Turner cable outlet TNT, which has long been designated as the corporate outlet for television drama, will soon facilitate an intriguing block of science fiction, curated by someone who broke significant ground in the genre in Ridley Scott.
TNT has announced a creative partnership with Ridley Scott, the prolific directorial visionary behind myriad movie dramas and proverbial engineer of the Alien film franchise – to which he returns with Alien: Covenant – along with offerings such as Blade Runner, Legend, Gladiator, Alien prequel Prometheus and the 2015 smash The Martian. Scott will be tasked with curating a television block designated as a night of original sci-fi programming. As TNT executive vice president of original programming Sarah Aubrey explains:
“We’re looking to create a programming block filled with the kind of imaginative, awe-inspiring storytelling that has made science fiction such a beloved and enduring genre. Ridley Scott has created some of the best and most popular science-fiction movies of all time, and we look forward to bringing his fans even more of his smart, sophisticated stories.”
Plans for the untitled block will be to showcase an array of hour-long series, short-form programs and other unconventional format offerings, all of which will be developed under the auspices of Scott and his Scott Free Productions company in association with Turner’s Studio T. Scott is joined by executive producers Scott and David W. Zuker, who, along with Amazon’s Philip K. Dick-adapted alternate Nazi-run-world drama The Man in the Hight Castle, were behind series such as The Good Wife, spinoff The Good Fight, Mercy Street, Numb3rs and the cancelled surreal political satire series BrainDead. Additional co-executive producers include Jordan Sheehan (The Good Fight, The Terror) and Clayton Krueger (JCVJ, Mercy Street).
Ridley Scott has an abundance of projects on his plate with not only the release of Alien: Covenant, but upcoming epics such as Battle of Britain and the Mark Wahlberg/Kevin Spacey-starring mystery thriller All the Money in the World added to the overwhelming array of things to which he is attached as producer. With the TNT sci-fi block, Scott expresses excitement over the possibilities attributed to the small screen cable platform, stating:
“Being given the creative license to generate and develop science fiction programming in a variety of formats for TNT is very exciting. This genre is one of my favorites, and there are [sic] an infinite amount of original and innovative story ideas out there that we are looking forward to exploring with TNT. It is very exciting for all of us.”
There does seem to be a promising anthology type feel to TNT’s sci-fi plans, which sees the network dipping into genre waters it notably explored with series such as TV movie-offshoot The Librarians and the budget-heavy 2011-2015 alien invasion epic series Falling Skies beforehand. The sci-fi block will be Scott’s second collaboration with the network, having previously served as executive producer on the 2007 miniseries The Company.