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Syfy renews The Magicians for third season

by on Apr.12, 2017, under Television

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!


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TidBits: The Magicians, Aquaman, Teri Hatcher and Supergirl

by on Jan.31, 2017, under Television

A few tidbits from the past few days…

Syfy’s The Magicians are pulling a bit of sophomore magic, with the Season 2 premiere getting double digit gains over the series premiere in the Live+3 ratings, netting a 25% overall increase and 33% higher in the 18-49 demo, and the highest for the channel since 2014. It seems that this show really has caught with audiences as the story has developed.

Jason Momoa’s Aquaman has found its villain…Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Get Down) has signed on to play foe Black Manta in the standalone film, scheduled for an October 2018 release.

Teri Hatcher is returning to the Kryptonian world of DC Comics…the former Lois Lane from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman will join the cast of Supergirl in an unspecified recurring role – but word on the street is that she will become the new Big Bad of the show.


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The Magicians returns with more magic, more Fillory

by on Jan.24, 2017, under Television

Syfy’s breakout hit The Magicians returns tomorrow night at 9/8c, and the second season is already amping up the magic levels – in order to save the magic.

Season 2 begins with with the possible destruction of all magic, and Quentin (Jason Ralph), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer Bishil) and Penny (Arjun Gupta) are in Fillory to save it. Fillory, which Quentin thought was just a place from a series of storybooks called “Fillory and Further”, is not only real but is the source of all magic. And to save it, it may mean fulfilling the story and becoming the kings and queens of Fillory. Meanwhile, Julia (Stella Maeve), having become a hedge witch since she was rejected as a student at Brakebills, is teaming up with the Beast (Charles Mesure) in order to get revenge on the trickster Reynard the Fox, and her friendship with Quentin won’t stop her.

I don’t think it is a surprise that the students survived the attack by the Beast, although we were left wondering at the end of Season 1 – and it is “resolved” rather quickly. However, this isn’t just a push of a reset button after a cliffhanger – their survival won’t be without issues and consequences that will last through Season 2. So while the show still keeps its whimsical side, it will continue with exploring deep issues, such as Julia’s need for revenge after the being a victim of Reynard’s sexual assaults.

It is interesting that the parallels with C.S. Lewis’ world of Narnia continues as well, with Eliot not only having to become High King, but his fellow students also becoming Kings and Queens – two of each, just like the Pevensies in Narnia. This seems to add to the intrigue of the story, however – it is like seeing someone else’s take on the story, being familiar yet different. And we’ll see a deeper side of Eliot while he is in Fillory with new responsibilities.

I can’t wait to see more of this show…

The Magicians, based on the books by Lev Grossman, follows the 20-something students at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, where they discover that magic is hard and the world of fantasy is real.


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Premiere dates and trailers for Season 2 of The Magicians and The Expanse

by on Nov.10, 2016, under Television

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 1st 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).

[An earlier version of this article had The Expanse premiere on February 8th, but Syfy amended the premiere date after publishing]


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Syfy renews The Magicians for 13 episode second season

by on Feb.08, 2016, under Television

Syfy today announced it has renewed hit drama series The Magicians for a second season of 13 episodes, expected to air in 2017. The Magicians is from Universal Cable Productions and is executive produced by John McNamara (Aquarius), Sera Gamble (Supernatural), Henry Alonso Myers (Covert Affairs) and Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk).

Based on the bestselling novels from Lev Grossman, The Magicians is currently airing its first season on Syfy on Mondays at 9PM ET/PT. The series’ fourth episode premieres tonight.

“Thanks to an extraordinarily gifted creative team of executive producers and our partners at Universal Cable Productions, The Magicians has become a buzzed-about hit, enchanting fans of the novels as well as attracting new and younger audiences to Syfy,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy & Chiller.

During its first three episodes, The Magicians averaged 1.7 million viewers, 853K Adults 18-49 and 910K Adults 25-54 (based on L3 data). The series is also strong among younger viewers, with Adults 18-34 growing consecutively over each episode, averaging 180% above Syfy’s prime time delivery in that demo.

Digitally, the series’ first episode was sampled more than 6.7 million times during its pre-linear launch (January 8 to January 25) across Syfy.com and select partner sites, as well as On Demand cable, satellite and telco TV platforms. Additionally, an on-air sneak peek of the pilot, airing December 16 at 10PM ET/PT, drew 1.3 million total viewers (based on L+7 data).

