'Walking Dead' Creator's Exorcism Drama 'Outcast' Lands Cinemax Series Order

Outcast Cover Robert Kirkman - P 2013

Outcast Cover Robert Kirkman - P 2013

The Walking Dead creator is joining the ranks of the uber-producers.

Robert Kirkman's latest comic-to-TV adaptation, Outcast, has been picked up to series at Cinemax, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The HBO sibling network has handed out a 10-episode order to the series, with a premiere date yet to be determined.

Based on Kirkman's newest Skybound comic, Outcast centers on Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a spiritual journey to find answers, but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.

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Philip Glenister co-stars as Reverend Anderson, a West Virginia preacher who believes he is a soldier in God's holy war against the forces of evil on Earth. An inveterate drinker and gambler, he doesn't believe God intends us to sweat the small stuff.

Kirkman penned the pilot script — a first for him — and executive produces alongside Chris Black, Circle of Confusion's David Alpert (The Walking Dead), Fox International Channel's Sharon Tal Yguado and Sue Naegle. The drama, which was first announced in March 2013, hails from Fox International Channels, the company that distributes Walking Dead worldwide and a strategic partner on the zombie drama that identified AMC's ratings juggernaut during its script stage. Adam Wingard (The Guest) directed the pilot.

"We are thrilled to be in business with Robert Kirkman, a visionary talent who has the unique ability to tap into today’s zeitgeist, making him a perfect fit for the newly expanded Cinemax roster," HBO programming president Michael Lombardo said.

"We couldn’t be more excited to bring Robert Kirkman’s new drama to Cinemax. Outcast is an ambitious series and Adam Wingard has directed a powerful pilot. I am very proud of the work that Robert, Sharon and team have put together,” Hernan Lopez, FIC president and CEO, said.

Multiple networks have been looking to replicate the success of AMC's The Walking Dead, which in its fifth season continues to rank as TV's No. 1 series among the all-important demo of adults 18-49. Outcast landed at Cinemax in November 2013 following a multiple-network bidding war. It marks Kirkman's third comic in development and third potential series overall. Kirkman's Image/Skybound title Thief of Thieves is also in development at AMC with Alpert attached. Kirkman, who oversees Image Comics imprint Skybound as CEO, will also executive produce an adaptation of David Schulner's comic Clone for Universal TV and Syfy. He also has AMC's Walking Dead companion — a prequel set in Los Angeles — in the works, which, should that move forward, could give Kirkman three shows on cable next year.

For Cinemax, Outcast joins a roster of scripted originals that also includes newly renewed Banshee, The Knick and Quarry.

Outcast also comes as demonic possession continues to be a hot subject on the small screen. Lifetime is teaming with former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara for a follow-up to Damien, and NBC is prepping The Possession of Maggie Gill, among others.

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