Two New Space TV Shows in Development


Two new space shows – one a drama, the other a comedy — are now in development.

Ronald D. Moore – he of “Battlestar Galactic” and “Star Trek” fame – has gotten an order from Apple to produce a new drama series that imagines a world in which the global space race of the 1960’s never ended.

Yes, Apple has now gotten into producing TV series.  No, I don’t know if this means we all have to buy one of their over priced devices to see the show.

Meanwhile, Bill Lawrence will write and executive produce “Spaced Out,” a multi-camera workplace ensemble comedy set in the world of commercial space travel. He is developing the series for CBS.

Lawrence had been executive producer of the project when it went to pilot at NBC as a single-camera show.  The network did not pick the pilot up as a series.

Lawence created “Scrubs” and co-created “Spin City” and ‘Cougar Town.” He also served as an executive producer on “Undateable” and the upcoming CW series “Life Sentence.”

If Lawrence wanted to make the show as a dark comedy, he could set it at a company that’s perpetually 18 months away from flying people into space owned by a jet-setting, publicity-obsessed billionaire who is always giving the staff migraines with his wildly optimistic and perpetually inaccurate pronouncements.

Alas, that’s probably a bit too on the nose….

  • ThomasLMatula

    Maybe that is where the idea came from 🙂 Wonder if they will use Mojave as its setting, bringing more business to it.

    The first one could be good if they do their research with nuclear rockets going to Mars and Sea Dragons launching from the ocean, while the U.S. and Russia race to build SPS and their own O’Neill colonies in orbit.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Dang, that sounds as fun as “Occupied/Okkupert”. Guess I’ll dump my Netflix after Season 2 and pick up Apples’ offering.

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  • duheagle

    Color me dubious. With the notable exception of The Martian, showbiz hasn’t done very well by space lately. The Expanse is tooth-grindingly bad. The Orville is so tediously unfunny that not even the presence of the fabulous Adrianne Palicki renders it watchable – i.e., a typical Seth McFarlane project. He should stick to singing Sinatra covers; that he’s actually good at. Star Trek: Discovery might be okay except that it’s pretending to be Star Trek – which it isn’t. It may be slightly more Star Trek-ish than those godawful J.J. Abrams reboots with Capt. James T. Smirk, but that’s not much of a bar to get over. Ankle-level, pretty much. In any event, it falls well short of being any temptation to violate my longstanding aversion to paying anything for TV beyond the usurious monopoly rates I’m stuck with for basic cable and broadband.

    Spaced Out has dubious parentage. I didn’t like any of the creator’s other shows so I see no reason for optimism about his new one.

    As for Moore’s new untitled alternate history drama I suspect we’ll get another heaping helping of the lefty-preachiness that has characterized all of Moore’s projects since he went out on his own and no longer has much of anyone to answer to. When he had someone to rein in his worst instincts, he did good work – the various Star Treks and Roswell. But any alternate history that presumes the indefinite duration of the 60’s Space Race pretty much also has to assume the indefinite duration of the late Soviet Union. Progs like Moore do seem to love them their Commie Nostalgia. Steven Spielberg sure does. His influence has managed to keep The Americans, a show glorifying Soviet spies in the U.S., on the air for six years despite ratings that quickly declined to barely above noise level. I certainly don’t begrudge Felicity a regular paycheck, but I could certainly wish she’d found a less off-putting way to earn it.

  • joe tusgadaro

    Wait what, the Americans glorifies soviet spies?….are we watching two different series with the same name and actors?

  • ThomasLMatula

    Yes, sadly the Star Trek franchise ended with Star Trek – Enterprise. The stuff since isn’t even worth the trouble grinding under a bulldozer. Even STE faded in that last season with the Xindi War.

    But in any case I stopped watching TV about 3 years ago and haven’t regretted it. Even the news is fluff. In 30 minutes I am able to check half a dozen websites (UPI, Reuters, BBC, Australian Broadcasting Corp, Times of Indian, Japan Times) and be more informed than wasting hours on cable news.

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  • duheagle

    I recall both shows with great fondness. As with much that I have liked on TV over the years, neither lasted very long.

    Perhaps Men Into Space would have fared better if the glorious Angie Dickinson, who played Col. McCauley’s wife Mary in the pilot episode, had stuck around instead of being replaced, with no explanation, by another actress. MIS was “launched” when the U.S. barely had a manned space program and well before even Alan Shepard flew. The show was charmingly naive in many ways, not least in missing entirely the media circus manned spaceflight would very shortly become, but it had an endearing old-fashioned squareness about it.

    Something else I didn’t recall before rewatching some episodes recently was how crummy the GNC was assumed to be in those days. Seems like the rockets were always having to make correction burns because they were multiple degrees off course.

    The Cape was just terrific. That probably had something to do with the fact that Buzz Aldrin was involved. Great cast, great stories… just great. I miss it still.