Starring Jason Ralph (Quentin Coldwater), Stella Maeve (Julia), Olivia Taylor Dudley (Alice) Hale Appleman (Eliot), Arjun Gupta (Penny) and Summer Bishil (Margo), The Magicians centers on Quentin, a brilliant grad student chosen to attend Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real when they unwittingly invite a malevolent entity from the other side into their world. Also reprising their roles for season two will be series regulars Rick Worthy (Dean Fogg) and Jade Tailor (Kady).


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Quickie review: The Magicians

by on Dec.15, 2015, under Television

Syfy has moved up the premiere episode of The Magicians to tomorrow (Wednesday, December 16th) with a special commercial-free preview airing…so I finally managed to squeeze some time to watch the screener they sent me – along with my acceptance letter to Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy’s graduate program…so I wanted to give a brief spoiler-free review to know what to expect.

It likely can’t be helped that this is thought of as “Hogwarts for grown-ups”. But make no mistake – this isn’t Harry Potter’s wizarding world we’re talking about, although there may be similarities. This show – based on the series of books by Lev Grossman – takes itself seriously. And the show is definitely aimed at a more adult audience, although probably on the younger end of the demographic.

The Magicians centers on Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student chosen to attend Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity.

The series stars Jason Ralph (Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, Stella Maeve (Chicago PD) as Julia, Olivia Taylor Dudley (The Vatican Tapes) as Alice, Hale Appleman (Teeth) as Eliot, Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) as Penny and Summer Bishil (Lucky 7) as Margo.

Each of the characters has an interesting skill in magic – but they all have issues as well. Some were considered losers in the outside world. Crazies. Loners. They had no idea what they were themselves. At Brakebills, they find others like them. But that does not make them safe. Quentin gets messages from who he thought was a fictional character in a book – and the message is that everyone at Brakebills could die – at the hands of one called The Beast. Who is he, and what does he want with Quentin? I suspect we’ll find out more when the series returns in January.


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Syfy’s The Magicians starts production in Vancouver, adds regular and guest cast

by on Aug.04, 2015, under Television

Syfy and Universal Cable Productions’ (UCP) latest scripted drama series, The Magicians, will commence season one production on August 4 in Vancouver, Canada. The 13 episode season will air in early 2016 on Syfy.

Starring Jason Ralph (Quentin Coldwater), Stella Maeve (Julia), Hale Appleman (Eliot), Arjun Gupta (Penny) and Summer Bishil (Margo), The Magicians is based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling novels. The series centers on Quentin, a brilliant grad student chosen to attend Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity.

Olivia Taylor Dudley will also join the cast as a series regular, it was announced today. Dudley plays Alice, an intensely shy and delicately lovely young woman. Born of a magical but neglectful family, Alice is an outcast among her fellow students at Brakebills, but nonetheless emerges as the most brilliant magical practitioner in her class.

Dudley appears in the upcoming Lakeshore/Lionsgate film Vatican Tapes opposite Michael Pena, just wrapped production on Paranormal Activity 5 for Paramount, and can be seen in the feature Dude Bro Party Massacre III. She was a lead in Oren Peli’s ensemble horror film The Chernobyl Diaries, from Alcon/Warner Bros. and has also appeared in The Dictator, Moneyball and Just Go With It. Her TV credits include The Comedians, CSI: Miami, NCIS, Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 and The Mindy Project. Olivia is a founding member of the prolific online sketch comedy group, “5secondfilms.com” which has gained notoriety through their tireless efforts to post a new, original, sketch every single day.

Additionally, The Magicians announces the following recurring guest stars for season one:

· Rick Worthy as Dean Fogg, the formidable Dean of Brakebills — an exacting leader and a keeper of secrets, balancing a great sense of authority with dry wit. Worthy is best known for his roles in Battlestar Galactica as Simon and Supernatural as the Alpha Vampire. His other recurring roles include Aquarius, The Vampire Diaries, CSI, Heroes, Felicity and Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Voyager. His upcoming projects include a recurring role on The Man in the High Castle.

