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ANGEL’s Tim Minear Prepares Potential New 20-Years-Later ALIEN NATION Series For SyFy!!

Published at: July 1, 2009, 1:47 a.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

Writer-producer-director Tim Minear, a veteran of sci-fi shows (“Firefly,” “Dollhouse”) and cop shows (“The Inside”) and sci-fi cop shows (“The X-Files”), is gearing up a new version of the sci-fi cop show “Alien Nation” for SyFy (formerly the SciFi Channel). Unlike the movie and prior TV series, set three years after the extraterrestrial “newcomers” arrived on Earth, Minear’s proposed series will be set about 20 years after the aliens touched down. From Wednesday morning’s Variety:
By the time the show begins, some time in the 2020s, the alien population has multiplied from a few thousand to 3.5 million. And much of the "newcomers" live their own segregated existence, in what Minear compares to the North African ghettos in France.
The lesson here apparently is newcomers breed like tribbles. Minear tells AICN the new project “might” feature an alien cop named Sam Francisco, as the movie and prior series did. Find Variety’s story on the matter here.
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Readers Talkback

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  • June 30, 2009, 11:14 p.m. CST

    Weird.

    by GiveMeAnFinBreak

    This is the last property I'd ever expect to make a comeback. Then again, I wasn't ever much of a fan, in the first place.

  • June 30, 2009, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Ugh. "Syfy"

    by Iron-kong

  • June 30, 2009, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Remaking V is enough. We don't need this too.

    by ShabbyBlue

    And just like with V, I would have preferred a continuation of the original plot/characters instead of "rebooting" the whole concept. Ugh.

  • June 30, 2009, 11:41 p.m. CST

    District 9 Will be better than this

    by Monkey Butler

    But then, most things will be better than this.

  • June 30, 2009, 11:41 p.m. CST

    THIS SOUNDS PROMISING

    by Mullah Omar

    And honestly, I did not expect to write that after reading the tagline. I liked the idea of the ALIEN NATION film better than the execution, and what little I saw of the series didn't really leave an impression. But this is the sort of source material that I think can benefit from an overhaul like what Minear is proposing. I have higher hopes for this sort of "reboot" than I do for the upcoming V remake. It would be nice to have some worthwhile science fiction on TV.

  • June 30, 2009, 11:41 p.m. CST

    I liked the series

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    In fact, that might have been the earliest time I was sorely disappointed by a show's cancellation. I know it's stupid, but that pilot episode plot about the monster hidden inside the Newcomers scared the SHIT out of me at the time. Christ, what a pussy I was then...<BR><BR>Anyways, if this is set 20 years later, why not bring back some of the original show's cast?

  • June 30, 2009, 11:57 p.m. CST

    The original show got FIVE tv movie follow-ups

    by ShabbyBlue

    That's pretty damn impressive for a low-rated scifi cult tv show on FOX! Other scifi shows with huge fan follows never got tv movies after their cancellation. Not Quantum Leap... not Angel... not anything that I can recall, EXCEPT Alien Nation. For some reason Alien Nation got plenty of bonus attention well into the 90s. The last tv movie aired in 1997, which really doesn't feel that long ago to me, so I don't understand why this proposed new series can't just pick up where everything left off at 10 or 15 years later with as much of the original cast as they can get. Yet another rebooted concept of a movie/tv series just doesn't interest me.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:04 a.m. CST

    if anyone can do it, Minear can

    by oisin5199

    I thought the movie was decent and the original show was cute and had a good concept behind it. Seeing AN updated would be interesting. And I'd love to see Minear return to smart sci-fi. Sorry, SyFy. I'll never get used to that stupid change.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    Well, at least it's not on FOX

    by DeadlyPorpoise

    I thought Tim and Whedon had entered into some sort of diabolic agreement with Satan's broadcaster of choice<br />Glad to see this isn't the case...maybe this time, he'll get a series that's allowed to run. I'm still annoyed that DRIVE got cancelled...that show had promise. AND Captain Tightpants.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:24 a.m. CST

    eh, sure, why not

    by WickedJacob

    As good an idea as any that gets a greenlight.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:30 a.m. CST

    i'm guessing the success of "true blood" ...

    by Toe Jam

    has something to do with this. the whole vampires/aliens-as-gays/minorities metaphor is similar, no?

  • July 1, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

    Loved the series. Why not a loose continuation?

    by JediRob

    As opposed to a total reboot. If it's 20 years later you can do whatever you want anyway, and then you're also not ignoring the history. Just have George or Sikes make a cameo or 2.

  • July 1, 2009, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Hollywood is seriously trying to harsh my mellow

    by Greggers

    This is going to sound like all kinds of philistinism, but fuck it: <br><br> I'm burnt out on mirrors being held up to society and the human condition. (All right Hollywood, I get it -- we suck. Well, okay, we suck, but with occasional flickerings of beauty, compassion, and transcendence. But *mainly* we suck.) <br><br> I know I getting way ahead of things here when it comes to this project, but with ALIEN NATION, I feel a lecture coming on. And although BATTLESTAR GALACTICA kept me rapt for a good long time, right now, I'm just not in the mood for that kind of thing.

