Syfy Renews VAN HELSING for a Second Season

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Today Syfy dished out a second season renewal for VAN HELSING. The hour-long drama premiered Friday, September 23 and will return for 13 all new episodes, with production expected to begin January 2017.

“It’s with great pleasure and extreme excitement that all of us involved with Van Helsing receive the news of a pick-up for a second season, especially this early in our initial run,” said Showrunner Neil LaBute. “We have a wonderful and terrifying road ahead planned for Vanessa, her allies and her enemies. I think this is a world and a story that can be sustained for many years and I am inspired to do so thanks to Syfy’s obvious trust and commitment in the storytellers, cast and crew. The team is very thankful and ready to go—ready to get back on the road to Denver and to spill a lot of blood along the way.”

After a catastrophic volcano eruption, the last remaining underground vampires rise up through a dark, ash-filled sky to overtake America. Vanessa Van Helsing (Kelly Overton, TRUE BLOOD), a descendant of the legendary line of vampire hunters, awakens from a three-year coma to discover that she’s not only immune to the bloodthirsty predators – but also has the ability to make them human again. With this “cure” threatening the vampire’s existence and a target on her back, can Vanessa save humanity? Van Helsing is a total re-imagination of the timeless Dracula brand and stars Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Christopher Heyerdahl, David Cubitt, Vincent Gale, Rukiya Bernard, Trezzo Mahoro, Aleks Paunovic, Laura Mennell, Tim Guinee and Paul Johansson.

Syfy and USA Network at Comic-Con: THE MAGICIANS, MR ROBOT, COLONY and More

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Syfy and USA have announced several panels between them which will take place at San Diego Comic-Con in a few weeks, including Q&As for THE MAGICIANS, COLONY, MR ROBOT, THE EXPANSE and more.

USA Network Screenings and Panels (Thursday, July 21)

1:45pm – 2:45pm: FALLING WATER – World Premiere Screening: Be the first to see USA Network’s highly anticipated new drama series, FALLING WATER, presented by creators Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead”) and Blake Masters (“Brotherhood”). Ever wondered what would happen if someone could control our dreams? This mind-bending new thriller, starring David Ajala, Will Yun Lee and Lizzie Brochere, explores this question through the lives of three unrelated people who slowly realize they are dreaming separate parts of a single common dream… a dream that just might hold the key to the fate of humanity. FALLING WATER hails from executive producers Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Entertainment, Blake Masters and the late Emmy Award-winner Henry Bromell (“Homeland”). Room: 6A

4:45pm – 5:45pm: COLONY – Panel with the Cast and Creators / Moderated by Retta: COLONY fans: whose side are you on — the Collaborators or the Resistance? Join executive producers Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal, along with series stars; Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Adrian Pasdar, Peter Jacobson and Tory Kittles, for an exclusive inside look at the brand new season. When USA Network’s critically acclaimed series COLONY returns for season two, mysterious intruders are still in control of a near-future Los Angeles. Will, played by Josh Holloway (“Lost”), has been cooperating with the Collaborators, but now that he knows his wife Katie’s (Sarah Wayne Callies, “The Walking Dead”) secret, have they jeopardized any hope of getting their son Charlie back? Room: 6BCF

6:00pm-7:00pm: MR. ROBOT – Panel Discussion with the Cast / Moderated by Chris Hardwick: Hello, friend. USA’s Golden Globe® award-winning series, MR. ROBOT, is making its Comic-Con debut. Go behind the scenes with stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Season 2 two newcomer Grace Gummer as they discuss the series’ exciting second season. MR. ROBOT follows Elliot, a cyber-security engineer who becomes involved in the underground hacker group fsociety, after being recruited by their mysterious leader. Season 2 explores the consequences of fsociety’s 5/9 hack on multi-national company Evil Corp… as well as the illusion of control. MR. ROBOT hails from writer and executive producer Sam Esmail (“Comet”), who will be directing all 12 episodes, as well as Anonymous Content executive producers Steve Golin (“True Detective”) and Chad Hamilton (“Breakup at a Wedding”). Room: 6BCF

Syfy Screenings and Panels (Saturday, July 23)

3:00pm – 4:00pm: THE EXPANSE – Panel Discussion with the Cast and Creators / Moderated by Adam Savage: Get a sneak peek of the new season of Syfy’s critically acclaimed series from the writers of “Children of Men” and “Iron Man,” based on the New York Times bestselling book series. Moderator Adam Savage (“MythBusters,” Tested.com), along with cast members Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dominique Tipper, Wes Chatham, Cas Anvar, Frankie Adams and executive producers Naren Shankar and Mark Fergus, preview the aftermath of season one’s explosive finale. Room: Indigo Ballroom

