I honestly can’t keep up with the ongoing scripted series explosion. First Netflix and Amazon got into the game, and that was awesome. But now Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott are making shows for Xbox Live. There’s a From Dusk Till Dawn series on a network I didn’t even know existed until like three weeks ago. WGN is doing a show about witches that isn’t the third season of American Horror Story? I thought WGN just showed Matlock repeats! What the hell, let’s get Yahoo into the mix as well, or maybe Ask Jeeves…wait, Paul Feig is actually doing a sci-fi comedy for Yahoo? Okay, I’m actually unironically interested in that.
The series in question is called Other Space, and Variety says Yahoo has ordered eight half-hour episodes focusing on the adventures of “a misfit group of space adventurers who stumble upon an alternate universe.” As you do.
Appearing in a pre-taped video screened at Yahoo’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation Monday, Paul Feig said, “I couldn’t be more excited to be making Other Space with Yahoo. This show has been a passion project of mine, and for it to be one of Yahoo!’s first scripted series feels like the futuristic adventure I’ve always wanted to take.”
Feig created the beloved but short-lived Freaks & Geeks, and has since gone on to direct things like the movie Bridesmaids and episodes of Weeds and Arrested Development. He knows a thing or two about the funny, so his name guarantees my attention, even in light of that old adage that Funny Science Fiction Is Hard.
Because it totally is. Occasionally you get Red Dwarf or Galaxy Quest or Futurama, but all too often you’re instead left with Pluto Nash or Coneheads or Evolution. (Remember Evolution? Ivan Reitman flick about an asteroid seeding alien life in the Arizona desert? David Duchovny back when he was going to be a movie star? Nothing?) Still, Feig is fluent in geek and a damn good character writer, both qualities that would lend themselves well to a sci-fi comedy. Although Variety’s story doesn’t actually say whether Feig will be writing or directing Other Space — for the moment he’s only listed as executive producer. We’re assuming he’ll be showrunner/writer as well, but then again we shouldn’t assume because it makes an ass out of Ume. Poor Ume.
Other Space will be one of Yahoo’s two first-ever scripted series, with the other announced project being Sin City Saints, a comedy about “a Las Vegas-based pro basketball expansion team.” No official word on premiere dates for either, although the shows will apparently be going up near the end of this year or early next. One thing we do know is that they’ll be following the Netflix mode: the entire season will be available all at once, the better to binge watch.
Kathy Savitt, Yahoo’s chief marketing officer, also told Variety that more original series would be announced soon, and said that Yahoo wants “the world’s best showrunners, writers and directors to tell the best stories.” And hey, Yahoo makes for an easy punchline, but more content sources means more chances for talented people like Feig to get new stuff out there, so more power to them.