9:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Stephen King's 'The Mist' Ordered to Series at Spike
The Mist is coming a lot sooner to Spike TV than the cabler first imagined.
Nearly two months after ordering the Stephen King adaptation to pilot, the Viacom-owned network has handed out a straight-to-series, 10-episode pickup for the drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Insiders say that the network was so impressed with the series pitch and script that they opted to go straight to series rather than proceed with a typical pilot order. That said, the decision to fast-track The Mist comes a month after Spike hit pause on scripted drama series Red Mars after showrunner Peter Noah's departure. Red Mars, an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson's book trilogy with Sense8's J. Michael Straczynski onboard as a writer, was picked up straight to series in December — less than a month after Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama Harvest was scrapped after its straight-to-series order.
Harvest was poised to become Spike's first scripted drama series in nine years. The cabler has been active in developing multiple scripted projects after the successful launch of miniseries Tut was able to help Spike re-enter the space. Spike now hopes The Mist — which remains uncast — will be its first scripted drama series.
Originally published in 1980, The Mist — based on Stephen King's novella — centers on a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town and subsequently creates havoc. The drama hails from Dimension Television, with Christian Torpe (Denmark's Rita) set as a writer and executive producer. The series will begin production in the summer for a 2017 debut.
"Christian and the entire team at The Weinstein Co.-Dimension TV have crafted the framework for a compelling and distinctive series that will resonate with Spike's expanding audience," Spike exec vp original series Sharon Levy said.
Dimension exec vp scripted Megan Spanjian will oversee the series alongside exec vp production and creative affairs Matthew Signer and senior vp production and development Keith Levine. Levy, senior vp scripted original series Ted Gold and senior director scripted Lauren Ruggiero will oversee for Spike.
The Mist marks TWC/Dimension's second scripted series and joins MTV's Scream reboot, with the latter set to debut its second season in May.
In a February interview with THR, Levy said the hardest aspect about the cabler's return to scripted was the "competitiveness." "If you love something, you have to move quickly, grab it, convince people who you are. … And that's been a challenge but not insurmountable," she said. "I don't think we've lost to Netflix. Cinemax, a couple. We aren't making our choices out of 20 things. We are making our choices out of four or five things."