His world has room for blacklisting and black magic

At first glance, there's no connections between "Trumbo" -- a surprisngly vibrant tale of the 1950s -- and "The Magicians," filled with modern teen angst. Both, however, are from writer/producer John McNamara, who's gone easily from true-drama to fictional fantasy. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

In space, our border issues persist

This is a busy time for the Syfy Channel, with a three-day stretch (Dec. 14-16) that has a major mini-series and launches two series. My previous blog talked about the "Childhood's End" mini; here's the story I sent to papers about "The Expanse," which accompanies it on the first two nights:

By Mike Hughes

In the expanse of
space, it seems, our border issues won't really vanish.

Childhood ends ... and a busy sci-fi screak begins

Sure, cable seems to have a deluge of mediocrity. Still, there are fine exceptions -- channels that are suddenly trying bigger, more ambitious projects. That explains National Geographic's "Breakthrough" (see previous blog); it also explains a Syfy Channel push that starts Monday (Dec. 14). Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Voice of a hero, image of a zombie survivor

TV is being overrun by zombies, of course. Fortunately, some of the shows also add clever moments and quirky characters -- led by Liv on "iZombie" and Murphy on "Z Nation." Here's the story I sent to papers about Keith Allan, the bright and interesting guy who plays Murphy:


By Mike Hughes

If all auditions
were conducted by telephone, Keith Allan would spend a lifetime being
superheroes, commanders and ominous villains.

World be warned: A new sharknado attack is coming

"Jaws" made us afraid to go into the watter; now the "Sharknado" films make us afraid to go near the sky. The third one debuts Wednesday (July 22), lookig a lot like the second one, only bigger and messier. Here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

Americans have
always been diligent about sending our culture overseas.

Yes, drunken geeks can be fun

This change has happened in one jolly generation. Comics and videogames were once confined to the basement ... as were the people who savored them. Now they've moved upstairs and into the spotlight. The latest example is Zachary Levi's game show, which starts next Thursday (July 16). Here's the story I sent to papers:


By Mike Hughes

Yes, it's time for some cross-cultural, kick-butt bounty hunting

Two of TV's darkest times -- Fridays and summers -- are getting a boost form the Syfy Channel. Last week (June 12), "Defiance" and "Dark Matter" settled in; now comes the third part of the night: "Killjoys" is a jaunty show with an impressive new star; here's the story I sent to papers:

By Mike Hughes

For 50 years, "12 Monkeys" has put the world in danger


The Syfy channel wants to give us some pleasant Friday evenings. Beginning this week (Jan. 16), it has a new "Helix" season at 10 p.m., with the threat of a worldwide epidemic. It precedes that at 9 with the debut of "12 Monkeys" ... which has a time-traveler trying to prevent an epidemic that already happened. It's not the Friday-night funnies, I guess. Here's the story I sent to papers:


OK New York, it's time to beware of flying sharks

What do we do during the Television Critics Association sessions in Los Angeles? Serious things, often; during the 16-day stretch that just ended, we chatted with writers and producers and generals, plus Kobe Bryant and Dave Grohl and the Kiss guys.

A New Zealand chap suddenly becomes the god of gods

This is the beauty of the Television Critics Association tour: One moment, you're talking to people from an epic-scale Hollywood production -- a "Gotham" or "Sleepy Hollow" or such. The next, you're talking to an amiable guy who stars in the first New Zealand series to jump straight to American TV. "The Almighty Johnsons" is a clever show, at 10 p.m. Fridays on Syfy; here's the story, about its star, that I sent to papers: