Dark Horse Signs First-Look Deal With Universal Cable Productions


Move over Marvel and DC. Another well-known publisher of comics could be bringing its properties to TV sooner rather than later.

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Universal Cable Productions, one of the TV production arms of NBCUniversal, announced today that it had signed a first-look deal with Dark Horse Entertainment, finalizing a discussion between the two companies that began last year at Comic-Con International. The agreement will see Dark Horse and UCP work together to produce TV series based on existing comic book properties and new IPs as well.

“Dark Horse Entertainment has an incredible roster of fantastical, witty and mind bending stories,” Dawn Olmstead, Executive Vice President of Development, Universal Cable Productions, said in a press release. “Their brand has conquered multiple media platforms and boasts iconic books that have attracted the highest level of writers.  It’s going to be a wild and imaginative ride.”

Some of the projects already listed as being in development include:

  • Harrow County – A series about a reincarnated witch, based on the comics by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook.
  • The Umbrella Academy – Written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance and illustrated by Gabriel Ba, this dysfunctional family of super heroes has starred in multiple limited series.
  • Concrete – Dating back to the 1980s, it focuses on a man whose brain is transplanted into an artificial body that resembles concrete … by aliens. It earned multiple Eisner Awards for creator Paul Chadwick.
  • Back Up – An original sci-fi property about technology that allows people to back themselves up in case of death in the same way that we currently back up hard drives.

Dark Horse President and founder Mike Richardson and SVP of Production Kieth Goldberg are no stranger to TV, and they currently serve as executive producers for Dark Matter on Syfy. Speaking of Syfy, that’s one of the cable outlets you can probably expect to be a candidate for any series that materialize out of this deal, as more than 80 percent of UCP’s shows since 2002 — which include the likes of Monk, Psych, Eureka and Defiance — have aired on either that channel or USA.

Even if not all of the Dark Horse brands are as instantly recognizable in the minds of the general public as some of the comic book TV we’ve seen so far, it’s always exciting to see another publisher getting closer to bringing its vision to the small screen.

“As the landscape of narrative storytelling evolves, Dark Horse is thrilled to be working in the golden age of television with Universal Cable Productions,” Richardson said in a statement. “Their creative team has embraced the spirit of the Dark Horse brand and we’re proud to be partnered with them.”

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