In Syfy's Next Show, The U.S. Turns Greenland Into A Giant Prison

Illustration for article titled In Syfy's Next Show, The U.S. Turns Greenland Into A Giant Prison

This is a fascinating — and super-topical — idea for a TV show. When the U.S. prison population gets too huge, we buy Greenland and turn it into a ginormous co-ed prison where people can supposedly win their freedom. That's the premise of 51st State, a show in development now for Syfy.


Top image: Inside of Scottish prison, photo by xlibber/Flickr/cc+by 2.0

The pilot for 51st State is being written by Craig Borten, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of Dallas Buyers Club. It's being produced by the super-prolific Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope with Chernin Entertainment. Here's the full plot synopsis, via Deadline:

As 51st State unfolds, the United States, confronting a prison population stretched to the limit, purchases Greenland and converts it into a frontier prison colony with male and female convicts incarcerated together. Promised conditional freedom, the inmates are driven to the edge of their humanity when that promise is broken, along with others. Struggling to seize control and exact revenge, reluctant heroes emerge — but what exactly are they fighting for?

This actually sounds like it could be pretty thought-provoking. [Deadline]



"This actually sounds like it could be pretty thought-provoking."

And yet, it is on the Syfy network, which pretty much guarantees it will turn out to be a mashup of horrible tropes, clichés, bad acting, and awful writing coupled with low-budget CG effects. I have little hope that this show will be good, and quite frankly will be shocked if it doesn't stumble out of the gate and fall flat on its face.

Yes, I'm a cynical monster. But you made me this way, Syfy. YOU MADE ME THIS WAY!