Entertainment Today and Beyond

Never Met a Zombi I Didn’t Like…

STAR TREK Sequel planned and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS officially RENEWED

star_trek2According to Variety, Paramount has officially commissioned a sequel to its Star Trek movie which hits theaters on May 8. This is clearly a good sign that director JJ Abrams has delivered a really good product with this new film, which features a new cast of actors as Captain Kirk and crew (except for Leonard Nimoy as the older Spock). In my opinion the jury is still out as to what kind of mass interest this newest Trek film will have.

Will the general movie going public flock to it? While hardcore Trekkie’s make for a solid fanbase even though they never really were enough to make the majority of the previous Star Trek films blockbuster hits; Star Trek 4: the Voyage Home being the most popular. Bottom line- Star Trek has never been Star Wars. It’s been more of a cult than a religion. Still I believe Abrams will put an interesting spin on things and create enough interest to attract a lot more people into the franchise’s fanbase.

Whether he returns to direct another installment is also up in the air. According to the report, if the film is an underperformer at the box-office, the studio could put the brakes on the follow-up. While I’m far from a trekkie, Abrams involvement here has me very intrigued about the future possibilities with this material. His television show Lost is one of the most imaginative programs ever produced and his directorial effort on Mission Impossible 3 was by far the best entry in that Tom Cruise franchise. If anyone can reboot Trek and make it fly, it’s JJ Abrams.

According to the trades, NBC and Direct TV have officially struck a new deal to renew Friday Night Lights for two more seasons. Each season will be 13 episodes each with Direct TV once again getting to air the show first. It’s refreshing to see a new kind of deal that will keep one of the very best programs on the air despite a viewership of less than 5 million viewers per episode (combined from both outlets). It’s a shame shows like Jericho and October Road, with similar small but loyal fanbases, couldn’t have continued in a similar fashion.  

In an interesting footnote: Nikki Finne’s HollywoodDeadlineDaily.com site is reporting that CBS is cutting the budget for all its scripted programs for next year, even though the network has the highest viewership by far among the major networks. Clearly the landscape has changed for the networks as viewership across the board continues to decline with so much quality competition coming from the cable channels, both basic and pay. The networks are getting squeezed like never before. NBC’s decision to air Jay Leno five nights a week at 10 PM is proof that the peacock network’s brass isn’t fighting that trend.

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April 1, 2009 - Posted by | And Beyond - Trailers & News | ,

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