Sci-Fi Fodder

ABC To Air "Masters of Science Fiction"

Harlan Ellison bookAccording to Variety, ABC is set to air the anthology series "Masters of Science Fiction," which will present works from some of the most well-known sci-fi authors in the world, including Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.

IDT Entertainment and Industry Entertainment - which produced the 13-episode anthology "Masters of Horror" for Showtime - are behind the science fiction version as well. ABC has ordered four episodes, but IDT and Industry plan to go ahead and produce at least six installments and may do as many as lucky thirteen.

Writer Michael Tolkin ("The Rapture" and "Deep Impact") is already on board to adapt and direct an episode, while the producers are also in talks to produce works such as Harlan Ellison's "The Discarded" and Asimov's "The Last Question." IDT and Industry also hope to sign Bradbury to adapt his "Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed." Last August, when the studio first announced the series, they also mentioned that the fan favorite Ellison tale "Repent, Harlequin! Said the TicktockMan" and stories by Robert A. Heinlein and Stanislaw Lem were in the works.

"After doing 'Masters of Horror,' we looked at other ways to take advantage of this great new way to create TV and international homevideo," executive producer Keith Addis said. "We rediscovered what an incredible wealth of material there is in science fiction and the incredible quality of the writing ... This genre's about the boldest, most powerful and relevant ideas facing all of us."

The producers said that they focused on ABC for the series due to its success with "Lost."

IDT and Industry hope to start production on "Masters of Science Fiction" in Vancouver this May. The producers said they can start delivering the series to ABC by the middle of June, making a summer launch a possibility.

This is VERY good news for sci-fi fans. Allowing the series to air on a major (free) network will certainly increase its viewership. It also has the potential of providing some serious competition to the SciFi Channel's programming. My hope is that it will raise the bar for sci-fi themed shows and give us even more to talk about each week! --Shannon Nolley