Overnight, Mickey Fisher has become the toast of TV development season. The unknown writer is behind Extant, a sci-fi drama spec script that is sparking one of the biggest bidding wars in recent years. “Everyone wants it,” one observer said. “And I mean everybody.” The sci-fi/family drama, from Amblin Television, is a rare property that has virtually all networks — broadcast, basic and premium cable — interested and ready to open their wallets. The winner is expected to dig deep as the spec is expected to fetch some sort of production commitment, with a straight-to-series order a possibility. Extant, which has Vegas co-creator/executive producer Greg Walker on board as executive producer/showrunner, is about a couple with a human-like android son created by the dad and another child, possibly an alien, on the way. Despite its high-concept premise, the script is very grounded and is getting rave reviews from industry types who have read it. Extant has been making waves ever since it first surfaced a couple of months ago. There was some talk about going the feature route, but the project, originally conceived as a pilot, is now firmly headed to TV. WME is spearheading the pitching, which just wrapped, with Brooklyn Weaver, who discovered Fisher. The bidding is expected to continue over the weekend.
Besides the merits of the script, also influencing the enormous interest in Extant is the fact that the networks, especially on the broadcast side, expect a weaker-than-usual pitch season on the drama side because so many top drama writer-producers are tied up on series. Amblin is riding high on the success of its CBS summer drama Under The Dome, which was just renewed for a second season. The company also has strong relationship with FX, where it has freshman breakout The Americans, and TNT, home of sci-fi stalwart Falling Skies. At ABC, Ambin TV has upcoming drama series Lucky 7. Walker previously executive produced Without A Trace. His sci-fi genre creds include stints on The X Files and Smallville.