According to Variety, the Sci-Fi Channel is developing a reboot of Alien Nation, the 1988 feature film starring James Caan and Mandy Patinkin that led to a a spinoff series on Fox. Spearheading the new series for the network will be Tim Minear, former Angel writer/producer and veteran of other sci-fi shows like The X-Files, Firefly and Strange World — a rather interesting show made with Howard Gordon that only lasted one season.
In case you’re not familiar with the premise of Alien Nation, it centers on the partnership between a veteran cop and his alien detective partner, set against a world where alien “newcomers” have landed on Earth and are attempting to assimilate into society. Of course, assimilation is easier said than done and as the unlikely partners relationship grows stronger, so do the obstacles that these two face from within the department and the world at large. According to the article, the reboot would expand the backstory of the “newcomers” and would include a mythology that evolves over time.
Minear in particular is excited about the possiblities with the new series, especially when he’s able to mix many of the shows he’s worked on in the past. “It’s genre mixed with procedural mixed with funny and mixed with big, giant scary,” Minear said in the article. “I love serialized stuff, but this is also a cop franchise. That Starsky and Hutch /Lethal Weapon buddy cop comedy is absent from TV right now.”
Minear continued: “You can take (the original Alien Nation) a step forward and really do a show that encompasses the clash of civilizations, and the idea of a ghettoized minority,” he said. “You can touch on racism, terrorism, assimilation, immigration. And there’s room for satire.”
Sounds cool. Hey, maybe James Caan and Mandy Patinkin will be in the new show? I think they’re both available. The new Alien Nation series is expected to debut on the new Sy-Fy Channel sometime in 2010.