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TV News Tidbits: Satellite Carrier Dispute, J.J. Abrams and Spielberg Projects

Business News
There is no end in sight (yet) for the 14.1 million customers of Dish Network as the lawsuit against the broadcast satellite service provider goes to court. AMC is suing Dish for dropping its channels while the satellite carrier says they cost too much. Not impressed by the lawyer-fest, Dish's customers last hopes hinge on The Walking Dead, which returns for a third season on October 14. With the date getting closer, AMC might be more in the mood for a settlement that will allow its channels back on air.

Pilot Season News
It is early in the pilot season, so there are mostly project acquisitions. Here are a few that might be of interest:

Alfonso Cuarón has teamed with J.J. Abrams for a high-concept  drama at NBC. According to Deadline the show is about "a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down." The project comes with a pilot production commitment, but if like me, after Terra Nova, Falling Skies, and Revolution, you are wary of big names and high-concept dramas, then you will calmly wait for the pilot.

The CW has nabbed Oxygen, an alien drama said to be in the vein of District 9. Oxygen follows a high school pilot program that attempts to integrate some humanoid aliens stranded on earth (and previously not allowed to mix with the locals). It is the CW, so of course there is high school, and if you don't yet see a romance between an alien and a human, you've not been watching TV for very long. Also, the project advertizes itself as being similar to District 9, but there seems to be some Roswell undertones as well.

The CW has partnered with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television on another project, Embrace. The story centers on Violet Eden, a young woman "who discovers that she is half-angel and the key to a centuries-old war between fallen angels and their earthly protectors." It's based on Jessica Shirvington’s recent novel in a young-adult book series.

Finally, as if we didn't have enough vampires on TV, Guillermo del Toro's book trilogy The Strain is being adapted as a TV series drama for FX.


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