Featured George R. R. Martin News

New TV series from George R.R. Martin picked up for development

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

George R.R. Martin announced on his blog yesterday that, though Game of Thrones may be winding down, television producers aren’t planning to let our small screens be devoid of his creative ideas for very long. Universal Cable Productions (UCP, a division of NBCUniversal, which owns such channels as USA and SyFy) has picked up the development rights to start developing his next series for television. There’s just one small detail: it’s got nothing to do with Westeros.

They’re developing Wild Cards.


Universal Cable Productions (UCP) has acquired the rights to adapt our long-running Wild Cards series of anthologies and mosaic novels for television. Development will begin immediately on what we hope will be the first of several interlocking series. Melinda M. Snodgrass, my assistant editor and right-hand man on Wild Cards since its inception, the creator of Dr. Tachyon, Double Helix, and Franny Black, and a seasoned television writer/ producer whose credits include STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (“Measure of a Man”), REASONABLE DOUBTS, THE PROFILER, and STAR COMMAND, is attached as an executive producer on the project, together with Gregory Noveck of RED, Slow Learner, and SyFy Films

Note that Martin is not listed as an executive produce. That’s because, even though he started the anthology series back in the 1980s and continues to oversee and edit it today, he’s not actually part of this. He can’t be. His development contract is exclusive to HBO, which means he can’t go developing his properties in other places. That’s why he’s emphasizing that this is being lead and executive produced by Wild Cards assistant editor Melinda Snodgrass. (It also leads to speculation if this was being developed for HBO and they passed because it’s not set in Westeros? But that’s pure gueswork.)

Wild Cards

Wild Cards

He also notes he already has a lot on his plate anyway, with The Winds of Winter and all. But he has every confidence that Snodgrass will do the series proud. He also eagerly talks the series up to Game of Thrones fans who might not know much about it.

The shared world of the Wild Cards diverged from our own on September 15, 1946 when an alien virus was released in the skies over Manhattan, and spread across an unsuspecting Earth. Of those infected, 90% died horribly, drawing the black queen, 9% were twisted and deformed into jokers, while a lucky 1% became blessed with extraordinary and unpredictable powers and became aces. The world was never the same.

Since the show is still in the early stages, he says it has not been decided if the show will stick to an anthology format (over a dozen or more authors have contributed to the series over the last 30 years) or if it will try and develop a more linear narrative. And he doesn’t even get into which of NBCUniversal’s myriad of channels it might land on, although SyFy seems the most likely answer.


  • Is this what it feels like when your kid leaves home for college? I have an odd mix of feelings going on about this…

  • It’s official: he either has no idea of how to finish the books or no desire to do so anymore. The only ending that we are going to get for ASoIaF is the one that HBO and D&D are going to give us. Sigh…

    • Ding ding ding. We have another winner who doesn’t read the article before commenting on it.

  • To be perfectly honest, fantasy is not my thing. I got invested on Game of Thrones because it felt a reflection on universal themes in a genre in which that wasn’t always the case. I’m not going to follow the next show just because it has GRR Martin in it. The show has to be good in its own right.

  • Jeez, those comments…how is turning these books into a tv show in any way connected to GRRM “never finishing” ASoIaF? Some people just have to take every opportunity to bitch…

    Anyhow, from what i’ve read of this series, this should be pretty fun. Really looking forward to it!

    • I don’t thing those are related. However, if he never finishes A Song of Ice and Fire we will always have the series finale of the Game of Thrones show.

  • Sounds intriguing to me! I just recently picked up the first volume of Wild Cards. Maybe it’s time to move it to the top of the endlessly growing ‘To Read’ pile.

  • Right… Even more excuses for delays and not writing from GRRM’s side. Not good news, no matter what he says about his actual involvement in this.
    The series itself – tried the first book, not impressed at all. So not looking forward to any Wild cards adaptation.

  • I believe Benjen is Jon’s father. He went to the Wall why? He called Jon “son.” He talked about fathering bastards. Why do they say Jon has more of the “north” in him? Alfie’s Luke Skywalker reference and then right on talking about incest. (Darth Vader=Benjen having been turned into WW by the time Jon learns the truth and faces off with him.

    • So….just disregard the fact that Lyanna was off with Rhaeger for more than 9 months before Jon was born??😳😁

    • How so? George RR Martin hasn’t actually written a Wild Cards book for years and he’s legally obligated not to be involved in the creation of this TV show? How can people be saying we’ll never see the end of ASOIAF when he’s only been writing TWOW for as long as ADWD took and TWOW is going to be bigger by all accounts??

  • Oh dear. GRRM may have kept his hands folded while the TV deal was sealed, but this does not bode well for GoT fans, especially readers. He’s the poster boy for distraction. And this series of novels: A bunch of unique superheroes with a common origin — really? They’ve been ripping off that idea since 1987 but with different titles. GoT is Martin’s masterpiece, the most compelling television ever made. So — who wants to bet he’ll stick with it as the pilot shapes up?