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Ronald D. Moore Gears Up For Starz Series

‘Outlander’ sets up writers room … pickup next?


Starz hasn’t given an official word on whether it will move forward with Ronald D. Moore’s latest science-fiction project. But it’s likely they wouldn’t go through the time and expense of opening a writer’s room (and hiring writers to go in it) if they weren’t going to do it.

So unofficially, Moore has a greenlight from the premium cable channel to work on the first season of “Outlander,” based on the 22-year-old novel from author Diana Gabaldon. In the story, a married World War II combat nurse gets pulled back in time to the 18th century where she is on the run to save her own life. She is forced to marry a Scottish warrior, Jamie, and puts her in a love triangle so unique, only science-fiction can tell it.

Moore, best known for his work in rebooting “Battlestar Galactica” for Syfy in the early 2000s, has hired Toni Graphia, Matthew B. Roberts, Ira Steven Behr and Anne Kenney to join him in writing the series. Moore is familiar working with nearly all of these writers. Graphia first worked with Moore on the series “Roswell” and moved with him a couple years later to HBO’s “Carnivale.”

When Moore took on “Battlestar Galactica” as a series, she joined as both a scribe and co-executive producer, writing “Bastille Day,” “Flesh and Bone” and “Resistance.” She would later join Fox’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” and would have short stints on shows like “The Cape,” “Alcatraz” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Roberts is still a new writer in the world of television, getting his start on the “Battlestar Galactica” spinoff “Caprica” on Syfy, writing “The Imperfections of Memory” and “Dirteaters.” He most recently worked on the short-lived The CW series “Hellcats.”

Behr has a long history with science-fiction, dating back to “Star Trek: The Next Generation” where he served as a producer and penned episodes like “Captain’s Holiday” in 1990. He would later become an executive producer on the spinoff “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” writing episodes like “The Homecoming,” “The Jem’Hadar” and others. He would later work on USA’s “The 4400,” and most recently on Syfy’s “Alphas.”

Behr was nominated for an Emmy as part of the team working on “The 4400” in 2005 for Outstanding Miniseries.

Kenney is the only writer without a direct history with Moore. She got her start on the series “Pursuit of Happiness” in 1987, and would go on to write and produce shows like “L.A. Law,” “Greek” and most recently “Switched at Birth.”

Starz is considering a straight-to-series order, according to Deadline.com, which is par for its course, preferring not to order pilots. It would be the second major science-fiction project it has done in recent years, co-producing and airing a season of the “Doctor Who” spinoff “Torchwood” in 2011. Starz has not yet officially decided the fate of that show, saying it’s waiting for creator Russell T. Davies to return.

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