No, no, no. Just no. I feel like it’s April Fools Day, or my childhood is being punked. According to Deadline, Blue Ribbon Content (the digital studio of Warner Bros Television Group) is producing a “revival” movie of the late 60’s Sid and Marty Krofft/Hanna-Barbera live-action/animated kids variety show The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, or at least more specifically focusing on the anthropomorphic animal hosts and musicians of the show, Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky, collectively known as “The Banana Splits”. The movie will get a direct-to-video release via Warner Bros Home Entertainment, followed by showings on Syfy.
But what disturbs me is that this isn’t a kids program – it’s a horror story.
Here is the synopsis: “In the upcoming horror thriller, a boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth, and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?”
I can’t understand why this would be called a revival. This isn’t a new series at all, but rather someone’s nightmare flashback turned into a script. Now as much of a fan I am of the old Krofft shows and would love to see them somehow represented again, I also admit I don’t think there is any way any of these shows would fly in today’s TV landscape. Translating these shows into other genres has been tried and failed miserably – remember Will Ferrell’s Land of the Lost? But I absolutely CANNOT get on board with this. I can’t image the damage this will do to me. How can we stop it?
Just before tomorrow’s Season 4 premiere, Syfy has insured there is enough magic in the world for a fifth season of The Magicians!
“The Magicians raised the bar at Syfy and has gained momentum season after season, attracting a new audience to the channel. We are proud of this series as it continues to break the boundaries of storytelling,” according to
Bill McGoldrick, President of Scripted Content for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.
The series, based on the novels by Lev Grossman, follow the students of Brakebills University as they learn to harness magic – and defend magic against those who would destroy it.
Executive producer Henry Alonso Myers (Ugly Betty) joins as a co-showrunner alongside John McNamara and Sera Gamble who have shepherded the series since the first season.
A couple of recent Syfy items – first, Season 2 of Happy! will debut Wednesday, March 27th. A trailer has been release which you can see below. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, it follows former cop and now hit-man Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) and and an imaginary blue unicorn only he can see (Patton Oswalt) as they hunt down child kidnappers.
In less, well, happy news, the anthology series Channel Zero was not renewed for a fifth season. The series devoted each short season to a different “creepypasta” – short horror stories told online. The final series, “The Dream Door”, aired this past October.
Executive Producer David Michael Latt, co-founder of The Asylum, took to Twitter to announce the bad news – Z Nation was not renewed for another season by Syfy and thus would be ending.
In the video, Latt thanks the fans and everyone involved in the show. Plus there was a new announcement – Black Summer would premiere next year as an origin story of sorts, and would appear exclusively on Netflix.
Let us say thank YOU to the cast and crew of Z Nation for five great seasons! It’s been a wonderfully enjoyable ride…mercy.
Syfy is getting into late-night original animation programming with Alien News Desk, a series that will cover up-to-the-minute news and commentary about the universe’s most baffling species – the inscrutable Humans of Planet Earth.
The 12-episode series will feature the voices of Will Forte and Saturday Night Live‘s Heidi Gardner, and is executive produced by the Saturday Night Live team of Lorne Michaels, Erik Kenward and Dennis McNicholas, Joel Kuwahara and Scott Greenberg from Bento Box Entertainment, and Andrew Singer from Broadway Video. Scott Gairdner (Moonbeam City) and Broadway Video’s Katy Jenson will co-executive produce. McNicholas will act as showrunner.
“The expansion into original animation and late night marks the next step in the evolution of SYFY, and builds on the successes we’ve had bringing new, younger viewers to the network,” said Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “Tackling news, politics and entertainment from the perspective of alien newscasters completely puzzled by our human ways, Alien News Desk is a fun, irreverent way to put a uniquely ‘SYFY’ spin on the late night current affairs genre.”
This reminds me of then-Sci-Fi Channel’s first ever original scripted program, FTL Newsfeed, a 30-60 second “micro short” series of news segments broadcast from 150 years in the future, and ran for four years and over a thousand episodes from 1992-1996, with the launch of the channel. To my knowledge, however, it has never been rebroadcast or released in any medium since then.
I apologize once again for the lack of updates, especially on such a busy weekend as San Diego Comic Con. As it turns out I was pretty busy on the weekend, some of it unexpected, and was not able to keep up with all the news coming out – and shocked at some of it. However I did do a lot of behind-the-scenes work to improve the response of the web site, and I hope it is noticeable.
So please forgive me while I try to get on track again. In the meantime, here is just some of the news that came out of Comic Con and since…
One of the big news items was that shortly before he was to appear at a panel for one of his other movies, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn was fired from the franchise by Disney over tweets he made nearly 10 years ago that were, frankly offensive. Gunn stated in a release afterwards that the tweets were made as “totally failed and unfortunate efforts to be provocative,” and has regretted them ever since. He accepted the decision and responsibility for his actions then, but also said he has changed in the years since. Many of his colleagues and actors have shown great support for him and expressed shock at his firing and asked Disney to reconsider, as have much of the fan base.
