TV Development Report November 2010

This is a heads up on the science fiction and fantasy television development scene.

There is a disturbing lack of space based science fiction but a formidable avalanche of superhero and supernatural shows in development. Zombies are the new vampires.

Legend: SCRIPT | PILOT | SERIES | Superhero | Science Fiction | Supernatural | Fantasy | Zombie

Alabama (FX)

This looks like silly fun, no news on the pilot yet.

A comedy pilot set in space from the makers of Reno 911. The show is part-scripted and part-improvised, just like Reno 911. (THR) The pilot is set a thousand years in the future, aboard the United Nations peacekeeping spaceship: The USS Alabama. It follows the crew, who are in the sixth year of the their seven-year mission to maintain peace and enforce treaties between planets in their jurisdiction: (Deadline) Sector 187-G. The show will follow the heart- pounding action as our crew visits hostile planets, meets alien life-forms, and tries to have sex with each other in their tiny, metal bunk beds. The pilot will be shot in the Los Angeles area in September. (tfc)

Cast: Brandon Johnson as TBA, Mindy Sterling as Doc, Natasha Leggero as Roxy Sexbot, Robert Ben Garant as #2, Thomas Lennon as Glen Frenchman


Alphas (Syfy) superhero drama

Syfy picks up Alphas for an 11 episodes order in addition to the 90 minute pilot. Production is slated to begin in Toronto early next year for a summer 2011 debut.

It is easy to think of this is yet another superhero show but it has some redeeming features, with the connection to CIA, FBI and Pentagon, the quirky members and the different kind of superpowers the heroes have. On the other hand it is just another plain-cloth superhero drama.

Alphas started life as Section 8 which went to ABC after a bidding war in 2007 but there it cooled off during the writers strike and now Syfy has dusted it off and renamed. Production of the 90 minute Pilot is scheduled to begin in Toronto August 2010 and Syfy is reported to look at a 2011 release. Will the writer behind  X-Men: The Last Stand make this a great show?The pilot will be directed by Jack Bender (Lost).

Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Using physical feats and uniquely advanced mental abilities, this unlikely team takes the law into their own hands and uncovers what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy


  • David Strathairn as Leigh Rosen the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives.
  • Ryan Cartwright (Bones) as Gary Bell a member of the team who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. His Alpha ability allows him to “read” wireless transmissions passing through the ether – e-mails, cell phone communications, television signals, etc.
  • Warren Christie (Happy Town, October Road) as Christian Hicks a new recruit on the team with a history of psychological problems, drug abuse and an anti-authoritarian streak whose Alpha skill is hyperkinesis – near-perfect dexterity and hand/eye coordination.
  • Malik Yoba (Defying Gravity, New York Undercover) as Bill Harken a former FBI agent from working class roots. Harken’s Alpha skill allows him to intentionally activate a “fight-or-flight mechanism” producing a power surge of adrenaline giving him increased strength, speed and immunity from pain.
  • Laura Mennell (Watchmen) as Nina Theroux a complicated team member, seductive, intelligent and confident, Nina’s Alpha ability allows her to influence people into doing whatever she wishes but her power can sometimes spin out of control. Her skill also comes with a personal drawback in that she can never be sure if anyone’s feelings for her are real. Nina was the first team member enlisted by Dr. Rosen to whom she remains extremely loyal.
  • Azita Ghanizada will have a regular role if the show goes forward as a series. She plays Rachel who, from an early age, has been able to “hyper-intensify” her senses, one at a time—vision, hearing, taste, and smell. Her mother and father—who are conservative parents—thought she was cursed and discouraged this unique and amazing ability. Overly sensitive—literally—Rachel has always felt ashamed and rejected. With Dr. Rosen’s help and encouragement, she’s learning to appreciate her skill and grow increasingly confident and adventurous.
  • Callum Keith Rennie plays Don Wilson, a Washington bureaucrat, and Lee Rosen’s superior and contact inside the Pentagon.


Ball and Chain (Syfy)

After months of emotional tumult, Edgar and Mallory call their relationship quits. As they say their final goodbyes, the ex-lovers are nearly hit by a meteorite that, it turns out, imbues them with extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, the powers only work when they are in close proximity to each other. Though the last thing they want to do is stay together, they’ll need to try if they hope to overcome the newly arrived other-worldly forces that threaten to destroy them and anyone else who gets in the way. Based on a comic (Turning in to SCiFi TV)


Blood and Chrome (Syfy)

I am more excited about this than I am of Caprica but that is not saying much. The ending of BSG sort of ruined most of this world for me.

