NBC Orders Sci-Fi Drama ‘Beautiful People’ Pilot

Posted Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 09:00 am GMT -4 by

michael mcdonaldNBC has ordered a pilot for ‘Beautiful People’, a spec written by Michael McDonald.  It will be a character-driven drama set 10 minutes in the future where families of mechanical human beings exist to serve the human population until some of the mechanical beings begin to “awaken.”

The spec was written by McDonald about 10 years ago and ABC originally had the rights to the script. After doing nothing with it for 2 ½ years, they ended up passing on it. Although NBC/Universal will now take it over, the pilot will be co-produced with ABC studios.

‘Beautiful People’ marks the first dramatic project for McDonald who is better known for work on ‘MadTV’, ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Cougar Town’ and is described as more  of a “low tech, high drama” type of show.

The premise sounds oddly similar to the ‘Terminator’ films without a Protector coming in from the future. The “what happens” when the robots become aware may seem a little tired, but I’m willing to give any show a try. If the makers of the mechanical humans are called Skynet, however, I’m done! Hopefully the pilot will show some promise.

Source: Deadline

  • 10 minutes in the future?

  • Ten minutes in the future? That’s strange…

    • Ze

      I thought the same thing as I was editing the article..I thought maybe they meant 10 million years or something. I searched around though and everywhere reports it as 10 minutes.  So strange….but because of it I’m intrigued to find out how this plays out.

      • Janice Kay

        The 10 minutes in the future threw me off too while writing it so it will be interesting to see how they manage that. The whole robotic human serving mankind makes me rethink about buying a Roomba. ;)

        • renamoretti1

          That means it is modern day with a couple of funky-looking cars and the robots. That’s how you do SF on the cheap, which wouldn’t be so bad if it were done creatively… Of course this is going to be produced by Siffy, so all hopes of creativity will remain dashed.

      • 10 minutes into the future is used all the time in sci-fi (although, most often, writers use 20 minutes into the future).

        It just means that the story takes place in a time so close to the present that it’s nearly indistinguishable from our own world other than one or two (often technological) elements.

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  • Chris Johnston

    Well, it sounds like a re-hash of The Stepford Wives, and wasn’t Max Headroom “20 Minutes Into the Future”? 

  • Justin

    Arnie hardly has a monopoly on robo-sentience and how it manifests. Its one of the oldest themes in science fiction Hell, terminator’s not even anywhere near the best. HAL 3000? Data from Star Trek TNG sits somewhere else on the “what if?” spectrum, but his brother lore fits the profile perfectly(as does Dr. Moriarty, the rogue holodeck program).  Asimov based his watershed 1942 story “runaround”, and its famous laws of robotics, on this theme, and it’s permeated almost every science-fiction universe that includes robotic or advanced computer technology ever since.

    I’m looking forward to this new take on a classic story. TV needs more innovative sci-fi!

    • renamoretti1

      Doesn’t sound “innovative to me”, although like I said when he wrote it it was sort of innovative (not like there wasn’t robot servants ever before after all).

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  • renamoretti1

    Sounds like a rehash of Real Humans to me.

    Of course it’s not a rehash since the script existed before the Swedish show, but there’s no doubt that Siffy only liked it because it sounded 99% derivative.

    Just when I was about to give them a Gold Star for ordering something that wasn’t based on something else…

    Of course, the title alone tells you that the Siffy execs will siphon off whatever was fresh and innovative from the original script from 10 years ago…