Imagine, Fox space out with pricey series

Fox is putting big bucks behind a space-themed unscripted TV show from the creative forces behind “Apollo 13” and the co-creator of blockbuster vidgame “Halo.” Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, along with Imagine TV president David Nevins, will work with Fox reality guru Mike Darnell to exec produce the show, which Nevins said will use “big-time moviemaking and technology to take people on a journey into space.” “From a visual standpoint, this show will seem like a $150 million movie,” Nevins added. “It’s the ultimate in summer tentpole programming.” The working title of the show is “X Quest,” though Nevins indicated that the “X” will ultimately be replaced by a word or words that more accurately describe a key theme of the show. Those details aren’t expected to be revealed until closer to the launch of the show, which is being prepped for a summer 2006 takeoff. The basic conceit of the show: Two teams of ordinary folks with no special training are locked into separate high-tech biocrafts designed to simulate life in space. Based on the same technology NASA uses to train its astronauts, the multimillion-dollar machines are built on a mechanism that allows them to tilt, shake and move like a spacecraft. “They’ll live, breathe, eat and sleep inside these biocrafts for about 30 days,” Darnell said. “And around them will be space. It’s going to look to them and to the viewers like they’re in space. At no time will we break through the fourth wall.” “Halo” co-creator Alexander Seropian and Jim Banister of Spectrum MediaWorks will also exec produce and work on designing the game element of “X Quest.”

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