Set ten years into the first Cylon war (which would place it about four decades before BSG). The pilot centers on a young William Adama. Right now, it’s still just a TV movie that might become a series…

Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20’s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet’ the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet.


  • Beka Kelly, a software genius that Eick describes as being “enigmatic and seemingly impenetrable… [someone who] gives Adama a run for his money.” Young Adama will connect with her in the pilot as he experiences his first taste of combat fresh out of cadet school. Beka has yet to be cast.


Camelot (Starz)

This show has had a long journey. Starz has done some real good shows so I have good hopes on some fantasy entertainment.

Starz and GK-TV announced today that Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green, Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton have signed on to the upcoming series “Camelot.” “Camelot” will take a fresh approach to telling the Arthur story, and casting Fiennes as the wizard Merlin and Eva Green, in her first television role, as the powerful sorceress Morgana will help set the tone for the series. The essential roles of Arthur and Guinevere will be played by Jamie Campbell Bower and Tamsin Egerton, respectively.

CAST: Claire Forlani as Igraine, Eva Green as Morgana, Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur, Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Peter Mooney as Kay, Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere

The showrunner told Collider that the series would take its inspiration from Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.

“We have a grand plan, which…will allow for multiple seasons,” he explained. “We’re starting right from the birth of Arthur, and we’ll go through and try to tell the truth that lies behind the myth.”

Chibnall confirmed that the show would present a realistic take on the Arthurian legends.

“These are the events that could have contributed to these myths, because myths grow, change and shift in the re-telling over time,” he said. “What was interesting to me…was excavating what it might be like to have lived then and how these stories might have come about.”

However, he admitted that characters such as Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) would still experiment with magical forces.

“The magic is very much a part of our storytelling,” he claimed. “What powers Merlin has, how much he can control them [and] how that plays into his character, is really [an important] part of the story.”


Chloe (CW)

Marti Noxon (“Mad Men”) has snagged a script order from the network for a new drama about “a young female con artist who dies and returns to earth as a Divine Covert Operator.” She’ll supervise Jason Fuchs (“Holy Rollers”), who’s penning the pilot, and executive produce alongside her production partner Dawn Parouse. No other specifics, including the studio attached, were given.


Cloak & Dagger (ABC)

Is the comic any good?

Drama based on the marvel comic of the same name about Tyrone “Ty” Johnson and Tandy Bowen, teen runaways in new york city who develop superpowers – he can engulf enemies in darkness, she can emit daggers of light – after being forced to take experimental drugs.


Death Valley (MTV)

This could be fun.

Death Valley is a scripted horror-comedy that captures the exploits of the men and women of the Undead Task Force (UTF) – an elite branch of the LAPD that was formed in 2009 when the San Fernando Valley became overrun by zombies, vampires and werewolves. While scientists frantically search for an answer to what caused the outbreak, the UTF is responsible for eradicating the monsters, or at least containing them to the Valley. Documenting each case and paranormal encounter is a daring camera crew that is embedded with the UTF from the beginning to end of every shift. As a result, the documentary crew becomes central to the storytelling and is as much a part of the action as the young cops and the undead they encounter. Always alternating between humor and horror, Death Valley at times borrows from the conventions of reality television creating a visual style that is a blend of follow documentary and sci-fi action.

Bryan Callen (“How I Met Your Mother”) has been tapped for the lead role on the upcoming series, “a scripted horror-comedy that captures the exploits of the men and women of the Undead Task Force (UTF) – an elite branch of the LAPD that was formed in 2009 when the San Fernando Valley became overrun by zombies, vampires and werewolves.” He’ll play Captain Jim Dashell in the half-hour, which also stars Caity Lotz, Charlie Sanders and Tania Raymonde. Austin Reading, Julie Kellman Reading, Eric Weinberg and Tim Healy are the executive producers.

Cast: Bryan Callen as Jim Dashell, Caity Lotz as TBA, Charlie Sanders as TBA, Tania Raymonde as TBA


Department Zero (ABC)

It is based on the best-selling Joe Ledger novels by Jonathan Maberry (It should be said that those books are Zombie related – My comment). Described as is a high-octane techno-thriller, the project centers on the Department of Military Sciences – a special unit that fights enemies armed with cutting-edge technology.


