Upfronts 2017: TNT Taps Ridley Scott to Develop Sci-Fi Block

TNT will team with filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) to develop a science-fiction programming block, the network announced during its upfront presentation Thursday.

Related: Turner’s Levy Thinks Audience Buying Will Grow in Upfront [subscription required]

The slate, produced by Scott’s Scott Free Productions, will feature hour-long series, short-form programs and other formats, said network officials. Scott and David Zucker (The Good Wife) will serve as executive producers, while Jordan Sheehan (The Good Fight) and Clayton Krueger (Mercy Street) will serve as co-executive producers.

“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,” said Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT in a statement. “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.”

In other TNT upfront news, the network has partnered with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore on a non-fiction series Michael Moore Live From the Apocalypse, which will premiere this fall and will shine a light on “Washington politics and Wall Street shenanigans.” Another documentary series, Who Run The World?, will focus on the issues women face in today’s world. Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) will executively produce the series, according to the network.

Actress/comedienne Margaret Cho will star in and co-write Highland, a scripted drama pilot inspired by Cho’s personal history with substance abuse. Liz Sarnoff will serve as executive producer of the series. Another pilot, Snowpiercer, stars Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs and is set in a future where the world has become a frozen wasteland and where humans inhabit a moving train that circles the globe.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.