EXCLUSIVE: M. Night Shyamalan’s new Tales from the Crypt horror block for TNT is ramping up with an official 10-episode initial order for a Tales from the Crypt anthology series with a reinvented Crypt Keeper, based on the original EC Comics. Additionally, TNT has given a pilot order to Time of Death (working title), a anthology season-long series from IM Global Television for the block. The network also has put in development another project earmarked for the horror franchise, Creatures, produced by Sue Naegle (Outcast). The Tales From the Crypt block is now slated to launch in 2017.
The Tales From the Crypt anthology series will be at the center of each week’s lineup, guided by a newly reinvented Crypt Keeper, one of the most popular characters in the Tales from the Crypt universe.
“I’m really thrilled about the way this horror block is coming together with the addition of Time of Death and Creatures,” said Shyamalan. “That such a beloved property like Tales from the Crypt is launching our evening makes it an even more unique and exciting opportunity. Across the board, the level of talent has been very inspiring.”
Time of Death is an anthology of season-long horror tales that unfold in real time – each one taking viewers hour-by-hour through a single “long night of hell.” The first season will follow a murderous psychopath who returns to his Midwestern hometown during the annual county fair to exact revenge on a community he believes destroyed his life. The pilot for Time of Death was written by Guy Busick (Watch Over Me) and newcomer R. Christopher Murphy, with Shyamalan and IM Global Television’s Mark Stern and Stuart Ford executive producing.
Described as Friday the 13th meets Friday Night Lights, the first season of Time of Death pays tribute to the great slasher films of the 1980s, with future seasons inspired by the traditions of other horror subgenres.
IM Global Television commissioned a pilot script for Time of Death (fka Night Terror) off a pitch and developed the project internally. The script was sent to Shyamalan for Tales From the Crypt consideration, and I hear TNT bought it with a pilot production commitment in a competitive situation with Hulu.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be in business with Night and TNT,” said Stern. “Their enthusiasm for the pilot script has been obvious from the outset, and their Tales from the Crypt block is the perfect home.”
Creatures, now in development, is a sophisticated psychological thriller that tells the disturbing tale of two former best friends who, at 12 years old, tried to cut out their classmate’s heart as a sacrifice to an Internet bogeyman they invented called Mr. Gorgi. Fifteen years later, the two young women have been released from a psychiatric institute into their small town in Alaska, but it’s not long before they start to feel the alluring and terrifying presence of Mr. Gorgi once again. Creatures is a story of deep friendship and dark obsession, where a vivid imagination meets the power of suggestion and the seduction of belief. The script is being written by BAFTA Award winner Dominic Mitchell (In the Flesh) and produced by Sue Naegle’s Naegle Ink. Tom Shankland (House of Cards) is attached to direct and serve as executive producer.
Announced in January, TNT’s new block of terror and suspense Tales From the Crypt is being curated by Shyamalan, the Oscar-nominated writer-director of The Sixth Sense, Signs and Unbreakable, and executive producer of the the Fox series Wayward Pines. The block will feature both short and long-form storytelling, led by the Tales from the Crypt anthology series, which is executive-produced by Shyamalan, his partner at Blinding Edge Pictures, Ashwin Rajan; Endgame’s James Stern; and Aloris Entertainment’s John Santilli and Dan McKinnon.
At TNT, Time of Death joins recently ordered dramedy pilot Claws, executive-produced by Rashida Jones and Will McCormack. Upcoming TNT series include Animal Kingdom, Good Behavior, and The Alienist.