ABC Orders A Show About All The President’s Aliens

My ultimate boss, Center for American Progress President John Podesta, is a deeply devoted X-Files fan, so it’s the official ThinkProgress position that we’re pretty excited about the show ABC just bought from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, Star Trek writer Roberto Orci, actor Seth Green, and Michael Dougherty. Called Ex-Comm, it follows a newly-inaugurated president and his administration who get into office only to find out there’s a whole other set of issues they have to deal with than the ones they campaigned on: paranormal threats.

I like the idea of a counterpoint to the X-Files* vision of a shadow government, not least because it would be decently hard to hide a giant Defense Department warehouse and operations of that magnitude without making some Inspector General extremely suspicious and cranky, and you can’t just keep killing or converting those guys forever. Where X-Files was a show about government’s power to conceal and contain operations, Ex-Comm could be about the capacity of the government. The presidency is already a giant job, and the existence of aliens or other paranormal phenomena wouldn’t just add an extent foreign policy threat. It implicates scientific knowledge and research, diplomacy, cross-species ethics, cultural exchange, and, presumably, the economy. Managing all those implications while maintaining the public facade that everything is fine would be a huge strain, and a huge amount of work for both the president and multiple Cabinet departments. Seeing that argued out from multiple dimensions, rather than as the subject of a two-way antagonism, would be completely fascinating.

Also, I nominate a post-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston to play a Podesta-like chief of staff.

*I should note that I watched The X-Files only very sporadically, though my cousin once wrote me the world’s awesomest pre-Wiki guide to the show.