Dirk Gently (BBC4)

It has been confirmed that BBC Four is to pilot an adaptation of Douglas Adams’s novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The book is to be adapted for TV by Howard Overman, the creator of Channel 4 comedy drama Misfits, and will be made for BBC Four by ITV Studios in 2011.The science-fiction comedy is about a private detective who believes in the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. As a result, Gently’s “Holistic Detective Agency” solves the whole crime and finds the whole person, but because business is so low on the ground his main business tends to involve finding missing cats. It was a fun read not on level with Hitchhikers’ but good enough. The writers spill that they used the basics from the book to write a new story.

Stephen Mangan will play Douglas Adams’ eccentric detective Dirk Gently in a new BBC Four drama based on the author’s cult novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.

He is joined by Darren Boyd as his unwitting sidekick Richard Macduff and Helen Baxendale as Richard’s girlfriend Susan in the adaptation by Bafta-winning Howard Overman.

Anti-hero Dirk Gently operates his eponymous detective agency based on the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. Perpetually broke, hopelessly chaotic and utterly infuriating, most people suspect Dirk is nothing more than a cheap conman. And they might be right – but nevertheless his methods, though unusual, do often produce surprising results.

When Dirk sets out to solve an apparently simple and harmless disappearance of a cat from an old lady’s house, he unwittingly uncovers a double murder which, in turn, leads to a host of even more extraordinary events


Eternal Law (ITV)

A new supernatural drama from the creators of Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes.

It focuses on two angels called Zak and Tom who are sent to earth to help a community and try to understand humanity.

The show is set in York and follows Zak and Tom as they work as lawyers and try to persuade people to treat others well. However, the pair struggle to follow through with their plans because of their enemy, dark angel Richard Pembroke.

Meanwhile, Zak is recovering from falling in love with a human called Hannah the last time he was on Earth. The relationship is against angelic law but Zak soon discovers that Hannah is now working for Richard.

Filming for Eternal Law will begin in February and the show is expected to air next year (2011).

Source: digitalspy


Fallen (Fox)

Drama about a group of vigilante “fallen” angels who take down the criminal and the corrupt in New York while falling in love, battling demons and seeking their own personal revenge.


Fallen Skies (TNT)

From DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg that stars Noah Wyle (ER, TNT’s The Librarian movies). The series opens shortly after aliens have wiped out most of the human population. The aliens are now rounding up the few people left, but they are met with strong resistance from a group of soldiers and civilians who fight for their survival – all while struggling to maintain their humanity.

Wyle plays Tom Mason, a former college history professor who becomes the reluctant leader of one of the resistance groups. Also starring in the series are Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Anne Glass, a therapist who works with the surviving children to help them cope with the traumatic situation;
Drew Roy (Lincoln Heights) as Hal and Maxim Knight (Brothers & Sisters) as Matt, Tom’s two sons;
Jessy Schram (Crash) as Karen, who is one of the survivors’ motorcycle scouts; and Seychelle Gabriel (Weeds) as Lourdes, an orphaned teenager who helps run the group’s commissary.


Game of Thrones (HBO)

HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s acclaimed novel series. Hopes to do seven seasons — one for each novel in the series. Producer D.B. Weiss says it won’t be a huge, splashy series with thousands of orcs stampeding across the screen. Instead, it’ll stay true to the books, and most of the battles will take place offstage.

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.

The cast has changed many times but seems to have stabilized.


Ghost Angels (NBC)

Dramedy about a young woman in los angeles who can talk to the dead, helping the spirits as much as they are helping her. Rachel Bilson is the only one to have been cast so far.


Ghost World (ABC)

Written by What About Brian creator Dana Stevens, is about a ghost on the other side who helps an ambitious young female homicide detective solve crimes in the hopes of uncovering clues to his own life and death and centers on the mysterious, intense and sometimes infuriating connection the two feel toward each other.


Ghost/Alien (Comedy Central)

This sounds rather hit or miss. There has been no news in a while on this show so it might be over.

It centers on Trey Hamburger and his loyal best friend, Mike Stevens – a couple of regular reefer-loving guys living the good life in Leonard, Michigan, until everything goes awry. “Ghosts/Aliens” follows Trey and Mike’s quest to expose the truth about the existence of ghosts and aliens.

Robert Hamburger on twitter: @RobertHamburger


  • Allan McLeod as Derek Wood
  • Joey Kern as Trey Hamburger
  • Kaylee DeFer as Dawn Bayard
  • Keir O’Donnell as Mike Stevens
  • Nathan Barnatt as Jeff Trenton
  • Rebecca Wisocky as Deb Hamburger


Grave Sight (CBS)

Supernatural drama based on Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly series. A script is expected in early 2011. I have not read this series but I guess I have to now. True Blood is among the best on television

The mystery novels follow Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver as they travel around the country helping find missing persons and solving murder cases, and much like Sookie Stackhouse, Harper has a special gift. Since being struck by lightning as a teenager, she has the ability to sense dead bodies and see how they died. Tolliver assists her in their consulting business, and the two stepsiblings have a close, but complicated relationship.

