I think it’s safe to say the network CW has reached the point where just saying its name doesn’t automatically read as a punchline. It’s had some great shows, sure, but there’s no questioning what its largest demographic is, and that limits the range of storytelling. The CW recently gave two sci-fi shows pilot orders, and while each concept is considerably different, both shows revolve completely around young people, so expect a familiar brand of drama should both series get full orders.
The more interesting of the two is The Hundred, based on the upcoming young adult book series by author Kass Morgan. It’s set 97 years after civilization was demolished by a nuclear war, and the only human survivors are living aboard a massive spaceship. One hundred juvenile delinquents with dark secrets are sent down to Earth to investigate whether or not it’s possible to re-colonize the planet. Notice how I described it as interesting, and not smart or plausible. Why would you send kids who have already shown that they don’t give a shit about rules to do what would essentially be the most important next step in the history of this alternate universe? Also, after a nuclear war leaves your population flying through space, do “dark secrets” really matter? We’ll see, I guess.
The Hundred pilot was written by Jason Rothenberg, whose coolest credit so far is a production office coordinator gig on Julien Donkey-Boy. Serving as executive producers are Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo, no strangers to CW shows.
The second pilot is Oxygen, which takes place in a world where aliens have been living here for 10 years, rounded up into internment camps and imprisoned soon after their arrival. Nine of the aliens are integrated into a suburban high school, and shit presumably starts going down when an alien boy and a human girl start a romance. It sounds like a watered-down version of District 9. Hopefully it skews more towards Alien Nation than the recent reincarnation of V.
Oxygen, whose name befuddles me, is written and executive produced by The Good Wife‘s Meredith Averill. Also executive producing are Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Richard Shepard, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst, and Daniel Gutman. It may have been shorter to list who isn’t executive producing.