Syfy Developing ’51st State’ From Craig Borten, Peter Chernin & Fox 21

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SyfySyfy is adding another high-end drama to their development slate.

The network has teamed with Craig Borten, Peter Chernin and Fox Television Group’s cable division Fox 21 for 51st State which is described as being about a “futuristic prison society”, TVWise has learned.

51st State is set in the United States at a time when the country is confronted by a prison population stretched to the limit. To remedy the situation the U.S. purchases Greenland and converts it into a frontier prison colony. Promised conditional freedom, the inmates are driven to the edge of their humanity when that promise, along with others, is broken. Struggling to seize control and exact revenge, reluctant heroes emerge — but what exactly are they fighting for?

Craig Borten, who sold the pitch to Syfy, will write the pilot script for the series, which is set up at the recently renamed Fox 21 Television Studios. In addition to writing, Borten will also serve as an executive producer alongside Terra Nova‘s Peter Chernin and New Girl’s Katherine Pope.

The project is the latest pitch that Syfy has taken in as part of their concerted push back into scripted drama. The network started down that path in late 2013 when they brought on Bill McGoldrick to oversee scripted programming. Other titles on Syfy’s development slate include Krypton from David S Goyer and Incorporated from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films.