The overarching mystery across all four novels is their search for Harper’s sister, who disappeared on her way home from school and has never been found. There are currently four Harper Connelly novels: Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave and Grave Secret.


Guardians (NBC)

Comedy about guardian angels posing as starbucks baristas in an effort to help customers improve their lives.


Howl (Fox)

Things have been quiet about the script this year so it is probably dead. A drama described as an epic family saga about warring families of werewolves in a small Alaskan town.


Humanitas (HBO)

Medical drama set in a time when major advances in medicine have created dilemmas for doctors and fanned fears that a devastating pandemic is imminent.


Human Relations (Syfy)

The Office meets Men in Black in this project featuring an office Temp who slowly discovers that his off-kilter and odd-ball bosses at the strange hi-tech “ad agency” where he works are really aliens working on a plan to destroy the Earth.


Identity (ABC)

Drama about an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime.


Legendary (Syfy)

A 1/2-hour single-camera series in which Kevin Sorbo plays an exaggerated version of himself… a former syndicated television series star. When a fan approaches Sorbo to enlist his skills in combating the underworld mythological creatures that threaten to destroy Los Angeles, an unlikely partnership is formed. Together, they use their intimate knowledge of the myths of Hercules to defeat a myriad of beasts.


Locke & Key (Fox)

Said to be planned to air next summer (2011).

Drama about a family still reeling from their patriarch’s murder who move to a mansion in lovecraft, Massachusetts with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them… and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all.

Locke & Key will be written by Friedman who will also serve as showrunner. Based on Joe Hill’s comic, the project centers on Keyhouse, an unlikely New England family estate where brothers Tyler, Kinsey and Bode Locke uncover fantastic doors that transform all who walk through them and a hate-filled and relentless creature. Friedman, Kurtzman, Orci, Spielberg and DreamWorks TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank are executive producing. For the upcoming development cycle (deadline) Ordered to series (Variety)

Based on the comic book series by Joe Hill and distributed by IDW Publishing, “Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, a New England mansion with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. The building is also home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all.


  • Miranda Otto as Nina Locke, a mother of three who moves into Keyhouse after a terrible tragedy. Otto previously appeared on television in the miniseries “The Starter Wife,” though is probably best known for her role as Eowyn in “The Lord of the Rings” films.


Magical Law (Fox)

It will take place in a world where the supernatural is a part of everyday life. The show will follow the cops and lawyers who are charged with prosecuting magical and paranormal crimes.

Developed by the Ring director Gore Verbinski.NYM reports that Verbinski will re-team with Pirates of the Caribbean writer Terry Rossio.

Verbinski and Rossio will executive produce the pilot episode alongside Jeff Rake, a former lawyer who previously worked on legal drama The Practice and spinoff Boston Legal. (Digital Spy)


Mars (Comedy Central)

Eric Slovin and Leo Allen (“Saturday Night Live,” “Important Things with Demetri Martin”) bring their hilarious vision of life on a space station to the airwaves. It’s awkward office politics as usual in Deep Space, with a twist – the whole thing might just be a social experiment funded by an eccentric zillionaire with a love for all things astral.


Mars Direct (Fox)

Drama about a mission to the red planet.


Me and Lee (Syfy)

In this 1/2-hour single-camera series, a down-on-his-luck 20-something undergoes back surgery, only to find that the procedure did not go well. Enter Lee Majors, who claims he has the perfect solution. He entices the young man into his ultra high-tech lab and makes him bionic. Now intrinsically bound together, Majors tries helping his new partner get his life back on track.


Metadoc (Syfy)

Drama about a secretive wing of a large urban hospital that treats injured superheroes.

Based on the Antarctic Press comic book series created by Joe Dunn and Rod Espinoza and controlled by Platinum Studios, Metadocs follows a team of specialists tasked with treating a small percentage of the world’s population who have become ‘afflicted’ with extraordinary abilities — how do you perform surgery on a man with unbreakable skin? The hypothetical becomes the actual as great powers now also come with great medical complications. Metadocs treats these patients when and where no other hospital can, using real world science and medicine.


Murmurs (CBS)

Drama set in a world where time travel is a reality and the agency that detects and corrects alterations in time called murmurs, ensuring that history remains unchanged.


