‘Terminator’ Bosses Eye TV Series for Cable With 13-Episode Order
Long before Terminator Genisys started turning its promotional wheels, Paramount shared plans for a (second) Terminator TV series to maintain ties to the movie franchise. Now only days from Genisys’ release, Skydance bosses David Ellison and Dana Goldberg discuss development of the TV branch, placing odds on a cable order of 13 episodes.
Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as plenty of time has passed since learning of the original TV plan, though Ellison and Goldberg recently spoke to /Film of continued development on the project which will “absolutely have connective tissue” to the ongoing film franchise. Both producers praised the current golden age of TV, particularly series like Game of Thrones or their own Manhattan, suggesting that a Terminator series would likely do better with a similar cable model:
Our gut aspiration would be a cable-driven show for something like Terminator. It’s amazing to be in the network space. We have not been a part of it yet, but obviously when you’re focused on making 13 episodes, it allows you to have more development time to dive deeper.
That being said, there have been amazing shows on network television. One of my favorites is the first couple seasons of Alias. I’ll never forget seeing J.J.’s pilot for that show and just being blown away and floored by how phenomenal it was, and so it really is on a case-by-case basis. And Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob’s [Roberto Orci] writing on those first two seasons, I mean I was riveted, absolutely loved it. I really think it depends on what executives and who wants to do what at what particular point in time.
When first we heard of Terminator TV plans, X-Men: First Class writers Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller were to write and executive produce the new series with Skydance and Annapurna Pictures. The story was said to focus on “a critical moment from the first ‘Terminator’ film — where the film’s story goes one way, the upcoming television show will take that same moment in a completely different direction.”
Even after a general awareness of Terminator Genisys’ twists and turns, it’s difficult to say how a TV series might share connective tissue with the films while still going in a different direction, but a cable model would at least help sell a stronger story. How should Skydance proceed, assuming Genisys does well enough to continue the franchise overall?