· Anne Dudek as Professor Sunderland, a smart, charmingly scatterbrained woman dedicated to teaching Brakebills students how to hone their magical skills. Dudek is best known for her series regular role on Covert Affairs, as well as recurring roles on House, Mad Men, Bones, Less Than Perfect, Those Who Kill and Big Love. Dudek’s film roles include Brad Silberling’s 10 Items or Less, Kurt Voelker’s Park and The Wayans Brothers’ White Chicks. She can be seen next in Jenji Kohan’s pilot, The Devil You Know.

· Jade Tailor as Kady, a tough, rebellious and sexy Brakebills student who attracts Penny’s attention in and out of the classroom. Jade previously worked with The Magicians’s John McNamara and Sera Gamble on their NBC series Aquarius. Jade also recurs on TNT’s Murder in the First. Other television credits include True Blood and Vegas. She has appeared in countless independent films including Wedding Day, Karma, Losing Control, Don’t Pass Me By, Cam2Cam as well as the upcoming Higher Power, Juke Box Hero, and Wild for the Night. She has also done numerous musical productions both in New York and LA.

· Esmé Bianco as Eliza, a paramedic who has a hand in initiating Quentin’s journey into real magic. Bianco is best known for her three season-long role of Ros in Game of Thrones. Her film credits include Burlesque Fairytales, Big I Am and Crowley. She will soon be seen in the movies Scorpion King 4, Living Among Us and Mind Puppets.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) will executive produce The Magicians. John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), writers of the pilot, will serve as executive producers. Mike Cahill (I Origins) directed the pilot. Universal Cable Productions will serve as the studio.

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy is an international sensation, published and widely praised in more than twenty countries. The epic conclusion to the series, The Magician’s Land, opened at #1 last summer on the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller’s list, and was widely acclaimed as one of the best books of the year.


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See the trailer for Syfy’s The Magicians

by on Jun.10, 2015, under Television

Based upon Lev Grossman’s best-selling books, The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity. Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star in this one hour drama.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) will executive produce. John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), writers of the pilot, will serve as executive producers. Mike Cahill (I Origins) directed the pilot. Universal Cable Productions will serve as the studio.
(continue reading…)


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Syfy gives series green light to The Magicians

by on May.04, 2015, under Television

NEW YORK – May 4, 2015 – Continuing its commitment to developing bold, high profile scripted dramas, Syfy today announced it has greenlit The Magicians to series.

Based upon Lev Grossman’s best-selling books, The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity. Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star in this one hour drama.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) will executive produce. John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), writers of the pilot, will serve as executive producers. Mike Cahill (I Origins) directed the pilot. Universal Cable Productions will serve as the studio.

The Magicians pilot beautifully delivers a world filled with wonder, fantasy and intrigue,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy. “We can’t wait to delve deeper into the lives of Quentin and his college friends, as they struggle with the enormity of their burgeoning powers – and unleash them upon the world.”

“Ever since ‘The Magicians’ was published I’ve wanted to see this story on screen,” said Lev Grossman. “The people, the school, the other worlds, the magic. I’m so thrilled that it’s finally happening, and I’m beyond thrilled that we found the right people to do it. Get ready; you’ve never seen anything like this.”

“Lev is a visionary world-creator. It’s an awesome responsibility to honor the novels’ core audience and also to translate that vision to the screen,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “We are lucky to have Sera Gamble, Michael London, John McNamara and Janice Williams as the team bringing this series to life.”

Lev Grossman’s “Magicians” trilogy is an international sensation, published and widely praised in more than twenty countries. The epic conclusion to the series, “The Magician’s Land,” opened at #1 last summer on the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller’s list, and was widely acclaimed as one of the best books of the year.

The twelve episode season will begin shooting in Vancouver in July.


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Aaron Jakubenko joins Shannara; Summer Bishil joins The Magicians

by on Dec.06, 2014, under Television

Australian actor Aaron Jakubenko (Neighbours, Spartacus: War of the Damned) will join the MTV straight-to-series fantasy series Shannara from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films. Jakubenko will play Ander Elessedil, an Elven prince with the reputation for being the wild party boy who has yet to find his way in the world.

The fantasy drama is based on the popular Shannara series of novels by Terry Brooks. MTV has committed to 10 episodes.

At Syfy, another regular cast member for pilot The Magicians was announced, with Summer Bishil (Towelhead, The Last Airbender) playing Margo Hanson, a brilliant young student at the Brakebill’s Academy.

The Magicians is an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book series from Universal Cable Productions, the pilot script was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural). The one-hour drama follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses a grave danger to humanity.


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