Fox is moving forward quickly with a brand new drama project called Hieroglyph. The network is moving straight to series with the project, which is going into production with a 13-episode order in 2014. If you are wondering how the title has anything to do with the series, it’s going to be set in Ancient Egypt, a community that used hieroglyphs as a form of writing and a means to communicate.

Don’t worry, the series won’t be about something as mundane as creating a writing system (sorry history buffs). According to the official press release, the show will be set in a world where “fantasy and reality intertwine.” Sorcery and magic will play a role in the series, but the main plotline will follow a thief who is pulled from prison and tasked with working under the Pharaoh. The thief will spend some time with members of the palace, but also must deal with criminal underbellies and “seductive concubines.”

Historical dramas with a magical element are kind of trendy right now. On subscription cable, Da Vinci’s Demons and The White Queen have both brought in elements of witchcraft and coupled them with historical truths, and Hieroglyphs seems as if it will have the same bent. Setting the drama in ancient Egypt should give this one a leg up, however, because a good percentage of the population is oddly obsessed with Egypt. For example: I got home yesterday, and there was a program on my DVR entitled Planet Egypt about the importance of architecture in the ancient world. Why? Because my husband is a weirdo, and luckily for this show, there are a lot of other people like him.

If Ancient Egypt isn’t enough to persuade you, the people involved with the project might. 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment will produce the new series and Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope, Miguel Sapochnik, and Travis Beacham will executive produce. Chernin and Pope both have New Girl credits under their belts, so we’ll see how they do when they jump from a TV comedy to a drama. Beacham, on the other hand, is mostly known for theatrical scriptwriting, including penning the idea for Pacific Rim and co-writing Clash of the Titans. He’ll have more control over this project, since he created the series and will also be writing the pilot for the drama. Sapochnik also has drama work under his belt, having served as a director on another Fox drama, Fringe, as well as more recent credits on Revolution and Banshee. He’ll direct the pilot for Hieroglyph.

Fox has found success with another drama that mixes fantasy and history this season. Sleepy Hollow has crushed in the ratings since its release, pulling in good enough numbers to already nab a second season renewal at the network. I wouldn’t be shocked if Fox is hoping to replicate the success of Sleepy Hollow and maybe even use Hieroglyph as a companion to air on Monday nights. We’re still a ways off from Hieroglyph coming together, but the good news is that this project is absolutely happening, so prepare to set your DVRs. That’s a lot better deal than Lifetime’s Ancient Egypt-based Cleopatra drama has gotten so far.

Sphinx Wang /

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