Sci Fi TV Development: Star Wars Spin-offs Could Hit Netflix, Dirk Gently Returns to Television, Syfy Goes Grindhouse and Supernatural Western, and More

By | August 4, 2015

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.

The development announcements keep coming, with plenty of sci fi / fantasy in the pipeline (when will we find the time to watch all of these?).  Below are some recent announcements as well as two from a few weeks ago that I overlooked.

star-wars-titleStar Wars: Count this one very much in the rumor category at the moment, but Spoiler TV (a site that has been known to jump on unreliable bits of news) is reporting that Disney is interested in partnering with Netflix on three Star Wars spin-off shows.  The deal would be allegedly similar to the one that the Mouse House currently has with Netflix for the Marvel characters Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage (plus the team-up series The Defenders), but there’s not much more information available.  Whether these would be animated (like Star Wars: Rebels) or live action entries remains to be seen, but it would be interesting to see what Netflix could do to expand on that universe.

Dirk Gently:  BBC is taking another stab at Douglass Adams’ Dirk Gently sci fi detective character, but this time they are targeting the series for American audiences.  The new series (which apparently will not be a continuation of the short-lived show that aired in Britain starting in 2010) will have BBC America as its home, and Chronicle‘s Max Landis will be penning the initial scripts.  The first BBC series starred Stephen Mangan as the titular character and ran for four episodes.  It does not appear that he will return for the new show which will likely air at some point in 2016.

Blood Drive:  Syfy continues its spaghetti-against-the-wall programming strategy as they have ordered this Death Race 2000 type series for 2016 that “tells the story of a police officer forced to join a cross-country death race featuring cars powered by blood”.  Syfy’s president David Howe offers the following comment on the show: “This highly stylized roller coaster ride is a throwback to 1970s grindhouse cinema”.  It has been give a direct to series order with twelve episodes planned for the first season.

Wynonna Earp:  And in a completely different direction from the above series (and the network’s alleged return to science fiction), Syfy has placed a direct to series order for this show based on the IDW comic book created by Beau Smith.  It is described by the show’s production company Seven24Films as “Justified meets Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Wrap gives the following synopsis:

A modern supernatural Western, it follows Wyatt Earp’s great granddaughter as she battles demons and other supernatural beings and uses her unique abilities and a dysfunctional posse of allies to bring the paranormal to justice.

Thirteen episodes are planned for the first season with a targeted premiere of April 2016.

Jacked: This series (originally titled Amped) by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke has been in motion for a while and Hollywood Reporter apparently talked with him about it at comic con.  It is about a man who receives superpowers from a “smart pill” he purchases online, and it will debut as a comic book from DC’s Vertigo in November.  USA is working on a television adaptation which will likely hit at some point in 2016.  You can read the interview at this link.

Sand:  Heroes creator Tim Kring is working on a television adaptation of this self-published novel by Hugh Howey. offers the following description of the Dune-like series:

This dreary dystopian tale chronicles the parched plight of a family of sand divers who plunge into the dangerous dunes of their sand-submerged planet to retrieve strange and valuable relics to help them survive the horribly harsh conditions.  

This one is very early in the development stage, so no network or time frame has been attached to it yet.


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