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Deal puts 'Umbrella Academy' on TV track

5:52 PM
Deal puts 'Umbrella Academy' on TV track

The Umbrella Academy could be headed to the small screen, courtesy of a new entertainment deal between cable and comic-book powers.

Universal Cable Productions, known for such shows as Syfy's 12 Monkeys and Dominion and USA Network's Royal Pains and Mr. Robot, today announced a first-look deal with comic-book publisher Dark Horse Entertainment (The Mask, Hellboy). The companies plan to develop and produce scripted shows based on titles from Dark Horse's comic-book library, as well as new material.

The Umbrella Academy, created by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way, is one of four projects in development under the deal. Others include: Harrow County, Back Up and Concrete.

Fittingly, the new arrangement germinated from discussions that began last year at Comic-Con, the giant entertainment gathering in San Diego. Comic-Con 2015 begins Wednesday.

"One of the reasons we went with Dark Horse was not so much the specific intellectual property they represent, but the people who were creating it. I'd rather be in business with a brilliant person than with a great idea," Universal Cable Productions chief Jeff Wachtel tells USA TODAY. "We're going big titles and big ideas. There's no question that in a crowded market having a big title helps you break through the clutter. But the real key is finding the people who make the stuff up. One of the great things about Dark Horse is that it's such a fertile factory of imagination."


"As the landscape of narrative storytelling evolves, Dark Horse is thrilled to be working in the golden age of television with Universal Cable Productions. Their creative team has embraced the spirit of the Dark Horse brand and we're proud to be partnered with them." Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson said in a statement accompanying Tuesday's announcement.

In the announcement release, the companies listed and described projects in development. They include:

The Umbrella Academy – "Nine years after parting ways, the estranged members of the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers, must figure out how to work together to save the world. Created by Gerard Way (The True Lies of the Fabulous Killjoys) and Gabriel Ba (Daytripper), Bluegrass films is also attached to executive produce." (In an earlier arrangement, Umbrella Academy was in development as a film at Universal Pictures.)

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