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Comics "Authority" Warren Ellis to Pen Original Series for AMC Network

I was initially surprised when AMC announced late last year that they intended to enter into the original programming route, particularly scripted series. But my jaw dropped last night when I learned who was developing a show with the network: British writer Warren Ellis, better known to many as a god among comic writers. (Full disclosure: Yes, I am a comic geek.)

For those of you not familiar with Warren Ellis or his outstanding body of work, he's an extremely prolific comics writer whose work touches upon sociopolitical commentary. Some of his best known works include "Planetary" (penciled by Joss Whedon's "Astonishing X-Men" collaborator John Cassaday), "The Authority," "Global Frequency" (which had been developed by John Rogers of Kung Fu Monkey fame as a pilot for the WB two seasons ago), "Excalibur" (starring my favorite X-Man--along with Joss Whedon's--Kitty Pryde), and "Transmetropolitan."

And if you, my loyal readers, are unaware of this groundbreaking writer and his massive body of work, you're doing yourself a serious disservice.

As for Ellis himself, he made the AMC announcement via his website, stating that he's been writing the pilot for a series he created for the cable network. While Ellis was tight-lipped about any details regarding the half-hour pilot, describing it as a "black comedy/science fiction" hybrid, he offered the following statement:

"Christina Wayne at AMC, who, along with Vlad Wolynetz have just been unreasonably good to deal with, recently described it as a 'sf/entertainment-industry dramedy'. As with all TV Things, everything could go horribly wrong. But this is the deal I’ve been waiting for, with people who understand the project and format I want to work in. And you know something’s going right when people in TV are telling you to go more experimental and take more risks. This isn’t your US network tv experience. "
(Well done, Christina and Vlad. The mere fact that you pacted with Ellis earns you high marks in my book.)

I'm intrigued. And, in the meantime, I can't help but picture Ellis' Spider Jerusalem as a wacky neighbor/debauched talent agent on the show or Pete Wisdom as a chain-smoking, snarky studio executive. Hmmm... I can't wait.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I wonder if it'll be British or American.

And I still think GLOBAL FREQUENCY is great concept for a television series. I think he was probably just a year or two early with it.
Jace Lacob said…
Good question, Bart. Considering the network in question (AMC), I'd have said American, but given the Ellis' involvement and the fact that AMC has aired British programming in the past, it could go either way.

And yes, I think that John "Blue Beetle" Rogers was perhaps a little early with GLOBAL FREQUENCY. I think that it could have found a home today given the renewed interest in genre programming.

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