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Showtime's UFO - What We Know So Far

The alleged existence of UFOs, "Unidentified Flying Objects," has captured the public's imaginations since the 1947 Roswell incident, and they've recently made major headlines. In June 2021, U.S. Congress received a briefing about UFO sightings, reinforcing the fact that perhaps there really are flying objects in the sky that even top-ranking government officials don't understand. Prior to that, in March 2021, the New Yorker released an article about how the Pentagon has recently begun taking UFOs seriously as a potential security threat. And in January 2021, over 2,700 pages of UFO-related CIA records were released online (via the Guardian). 

While we don't have conclusive proof of alien life, it's clear that UFO discussions aren't just for conspiracy theorists, but are actually part of even government proceedings.

Now, J.J. Abrams is getting in on the extraterrestrial madness with a new Showtime series entitled "UFO." Ahead of the show's debut, here's what to know about it.

What's the release date for UFO?

Showtime's "UFO" will premiere on the network on Sunday, August 8. All four episodes will be simultaneously uploaded to Showtime's streaming platform at 12 AM ET, before premiering on the network's linear channel at 9 PM ET the same day. 

The show was first announced in June 2021 (via Deadline), and will be directed by Mark Monroe, who previously made the 2017 documentary "Icarus," and Paul Crowder, who worked on the 2004 documentary "Riding Giants." "UFO" is being produced through Abrams' production company Bad Robot, as well as Glen Zipper's production company Zipper Bros Films. The two men previously collaborated on the Netflix show "Challenger: The Final Flight," which tells the story of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle and how it ultimately went up in flames.

"UFO" is also executive-produced by Monroe and Sean Stuart, as well as Bad Robot members Ben Stephenson and Rachel Rusch.

Who is in the cast of UFO?

No official "UFO" cast members have been announced just yet, but expect to see a wide range of UFO experts, government officials, businesspeople, and more be interviewed about the many subsections of Americans interested in the potential existence of extraterrestrial life and interference on Earth.

While it remains to be seen how many high-ranking figures "UFO" will be able to assemble for input, expect to see some major faces from top U.S. agencies, even if they appear only in video footage. A 2017 New York Times article revealed that the Pentagon has been secretly tracking UFOs for years, and the House Intelligence Committee's recent briefing on UFO sightings has been a major topic of discussion.

In a May 2021 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, former U.S. President Barack Obama admitted that there are pieces of "footage and records of objects in the skies that we don't know exactly what they are." The interviewee possibilities are endless.

What's the plot of UFO?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "UFO" will dive deep into the "unsettling theories of a subject that recently reached national headlines, and has historically been the focus of powerful politicians and CEOs, while average citizens pursuing the very same truth have been ridiculed and ostracized."

Additionally, the series will examine "what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative, private companies, and the military may have in shielding the truth beyond extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas," and will look at the history of the UFO phenomenon "through cultural and political touch-points, including shocking testimony from eyewitnesses across the country."

We may lack conclusive evidence that extraterrestrial creatures exist, but at least "UFO" will provide an in-depth exploration of why people from all walks of life are so intrigued by the idea of alien life, and how it has influenced everything from conspiracies to governmental policy over the years.