Netherworld (FX)

A medical show with a supernatural slant set at a mental hospital


Nocturnal Misson (Comedy Central)

An out-of-this-world comedy that stars Chris D’Elia (“Monk”, “Boston Legal”), who has been sent to Earth to save the planet. Without realizing there is a difference between someone’s on-line persona and who they really are, the alien brain trust has identified super-nerd Moshe Kasher (“Chelsea Lately”, “Live at Gotham”), to impregnate as many women as possible.


Noir (Starz)

U.S. remake of a 2001 show about two female assassins working in a criminal underworld. After discovering they’re mysteriously linked, the two and have to work together on missions (under the moniker of “Noir”) until they figure out why and how they are connected — or until one of them kills the other.

Stephen Lightfoot (Criminal Justice and House of Saddam) is the writer and executive producer. Raimi and Tapert will exec produce.


Nola Rising (NBC)

Drama about a down-on-his-luck private investigator and a charismatic ex-con capable of being inhabited by ghosts who become unlikely partners to help solve the problems of new orleans citizens, living or dead.


Once Upon a Time (ABC)

Okay … another LOST wannabe this time from the exec producers of LOST. I am a bit intrigued so I would like to know more. I classified this as ordered to pilot but i am not sure it has been so officially yet.

“Lost” exec producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have sold their hourlong drama script “Once Upon a Time” to ABC.

Pilot, from ABC Studios, is a mix of sci-fi and fantasy with a strong mystery element. Premise is a modern-day take on fairy tales, with a female protagonist who comes from a unique background. Show takes place in a small Maine town during the present time.

Despite the fairy tale premise, show will have a strong human emotional center. Similar to “Lost,” there will be a large ensemble.

Source: Variety


Orion (syfy)

National Treasure meets Firefly in this swashbuckling space opera about an adventurous female relic hunter and her team as they hunt down — and sometimes steal — valuable and powerful objects to sell on the black market, all while staying one step ahead of the bounty hunters hot on their heels


Our Show (NBC)

Comedy a group of sci-fi fanboys in a small town who shoot their own version of a canceled tv show.


  • Dan Bakkedahl
  • Jonathan Sadowski as Jack
  • Lauren Weedman as Tammy
  • Mahaley Hessam as Maya
  • Maria Thayer as Ella
  • Nate Corddry as Mike
  • P. J. Byrne
  • Tyler James Williams as Brad


Patient Zero (NBC)

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills… and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good, and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance….


Plymouth Rock (CW)

drama about young people on a ship traveling to a distant planet in order to colonize and save the human race.


Pulp Bromance (Epix)

A one-hour action/dramedy from Michael Davis (Shoot Em’ Up), Don Murphy, Susan Montford, and Fox Television Studios based on a book series about a pulp bromance between two assassins who face the good, the bad, and the unknown in the most dangerous city in the world.


Rest (NBC)

Milo Ventimiglia has signed to star in and executive produce it. The show is based on a Top Cow comic book series called Rest that Ventimiglia co-created. The comic book centres on John Barrett, a New Yorker who becomes addicted to a drug that eliminates his need for sleep. He later gets involved in a conspiracy that “threatens to change the course of human history”, according to Top Cow. The Rest comic launched in 2008. The TV project has received a script commitment with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron attached. Source


S.A.N.D. Men (NBC)

Drama that revolves around members of an elite squad, sleep and nightmare division, who enter peoples’ dreams to confront their nightmares.


Secret Circle (CW)

Drama about a california teen who moves to her mom’s hometown of new salem and discovers that she is a witch.


Sherwood (Syfy)

In this “Robin Hood” story for the 23rd century, a young man of privilege teams up with a misfit spaceship crew to right the wrongs of his family.


Smokers (Fox)

Sam Raimi and Joshua Donen’s Stars Road Entertainment has booked two more drama projects. They’ll join the previously announced “Lancaster,” about a Scotland yard detective who joins the LAPD, from Andrew Lipsitz at CBS. Newly revealed are “Smokers,” about “a documentary crew following working class heroes who exterminate alien threats in deep space,” at FOX; and an untitled hour about a top female prosecutor in Los Angeles who’s billed as a “female vigilante with a law license.” Brian K. Vaughan (“Lost”) is behind the former, which is set up at FOX; and Dee Johnson (“The Good Wife”) is penning the latter, set up at ABC. Raimi and Donen will then executive produce alongside the aforementioned creators for Sony Pictures Television, where they have a first-look deal.


