The ultimate celestial battle between good and evil will descend to Earth in 2014 as Syfy officially greenlights the scripted drama Dominion (working title) to series, it was announced today by Syfy President, Dave Howe. The series is produced by Universal Cable Productions and BOLD Films, and filmed in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Following the critical success of ‘Defiance’ and the upcoming Ron Moore thriller ‘Helix,’ ‘Dominion’ will be the next major addition to Syfy’s growing slate of high quality scripted series,” said Howe in making the announcement. ”‘Dominion’ will continue Syfy’s new strategy to commission stand-out genre series that deliver the high stakes, sci-fi/fantasy experience our audience demands and embraces.”
Based on characters from the hit theatrical film Legion (2010), Dominion is an epic supernatural drama set in the year 25 A.E. In this transformed post–apocalyptic future an army of lower angels, assembled by the archangel Gabriel, has waged a war of possession against mankind. The archangel Michael, turning against his own kind, has chosen to side with humanity against Gabriel. Rising out of the ashes of the 25 year-long battle are newly fortified cities which protect the human survivors. In Vega (formerly Las Vegas), the largest of these cities, two houses vie for control and the stage is set for political upheaval and a dangerous power shift. Meanwhile, a rebellious young soldier begins a perilous journey as the war between the human race and the fallen angels hell-bent on their domination escalates.
The Syfy pilot 12 Monkeys has its first two lead cast members: Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull.
In addition, Natalie Chaidez (In Plain Sight, V, Heroes) will be Executive Producer/Showrunner and Jeffrey Reiner (Helix, Friday Night Lights, Caprica) will direct the pilot and also serve as Executive Producer.
The 60-minute pilot is being produced by Universal Cable Productions and Atlas Entertainment, producer of the original Bruce Willis-Brad Pitt theatrical directed by Terry Gilliam and released by Universal Pictures. Production is slated to begin in December in Detroit.
Based on the classic hit film, 12 Monkeys follows the journey of a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race.
Aaron Stanford (Nikita, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2) will play “Cole,” a desperate and haunted man from the near future, who travels to the present day to stop a deadly plague from being released on the world.
Amanda Schull (Suits, Pretty Little Liars, Center Stage) will play “Cassandra Railly,” a brilliant doctor who is forced to choose between her idyllic life or joining Cole’s mission to uncover the dangerous conspiracy.
Terry Matalas & Travis Fickett (Terra Nova, Nikita) wrote the pilot script and are Co-Executive Producers. Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven (American Hustle, Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Richard Suckle (American Hustle, The International), will Executive Produce. Roven produced the original film.
We learned today that Mark Stern, who has been in charge of original development at Syfy for the last 11 years and most recently was President, Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions, is leaving the network. He isn’t vanishing completely, as he will be taking over as executive producer on an upcoming unnamed Syfy TV series. We’ve met Mark many times and wish him all the best.
From the press release:
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment today elevated two of its senior programming executives to new roles. Bill McGoldrick was named Executive Vice President, Original Content, Syfy, and Jackie de Crinis was named Executive Vice President, Original Programming, USA Network. Effective immediately, McGoldrick will report to Syfy President Dave Howe and de Crinis will report to USA President Chris McCumber.
Syfy today announced the greenlight of Opposite Worlds, an all-new reality competition series – with an interactive twist – from Eyeworks USA. Set to premiere January 21, 2014, Opposite Worlds will run for 12 episodes over six weeks (two episodes per week), with the second weekly episode featuring a live element (a first for a Syfy reality series).
In Opposite Worlds, 14 people from all walks of life face off in opposing teams that live in a house separated into two distinctly different worlds: one past and one future, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Adding to the drama is a glass wall dividing the house into the two environments, allowing the teams to watch, envy and dread each other’s every move.
Every week, as cast members compete in a series of fast-paced challenges, viewers will be asked to participate in real time on social media and affect the outcome of each player’s fate.
Said Dave Howe, President, Syfy and Chiller: “Building on the success of Defiance, Opposite Worlds delivers on Syfy’s on-going strategy to create fully immersive 360 transmedia experiences in both the scripted and now unscripted worlds. It invites our audience, who thrive on seeking out what’s new and next, to participate in the ultimate multiplatform experience. And with Syfy’s first-ever weekly live series, they will have the opportunity to become a part of a groundbreaking social experiment, which engages them, as well as the players onscreen, to influence the show’s story-telling action and outcomes.”