  • July 1, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST

    District 9 is a complete rip-off of this...F that movie

    by Ash Talon

    How can anyone look forward to District 9 knowing at the same time it's a comlete rip-off of Alien Nation. I guess intellectual property just doesn't matter to some people. <p> I think it would be wise to not ignore the original movie & series. Still set it in the same world. Just move the timeframe forward like they're doing. I hope they don't erase the past. Like JediRob says.

  • July 1, 2009, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Wow...

    by codymr

    Kenneth Johnson is having a good year... first V, now Alien Nation.

  • July 1, 2009, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Just continue it.

    by Baked

    It's been about 20 years since the movie, so why reboot to a point in time that is exactly where the series would be at this point? <p> With a population of 3.5 million, it should be easy to find new stories and characters in the same universe as George and Cykes.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Using the aliens as stand-ins for Muslims?

    by photoboy

    Recent projections of Muslim birth and migration rates has suggested that in 20 years they will be nearing the primary religion in a lot of Western countries. Sounds like this show could be tackling that in a way that cannot directly be accused of being racist.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:33 a.m. CST

    If I'm recalling correctly from the series

    by Dingbatty

    the aliens required a third party rare type of male to get pregnant, so I imagine they couldn't increase their population that quickly.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:08 a.m. CST

    13 Eps of The Inside make him a "veteran" of cop shows?

    by crayotic

    That one was a bit of a reach, even by the Herc Hyperbole meter. Although, I guess he couldn't really do the "Sci-Fi Cop Shows" punchline afterward, without the using it as a lead-in.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:52 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Minear

    by The McPoyle Clan

    did the unaired episodes of Drive every surface anywhere?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Emily Francisco grew up into a hottie.

    by V'Shael

    It'd be great if they could cast some of the familiar faces. <p> What ever happened to Terri Treas, who played Cathy? Does anyone know if she aged well at all?

  • July 1, 2009, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Minear craves spoiled milk

    by ls420

    love the idea

  • July 1, 2009, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Maybe with Tim's Influence...

    by puto tenax

    ...this has a chance, but given the new "SyFy", approach I'm not hopeful. Again, are all new ideas gone from Hollywood? C'mon, Tim, we'd rather see something original from you.

  • July 1, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    What is left to mine from Alien Nation?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    About the only thing I can think of are Alien/Human hybrids, like Sikes potential child. <p> The movies pretty much dragged out every angle the show didn't.

  • July 1, 2009, 9:06 a.m. CST

    So a combination of an Alien Nation retread

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    and District Nine: The Series. I never thought I'd say this, but the time have actually come when we have TOO many aliens on our movie and TV screens. I'm sick of aliens...come up with something else to milk the hell out of, Hollywood...

  • July 1, 2009, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Is George the spokesman for Shredded Wheat??

    by Billyeveryteen

    WTF, please hire him back.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Keep them away from the sour milk!!

    by banditmania

    I'm just sayin'.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Kenneth Johnson...

    by Henry Fool

    Being the Whedonite that I am, I certainly consider Tim Minear worthy of stepping into Ken Johnson's shoes. But I hope they use some of the original cast such as Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint. It'd be cool to have their characters be the older mentors to a new generation. I used to watch the series when it alongside 21 Jump Street on Fox. I always liked it and its spinoff TV movies when I was growing up and still feel it was a precursor to some of the better sci-fi that would later come along, like Firefly and the Holy Galactica.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Not really a surprise...

    by dogrobber

    ...as 'District 9' seems (to me at least) to be taken from/built around the same basic idea as the original 'Alien Nation' movie/tv series/movies, so if 'District 9' is a success Syfy can attempt to milk that success by producing their own alien immigration series with something of a built-in audience and no real worries of copyright (trademark?) problems. Setting the series in modern times should make the show no more expensive (not including prosthesis - is that the correct word/spelling?) to produce (I'm guessing) than the average episode of 'Burn Notice','In Plain Sight', or 'Royal Pains', and possibly less expensive than the 'Stargate' franchise. (Yes, I just realized I'm writing the obvious. I'm an idiot.)

  • July 1, 2009, 11:48 a.m. CST

    What's next? Lucan? Manimal? Jason of Star Command?

    by Uncle Stan

  • July 1, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Awful Idea

    by Castiel

    the series was crap, the movie was crap. the follow up is unnessary

  • July 1, 2009, 12:20 p.m. CST

    "I'm burnt out on mirrors being held up to society and the human

    by oisin5199

    yeah, fuck the whole purpose of contemporary literature and science fiction. No more of that!

  • July 1, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Thank God

    by Flyingcircus

    Finally something new and original. Wait, what?

  • July 1, 2009, 12:30 p.m. CST

    It just occurred to me

    by Flyingcircus

    that maybe these thumb-dicks like Wampa1 and NielF post the same thing over and over because they're just caught up in the remake trend. Discuss.

  • July 1, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Next up: Knight Rider! Oh, wait...

    by MrMysteryGuest

  • July 1, 2009, 2:02 p.m. CST

    How about Sam Diego?

    by decypher44

    Sam Juan Capistrano <br> Sam Luis Obispo <br> Dallas Ft Worth <br> Detective Reno Nevada?

