Sci-fi project centers on WWII-era alien invasion

USA Network is staring at the “Horizon” with Gale Anne Hurd.

Hurd, who has hit the ratings jackpot as exec producer on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” will produce a cast-contingent pilot about a woman who discovers her husband may have been killed by alien in the South Pacific during World War II. She, ultimately, becomes the only person standing between Earth and an outer-space invasion.

Show was created by Bridget Tyler, who wrote the pilot and co-exec produces. Project arrived at USA after senior VP Alex Sepiol read the script and recommended it to Bill McGoldrick, the net’s executive VP of original scripted programming.

Genre programming has rarely aired on any NBCUniversal cable network outside Syfy, but USA had previous success with “The 4400″ and, according to McGoldrick, was looking to dive back in.

“We had been talking about getting into genre and period pieces again,” McGoldrick told Variety. “We had never found one that never spoke to us in either category. The idea that we now have a combination in one project was sort of everything we were looking for.”

McGoldrick said casting would not begin immediately, as not to interfere with the broadcast casting rush of pilot season. Waiting, he said, would provide better opportunities to cast actors that would give the pilot the best chance to succeed.

Hurd, through her Valhalla Entertainment shingle, has a current deal with Universal Cable Prods., which is producing “Horizon.”

USA is looking to add more dramas to its slate, following the cancellation of first-year series “Common Law” and Sarah Shahi starrer “Fairly Legal.”

“Graceland,” starring “Rescue Me” vet Daniel Sunjata, will launch in the summer. Series was created by “White Collar” exec producer Jeff Eastin.

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