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CBS isn’t what most people would call the most liberally zany when it comes to putting new projects into production, although recent years have seen them keen on greenlighting oddball genre dramas like Under the Dome and Extant. Well the network is teaming back up with The Good Wife creators for a new series that sounds like one of the weirdest and most promising new concepts out there.
CBS has put in a straight-to-series order for the one-hour comic-thriller BrainDead, which thankfully has nothing to do with zombies. The series will center on a young staffer whose first day on the job in Washington D.C. alerts her to the fact that the government is no longer performing at full capacity – make you own politically motivated one-liner here – and that many of the Congressmen and other faculty members have had their brains eaten by aliens. Because yes, alien spawn are on Earth, giving people close encounters of the nth kind. In theory, this is completely brilliant and allows for a genre-straddling story that could go anywhere narrative-wise.
Created by The Good Wife’s Robert and Michelle King – Robert also co-wrote Cutthroat Island and wrote Clean Slate, for what it’s worth – BrainDead will apparently mix up the worlds of comedy, sci-fi and suspense-driven dramas. Here’s how the duo put it.
We wanted to do a show that was a mix of genre-pulp and high-brow politics – The Strain crossed with The West Wing. It seemed like the best way to address the news today – not straight, but as the opening act of a horror movie.
I’m fully invested, even if I have no idea how in the world this series will tell a story that stretches across multiple episodes, much less multiple seasons. Depending on how the aliens and their methods are portrayed, this could feel like Mars Attacks! as written by Daily Show staff members, or Aaron Sorkin writing The X-Files. Both sound good to me.
Both Robert and Michelle King will be executive producing, and they’re joined by a few notable names. One is the iconic Ridley Scott, who is no stranger to science fiction-laced stories; there’s David Zucker, who made his name making brainy spoofs like Airplane!, Top Secret! and the Naked Gun films; and finally, there’s Liz Glotzer, who was an executive producer on The Shawshank Redemption and Before Midnight, and a producer on The Mist and Bernie, among others. A lot of pedigree in that group, which adds to my excitement.
At the moment, there’s no timeframe for when audiences can expect to see BrainDead gnawing on viewers’ craniums on CBS, but we’re hoping that it hits the schedule somewhere close to when Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters. There can never be too much “aliens and politics” projects out there at once.