That might not be so far fetched, given today’s announcement that AMC has investigated the sexual assault claims against TV personality and The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra last month, and decided to reinstate him.” Hardwick has been suspended after Dykstra’s claims in an article, and the network had Yvette Nicole Brown take over his SDCC panels as well as host the Season 9 preview of The Walking Dead and act as interim The Talking Dead host. She will still handle the preview special.
Speaking of The Walking Dead, the shocking announcement was that star Andrew Lincoln, the central character of the show for its entire run, will be leaving the show to spend more time back home in the UK and taking time off. He added that “No one is bigger than the story,” and the show still has a lot of life in it.
In other casting news, Supergirl added transgender actress Nicole Maines as Nia Nal, a new CatCo reporter who also is superhero Dreamer. April Parker Jones also joins as a regular playing Colonel Haley, a hardline military commander, and David Ajala will recur as Manchester Black, a ruthless vigilante-type character. Previously announced regulars were Jesse Rath returning as Braniac-5 (a.k.a Brainy), and Sam Witwer joining as Agent Liberty. Over at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jeff Ward (Deke Shaw) was upped to a series regular.
Syfy announced that Wynonna Earp would be renewed for a fourth season, while Freeform renewed Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger for a second season. USA however canceled Colony after its third.
Here’s a bunch of the trailers released as part of San Diego Comic Con – certainly not a complete list, so if I’ve missed them it isn’t intentional, there were just so many…
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Stoking the fiery passion of fans all across the Wizarding World, SYFY and USA Network will transport viewers to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry like never before with a multi-platform exploration of all facets of the Wizarding World films.
Beginning with the simulcast of the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND from July 13-15, 2018, both networks become the new U.S. television homes of the entire Wizarding World franchise library in a previously announced deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution extending through April 2025. All eight Harry Potter movies – as well as the Fantastic Beasts films slated to begin in 2019, 2021 and 2023 – will air in HD with limited commercial interruption as the networks commemorate 20 years of Harry Potter fandom. The first six films will be extended director’s cut versions. Beyond the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND, SYFY and USA have also programmed monthly stunts including BACK TO HOGWARTS MARATHON, DARK ARTS MARATHON, WIZARDING WORLD WEEK and a special CHRISTMAS MARATHON.
SYFY and USA will be supporting the celebration as the biggest acquisition launch in both networks’ history with marketing, promotion, digital and social campaigns. In addition, special content and promotions with Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, both home to the incredibly themed lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, are now available where guests can enjoy fully immersive entertainment experiences based on the Harry Potter series. In all, the campaign will be bigger than the Quidditch World Cup itself!
“Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of The Wizarding World on television,” noted Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “With SYFY, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.”
“Both networks will have a unique but complementary Wizarding World look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year – on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE – that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands,” added Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, USA Network & SYFY. “And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.”
SYFY and USA will present a new viewing experience for fans of the films. The custom design packaged on-air and online will include IDs and bugs supported with hours of new footage delving deeper into the mythology of Harry Potter, trivia and fun facts to test even the most advanced wizard’s acumen, behind-the-scenes footage and fresh interviews with cast members and production crew dishing on their favorite moments, including:
· Eddie Redmayne (as Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts)
· James and Oliver Phelps (as Fred and George Weasley)
· Stanislav Ianevski (as Viktor Krum)
· Jany Temime, Costume Designer
· John Richardson, Special Events Supervisor
· Paul Harris, Wand Choreographer
· Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, Graphic Designers
Also included in the on-air campaign will be special footage, including an exclusive behind-the-scenes studio tour from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter – and fan testimonials from San Diego Comic-Con and and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, including A Celebration of Harry Potter. Keen observers will also spot some familiar fan faces from the SYFY and USA channels.
SYFY today announced a second season pickup of Krypton, the untold Superman story based on DC characters from Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Krypton, which has averaged 1.8 million viewers L3 per week to date, is SYFY’s most-watched debut season among total viewers for an original series since Ascension in 2014, and the most-watched season for any scripted series on the network since Defiance in 2015. With the can’t-miss Season 1 finale airing this Wednesday, May 23 at 10/9c, Krypton’s second season is expected to return in 2019.
Krypton is set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet. The series follows Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, as a young man who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed to restore the fate of his future grandson. In Season 1, with Krypton’s leadership in disarray and the House of El ostracized, Seg found himself in a difficult position: redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves, while being challenged by familiar DC characters Brainiac and Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange.
With this pickup, Krypton joins an upcoming SYFY lineup that includes returning originals
Based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Krypton is from Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) through his Phantom Four banner, alongside Cameron Welsh, who serves as showrunner.
Viewers can catch up on Krypton at SYFY On Demand, which includes SYFY.com and the SYFY App.
Catch the trailers here for the two upcoming new series on SYFY, Deadly Class and Nightflyers!