourth. Fox commands numbers like the major three when it shows something with the words “American” and “Idol” in the title. I believe that show stands out as its only breakaway hit. I might be wrong, but not by much.

Oh. House. Right. The one show that FOX is rocking that could probably slip into any other network’s format unnoticed. I’m glad that Fox doesn’t treat House as a model. Or Bones. Is there more to life than Doctor shows and Cop shows? One network dares to ask . . . and ask . . . and ask again . . . and ask differently . . .

Everything else that they throw up there grows out of strange and seemingly futile experiments. I might not be as well versed in the universe of television as you are, gentle reader, but can you point to any time in the past twenty years (since Fox has existed roughly) that CBS tried their hand at something like “Firefly”? ABC made “Lost” of course, but did they ever work to make animation prime time? NBC is behind the show “Heroes” but when you look at the rest of the line-up, it’s mostly more of the tried and true, isn’t it?

No, sir, FOX has balls for days. And I feel for you all, I do wish it had more patience.

it is true sexy genre is sexy expensive

In science-fiction work, special effects go without saying. These days, in order to compete with other offerings from cable network shows, FOX has to be competitive. Complain all you like about Firefly being canceled, but you can’t for a moment tell me that there was a single penny spared on making that show look fantastic. In fact, FOX was the network that ensured that Firefly’s unique language lived long enough to change how the genre would be filmed from that day forward.

Shows are expensive –especially when one network in particular doesn’t want to only compete, but set standards for other networks to follow.

these costs are only estimated i can build a sweet airlock for four dollars

this product placement would actually be pretty sweet

dang it megan fox can you not see how busy i am

This is why I think that Ronald D. Moore should just go all out with the “REALITY TV” angle and get true product endorsements.

Having his show set so closely to our real world opens the door for insane product placement. It makes perfect sense that certain name brand foods might be mentioned or stored. Or actual instruments powered by our own computer companies can be mentioned or make appearances. I don’t believe it would distract from the drama because this is the one instance where product placement just might enhance the drama or even crystallize the point of it.

We are a consumer-based culture. Virtuality assumes that even in the face of our own demise, we just might be obsessing over the lives of Astronauts light years away from us

These endorsements obviously wouldn’t be as blatant as “The Truman Show”, but it could actually be built into the character tracts that certain “incentives” might exist if they can sneak a brand name into a conversation (we’ve already seen incentives introduced in the pilot, oh I mean “tv movie.”).

Product placement is nothing to sneeze at. A lot of the movie “The Island” was paid for in this way. With DVRs cropping up in every single home these days, advertisers are scared as hell that their commercials aren’t being seen. To include a product in a scene makes it DVR proof.

You just might be shaking your head at this idea, but then that tells me you just might have missed Virtuality.

It’s not like I’m making this suggestion right out of the blue either. There is one current company that’s already featured on Virtuality.

The company’s called FOX –the channel that the spaceship broadcasts on.

I think I know what you’re wondering:

this is a huge question i always asked

not that i am complaining about the kinds of movies that get made but the special effects are not network quality
come on hey star trek label this picture something clever
cheers readers

i mean it this is a good show for you

thought i forgot about megan huh actually i almost did




Seeking out strange new potential in Abrams’ universe.
A little more information about your Hey Star Trek! blogger
Baby steps with Star Trek: Voyager
Hell you say? Film language of Gran Torino!?
A Brief History of Fan Work and Tim Russ’ Of Gods and Men
What the hell do you mean Episode III’s the best one!?
Baby Steps With Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Baby Steps With Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation
Hey Star Trek! Saw Terminator: Salvation
Meditating on J.J. Abrams’ Lens Flares
Can you tell me more about Trekcast?
Hey! You hated Abrams Trek? Color me unsurprised.
What you show somebody who doesn’t know Star Trek at all
Nerd-Nut-Nods in New Star Trek Movie
Why you don’t need IMAX Star Trek
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
The real reason New Star Wars movies suck
Star Trek continuity whores need to give it a rest
The new Doctor Who . . . or lack thereof!
Why the new Star Trek movie is gonna be cool
Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse
How the Borg went from badass to blowing chunks
Some Star Trek characters get no love
Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica
Why Watchmen’s So Bad
Star Trek Optimism
Ugly Romulans and Vulcans


  • Adam

    Why the hell didn’t you just write this like a human being? What’s with all the cut and paste images? Is this a 3rd grade project?

  • Adam

    Not to mention that Virtuality is a series based on the worst kind of Star Trek episode there has ever been: The Holodeck.

