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AMC builds sci-fi with '99 Stories,' Seltzer

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AMC is climbing "99 Stories" with veteran feature writer David Seltzer.

The cable network is developing the sci-fi horror thriller, set at a 99-story high-rise building, that Seltzer created with "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" executive producer James Middleton and Steven Banks ("Women in Law").

Seltzer is penning the project, which is yet to be set up at a studio.

"99" revolves around a group of strangers invited to tour a newly constructed multipurpose 99-story building who find themselves trapped in it with no way out but up.

"Each story presents a different kind of challenge for the group," Seltzer said.

In their fight for survival, the strangers are at the mercy of a technological brain that electronically controls every element of the building.

"The elevators are in control of (the strangers') destiny, whittling them out by deciding who they deem deserve to go up," Seltzer said.

And what happens in the sealed-off high rise has much larger repercussions. "What's going on there is not about the people trapped inside, it affects the rest of the world," Seltzer said.

Seltzer is executive producing "99" with Middleton and Banks.

AMC vp original series and miniseries Christina Wayne said she knew "99" was an AMC series the moment she heard the pitch.

"We want to do original programming that is cinematic and flows seemingly into the films (on our channel)," she said. "This seemed like the perfect fit."

The film-centric AMC had been looking for a horror series franchise to complement its long-running Monsterfest. The 11th annual fest, which features 240 hours of nonstop horror films, is now under way, and for the first time, the marathon has expanded online, with full-length feature films available at amctv.com.

AMC made a successful entry into original programming this past year with its Emmy-winning mini "Broken Trail" and critically acclaimed drama series "Mad Men." Next for the cable net is the launch of its second drama series, "Breaking Bad."

"The Omen" writer Seltzer, who created NBC's limited series "Revelations," is repped by ICM.