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The Expanse, Gateway & More: Four Sci-Fi Series We Can’t Wait To See

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AbbadonWhile both shows have had their problems, Defiance and Helix gave the first signs that Syfy might be trying to take chances and recapture some of those many fans who had come to regard the former Sci-Fi Channel as a bad joke. Both shows are returning for second seasons, and earlier this year Syfy’s executive vice president of original programming Bill McGoldrick was talking a big game about wanting Syfy to be competitive in a world where HBO and AMC have found huge hits in Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, respectively. And believe it or not, Syfy has definitely been putting its money where its mouth is, greenlighting a ton of projects in recent weeks, including straight-to-series orders for their adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys and a zombie show called Z Nation.

Even more exciting, Syfy is taking viewers someplace they’ve been clamoring for in the years since Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate Universe closed up shop — actually into freaking space. Syfy’s recent announcements include not one, but two exciting new spacebound projects that, if handled right, could be amazing. One is a series adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s critically acclaimed — and rightly so — Expanse series, and the other is Ascension, an original six-hour “event series” about a century-long journey to colonize a new world. Is it guaranteed that either or both of those will be good? Not at all, but Syfy is clearly trying again, and that’s awesome.

They aren’t the only network headed into the final frontier, either. I can’t remember a time when there were this many space-based TV projects in development — all the more impressive since none of them have “Trek” anywhere in their titles. It’s enough to let a little light of hope into our cold, cynical hearts here at GFR, so we decided to shine that light on eight upcoming science fiction projects that have us majorly excited, four now and four more next week. Let’s see what’s out there…

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Frederik Pohl’s Hugo Award-Winning Gateway Getting TV Series Adaptation

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GatewayFeatIt sometimes seems like Hollywood isn’t interested in adapting classic science fiction literature unless it was written by Philip K. Dick. (And let’s face it, their raiding of his back catalog has been a hit-or-miss proposition.) Now it’s another beloved SF legend’s turn in the spotlight, as Frederik Pohl’s Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winning novel Gateway is being developed as a television series.

Deadline reports that Entertainment One Television (Hell on Wheels) and the De Laurentiis Co. (patriarch Dino executive produced David Lynch’s Dune film) have snagged up the rights to Pohl’s award-winning 1977 novel, and apparently they put up a bit of a fight, bidding against other entities that wanted Gateway for themselves. In fact, the De Laurentiis folks have had their eye on Gateway for years now, waiting for a chance to grab the rights as attempts to adapt the book have ranged from film to TV. Producer Martha De Laurentiis told Deadline, “Television gives us the opportunity of exploring the rich world of the novel and the complexity of its characters.”