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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

SF on TV
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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.

Dollhouse No new Dollhouse in November. The show has gone on hiatus until December while Joss and the gang try to figure out how to make morally reprehensible characters appealing to a mass audience. Dr. Horrible was morally reprehensible and won the Hugo, but did not reach more than a paltry few million people.

On the plus side, we have a remake of V, which according to the buzz is better than we have any right to expect from a remake of a lame old tv series.

Smallville continues to get worse, as does Fringe. Heroes and FlashForward have their ups and downs. I've given up on everything else.

Here's what's on tv in November (shows in the last half of the month may be delayed until December or later, Legend of the Seeker plays on different dates in different markets):

SF on TV in November 2009

Monday, November 2
Heroes "Once Upon a Time in Texas"

Tuesday, November 3
V "Pilot", by Scott Peters

FlashForward Thursday, November 5
FlashForward "The Gift", by Ian Goldberg and Lisa Zwerling
Fringe "Earthling" by Jeffery Vlaming and J. H. Wyman

Friday, November 6
Smallville "Kandor" by Turi Meyer and Al Septien

Saturday, November 7
Legend of the Seeker "Marked"

Monday, November 9
Heroes "Shadowboxing"

Heroes Tuesday, November 10
V "There is No Normal Any More", by Sam Egan and Scott Peters

Thursday, November 12
FlashForward "Playing Cards with Coyote" by Marc Guggenheim and Barbara Ellis Nance
Fringe "Of Human Action" by Robert Chiapetta

Friday, November 13
Smallville "Idol" by Ann Croffet Saunders

Saturday, November 14
Legend of the Seeker "Baneling"

Smallville Monday, November 16
Heroes "Brother's Keeper"

Tuesday, November 17
V "A Bright New Day"

Thursday, November 19
FlashForward "Believe"
Fringe "August" by Jeff Pinker and J. H. Wyman

Friday, November 20
Smallville "Pandora"

Saturday, November 21
Legend of the Seeker "Broken"

Fringe Monday, November 23
Heroes "Thanksgiving"

Tuesday, November 24
V "It's Only the Beginning"

Thursday, November 26
FlashForward "A561984"

Friday, November 27
Smallville "Disciple"

Saturday, November 28
Legend of the Seeker "Touched"

Monday, November 30
Heroes "The Fifth Stage"

Even a Hugo winning science fiction writer like Robert Sawyer (FlashForward) is delighted to have a chance to write for television, and reach a really large audience. And yet, most television is bad. Really bad. So, how do writers get lucky and break into television?

Scott Peters created The 4400 and has now crafted the remake of V. He's a Canadian. He has also written for Highlander and The Outer Limits.

Ian Goldberg wrote for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles before writing an episode of FlashForward with Lisa Zwerling.

Lisa Zwerling is a doctor who got her start writing for shows such as ER.

Jeffrey Vlaming has written for Xena: Warrior Princess, The X-Files, and Battlestar Galactica.

Why do we not know these names?

In December, look for the return of Dollhouse and new Doctor Who.

Copyright © 2009 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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