Opposite Worlds will be executive produced by JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson, Brant Pinvidic and Adam Kaloustian for Eyeworks USA. The series is based on the hit Chilean format, Mundos Opuestos, originally broadcast on Canal 13.
Syfy greenlights an eight episode order for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge (working title), a competition series featuring ten aspiring creature creators competing to out-imagine one another in a series of challenges where they will build everything from mechanical characters to whimsical beasts, bringing high-end inanimate creature designs to life. The contestants compete for $100,000 and the opportunity for the job of a lifetime – a contract working at the world-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™. The announcement was made today by Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy.
Brian Henson serves as lead judge on the series. Henson is the Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and the Creature Shop. An award-winning writer, director and producer, he is also a creature designer and performer taught by the master, his father Jim Henson. His long resume in movies and television includes iconic roles like Hoggle in the fantasy classic Labyrinth and the dog in the groundbreaking anthology series The Storyteller. Henson has also produced and directed such television projects as Farscape, Muppets Tonight and Dinosaurs. His film directing credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. Henson was part of the team that first created and utilized the Henson Performance Control System, a powerful custom-based interface for puppeteers, which won an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Scientific and Engineering) Award in 1992. He also led the Shop’s work in creating the revolutionary digital puppeteering technology, the Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.
“As Face Off does with SFX makeup application, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge showcases the incredible imagination and artistry of lifelike creature construction,” said Stern. “We are honored to partner with The Jim Henson Company and Brian Henson on this series. The Creature Shop has set the bar for a caliber of work that is unmatched in quality, design and sheer imagination.”
Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Body of Proof) is set to join Syfy’s newest original scripted series Helix for a multi-episode arc. Ryan joins a cast led by Billy Campbell (The Killing, Killing Lincoln) and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Wolverine, 47 Ronin) on the 13-episode drama series, executive produced by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) who is also showrunner, and Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle, Contact).
Ryan will portray the beautiful and charismatic Constance Sutton, the Chief Operating Officer of Ilaria Corporation, owner of Arctic Biosystems, the research facility where the series takes place. Charming and savvy, Sutton is used to getting her way at any cost.
Jeri Ryan is best known to science fiction fans for her role as Seven of Nine on the series Star Trek: Voyager. Most recently, Ryan has been a familiar face on primetime network television as Dr. Kate Murphy in ABC’s Body of Proof. She was also a series regular in Boston Public as Ronnie Cooke, the CBS legal drama Shark opposite James Woods, and NBC’s Dark Skies. In addition to her recurring roles on projects like Two and a Half Men, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Leverage, Jeri Ryan has also appeared on the big screen in films such as Down with Love and Dracula 2000.
Helix is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to the high-tech research facility Arctic Biosystems, to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that may hold the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation. However, the lethal threat is just the tip of the iceberg, and as the virus evolves, the chilling truth begins to unravel.
Campbell stars as Dr. Alan Farragut, leader of the Centers for Disease Control outbreak field team called upon to investigate and control a potential outbreak. Sanada also stars as Dr. Hiroshi Hatake, director of Arctic Biosystems and its mysterious viral research program.
Helix also stars Kyra Zagorsky (Supernatural) as Dr. Julia Walker, Mark Ghanimé (Emily Owens, M.D.) as Major Sergio Balleseros, Jordan Hayes (House at the End of the Street) as Dr. Sarah Jordan, Meegwun Fairbrother as Daniel Aerov, Catherine Lemieux (White House Down) as Dr. Doreen Boyle and Neil Napier (Riddick) as Dr. Peter Farragut.
Helix is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Kaji Productions and Lynda Obst Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television. Prolific director and producer Jeffrey Reiner is directing the premiere episode of Helix.
Next Sunday and Monday, we’ll be reporting from the 7th Annual Syfy Press Tour…like last year, we will be visiting the sets of a couple of Syfy TV series, but not in Toronto – this year, we will be in Montreal, visiting the sets of Being Human and the upcoming Ron Moore show Helix!
Sunday night I’ll be occasionally tweeting some pics when possible from dinner, which will (as planned) include some of the stars of Defiance (Stephanie Leonidas, Jesse Rath, and Trenna Keating), Haven (Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour, Adam “The Edge” Copeland), Ghost Hunters (Jason Hawes, Amy Bruni, Adam Berry), and director of Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One, Anthony Ferrante. And who knows who else may drop by…
On Monday, we will visit the sets, but the schedule is still being worked out. But be sure to follow along on Twitter as well as here as we usually run some social media sharing with our fellow press members…
Syfy announces additional casting for its upcoming supernatural drama pilot, Dominion with the signings of Anthony Stewart Head, Roxanne McKee, Luke Allen-Gale and guest star Shivani Ghai. Produced by Universal Cable Productions, the pilot is set to begin shooting this month in Cape Town, South Africa.
