CW Adapting Spanish Apocalyptic Drama 'El Barco' (Exclusive)

From 'The Following's' Jennifer Johnson and called 'The Magellan'
AP Images
Jennifer Johnson

The CW is setting sail for a new world.

The younger-skewing network has put into development The Magellan, a drama based on hot Spanish format El Barco, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The network has handed out a script commitment to the drama — from The Following alum Jennifer Johnson — that revolves around what happens when a mysterious global cataclysm strands a group of students, teachers and crew on a Semester at Sea sailboat. With the entire planet seemingly covered in water, they begin to wonder if they are the only survivors left. As they explore their strange — yet strangely beautiful — new world, this group of strangers must join forces to survive, all while facing the equally daunting challenges of friendship, family and even love.

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Magellan is based on the Globomedia and Antena3 drama El Barco, created by Alex Pina, Ivan Escobar and Daniel Ecija, with the latter attached to exec produce.

Johnson will pen the script for Warner Bros. Television, where she is under an overall deal. She'll exec produce alongside Globomedia's Ecija and Laura Fernandez Espeso, Ombra's Jaume Collet-Serra and Juan Sola as well as Management 360's Guymon Casady.

Johnson (Alcatraz) was tapped to serve as showrunner on Fox's The Following but quickly exited the third-year drama to focus on development.

Spanish mystery drama El Barco ran for three seasons from 2011 to 2013, with its most recent 16-episode season averaging 2.6 million total viewers on Spain's Antena3. Spanish heartthrobs Mario Casas and Blanca Suarez starred. The format for the series has been sold in 23 territories, including Hungary, Poland and Latin America. U.S. Spanish-language channel V-ME also aired the series.

Magellan arrives as post-apocalyptic series remain popular following the worldwide success of AMC's zombie drama The Walking Dead. ABC has a version of the dead returning to life with second-year drama Resurrection and A&E is developing its own take on French zombie entry The Returned, with Sundance TV airing the original.

The drama joins a CW development season roster that includes Mark Harmon's Shakespeare's Sisters as well as the Charles Darwin drama Unnatural Selection.

Globomedia, Spain's leading entertainment production company, is repped by CAA and attorney Jeff Finkelstein; Ombra is with CAA and attorney Gretchen Rush. Johnson, whose credits include Gang Related and Touch, is with WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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