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WIRE Buzz: Amanda Tapping's Sanctuary revived; AMC orders Pantheon; YouTube cancels Impulse

By Josh Weiss
Impulse Season 2

In a very rare move, AMC has ordered two eight-episode seasons of Pantheon, an hour-long animated drama series based on the sci-fi stories of Ken Liu, Deadline confirmed today.

Liu's short tales of the future are said to focus on "uploaded Intelligence [and] human consciousness uploaded to the cloud." The visual aesthetic of the project is characterized as "a fresh take on graphic realism done in a traditional 2D way, using modern tools."

The project is so complex, that the network allegedly requested to see a five-minute example of the animation in a special presentation before providing a green-light.

Season 1 will focus on Maddie, a bullied teen, who is contacted by her late father, David, whose mind is now in the cloud. David's resurgence as an Uploaded Intelligence signals the start of "a global conspiracy ... that threatens to trigger a new kind of world war."

The Paper Menagerie front cover

Pantheon is an entertaining and provocative series about personal relationships and what happens to them when the boundary of life is removed from the human condition,” said AMC Networks president Sarah Barnett in a statement run by Deadline. “And we’re looking to push other boundaries here too, in making an animated drama that aims to be every bit as moving, immersive and visceral as any premium, live-action scripted series."

Liu, who has won Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, is on board as a consulting producer. Titmouse has been tapped to handle the unique animation. Liu's short story, "Good Hunting," was adapted into an episode of Love, Death & Robots on Netflix.

The project hails from Craig Silverstein, who is serving as creator, executive producer, and showrunner. Silverstein previously collaborated with AMC on Turn: Washington’s Spies.

Impulse, YouTube Premium's television adaptation of Steven Gould's sci-fi novel of the same name, is coming to an end after two seasons. The unfortunate news was confirmed by showrunner Lauren LeFranc on Twitter.

"We tried to find a new home, but sadly, it wasn't meant to be," wrote LeFranc in a statement. "Algorithms, man, algorithms. Obviously, this hurts on a number of levels. Both personally and creatively. But I cannot say enough about the passionate team we had in front of and behind the camera."

Read the full statement in the tweet below:

Impulse was executive produced by Doug Liman, who directed 2008's Jumper, a film adaptation of Gould's novels about people with the ability to transport themselves anywhere in the world.

"To come up with a show this original and this entertaining, is an extraordinary accomplishment ... I wanted to do Impulse because I felt like, with Jumper, I never quite did my version of a superhero film. And finally, [I realized] TV is where the most innovative things are happening now," the filmmaker said at NYCC 2019.

Monster-themed series Sanctuary is reportedly receiving the reboot treatment, according to Deadline

The project’s original executive producer Martin Wood and All Canadian Entertainment have teamed up with Beedie (rights holder to the show) for some fresh adventures with Dr. Helen Magnus. No word yet on if it'll be strictly an online series, or land at a streaming service or network. The series originally ran on SYFY for four seasons between 2007 and 2011. Wood is hoping to start production this fall once a suitable showrunner is found.

Sanctuary Opening & Ending Credits Themes

Amanda Tapping is already being courted to reprise her role as Magnus, a scientist who makes it her life's mission to protect people and creatures with special abilities. The title refers to Magnus' place of refuge for these beings, who are known as Abnormals.

"Sanctuary was truly a show that wasn’t afraid to push beyond the edges, both in terms of storytelling and visual innovation,” Wood told Deadline in a statement. “With the technology that’s available today, we look forward to further continuing to push onwards, trailblazing and making monsters."

Sanctuary was created by Damian Kindler (current creator/showrruner of Netflix's adaptation of October Faction).