USA orders WWII alien drama "Horizon" to pilot

TV Arts


USA Picks Up World War II Alien Drama Pilot

Eight years after the debut of its last sci-fi show,
miniseries-turned-series 4400, USA Network is re-entering the genre
space with Horizon, a cast-contingent drama pilot from The Walking
Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd.

Set during the height of World War II, Horizon centers on a secretary
at the FBI who discovers that her husband might have been killed in a
battle with a spaceship in the South Pacific. Obsessed with learning
the truth, she becomes the only person standing between Earth and an
alien invasion. Bridget Tyler (Burn Notice) wrote the script and will
co-executive produce for Universal Cable Prods. and Hurd’s Valhalla
Entertainment, which has a deal at the studio. “Horizon is our first
genre piece since The 4400 and the first ever period drama for the
network,” said USA Network co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris
McCumber. “This signals the next step in the evolution of our
programming brand.”

USA’s EVP Bill McGoldrick said the network’s brass “had been actively
thinking about how to do genre and period dramas and what an USA’s
genre and period show is” when SVP Alex Sepiol came across Tyler’s
script submitted as a writing sample for a staffing job. Everyone
loved the script, which combined period and genre drama. “We’ve killed
two birds with one stone,” McGoldrick quipped. The number of birds
quickly went up to three after Hurd was brought in as executive
producer. The producer signed a big deal with sibling studio Universal
Cable Prods, and USA was looking for ways to work with her. Horizon
was in the same batch of scripts with the one by Numbers creators
Nicolas Falacci & Cheryl Heuton, which received a pilot order in
September. The pickup of Horizon took longer as the network took time
to figure out how to do period and genre drama.

With Horizon, USA extends its track record of betting on relatively
unknown writers by giving them their first shot at creating their own
series. Sepiol previously brought in Burn Notice, While Collar and
Suits to USA and oversaw the development of USA’s new series from
White Collar creator Jeff Eastin, Graceland.

This marks the latest step in a rapid portfolio expansion for USA
which, over the past two years, has added unscripted and comedy
programming into the mix. On the reality front, the network is set to
debut three new series in 2013 — The Moment, The Choir and Partners In
Crime and recently started production on the pilot Bride Or Best Man,
ordered a pilot for All In and moved The Cowboy Way into development
(all working titles). In comedy, USA is on track to launch its first
comedy series with the launch of its off-network acquisition Modern
Family next September with two pilots vying for a spot, Sirens and
Paging Dr. Freed.
Sounds interesting. I wonder if they'll go the Nazi funky tech myth route?
It does sound interesting.  Period pieces are always more expensive to
do, so I appreciate the risk they're taking here -- and if this one
clicks, wow.
Some uniforms left over from other war movies, a few vintage cars, stock 
battle footage. Ýhe only extra expense will be vintage hairstyles and 
music royalties.