Damien, Lifetime’s straight-to-series drama followup to horror classic The Omen, originally set up at Lifetime, will air on sibling A&E. As part of the move, the order for the show, from Glen Mazzara and Fox 21 TV Studios, has been upped from 6 to 10 episodes. This marks the first major synergetic play since Lifetime programming chief Rob Sharenow also took over A&E two months ago as EVP and general manager A&E and Lifetime.
Damien, which follows the adult life of Damien Thorn (Bradley James), the mysterious child from the 1976 motion picture who has grown up seemingly unaware of the satanic forces around him, had been considered an unorthodox choice for Lifetime, whose scripted slate has been driven by female-centric shows like Devious Maids (though horror fare traditionally appeals to younger women.)
Meanwhile, A&E has been building its scripted brand around its most successful drama, Bates Motel, also an offshoot from a classic horror movie, Psycho, featuring a young male lead with a dark secret, making it very compatible with Damien.
“A&E’s unwavering commitment to high quality original scripted drama programming, coupled with the sizable fan-base for our hit series ‘Bates Motel,’ which so perfectly aligns with ‘Damien,’ make the network the ideal fit for this exceptional show,” said Sharenow.
Bates Motel, now in its third season, is fully expected to be renewed for a fourth season. (A&E’s other scripted series, freshman The Returned, whose fate is up in the air, also features horror/genre elements.)
Currently in production in Toronto, Damien stars James, Barbara Hershey, Omid Abtahi and Megalyn Echikunwoke. Mazzara serves as writer and executive producer via his 44 Strong Productions. Ross Fineman, who developed the project alongside Mazzara, executive produces through his company, Fineman Entertainment. Pancho Mansfield also serves as executive producer. Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) directed and executive produces the first episode.