Syfy reboots itself and its logo for 25th anniversary; more focused on genre; Krypton and Happy! to series
With the 25th anniversary of the beginning of what was then the Sci-Fi Channel coming up in September, Syfy is going through a new reboot – but that doesn’t mean you are losing any of your current favorite programs, as the channel recommits itself to genre programming and fandom at large.
“I can think of no better occasion than Syfy’s 25th anniversary to get back to our roots, double down on premium original programming, and put fans at the center of everything we do,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “As the only television network dedicated to the genre 24/7, we’re building the ultimate universe for this passionate community to call home.”
Syfy unveiled a new logo, typeface and look that it will use across all of its divisions, including an expanded news division, starting June 19th. “This is a wholesale change, top to bottom, of the way we express ourselves,” said Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Our new branding is designed for the digital age and tailored to the consumption patterns of our audience, allowing us to celebrate and engage with fans on every consumer touchpoint.”
Additionally, Syfy is scaling and expanding its editorial division Syfy Wire to infuse breaking genre news, in-depth analysis and thought-provoking original content across its entire ecosystem. Through Syfy Wire’s website (http://syfywire.com) and on air via future program development, programming integrations and regular interstitials and lower thirds, Syfy Wire will cover the latest and greatest in genre TV, film, books, comics, gaming and technology. Syfy Wire will also take the lead on this year’s reporting from San Diego Comic Con, once again airing for three nights.
Syfy also announced the pickup to series of two pilots, Superman prequel Krypton and the graphic novel adaptation Happy!.
Sing it with me…”One Season More…”
Syfy today announced a 13 episode third season pickup of the critically acclaimed Universal Cable Productions drama The Magicians. Hailed as “one of the best shows on TV” by Wired, the series continues to buck industry trends, performing stronger in its second season than its first. To date, Season 2 is up year over year across all key demos (P18-49 +15%, P18-34 +23%, P25-54 +9% and +6% among P2+), and has nearly doubled its freshman run in social engagements across platforms. The sophomore season currently airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Syfy, and the must-see finale will air Wednesday, April 19. Season 3 of The Magicians will premiere in 2018.
Based on Lev Grossman’s bestselling novels, The Magicians centers on Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and his 20-something friends as they are thrust into the unfamiliar world of the beautifully enchanting yet mysteriously dangerous Fillory – and places beyond – where they must draw upon their novice skills to save the existence of magic.
The Magicians stars Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta, Summer Bishil, Rick Worthy and Jade Tailor. The series is executive produced by John McNamara, Sera Gamble, Chris Fisher and Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams.
Check out what’s happening on tonight’s penultimate episode!
Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff and Aliens‘ Lance Henriksen will join Jaeden Bettencourt (Hotel Transylvania 2) as the voice of three supercomputers in the artificial intelligence-driven drama pilot The Machine for Syfy.
Based on a 2013 British cult film, the series will explores humanity through artificial intelligence when a sentient AI is created, but the military wants to use it for war. Caradog James, who directed the film, is an executive producer with Red & Black Films and John Giwa-Amu, the film’s producer, and Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle).
Over at BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, the series has upped actor Osric Chau, who played Vogel of the Rowdy 3, to a series regular for Season 2. Chau previously appeared on Supernatural.
Got some new casting moves announced this week…first, Syfy’s live-action/animated blend Happy!, based on the graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson, will get Saturday Night Live‘s Bobby Moynihan to voice the animated title character.
The show follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU), an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man, who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged unicorn named Happy, making for a strange buddy act.
Meanwhile Katie McGrath, currently playing Lena Luthor – the little sister to Lex Luthor – on Supergirl has been upped to a series regular on the show. McGrath previously starred in BBC’s Merlin and has been a recurring character on Frontier for Netflix. She also had a co-starring role in Jurassic World.
Syfy today announced that it has renewed critically-acclaimed original series 12 Monkeys for a fourth and final chapter ahead of its Season 3 premiere. The network also announced that the series’ entire 10-episode third season will premiere over three consecutive nights, from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21 from 8-11PM ET/PT. The first four episodes will premiere on Friday, with three episodes airing each night on both Saturday and Sunday.
