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Project Blue Book Looks for New Home After Cancellation

Article by Dan Selcke                              May 14, 2020                               (winteriscoming.net)

History (Channel) has announced that it will not be renewing the popular UFO series, Project Blue Book after two highly successful seasons. Project Blue Book is a drama based upon the US government’s real-life investigation into UFOs in the 1950s and 60s. The ratings for the show averaged 2.5 million per week, which is very good for a cable television drama.

Project Blue Book follows Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a real-life scientist who began work on the project as a UFO skeptic but then became a believer. Hynek is played by Game of Thrones veteran Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger). Hynek is paired with Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey), an amalgamation of several military figures from the story. The second season ended with Quinn missing, presumably at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

• It seems that History wants to replace its scripted series, such as Project Blue Book, Knightfall (about the medieval Crusades), and Vikings, with several mini-series about US Presidents. The popular Vikings series is moving to Netflix. The creators of Project Blue Book have already outlined new shows for seasons 3 and 4, and are shopping the show to other outlets as well. “We feel it’s unfinished,” said Executive Producer David O’Leary. “[E]verybody involved remains committed to trying to find our show a second home, and to continue,”

Project Blue Book’s fan feel it’s unfinished as well. There’s a Change.org petition to save the show, and the creators are encouraging people to use the #SAVEBLUEBOOK hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to let networks know that there is interest. “[W]e want to thank the fans and say how grateful we are,” said showrunner Sean Jablonski. “Honestly, the greatest joy of the whole thing was just watching fans have these great [online] reactions to what we were hoping would be big, dramatic moments, whether it’s the Susie (Ksenia Solo) reveal, or somebody getting killed, or major plot turns that we were always trying to build.”

• Jablonski said that the show’s “characters are so great’; they’ve already laid out ten new episodes, and have the third season all planned out. So even if the show can’t find a new home on television, they will pursue a book, graphic novel, or even a mobile video platform such as Quibi. “[I]’d just be such a shame for our fans to not know where it’s going and where we can continue it to go because we’ve already done all that heavy lifting,” says O’Leary.

• “Obviously, we’re gonna bring Quinn back in early on,” Jablonski revealed. “He’s an integral part of the show.” The great thing about this show is that the subject matter and what it tackles is bigger than just writing a television script. We have the opportunity to tell great stories based on real-life stuff, and it’s still provocative today – 70 years later.

 

          David O’Leary

Last week, History announced that it wouldn’t be renewing any of its ongoing scripted series for new seasons, namely Knightfall — a medieval drama about the Crusades — and Project Blue Book, about the U.S. government’s real-life investigation into UFOs in the 1950s and 60s. The cancellation of Project Blue Book hit especially hard, because was actually doing pretty good in the ratings, averaging 1.3 million viewers a day after each new episode aired and 2.49 million a week after. Among cable dramas, that’s pretty respectable, and I imagine a show like Project Blue Book was less expensive to produce than something like Knightfall, at least.

So why the cancellation? Well, History seems to be pivoting towards more miniseries — it has at least three

             Sean Jablonski

miniseries about American presidents on the way — and is just doing away with all of its scripted shows; the popular Vikings ends this year, too, with the follow-up show going to Netflix. The good news is that the success of Project Blue Book gives the creators some leverage when shopping it around to other outlets. “We’re fortunate in that everybody involved remains committed to trying to find our show a second home, and to continue,” executive producer executive producer David O’Leary told SyFy Wire. “We feel it’s unfinished. And I’m sure our fans feel it’s unfinished.”

Indeed, the fans have been making their voices heard. There’s a Change.org petition to save the show up and running, and the creators are encouraging people to use the #SAVEBLUEBOOK hashtag on Twitter and Instagram to let networks know that there’s interest. “First and foremost, I think we want to thank the fans and say how grateful we are,” said showrunner Sean Jablonski. “Honestly, the greatest joy of the whole thing was just watching fans have these great [online] reactions to what we were hoping would be big, dramatic moments, whether it’s the Susie (Ksenia Solo) reveal, or somebody getting killed, or major plot turns that we were always trying to build.”

