Tonight is the premiere of Syfy’s Incorporated (10/9c), an ambitious drama from creators David and Alex Pastor (Carriers) and produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and starring Sean Teale, Julia Ormand, Dennis Haysbert, Allison Miller and Eddie Ramos.
The setting is cut from the same cloth as it seems all futuristic shows and movies these days – a near-future dystopian world. In this case global warming has caused the oceans to rise significantly, with both coasts of the US now under water, and governments were unprepared. Corporations now control the world as they now control the food. And the remaining land is divided into “Green Zones” and “Red Zones”.
Green Zones are where the corporations are, and the people who work for them. Lush, clean, green, almost utopian but in a 1984-ish way. Corporate employees live in the Green Zone, and regularly line up in long security lines to get into work. They do their work and they leave, while trying to edge up the corporate ladder. Everyone else lives in the Red Zone – the slums – where they scratch out an existence while just out of sight of those in the Green Zone – well hidden by walls and holograms, so the Green Zone inhabitants can be blissfully unaware of what lurks outside.
Ben Larson (Teale) came from the Red Zone, but he has managed to work his way up at Spiga Corporation. He’s married the Laura, the daughter of Spiga’s head of US operations (Elziabeth Krauss, played by Julia Ormond) who has grown up with privilege, and they are looking to have a child naturally, which is very unusual when you can pick the genetic makeup of a child like choosing the options of a car. He has another purpose though – he’s looking for his former girl from the Red Zone who may be part of the corporate machine now. In the meantime head of Spiga security and former military officer Julian Morse (Dennis Haysbert) is trying to track down a mole at Spiga.
Nothing so far seems very original, and has been done a number of times before. But they do have a decent framework that should allow the characters, story and intrigue to develop. The potential is all there. Visually it is there. It will take some time to develop, but hopefully they get there quickly enough. Stick it out and see if this escapes the dystopian hole.
Quick editorial note – apologies for the broken links on social media…I had to switch methods due to API changes, and unbeknownst to be a combinations of plugins produced bad social media links. That’s all fixed now. I’m also getting my head above water again after being involved in a local theater production and attending Rhode Island Comic Con last weekend…
Deadpool 2 now has a new director in David Leitch, the former stuntman who directed 2014’s John Wick. He’s currently working on The Coldest City, starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman and Sofia Boutella. Original directory Tim Miller left the project after creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds.
The CW has elected not to pick up back-end orders for its two freshman shows Frequency and No Tomorrow. This is unusual as the CW has generally given back end orders to nearly all of its new series. While they aren’t necessarily dead yet, hopes are very minimal as the ratings were extremely low. However, under the deal with Netflix, the shows will be on the streaming provider 8 days after the finale ends, so if it does well there, there could be enough impetus to pick them up.
Syfy, with Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions, is developing a series based on Robert Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land, about a man born and raised on Mars who comes to Earth.
Syfy has announced the Season 2 premiere dates for both The Magicians and The Expanse, two of the most intriguing series from the channel in a while.
Season two of The Magicians will premiere on Wednesday, January 25 at 9/8c. Based on the bestselling novels from Lev Grossman, Syfy’s hit drama The Magicians centers on Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) and his 20-something friends as they discover their magical abilities at Brakebills University, a secret grad school specializing in magic. While there, they come to the realization that the fantasies they read about as children are all too real, and unwittingly invite a malevolent entity from the other side into their lives. Heading into Season 2, this group of unlikely heroes have been thrust into even more dangerous and unfamiliar territory, and must draw upon their novice skills to defeat a threat that could destroy the magical world itself. Driven by power, revenge and survival, they learn that those who entered the hauntingly beautiful world of Fillory will never be the same as those who leave.
Season two of The Expanse will begin with a double episode on Wednesday, February 8 at 10/9c. The story of The Expanse unfolds across a colonized galaxy 200 years in the future, when two strangers – a hardened detective, Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), and a rogue ship’s captain, James Holden (Steven Strait) – become unwittingly swept up in a vast conspiracy to cover up a horrific human experiment. As Season 2 kicks off with interplanetary tensions at an all-time high, the cold war between Earth and Mars is on the brink of an all-out battle. The series is 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).
