World War III is coming to a small screen near you, and X-Men’s Bryan Singer will be at the helm. The original series is part of Spike TV’s new slate of scripted programming which the cable network announced today. Also on tap: a psychological horror series (Bad Medicine), a drama set in a 1984-like police state (Secret America), a period drama (Hummel & Howe), and a thriller (Mr. In Between).
“Our slate is indicative of our goal to be a network that creates high-quality and dynamic scripted entertainment with a distinctive point of view,” said Spike EVP Sharon Levy in a statement.
World War III pins the globe’s geopolitical future on the actions of one troubled man. The unnamed hero “will galvanize a Resistance movement,” says the press release, as he leads a citizen army in revolt. Set in “America’s Heartland,” Singer (best known for The X-Men franchise, The Usual Suspects, and the historical thriller set in WWII Nazi Germany Valkyrie) will be executive producing the series.
Bad Medicine sounds like an episode of House gone horribly wrong. The Nick Hamm-produced series zeroes in on a patient who, after being “miraculously cured” by an unorthodox doctor, helps his savior with medical research — only to find out that the doctor’s ways have “deadly consequences.”
Hummel & Howe delves into the story of the celebrated criminal law firm of the same name. Set in 19th center New York City, the series explores how William Howe and Abraham Hummel went from criminals to criminal defense attorneys.
Mr. In Between gives novelist Walter Mosley’s thrilling short story the television treatment. Co-produced by Mosley and Diane Houslin, the series “focuses on a high-stakes courier who traffics sensitive information between people for whom privacy is a matter of life and death.”
Finally, Secret America imagines the US in a terrorist-driven autocracy. Told through the lens of one family, the show explores the effects of a dystopian surveillance state. Spanish producer Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Run All Night, House of Wax) will helm the series.
The new slate of scripted shows is an ambitious effort for Spike TV, best known for reality fare like Ink Master and Thrift Hunters, as well as WWE Raw and The Ultimate Fighter. The network has landed some big names and, presumably, put out big money to carve out its new lineup in a search for more legitimacy in the cut-throat cable wars. We’ll have to wait and see if the investment will bare fruit.