The TV show hasn’t even premiered yet and it’s already lost a showrunner. Writer and producer Naren Shankar is bailing on Fox’s Almost Human. Shankar left his showrunning duties to his co-showrunner and the series creator J.H. Wyman.
According to Deadline, it’s unclear why Shankar left Almost Human, but the website notes that Shankar and J.H. Wyman still get along personally. Currently a writer and producer on the long-running CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigations, Shankar was brought on board Almost Human after the Television Network Upfronts last month. It is believed he was brought in because of the mix of police procedural with the science fiction elements.
Shankar has an extensive background in sci-fi TV. He has written for some of the most groundbreaking and exciting genre shows over the years, including The Outer Limits, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Voyager, Farscape, and seaQuest 2032. His experience would have served Almost Human well as the new series tries to find its footing, but it looks like Shankar’s way of working and creativity didn’t gel with Wyman’s.
Wyman is coming off a stint as showrunner on Fox’s much loved sci-fi detective show Fringe, where he also served as writer and executive producer. At the moment, Wyman is the sole showrunner for Almost Human, and there don’t appear to be any plans to bring anyone in to help with the day-to-day duties of running a TV show.
Almost Human screened a few months ago at San Diego Comic Con to good reviews and a great deal of fan fare. Following the rabid fandom of Fringe won’t be easy, but Almost Human looks like it has a chance to build a good mythology and audience. It’s from J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions, so there’s already a built in fan base. Karl Urban is finding new success on Netflix with the amazingly awesome Dredd, so hopefully that will translate into viewers when the series debuts in November.
Fox recently released new images of the cast and a new teaser trailer for the show. The trailer looks great! The world looks detailed and believable, and you can tell the episode-to-episode drama will be there as John (Urban) and his robotic partner Dorian (Michael Ealy) deal with the rough streets of Los Angeles. It’s really hard not to watch this trailer and not think of Dredd.
The series is set 35 years in the future and follows John Kennex, a respected police officer who, after a failed assignment that cost the lives of nine of his fellow police officers, is left injured and emotionally distant from his family and friends. Although Kennex has an aversion to androids, he is nevertheless partnered up with Dorian, a humanoid robot with unexpected emotional responses.
Almost Human also features Lili Taylor, Mackenzie Crook, Michael Irby, and Minka Kelly, and premieres on Monday November 4th at 8/7C on Fox.