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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

SF on TV
Websites
Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
Worldwide TV Schedule
The Official Babylon 5 Website
The X-Files
Pocket Books: Star Trek
Paramount Star Trek

Ratings
Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Smallville For most of my life, there has only been one really good science fiction series on television: Star Trek. The last two decades brought half a dozen more, starting in 1993 with Babylon 5 and The X-Files. Now that Smallville has ended, the only new show I really look forward to is Doctor Who. Most of my tv watching consists of old shows from Netflix, most recently the final season of The Wire. Next up is the final season of Angel. It is such a relief to watch television without commercials. Especially welcome is the absence of the pop-up commercials during the program, which you've heard me rail against before. They're as annoying as recorded phone calls from politicians.

Two new series and the pilot for a third air in June.

SF on TV in June 2011

Saturday, June 4
Doctor Who, "A Good Man Goes to War," part one of two by Hugo winning author Steven Moffat and to be continued in September.
Red Faction: Origins, made for tv pilot by Paul De Meo, who wrote The Rocketeer, and Andrew Kreisberg, who has written for Fringe, The Simpsons, and Warehouse 13.

Doctor Who Sunday, June 5
Game of Thrones, "The Pointy End," by George R. R. Martin
Teen Wolf, "Pilot" by Jeff Davis, who created the series Criminal Minds, series premiere

Monday, June 6
Sanctuary, "Carentan"
Teen Wolf, "Episode 1.2," by Jeff Davis

Sunday, June 12
Game of Thrones, "Baelor," by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Monday, June 13
Sanctuary, "Out of the Blue," by Damian Kindler
Teen Wolf, "Episode 1.3," by Jeff Davis

Game of Thrones Sunday, June 19
Game of Thrones, "Fire and Blood," by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss, Season One Finale
Falling Skies, "Live and Learn," by Robert Rodat, series premiere. Robert Rodat wrote Saving Private Ryan, is one of the creators of Sanctuary, and is working on the script of Warcraft.
Falling Skies, "The Armory," by Graham Yost, who wrote the film Speed.

Monday, June 20
Sanctuary, "Into the Black," by Alan McCullough, Season 3 Finale.
Teen Wolf, "Episode 1.4," by Jeff Davis

Sunday, June 26
Falling Skies, "Prisoner of War," by Fred Golan, who wrote for the tv series Roswell

Monday, June 27
Teen Wolf, "Episode 1.5," by Jeff Davis

The 2010-2011 tv ratings have been posted.

There are slightly more than 100 million US households. The tv show episode with the highest rating of all time, the conclusion of M*A*S*H, was watched in almost half of all households. The tv show with the highest rating in 2010-2011, American Idol, was watched by less then 10%. American culture is increasingly fragmented.

Fiction on television is even less popular. Comedies and medical dramas have the most viewers. Atop the list is Modern Family, watched by less than 5%. No sf or fantasy series was in the list of the top fifty. In the 2-3 percent range we find V, The Event, and Fringe. In the 1-2 percent range we find The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Smallville. All other genre shows are well under 1 percent.

Eureka and Warehouse 13 return in July, Doctor Who in September, Sanctuary in the Fall, Game of Thrones in April 2012. Battlestar Galactica will return with a spin off, "Blood and Chrome". The Stargate franchise has officially ended.

Copyright © 2011 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.


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