Produced by Universal Cable Productions in association with Atlas Entertainment, the beloved drama, developed by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Nikita), is based on the 1995 Golden Globe® award-winning film of the same name. Said co-developer, showrunner and executive producer Matalas: “Universal Cable Productions and Syfy have given us the opportunity to tell an ambitious, emotional story with a beginning, middle and an end – if not always in that order. I couldn’t be more grateful for their faith and support. Like our fans who may want to turn their clocks ahead to see what we’ve got in store, I only wish I could turn mine back to relive this incredible experience over again.”
“12 Monkeys has a dedicated and enthusiastic fan-base thanks to the epic storytelling by Terry Matalas, and the stellar cast and crew,” said Jeff Wachtel, President, Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We are thrilled to be able to offer fans an opportunity to binge the third season as a reward for their lasting support, and we couldn’t be more excited to see where Terry takes us with the final chapter of this fabulous story in the fourth season.”
“With its time-twisting themes and edge-of-your-seat storyline, 12 Monkeys is the perfect show to air this way,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “It’s grown into a world well beyond the original film, and after seeing the creative strength of Season 3, we couldn’t wait to pick it up for a fourth season.”
Upon its premiere in May, Season 3 will continue the journey of James Cole (Aaron Stanford), a man sent back in time to eradicate the source of a deadly plague, and his partner, brilliant virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull). While attempting to untangle an insidious conspiracy that’s been spun throughout centuries, the duo embark on a desperate search across time to find the man responsible for the apocalypse – a time traveler who calls himself the Witness. Killing the Witness will save the world, but the journey will come at tremendous personal stakes for the pair. 12 Monkeys also stars Kirk Acevedo (Ramse), Emily Hampshire (Jennifer Goines), Barbara Sukowa (Katarina Jones) and Todd Stashwick (Deacon).
Joining the cast as recurring guest stars in Season 3 are Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones), Faran Tahir (Iron Man) and James Callis (Battlestar Galactica). Emmy® award-winner Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) is set to appear in a memorable guest-starring role as a deadly cult leader with sinister motives.
Matalas, who also has an overall deal with UCP, will make his directorial debut with the Season 3 premiere episode. Original film producer Charles Roven (Suicide Squad, The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Richard Suckle (Suicide Squad, American Hustle) of Atlas Entertainment, as well as David Grossman (Desperate Housewives, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), serve as executive producers.
Syfy today announced a Season 3 pickup of The Expanse, the drama series called the “best sci-fi show on TV” by io9 and recognized for “transforming TV” by Wired. The 13-episode third season will premiere on Syfy in 2018. From Alcon Television Group, The Expanse is currently airing new Season 2 episodes every Wednesday at 10/9c on Syfy.
“The Expanse is a gorgeous, thrilling, emotional series that has quite simply raised the bar for science fiction on television,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We, along with the fans, are looking forward to continuing the journey with our partners at Alcon Television Group and the series’ brilliant cast and crew.”
The Expanse unfolds across a colonized galaxy 200 years in the future, when two strangers become unwittingly swept up in a vast conspiracy. Based on the New York Times bestselling book series collectively known as “The Expanse,” written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey), The Expanse stars Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Cas Anvar, Wes Chatham and Frankie Adams.
Academy Award®-nominated screenwriting duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) serve as executive producers and showrunners, alongside Naren Shankar (CSI, Farscape).
The Expanse is financed and produced by Alcon Television Group (ATG), a division of Alcon Entertainment.
It’s pilot happy season, and there have been some casting announcements:
Syfy has added Patrick Fischler (Lost, Once Upon A Time), Zabryna Guevara (Gotham, The Get Down) and Ritchie Coster (The Dark Knight, Blackhat) to the pilot for Happy!, based on the graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. The show follows Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU), an intoxicated, corrupt ex-cop turned hit man, who is adrift in a world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit gone wrong, his inebriated life is forever changed by a tiny, relentlessly positive, imaginary blue winged horse.
Fischler will play Smoothie, a well-dressed mob enforcer and sardonic soulless torturer who claims to take a ‘New Age’ approach to his work.
Guevara is playing Amanda Hansen, a single mom facing every mother’s worst nightmare; the disappearance of her young daughter.
Coster is Mr. Blue/Leonardo Scaramucci, the lead villain whose wealth and status as a legitimate businessman in the wine import trade support an increasingly profitable and highly illegal sideline.
In another Marvel pilot, but for Fox, one of our favorites, Amy Acker, fresh off the final season of Person of Interest, will star in the unnamed X-Men-based show written by Matt Nix (Burn Notice) and directed by Bryan Singer. The show focuses on a family of human parents with mutant children, on the run from a mutant-hostile government. Acker will play mother Kate, who is struggling to deal with her separation from her husband Reed (Stephen Moyer, True Blood) and her increasingly challenging teenage children.
