CBS All Access Orders Series Based on ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’

The Man Who Fell to Earth - David Bowie & Rip Torn
David Bowie & Rip Torn in the 1976 film adaptation of The Man Who Fell to Earth

Among CBS All Access’ other announcements at the streaming service’s Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour panels on Thursday came the intriguing news that it will be producing the original series The Man Who Fell to Earth.

That title is most familiar, of course, from the cult classic 1976 sci-fi film directed by Nicolas Roeg and featuring an iconic performance from David Bowie. That film itself was based on a novel by Walter Tevis, and CBS All Access says this new series will use both sources as its inspiration in a story that follows an alien who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and who must confront his own past to determine our future.

“Walter Tevis’ visionary novel gave us a tech god Willy Wonka from another planet, brought to life by David Bowie’s legendary performance, that foretold Steve Jobs’ and Elon Musk’s impacts on our world,” said executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet in a release. “The series will imagine the next step in our evolution, seen through the eyes of an alien who must learn what it means to become human, even as he fights for the survival of his species.”

“We are thrilled to add another iconic genre favorite to our lineup as we expand original programming on CBS All Access,” offered Julie McNamara, executive vice president, original content, CBS All Access. “We know this series will capture the soul and spirit of the source material and further push narrative boundaries in the capable hands of Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and the entire producing team.”

No premiere date or casting information was announced.

The Man Who Fell to Earth, CBS All Access, Premiere TBA