Terra Nova

Steven Spielberg and Peter Chernin are on track to team for a potential new drama at the network about “a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to the strange and inhospitable environs of prehistoric Earth.” 20th Century Fox Television is behind the hour, which could be ordered straight to series due to its elaborate sets and visual effects. Craig Silverstein (“Standoff”) and British scribe Kelly Marcel co-wrote the script based on an idea of Marcel’s. Silverstein, whose involvement is in second position to his “Nikita” pilot at The CW, and Marcel then would executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan, who packaged the project. Spielberg and Chernin have subsequently been courted as executive producers as well, where they would be joined by the former’s DreamWorks Television partners Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank and the latter’s Chernin Entertainment TV topper Katherine Pope.

Brannon Braga has reportedly been tapped as the showrunner of Steven Spielberg’s much-ballyhooed sci-fi drama, about “a family from 100 years in the future who travel back in time 150 million years to prehistoric Earth ruled by dinosaurs.” The project, which is being eyed for a direct-to-series commitment, was penned by Craig Silverstein and Kelly Marcel with Spielberg attached to executive produce alongside Aaron Kaplan, Peter Chernin, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank and Katherine Pope. Last month, Braga inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with “Nova” producer 20th Century Fox Television.

20th Century Fox TV has found the youths who’ll help round out Jason O’Mara’s family in the upcoming time-traveling drama Terra Nova. Landon Liboiron (DeGrassi: The Next Generation) will play Josh, the 17-year-old of Jim (O’Mara) and Elisabeth (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s Shelley Conn) Shannon who also finds a father figure in Frank Taylor (Avatar’s Stephen Lang). Newcomer Naomi Scott will play his sister Maddy, a bright 15-year-old, while newcomer Alana Mansour (no photo) has signed on as Zoe, the youngest member of the Shannon clan who is smuggled into the time-traveling portal that takes everyone to the Terra Nova settlement.

Other actors who have previously joined the high-concept series include Mido Hamada (24) and Allison Miller (Boston Legal). The drama that bows next May still has one more series regular role to fill before it starts production. The series takes place 100 years in the future.

Christine Adams (The Whole Truth) will play Mira — a battle-hardened resident of Terra Nova who gets to know the Shannon family.


The Cape

Goodie, another superhero series for mid season.

“The Cape” is a one-hour drama series starring David Lyons (“ER”) as Vince Faraday, an honest cop on a corrupt police force, who finds himself framed for a series of murders and presumed dead. He is forced into hiding, leaving behind his wife, Dana (Jennifer Ferrin, “Life on Mars”) and son, Trip (Ryan Wynott, “Flash Forward”). Fueled by a desire to reunite with his family and to battle the criminal forces that have overtaken Palm City, Faraday becomes “The Cape” his son’s favorite comic book superhero — and takes the law into his own hands. Rounding out the cast are James Frain (“The Tudors”) as billionaire Peter Fleming – The Cape’s nemesis – who moonlights as the twisted killer: Chess; Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) as Max Malini, the ringleader of a circus gang of bank robbers who mentors Vince Faraday and trains him to be The Cape; Summer Glau (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) as Orwell, an investigative blogger who wages war on crime and corruption in Palm City; and Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend to Faraday.

Learned from casting:

Dorian Missick (“Six Degrees”) as Marty Voyt, a former police detective and friend of Vince’s who tries to recruit him to join the Lynx Corporation, an ominous company.

James Frain (“The Tudors”) as Peter Fleming, the Chairman and CEO of the Blackwater-esque Lynx Corporation, who moonlights as “Chess,” a murderous villain. Chess is described as wearing a tight black mask in which only his freakish eyes – contact lenses bearing a rook and knight emblem – are visible.

Summer Glau, who has probably starred in more cult sci-fi series than any other actress, with stints on Fox’s “Firefly,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and “Dollhouse,” has joined NBC’s superhero-themed drama pilot “The Cape” in a leading role. Glau will play Orwell, a cute and intrepid investigative blogger who fearlessly goes after corrupt cops and costumed bad guys. And yes, she gets physical and is quite capable of kicking ass (THR)

Jennifer Ferrin (“Life on Mars”) will play Dana Faraday (“pretty, no pushover”), the man’s wife according to tfc

Keith David (“Death at a Funeral”) will play Max Malini, the leader of “The Carnival of Crime” – a group of carnival-themed bank robbers, who becomes Vince’s mentor. His character is further detailed as a showman/magician/escape-artist with “a faded-Errol-Flynn-feel about him.”

