Animated Spoof of Lord of the Rings Lands on Sci Fi Channel

Sci Fi Channel will be targeting fantasy, animation, comic-book and role-playing game aficionados with its original new programming slate, unveiled yesterday at the cabler’s New York City upfronts.

We were thrilled to discover that Brendon Small, creator of the animated Adult Swim staple, Home Movies, has a half-hour animated series in the works for the cabler. Produced by David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants company, Small’s Barbarian Chronicles will spoof the popular Lord of the Rings mythology.

The Hollywood trades report that actor and producer Michael Douglas has also been tapped to produce a series based on the life and imagination of author Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House, The Lottery). According to Mark Stern, exec VP of original programming at the cable outfit, the project is described as Desperate Housewives meets The Twilight Zone! We can’t wait to see what writer Alan Brennert will come up with as he plan to mix storylines from the author’s horror and fantasy books with her serene real life as a small-town wife.

Also on tap is Heroes Anonymous, a show based on the comic-book series created by Scott Gimpel and Bill Morrison and published by Matt Groening’s awesome Bongo Comics. Produced by NBC Universal and Bender-Brown Productions, the live-action comedy follows a group of 20something superheroes who seek group therapy to face the daily pressures of modern life.

A detective is assigned to fight evil creatures from a parallel world in Urban Arcana, a series based on the Hasbro/World of Wonder roleplaying game of the same name. Exec produced by Gary A. Randall and Rockne O’Bannon, the show will be penned by Aron Coleite.

Other dramas include Time Tunnel, an update of the 1966-67 ABC series, produced by Kevin Burns and Jon Jashni; Tomorrow’s Child, about a young girl with special powers who is chased by the government, and John Ridley’s Those Who Walk in Darkness, which follows the adventures of a SWAT team in the future who track down sinister people with special superpowers.

Also in the pipeline are two mockumentary shows, Freemantle Media’s Seriously Baffling Mysteries, a spoof of those In Search of-type paranormal phenomenal investigative shows, hosted by Jonathan Frankle; and Dallas in Wonderland, starring Brit TV celerity Dallas Campbell, which pokes fun at conventions of the science fiction genre.