Syfy, still in a pilot-ordering mood after a string of straight-to-series orders, has ordered up three new pilots.
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.
The Haunted is a horror/drama written and co-executive produced by Noga Landau (The Magicians) and executive produced by James Frey and Todd Cohen of Full Fathom Five, who produced American Gothic. The show follows four siblings who must face the “ghosts” of their past when they reunite after the death of their parents.
Happy! is based on the graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. From Wikipedia: The story centered around a beat down New York Detective turned hitman, Nick Sax, who awakes from a heart attack to a conversation with a perpetually upbeat “Unipixisus”, who calls himself “Happy The Horse” and takes the shape of a little blue flying donkey with a Unicorn horn. The creature is a little girl’s imaginary friend and she is in danger. Only Nick Sax can save her as only Nick can see or hear Happy. Morrison and Brian Taylor will write and executive produce, with Taylor directing the pilot. Neal Moritz, Pavun Shetty and Toby Jaffe will also executive produce.
These three join previous pilot orders Prototype, which is not moving forward at Syfy, and Krypton, which is currently casting.
A couple quick tidbits for tonight…
Kryption, Syfy’s Superman prequel series, found a lead in British actress Georgina Campbell (After Hours), who will play Lyta Zod, daughter of General Alura Zod and a member of the military caste, who has been having a clandestine relationship with Seg-El, Kal-El’s grandfather, who is trying to restore the honor of the ostracized House of El. No casting of Seg-El has yet been announced.
Across the hall at flagship NBC, the Peacock Network is developing Unidentified, a high-octane thriller with sci-fi elements from Universal Television and Zachary Levi’s Middle Man Productions. Levi recently hosted Syfy’s Geeks Who Drink, and of course helped make nerds cool in Chuck. Levi is executive producing along with Turi Meyer and Al Septien (Smallville, Salem), with Middle Man partner Justin Allen co-executive producing with Sean Finegan, who is writing the script. The show follows a CIA operative trying to protect his family from an unimaginable secret.
Hooray! As the summer shows reach their season finales, Syfy today announced a season three renewal for the space action dramas Killjoys and Dark Matter. Both are currently wrapping their second seasons on Syfy: Killjoys will air its second season finale tomorrow, Friday, September 2 at 9/8c, while Dark Matter will air a double episode on Friday, September 9 at 10/9c and 11/10c, and its season two finale on Friday, September 16 at 10/9c.
From Temple Street Productions (Orphan Black, Being Erica), Universal Cable Productions and creator Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl), Killjoys follows a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multiplanetary class war. Starring Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch, and Aaron Ashmore and Luke Macfarlane as brothers John and D’avin, this season the Killjoys struggled to find the balance between politics, family and the good of the Quad. The series is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with Space and Syfy. Creator and showrunner Lovretta serves as executive producer, along with Temple Street Productions’ David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg. Universal Cable Productions distributes the series worldwide.
From Prodigy Pictures and Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (both of Stargate), Dark Matter centers on a crew who awaken on a derelict spaceship with no memories of who they are or how they got there. Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage fueled by vengeance, betrayal and hidden secrets. This season, the crew found themselves embroiled in an intergalactic conspiracy, seeking a mysterious device that may hold the key to victory in a looming all-out corporate war. Created by Mallozzi and Mullie, developed and produced by Prodigy Pictures, Dark Matter is based on Mallozzi and Mullie’s graphic novel of the same name, published by Dark Horse Comics. The series features Melissa O’Neil, Anthony Lemke, Alex Mallari Jr. and Jodelle Ferland with Roger Cross and Zoie Palmer. Executive Producers are Jay Firestone, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie.
Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Syfy today announced they have signed Grant Morrison (Batman, The Invisibles) and Brian Taylor (Crank, Gamer) to adapt Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World for Syfy with Amblin Television. Morrison and Taylor will also serve as executive producers, along with Amblin Television Co-Presidents Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (The Americans, All The Way).
Considered one of the most influential genre classics of all time and named fifth among the 100 best English-language novels of the 20thCentury by Modern Library, the 1931 novel looks 632 years into the future and anticipates new developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that combine to profoundly change society.
UCP is also developing Happy! for Syfy, an adaptation of a graphic novel originally written by Morrison and co-created with artist Darick Robertson. Morrison and Taylor are set as executive producers and co-wrote the pilot; Taylor is attached to direct. This grimy crime black comedy features Nick Sax, a corrupt, intoxicated, ex-cop turned hit-man adrift in a twilight world of casual murder, soulless sex and betrayal. After a hit goes wrong, Nick finds a bullet in his side, the cops and the mob on his tail and a monstrous killer in a Santa suit on the loose. But his world is about to be changed forever by Happy, a tiny (imaginary) blue winged horse with a relentlessly positive attitude.
This appears to be a second attempt at the adaptation for Amblin and Syfy – way back in May 2015 we reported on the adaptation with some of the same names, except Les Bohem was tied to it as the writer at the time.
