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NBC Picks Up JJ Abrams Post-Apocalypse Series ‘Revolution’ [UPDATE: No S2 For Alcatraz?]

Star Trek producer/director JJ Abrams has sold another high concept TV series. This time JJ is returning to NBC for the post-apocalypse with "Revolution," with a pilot directed by Jon Favreau. More details below.

 

JJ and the apocalypse

Multiple Hollywood trades are reporting that NBC has picked up Revolution from Warner Bros. Television and JJ Abrams Bad Robot. Abrams and Eric Kripke (Supernatural) will executive produce along with Abrams’ Bad Robot partner (and fellow Star Trek producer) Bryan Burk. The pilot was written by Kripke and directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau. Here is a description:

“In this epic adventure thriller, a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic American landscape: a world of empty cities, local militias and heroic freedom fighters, where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out … forever.”

The cast includes Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) and Billy Burke (Twilight). NBC has also released an official image for the show.  


The cast of "Revolution" – coming next season on NBC

Abrams to have shows on 3 networks next season

This is a big return for Abrams to NBC. Abrams last worked with NBC on his spy couple series Undercovers, which was cancelled half way through its first season in 2010. Abrams later admitted he "f–ked up" on that show, but apparently NBC still want to work with the prolific producer.

Abrams also will have shows on two other networks next season. Fringe has already been picked up by FOX for their fifth and final season and CBS has already renewed Person of Interest for a second season. Fox is still considering whether or not to give Abrams’ Alcatraz a second season, with a decision due soon, however it doesn’t seem likely. Today TVByTheNumbers gave the show’s odds at only 15% for renewal. 

 

UPDATE: Alcatraz reportedly back in the history books

It isn’t official yet, but Deadline is reporting that (as expected) Fox will not be renewing Alcatraz for a second season.

 

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May 8, 2012 4:18 pm

“In this epic adventure thriller, a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic American landscape: a world of empty cities, local militias and heroic freedom fighters, where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights — has mysteriously blacked out … forever.”

Wait a second…what do they mean “forever?” So if you replace the ICs with known good ones, or rig things to work without them, they STILL won’t power up again? How come?

May 8, 2012 4:21 pm

I like the post apocalyptic theme show, but make it real. Devices don’t work or fail to work by magic.

Is this a show about supernatural intervention?

MJ
May 8, 2012 4:27 pm

Nice job by JJ in completely stealing S.M Stirling’s concept in his “Dies the Fire” novel series. That is a highly popular and ongoing series of novels, and I would find it hard to believe that they did not take this idea from S.M Stirling’s work.

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 4:28 pm

I will give it a shot & I hope the writers will have a clear outline of where the series will go after the pilot.

May 8, 2012 4:33 pm

Well this is such an obvious theme, MJ. With more public cognizance of the catastrophes that solar flare and EMP damage can cause, the idea is out there. I’m just confused about why things would stop working “forever.”

Electrons don’t flow no more? Copper wire refusing to conduct?

I’m not aware of Stirling’s material or whether or not they’re duplicating the theme, but maybe something supernatural is going on in their premise.

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 4:33 pm

@3. MJ
“Nice job by JJ in completely stealing S.M Stirling’s concept in his “Dies the Fire” novel series.”

I didn’t read these novels yet, are they very similar or they just share common theme ?
And are the novels science fiction or fantasy ?

AJ
May 8, 2012 4:41 pm

I think it’s high time JJ passed “Trek” to a trusted replacement. JJ and the Supreme Court have so much brewing now, and with two movies delayed out of two, need to be consulting/exec producers and roust up some new blood (and marketing talent, for a change).

Give us a Brad Bird-directed ST3, perhaps, but I’m tired of “Trek” always conflicting with other projects, and being delayed for whatever crap reasons they come up with in Hollywood. If this new one can clear $600m worldwide, maybe it will be taken more seriously. If not, then it won’t.

Amish Electrician
May 8, 2012 4:45 pm

I have seen novels where aliens turned off electricity..and no one explains the human electric brain functions..we would all die

MJ
May 8, 2012 4:45 pm

The novels are science fiction, with super-advanced type basically using super technological methods to change physical properties at the Earth’s surface in certain ways.

If you do an internet search on “Sterling Dies the Fire JJ Abrams Revolution” you will see multiple posts on many af and genre web sites drawing the same conclusion here.

This is a pretty peculiar type of post apocalyptic story here folks — I am having real trouble not believing that JJ or someone on his team read Dies the Fire and then decided to do their own story based on the premise.

MJ
May 8, 2012 4:46 pm
Jamziz
May 8, 2012 4:47 pm

Any bets on whether this one will make it to a second season?

MJ
May 8, 2012 4:49 pm

@8. This is more suble — “high-density” electrical reactions can no longer occur at the surface of the earth.

MJ
May 8, 2012 4:50 pm

@100 Given they already have the cast dressed up to look like hipster version of The Hunger Games, my hopes are not high. I mean seriously, that cast photo above looks horrid.

