Syfy has made several statements that they wanted to get back to what their audience has been clamoring for…a space-based epic series. Now it seems they’ve found one that they’re ready to launch into space with, giving a straight-to-series order for 10 episodes of The Expanse, based on a best-selling book series. The Expanse is a thriller set two hundred years in the future, which follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.
The straight-to-series order is very ambitious for the network, ordering based on the pilot script before it was ever put in front of cameras, or even cast.
The Expanse is produced by Alcon Television Group (ATG), a division of Alcon Entertainment, and marks the company’s first series order.
Syfy President Dave Howe announced the series today. “The Expanse is epic in scale and scope and promises to be Syfy’s most ambitious series to date,” he said. “Bringing this coveted book franchise to television with our partners at Alcon and the Sean Daniel Company is a giant win for Syfy, reinforcing our overall strategy to produce bold, provocative and compelling sci-fi fantasy stories. The Expanse joins a killer line-up of high-concept, high quality series, along with recently announced original projects Ascension, 12 Monkeys, the renewal of Helix, and the soon to premiere Dominion.”
Academy Award-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, Iron Man) wrote the pilot and will continue to serve as writers, as well as executive producers.
ATG President Sharon Hall states, “The Expanse is an addictive, sophisticated, character-driven franchise and Mark and Hawk are the perfect people to steer it. Their script is a totally immersive and accessible sci-fi journey. We are thrilled to be in business with Syfy on this venture.”
Brown and Daniel state: “The Expanse is one of the most special pieces of material we’ve ever encountered and it has been our dream to bring it to life since the moment we read it. We couldn’t be more excited to be doing it with this team of all-stars – Mark, Hawk, and our partners at Alcon and Syfy.”
Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will serve as executive producers with Sharon Hall. Alcon Television executive Ben Roberts will serve as co-producer. Ben Cook will serve as producer.
Sean Daniel (Graceland, The Mummy) and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Company developed the original pitch, with Fergus and Ostby, and will also executive produce.
Developed with the Sean Daniel Company as a direct-to-series project, Alcon is financing and executive producing the hour-long, ten episode series, based on the popular New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as The Expanse, written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey). Abraham and Franck will be show producers.
The multi-installment, best-selling book series is published in 17 countries, including China, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. One in the series, “Leviathan Wakes”, was nominated for a Hugo Award as well as a Locus Award, while “Caliban’s War” was nominated for a Locus Award.
As the sole studio, Alcon retains the much-in-demand worldwide distribution rights. Alcon is currently out to cast and directors.
Fergus and Ostby are repped by CAA and Mark Gochman.