Syfy announced today that award-winning actor Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) has been cast in a guest role in season three of the time-travel thriller 12 Monkeys. Lloyd will play Zalmon Shaw, a charming but deadly cult leader who preys upon other’s tragedies and losses in order to recruit new members into the apocalyptic cult the “Army of the 12 Monkeys.” Shaw is the father of the series’ most imposing villain, the enigmatic Pallid Man.
Best known for his iconic role as Doc Brown in the blockbuster film series Back to the Future, Lloyd made his feature film debut in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and has won three Emmy Awards: one for outstanding lead actor in Road to Avonlea and two back-to-back wins for outstanding supporting actor in Taxi. He is represented by The Gersh Agency and managed by Andrew Freedman.
In addition, Terry Matalas, co-creator and series showrunner, will make his directorial debut in the premiere episode, which started production in Toronto this week. 12 Monkeys is produced by Universal Cable Productions, in association with Atlas Entertainment, who produced the original cult classic film, 12 Monkeys. The series, starring Aaron Stanford (James Cole), Amanda Schull (Dr. Cassandra Railly), Kirk Acevedo (Jose Ramse), Emily Hampshire (Jennifer Goines), Barbara Sukowa (Katarina Jones), and Todd Stashwick (Deacon), follows the journey of James Cole, a man from the future sent back in time to stop the malevolent “Army of the 12 Monkeys” from destroying the world.
In season three, James Cole and Cassandra Railly 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 mean saving the world. But the journey will come at tremendous personal stakes for both Cole and Railly and will call into question new alliances, old bonds, and the virtue of the mission itself.
Syfy has already given a renewal to freshman series Van Helsing, it’s post-apocalyptic vampire survival drama, for a 13 episode second season, set to begin production next January.
Van Helsing focuses on Vanessa Van Helsing, a descendant of vampire slayer Abraham Van Helsing, who awakens from a coma several years later in a now post-apocalyptic devastated world, where the vampires have control of most of the world. She awakens among a group of humans holed up in a building trying to survive, where she discovers her blood has the ability to turn the vampires human again – which makes her a target for the vampire Ancients.
What’s going on at Sigma Biotech? Catch this sneak peek at Syfy’s new series Incorporated, executive produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Premieres November 30th at 10/9c.
Six new cast members have been added to Syfy’s Superman prequel series pilot Krypton.
Ian McElhinney (Game Of Thrones) is Val-El, grandfather of Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), and thus the great great grandfather of Kal-El/Superman. He is a rogue genius who believes that space exploration is a basic form of self-defense, and he has tried, without success, to warn the Kryptonian elite about the arrival of an ancient threat.
Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons) is Daron Vex, the Chief Magistrate of Kandor.
Ann Ogbomo (World War Z) will play Primus Alura Zod, Lyta Zod’s (Georgina Campbell) mother and a leader of Krypton’s military guild.
Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness) is Kem, a brilliant engineer as well as Seg-El’s best friend.
Wallis Day (The Royals) will play Nyssa Vex, a junior magistrate and the daughter of Daron Vex.
Aaron Pierre (Tennison) will be Dev-Em, a cadet under the command of Primus Alura Zod.
It’s October 1st, which means it Halloween season, and that Syfy’s 31 Days Of Halloween kicks off today! All October, the network will unleash a mix of spooky Syfy originals and nightmare-inducing horror movies, in a cross-platform celebration of the most wickedly wonderful time of the year.
31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN highlights include the premiere of Syfy’s original anthology series Channel Zero: Candle Cove, on Tuesday, October 11 at 9/8c. Based on a popular “creepypasta” story shared on the internet, viewers will want to keep their nightlights on for this chilling tale. The spook-a-thon also features the Syfy movie premieres of horror favorites Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Zombieland, The Strangers, Cabin in the Woods, Wrong Turn, Maleficent, I, Frankenstein and Drag Me to Hell. Additionally, audiences will discover new scares with five original Syfy fright films airing Saturday nights, including The Crooked Man, Stake Land 2 and The Night Before Halloween. New episodes of VAN HELSING, AFTERMATH and Z NATION will also continue to air throughout the month.
