The new television season is here and we’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is we’ve got a ton of stinkers in the line up. The good news, this season once again shows that networks are still willing to take chances with comic, sci-fi, fantasy and horror based properties.
So the question is, what will they line up for next year?
Television is a different beast then films. While in film you’d like potential for sequels, at the moment you have to tell your story in one to three films (on average two and a half to seven and a half hours). In television, you’re looking at a minimum of twelve episodes at a running time of about forty five minutes a piece (nine hours) for your first season. You want something that’s sustainable for a couple of seasons.
Being an armchair producer, here’s my humble suggestions for some properties that are prime for television.
Over the past few years, Dune has been in development as a film but I think they may be missing the boat here. Dune could be (with the right budget) a sci-fi show in league with Game of Thrones. It has political intrigue, large scale battles and sand worms. You would have to revamp the female characters (make them a little more prominent) but with the first novel alone, I think you’ve got at least two seasons of material. And with Frank Herbert’s original sequels, you’ve got around five solid seasons.
So this may or may not be already in development as an un-aired pilot from a few years back still circulates around the net. Based on the Warren Ellis comic, the show would follow Miranda Zero and her team of 1001 operatives as they deal with weird science and terrorism. If you took the basic ideas of Fringe and Agents of Shield and puut them in a blender with a bit of LSD, you’d get the Global Frequency television show. The main change you’d have to make from the comic is there would have to be more then two reoccurring characters but the bonus is that the rotating team members really lends itself to all star guest casting.
The Burke Books
Okay a little bit of a personal choice but hear me out. Andrew Vachss Burke is a criminal but also kind of a detective and is surrounded by an incredibly interesting cast of characters; you have a silent martial artist best friend, an old Chinese woman who runs all of the Chinese criminal activities from her restaurant, a mentor who is part professor, part prophet and wicked with a shotgun, a transgender prostitute and a Nazi hating inventor who builds bombs. Most of the books involve sex crimes dealing with children and the show would be sort of like a very dark Law & Order SVU. But with Burke’s bad guys, there is rarely a court appearance. Eighteen books gives you a lot of material to work with.
The Dortmunder Books
On the complete opposite side of the crime coin is Dortmunder. Created by Donald Westlake (who was also behind the Parker novels), Dortmunder is a career criminal where everything goes wrong for him but yet he manages to get the job done. It’s a comedic crime series that’s a lot of fun. There have been disastrous to god awful results adapting the books to film (What’s The Worst That Can Happen? being not only an awful film but a crime against humanity itself) but maybe it’s time tv takes a crack at this series.
Heroes for Hire
Aside from Agents of Shield, this is probably the easiest vehicle to bring Marvel to the small screen and is honestly a concept that lends itself best to episodic television. I’d bill it as kind of a Simon & Simon with kung fu. The great thing about the concept is that you can pretty much do anything with it. Superheros, super villians, ninjas, corporate espionage with Danny Rand’s company or even just some good old “detectives knocking heads” tv. Who wouldn’t watch that?
But of course, I have yet to land a fat tv contract so my ideas will probably not be realized.
What do you think, dear readers? Feel free to pitch your ideas below in the comments section.
And remember, if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!