Based on characters from the hit theatrical film Legion (2010), Dominion is an epic supernatural action drama set 25 years after the events of the movie and picking up in the aftermath of a catastrophic war between an army of angels and mankind that has transformed the world. The series follows the perilous journey of a rebellious young soldier who discovers he’s the unlikely savior of humanity, set against a backdrop of the ultimate celestial battle as it touches down on earth.
Scott Stewart, who co-wrote and directed Legion, is back to direct the pilot, and is one of the project’s Executive Producers. Michel Litvak and David Lancaster of Bold Films, who produced the film Legion, are also Executive Producers. Vaun Wilmott wrote the pilot and is Co-Executive Producer.
Anthony Stewart Head plays “David Weel,” the power hungry president of the Senate of Vega (formerly Las Vegas) who is frequently at odds with General Rysen, the city’s military leader. David is willing to do whatever he believes is right to protect the city and his position leading it.
Anthony Stewart Head’s lengthy television career has encompassed iconic starring roles in worldwide hit series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Merlin, Little Britain, Manchild and Free Agents. Head has also guest starred on numerous series including Highlander, Doctor Who, NYPD Blue, Spooks and, most recently on Syfy’s Warehouse 13. His feature film roles include The Iron Lady, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Repo! The Genetic Opera and Imagine Me & You. Head’s various West End stage credits include Six Degrees of Separation for the Old Vic and the London revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He is represented by Donna French of Gordon & French.
Syfy is teaming up with Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and his Bad Hat Harry Productions to develop a 90-minute pilot script titled Creature at Bay. Singer and Bad Hat’s Jason Taylor will Executive Produce and Creator/Writer John Cabrera will be Co-Executive Producer. The project is from Universal Cable Productions.
In the wake of the US military taking down a giant, rampant creature – a modern-day “Kaiju” monster – just off the Northern California coast, a middle-management Undersecretary from the California Emergency Management Agency is charged with leading the clean-up efforts as the small town becomes the focus of the entire world.
John Cabrera gained notoriety by co-creating and co-writing the award winning sci-fi digital series H+ for Warner Brothers, also produced by Bryan Singer, which premiered on YouTube in 2012. The popular series is currently in pre-production on its second season.
Bad Hat Harry Productions is the production company of acclaimed director and producer Bryan Singer, established in 1994. Up next for the company is X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which is currently in post-production with Singer at the helm, set for a May 23, 2014 release by Fox. Previous films include: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, UWANTME2KILLHIM?, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, VALKYRIE, SUPERMAN RETURNS, X-2, X-MEN, APT PUPIL and THE USUAL SUSPECTS. In television, Bad Hat Harry produced the Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning House MD, which ran for 8 seasons on Fox, and the acclaimed series Dirty Sexy Money on ABC. Additionally, the company produced the documentary Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman, the Syfy miniseries The Triangle, the genre film festival favourite Trick ‘r Treat, and the digital series H+ for Warner Brothers. Upcoming for Bad Hat Harry in television is The Black Box, a straight to series order at ABC, which will premiere in 2014, and they are also developing a reboot/revival of the beloved show The Twilight Zone with CBS TV studios.
A new breed of werewolves is coming to Syfy with the acquisition of the first season of the new Canadian scripted series Bitten from leading independent studio Entertainment One (eOne).
Season 1 of Bitten, consisting of 13 one-hour episodes, will premiere on Syfy in 2014.
Based on the New York Times best-selling Women of the Otherworld novels by Kelley Armstrong, Bitten is an emotionally charged supernatural thriller starring Laura Vandervoort (Smallville, Ted) as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence.
Desperate to escape both a world she never wanted to be part of and the man who turned her into a werewolf, Elena (Vandervoort) has abandoned her Pack and taken refuge in a new city. There, she works as a photographer and hides her werewolf existence from her new boyfriend. When bodies start turning up in her Pack’s backyard, Elena finds herself back at Stonehaven, the werewolves’ ancestral domain. Torn between two worlds and two loves, she quickly realizes that – when push comes to shove – she’ll stop at nothing to defend her Pack.