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‘Project Blue Book’ Explores Secret UFO History

Article by Kerry Harvey                               April 9, 2020                               (stuff.co.nz)

• The second season of History Channel’s “Project Blue Book” opens with a two-part episode involving the Roswell, New Mexico “crashes” in 1947, which many are convinced the US government covered up. Then it delves deeper. Laura Mennell, the actor who plays Dr. Hynek’s wife, Mimi, says, “We’re even dealing with the issue of the CIA mind-control program that was going on at the time.” “There’s some really crazy stuff that I loved reading about and finding more about and I think the audience will too.”

• Project Blue Book is a fact-based historical drama revolving around secret US Air Force investigations into UFO encounters and unexplained phenomena, undertaken by astrophysics professor and Project Blue Book head, Dr J Allen Hynek (played by Aiden Gillen, Littlefinger in Game Of Thrones) in the 1950s and 1960s.

• “It’s one of the biggest mysteries of all time,” said Mennell who plays Mimi Hynek. “I think it would be pretty ignorant to dismiss everything. I think there is something to the mystery of UFOs. What that is exactly I don’t know. Will we fully know during our lifetime? Who knows? But it’s pretty exciting.”

• The Hyneks were indeed real people. Their sons are now heavily involved in the series’ production. Hynek’s Blue Book partner in the show, Captain Michael Quinn, is inspired by USAF Captain Edward J Ruppelt, the first director of the real-life Project Blue Book and other characters are similarly based on historical figures.

• “We’re not making a documentary but, yeah, we’re definitely infusing some real-life aspects into the show, particularly the cases,” Mennell says, adding she is amazed how much was kept from the American public – and the world – in the 50s and 60s.

• “Project Blue Book was one of the first versions of fake news in a way. It misinformed the public to quell any possible mass hysteria that could have happened,” says Mennell. These were real-life cases. There were over 12,000 of them and a little over 700 are still unresolved to this day.

• Mennell’s character Mimi has a revelation in PBB season 2, transforming from a typical 50s domestic housewife into a UFO hunter herself. Her friend, Suzi (Ksenia Solo) is revealed to be a KGB spy. Says Mennell, “Even if we could prove one of those cases – and I think there’s some pretty great evidence in our show – we’d have the quintessential truth of one of the greatest mysteries of all time.” “… [B]ut for people who love Mimi and Susi, give it a bit of time … they will reconnect and when they do some pretty crazy things will definitely happen.”

[Editor’s Note]  Project Blue Book has become one of my favorite shows. It is well written, superbly directed and acted, and doesn’t sugar-coat the UFO subject matter. It is a great series. And it appears that season 3 will take Dr. Hynek and Captain Quinn to Antarctica. I can’t wait! (see deep dive discussion of Project Blue Book Season 2 by cast and writers in Hollywood Reporter YouTube video below). Also, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Michael Malarkey, who plays Captain Quinn, was once an alt rock singer. (see one of Malarkey’s music videos below)

 

Canadian Laura Mennell has no trouble going where few actors have gone before in Project Blue Book.

 Laura Mennell as ‘Mimi Hynek’

The fact-based historical drama revolves around secret US Air Force investigations into supposed UFO encounters

Michael Malarkey as ‘Captain Quinn’

and unexplained phenomena, undertaken by astrophysics professor – and Project Blue Book head – Dr J Allen Hynek (Aiden Gillen, Littlefinger in Game Of Thrones) in the 1950s and 1960s.

Mennell didn’t know much about UFOs, alien sightings and the like when she was cast as Hynek’s wife Mimi but she quickly became fascinated by the subject.

“It’s one of the biggest mysteries of all time,” says the 39-year-old actor, admitting she is now open to the possibility that humans are not the universe’s only inhabitants.

