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USA Network is truly entering a brave new world.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has handed out a straight-to-series, 10-episode order for its long-gestating adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s iconic book.
First put in development back in 2015 — under former Syfy president Dave Howe — the new take has David Wiener (Homecoming) as writer and showrunner. Wiener joined the project last year and a mini writers room was opened in August. The series will shoot in the U.K. A premiere date has not yet been determined.
First published in 1932, Brave New World ranked fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by Modern Library. The series imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family and history itself.
Wiener becomes the latest writer to take on the title. Les Bohem (Taken) was originally tapped to pen the script in 2015. Grant Morrison (Batman, The Invisibles) and Brian Taylor (Crank) joined the Universal Content Productions effort in 2016, replacing Bohem. Wiener will work alongside Morrison and Taylor on the new take, with the latter on board to exec produce the pilot. The series hails from UCP and Amblin Television co-presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, who exec produce alongside Wiener and Owen Harris (Black Mirror: San Junipero), the latter of whom will direct.
Brave New World arrives as USA Network is heading into a brave new (creative) world as its flagship shows — Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot and Aaron Korsh’s Suits — will wrap their runs this season. In their place, USA — under Chris McCumber — has been busy greenlighting series as the cabler looks to replenish its scripted pipeline. Joining the final seasons of both shows are Suits spinoff Pearson, Tim Kring’s Bourne spinoff Treadstone, Esmail-produced Briarpatch and cheerleading drama Dare Me. Those join a slate of returning originals that features Queen of the South and The Purge. Anthology The Sinner is awaiting word on a third season (and is expected to return).
The new crop of series come as Mr. Robot helped shift USA Network’s creative direction to dark and edgy fare instead of Suits-like “Blue Skies”-branded originals. Suits is the last holdover from an era that included Royal Pains, Burn Notice and Psych.
For Amblin TV’s part, the company’s scripted roster includes Showtime’s Halo, Apple’s Amazing Stories, Hulu’s animated revival of Animaniacs and The CW’s Roswell reboot.
Here’s the formal logline for Brave New World: As citizens of New London, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne have only ever known a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. Curious to explore life beyond the strictures of their society, the two New Worlders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. Bernard and Lenina are rescued by John the Savage, who escapes with them back to New London. John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions. The three become entwined in a fraught relationship that awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning.
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