News, updates, and (mostly viable) rumors relating to development of science fiction / fantasy television productions. If you have tips or more info on these or other productions, please pass them along in the comments.
Pilot season slowed down the last few weeks, but there were still some pretty big announcements and I’m expecting to hear more over the next month as the broadcast and cable networks continue to beef up projects that could hit their schedule next season and beyond.
Man in the High Castle: Amazon’s Streaming service made the pilot for this adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s novel available last month for people to view and vote on (you can still watch it at this link). And apparently they liked the feedback because they have picked up a full season which will be available for streaming in the U.S. later this year and elsewhere in 2016. You can read my review of the pilot at this link.
Dreadstar: An adaptation of this sci fi / fantasy comic book series by Jim Starlin is in the works. It was originally published by Eclipse and Marvel’s Epic line in the 80’s, and Variety offers the following description for the upcoming TV version:
The sci-fi series will follow the classic ’80s character from Marvel’s Epic Comics, Vanth Dreadstar, the sole survivor of the entire Milky Way galaxy, and his crew, including cyborg sorcerer Syzygy Darklock, on their dangerous journey to end an ancient war between two evil empires, the Church of the Instrumentality, run by the Lord Papal, and the Monarchy, led by King Gregzor.
Universal Cable Productions and Benderspink are teaming up on the project and no network is currently attached, though I expect it will draw considerable interest.
Lucifer: The previously announced pilot for adapting the DC/Vertigo Lucifer series has been picked up by FOX. According to CBR, the series “will follow the former Lord of Hell as he sets up shop in Los Angeles and assists the LAPD with tracking down and punishing criminals.” FOX will be considering this one for their 2015-16 schedule.
Outcast: And yet another comic book property, Cinemax has ordered a ten episode first season based on this series from The Walking Dead‘s co-creator Robert Kirkland. According to Deadline Hollywood, the supernatural series
follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of the Reverend Anderson, a preacher with personal demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate — and the fate of the world — forever.
The series will likely hit the schedule later this year or early in 2016.
Cloud Station 13: Channel 4 in Britain is looking at this sci fi sitcom from Graham Linehan, creator of The IT Crowd and it sounds like it will be similar to that geek friendly show, but set in space. The Guardian offers the following description of the show:
Cloud Station 13 is described as a place set up to protect the vast amounts of information humanity now hoards on its devices – the majority of which comprises selfies, pictures of kittens and a lot of porn.
The disparate group manning the hub are billed by the makers as being far from technical whizzes which is problematic as the technology – including a largely voice-activated ship – is unreliable.
Channel 4 will decide later in the year if they will be adding this show to their schedule.
Enormous: 20th Century Fox TV is working on an adaptation of the comic book series Enormous by Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour and its targeting it as an “event” series (meaning it will have a shortened number of episodes, but could continue beyond its first season). Deadline Hollywood give the following description:
Set in the near future, the comic book series finds the world suffering a planetary resource crisis when a vast ecological cataclysm spawns The Enormous, massive beasts unlike anything ever witnessed. Displaced from atop the food chain, humankind struggles to stave off extinction, and a shattered society scrambles for refuge in the wake of the monstrous rampage. Ellen Grace, a former school teacher who lost everything in the uprising, leads a search and rescue team into the ruins of the city in hopes of locating children orphaned by the cataclysm. But not all the remaining humans seek salvation, and in a world dominated by monsters, man is still the most dangerous animal.
It is not clear yet if this is intended to air on the FOX network or if the studio will shop it around to other venues.
Wheel of Time: Probably not too many people realized that a pilot to a potential series based on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books aired on FXX at 1:30 in the morning on February 9th (it was titled Winter Dragon and you can still watch it on YouTube at this link). This was in fact a low budget pilot produced by Red Eagle Entertainment and they paid to air it (like an infomercial) in order to secure their rights for the property. Apparently that company purchased the rights to the book series a while back and had a deadline to get something on television or in the theaters in order for those not to expire. But Jordan’s widow is contesting Read Eagle’s claims and now it has devolved into legal action. You can read all about that at this link, but fans should know that there are plans to get a live action adaptation of the books going at some point. If the lawyers don’t end up stranding it forever in development hell!
Incurable: HBO is developing this supernatural dramedy that Variety describes as focusing on “a support group for people with supernatural problems.” It was previous developed as a feature film, but the pay channel is considering doing it as a television series. Since it is in the early stages of development, there is not too much information available yet.