Syfy has canceled the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck produced Incorporated after just a single season. The hyped-up show failed to get hyped up ratings, averaging well below Syfy’s other flagship shows. Syfy is lining up pilots with four given green lights so far along with Superstition, which was given a straight-to-series order.
On the opposite side, CBS’ Les Moonves is very confident that the twice delayed Star Trek: Discovery will be ready to debut in early Fall and perhaps late Summer – and he understands the importance of the show to the network.Star Trek is the family jewels,” Moonves says. “We’re not going to rush it in. There’s a lot of post production. But I’m very confident based on what I’ve seen so far.”
Star Trek: Discovery was most recently delayed from a May release last month, given they hadn’t actually started filming yet. Filming started shortly after that announcement, so a Fall debut seems more realistic.
It’s a long weekend here, so here’s a few more tidbits:
In a conversation with Deadline, BBC America president and GM Sarah Barnett tiptoed around the discussion of who might be the new Doctor to replace Peter Capaldi, but did mention that the Doctor Who spinoff Class, which takes place at the Coal Hill School where there first moments of it’s parent program took place, will debut in the U.S. on April 15th.
On renewals/cancellations, it seems several freshman shows will not survive. Spies have been whispering to us since January that Aftermath will not see a second season and Syfy and SPACE have silently killed the show. Star James Tupper also tweeted, “So sad to report #Aftermath will not be getting a second season. #sobummed”. We were hoping for a renewal and though the ratings and the partnership between Syfy and SPACE would help. No formal pronouncement still, but sadly it seems unlikely.
Also on the bubble are the CW’s Frequency and NBC’s Timeless. Frequency did not have an option to pick up more episodes, leaving the first season at 13, and they did essentially conclude the first season storyline. However, the show is on Netflix now, where it might pick up eyes, but we’re thinking it likely will not return. The Timeless season finale airs tonight, and it’s teetering on the edge. It may depend on what NBC decides on other shows and how many slots are available.
Syfy is still looking for a formula to bring cosplay into the limelight, and it will try again with Cosplay Melee, hosted by self-described “super fangirl” Yvette Nicole Brown. Each week, four world class cosplayers compete to create not only intricate full-body costumes – but fully-formed characters that they must bring to life through their own realistic performance. Guiding and critiquing them are a panel of judges including world class cosplayer LeeAnna Vamp, and A-list costume creator, Christian Beckman (The Hunger Games, TRON: Legacy). At the end of every episode, the winner will walk away with $10,000 … and the right to claim cosplay supremacy.
“As a huge fan of the creativity cosplayers bring to their craft, nothing makes me happier than having a front row seat for the amazing creations set to hit the Cosplay Melee runway,” said host Brown. “These talented artists are going to shine!”
Syfy has announced the addition of three cast members for the upcoming pilot The Machine.
Bridger Zadina (Terri, Kill or Be Killed) will play the role of Santiago, an agoraphobic young hacker who — after uncovering the dangerous truth behind those he believed to be his allies — is cast out into the world he desperately fears. Through his harrowing fight for survival, Santiago begins to emerge as one of humanity’s last great hopes in the coming war against rising Artificial Intelligence.
Malachi Kirby (Roots) will portray Aaron, a lonely and out of place young man who created an A.I. as his best friend – benevolent, brilliant, supportive, and in many ways, his equal. Then recruited by the CIA for his creation, Aaron was placed in their cyber warfare division.
Olly Rix (Of Kings and Prophets) will play James, the principal test subject of a secret Ministry of Defense Artificial Intelligence program. A soldier, his badly injured mind and body have been rebuilt using cutting-edge prosthetics and implanted artificial intelligence, elevating him far beyond the limits of normal human capabilities.
Announced last week was Annet Mahendru (The Americans), in the role of Yana, a brilliant but troubled programmer who has created the world’s first super intelligent Artificial Intelligence. With an IQ 500 times greater than Einstein, this S.A.I. is capable of conquering the world’s most complex problems, such as disease, poverty, and environmental devastation.
The Machine, based on the 2013 UK cult film, explores humanity through artificial intelligence when a sentient AI is created, but the military wants to use it for war. Caradog James, who directed the film, is an executive producer with Red & Black Films and John Giwa-Amu, the film’s producer.