4:00pm – 5:00pm: THE MAGICIANS – Panel Discussion with the Cast and Creators / Moderated by Author Lev Grossman: The acclaimed breakout hit makes its San Diego Comic-Con debut! Join cast members Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Arjun Gupta, Hale Appleman, Summer Bishil, Jade Tailor and Rick Worthy, along with executive producers John McNamara and Sera Gamble, as they tease the anticipated second season of the Syfy series based on Lev Grossman’s bestselling fantasy trilogy. Room: Indigo Ballroom

– Exclusive Screening: Be the first to see the pilot of Syfy’s newest thriller! Set in a near-future when corporations have unlimited power, INCORPORATED follows a young executive who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a ruthless mega-corporation and save the woman he loves. INCORPORATED is from Matt Damon, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Todd’s Pearl Street Films, CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions. Room: Indigo Ballroom

KRYPTON: Syfy Greenlights Superman Prequel Pilot

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Syfy has green-lit a pilot for a Superman prequel story called KRYPTON. The series will be executive produced by David S. Goyer (MAN OF STEEL). Damian Kindler (SLEEPY HOLLOW) will serve as executive producer/showrunner; Colm McCarthy (PEAKY BLINDERS) is set to direct and co-executive produce the pilot. The pilot teleplay and story is written by David S. Goyer & Ian Goldberg (ONCE UPON A TIME).

KRYPTON is set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet and the series “will follow Superman’s grandfather — whose House of El was ostracized and shamed — as he fights to redeem his family’s honor and save his beloved world from chaos.”

“KRYPTON is one of the most iconic stories in the comic book universe,” said Bill McGoldrick, Executive Vice President, Scripted Content, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “In the talented hands of David S. Goyer and the DC Entertainment/Warner Horizon Television team, this exciting Syfy project will take viewers back to Superman’s home to show how the timeless legend began.”

Syfy Announces Cameos for SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS

The fourth SHARKNADO movie is coming and the movie series has become a bit of a cultural phenomenon, as is evidenced by the sheer number of cameo appearances for the upcoming film.

  • Cynthia Bailey (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Robert Herjavec (“Shark Tank”), Kym Johnson (“Dancing with the Stars”), Carrie Keagan (TV host), T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (“In Living Color”) and “Baywatch” stars Gena Lee Nolin and Alexandra Paul as Astro-X rocket scientists and astrophysicists
  • Benjy Bronk (“The Howard Stern Show”) as a morning show host
  • Duane Chapman (“Dog the Bounty Hunter”) as a chainsaw dealer
  • Stacey Dash (actress and pundit) as the Mayor of Chicago
  • Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) as manager of the Shark World hotel
  • David Faustino (“Married with Children”) as a Las Vegas gambler
  • Lori Greiner (“Shark Tank”) as a home shopping guru
  • Frank Mir (MMA fighter) as head of security for the Shark World hotel
  • Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Wayne Newton (aka Mr. Las Vegas) and Todd, Savannah and Grayson Chrisley (“Chrisley Knows Best”) as themselves
  • Dr. Drew Pinsky (“Loveline”) as a pastor
  • Patti Stanger (“Millionaire Matchmaker”) as a reporter
  • Corey Taylor (Slipknot) as a Shark World hotel security guard

Syfy has also released a new poster, which you can see below. SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS premieres on Sunday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.

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SHARKNADO 4 Coming to Syfy in July

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Syfy has proven that you can’t keep a good shark down. The fourth installment of it’s wildly (though inexplicably) popular SHARKNADO franchise — SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS — will be airing on Syfy on Sunday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The fourth installment of the SHARKNADO franchise will take place five years after the East Coast was ravaged in last summer’s SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO!. Fin (Ian Ziering), his family and the cosmos have been blissfully sharknado-free in the intervening years, but now sharks – and ‘nados! – are being whipped up in places (and ways) least expected.

Tara Reid is also set to return as April Wexler to reveal the outcome of the fan-voted #AprilLives or #AprilDies social campaign. David Hasselhoff (as Gil Shepard) and Ryan Newman (as Claudia Shepard) will also reprise their SHARKNADO 3 roles. New additions to the SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS cast include Gary Busey, Tommy Davidson, Imani Hakim, Cody Linley, Masiela Lusha and Cheryl Tiegs (with more to be announced).

Preview: Your First Look at 12 Monkeys Thrilling Second Season on Syfy

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On April 18th, 12 MONKEYS — Syfy’s critically acclaimed time-travel series returns for its much anticipated second season on Syfy.

In case you missed it, the first season saw James Cole (Aaron Stanford) chosen by fate to travel back in time to save humanity from the apocalyptic conspiracy of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys where he forged a bond with a brilliant immunologist from our time, Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull)–who becomes his strongest ally against the 12 Monkeys.

Season two finds Cole (Aaron Stanford) and Railly (Amanda Schull) confronted with circumstances that alter their perspectives, pitting them against each other morally despite their common goals.

Related: 12 Monkeys: Season 1 Recap

According to a handful of our Twitter friends who were lucky enough to have previewed the second season premiere, it rocks. Said @Bilal_mian, “Finished watching the #12Monkeys S2 screeners. I’m going to be shocked if another science-fiction show will be able to top it in 2016.”

