Supernatural Sixth Gun headed to NBC

The supernatural alternate history serial will pilot this year.

The Sixth Gun is a television serial based on the comicbook of the same name by writer Cullen Bunn & artist Brian Hurtt. The story follows gunfighter and scoundrel Drake Sinclair and a young girl, Becky Montcrief. When Becky comes into custody of a strange gun that summons dark spirits – and is inadvertently, permanently bound to it – the two face off against a band of inhuman eccentrics, led by the General, an undying nasty who wants nothing more than the return of his gun.

The story takes place during the heart of the American Civil War, but focuses on an underground world of artifacts and superpowers, sort of like a Warehouse 13: 1860’s Edition. There are many parties vying for that gun, among other artifacts, and Drake and Becky get caught in the crossfire.

The show was originally planned to run on Syfy, but when NBC Universal (who own Syfy) saw how well Revolution has done, they decided to bump it up to a main network production. The pilot was written by novice Ryan Condal, and will be directed by network veteran Jeffrey Reiner, who recently worked on the esoteric Awake for NBC, which only reached a single season.

Not much else is known about the project, and no official synopsis of the serial has been released by NBC. I can’t help but look forward to it personally, but I have mixed feelings about it being on a major network. It’s much less likely to be forgiven a slightly low viewership there, and if it’s not successful, they’re unlikely to just demote it to the cable network for a second season, they’d just cancel it instead. It feels like the age of terrible genre television with no budgets is at an end, but it also feels like this next age of genre television will be filled with high-budget experiments, expected to go mainstream or nothing. That can be poisonous to good storytelling.

The first issue of The Sixth Gun, the comic book, has been made available for free after the development of the show was announced. No casting decisions have been revealed as yet. The pilot episode is expected to air this fall on NBC.