ABC Developing 'Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth' as TV Sitcom

In "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," Chris Hadfield shares what he learned from flying in space. Now, the book will serve as the basis for a sitcom being developed by ABC.
In "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," Chris Hadfield shares what he learned from flying in space. Now, the book will serve as the basis for a sitcom being developed by ABC. (Image credit:

Astronaut Chris Hadfield's down-to-Earth advice is now the basis for a television sitcom.

ABC on Tuesday (Aug. 19) committed to the production of a pilot episode for a family comedy inspired by Hadfield's best-selling book, "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" (Little, Brown and Co., 2013), Deadline Hollywood reports. The TV series, as described, will follow an astronaut as he readjusts to domestic life, discovering that it "might be the hardest mission he's ever faced."

Hadfield returned to Earth in May 2013 after a five-month stay on board the International Space Station. During the expedition, which was his third spaceflight, he became the first Canadian to command a mission and attracted a huge following on social media through his downlinked videos and music performances recorded from orbit. His cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" was watched more than 20 million times on YouTube. [Life in Space: Astronaut Chris Hadfield's Video Guide]

Hadfield retired from the Canadian Space Agency just two months after landing to become a university professor and professional speaker.

In his book "An Astronaut's Guide," Hadfield wrote about how his experiences training for space and flying in orbit could be applied to everyday life on the ground.

"What happened to me is interesting to me, but what really matters is what does it mean to someone else," Hadfield told collectSPACE.comsoon after the book was released. "What happens in space is inherently, I think, interesting to people, but it can be sort of like watching a juggler. It is fascinating to watch a juggler, but what does it mean? It is entertaining."

"So, it is really about how you bring it back and make the experience as relevant that matters," Hadfield said.

According to Deadline, creators Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker (CBS' "S#*! My Dad Says," Fox's "Surviving Jack") will write and team with Erwin Stoff ("The Matrix") and Tom Lassally ("Edge of Tomorrow") to produce.

Hadfield will serve as a consulting producer.

If ABC approves it for air, the "Astronaut's Guide"- based series won't be the only space-themed sitcom on network TV, nor is it ABC's only astronaut-based property.

Coming soon to NBC, the sitcom "Mission Control" stars Krysten Ritter ("Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23") as a "tough but brilliant aerospace engineer, leading a team of NASA scientists" in the 1960s. The half-hour comedy is being executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay ("Anchorman," "Talladega Nights").

ABC has also green-lit "Astronaut Wives Club," a limited-event series based on Lily Koppel's best-selling book by the same title. The 10-episode drama, which is scheduled to debut next spring, tells the true-life story of the spouses of America's early spacemen.

"An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" was Hadfield's first book. His second, due out this October, is "You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes" (Little, Brown and Co.). Combining Hadfield's commentary with the photos he took while on the space station, "You Are Here" reproduces an orbit around the Earth.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.