Nearly a century after a nuclear war devastated the Earth, prompting the surviving population to escape into a space station, the government is sending the first exploratory ship back to the planet to evaluate it for repopulation.
It’s a one-way trip, so the ship is filled with delinquents, misfits, and undesirables, mostly teenagers. In all, one hundred young people - thus the title, The Hundred - arrive on the devastated planet, and must search for a way to survive.
Of course the story can only focus on so many of these characters at a time, but I would expect that the size of the background colony will make it possible for the show to have guest stars and for some characters to come and go from the spotlight, perhaps even suffer horrible deaths in the dangerous environment.
Most of the characters will be teenagers, or close enough, which will supply much of the drama and melodrama - this is The CW afterall, but the first cast member brought on board has been announced as Henry Ian Cusack, a television veteran perhaps best known for his role as Desmond on LOST, though more recently seen as Simon, one of the resistance fighters in the future, on Fringe. Kusick will play the part of Kane, a leader on the Ark, the space station which launched the dangerous mission.
The show is based on The 100, an as-yet-unreleased young adult fantasy novel by Kass Morgan, in yet another interesting case of a studio picking up the rights to a novel by a completely untested author. Of course, as with Arclight, the studio will have the opportunity to back out of this project if the book bombs after release this fall.
The publisher’s synopsis of the novel is thus:
In the future, humans live in citylike spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland...before it's too late.
Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust-and even love-again.
The 100, the novel, hits bookshelves September 3, 2013, and can be pre-ordered over on Amazon, if you’re interested. The Hundred, the show, is still in development, and has only just begun casting. No premiere date has been announced, but I wouldn’t expect production to begin until next spring, and that’s only if the book takes off, so we’re looking at a Fall 2014 pilot at the earliest.