Having been writing about pop culture in one form or another for over a decade, it’s still completely surreal for me to find myself excited to write about Syfy’s original programming lineup again. For the longest time, Syfy seemed to have completely lost its way and embraced the lowest common denominator, a tragedy epitomized by the goofy name change from “The Sci-Fi Channel” to “Syfy.” But now, against all odds, Syfy seems to have found its mojo again, greenlighting one intriguing project after another…and much of it actual science fiction, by Crom! Now we can add another to the ticker, as Syfy is developing a new alien-invasion thriller series called Absolute Zero.
Deadline reports that Absolute Zero unfolds in the year 2124, set in a mining colony on one of the moons of Jupiter. Some of the miners uncover a frightening alien species, a discovery which puts the Earth right in the crosshairs of an alien invasion. It will be interesting to see where the show goes from there, assuming it goes to series. Would the larger show continue to be centered on the mining colony, or would the threat of impending invasion pull the action out to other locales? The premise is pretty basic at this point, so it’s hard to get a feel for what this show might be like in the long run. We’re cheerleaders for any new science fiction shows, however, especially ones that are actually set in outer space.
Absolute Zero is in development from Michael Horowitz, a former producer on USA’s Burn Notice, as well as Universal Cable Productions and Doug Liman and David Bartis’ Hypnotic production company. Horowitz is writing the script and will be an executive producer alongside Liman, Bartis, and Gene Klein. I’m guessing Horowitz might wind up serving as showrunner for the series, should things get that far. In addition to Burn Notice, Horowitz’s resume also includes a couple of TV movies, but nothing you’re likely to be familiar with. Last year he was developing a potential series called Lithium for Fox, but what few details are available about that still don’t really give us any sense of whether Horowitz is the right guy for this sort of science fiction material. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Absolute Zero joins an absolute bucketload of promising science fiction in production or development at Syfy, including this fall’s Ascension miniseries, the much-anticipated adaptation of the Expanse books, and many more, not to mention their continuing series like Defiance and Helix. Could Syfy finally become a serious contender when it comes to quality scripted drama again? There was a time not too long ago when that would have seemed like outright fantasy, but it would certainly be great to have our world-weary cynicism proven wrong.