Coming off Syfy's most watched First Quarter ever in total viewers, Adults 18-34 and key women demos, Syfy and Chiller President Dave Howe today ignited the imagination of the advertising community by unveiling the next phase of the channel's largest original programming slate in history. This will feature Syfy's most original primetime hours ever, a record 28 scripted and reality development projects and the 2013 premiere of the highly-anticipated Defiance, the visionary transmedia experience that will unite television and Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) gaming for the very first time.
Said Howe: "Syfy's Upfront celebrates the power of Igniters, our influential audience who has the highly coveted ability to move brands forward faster. This audience Imagines Greater and, as a result, we will be bringing them the most groundbreaking entertainment phenomenon in 2013. Nearly four years in the making, Defiance is the first ever, weekly scripted television and Massively Multiplayer Online game, converging to create a singular, interactive and epic story. Along with this unprecedented experience, we will be unveiling our most ambitious development slate ever of relevant and contemporary original programming."
The diverse Syfy reality slate features six new series: School Sprits, Paranormal Highway, Collection Intervention, Viral Video Showdown, Ghost Mine and, from the producers of the smash hit series Face Off, Hot Set. Unscripted development projects include a chilling "found footage" paranormal experiment; an extreme concierge company; Destination Truth's Josh Gates transforming awesome ideas into awesome reality and the unearthly challenges of selling haunted houses.
Among the scripted development projects are adaptations of popular works by best-selling novelists such as Stephen King (Eyes of the Dragon), John Christopher (The Lotus Caves) and Charlaine Harris (Grave Sight), as well as the hit movie The Adjustment Bureau and the DC Entertainment Comic Booster Gold. Syfy further announced shows about a Fifth Column of feuding aliens and a time-traveling elite military squad.
This record expansion, including eight scripted development projects from Universal Cable Productions, builds upon the channel's powerhouse lineup of hit series such as Warehouse 13, Being Human, Alphas, Face Off and Ghost Hunters. These programs have transformed Syfy into a top 10 cable entertainment network among Adults 25-54 for 16 consecutive years.
Said Mark Stern, President Original Content, Syfy, and Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions: "Over its 20 year history, Syfy has always pushed the boundaries of our genre and the entertainment experience. This new crop of innovative, thought-provoking, emotionally-charged programming will propel us even farther as we imagine all the greater possibilities ahead for the powerful Syfy brand."
For the gala, star-studded Upfront event at the American Museum of Natural History, Syfy created an opportunity for guests to live like an Igniter - highly imaginative people who move brands forward as showcased in the channel's groundbreaking study with Simmons/PSFK -- along with celebrity Igniters from the worlds of business innovation (Sir Richard Branson), music (Young the Giant, DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid) and the culinary arts (Marcus Samuelsson).
Syfy is also expanding its multi-platform growth. Syfy Ventures announced a partnership with Hasbro to develop the first online social game based on the iconic G.I. JOE franchise. G.I. Joe: Special Ops, published by Syfy Games, will debut in June on Facebook and Syfy Games.com, among other platforms worldwide.
Continuing its expansion of original video content, mobile reach to new platforms and commitment to cutting edge technology, Syfy Digital unveiled four new initiatives, from its first ever unscripted program, new apps for Windows Phone and Roku and the upcoming addition of sync-to-broadcast functionality to its successful Syfy app for iPads and Android tablets for season three of the hit series Face Off.
A global brand, Syfy is currently available in 75 countries, reaching nearly 150 million households.
NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Defiance - 2013 - Defiance is in collaboration with Trion Worlds, with the Syfy series and Trion's multi-platform shooter MMO poised to debut simultaneously. The series stars Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Fionnula Flanagan, Mia Kirshner and Oscar-nominee Graham Greene. Set in the near future, Defiance introduces a completely transformed planet Earth, inhabited by the survivors of a universal war. Forced to co-habitate, the disparate group struggles to build a new society among the devastation. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story. Defiance is directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest) and written/executive produced by Rockne O'Bannon (Farscape), Kevin Murphy (Desperate Housewives, Caprica, Hellcats) and Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica). Kevin Murphy serves as showrunner. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions.
NEW REALITY SERIES
School Spirits - Premieres June 2012 - School Spirits will tell true ghost stories of hauntings that have happened at schools across the country. The stories will be told in first person narratives through the testimonials of real students, teachers, parents and staff that have encountered the paranormal activity, blended with bone-chilling cinematic reenactments to further bring the haunting experiences to life. Executive producers: Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) and Seth Jarrett & Julie Insogna Jarrett (Celebrity Ghost Stories).
