Josh Friedman knows from his robots. The writer of Spielberg’s War of the Worlds cemented his place in the geek lexicon a few years back by overseeing Fox’s short-lived Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a show which surprised many by actually being pretty damn good. Now Friedman is returning to both science fiction as a genre and robots in particular. He’s teaming with X-Files veteran Howard Gordon for a new robot-themed “thriller soap” for NBC.
As Deadline reports, the untitled show is set in a world similar to ours, but where human-looking robots are a part of daily life. (Think Blade Runner but not as depressing.) Unfortunately for one detective, a murder investigation proves to be the first ever incident where a robot has killed a human being. The disturbing incident not only has dangerous implications in a world filled with similar robots, but the investigation also stirs up the beginnings of a robot rebellion.
Many of you are probably having the same reaction I did upon first reading the story: quietly whispering, “Thank God it’s not on Fox.” I don’t generally think of NBC as a must-see destination for genre programming, but hopefully they’ll give this one a chance to find an audience. For instance, all those still-bitter Sarah Connor Chronicles fans (myself included) who ought to check the show out simply because Friedman’s writing it. Nor is Howard Gordon, who is exec producing along with Friedman, any slouch in the genre TV department. Over the past few decades, he’s worked on shows ranging from The X-Files, to Buffy and Angel, to 24.
Details are still sparse at this point, but we’ll update you with more news about the project as we hear it.