HBO Picks Up Joss Whedon’s Sci-Fi Drama ‘The Nevers’

Series is about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities

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HBO is bringing Joss Whedon to the world of pay cable television, ordering the “Avengers” director’s science-fiction series, “The Nevers.”

“The Nevers” is an epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and on a mission that might change the world.

Whedon serves as writer, showrunner and executive producer, the first TV series he will helm since Fox’s short-lived “Dollhouse” in 2009-2010.

“We have long been fans of the incredibly talented and prolific Joss Whedon and we can’t think of a better project than ‘The Nevers’ with which to welcome him to the HBO family,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said in a statement. “We look forward to meeting the strange, multifaceted characters of ‘The Nevers,’ to learn their stories, see them in action and share them with our viewers. We’re honored that Joss chose HBO as the place to build his ambitious new world and we are excited to get started.”

“The Nevers” won’t be the only TV show Whedon will be involved with. He is also set to executive produce a half-hour comedy series at Freeform. That project, currently in development, has the working title of “Pippa Smith: Grown-Up Detective” and comes from creators Siobhan Thompson and Rebecca Drysdale. It is a dark comedy that centers around the titular Pippa Smith, a 20-something who played a former kid sleuth on TV, as she deals with relationships, addiction and being too dang old for the detecting game.

“I honestly couldn’t be more excited,” Whedon said. “‘The Nevers’ is maybe the most ambitious narrative I’ve created, and I can’t imagine a better home for it than HBO. Not only are they the masters of cinematic long-form, but their instant understanding of my odd, intimate epic was as emotional as it was incisive. It’s been too long since I created an entirely new fictional world, and the HBO team offer not just scope and experience, not just ‘prestige,’ but a passionate collaboration. I could go on, but – I’m impatiently grateful to say – I have work to do.”

On the small screen, Whedon is most known for helming “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” its spinoff “Angel,” and “Firefly.” He was also among the major creative forces for Marvel’s big screen Cinematic Universe, directing both “The Avengers” and its sequel, “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He also helped the MCU expand to television, directing the pilot for ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Last year, he stepped in for Zack Snyder to finish Warner Bros.’ “Justice League” after Snyder left due to a family tragedy. He was also set to direct a “Batgirl” film for DC/Warner Bros. before leaving the project in February.