April 10, 2013 10:42am PT by Lacey Rose
Syfy Prepping Space Dramas From Jason Blum, Gale Anne Hurd (Exclusive)
Syfy is bulking up its scripted efforts.
At Wednesday night's upfront presentation to Madison Avenue buyers, the NBCUniversal-owned cable network will announce a suite of new development projects. Included in the mix are space-based series from the producers of Alphas and Smallville as well as Paranormal Activity's Jason Blum and The Walking Dead's Gale Anne Hurd.
The efforts expand the network's existing development slate, which already houses the M. Night Shyamalan-produced Proof and Blake's 7, directed by Casino Royale's Martin Campbell.
If ultimately ordered to series, these entries would join a schedule that includes Haven, Warehouse 13, Being Human and upcoming big swing Defiance as well as Ron Moore's recently added drama series Helix.
Below is a look at seven of the scripted projects Syfy has put into development:
The space opera centers on Orion, an adventurous female relic hunter who tracks down valuable artifacts while trying to piece together her past. Set amid an intergalactic war pitting humans against a terrifying alien race, Orion must decide whether to use her abilities to save herself or commit to the cause and unearth long hidden artifacts that could free all of humanity from a horrible fate. Ron Milbauer and Terri Hughes Burton (Alphas) will write and executive produce, with George Krstic and Ryuhei Kitamura on board as co-executive producers. F.J. Desanto will serve as a supervising producer on the UCP project.
The first detective ever in space is tasked with investigating a murder on a starship -- headed to colonize another planet -- and instead becomes embroiled in a vast conspiracy involving a mysterious terrible crime dating back to the original launch of the ship 50 years ago. Phil Levens (Smallville) will write, with Blum (Paranormal Activity) on board to produce the Lionsgate entry.
After a clan of bandits are nearly destroyed and left for dead by Coalition forces, they take refuge in the nearest safe haven, a derelict Coalition starship floating in space. Once onboard, they masquerade as Coalition officers while continuing their criminal ways -- until they stumble upon a shocking realization about the true nature of the Coalition. Todd Stashwick and Dennis Calero will write, with Hurd (The Walking Dead) and John Shiban (Hell on Wheels) attached to executive produce the UCP project.
When an alien armada is sighted in the region of Pluto, the Earth government turns to a young billionaire industrialist -- who has the only ship ready for interstellar travel -- to greet the aliens and avoid a catastrophe. Powered by secret alien technology discovered on Earth in the 1960s, the ship engages in a firefight that sends them spinning through a wormhole into an uncharted region of space. Lost in the universe, the team struggles to survive as they encounter new planets and alien species, searching for a way back home. Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) will write the Berman/Braun produced entry from Universal Television.
When his father is slain by assassins connected to the government of the large nearby city of Pont Royal, farm boy Caymer journeys there to continue his father's legacy as a member of the local police force -- and to solve the mystery of his father¹s death. He discovers that his simple country view on life is at odds with the big city, filled with orcs and other magical creatures. Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas) will write and executive produce the UCP effort alongside producer Aaron Kaplan.
A massive meteorite is headed toward Earth, forcing 30,000 hand-picked humans to live underground in a government-funded shelter in order to start a new society. What begins as a Utopia quickly succumbs to the old human faults and jealousies as certain members of society create alliances to gain favor and power. Meanwhile, things on the surface are not what they seem. Humans slowly realize that this event may have been fated and the survivors meant for a greater purpose in rebooting life on Earth. Bruce Joel Rubin (Deep Impact) will write and executive produce the UCP project with writer/co-executive producer/writer Ari Rubin.
Dominion (working title, formerly known as Legion)
The effort, based on the feature film Legion produced by Bold Films, is set 20 years after evil angels have descended from heaven to lay waste to the human souls they felt God had favored over them. A reluctant "savior" must arise to protect Vega, the last remaining stronghold of humanity. The savior has more to fear than just angels, as the elites of this new society conspire to gain power for themselves. Vaun Wilmott (Sons of Anarchy) will write and co-executive the Sony Pictures TV project, with Scott Stewart (Defiance) attached to direct and executive produce. David Lancaster will EP as well.
Email: Lacey.Rose@thr.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose