Sci Fi into techno and tin

ABC solving 'Marlowe,' 'Daisies'

Sci Fi Channel has teamed with "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star and feature writer Mike Werb for a techno-crime series project and has tapped Tony winner Alan Cumming to star in the network's upcoming miniseries "Tin Man."

In broadcast pilot pickup news, ABC has given the green light to a contemporary take on Raymond Chandler's noir detective Philip Marlowe and to "Pushing Daisies," a one-hour pilot from "Dead Like Me" and "Wonderfalls" creator Bryan Fuller and Oscar-winning producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks.

And NBC is going ahead with the single-camera comedy pilot "Zip."

The untitled Star/Werb project, from Darren Star Prods. and Sony Pictures TV, is described as a "sleek" actioner about four unlikely convicts who have been given new identities and technologically enhanced bodies and work for a covert wing of the U.S. government taking on emerging threats from science run amok.

The 90-minute project, which has a script order, will be executive produced by Werb ("Face/Off") and Star and written by Werb. Susie Fitzgerald will co-executive produce.

Cumming has been tapped for the role of Glitch in the tentatively titled six-hour mini "Tin Man," a reimagined sci-fi fantasy take on Frank Baum's book "The Wizard of Oz." Glitch, one of a motley assortment of colorful characters trapped in the Outer Zone (the O.Z.), is an odd man missing half his brain.

"Tin Man," from RHI Entertainment, is set to begin production in Vancouver in March for a December premiere.

Cumming recently returned to the West End in "Bent," which earned him a best actor nomination from the What's on Stage People's Choice Awards. He also received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for best first feature for "Sweet Land," which he starred in and produced.

He next appears in the feature films "Gray Matters" and "Suffering Man's Charity," which he directed, produced and stars in.

"Marlowe," from Touchstone TV, will feature the famous sleuth in a procedural crime drama set in 21st century Los Angeles. Greg Pruss and Carol Wolper penned the script and are executive producing with Daniel Pipski and Dan Blatt. Chorion Ltd., the rights-holder to the Chandler estate, will get a producing credit.

This is not ABC's first stab at launching a Marlowe drama series. "Philip Marlowe," which starred Philip Carey, had a run on the network in 1959-60.

"Daisies" hails from Warner Bros. TV and Jinks/Cohen Prods. It is described as an unconventional detective show/romance/fairy tale centered on a guy who can touch the dead and bring them back to life but then has to deal with the consequences.

Fuller penned the script and is executive producing with Jinks and Cohen.

"Zip," from NBC Universal TV Studio and Reveille, centers on a grifter dad and his kids who try to live the "good life" in Beverly Hills. Mark Rizzo penned the script and will serve as supervising producer.

Reveille's Ben Silverman is executive producing with Marc Abrams and Michael Benson of Reveille-based Catapult and Teri Weinberg.