Ryan Wynott (“FlashForward”) will play Trip, Vince’s eight-year-old son, whose love of the fictional black-masked-super-hero inspires Vince to become the real thing.
Meanwhile, Vinnie Jones and Martin Klebba are set to guest star . Jones is believed to be playing Dominic Raoul, better known as the villain “Gator,” whose freakish skin condition gives him the appearance of green and gold scales. Klebba then is set as Rollo, the little person strongman in the Carnival of Crime. (tfc)

New promo pictures:

pictures courtesy of


The Clinic (Sundance)

set in the near future, a medical researcher runs a controversial clinic in a world that is pushing the boundaries of human medical testing.


The Dark Tower (NBC)

Oscar-winners Akiva Goldsman and Ron Howard are spearheading the effort with Howard directing the first part of a planned film trilogy from a script by Goldsman. Said film will spawn the TV series, the first season of which will bridge films one and two followed by a second film that leads into season two, and so forth. The duo will executive produce alongside Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer and King himself. As for specifics, “Tower” revolves around Roland Deschain, “the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity’s last hope to save a civilization that will crumble unless he finds the Dark Tower, a fabled building said to be the nexus of all universes.”

Eerie, dreamlike, set in a world that is weirdly related to our own, The Gunslinger introduces Roland Deschain of Gilead, of In-World that was, as he pursues his enigmatic antagonist to the mountains that separate the desert from the Western Sea. Roland is a solitary figure, perhaps accursed, who with a strange singlemindedness traverses an exhausted, almost timeless landscape. The people he encounters are left behind, or worse—left dead. At a way station, however, he meets Jake, a boy from a particular time (1977) and a particular place (New York City), and soon the two are joined—khef, ka, and ka-tet. The mountains lie before them. So does the man in black and, somewhere far beyond…the Dark Tower.


The Incredible Hulk (ABC)

Drama which would once again follow the exploits of physicist bruce banner whose accidental exposure to gamma radiation transforms him into the jade giant when he loses control of his emotions.


The Lotus Caves (Syfy)

Syfy today announced it has commissioned a scripted pilot from Bryan Fuller, creator of Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. The show will be based upon the popular book The Lotus Caves by John Christopher, about colonists who rebel against the rigidity of their lunar colony by exploring beyond its proscribed boundaries and discovering a series of caves ruled by a super-intelligent, alien species. Jim Grey (In Plain Sight, Pushing Daisies) will co-write the script with Fuller.


The Munsters (NBC)

Revival of the 1960s-series-turned-movie franchise billed as “modern family” meets “true blood”


The Nine Lives of Chloe King (ABC)

It is based on Alloy’s Nine Lives of Chloe King series of 3 young-adult novels by Celia Thomson. Alloy Entertainment is producing the pilot, about Chloe King, a teenager with such super powers as super speed, agility and hearing. Dan Berendsen (Hannah Montana: The Movie) penned the script and is executive producing with Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. (Deadline)

In the one-hour drama “Nine Lives,” Chloe King is looking forward to celebrating her 16th birthday with her friends and single mother, just like every other year… That is until she starts developing heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws), and discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure. Chloe soon learns she’s part of an ancient race who have been hunted by human assassins for millennia – and that she may be their only hope for ultimate survival. Dan Berendsen (“Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie”) will serve as executive producer and writer. Alloy Entertainment will produce, with Leslie Morgenstein (“Pretty Little Liars,” “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries”) and Gina Girolamo serving as executive producers. The drama is based on the book series The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Celia Thomson. Casting on the project is yet to be announced.


  • Skyler Samuels (ABC’s The Gates) has landed the lead, Chloe King , a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing…claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure.
  • Grey Damon as Brian
  • Alyssa Diaz as Jasmine
  • Amy Pietz as the adoptive mother of Chloe King. In the pilot, based on a series of novels by Celia Thomson, Chloe’s mother will be forced to protect her daughter from the sinister designs of a mysterious figure.


The Unseen (A&E)

Drama about a cop and a psychology professor who case paranormal activity – believing that the events are being caused by something that originated during the time of the 13 original colonies.


Time Trumpet (Comedy Central)

A historical documentary, or a look at the news of today — often political or social in nature — as told from the future


The World Inside (HBO)

Drama about about a grim vision of the future where overpopulation has run amok, and people live in carefully controlled urban centers where frustration and anger are eliminated, sex is rampant and fertility is the most prized human attribute. The World Inside, is based on the 1971 sci fi novel of the same name by Robert Silverberg. It depicts Earth in the year 2381 when the world’s population has risen to 75 billion and people live in 1,000-story buildings that house 800,000.


