I wrote for a TV show called Extinct, and you can watch it!

On October 1, you’ll have the chance to watch a cool science fiction show I worked on called Extinct. It’s produced by BYUtv, and it’s the story of what happens 400 years after an alien war destroys human civilation; someone is bringing people back, one by one, but why? And how? And why these people, specifically? It’s a great ahow, and I think you’ll dig it.extinct 1

The first eight episodes will be available on Sunday, October 1, through the streaming service of your choice: just get on Roku, or whatever else you use, and download the totally free BYUtv app, and you’re good to go. Can’t bring yourself to pay for CBS All Access to watch the new Star Trek? Our show is free! You can also watch the weekly broadcasts throuh the BYUtv cable channel, if that’s how you roll. After the first 8 have aired one by one, sometime in November, the final two episodes will be available for streaming, and you’ll have all ten.

I worked as a “staff writer” for the show, which is different than a “writer.” The breakdown is kind of like this:

Staff Writer: Sits in the writer’s room meetings to help brainstorm what should happen in each episode.
Writer: Also sits in the writer’s room, and then takes that information and writes a script.
Head Writer: Runs the writer’s room, and assigns episodes to writers, and guides the direction of the show overall.

In the case of Extinct, our Head Writer was Aaron Johnston, who also wrote all of the scripts. There were a five or six staff writers overall, though not all of us worked on every episode.

Television is way more collaborative than I’m used to. When I’m writing a novel, I can do anything I want–there’s no budget to limit the number of characters or the size of the sets, and there are no other writers to say “okay, but what if we do it THIS way instead?” And then, of course, you’ve got a cast and crew and hundreds of other people who come in after the scripts are done and add their own talent and vision to it. There’s actually very little that I can point to in the final product and say “That’s mine!” because everyone played with everyone else’s ideas and built them up and took them in new directions. What I can tell you is that I’ve seen the first two episodes, and they’re great.

Give it a shot. I really think you’ll like it.extinct 2

A quick FAQ:
Q: If this is produced by BYUtv, does that mean it’s Mormon?
A: It means that a lot of the crew were Mormon, but that’s about it. BYUtv is specifically trying to produce shows that can appeal to a wide audience, guided by the central value “See the Good in the World.” So it’s pretty clean, and you can show it to your kids, but no one’s going to be shoving any religion down your throat, Mormon or otherwise.

Q: Will there be a second season?
A: If enough people watch it, probably yes. So everybody watch it.

Q: Did you have any involvement in the casting?
A: Not one tiny bit.

Q: Did you get to go on set?
A: I probably could have, but most of the filming happened during times I was traveling. I travel a lot.

Q: Who’s the voice of Red Drone? He sounds super familiar.
A: That’s Kirby Heyborne, who narrated the audiobooks for the John Cleaver series! He’s awesome. My apologies if you ever feel like Red Drone is secretly planning how to murder you.

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