Sci Fi TV Development: The Exorcist, The Punisher, Midnight Texas, Altered Carbon, and More in the Works

By | January 27, 2016

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 is upon us as the networks start order pilots for shows that could appear on their schedule in Fall 2016 or later, so expect plenty of development announcements in the coming weeks.  Below is a roundup of the new announcements from the last couple of weeks as well as some updates on previously announced projects.

the-exorcist-tv-seriesThe Exorcist

Network: FOX

Production Team: Jeremy Slater (Writer / Executive Producer), James Robinson (Executive Producer), Barbara Wall (Executive Producer), 20th Century Fox Television (Production Company)

Status: Pilot Ordered

About: “A modern reinvention inspired by William Blatty’s original book, The Exorcist is a propulsive, serialized psychological thriller following two very different men tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession, and confronting the face of true evil.” Source: Hollywood Reporter

Comments: This reboot of the original book/movie follows the recent theme of adult-oriented supernatural dramas and will be one of the pilots FOX considers for its 2016-17 schedule.

The Punisher

Network: Netflix

Production Team: N/A

Starring: Jon Bernthal

Status: Very Early Development

About: This would be a spinoff from Netflix’s Daredevil series, the second season of which will feature the anti-hero The Punisher in a prominent role. Source: Hollywood Reporter

Comments: Netflix is only considering this at the moment as a way to expand the number of Marvel superhero shows it has airing. Whether or not it goes forward will likely depend upon reaction to Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of the character in the upcoming second season of Daredevil.

Midnight Texas

Network: NBC

Production Team: Monica Owusu-Breen (Writer / Executive Producer), David Janollari (Executive Producer)

Status: Pilot Ordered

About: “A supernatural project described as “Twins Peaks” meets “True Blood.” Based on the novels of the same name from author Charlaine Harris who wrote the books that inspired HBO’s vampire hit, the pilot is set in the remote town of Midnight, Texas, where your neighbor could be a vampire, a witch, a werewolf or even an angel. Mystery, horror and romance combine to both enthrall and frighten any outsiders who decide to venture into this unusual place.” Source: Variety

Comments: It looks like NBC is trying to jump on the current trend of adult-oriented supernatural dramas as well as beat the Twin Peaks revival (scheduled for 2017) to television. They will consider this for their 2016-17 season schedule.



Network: FX

Production Team: Lauren Shuler Donner (Executive Producer), Simon Kinberg (Executive Producer), Jeph Loeb (Executive Producer)

Status: Development

About: “Legion introduces the story of David Haller: Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real. He’s based on the Marvel comics character Legion, the son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier, first introduced in 1985.” Source: Deadline Hollywood

Comments: The latest news on this series is that they have begun casting in hopes of getting it on the schedule in 2016.  FX CEO John Landgraf also indicated it will not take place in the same universe as the X-Men movies: “It takes place in a parallel universe.  The US government is in the early days of being aware of mutants, but not the public. I  don’t foresee any characters moving back and forth (between the movies and the series).”

Y: The Last Man

Network: FX

Production Team: Nina Jacobson (Executive Producer), Brad Simpson (Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development

About: “Y: The Last Man revolves around Yorick Brown — the last surviving human with a Y chromosome — and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand. The series follows escape artist Yorick after the mysterious plague as he sets out to find what might have wiped out the world’s male chromosomes.” Source: Hollywood Reporter

Comments: Based on the popular comic book series of the same name created by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. This one has been in development for a while, but the latest word from FX CEO John Landgraf  at the TCAs is that it is moving forward and could hit the schedule later this year or early next year.


Network: FOX

Production Team: Lauren Shuler Donner (Executive Producer), Simon Kinberg (Executive Producer), Jeph Loeb (Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development

About: “Hellfire follows a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires – known as ‘The Hellfire Club’ – to take over the world.” Source:Deadline Hollywood

Comments: According to the latest information, this one appears to be stalled as the majority of the production staff has departed for other projects.  But it has not been pronounced dead yet, so it could still move forward at some point.


altered-carbon-tv-seriesAltered Carbon

Network: Netflix

Production Team: Laeta Kalogridis (Writer / Executive Producer

Status: Series Ordered / Early Production

About:Altered Carbon is set in the 25th century when the human mind has been digitized and the soul itself is transferable from one body to the next. Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite interstellar warrior known as an Envoy who has been imprisoned for 500 years, is downloaded into a future he’d tried to stop. If he can solve a single murder in a world where technology has made death nearly obsolete, he’ll get a chance at a new life on Earth.” Source: Deadline Hollywood

Comments: Based on the 2002 Richard Morgan novel of the same name, this series will likely bow late 2016 or early 2017.


Network: NBC

Production Team: Eric Kripke (Co-Creator / Executive Producer), Shawn Ryan (Co-Creator / Executive Producer), John Davis (Executive Producer), Marney Hochman (Executive Producer)

Status: Pilot Ordered

About: “Described as ‘Back To The Future meets Mission: Impossible,’ Time is a high-octane drama following an unlikely trio who travel through time to battle a master criminal intent on altering the fabric of human history with potentially catastrophic results.” Source: Deadline Hollywood

Comments: This follows the recent trend of time-travel themed series and NBC will consider this for their 2016-17 season schedule. Kripke previously created Revolution for NBC which ran for two seasons from 2012 to 2014 before getting cancelled.


Network: Hulu

Production Team: Josh Pate (Co-Creator / Writer / Executive Producer), Nicholas Schutt (Co-Creator / Writer / Executive Producer), Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Writer / Executive Producer)

Status: Early Development

About: The premise delivers “a new take on the superhero origin story. It will blend elements of magical realism and vigilantism, set against the backdrop of a ‘supernaturalized’ Los Angeles.” Source: The Wrap

Comments: This show will mix the superhero and supernatural trends and Hulu will likely target a late 2016 or early 2017 bow.

Untitled Time Travel Comedy Pilot

Network: FOX

Production Team: Julius “Goldie” Sharpe (Creator / Executive Producer), Phil Lord (Executive Producer), Chris Miller (Executive Producer), Seth Cohen (Executive Producer)

Status: Pilot Ordered

About: “The single-camera comedy centers on three unlikely friends who find an even less likely way to travel through time, irreversibly complicating their personal lives in 2016 as the great moments of the past collide with today’s pop culture, with hilarious and disastrous results. They visit some of the greatest moments of the past as they try to resolve their personal problems, while history and pop culture comically collide.” Source: Hollywood Reporter

Comments: Another entry in the current time travel trend, this one comes from the executive producers of FOX’s The Last Man on Earth.

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