‘Walking Dead’ Producer To Bring ‘Area 51’ To TV

Posted Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 11:00 am GMT -4 by 0

Looks like aliens may be the theme for next year’s fall TV season. Not too long ago it was reported that AMC is developing an hour long drama starring Charlize Theron called ‘Thunderstruck’ and ABC gave a pilot commitment to a Dan Fogelman comedy series about a condo complex where aliens live. Now Deadline is reporting that Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer for ‘The Walking Dead’ has optioned Annie Jacobsen’s book ‘Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base’ for a potential TV series under her Valhalla Entertainment production company.

‘Area 51’ was first published in May and spent 8 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller’s List. Here’s the book description according to Amazon:

Area 51 is the most famous military installation in the world. And it doesn’t exist. Located a mere seventy-five miles outside of Las Vegas in Nevada’s desert, the base has never been acknowledged by the U.S. government-but Area 51 has captivated imaginations for decades.

Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing itself was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

Annie Jacobsen had exclusive access to nineteen men who served the base proudly and secretly for decades and are now aged 75-92, and unprecedented access to fifty-five additional military and intelligence personnel, scientists, pilots, and engineers linked to the secret base, thirty-two of whom lived and worked there for extended periods. In Area 51, Jacobsen shows us what has really gone on in the Nevada desert, from testing nuclear weapons to building super-secret, supersonic jets to pursuing the War on Terror.

This is the first book based on interviews with eye witnesses to Area 51 history, which makes it the seminal work on the subject. Filled with formerly classified information that has never been accurately decoded for the public, Area 51 weaves the mysterious activities of the top-secret base into a gripping narrative, showing that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.

The hour long series will be written by Karl Gajdusek (best known for his work on Showtime’s ‘Dead Like Me’ series) and will focus on two men working on the base who are thrust into danger and their lives jeopardized when they uncover government secrets that aren’t meant to be uncovered. Gajdusek will also serve as executive producer and showrunner while the author, Jacobsen, will be a consulting producer.

Although the TV series may be fiction, much of the storyline will come from the conspiracies and findings from the book. Since the project is still in the early stages, it has yet to be pitched to any network nor has any production information been released.

The show sounds a bit like the ‘X-Files’ with the ‘Law and Order’ tagline of “the stories seen will be based on real life events but the names of those involved were changed to protect the innocent.” Just on this basis alone, there are many avenues this series can take and it sounds to be promising. What do you think? Would you watch ‘Area 51?’