Created and written on spec by David O’Leary, Blue Book, which had been in development at History, marks the network’s fourth original scripted series overall and the third ordered in the past year and a half alongside Six and Knightfall — all from A+E Studios — as the network has been ramping up its scripted portfolio.
Blue Book chronicles the true top secret U.S. Air Force-sponsored investigations into UFO-related phenomena in the 1950s and ’60s, known as “Project Blue Book.” The series follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead this clandestine operation that researched thousands of cases, many of which were never solved. Each episode will draw from the actual files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history.
“Blue Book is inspired by the true covert events of an era in American history shrouded in mystery,” said Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group. “Robert Zemeckis and the creative team have shaped an incredibly compelling narrative, building upon History’s unique, growing brand of fact-based scripted programming.”
Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partner Jack Rapke (Cast Away, Flight) and the company’s Jackie Levine (Allied, The Walk) executive produce for Compari.
“Rarely have I been associated with a project that is a perfect fusion of historical fact and extraordinary entertainment,” said Zemeckis. “We are grateful for A+E Studios’ and History’s support for what I know will be a fabulous series.”
History, which has employed the straight-to-series model for all of its original scripted series to date, has been expanding its scripted footprint. It recently emerged as one of two A+E Networks scripted brands, along with Lifetime, as sibling A&E left the arena to double down on nonfiction programming. Six, which debuted earlier this year, has been renewed for a second season. Veteran Vikings will premiere its fifth season sometime in the fall, Knightfall will launch later this year.
A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for Blue Book.
O’Leary is repped by Paradigm and Zero Gravity Management.