Three Inches (Syfy)

Syfy has ordered the 90-minute pilot Three Inches from writer Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks) it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development for Syfy. The action-adventure/fantasy will be produced by Fox Television Studios and Executive Producer Bob Cooper, whose Landscape Entertainment is producing. J.J. Jamieson heads up television for Landscape Entertainment. Peyton also serves as executive producer. In Three Inches, professional daydreamer and underachiever, Walter, is struck by lightning, and develops a unique “super” power — the ability to move any object using just his mind… but only a distance of three inches. He’s soon recruited by a covert team of superheroes each gifted with their own extraordinarily ordinary abilities. Together, the unlikely band of heroes proves that “super” is simply a state of mind.

  • James Marsters (Buffy the vampire slayer, Caprica, Smallville) has been cast as Troy, the mysterious leader. A former government agent who takes Walter in to his own team of “super” heroes who fight evil wherever they find it. He is a father figure to Walter.
  • Andrea Martin will play Belinda Spackman, Walter’s mother, a brutally honest, comically cynical force of nature that loves her son more than words can say and will do anything to protect him.
  • Canadian actor Noah Reid has landed the lead, Walter.
  • Stephanie Jacobsen (Melrose Place) plays Watts a beautiful “super” hero who has the ability to shape the emotions of anyone she meets at close range
  • Naoko Mori (Torchwood) plays Annika, a woman who can duplicate and broadcast any sound she hears.
  • Antony Del Rio will portray The Human Smell, an adventurous, often irritating teenager who is able to emit a pungent gas through his pores that disables anyone nearby.
  • Kyle Schmid will play Brandon, the “super” hero team leader with all the cockiness and strength of a true action hero, minus the superpowers. He is the opposite of Walter and sees most of the team as freaks.
  • Brandon Jay McLaren plays Macklin Sportello, Walter’s best friend, a big talker with not a lot to back it up. His relationship is tested when Walter begins to change, but he’s the friend that will always be there for him.
  • Alona Tal will guest star in the pilot as Lily Theroux, the kind, pretty girl next door and Walter’s long time crush who loves him but “not in that way.”
  • Craig Eldridge will guest as Todd, part of Troy’s team of “super” heroes who can see two minutes into the future at the cost of a massive disabling headache.
  • Julian Richings will also appear as a guest star playing Ethan, a man with the ability to communicate with and control the insect kingdom.


Touch (BBC)

Touch has been ordered to series.

In Touch the vengeful dead walk on Earth and only uber-geek Paul can save the living from a fiery Armageddon. Paul is an ordinary young man from an ordinary town who discovers an extraordinary ability – he can see the dead. As he comes to terms with a nightmare reality he meets others who share his powers and share a horrifying secret – the spirits are waging war on the living. Mankind will be destroyed. But the most terrifying twist is yet to come – Paul discovers that only he holds the key to the world’s salvation.

Ben Stephenson says: “Touch started life as one of our drama pilots but quickly showed such imagination and energy that we asked the hugely talented Jack Thorne to write five more episodes and Touch the series was born.”

Touch is a 6×60 minute series from BBC Drama Production, commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC Three, and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning. Casting is still to be confirmed, the series will film next year (2011), the producer is Caroline Skinner and executive producer is Sue Hogg.


True Lies (ABC)

Small screen take on james cameron’s 1994 feature of the same name, about a super-spy whose family discovers his real job.


Untitled Greg Poirier Project (ABC)

Spy show billed as Taken meets the Bourne Identity.


Untitled Mo Mandel Project (NBC)

Comedy which chronicles what a group of 20 somethings do in the last five years of their lives before the earth is destroyed by a meteor.

Cast: Mo Mandel


Untitled Ronald Moore Project (NBC)

drama billed as an adult harry potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic.


Zeros (Syfy)

In this 1/2-hour single-camera satire, when the zombie population of Marshall City overcomes the 30-foot barrier separating the infected people from the rest of the city, the Zombie Extermination and Removal Operations company (the Zeros) are called in to keep the peace. When they can get out of their own way long enough to focus on a case, they are pretty effective with very unorthodox methods.


Zombies vs. Vampires (NBC)

It is described as a “fun buddy cop procedural.” It is set in a world where zombies are a part of society, controllable with medication. The show’s two leads (one secretly a vampire) are cops assigned to a squad specifically formed to deal with “zombie crime”. Winsberg, McG and Peter Johnson are executive producing. (Deadline)