It seems astronauts are all the rage these days. Sandra Bullock earned an Oscar nom and conquered the box office in Gravity. This summer we’ve got Halle Berry playing a mysteriously pregnant astronaut returning to Earth in Extant, which Steven Spielberg is executive producing. ABC has ordered the self-explanatory Astronaut Wives Club to series, and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have an astronaut comedy pilot in the works for NBC. Well, now you can add another far-out astronaut project to the pile, and this one’s from the daughter of that guy who invented the internet!
Al Gore jokes aside, Deadline reports that the former Vice President’s daughter Kristin has penned an HBO comedy pilot called Women in Space, a title even more on the nose than the aforementioned Astronaut Wives Club. Women in Space will follow “a group of women exploring the final frontier on a mission to colonize another planet.” Gore will also executive produce the series with Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers).
Deadline doesn’t say who would be showrunner should the pilot go to series. Often the series’ creator fills that role, but it’d be the first time in the big chair for Gore. She was a writer for the Harvard Lampoon and then went on to be a writer/story editor for Futurama and a writer for Saturday Night Live. It’s certainly possible they’ll let her be showrunner, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if they brought in somebody with more experience to take the reins or share the duties.
I’ll be intrigued to see what an “HBO space comedy” looks like. It’s not the sort of concept you typically associate with the cable network, and most of its successful comedies — Curb Your Enthusiasm and Girls are the most obvious examples — are more mainstream. Then again, HBO has had good luck branching out into more fantastic areas with True Blood and Game of Thrones, and of course AMC’s The Walking Dead has everybody salivating over finding their own genre superhit.
The trick, of course, is that merging science fiction and comedy has always been a tricky business. For every project that works, like Galaxy Quest, Red Dwarf, or Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide books, there are dozens that fall flat. I’m really curious to know what tone the project is going for. Are we talking about a space-faring version of Girls or, god help us, Sex in the City? (Sex in the Galaxy?) If it is, I’d rather just watch ISS footage.