Thursday, May 17, 2018

Comics roundup: More DC-Looney Tunes crossovers, and CW schedule shuffling

The CW has announced its fall lineup, which will be 6 nights a week (Sunday-Friday). Unfortunately, there's still not enough room for mid-season favorites like iZombie & The 100 to earn fall berths.

Locally, WCWN will have to bump Ring of Honor's weekly show, which airs twice on Sundays at 9 & midnight presently, to make room for CW's new Sunday girl power package, as Charmed returns, rebooted with an all new cast. Supergirl slides over from Mondays for season 4. Legends of Tomorrow will reclaim the Monday perch it shared with Supergirl this season for its 4th season, and Arrow is on the move again, shifting from Thursdays to Mondays for season 7. Something tells me this could be the beginning of the end for Arrow, which now must contend with sports junkies during the fall (Monday Night Football) who are also genre fans.

Producer Greg Berlanti will have a grand total of 7 shows on CW, and will have all of Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday, as the network would rather not string out his product across the board. In addition to the above named programs, Berlanti also has the returning Riverdale joined by freshman drama All-American on Wednesdays, while the Tuesday lineup remains as it was at the start of 2018 (The Flash & Black Lightning). Berlanti also has two new shows on CBS, plus the returning Blindspot on NBC, and has projects on Lifetime, Netflix, and the forthcoming DC Universe streaming service.

CW had renewed most of the shows on this season's schedule, save for Valor, which got a quick hook. The reboot of Dynasty isn't on the fall schedule, either, and will return at a later date.

Depending on AMC's schedule, comics fans figure to be hunkering down in front of the tube Sunday-Wednesday for much of the season (AMC rotates Walking Dead and its prequel, Fear The Walking Dead, on Sundays, and had moved Preacher to Mondays for its 2nd season at the beginning of the year).
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With DC's next wave of Hanna-Barbera crossover specials coming in 2 weeks, the company has announced the next set of crossovers with the Looney Tunes characters, coming in August. Harley Quinn and Daffy Duck will be a part of it, just not with each other.

Daffy instead is matched with Harl's on-again-off-again squeeze, the Joker, while Harley gets Gossamer, the big orange monster in tennis shoes who was given his name on The Looney Tunes Show a few years back. The 1-shot reunites Harley with the husband & wife team of writers Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner, as Harl's current series is being handled by other writers presently.

Also, Lex Luthor is being paired with Porky Pig, with Mark Russell (The Flintstones, Prez) writing. That leaves Catwoman with Tweety & Sylvester. Black Canary's in the mix, too, in a story written by Gail Simone. Each 1-shot will have a back-up feature in a more traditional Looney Tunes setting, and carry a $4.99 cover price. My advice? Wait for the trade paperback.
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Meanwhile, Fox is getting ready to say good-bye to Gotham, but another Bat-prequel is on the way on premium cable.

Gotham will be on the bench to start the 2018-9 season, and will return as a mid-season replacement for its 5th & final season, one in which the producers claim will complete young Bruce Wayne's journey to becoming The Batman. Given how the series has already majorly mucked with the history of several characters in the Bat-mythos for no other reason than the producers' wish for a pocket universe all their own, maybe it's better this way.

Epix is entering the fray next year with a series focused on Wayne's long suffering major domo, Alfred Pennyworth. Played by Sean Pertwee on Gotham, Pennyworth will tell the story of the former British espionage agent's pre-Gotham City life. Since the same producers, including Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, are also attached to Pennyworth, I'd not be surprised if Pertwee is asked to re-up, given a chance to headline a series himself.
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I referenced the DC Universe streaming service earlier, and with good reason. It launches later this year, and DCU already has programming lined up, including a revival of the former Cartoon Network series, Young Justice, a live-action Titans series that TNT rejected (the former Teen Titans as adult heroes), which will, in turn spin off Doom Patrol. Those two series are part of the Berlanti collection I referenced earlier. Also on tap is a revival of Swamp Thing, which spent 3 seasons on USA between 1990-2. I suspect that this time, Swamp Thing would likely be mostly CGI, as opposed to a man in a suit. The late Dick Durock played the character in the series and two feature films prior to that.

Disney is also planning on a streaming service, with a series based on the "Star Wars" franchise reportedly part of the package. Fans are thinking said streaming service may be the next stop for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which will have its 6th season serve as a summer entry for ABC in 2019, convienently after the next "Avengers" movie comes out next year at this time. Apparently, the series has been reintegrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it had been operating independently of the movies the last couple of seasons, with reports that Clark Gregg (SHIELD agent Phil Coulson) will return to the big screen as early as "Captain Marvel" next winter. From what I've been told, current ABC President Channing Dungey doesn't like Marvel at all, and has gone out of her way to get rid of SHIELD, only to be overruled by Disney suits.

Conversely, Marvel's Inhumans tanked as a warm-up act for SHIELD last fall, and will not return. And there's talk that Fox might pull out of a deal with Disney, and instead allow Comcast to buy it out. File that under "things that make you go 'Huh?'".

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