Syfy sets fall premiere dates for Z Nation, Van Helsing, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, Incorporated, Aftermath
Syfy has announced the fall premiere dates for scripted shows…in all one returning and 4 new programs.
Z Nation – Special 2-hour premiere 8/7c Friday, September 16th, will air regularly at 9/8c the following Friday.
Van Helsing – NEW – Friday, September 23th, 10/9c – Van Helsing reimagines the timeless Dracula brand with the resurrection of Vanessa Helsing, a descendent of the Van Helsing lineage of warriors who now must lead mankind against a world controlled by vampires in the post-Rising landscape. Starring Kelly Overton (True Blood), Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels), Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary, True Blood), Paul Johansson (One Tree Hill), David Cubbit (Medium), Vincent Gale (Bates Motel) and Tim Guinee (Homeland)
Channel Zero: Candle Cove – NEW – Tuesday, September 27th, 9/8c – Channel Zero is an anthology series where each set of episodes relates to to a single story. The first six-episode run, called Candle Cove, is based on the “creepypasta” (a viral story copy and pasted around the net) story of the same name written by Kris Staub that takes the form of a forum discussion about remembering a short-lived children’s TV show.
Aftermath – NEW – Tuesday, September 27th, 10/9c – The show centers on couple Karen and Joshua Copeland, and their children Dana, Brianna and Matt, who must battle for survival after civilization comes to an apocalyptic end, triggered by massive storms, meteor strikes, earthquakes and plague – and the rise of supernatural creatures. Anne Heche and James Tupper play the parents and Julie Sarah Stone (The Killing) and Levi Meaden (The Killing, Olympus), and Taylor Hickson (Deadpool) play the three Copeland children.
Incorporated – NEW – Wednesday November 30th, 10/9c – Set in a near future where corporations have unlimited power, Incorporated centers around Ben Larson (Sean Teale, Reign), a young executive who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a very dangerous corporate world to save the woman he loves. But he’ll soon learn that he’s not the only one whose secrets may have deadly consequences. From Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films, it also stars Eddie Ramos (Teen Wolf), Golden Globe nominee Dennis Haysbert (24), and Emmy Award winner Julia Ormond (Mad Men). In addition, Denyse Tontz (The Fosters) was recently announced for the regular role of Elena, the love of Ben’s life, who is forced to sell herself into servitude to pay off her family’s debts.
Tidbits: Prototype not going at Syfy; Frequency and The 100 cast adds; Powers fail on PSN; Fantastic Beasts sequel date; Game Of Thrones to end after 8 seasons
Some tidbits as I get caught up:
The Prototype series developed for Syfy is not moving forward at the network, but might be shopped elsewhere. The pilot starred Jack Davenport (Smash) and Cote de Pablo (NCIS), and followed Edward “Eddy” Conway (Davenport), an aging playboy and former Silicon Valley wunderkind who has retreated from the tech world to return to UCLA as a physics professor. Eddy’s lack of self-control, be it with coeds or sports cars, has made him familiar with some unsavory characters, but his latest project might prove to be his most dangerous endeavor to date.
The CW announced that Alexandra Metz (Chicago Fire) will join the upcoming Frequency series, based on the 2000 film, as Maya, a college student desperate to prevent herself from becoming a victim of a violent crime. In addition Chai Romruen (Mako Mermaids) will join The 100 as the recurring character Ilan, a Grounder haunted by the horrors he committed while under Alie’s control.
Co-creator Brian Michael Bendis tweeted that the second season of Powers on Playstation Network – for now. But it seems the second season premiere episode was available for free not just on PSN but other outlets like YouTube – and YouTube recorded over 4.6 million views and counting. So maybe it could find life elsewhere…and the comic will continue.
No surprise that a sequel to the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being worked on, but it already has a release date – November 16th, 2018, almost 2 years after the first.
And in case you haven’t heard (I did, but was on vacation at the time…) HBO’s Game Of Thrones will definitely end with the conclusion of Season 8. HBO would like to do more according to programming chief Casey Bloys, but the decision was from series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. It’s not suprising as they overtake the source material from George R.R. Martin. Also, Season 7 won’t air until Summer of 2017, as they need to take advantage of some colder weather for shooting the upcoming season and thus are delaying production.
Some tidbits as I get a break from vacation/traveling…
On the movie front, Oprah Winfrey is near set to star as Mrs. Which in a new adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time to be directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma) for Disney. Amy Adams and Kevin Hart are also in talks.
Speaking of Disney, Disneyland is about to rebuild it’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction with a whole new theme based on Guardians of the Galaxy. The new attraction will be called “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout” and be ready for next summer. Here is a video of Joe Rhode explaining the attraction:
Also on the Disney park front, if you can get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida, you have to check out the “Star Wars Galactic Spectacular” fireworks and light show. It is AMAZING!
The new Captain Marvel has been announced, and it will be Brie Larson. Kevin Feige made the announcement at Comic Con, but wouldn’t say what movie she might first appear in.
Syfy renewed Wynonna Earp for a second season.
