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.