Christopher Meloni made a name for himself on the small screen thanks to his role as Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: SVU. He left SVU in 2011 to the dismay of longtime fans everywhere, but he's been an active presence on the TV scene ever since. Now, he has signed on to star in a new Syfy pilot that sounds unlike anything he's done before.
The Syfy series will be called Happy! and star Christopher Meloni as Nick Sax, who was once the top detective in a big city police department. After losing everything he holds dear, he becomes a hit man for the mob and uses his earnings for drugs and booze on the wrong side of town. Sax manages to survive a hit that goes horribly wrong...only to have his life changed forever when he begins to see an imaginary blue-winged horse. If that's not weird enough, the horse is unfailingly optimistic and goes by the name Happy. His regular appearance is very small, but imaginary creatures tend not to stick to the rules of physics. Deadline reports that Meloni will executive produce as well as star in the pilot. Brian Taylor of Crank and Gamer fame will direct and executive produce.
Nick Sax sounds kind of like an extension of the angry cop character that Christopher Meloni has played in the past, but the blue horse is definitely not something that we ever saw flitting around Elliot Stabler as he investigated sexually-based offenses in New York City. Happy's origin comes from the Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson graphic novel of the same name. Grant Morrison will work as executive producer for Happy! in addition to Christopher Meloni and Brian Taylor. This is the second time that Morrison is working to bring Happy! to TV.
Christopher Meloni already has an ongoing gig on TV with the WGN series Underground, where he plays a bounty hunter with connections to the Underground Railroad. The show did well enough on WGN that a second season was ordered for 10 episodes in 2017. If Happy! is ordered to series, scheduling could mean that Meloni will need to choose between WGN and Syfy.
Science fiction isn't a genre that Christopher Meloni has frequented in his career so far. He's landed regular roles in comedy since leaving SVU, with the short-lived Fox sitcom Surviving Jack in 2013 and the first season of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp in 2015. The most he's done with sci fi/fantasy TV is his stint on True Blood in 2012 as the vampire Roman Zimojic. He definitely hasn't done anything else with flying blue horses, so at least we can't accuse him of being typecast as star of Happy!
Shows based on comics and graphic novels have been major successes on the small screen in recent years, with series ranging from The Walking Dead on AMC to Supergirl on The CW finding healthy audiences. Happy! could become a hit for Syfy if the pilot is good enough to warrant a series order. We'll have to wait and see. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule for a look at what you can watch in the meantime.