Lastly, Fox has tapped Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to adapt Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel, which has been in the works for a few years with Simon Kinberg with Henry Hobson. Ironically, Akiva Goldsman co-wrote 2004’s I, Robot, which is often mistaken as an Asimov story due to similar themes with a collection of stories Asimov wrote with the same title, but the movie was based on a short story by Eando Bender.
Syfy has canceled Hunters, one of two shows that just concluded their freshman runs on the network.
The series, which starred Nathan Phillips, Britne Oldford, and Lewis Fitz-Gerald and is based on the Whitley Strieber novel Alien Hunter, followed FBI agent Flynn Carroll (Phillips) as he tries to find out about the disappearance of his wife, and gets involved with the Extra-Terrestrial Unit (ETU), which is tasked with dealing with the threat posed by the alien Hunters, who have taken on human disguises. He befriends Regan, an ETU agent, who is herself a Hunter.
The show languished in the ratings, despite the high hopes the network had when it gave a straight-to-series order for 13 episodes. The premiere episode only landed a 0.54 audience, lost 20% the second week, and by episode 6 dropped below 0.3 and never recovered. Critics were harsh, and on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 0% tomatometer score.
Personally I didn’t enjoy the show as much as I did its freshman sibling, Wynonna Earp. I think the show was alright, but it felt like it was yet another police procedural ala CSI but with an alien twist, and visually I thought it lacked something – it’s hard to describe, but I’ve seen this with a lot of shows where the color palette seems to tend towards darker, muted but at the blue end of the spectrum. I don’t know if this is due to new video equipment, specific stylistic decisions, or perhaps in some ways a reflection of trying to keep the budget down – I just don’t like it. I’ve seen it in other shows that I otherwise enjoy immensely, like Killjoys, but they mix in more colorful scenes as well (Episode 2 is airing right now, and the sunrise with the bright primary colors is an example).
At any rate, I don’t like to see shows get canceled, but I’m not surprised at this one and I’m not hearing a clamoring of fans screaming at Syfy like with other shows. And that’s probably why.
Plague? Temporal anomalies? Hell on Earth? A psychotic group wanting to end the world? Lately I’ve been in a temporal fog, so missed the announcement earlier that Syfy has ordered up a 10-episode third season to cult face 12 Monkeys! This show has grown into one of my favorites of the current productions. A big congratulations to the cast: Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Kirk Acevedo, Emily Hampshire, Barbara Sukowa and Todd Stashwick, along with showrunner Terry Matalas and the entire crew.
If you are still wondering if #AprilLives or #AprilDies, and can’t wait until Sunday, July 31st at 8/7c to see it on Syfy, you can find out now via the following video…
In the meantime, the cameo list continues to grow…the newly listed appearances are:
- Andre “Black Nerd” Meadows (YouTube star) as a Train Conductor
- Carrot Top (“Vegas Headliner”) as an Uber Driver
- Chippendales Dancers (“Chippendales”) as themselves
- DeStorm Power (You Tube/Vine Star) as a National Guardsman
- Dolvett Quince (“The Biggest Loser”) as a Trainer
- Erika Girardi (“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”) as Tech Frances
- Gilbert Gottfried (comedian) as TODAY Show correspondent
- Seth Rollins (WWE Superstar) as AstroTech Lopez
- Steve Guttenberg (“Colton West,” “Lavalantula,” “2 Lava 2”) as Car Owner
- Hayley Hasselhoff as Supervisor Mary Jane and Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff as Pilot Shaylin
- iJustine (You Tube star) as Supervisor Brock
- Roy Nelson (MMA fighter) as Donnie the Paparazzo
- Stassi Schroeder as Koening and Jax Taylor as a Guardsman (“Vanderpump Rules”)
- Paul Shaffer as himself
They are joining the previously announced potential shark victims:
- Benjy Bronk (“The Howard Stern Show”) as a morning show host
- Corey Taylor (Slipknot) as a Shark World hotel security guard
- Cynthia Bailey (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Robert Herjavec (“Shark Tank”), Kym Johnson (“Dancing with the Stars”), Carrie Keagan (TV host), T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (“In Living Color”) and “Baywatch” stars Gena Lee Nolin and Alexandra Paul as Astro-X rocket scientists and astrophysicists
- David Faustino (“Married with Children”) as a Las Vegas gambler
- Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Loveline”) as a pastor
- Duane Chapman (“Dog the Bounty Hunter”) as a chainsaw dealer
- Frank Mir (MMA fighter) as head of security for the Shark World hotel
- Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) as manager of the Shark World hotel
- Jedward (Musicians) as Astro Techs
- Jillian Barberie (TV Host) as a train passenger
- Lori Greiner (“Shark Tank”) as a home shopping guru
- Patti Stanger (“Millionaire Matchmaker”) as a reporter
- Stacey Dash (actress and pundit) as the Mayor of Chicago
- Vince Neil (Motley Crue)
- Wayne Newton (aka Mr. Las Vegas)
- Todd, Savannah and Grayson Chrisley (“Chrisley Knows Best”)