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Sci-Fic.Com's Crapometer is ringing

Mister Nizz


What's that I smell??

It's another crop of projects from the SciFi Network! Peee-YEW!

Actually, I shouldn't be so disparaging, but this is the network that brings us live wrestling and movies about mutated farm animals, so any ray of hope is a good one!

AS REPORTED IN SCI-FI WIRE (copyright, 2007, Sci-Fi.com), and commented by me:

(Crapometer scale: 1="Smells like a daisy" to 10="Fertilizer")

Clooney, Others Develop SCI FI Shows

SCI FI Channel unveiled a new slate of programs in development, which includes shows from executive producers George Clooney, Darren Star and Mark Burnett. SCI FI made the announcement Jan. 12 at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

Diamond Age, based on Neal Stephenson's best-selling novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, is a six-hour miniseries from Clooney and fellow executive producer Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions.

When a prominent member of society concludes that the futuristic civilization in which he lives is stifling creativity, he commissions an interactive book for his daughter that serves as a guide through a surreal alternate world. Stephenson will adapt his novel for the miniseries, the first time the Hugo and Nebula award winner has written for TV.

Crapometer Score: 2. Clooney has attached his name to some great projects and has proven himself to be an actor of no little talent. The source material is aces; this is the same Neil Stephenson that brought us Snow Crash and the first envisioning of Virtual Worlds after Neuromancer. On the other hand, he was all over the slow, ponderous and very odd remake of SOLARIS (that didn't need to be done in the first place, as the first version was head and shoulders better). So, perhaps, Science Fiction, in particular Victorian style, may not be George's forte. Still, it's the best of the batch.

Also in development:

Avery House, produced by Burnett and Tagline Entertainment's Kelly Kulchak and Ron West and written by Dava Savel. The series deals with a bed and breakfast in which the innermost thoughts of both guests and owners miraculously come to life.

Crapometer Score: 6. Sounds like a lame and familiar premise to me. Wasn't there a Night Gallery episode similar to this?

Untitled Darren Star/Mike Werb Project, a 90-minute action show from Sex and the City's Star and writer Werb. The show centers on four convicts who are given new identities and technologically enhanced bodies to join a covert wing of the government on a mission to battle threats from science run amok.

Crapometer Score: 8. Darren Starr. Come on, how many times has a variant of this plot line been done? Well, never by the creator of SEX AND THE CITY, you say? And that's good.. how?

Revolution, from creators Ed Redlich (Without a Trace) and John Bellucci, is about a group of pioneers on a remote space colony who find themselves under siege by their homeland, Earth.

Crapometer Score: 3. Good premise, I hope it borrows heavily from THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, which it should... but it probably won't. Sigh. 3 just for being on the SF network these days.. Unfair, I know, but recent projects have proved me right.

Middletown, from writers Coke Sams and Matt Lindahl, is a two-hour pilot about a small town in Middle America that becomes the final battlefield for Earth when nefarious aliens make the town their Ellis Island.

Crapometer Score: 8. Sniff Sniff... what is that?? Oh, yeah, that Alien Invasion movie they made LAST YEAR with a very similar premise. Even Bruce Campbell couldn't make that turd flush.

Johnny Midnight, from writer John Sullivan and executive producer Howard Deutch (The Replacements), is a two-hour pilot about a slacker who discovers that he has powers that can save the world from malevolent forces.

Crapometer Score: 5. Hey, I know!! Let's call it.. HERO! I love it!!

Starcrossed, from executive producers Jane Loughman and John G. Lenic, is a half-hour comedy behind the scenes of a long-running space opera, with the pilot written by David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis).

Crapometer Score: 3. IF (and only IF) this is a reference to the famous long-running space opera comic/stage play by Mike Kaluta, this could be an amazing project. Otherwise, I'd need to know a lot more about it to develop enthusiasm.

Witch School is a "docusoap" about a school for aspiring conjurers.

Crapometer Score: 9. Uh huh. Precocious teens with amazing powers in a high school setting. It's NEVER been done before!!