I was thinking about the science fiction that is curre
ntly on TV last night, and I have been unable to come up with one show that is set in the future. There is some good stuff on, but it seems that it is all set in modern day. Fringe, Lost, Chuck, Eureka, and the new Star gate for example. Dr. Who is of course occasionally set in the future, but it's also set in the past, and the present and it's hardly on the air this year.
So why is this? I like these shows and I'm not complaining about any of them, but why? One simple explanation is that TV networks are all basically copying themselves. If there was a futuristic science fiction show on that worked they would copy it. This alone helps you understand why the science fiction genre has so much trouble on TV since the heart of science fiction is uniqueness but I don't think that's all of it.
I suspect a second reason is the same reason that Star Trek always time travels to our time period or close to it. The sets are already built. It is cheaper to have a show that is set in our modern world because it already exists.
Third, they aren't science fiction, most of these are police dramas with science fiction elements. Fringe, Chuck and Eureka are all examples of this and while some have more science fiction than others they are still following the police drama trend.
I don't suspect that there is a lot that can be done about this. There has to be someone in Hollywood who is making the pitches for epic science fiction and they are being turned down. Perhaps the new Star Trek movie will trigger some ideas at least though I suspect that they will simply dismiss that.
Here is my pitch for a futuristic science fiction drama. Set in 2112 humans have continued to develop technology, but the most major breakthrough in human history has just occurred. A brilliant scientist has discovered a way to bypass the speed of light.
In a rush to begin to explore NASA retrofits one of its shuttles with the technology. This shuttle is roughly 3 times the size of the modern shuttle with far better air recycling and artificial gravity(just because of the cost). This means that there is only room for 7 crew members comfortably. The scientist who developed the technology is the first, the rest are made up of the best on earth.
With every member of the crew important and the ship with little in the way of defenses they begin to explore.