Enterprisingguy
May 8, 2012 4:51 pm

These shows are often so unrealistic it’s hard to believe. They will have an unlimited supply of candles and lamps that will light up an airplane hangar with a single one. Yet they never explain where those come from since they never show anyone toiling to make anything in these post-apocalyptic shows.

Falling Skies is a perfect example of a show that seems to have an unlimited supply of food and weapons in a world that has collapsed. All they do is move on and find all they need.

denny cranium
May 8, 2012 4:54 pm

I hope he’s successful.
I’d like to see a season two for Alcatraz.
Jazzed that fringe has been renewed

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 4:55 pm

@13. MJ – May 8, 2012
” @100 Given they already have the cast dressed up to look like hipster version of The Hunger Games, my hopes are not high. I mean seriously, that cast photo above looks horrid.”

I had the same reaction when I saw the cast picture!

Going to get S.M Stirling novel & see for myself.

Amish Electrician
May 8, 2012 4:56 pm

12…neurons firing in your head are on the surface..where every single piece of technology — computers, planes, cars, phones, even lights …this is on the surface

MJ
May 8, 2012 5:02 pm

@14 “Falling Skies is a perfect example of a show that seems to have an unlimited supply of food and weapons in a world that has collapsed. ”

But if 95% of the population is killed, then you have plenty of weapons and food laying around for the remaining 5% to scavange. You probably could live on preservable food for 2 years before you would need to build farms, etc. And weapons and ammo, at least early on, would be more than plentiful as well.

MJ
May 8, 2012 5:04 pm

@17. Again, it is described as “high-density” electrical and electro-chemical reactions that can’t take place anymore. Nuerons in your brain are not effected.

The books are not “hard sf”, but neither are they fantasy. They try to explain in general terms how this would work. It is no worse than the soft sf we get in Star Trek.

Vultan
May 8, 2012 5:06 pm

#2

Yeah, it is odd that replacement/repaired electronics wouldn’t work. Maybe it’s just hyperbole to promote the show. Or maybe there is a supernatural element. Abrams is a big Twilight Zone fan.

But why do all cast photos these days look like they were cut from J. Crew catalogs? Too clean. It’s the apocalypse. Throw some dirt on ’em.

Amish Electrician
May 8, 2012 5:08 pm

19…u can not prove that

MJ
May 8, 2012 5:09 pm

@21. I agree. I said it was “soft” science fiction. What is your point?

Vultan
May 8, 2012 5:09 pm

We’ve come a long way since fugly Burgess Meredith wandered the post-apocalyptic landscape.

“That’s not fair…”

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 5:10 pm

In the current state of science fiction on television these past few years, I won’t hold my breath for any new show to pass the first season; as long as the TV executives keep asking for the next Lost hit.

Flashforward, The Event, Caprica, to name just a few shows that got axed in the first season.

MJ
May 8, 2012 5:12 pm

Wait until Robopocalypse comes out next year. If the movie it half as good as the novel, it is going to be awesome!

MJ
May 8, 2012 5:14 pm

@24. Well, when done right, like Falling Skies, it can still be successful. I think the problem has been QUALITY.

May 8, 2012 5:21 pm

20: “But why do all cast photos these days look like they were cut from J. Crew catalogs? Too clean. It’s the apocalypse. Throw some dirt on ‘em.”

I was just thinking that too. They are way too squeaky clean for the apocalypse. Water will become more precious when it isn’t purified in abundance under electrical power. You are going to start looking rough. You might even smell a little.

Amish Electrician
May 8, 2012 5:25 pm

MJ..I also agree..as a novel..my point is electrical brain activity..is based on firing neurons..they are chem-elect..so shutting down all elect will kill peeps..but its just a novel/tv show

Captain Ransom
May 8, 2012 5:31 pm

#1: agreed. it sounds like he is basing the entire plot around some gimmick much like the red matter in star trek xi. electronic devies blacked out forever? that is absolutely impossible. any event that would cause that would destroy the human race as well. sounds retarded. as long as electricity exists, devices will function. earth without the forces that create electricity would be a planet that is uninhabitable according to physics.

this idea has already been done. there is a series of horror movies with a similar plot, where ghosts come through electronic devices so people abandon technology. the darkest hour had a sort of similar situation, and war of the worlds had some electro-magnetic storm that somehow made cars stop working (wtf?).

he would be better off creating a series based on cloverfield. that would be cool.

Magic_Al
May 8, 2012 5:34 pm

I’m turned off by the unexplained implausibility. If you want to do a show about people without modern technology you could do a western and the characters wouldn’t be whining about their condition.

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 5:35 pm

@29. Captain Ransom
“this idea has already been done. there is a series of horror movies with a similar plot, where ghosts come through electronic devices so people abandon technology”

Sound kinda interesting, which movies ?

Abrams might have a different take on the theme, guess we will find out when the first TV teaser hit the air.

