10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Steve Carell to Star in Netflix Comedy Based on Trump's 'Space Force'
Steve Carell and The Office creator Greg Daniels are reuniting for a Netflix series inspired by President Donald Trump's idea for a space force as the sixth branch of the military.
Netflix has handed out a straight-to-series order for Space Force, co-created by Carell and his former Office showrunner Daniels. Carell will star in the series, which is described as a workplace comedy centered around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services — Space Force. Sources note the idea for the project was sparked by Trump's June order to establish Space Force as the sixth military branch.
Daniels will executive produce alongside Carell and 3 Arts' Howard Klein, with the trio reuniting following their collaboration on NBC's The Office. An episode count has not been determined as scripts for the comedy have yet to be written.
Sources say Carell's salary for Space Force — including co-creator and exec producer fees — sets a new overall record for talent, likely topping the $1 million per episode paydays that the castmembers of CBS' The Big Bang Theory previously netted. With The Office ranking as one of Netflix's most-watched acquired series — sources note that it often collects more viewers than some of its originals — the streamer stepped up after hearing Carell was ready to return to series-regular television and aggressively pursued the project. The show was not shopped elsewhere.
Space Force is Carell's latest TV foray and first long-term commitment since he wrapped his seven-season run on The Office. The actor, currently starring in the features Beautiful Boy, Vice and Welcome to Marwen, signed on as the male lead in Apple's Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon morning show drama in October. Sources note that Carell signed a one-year deal for the Apple show, which was picked up with a straight-to-series, two-season 20-episode order. He is said to be credited as a "special guest star" for that series, which is expected to unspool as one of Apple's first scripted originals in the summer.
Daniels, who developed the U.K. version of The Office for NBC, next has Amazon's sci-fi romantic satire Upload in the works. He serves as showrunner and executive produces the comedy alongside his producing partner Klein.
A teaser, released Wednesday by Netflix, offers a closer look at what to expect from Space Force: "The goal of the new branch is to 'defend satellites from attack' and 'perform other space-related tasks'…or something. This is the story of the men and women who have to figure it out." (Watch it, above.)
Space Force becomes the latest space-themed series at Netflix, joining the Jason Katims-Matt Reeves drama Away and the Lost in Space revival.
Carell is repped by WME, Media Four and Ziffren Brittenham; Daniels is with WME, 3 Arts and Ziffren Brittenham.