AMC already rules the TV landscape with their massively popular zombie drama The Walking Dead, and we’ve often wondered if and when they had any intention of getting into the hard sci-fi game. It appears that they’re climbing on board that train with the upcoming series Humans, an English-language adaptation of the Swedish series Real Humans, and in addition to that, they’re tagging in for Xbox.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC is nearing completion on a deal to acquire the domestic rights for Humans, which they will co-produce with British broadcaster Channel 4 and U.K. indie producers Kudos. Xbox, the video game arm of Microsoft that had been making a push into producing original content, landed an eight-episode series commitment back in April but bowed out.
AMC stepping into the Humans business comes two months after Microsoft closed down the fledgling Xbox Entertainment Studios. There was word that they were shopping their properties around to Warner Bros., and with Humans getting picked up elsewhere, that leaves the Steven Spielberg-produced live-action Halo adaptation in the lurch. As popular as it is, they’re having a hell of a time getting any traction on any Halo series anywhere.
Humans is set in an alternate version of the near future where “synths”—highly advanced domestic robots—have become all the rage. I can’t help but envision Rosie from The Jetsons when I think of this, but they’re used for all kinds of jobs and have all kinds of purposes, and there are many types. When one suburban family purchases a refurbished synth, stretching their very modest budget already, they get more than they bargained for and “discover that sharing their life with a machine has far-reaching and chilling consequences.” So it’s evil Rosie.
This is more or less the same general premise as the original series, Real Humans, which has been on the air since 2012. Right now there’s not much more in the way of details other than casting is reportedly underway, and that it will most likely appear sometime in 2015. That’s not much to go on, but it definitely sounds promising and we’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.
AMC has had a couple other science fiction themed shows in development the last couple of years, but obviously none of them have ever come to fruition. The Walking Dead is about as close as they come to straight up sci-fi, but it’s more horror. They are, however, in the process of spinning their massive hit off into a full-blown franchise, as they just gave a pilot order to a companion series.
While their zombie drama is inconsistent (though the last half of last season was the best its ever been), shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men have made the cable player one of the main destinations for high quality, high concept programming, at least outside of the premium channels, where they can swear and show boobs.
Check out a trailer for Real Humans. It’s creepy as hell, so lets hope AMC is able to capture that particular element.