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.
With the latest Television Critics Association press tour (TCAs) going on, there have been quite a few announcements over the past couple of weeks. Following is a roundup of some of the updates on previous announcements we have covered here as well as new development in the works. If you noticed any announcements that I missed, please include those in the comments section.
X-Men: Progress continues on making this live-action television adaptation of the comics a reality. FOX Chairman and CEO Dana Walden commentated that they are “in negotiations with Marvel” and that they are hoping “to announce something soon”. Walden added that this deal “could potentialy include characters in the X-Men feature film franchise (which is owned by Fox) and not any characters in the Marvel-verse that are with Disney and rival ABC”. It is unlikely, though, that the actors from the original films would reprise their roles on TV. If they can work out a deal, the show would likely be targeted to hit FOX’s schedule in Fall 2016.
Cassius and Clay: This previously announced “animated action-buddy-comedy centered on two women living as bandits in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic America” from the creators of Archer has been picked up by FXX. Archer will also be moving to that network for its seventh season and both shows will debut there in 2016.
Xena Reboot: Murmurs of a reboot/revival of Xena: Warrior Princess have circulating around just recently and former series star Lucy Lawless previously claimed that they were “just a rumor”. But NBC has officially announced plans for a reboot with the original’s shows creators Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi onboard. It sounds like they are still trying to hammer out the focus of the new series, but The Hollywood Reporter claims that sources have told them “the new, modern Xena would have to have the charisma and charm of Lawless and the smarts of The Hunger Games‘ Katniss as producers are said to be looking for a sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation”. And NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has stated that “I don’t think it’s just a continuation, but we haven’t gotten that far. I think it’s a great character, and we should try to figure out how to revive it somehow”. NBC is currently eyeing a 2016 debut for the show.
Gateway: Syfy is not slowing down on development anytime soon as they have put yet another series in their pipeline, this one to be based on the Hugo and Nebula award winning novels written by Fredirik Pohl. Following was the pitch given for the series:
In Gateway, humanity discovers an asteroid teeming with the long-abandoned spaceships of an advanced alien race — the Heechee — setting in motion a gold rush for alien artifacts and technology. The ships are preprogrammed, transporting their voyagers to distant worlds of riches — or certain death. Undaunted by the peril or the odds, prospector Robinette Broadhead gambles everything on a journey to Gateway. After one nightmare mission, he returns to extraordinary wealth and luxury but is haunted by the loss of his crewmates, including the love of his life.
David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies) will be aboard as executive producers and the show is likely looking at a late 2016/early 2017 bow.
Friday the 13th: This franchise could return to the small screen as The CW is currently looking at making a series based on the property. The details are sketchy, but the network did reveal at the TCAs that it would focus on the town of Crystal Lake which is near the camp where Jason started off his murderous streak. Interestingly, The CW’s president flat out admitted that they were going for name recognition: “It’s about the title. Franchises give you great auspices and a lot of great literary material to draw out of. I’m a great believer in titles and franchises. It makes it break out of the pack”. There was a previous Friday the 13th series that aired in syndication in the late 80’s though it was only related to the movies in name as it delivered a semi-anthology format following a group searching for cursed items.
Frequency: At the same TCA meeting, The CW announced plans to adapt another feature film to a television series, this time 2000’s Frequency which starred Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel. That movie was about a man who could communicate with his deceased father in the past via a ham radio and Supernatural producer Jeremy Carver is working on the adaptation. Apparently this started out at NBC but has since moved to the fifth place network. And for those interested, that meeting also revealed that The CW was working on a Riverdale TV series based on the most recent line of Archie comics.
Horrorstör: FOX has given a put pilot commitment (meaning they pay significant penalties if they do not go forward with the series) for this supernatural/dramedy based on the novel of the same name by Grady Hendrix. According to Deadline Hollywood, the show
Centers on 26-year-old Amy. Newly sober, she lands a job at ORSK, the U.S. Flagship of the European furniture superstore. It feels like just the opportunity she’s needed to get her life back on track, but as Amy comes to discover, the store actually preys upon its customers’ desires to a supernatural degree, selling products that make their wishes and fantasies come true in unexpected and insidious ways.
This one is early in the development stage and would probably hit at mid-season or later.
Powerless: NBC has ordered a pilot for this superheroes-meet-The-Office comedy based on the DC comic book of the same name. According to Deadline Hollywood, it is
a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies in America — with the twist being that it also takes place in the universe of DC Comics. The show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains.
If it gets picked up, it would likely hit the schedule around mid-season or later.