Tonight brings news of another big Hollywood deal for the members of the Trek team – this time a new sci-fi show for Fox. The trades are reporting that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, along with co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and executive producer Bryan Burk, have sold a paranormal drama series called Fringe to Fox. The quartet will each have executive producer credits and there is a search on for a showrunner. The show is described as a mix of The X-Files and Altered States with (according to Abrams) "a slight Twilight Zone vibe." According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fringe was born and written between Star Trek production meetings.
Like other shows from the team it is said to have an overall mythology and mix in a bit of humor. Abrams describes the show thusly…
The show is definitely a nod to Altered States and Scanners and that whole Michael Crichton/Robin Cook world of medicine and science….It does the stuff my favorite TV shows and movies do, which is to combine genres that shouldn’t fit together, It’s definitely meant to scare the hell out of you, but it’s also meant to make you laugh… It pushes all the buttons of things we loved from our childhood.
Trust No One…except those selling X-Files-like shows
Variety points out that Fringe will be the third project for the 2008/2009 season with an X-Files spin. It joins CBS’s Eleventh Hour (reported last month) and a show called Section 8 at ABC. Could this be a repeat of the 2005 sci-fi face off of Threshold, Invasion and Surface? Fox Entertainment president tells Variety that he believes Abrams show has the biggest sci-fi angle and issues the challenge "may the best show win."
Being that yesterday’s news of Bad Robot’s sale of Boundaries to ABC was only for a pilot, Fringe marks the first network series sale under Abrams new Warner Bros. TV deal (he also has sold a medical drama to HBO). This is Abrams first show on Fox and the network is is making a big commitment with the pilot reportedly costing over $10 million (rivaling the cost of the pilot for Lost). Fox has a long history of supporting genre TV (The X-Files ran for almost a decade), but is also quick to cancel (Firefly, Space Above and Beyond, Dark Angel, Alien Nation, etc). May JJ and his band of brothers fare better.
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So do you think the time is ripe for another X-Files llike paranormal investigation TV show? Were you a fan of the X-Files…vote in the latest poll (right column)