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.
As the networks are currently pouring over the many pilots they have to decide between for the upcoming season, some more development news is starting to come through. Expect plenty more announcements over the next few weeks as we approach the upfronts in May when the broadcast networks present their schedules to the advertisers.
Rain: Setting off a wave of geek-gasms across the internet, word broke last week that former Battlestar: Galactica star Katee Sackhoff is developing this series which she will also star in. According to Deadline Hollywood:
Rain is described as an evolutionary parable that gives us a look into our possible future as a species viewed through the eyes of a soldier named Rain (Sackhoff). It explores how the long-term effects of global warming, the burning of fossil fuels and the scientific manipulation of nature’s balance rot the world and contribute to its decline.
No network has been attached to the show yet, though Sackhoff is working with Continuum production company Reunion Pictures, so it may be targeted for a launch in Canada. If it is, it would almost certainly get a U.S. network at some point as well.
Unnamed Marvel Series: ABC already has Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter from Marvel and word broke just recently about an AoS spin-off in the works as well. Now I am hearing that the network is looking at fourth series based on a Marvel property that will be helmed by American Crime executive producer John Ridley. Information is sketchy on it at the moment and I have wondered if it might actually be that AoS offshoot that he is really attached to, but several sources in the entertainment media indicate that it is a separate entry. Though seeing as Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter are currently on the bubble and the spin-off likely won’t go forward if AoS gets the ax, this new project could be seen as a replacement for them just to keep Marvel’s presence on the network (Disney owns both ABC and Marvel). We should be hearing more about this one as we get closer to the upfronts in May.
Suspiria: International production plans are in the works for a television adaptation the 19th century horror work Suspiria De Profundis (which also inspired the cult horror film trilogy directed by Dario Argento). Following is the synopsis for the intended TV series:
Suspiria De Profundis will be an English-language period horror series in which the author De Quincey is the lead character. Styled as a new Sherlock Holmes, the story will explore psychological fantasies of evil and attempt to solve fearful mysteries. It will be set in London and Rome at the turn of the 20th century.
io9.com notes that this varies considerably from the original literary work and from Argento’s films. But they did mention that Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) tweeted that he would like to work on the series. As this point, it is very early in the production phase so the timing for the series or where it would land remain to be determined.
Emerald City: NBC previously had this dark reworking of the Wizard of Oz in the works as a potential mid-season entry for this year, but announced last August that they would not go forward with it. But they had a change of heart and decided to restart the project, though with new executive producer David Schulner (who previously worked on Do No Harm and Dracula). It is still planned as a 10 episode “event” series, though additional seasons could be ordered if it does well in the ratings. Following is the description of the show give by The Wrap which sounds a lot like Oz meets Game of Thrones:
The drama, which has received a straight-to-series, 10-episode order, offers a dark twist on the classic tale, telling the story of 20-year-old Dorothy Gale, who’s transported to another world with her dog — this time, a police canine — to a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy.
Since it has a limited episode order, the series will likely be used to fill in time during the 2015-16 season to cut down on repeats aired during the year.
The Dark Tower: It’s on again, it’s off again, it’s back on again . . . It looks like there is movement again on adapting this fantasy/western series of books by Stephen King, assuming this isn’t another false start. Sony is teaming with MRC (the company previously working on the project) to get this property moving forward on television as well as the big screen in the current scramble for franchises that will carry over across multiple mediums. The current plan is apparently to do a feature film first and then follow that with a companion TV series. The timing has yet to be determined nor where the series would land, but at least this long-delayed project is in motion again.