  • http://trekcast.com David

    3rd grade Project?! Dood would you really prefer an all text blog? Really? Just a wall of text like a technical manual?.. Smartin’ up kid, careful what you wish for… We’ll make you read a book.

  • http://blog.liquidcross.com liquidcross

    Jerad is more human than the rest of us. And, as always, he’s spot-on with his analysis. Well done!

  • Ryan

    Another great blog Jerad. Unfortunately I missed Virtuality. I forgot to set my DVR. But I still enjoyed the blog. I don’t suppose they are going to show it again are they? By the way Adam. Go get laid by Eve will you and lighten up. The images make it POP! and more interesting. And who doesn’t enjoy a picture of Megan Fox or a Blond Orion Slave girl? Creative criticism is always appreciated but not insults. Keep up the great work Jerad I always appreciate your perspective.

  • Rob

    Sports Night was a great show. It was not on Fox . It was on ABC. If it ws on NBC they would have but it between Sienfeld and ER have the nation would have seen it. It would have gone on for 6 years.

  • Shogun Named Marcus

    I’ll get it out of the way: While I’m in the business of complaining and arguing, I dislike this humorous pictures intersected between points. I don’t know if you think people are just too stupid to follow you without such pictures, if it’s a cheap-shot on your part against people you disagree with, or you just want to be a smart ass. I don’t really see the need for them, and frankly, they get in the way of trying to piece together your opinion. It’s like I’m reading Maddox Lite with not enough explaining through text. I don’t see how posting a picture and saying, “See?!” is really conveying an argument. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way:

    From what I tell, you’re basically saying we should like the Fox network because they were willing to give shows a chance (even if they did axe them with the slightest provocation). And, that, “having the shows for even that short time is better than not having them at all.” You also throw in a short comment or two about how important Fox is because they could/maybe/woulda/shoulda/coulda make a TV series of Virtuality. I don’t really care, honestly. Especially when hypotheticals are involved. While we’re in the business of “THE MAYBES,” *maybe* Fox will buy the rights for Star Trek from Paramount, fund a series, and produce it. I don’t really care until I see something concrete, understand? Myself and many others are not interested in the rumor mill and the unconfirmed. We’re interested in the history and the here-and-now. Not the future and what *might* happen.

    But going on to your argument that Fox has done major contributions by producing these TV shows? There’s a major flaw in that argument. It assumes that there’s no way that these TV shows could have been picked up by another network – which is frankly rather silly. I remember seeing some articles reporting that Sci-Fi looked into the possibility of picking up and continuing the Firefly series long after it had been canceled. Of course it didn’t happen, but it was likely considered at some point. So to say that these shows would have never made it onto the airwaves without Fox? That’s, frankly, absurd at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.

    So then what happens when a show is canceled very early in production by a network that changes its mind every minute? It lowers the chances of that series continuing on in some media (be it film, TV show, ect.) Once something has been canceled, network executives aren’t keen to bring it back. Don’t believe me? Look at Futurama, Family Guy, and Jericho. All shows that the network didn’t support (especially Futurama and Jericho). Moonves made it clear that he didn’t care for Jericho (or its fans), but even they had to bend to pressure from the fan campaign. It’s strange that a project that the execs didn’t care for got canned for a slight dip in ratings when other shows didn’t suffer the same fate. Did “other deciding factors” enter into it? Sure, we can all believe that. But I don’t think it’s very realistic. And, do I even need to point out Futurama? Which is also a shining example of my previous point on shows being picked up by another network. Fox technically never canceled the show, just refused to order more episodes and let it die. Now Comedy Central has picked it back up and a new film has been released. It looks like what was once Fox’s project that they abandoned has been stuffing the pockets of another network. Even the Fox executives would likely be prone to agree that it was all one bad move on their behalf. Considering another network is making profits off something they just discarded.

    And as for Arrested Development?
    Why should I argue against your point when it’s said much better than I could ever write it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeFV5GprfaQ

    Poetry. Pure poetry.

    Overall, I can see what your argument is. We should be happy that Fox gave these shows a chance. And, as you could tell, I disagree – and I think my argument is backed up by years of historical evidence showing mistake after mistake on behalf of Fox. I think if you look into it, it’s not an isolated case. And when you have even the people behind the shows agreeing that *Fox* is the problem… Well… I don’t see how you can support them for the bad decisions that they make.

    Do you know what I think we SHOULD be happy with? Fans that didn’t stop loving the shows and helped get them renewed, picked up, or get movies produced for them. Honestly, I think that’s the good news of this situation and the shining beacon within the discussion – the fans. Without the fans, shows existing would be the least of our problems… Sometimes the fans know better than the network – and there’s plenty examples of why the fans should be praised for their dedication. Rarely the network.