New Alien Nation; ABC Defying Gravity

The soon-to-be SyFy channel is again looking to the recent pop-culture past for one a possible future franchises.

The cable network, which changes its name from Sci Fi to SyFy next week, is developing a new take on Alien Nation, the 1988 movie and subsequent FOX series about alien “newcomers” who try to assimilate into human society.

Here’s the best part: Tim Minear, a veteran of cult favorites Firefly, Drive and Angel, is writing the pilot script, Variety reports.

Minear’s take will be set about 10 years from now and some 20 years after the aliens — who were slaves destined for another planet — crash-land on Earth. Like the FOX show that aired in 1989-90, the show will focus on a human police detective and his alien partner while also servicing an overarching mythology.

“It’s genre mixed with procedural mixed with funny and mixed with big, giant scary,” Minear tells Variety. “I love serialized stuff, but this is also a cop franchise. That Starsky and Hutch/Lethal Weapon buddy cop comedy is absent from TV right now.”

The project is still in its early stages, so we’re still a ways off from learning any casting or filming details.

ABC is adding another sci-fi series to its roster, picking up a space-based show called Defying Gravity.

The network has picked up 13 episodes of the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and will premiere it later this summer. It stars Ron Livingston, Christina Cox and Malik Yoba as astronauts on a six-year mission exploring the solar system.

The show is produced overseas (a la FOX’s Mental) and will also air in Canada, the U.K. and Germany. The Fox TV Studios show has been pitched as “Grey’s Anatomy in space” and, as the studio’s David Madden puts it to the HR, “[has] a sci-fi premise but [will be] told in a female-friendly way.”

James Parriott, a veteran writer who’s worked on everything from The Six Million Dollar Man to Ugly Betty and Grey’s, created the show and will exec produce with Michael Edelstein (Desperate Housewives), Michael Chechik and Brian Hamilton.

Source: Zap2It