To accompany this terrifying cache of programming, Syfy will feature blood-curdling Halloween lore, as well as horror movie trivia on air throughout the month. The network will also plunge viewers into the middle of the action at Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” with on-the-ground fan interviews. Syfy.com and its editorial arm, Blastr.com, will offer a veritable Halloween editorial graveyard, with daily Top 13 lists, party tips to make your guests scream and horror trope bingo cards, along with interviews with genre insiders. On the network’s social channels, viewers will be asked to submit their best costumes, screams and holiday décor – and the most frightening entries will be featured on-air and on Syfy’s official Snapchat and Instagram Stories of the Week. On Monday, October 31 at 7/6c fans can celebrate Halloween with Syfy’s social team as they take them inside the New York City Greenwich Village Halloween Parade on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
Original programming airing as part of 31 DAYS OF HALLOWEEN includes:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 at 9/8c – THE CROOKED MAN
Original Syfy Movie Starring Michael Jai White (Spawn) and Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Singing a nursery rhyme summons a demonic figure known as Crooked Man. Once you sing the rhyme, everyone in the house is cursed to die by his hands.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 at 9/8c – DAY OF RECKONING
Original Syfy Movie — Some years ago, the world experienced a “day of reckoning” when creatures came up from below and purged humanity of evil…now, it is happening again.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 at 9/8c – CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE
Syfy Original Anthology Series — CANDLE COVE centers on one man’s obsessive recollections of a mysterious children’s television program from the 1980s and his ever-growing suspicions about the role it might have played in a series of nightmarish and deadly events. From Universal Cable Productions (UCP), CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE is from showrunner and executive producer Nick Antosca (Hannibal, Teen Wolf), who wrote the CHANNEL ZERO pilot, and Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra). The six-part anthology series will continue on Tuesdays at 9/8c through November 22.
CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE New Embeddable Trailer:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 at 9/8c – STAKE LAND 2
Original Syfy Movie Starring Nick Damici (Stake Land) and Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl)
Vampires have evolved, and Mister must save a young woman from an evil brotherhood.
SATUDAY, OCTOBER 22 at 9/8c – SHADOWS OF THE DEAD
Original Syfy Movie — A group of teenagers try to escape a creature that lives among the shadows and is hunting them down one by one.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29 at 9/8c – THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN
Original Syfy Movie Starring Bailee Madison (The Fosters, Good Witch) and Anthony Lemke (Dark Matter, American Psycho)
When a Halloween prank goes wrong, it unleashes a creature that will hunt each of the participants down and kill them, unless they can figure out how to transfer the curse to someone else.
Tidbits: Lost In Space finds Molly Parker; Channel Zero tunes in Jeff Ward; The Tick lives but Timeless gets sued
Just a few TV tidbits to mention today…first a couple casting items…
We have a Maureen Robinson! The Netflix remake of Lost In Space has cast Molly Parker, who played Abby McDeere in House of Cards and will be in the upcoming David E. Kelley Amazon series Goliath, as the mother and scientist who joins her husband John (Toby Stephens) in taking their family into space to colonize another planet. Also cast at this point are Taylor Russell (Judy Robinson) and Max Jenkins (Will Robinson).
Syfy’s second installment of Channel Zero, called The No-End House, has Jeff Ward (Manson’s Lost Girls, Holly’s Holiday) taking on the male lead opposite previously announced Amy Forsyth, on the creepypasta story-based anthology. Channel Zero: The No-End House will air in 2017 and the first installment, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, starts on October 11th.
Another Netflix pilot, a reboot of The Tick, has been picked up for series to release in 2017. Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy) will play the title character, his sidekick Arthur will be played by Griffin Newman (Vinyl), while Valorie Curry (The Following) will play his sister, Dot.
Lastly, NBCUniversal, Sony and the creators of NBC’s Timeless, which kicks off next Monday, have been hit with a lawsuit claiming that the show was stolen from the Spanish language series El Ministerio del Tiempo (“The Department of Time”) from Onza Entertainment. Follow the link for more details over the claims.
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.