Mark Stern, SCI FI Channel EVP, Original Programming today unveiled an ambitious development slate at the Television Critic’s Association Tour. SCI FI’s 2007 original programming roster will feature the work of creative visionaries such as executive producers George Clooney, Darren Star and Mark Burnett; first-rate production companies such as Sony Pictures Television and CBS Paramount Network Television; and celebrated writers including Mike Werb (Face/Off) and Neal Stephenson (“Diamond Age”).
From provocative visions of the future here on Earth and elsewhere to quirky and imaginative explorations of the intriguing unknown, SCI FI original programming continues to offer the boldest and most thought provoking in modern science fiction fare. “SCI FI originals continue to push the boundaries of imagination to help us envision and explore a reality and a future far beyond the scope of our experience,” said Stern. “From provocative screen adaptations of science fiction bestsellers to futurist action thrillers and off-beat, Earth-based human dramas, SCI FI offers an inventive range of originals that reflect the genre’s ever-broadening appeal.”
Based on Neal Stephenson’s best-selling novel “The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer,” this six-hour miniseries is executive produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions. A prominent member of a conservative futuristic society grows concerned that the culture stifles creativity, and commissions a controversial interactive book for his daughter, which serves as her guide through a surreal alternate world. When the primer’s provocative technology, which adapts to the reader’s responses, falls into the hands of a young innocent, the girl’s life is accidentally reprogrammed with dangerous results. Neal Stephenson will adapt his own novel for this project, the first time the Hugo and Nebula winning author has written for the small screen.
When her husband is offered a job as Dean of a small college, Lee Avery and her family relocate to the quaint New England town of Brighton. Before long, they find the perfect home a large Victorian estate left vacant for years. Lee believes that with a little hard work, she can convert the house into a flourishing bed and breakfast. Lovely and bucolic as a Norman Rockwell painting, the Avery’s new home seems picture perfect. But before long, Lee discovers that their house may not be as vacant as they had believed. In alternatively enlightening, humorous and often frightening fashion, both guests and family members are confronted by their innermost thoughts, fears and desires, which miraculously come to life in Avery House. But unbeknownst to Lee, the rejuvenation of the old house has sent shockwaves through the town, re-opening old wounds, unearthing long-buried secrets and slowly unraveling the very fabric of the seemingly idyllic hamlet. The two-hour pilot for this mysterious dramedy about wish fulfillment is being produced by Mark Burnett and Tagline Entertainment’s Kelly Kulchak and Ron West; written by Dava Savel. NBC Universal Television Studio serves as the production company.
“Untitled Darren Star/ Mike Werb Project”
In a world where techno-crime is a greater threat than terrorism, four unlikely convicts are given new identities – and technologically enhanced bodies. Now working for a covert wing of the U.S. Government, their mission is to take on the FBI’s other Top Ten list – emerging threats from science run amok. This sleek 90-minute actioner, where technological breakthroughs cut both ways, will be executive will be executive produced by Mike Werb (Face/Off) and Darren Star (“Sex and the City”) and written by Mike Werb. Susie Fitzgerald will co-executive produce. Darren Star Productions will produce the project in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Alone in an outpost in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, the heroic pioneers of a U.S. space colony find themselves under siege, victims of ever mounting hostilities from their own homeland, Earth. Without being able to clearly distinguish friend from foe, these extraordinary citizens face daring challenges and must rely on their values of service and community to persevere. Ed Redlich (“Without a Trace,” “Shark”) and John Bellucci serve as creators, writers and executive producers of this thought-provoking series. Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) is also attached as executive producer and will direct the two-hour pilot. CBS Paramount Network Television is producing the series.
A unique small town in Middle America, filled with eccentric characters, becomes the last battlefield for planet Earth in this sly action adventure. When a nefarious if humorless race of aliens decide to make Middletown their Ellis Island, a group of homespun, unexpected heroes-in-the-making must band together to stop them. Coke Sams and Matt Lindahl serve as writers with Jerry Offsay executive producing this two-hour pilot for Fox TV Studios.
When an aimless, shiftless and uninspired slacker discovers he possesses unique powers, which can keep the world safe from malevolent forces, our reluctant hero must make a hard choice to embrace or abandon his remarkable craft. Guess which way he’s leaning? John Sullivan will write and Howard Deutch (The Replacements) will executive produce and direct the two-hour pilot for this quirky, human dramedy.
In the tradition of “The Larry Sanders Show,” “Starcrossed,” a high touch, high-tech comedy, obliterates the fourth wall with its behind-the-scenes antics. Throwing in a bitter dose of Galaxy Quest cynicism for good measure, David Hewlett (“Stargate Atlantis”) will draw on his own experiences to pen this quirky half-hour about life behind the camera at a long-running sci-fi space soap. Jane Loughman and John G. Lenic are serving as executive producers, with NBC Universal Television Studio on board as the production entity.
Unscripted, Alternative Reality:
Harry Potter has nothing on this real-life Witch School! While resembling your typical classroom experience note passing, over-achievers, students who forget their homework, field trips and the dreaded pop-quiz some elements of this education are less traditional. Perhaps last night’s homework involved communicating with a deceased relative, a field trip could involve spending the night in a “haunted” forest and that pop-quiz might involve a literal plague of frogs. SCI FI Channel and Stick Figure Productions will team up to present this docusoap about Ed Hubbard and his Witch School.