SpikedCanon
May 8, 2012 5:41 pm

Not original in anyway. So tired of post-apocalyptic story lines.
How about one during the apocalypse? Or one post post-apocalyptic. Bla Bla Bla

May 8, 2012 6:06 pm

JJ likes mystery. So why it happened and not knowing why is probably part of the deal here.

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 6:20 pm

@33. dmduncan – May 8, 2012
“JJ likes mystery. So why it happened and not knowing why is probably part of the deal here.”

Yeah, hopefully, it won’t end up like Lost where most of the mysteries remained mysteries.

DeBeckster
May 8, 2012 6:25 pm

Frederic Brown also did a short story about something like this called The Vaders where microscopic beings sucked all of the electricity out of the atmosphere. It wasn’t a post-apocalyptic type story. The jist was how people went back to 19th Century technology and how everyone was happier for it. This is the same guy that wrote the short story Arena.

Tanner Waterbury
May 8, 2012 6:40 pm

Ooh… I hope this will be as good as “Jericho’ Seeing as how I really enjoy these post apocalyptic shows.

MJ
May 8, 2012 6:51 pm

@35 “Frederic Brown also did a short story about something like this called The Vaders where microscopic beings sucked all of the electricity out of the atmosphere.”

Ah, I think I remember some lines from that short story:

“Air, I am your father!”

“The electrical force is strong with this one.”

MJ
May 8, 2012 6:51 pm

@36. I still am royally pissed of that Jericho was cancelled.

May 8, 2012 6:53 pm

Maybe JJ intends this to be seen as a fantastical “what if” scenario to explore the idea of what happens to and between us if we lose electricity.

Douglas
May 8, 2012 7:03 pm

Another show set in a post-apocalyptic environment with ridiculously handsome, well-groomed actors & actresses in stylist-perfect clothing. I’m not feeling any urge to watch this. The no electronics issue sounds like a sequel to the Keanu Reeves version of The Day The Earth Stood Still, which was awful. Not feeling good about this one folks.

Red Dead Ryan
May 8, 2012 7:05 pm

I get the feeling J.J Abrams is either running out of ideas, or is close to burning out. He has created a LOT of tv shows in the past decade, and directed/produced/written a number of movies as well.

MJ
May 8, 2012 7:24 pm

@41. I just wished he would approach SM Strling and did this on the up and up versus what looks to me like highway robbery of the Dies the Fire series. You didn’t see HBO producing some lame show that was kind of like Game of Thrones — they went and got George RR Martin and even involved him in developing and producing the show.

Red Dead Ryan
May 8, 2012 7:32 pm

#42.

Except that it is NBC we’re talking about, not HBO. HBO depends on subscription fees to keep producing shows, and as a result, they are more likely to get permission from the source of a tv show because they know they can’t afford bad press. NBC gets its money from ads, as well as its sister companies, and as such, is under no such pressure. They can easily cancel a show before any lawsuits come forward.

Vultan
May 8, 2012 8:15 pm

#38

There’s talk of Netflix bringing back Jericho. But for now it’s still talk.

http://screenrant.com/jericho-season-3-netflix-scott-168589/

Sebastian S.
May 8, 2012 8:45 pm

No offense, but haven’t we seen this ‘post-apocalypse-where-technology-doesn’t-work-anymore’ TV series idea several times already? “Dark Angel”, “Jericho”, even “Walking Dead” (my favorite of the bunch; superior television)? One could even go further back to the TV-movies of the ’80s, with “Day After” and “Threads”….

Not that these shows weren’t any good (far from it; I very much enjoyed some of them), but I’m just wondering is there anything really new that this one could bring to the table?

Perhaps it’s trying to cash in on some of the “Hunger Games” mojo….

MJ
May 8, 2012 9:21 pm

@45. Dude, technology worked in all those examples.

Daoud
May 8, 2012 9:37 pm

Okay, why wouldn’t these work then:
*Gunpowder, guns, and bullets (why is the guy using Robin Hood arrows?)
*Windmills
*Steam locomotives
*Vehicles like the Stanley steamer
*Diesel compression-powered engines
*Hand crank generators
*The Photoelectric Effect of light impinging on metal surfaces causing electric currents
*Mechanical “difference engines” (non-electronic computers)
etc.
.
The whole concept is laughable. We had modern civilization BEFORE we had electricity. Running water, sewers, printing presses, steam engines, smelting….

Ahmed
May 8, 2012 9:44 pm

@47. Daoud

Nice, I guess the writers need to do more research while writing the series.

Thorny
May 8, 2012 10:05 pm

31. Ahmed… 2008’s “Pulse”.

LizardGirl
May 8, 2012 10:20 pm

Daoud (47) makes a very good point as to why this seems a little…ill conceived. Who knows maybe they’ll have some of that stuff in the series.

Maybe, like Star Trek is the optimistic view of man’s growth technologically and morally– this will be the optimistic view of man’s struggle and growth after all of that goes to crap?

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