Syfy to Add Record Number of Programs for New Season

Posted by at 12:12 pm on March 28, 2011

Recently at the industry upfronts, Syfy President Dave Howe introduced the largest original programming slate in the channel’s 18-year history, highlighted by 14 new original series and events comprising more than 100 hours.The 2011 Syfy Upfront was presented at the Foxwoods Theatre, where the channel is hosted a live performance of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark for the advertising community. Syfy is the official media partner of the Broadway show.

In July, Syfy launches four scripted series in the same month — for the first time ever — when Alphas premieres along with returning powerhouses Warehouse 13 (Syfy’s most watched series ever), Eureka and Haven.

Hollywood Treasure to Return

The second season return of the reality show Hollywood Treasure kicks off Summer 2011 unscripted programming in June, paired with the premiere of Haunted Collector (working title), followed by the debuts of Legend Quest in July and Paranormal Witness in September.

The reality development slate includes projects from rock musician Tommy Lee, author Deepak Chopra and photographer Tyler Shields, along with a family that creates movie monsters and the world’s top stunt artists.

On the scripted side, Syfy is developing Battlestar: Blood and Chrome, set in the 10th year of the First Cylon War. As well as three single-camera, half hour comedies including the Lee Majors vehicle Me and Lee from the creator of Weeds, In the Dark featuring a team of wannabe paranormal investigators, and a new adaptation of Three Inches.

Keying the latest roster of popular Saturday Original Movies will be Red Faction: Origins, based on the highly successful video game franchise; 1970s TV icons Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce butt heads in Bigfoot; Shannen Doherty headlines a re-imagining of the classic fairy tale Gretl; Roswell, the story selected by fans through the Syfy and IGN.com B Movie Mogul contest; and in Jersey Shore Shark Attack, who knows who might be a victim?

This October, Syfy will become the first ever, official sponsor of the city’s Halloween celebrations, partnering with NYC & Company for 31 Days of HalloweeNYC. Then in December, Syfy celebrates the holiday season with its second annual Countdown to Christmas Week (highlighted by the movie event Neverland with Keira Knightley as the voice of Tinker Bell)

New Scripted Series

Alphas — Premiering in July — Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Leigh Rosen (Emmy Award-winner and Oscar nominee David Strathairn) investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing, to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.

Alphas also stars Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada, and is a production of Universal Cable Productions and BermanBraun Television. Executive Producers are Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein for BermanBraun, Zak Penn and Ira Steven Behr.

New Reality Series

Haunted Collector (working title) — Premiering in June — Ghosts and spirits inhabit more than just homes and buildings — they can also live in objects. John Zaffis and his family are renowned paranormal investigators, tracking down haunted items like paintings, guns, jewelry and dolls. Once identified, the items are collected and stored in their museum, helping John’s clients bring normalcy back to their lives. Produced by Gurney Productions. Executive producers: Scott Gurney and Dierdre Gurney.

Legend Quest — Premiering in July — This fast-paced action-adventure series follows Ashley Cowie, a real-life symbologist, as he travels the world in search of some of history’s greatest relics and artifacts, all of which are believed to hold hidden powers and mystical significance for ancient and modern cultures. Each episode will include Indiana Jones-type adventure and Da Vinci Code-style connections as the hidden truths and alternative theories of these mythical objects are explored. Legend Quest is executive produced by John Brenkus and Mickey Stern for BASE Productions, and is a co-production with Universal Networks International.

Paranormal Witness — Premiering in September — From Raw TV, the acclaimed creative team behind Locked Up Abroad and Gold Rush Alaska, this tense, filmic and high-octane drama-documentary series brings to life the stories of people who have lived through paranormal experiences that defy explanation. Using the mixture of intimate first-hand testimony and grittily realistic drama that Raw TV is known for, Paranormal Witness will transport the audience into a world turned upside down by extraordinary and terrifying events. Paranormal Witness is produced by Raw TV. Executive producers: Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton.

Scripted Development/Drama

Battlestar: Blood & Chrome — Luke Pasqualino (Skins-UK) and Ben Cotton (Hellcats) star in Battlestar: Blood & Chrome, which takes place in the 10th year of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, a sentient robotic race, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, a brash rookie viper pilot enters the fray. Ensign William Adama (Pasqualino), barely in his 20′s and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful ships in the Colonial fleet?the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade-long war in favor of the desperate fleet. Executive producers: David Eick and Michael Taylor. Written by Michael Taylor from a story by David Eick, Taylor and Bradley Thompson and David Weddle. A production of Universal Cable Productions.

Scripted Development/Single Camera Half Hours

Three Inches — In Three Inches, professional daydreamer and underachiever Walter Spackman is struck by lightning and develops a unique “super” power — the ability to move any object using just his mind… but only a distance of three inches. He’s soon immersed in a world of extraordinarily ordinary people like himself and learns that “super” is just a state of mind. The pilot is written by Harley Peyton (Twin Peaks), who also serves as executive producer. Fox Television Studios is producing with executive producer Robert Cooper, through his company Landscape Entertainment.

In the Dark — In the Dark follows a misfit group of third tier ghost hunters whose misguided efforts tend to highlight their incompetence rather than any paranormal activity. From Universal Cable Productions, In the Dark is executive produced by Dan Taberski through Idiot Box Productions, Michael Davidoff and Bill Rosenthal. Teleplay by Michael Davidoff & Bill Rosenthal.

Me and Lee — Me and Lee is about a down on his luck 20-something who goes in for back surgery, but the procedure doesn’t go well. Enter Lee Majors, who claims he has the perfect solution. He entices the young man into his ultra high-tech lab and makes him bionic. Majors becomes the unlikeliest of mentors helping the young man get his life back together. Jenji Kohan, the executive producer and creator of Weeds, serves as the executive producer of Me and Lee along with the writer Matthew Salzberg, Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl. Produced by Lionsgate.

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