More production news (and potential jobs) for the Chicago production community. After the success of the CW reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger starring Supernatural’s co-leading man Jared Padalecki, Riverdale’s co-executive producers Ariana Jackson and Anna Fricke have been given a straight-to-series order to The 4400, a reimagining of the 2004 USA Network drama. Jackson executive produces with Fricke and Laura Terry.
CBS Studios, which was behind the original series, is the studio.
The original USA Network sci-fi series created by Scott Peters and René Echevarria tells the story about 4400 people who vanished over fifty years suddenly reappearing. None have aged, and slowly it’s revealed that they have mysterious powers. The series ran for 4 years and 44 episodes and was cancelled in December 2007, reportedly due to low ratings, budget costs, and the ongoing Writers Guild strike at the time.
The CW originally developed a reboot during the 2018-19 season with different writers-producers, however it seemed to be on hold as the network and studio were waiting for the right team to take on the premise.
Deadline reports that the new series “written by (Ariana) Jackson, 4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to analyze the potential threat and contain the story, the 4400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few…upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason.”
The 4400 is part of four greenlights given by the CW, each having all-female creative teams. The other series include Diablo Cody and Berlanti Prods.’ Powerpuff Girls; Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship’s DC-themed Naomi; and a millennial nun dramedy from Jennie Snyder Urman, Claire Rothrock & Ryann Weir.
Sources tell Reel Chicago the series plans to shoot in the Chicagoland area.