Spike Gives Series Order to ‘Red Mars’

Spike is bringing Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy book series to television, with Skydance Television the studio on the original one-hour scripted series, titled Red Mars. The novels, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars, chronicle man’s colonization and transformation of the red planet.   

Red Mars will be executive produced and written by J. Michael Straczynski, whose works include Sense8 and Babylon Five.  The straight-to-series project will be executive produced by Emmy Award-winner Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones), who brought the project to Spike and has shepherded development, along with Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross.

“The heart and soul of Red Mars is about humanity,” said Sharon Levy, executive VP, original series, Spike.  “This group of strangers must find a way to live together and survive under the most daunting conditions mankind has ever faced to become the first living generation of Martians.”

Red Mars will go into production next summer and will debut on Spike in January 2017. It’s Spike’s first scripted original drama in nine years; the Viacom-owned cable network calls it “the most ambitious project in network history.”

"We are thrilled to join forces with Spike to bring Kim Stanley Robinson's dynamic world of the Mars trilogy to television audiences for the first time ever, particularly in the brilliant creative voice of science fiction legend J. Michael Straczynski," said Marcy Ross, president of Skydance Television.

Skydance Television’s first original series was the well-received drama Manhattan, which airs on WGN America. 

Red Mars is produced in association with Straczynski's Studio JMS.

Earlier this fall, filmmaker Ridley Scott had a hit with The Martian, which also features man finding his way on the red planet.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.