Sci Fi TV Development: A Possible Watchmen Series, A MacGyver Reboot, Locke & Key Could be Back On, And More

By | October 12, 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 early results for Fall are in, and the ratings are down for almost all of the scripted shows on television.  But that’s not slowing down new development.  Following is a round up of ten announcements that I have seen over the past two weeks including several major ones.  Note that I have changed the format of the development announcements as I plan to start compiling these together on one page and track their progress over the coming months and beyond.


Network: HBO

Production: Zack Snyder (Development/Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development Stages

About: Based on the Alan Moore comic book series about an aging group of superheroes that was turned into the 2009 movie directed by Zack Snyder

Comments: This is only in the very early stages at the moment, but Zack Snyder is in talks with HBO about possibly producing a Watchmen TV series.  Very little info is currently available, so there’s no indication on whether this would try to adapt the original series or act as a sequel or prequel or a combination of those options.  Source: Collider


Network: CBS

Production: Henry Winkler (Executive Producer), James Wan (Director/Executive Producer), R. Scott Gemmill (Writer)

Status: Development

About: “A reimagining of the television series of the same name, following a 20-something MacGyver as he gets recruited into a clandestine organization where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters from happening.” THR

Comments: CBS has made a put-pilot commitment on this project which means that they will pay a high penalty if they decide pass on it.  Henry Winkler is onboard and he was also the executive producer of the original series which starred Richard Dean Anderson. Source: THR

Skin Trade

Network: Cinemax

Production: George R.R. Martin (Creator/Executive Producer), Kalinda Vazquez (Writer/Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development

About: “A collections agent who happens to be a werewolf and his friend, a private investigator, discover a dark secret behind a series of grisly murders in their decaying industrial city.” Cinemax Logline

Comments: This is based on Martin’s novella of the same name which was published in the 80’s as part of the annual horror anthology Night Vision 5.  Cinemax has ordered a script with an eye on possible going into production as a series.  This is part of Martin’s development deal with HBO/Cinemax.  Source: THR

locke-and-keyLocke & Key

Network: n/a

Production: Joe Hill (Co-Creator)

Status: Early Development

About: Based on the comic book series created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez about three children who assume the responsibility as caretakers or a mysterious and magical New England mansion.

Comments:  Joe Hill commented that plans for a trilogy of movies have fallen through, but since IDW is now developing their own television productions they are considering moving forward with this one.  In 2011, FOX produced a well-received pilot based on the comics, but decided not to go forward with that as a series.  Any new series would likely be completely separate from the FOX project.  Source: CBR

Damage Control

Network: ABC

Production: Ben Karlin (Executive Producer), Jeph Loeb (Executive Producer)

Status: Pilot Development

About: “Follows the overworked, underpaid, clean up crew of the Marvel Universe.  Specializing in dealing with the aftermath of the unique fallout from super hero conflicts, they’re the ones who are in charge of returning lost ray guns to their rightful owners, help to reschedule a wedding venue after it has been vaporized in a super hero battle, or even track down a missing prize African parrot that’s been turned to stone or goo.” The Wrap

Comments: ABC has given a put-pilot commitment meaning that they will pay a heavy penalty for passing on it.  This would join Marvel’s Most Wanted (more on that at this link) as yet another Marvel comics based show joining ABC’s schedule.  The network is currently airing Agents of SHIELD and has Agent Carter scheduled for a mid-season bow.  Source: The Wrap

Kingkiller Chronicles

Network: n/a

Production: Lionsgate Studios

Status: Early Development

About: This series will be based on the fantasy trilogy by Patrick Rothfuss, telling the autobiography of Kvothe, an adventurer and famous musician.

Comments: Lionsgate has announced that they will develop a movie series, television show, and video game based on the books by Rothfuss. Source: EW

these-final-hoursThese Final Hours

Network: FOX

Production: EuropaCorp TV Studios USA, Zak Hilditch (Creator/Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development

About: “These Final Hours, set after a world-ending meteor strike, follows three siblings in the San Francisco Bay Area as they race to get to their estranged father’s bomb shelter that can withstand the end of days. The series tackles the question of not only what would you do, but how would you want to remember yourself if the world was ending.” Deadline Hollywood

Comments:  This is based on the Australian film written and directed by Hilditch.  FOX has given a script commitment plus penalty for the project.  Source: Deadline Hollywood


Network: BBC

Production: Patrick Ness (Writer/Executive Producer)

Status: Early Production

About: This Doctor Who spin-off “is a YA series set in contemporary London and featuring the Coal Hill School, a key location in the longrunning sci-fi adventure series.” EW

Comments: This spin-off series will be helmed by Patrick Ness who wrote the YA novels A Monster Calls and Chaos Walking.  It is targeting late 2016 to hit the air. Source: EW

The Wilding

Network: USA

Production: Silka Luisa (Creator/Writer), Tim Kring (Executive Producer)

Status: Early Production

About: “Set in suburban North Carolina, The Wilding centers around the Hayes family — a typical, loving blended family seeking a fresh start after their 17-year-old daughter, Kayla, is released from a mental health institution following ten years of treatment. Their ideals are quickly threatened, however, when Kayla’s apparitions of the dead begin to haunt them once again.” Deadline Hollywood

Comments: USA has ordered a two hour pilot for this project which currently looks likely to get picked up for a series.  Source: Deadline Hollywood

Fantasy Island

Network: ABC

Production Team: Sheldon Turner (Writer/Executive Producer), Jennifer Klein (Executive Producer)

Status:  Early Development

About: This remake of the 70’s/80’s series “will follow a brilliant, dynamic and sexy woman who runs a San Francisco-based company that provides clients with his/her most intimate, dark or outlandish fantasy.” THR

Comments: ABC has give a script plus penalty for this remake that will do a gender switch with the lead role.  The network previously rebooted Fantasy Island as a darker take on the original in 1998, but lasted for only thirteen episodes.  Source: THR

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