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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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Syfy’s The Magicians gets leads in Jason Ralph & Sosie Bacon

by on Dec.03, 2014, under Television

Syfy has finally named the leads for its upcoming pilot The Magicians.

Jason Ralph will star as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant, withdrawn yet strangely compelling young man who feels like an outsider among his accomplished peers – including beautiful Julia, upon whom he has had a hopeless crush since childhood. Dangerously depressed and disaffected, Quentin has always been a huge fan of a series of books set in the magical land of Fillory – books that still hold immense fascination for him, even though they are intended for children. When he’s recruited as a new student at the mysterious Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, he realizes that magic is very real, and that he himself is a potentially gifted practitioner. Versatile actor Ralph began his collegiate studies at the acclaimed theater program at Colin College in Plano, Texas. He is known for his roles in the feature films Brightest Star, I’m Obsessed With You (But You’ve Got to Leave Me Alone) and Those People. He has also appeared on HBO’s Looking and Blue Bloods, and will have a key recurring arc on NBC’s new series Aquarius opposite David Duchovny.

Sosie Bacon will portray 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. Bacon recently wrapped production on the independent film The Lost Boy, in which she stars opposite Virginia Madsen, as well as supporting role in the film Wishin’ And Hopin’ based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed writer Wally Lamb. Bacon began her acting career at the age of 11 when she appeared in the film Loverboy directed by father Kevin Bacon. She also appeared in a major arc on season five of the hit TNT series The Closer, opposite her mother Kyra Sedgwick. Bacon’s additional on camera credits include the thriller Off Seasons directed by Robert Cole. In 2013, Bacon was selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as 2014 Miss Golden Globe.


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Key roles get actors in Syfy’s The Magicians pilot; Bridget Regan joins Agent Carter

by on Nov.06, 2014, under Television

A few casting additions were made today. First up, Syfy and Universal Cable Productions have cast Stella Maeve (Chicago PD), Hale Appleman (Teeth) and Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) in key roles for the upcoming pilot The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s beloved #1 New York Times best-selling book series, which begins production in New Orleans this December. Acclaimed independent film producer Mike Cahill (I Origins, Another Earth) is signed on to direct.

Stella Maeve will play the beautiful and confident Julia, a wealthy and brilliant Ivy-Leaguer who seems destined for success. But Julia’s future plans are forever altered after she is denied admittance to the mysterious Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Unaccustomed to failure, Julia finds life meaningless now that the possibilities of a previously unseen magical world have been denied to her. But she may get another chance to pursue a career in magic when she’s recruited by a secret society. Maeve can currently be seen in a recurring role on the NBC series Chicago PD. She most recently starred in the independent features Dark Summer opposite Keir Gilchrist, All Together Now, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and Independent Spirit Award-winner Starlet. Previously, Maeve co-starred with Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart in The Runaways. Maeve is repped by Paradigm Agency and Principato-Young Entertainment.

Hale Appleman will portray Eliot, a student at the Brakebills who is an odd combination of a preppy with intrinsic coolness. Effortlessly hip, with his air of self-possession, Eliot is accustomed to commanding any clique, and he’s a natural leader of his fellow magical students. He will prove a sometimes frustrating ally in Quentin’s fortunes — and may soon factor into a series of perilous adventures. Appleman played Tobey Cobb in the 2007 film Teeth. He made his film debut in Chad Lowe’s feature Beautiful Ohio, and portrayed cartoonist Judd Winick in Pedro, Nick Oceano’s 2008 film dramatizing the life of AIDS educator Pedro Zamora. He also recurred on NBC’s Smash. His theater credits include Alex Timbers’ The Last Goodbye, which was at the Old Globe in San Diego, and Streamers on Broadway. He is represented by Innovative Artists and D2 Management.

Arjun Gupta will portray Penny, a young man with an edgy look and attitude. He’s deliberately intimidating to Quentin, his new roommate and fellow magic student at Brakebills. A reluctant telepath, he is bedeviled by voices that hint at pathways to other worlds. Gupta played Sam in the first three seasons of Nurse Jackie opposite Edie Falco, and currently recurs on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder. Gupta is repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment.

Also announced is that Bridget Regan, who we loved in Legend of the Seeker and has also appeared in Beauty and the Beast, White Collar and most recently in Jane the Virgin, is joining Marvel’s Agent Carter in a recurring role as Dottie, a small town Iowan girl who will have a big impact on Agent Carter.


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Syfy greenlight’s pilot for series based on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians

by on Jul.10, 2014, under Television

At least one program from Syfy’s Spring development slate has made it to pilot…Syfy announced today that it has ordered a pilot for The Magicians, an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book series which has been published in 22 countries.

From Universal Cable Productions, the pilot script was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural). Michael London (Milk) and Janice Williams (All Good Girls) are set to produce.

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.

In making the announcement, Dave Howe, President, Syfy, said: “Lev Grossman’s dazzling blend of magic and realism will capture the imagination of a new generation of viewers and further strengthen Syfy’s ownership of premium quality sci-fi fantasy drama.”


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Lev Grossman’s The Magicians to become Fox series

by on Oct.06, 2011, under Television

Want another contemporary fantasy drama? We’ve yet to see ABC’s Once Upon A Time or NBC’s Grimm, but now Fox wants in. The network has reportedly purchased a script commitment with penalty (they have to pay a penalty if they don’t go to series) to adapt Lev Grossman’s 2009 fantasy novel The Magicians. Something akin to Harry Potter with older protagonists, the novel tells the stories of some young adults that discover that the fantasy books they read as kids were not fiction, and find themselves attending a school of magic.

The scribe team of co-writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor) will write the script, with Michael London (Milk), Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Real Steel) and Michael Adelstein (Desperate Housewives) producing. And a little tweety bird tells me that Wil Wheaton wants a role – well, it was a tweet from him: “And so begins my relentless campaign to secure a role in the TV version of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians…”


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