“I think it would be pretty ignorant to dismiss everything. I think there is something to the mystery of UFOs. What that is exactly I don’t know. Will we fully know during our lifetime? Who knows? But it’s pretty exciting.

“There was some infrared footage released in the last couple of years of this 40-foot-long Tic Tac-shaped craft up in the sky. Stuff like that is bizarre and fascinating. I don’t know how that can’t stir up more questions in the general public.”

Although Project Blue Book is based on fact, it is still a drama.

 

34:44 minute round table discussion of Project Blue Book Season 2 (The Hollywood Reporter YouTube)

 

4:00 minute Michael Malarkey music video “Captain Solitaire” (Michael Malarkey YouTube)

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Season Two of Project Blue Book Premieres on History Channel in January

 

Article by TV News Desk                              November 19, 2019                             (broadwayworld.com)

• HISTORY’s hit drama series “Project Blue Book” from A+E Studios and executive produced by Robert Zemeckis returns for season two on January 21, 2020 (10pm ET). The historical UFO series emerged as the #1 new drama series on cable, averaging over 3.2 million total viewers during season one. “Project Blue Book” is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant college professor recruited by the US Air Force to spearhead this clandestine program to research thousands of cases.

• The ten-episode sophomore season will delve deeper into themes of global conspiracy and how UFOs have impacted the evolution of our nation’s military practices and technology. It will kick off with a deep dive into the UFO wreckage found in Roswell, New Mexico, and the top secret government facility at ‘Area 51’ – a magnet for paranormal events and UFO-related activity. Ensuing episodes involve the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah, the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter in Kentucky, CIA mind-control experiments. One episode will follow Hynek as he serves as expert consultant to the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

• Based on the true, top secret investigations into UFOs and related phenomena conducted by the US Air Force from 1952-1969, each episode draws from actual case files, blending UFO theories with authentic historical events. Says Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HISTORY, “Our drama series delves into infamous cases like Roswell and Area 51 and offers a retrospective look at the rich history behind UFO phenomena. Through this season’s entertaining and compelling storytelling, viewers will become immersed in these strange occurrences that are inspired by real events.” Over 700 of these cases remain unsolved to this day.

 

HISTORY’s hit drama series “Project Blue Book” from A+E Studios and executive produced by Academy Award and Golden Globe(R) winner Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Back to the Future, Contact) returns for season two on Tuesday, January 21 at 10PM ET/PT.

At a time when UFOs and related phenomena have piqued worldwide attention and public intrigue, season two will take a dramatic look back at where the UFO conspiracy first began and highlight real cases that ignited America’s fascination around the topic. Based on the true, top secret investigations into Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) and related phenomena conducted by the United States Air Force from 1952-1969, each episode will draw from the actual case files blending UFO theories with authentic historical events from one of the most mysterious eras in United States history.

“UFOs have sparked a cultural conversation that has infiltrated recent news cycles, but the truth is, the allure with this topic goes back decades since the creation of Project Blue Book,” said Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and General Manager for HISTORY. “Our drama series delves into infamous cases like Roswell and Area 51 and offers a retrospective look at the rich history behind UFO phenomena. Through this season’s entertaining and compelling storytelling, viewers will become immersed in these strange occurrences that are inspired by real events.”

“Project Blue Book” is inspired by the personal experiences of Dr. J. Allen Hynek (Aidan Gillen), a brilliant college professor recruited by the U.S. Air Force to spearhead this clandestine operation (Project Blue Book) that researched thousands of cases, over 700 of which remain unsolved to this day. The ten-episode sophomore season will find Dr. Hynek and Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey) on a dangerous quest for the truth and delve deeper into themes of global conspiracy, touch on how UFOs have impacted the evolution of our nation’s military practices and technology and lean into the nostalgia of the 1950s. It will also kick-off with a deep dive into two of the most well-known UFO cases in US history: Roswell, New Mexico where a rancher claimed to have found mysterious wreckage on his property thought to be a UFO and Area 51, a government run location in Nevada historically rumored to be a magnet for paranormal events and UFO-related activity.

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