  • July 1, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    where is my SOMETHING IS OUT THERE remake!?!?

    by KentButabi

    I don't remember it all that well, but I remember thinking it was awesome.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Det. Chevy Chase Marylin

    by KentButabi

  • July 1, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    sounds like somebody saw the district 9 trailer

    by thedude2010

    and said hey...that looks like Alien Nation, let's make a new alien nation just like that trailer

  • July 1, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    oisin5199

    by Greggers

    Glad to see you're on board! <br><br> But I think you might have missed my point; but that's okay, I don't think I made it very well. It's not that I'm against holding a mirror up to society and the human condition per se. I'm against holding a mirror up to society and the human condition to the extent that "holding a mirror up to society and the human condition" is actually a euphamism for exercising (but never exorcising) liberal guilt. I'm ready entertainment with a little more self-esteem. At least for this week. Ask me again next Tuesday and I might feel a little different.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    The hammiest line in tv history

    by ides

    Never actually watched The Inside (I remember it getting terrible reviews), but I still constantly quote Peter Coyote's breathlessly dramatic line from the commercials, "That girl has a gift FORGED in pain."

  • July 1, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    I can't get into aliens with weird heads

    by felwithe

    Love Mr. Minear, but "aliens with weird headS" syndrome just turns me off and makes it impossible for me to take the show seriously. It was like that for Star Trek and every other show that's done it. Maybe that's why Firefly and BSG turned out so well-- no prosthetic ears.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:51 p.m. CST

    thank god it's not on fox

    by johnnysunshine

    this sounds pretty cool. Tim Minear has an excellent track record and since this show won't be on fox, there's a chance we'll get to see more than 4 episodes of it too. The original alien nation movie and show were pretty good and, if I remember correctly, ran in pretty heavy rotation on the SciFi channel back before they aired much original programming.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    FUCK YEAH!!!

    by Hint_of_Smegma

    A sequel series to the movie OR the tv series is welcome as far as I'm concerned (although I prefer to think of both as seperate entities). The movie was a great '80's scifi, and the series was a brilliantly fucked up slice of tv. A sequel set this far down the line could have real potential.

  • July 1, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Alien Nation is Canada!

    by Naughty

    Where all of SyFy's shows are filmed! With their stupid, fucking foreign casts! Hire some real American actors, you stupid fucks!!

  • July 1, 2009, 8:24 p.m. CST

    I wasn't really into the original

    by _Maltheus_

    It wasn't ever something that I considered all that good. They could do an alright job with it I suppose, but it's not something that excites me. How about a series based on They Live. Or even better, something original.

  • July 2, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    They live is one thing i think would rule as a series.

    by notspock2

  • July 2, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Just have James Caan shoot everything in sight

    by twogunjames

    and you will have a big hit. I always thought it was funny how he called them potato heads off camera.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    How did I miss this posting?

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    Now I'm three days late to the party... <p> Oh well...Color me intrigued as I sincerely adored the movie and the tv series. <p> Maybe than can even bring back David Faustino as the one Tenctonese who inexplicably had facial hair!

  • July 2, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    The Original kind of bored me

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Everyone watched it, but I thought it was just too heavy handed. Nice concept, but it was just too weird even for me.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Man, it must suck...

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    ... to be Kenneth Johnson this year! First he tried to re-launch "V" (his by far best acheivment) with a 20-years later follow up... That gets hijacked and retooled from the bottom up. <p> <p> Then his other series, which the guy clearly put a lot into, gets taken up by someone else. <p> <p> Never really cared for Alien Nation, as someone above said, it could be very heavy handed at times. But that's also true of his original "V" (which I still love), but man... Guess he's just gonna have to set back and watch other folks run with all his ideas! <p> <p> (That said, anyone read "'V': The Second Generation"? His intended 'proper' sequel to the original miniseries? Fuck - it ain't good, sad to say.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:41 p.m. CST

    They Live: The Series!

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    Great idea! But yes, even better, something original please? It can't be THAT hard to come up with a new alien invasion pitch, for crying out loud.

  • July 2, 2009, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Sorry, but I've completely lost confidence in Minear.

    by CatVutt

    Between the God-Awful 'Inside', 'Drive', and the half-assed 'Dollhouse', I just don't get enthused when I see his name anymore.

  • July 3, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Alien Nation one of my all-time favorite shows

    by symphy

    Even the five TV movies were quite decent. Most of the cast is still acting, so I'd love to see as many of them back as possible. Sean Six (who played Buck) never did anything after Alien Nation (or before, actually), and Terri Treas (Cathy) hasn't worked since the last Alien Nation movie. (She's a bit of a larger woman now, hehe.) Lauren Woodland, who played little daughter Emily, is a KNOCKOUT now. (Look at the pics on her IMDB page. WOW. Let her be the new star.) :) It's neat how well the cast gets along, too -- if you watch the little get together hangout session of the cast (it's a DVD extra on the tv movie collection, I think), they're all really funny and have great chemistry off-set, too.