Paranormal Highway - Summer 2012 - Paranormal Highway puts the pedal to the metal as Jack Osbourne and Dana Workman investigate the most frightening claims of paranormal activity along America's remote back roads. Fueled by eyewitness interviews and evidence collected by state-of-the-art equipment, Jack and Dana will travel alone, self-documenting their harrowing road trip while coming face-to-face with paranormal legends. Production Company: BASE Productions. Executive producers: John Brenkus, Mickey Stern, Ron Ziskin.
Collection Intervention - Collection Intervention follows Elyse Luray, a sharp and to-the-point collectibles expert as she helps couples who are divided over what to do with an overwhelming collection of memorabilia. Whether it's a husband's collection of mint-condition G.I. JOE action figures worth thousands of dollars or a girlfriend's treasure trove of Star Wars movie posters, Elyse helps couples decide what's worth keeping and what they can sell. For each couple, their new cash windfall will make their dream come true, whether it's an engagement ring, a down payment for a home, or the honeymoon they never had. Production Company: High Noon Entertainment. Executive producers: Pam Healey, Elizabeth Grizzle Voorhees, Jim Berger.
Hot Set - From the producers of Syfy's hit series Face Off, Hot Set is an extreme design challenge pitting two Hollywood production designers each week in a head-to-head battle to design, build, decorate and ultimately create an original and signature movie set that transports the viewer into an immersive world. Production Company: Mission Control Media. Executive producers: Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith.
Viral Video Showdown - The greatest viral video creators on the planet go head-to-head each week in an epic battle for bragging rights and a cash prize. Two teams will have to dig deep into their bag of viral tricks to create a video that best captures that week's theme and impresses the expert panel of viral video judges. Production Company: 495 Productions. Executive producers: SallyAnn Salsano, Kevin Pereira.
Ghost Mine - In the remote woods of Oregon lays one of the richest gold mines in the United States. For the last 100 years, it has remained abandoned -- until now. Soon to be re-opened by a scraggly group of miners, these hardy souls will battle the elements to find their fortune. But with a rich history of paranormal activity surrounding the mine, they may just find something else. Production Company: 51 Minds. Executive producer: Mark Cronin.
Rewind - Rewind revolves around a team of military field operatives and civilian scientists who must use untested technology to travel back in time to alter events and change the future -- and avoid a devastating terrorist attack. Shane McRae stars as Sean Knox, ex-Special Forces who ranks as a field operative in a special division of the Department of Homeland Security. The pilot also stars Jennifer Ferrin, Academy Award nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Robbie Jones and Keon Mohajeri, and is currently in production in Toronto. Jack Bender (Lost, Alphas) is directing the pilot, written by Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), who will also executive produce with Tom Spezialy, Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. A production of BermanBraun and Universal Cable Productions.
The Adjustment Bureau - In this drama, based on the hit movie starring Matt Damon, guardian angel-type agents work to keep the world according to The Plan. They create everything from plane crashes to coffee spills in order to steer people to realize their true destiny. But there is one thing the operatives and their Chairman can't control -- free will. Writers: Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (Melrose Place, Smallville). Executive producers: George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, The Bourne Ultimatum), MRC, Slavkin and Swimmer. A production of Universal Cable Productions.
High Moon - Based on the novel, The Lotus Caves, by John Christopher, this imaginative, out-of-this-world series explores a world where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon's resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover its powerful secrets. Executive producer: Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies). Co-executive producer: Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies). Writers: Bryan Fuller and Jim Danger Gray. Executive producer: Granat Entertainment. A production of Universal Cable Productions.
Untitled Booster Gold Project - Based on the best-selling DC Entertainment Comic, this is the story of a washed-up athlete from the future who travels back to the present in hopes of becoming the greatest superhero of all time. But instead of chasing criminals, his main priority is chasing fame and money. Booster Gold discovers that being a hero takes more than just a megawatt smile. Writer: Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow, Warehouse 13). Executive producers: Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern, Arrow) and Andrew Kreisberg. Producers: Greg Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television. The Booster Gold comic book series is published by DC Entertainment, which will also act as an executive producer.
Grave Sight - From the best-selling author of True Blood, this Charlaine Harris book series follows Harper Connelly - a young woman with a unique gift. After being struck by lightning as a teenager, Harper can sense the location and last memories of dead people. She teams up with her protective stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, to help find a missing teenage girl -- only to uncover a network of lies and murders throughout a small town in the Ozarks. Writer: Kam Miller (Law and Order: SVU). A production of Universal Cable Productions.