Adding another internationally-backed project to its streaming line-up, CBS All Access has ordered a series version of classic sci-fi novel and feature The Man Who Fell To Earth from StudioCanal’s Tandem Productions.
Star Trek franchise regulars Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet will write the series – unveiled during CBS All Access’ session at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles on Thursday (Aug 1) – and serve as executive producers and co-showrunners alongside executive producer John Hlavin. Kurtzman will also direct.
CBS Television Studios will co-produce with Tandem, in association with Secret Hideout and Timberman/Beverly. Tandem majority owner StudioCanal, which distributes projects financed and produced by Tandem, owns the rights to both Walter Tevis’s 1963 novel about an alien arriving on Earth and the 1976 Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie feature version.
Rola Bauer, founder and managing director of Germany-based Tandem, will also be among the series’ executive producers, as will Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Heather Kadin. Aaron Baiers will serve as co-executive producer.
Getting a jump on most of its big media rivals, American broadcast TV network CBS launched SVOD service CBS All Access in the US in 2014. Versions of the service have since been launched in Canada and Australia, the latter under the 10 All Access label.
CBS All Access’ original series include Star Trek: Discovery and Jordan Peele’s update of The Twilight Zone. Upcoming originals include Star Trek: Picard and Interrogation, a crime series co-created by Swedish writer Anders Weidemann that CBS produced with Fabrik Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based company that is part of Germany’s Red Arrow Studios group.
Kurtzman and Lumet commented: “Walter Tevis’ visionary novel gave us a tech god Willy Wonka from another planet, brought to life by David Bowie’s legendary performance, that foretold Steve Jobs’ and Elon Musk’s impacts on our world. The series will imagine the next step in our evolution, seen through the eyes of an alien who must learn what it means to become human, even as he fights for the survival of his species.”
CBS All Access executive vice-president of original content Julie McNamara (pictured) added: “We are thrilled to add another iconic genre favorite to our lineup as we expand original programming on CBS All Access. We know this series will capture the soul and spirit of the source material and further push narrative boundaries in the capable hands of Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and the entire producing team.”
Bauer said: “Owning an iconic property like this is a privilege. Alex and Jenny’s voices take Tevis’ provocative vision of humanity and finds today’s pulse and relevance.”