The History Channel orders Robert Zemeckis' new UFO drama Blue Book straight to series. The network, which is most well known for reality programming like Pawn Stars and American Pickers, ventured into the realm of scripted dramas in 2013 with Vikings, which has been renewed through season 5. The History Channel has since added a second scripted drama to their lineup with Six and are continuing to expand with two upcoming series.
Zemeckis made headlines recently as a frontrunner to direct The Flash movie as part of Warner Bros' DC Extended Universe, after previous rumors he'd had meetings with the studio. His next directing project is the as yet untitled film set at Universal based on the 2010 documentary Marwencol. Now, Zemeckis has a new producing project in the works with History Channel.
According to Deadline, the network ordered Blue Book, created and written by David O'Leary, straight to series with a 10-episode first season. Blue Book will be the fourth original scripted series followed by Vikings, Six and upcoming drama Kightfall, to air on History. The series will chronicle the true top-secret U.S. Air Force sponsored investigations known as "Project Blue Book," which researched UFO related phenomena that took place during the 1950s and 1960s. The series will follow Dr. J. Allen Hynek - a brilliant college professor who is recruited by the Air Force to be at the forefront of the investigation and has researched thousands of cases, many of them never solved.
Zemeckis, an American filmmaker who is best known for the Back to the Future trilogy and Forrest Gump, spoke to Deadline with excitement about the upcoming series:
“Rarely have I been associated with a project that is a perfect fusion of historical fact and extraordinary entertainment. We are grateful for A+E Studios’ and History’s support for what I know will be a fabulous series.”
The series will be structured with each episode drawing from case files and blending UFO theories with actual historical events that took place during the time period. During an interview with Deadline, Paul Buccieri, president of A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group, commented on the upcoming series:
“Blue Book is inspired by the true covert events of an era in American history shrouded in mystery. Robert Zemeckis and the creative team have shaped an incredibly compelling narrative, building upon History’s unique, growing brand of fact-based scripted programming.”
Given History's tendency toward scripted dramas rooted in historical events, Blue Book will no doubt fit right in on the network. Additionally, with Zemeckis only taking on a producing credit, since O'Leary will be acting as showrunner, the director may continue to be a candidate for Warner Bros' The Flash. Still, fans of Zemeckis and History's other programming will have Blue Book to look forward to when the series eventually premieres.
We'll keep you updated on Blue Book as development continues.