Ordered direct-to-series last October and still scheduled for midseason as of May, the ancient Egyptian adventure-drama “Hieroglyph” will not be moving forward, FOX sources confirm to HitFix.
As a result, we'll never find out what those vampire-like creatures were from the “Hieroglyph” trailer, much less what “Hieroglyph” was actually about. And, as a result, Firewall & Iceberg has lost one of its most resilient jokes even before we figured out what the joke even was.
Back in October, FOX said that, “Set in ancient Egypt, where fantasy and reality intertwined, 'Hieroglyph' follows a notorious thief who is plucked from prison to serve the Pharoah, navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers.”
Created by Travis Beacham, “Hieroglyph” was given a 13-episode order as a key piece of FOX's “death to pilot season” strategy. As was the case with “Terra Nova” a few years back, the series order allowed FOX to potential amortize production costs and resources across multiple episodes. That is to say that if you're just shooting a pilot, there's a limit to how much money you can spend because of the possibility that you may not be able to use the sets and costumes and whatnot again, while over the course of a full series, those initial costs become less prohibitive.
With Miguel Sapochnik at the helm, a “Hieroglyph” pilot was shot — yielding the footage for the wacky teaser reel FOX showed at upfronts featuring the vampire-looking creatures who weren't vampires — but production had yet to begin on subsequent episodes. Instead, with a long time before its midseason premiere, “Hieroglyph” was breaking story for the season and FOX apparently didn't feel like it was moving forward the way the network hoped.
Maybe they didn't like the explanation for the vampire creatures? It's unclear on the specifics and we may need to wait until Beacham's next movie junket to get answers.
The “Hieroglyph” pilot was never sent out to critics, so it can't join my collection of unaired FOX pilots, a stack that includes “Still Life,” “The Ortegas” and “Us & Them.”
FOX still has a number of upcoming shows that have come to the network through its new advanced series model, including “Gotham,” “Weird Loners” and “Last Man on Earth,” so there's no reason to think that this represents the demise of the strategy, even if it means the demise of… “HIEROGLYPH”!
We'll still get one last video show segment out of it tomorrow. So there's that…
Are you lamenting the passing of “Hieroglyph”?