NBC Makes Big Bet On ‘The Eight’

By October 7, 2016


Real estate agents know it’s usually hard to sell a haunted house. But try being the insurance company that writes a policy on it.

NBC is looking for a series that addresses exactly that, showing interest in a procedural drama from the up and coming writing duo Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman the network hopes will scare its way into high ratings next year.

The Eight, according to Dateline, is based on the short story The House on Ashley Avenue by Ian Rogers. Vertigo Entertainment, the company that’s behind shows like Bates Motel on A&E, optioned the story in 2014, and are now making significant progress in turning that story into a television series.

Yet both Vertigo and NBC are putting a lot of faith into Pagan and Deutschman, whose only major credits came after the production company options Rogers’ story. The two wrote both Project Almanac and the fifth installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise, The Ghost Dimension.

That film was the last Paranormal Activity distributed by Paramount Pictures, which was universally panned by critics, and earned just $78.1 million at the box office worldwide, according to The Numbers. That was the lowest of all the movies, including 2014’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, which was the only other film in the franchise to not break the $100 million worldwide box office mark.

Project Almanac scored better with critics, but not my much. That film made $32.2 million worldwide, at least making back its budget.

NBC and Vertigo are hoping Pagan and Deutschman will find a good fit with television, with a good concept from Rogers’ source material.

It is set inside the High Risk Department of an AIG-like insurance company – a small secret unit that specializes in insuring haunted houses. After the death of the company’s enigmatic founder, the department is forced into a high-stakes race to find The Eight – a mysterious group of properties, hidden across North America, connected by a terrifying and powerful force.

NBC, Deadline says, is looking for something that could possibly replace Grimm and its well-established genre audience once that series goes off the air at the end of this season.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.