The Walking Dead hit big enough at AMC that the people responsible are now flying all over Hollywood with brand-spanking-new projects to capitalize on the success. Among them is Gale Ann Hurd, one of the show's executive producers, with a new sci-fi TV series that will take us inside the infamous Area 51.
Hurd and her company Valhalla Entertainment recently purchased the rights to Annie Jacobsen's nonfiction book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base for adaptation into an hour-long drama. Writer Karl Gadjusek, who started back on Showtime's Dead Like Me and recently completed feature scripts for The Last Days of American Crime and Tom Cruise's Oblivion, is set to script the pilot.
The show will take its cues from the classic government alien conspiracy stories we know and love, but will present the story from inside the infamous top-secret military installation. It will reportedly follow two men, both employees at Area 51, who uncover something they weren't supposed to know and then must face the inevitable top-secret backlash. Gadjusek is also set to serve as showrunner and executive producer should the series get picked up.
Jacobsen has landed a consulting producer credit on the show thanks to her book, which was released in May and spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She claims to have interviewed 19 former Area 51 employees for the book, and another 55 who had ties to the base in some way during their working lives. The book tackles all of the great Area 51 stories—alien autopsies, secret tunnels, nuclear facilities—and then documents what's really gone on there: supersonic jet design and nuclear weapon testing. It's unclear how much of the nonfiction of Jacobsen's book will wind up in the fictional world of this show, but at least she'll be around to find out.
Hurd and company are preparing to take the series out to networks soon. No word on where it'll land, but AMC already has an alien series in development. What do you think?