Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon is returning to television with a new science-fiction series on HBO called The Nevers. The series was the subject of a major bidding war between HBO and its chief rival, Netflix, with the premium cable channel ordering the show directly to series -- something rarely done by the network.
Whedon has not created a new television series since he co-created Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for ABC back in 2013. This is his first solo creation in nearly a decade, since 2009's Dollhouse for FOX.
The series is described as "an epic science-fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world." Whedon will write, direct and serve as showrunner for this series, which sees him return to some familiar themes from his past TV work.
HBO President in charge of programming, Casey Boys, said of the new series, "We have long been fans of the incredibly talented and prolific Joss Whedon and we can’t think of a better project than The Nevers with which to welcome him to the HBO family. We look forward to meeting the strange, multifaceted characters of The Nevers, to learn their stories, see them in action and share them with our viewers. We’re honored that Joss chose HBO as the place to build his ambitious new world and we are excited to get started.”
With their current hits Game of Thrones and Westworld and their already announced new series like Watchmen and Lovecraft County, it seems as though HBO is really trying to become a key player in the world of genre television.
For his part, Whedon had the following to say about his new creative partners, "I honestly couldn’t be more excited. The Nevers is maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created, and I can’t imagine a better home for it than HBO. Not only are they the masters of cinematic long-form, but their instant understanding of my odd, intimate epic was as emotional as it was incisive. It’s been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world, and the HBO team offer not just scope and experience, not just ‘prestige,’ but a passionate collaboration. I could go on, but — I’m impatiently grateful to say — I have work to do.”
Only a day after being passed by Netflix in Emmy nominations for the first time ever, HBO appears to be punching back in a big way.