Some would say we live in a golden age for quality TV shows. The past fifteen years have seen the successes of Mad Men, Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Sopranos, to name just a few. Netflix is one of the biggest production companies and distributors in the world, creating its own scripted content and pushing it out to television sets across the planet. Most recently, there’s been a shift toward taking acclaimed, proven movie projects and transforming them into episodic versions of their former selves. According to Variety, Nat Geo intends to do just that with the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures film which saw Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer portray black, female NASA mathematicians in the early days of the American space program.
According to Variety, the 2016 film was nominated for three academy awards, including best picture, best-supporting actress (Octavia Spencer), and best-adapted screenplay (Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder). Undoubtedly, the critical acclaim—in addition to the film grossing $236 million at the box office on a $25 million budget—is a big part of the motivation here to extend that business into a long-form TV product. But before you dismiss this choice as a money-focused studio move predicated entirely on the success of the movie, remember that Fargo being turned into a TV show seemed like a pretty silly idea, too—before it blew everyone away.
It’s unclear whether or not this will turn out well or be a mere side note on the movie’s Wikipedia page, but Variety reports that the project is currently in its early stages of development. We do know that the project will be executive produced by Peter Chernin and Jenna Topping of Chernin Entertainment—the same duo behind the 2016 film. Additionally, National Geographic will reportedly join in on the producing side of things, with a yet unspecified release date looming over this venture. We’ll keep you posted on ‘Hidden Figures,’ the TV show, as this project continues to evolve.