EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has acquired for Syfy Films Lights Out, a Jay Frasco screenplay and the rights to the manuscript of his unpublished sci-fi thriller novel. While waiting to hear from publishers, Frasco adapted his manuscript into the screenplay and has notched his first spec sale.
Details of the story are being kept under wraps, but the story focuses on an teenage boy trapped in his house with his sister when a deadly intruder enters the home, and mysterious events occur during the captivity. Frasco, who most recently set-up his thriller The Rising at Bold Films, also wrote the family film Puddle Jumpers for The Animation Company and producer Brian Manis. Frasco is repped by APA, attorney Darren Trattner, manager Dannie Festa and lit agent Jennifer DeChiara. Maybe the publishing crowd will give Frasco’s book another look.
Since Syfy Ventures partnered with Universal on Syfy Films in late 2010 with the intention of generating genre projects a cut above the Mansquito-esque staples of the Syfy Channel programming, Syfy Films has been percolating several promising feature products. They include a feature adaptation of Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin’s superhero anthology Wild Cards, which they hope will launch a franchise.
UPDATED: FX has decided not to renew freshman boxing drama Lights Out for a second season. Lights Out was one of the most critically praised new series this season, punctuated by a breakout performance by Holt McCallany as the title character, a washed-out former heavyweight champion looking for a comeback. But, just like with FX’s now-defunct drama Terriers last fall, Lights Out never found traction in the ratings, leading to FX’s decision to cancel it after one season. It premiered in January with 1.5 million viewers and slipped further throughout its run, averaging 863,000 viewers per first-run episode vs. 2.7 million for Justified.
FX president John Landgraf praised the quality of the show and McCallany’s performance and said that in the end, it all came down to Lights Out’s subject matter “The audience didn’t want to watch a show about boxing,” he said. “We never got any traction” during the pre- and post-launch marketing and publicity campaign. Landgraf said that he is not concerned by having two new series in row, Terriers and Lights Out strike out. “That’s baseball,” he said. “If you put on 4 shows, two of them work, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and the other two are Terriers and Lights Out, that’s pretty good.”
FX has set premiere dates for new drama series Lights Out and returning animated comedy Archer. Lights Out, starring Holt McCallany as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion, will debut on Tuesday, January 11 at 10 PM. The second season of spy spoof Archer will launch on Thursday, January 27 at 10 PM.
FX’s new boxing drama Lights Out won’t premiere until January, but the network has already started airing the first teaser for it. Since the promo skimps on the story to go for an emotional impact, here is a little about the show: It stars Holt McCallany as Patrick “Lights Out” Leary, a retired boxer with pugilistic dementia eyeing a comeback to support his family. Stacy Keach plays his father and former trainer.