Uh-oh: more Happy Feet? …and: excited about this year's TV pickups?

More from The Hollywood Reporter today, who report that the hit real-time thriller 24 will continue through 2009. Yes, this has no place on our site, but it’s probably the one show I couldn’t live without so I’m hijacking today’s post!

The series will get a complete “re-inventing” next season, after comments from fans criticised the show for losing some of its creative footing. The good news is that Keifer Sutherland and the original crew are on board, but this time around we’ll have a new cast (“some old favorites might return in different roles”) and a new, non-Los Angeles location, with the producers even contemplating telling the story from two different sites. “We’re re-creating the series,” executive producer Howard Gordon says. “It is going to be a real-time thriller. Beyond that, it’s an open book”. Yes! This is what we’ve been waiting for, what we were hoping this season would bring, and what “The Jack Bauer Power Hour” desperately needed! That ticking clock just might be back bigger and better than ever folks!

Right, in an attempt to bring today’s comments somewhat related to this page (!), I’ll also mention that Fox also have a Terminator-themed sci-fi drama The Sarah Connor Chronicles in the works, but this does not seem to be tied to the recently announced new series of Terminator films (yawn). For the girls (and boys!) there will be more Ugly Betty, and you comic book sci-fi geeks (me included!) are taken care of with the renewal of Smallville and the took time to grow on me Heroes. Unlike Lost, which has truly jumped the shark, I can’t wait to see where they go with Hiro, Claire and the gang.

In slightly less than encouraging news, Warner Bros and Animal Logic – the screwloose guys who created the confused but inexplicably award-winning Happy Feet – have announced a production pact to bring us more of the same. Three projects will be developed immediately, with Warners picking up worldwide distribution rights. Animal Logic cemented their relationship with WB by providing visual effects art direction for their massive hit 300. Though a sequel to Happy Feet could be a possibility, none of the upcoming projects have been named in the deal, but it has been confirmed that the films will all be digital animated features, produced for flat and stereoscopic 3D release.

Following Disney and DreamWorks’ move into this presentation method, I must question exactly what 3D brings to the movies. Does it add any depth? Possibly, but it certainly doesn’t add as much to the overall movie experience as it should. Perhaps as filmmakers begin to use the format as more than a sales tool or gimmicky feature, we’ll see better integration between story and presentation, but at the moment, the only way films like Happy Feet and Happily N’Ever After could get any worse would be if they were even more shoved in your face!

Don’t forget our Dinosaurs Giveaway for the complete third and fourth seasons, which runs until Friday evening.

– Ben.