In this 'golden age of television,' we've seen quite a few genre shows flourish. Horror and fantasy series in particular have seen great success, with shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones continuing to smash ratings records. Science fiction space adventures, however, haven't fared nearly as well.
Battlestar Galactica was really the last widely popular space-faring series, but today there's some potential in Syfy's Defiance and the upcoming series, Ascension. Otherwise, most current sci-fi shows lean more on the cerebral side of the genre, like Orphan Black and Extant for example. Doctor Who is a sci-fi show that does travel in space, but it's a stretch to lump it in with shows like BSG or Star Trek, where a crew explores the unknown reaches of outer space.
In fact, the most successful television series featuring space as of late was Fox's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. And while a factual science show being popular with the masses is to be celebrated, we can also hope it'll inspire a renewed interest in space-faring science fiction.
And it appears Fox is interested in developing more sci-fi series (which is interesting given their canceling of Almost Human earlier this year). Deadline is reporting they've ordered a new sci-fi pilot from Len Wiseman (Sleepy Hollow) and Scott Rosenbaum (Chuck).
The series was pitched as "The Dirty Dozen in deep space" (which is how many people described Guardians of the Galaxy before it came out) and will feature a group mercenaries sent to respond to a distress call from a prisoner transport ship that crash-lands on an uncharted planet. Once there, the group will face countless obstacles on the alien world, and more than likely a fair amount of conflict between each other as well.
Both Wiseman and Rosenbaum will be executive producers, and Rosenbaum will handle the writing/showrunning while Wiseman directs. Deadline notes Wiseman's previous success with directing TV pilots, citing both Hawaii 5-0 and Sleepy Hollow as pilots he directed that went on to series. Rosenbaum, too, has a resume that seems a good fit for this project with past work on Chuck and V.
20th Century Fox Television’s President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis says "developing sci-fi projects was a priority for the studio and network this year," and adds that they're very excited to be working with Wiseman and Rosenbaum for this project. He goes on to praise Rosenbaum as a showrunner, calling him "creative," "collaborative," and a person with a "a strong point of view."
Curious, then, why his last series for Fox, Gangland, was canceled after only one season. But then again, perhaps sci-fi is a better fit for Rosenbaum. And with a talented director like Wiseman on board, his work should be even easier.
What do you think of the premise for Len Wiseman and Scott Rosenbaum's new sci-fi pilot? Do you have any faith in a sci-fi series being developed at Fox? Let us hear from you in the comments below!
Stay tuned for more news about this "Dirty Dozen in Space" pilot.