According to us, with the April 18th premiere a few weeks away, you still have time to binge-watch season one on HULU.

Still not convinced? Here’s a preview of season two.

12 MONKEYS Season Two premieres on April 18th at 9PM on Syfy.

THE EXPANSE: New Series Gives New Hope for Syfy Channel

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I stopped taking the SCI-FI Channel seriously when they rebranded it as the Syfy Channel in 2009. The decision was cemented in my mind when they made the movie SHARKNADO and they added wrestling to their programming. All these decisions made me wonder if they were serious about an actual science fiction channel. However, Syfy recently put money up for two programs and that made me sit up and take another look.

The first was Arthur C. Clarke’s CHILDHOOD’S END, which aired in three parts in December 2015. The second was the even better 10-part space drama THE EXPANSE, which began in November 2015 and just ended last week. I was prepared for hamburger but was served up prime rib.

Unlike many of Sysfy’s made-for-TV movies and miniseries, these were high quality, well written and well produced dramas, featuring superb special effects and great acting, with no plot holes bigger than a pin prick. In particular, THE EXPANSE required intricate CGI and set design elements with high caliber space shots and other special effects akin to the quality to you find in high priced movie productions.

THE EXPANSE tells a story hundreds of years into the future when humans have colonized the solar system. They have reached the depths of our system transforming planets and moons, exploiting resources and workers, and bringing with them the stresses of living at the limits. With tensions rising between extensions of civilization, Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt are now on the brink of war. A young woman goes missing, tangling a detective, a politician, and the crew of a disguised spaceship in the greatest conspiracy in human history. This first season ended as the crew of the disguised ship and the detective discovered the missing young woman had been exposed to a “protomolocule” and they barely escaped with their lives. We also learned the protomolocule is part of a larger conspiracy, and controlling it involves the future of humankind in space.

THE EXPANSE has been renewed for a second season, scheduled to begin airing in January 2017 with 13 episodes. To me, that’s a hopeful sign that the network is finally taking science fiction serious again. If we can just get them to stop with the silliness of a SHARKNADO and the insanity of wrestling, it might speak better for the network.

Syfy aired some decent science fiction in its past. The reboot of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, for instance. TAKEN for another. And for those who are into monster fiction and horror movies, they have offered plenty of that. But it’s the reversion to cheap products with poorly plotted scripts and programming that has nothing to do with science fiction in any of its various genres that infuriates me as a science fiction fan. LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT? Really? ECW? WCG ULTIMATE GAMER? Come on! Since when was any of that even remotely connected with science fiction?

It is my hope that with programs like A CHILDHOOD’S END and THE EXPANSE that Syfy will begin taking science fiction to heart – to its heart – again. Even new programs like 12 MONKEYS, DARK MATTER, and THE MAGICIANS give me reason to revisit Syfy’s lineup more often.

Syfy Renews THE MAGICIANS for Season 2

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Syfy has officially announced the renewal of freshman fantasy series THE MAGICIANS, based on the Lev Grossman novels.

“Thanks to an extraordinarily gifted creative team of executive producers and our partners at Universal Cable Productions, THE MAGICIANS has become a buzzed-about hit, enchanting fans of the novels as well as attracting new and younger audiences to Syfy,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy & Chiller.

During its first three episodes, THE MAGICIANS averaged 1.7 million viewers, 853K Adults 18-49 and 910K Adults 25-54 (based on L3 data). The series is also strong among younger viewers, with Adults 18-34 growing consecutively over each episode, averaging 180% above Syfy’s prime time delivery in that demo.

THE MAGICIANS is currently airing its first season on Syfy on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Syfy Greenlights New Futuristic Thriller INCORPORATED

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Syfy has greenlit the new futuristic drama INCORPORATED from Matt Damon, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Todd’s Pearl Street Films, CBS Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions.

Set in a near future where corporations have unlimited power, “INCORPORATED centers around Ben Larson (Sean Teale, REIGN), a young executive who conceals his true identity to infiltrate a very dangerous corporate world to save the woman he loves. But he’ll soon learn that he’s not the only one whose secrets may have deadly consequences.”

In addition to Teale, the series will star Eddie Ramos (TEEN WOLF), Dennis Haysbert (24), and Julia Ormond (MAD MEN).

The 13-episode first season of the new drama series is expected to premiere on Syfy in Fall 2016.

THE MAGICIANS: Sera Gamble Talks Book Changes and Quentin & Julia’s Diverging Paths

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Sera Gamble and John McNamara are bringing the world of Brakebills University to life in the new Syfy series THE MAGICIANS. Based on the Lev Grossman book trilogy, THE MAGICIANS revolves around two friends who learn about the existence of magic as young adults. Only one of them gets in to the prestigious university (Quentin) and one of them doesn’t (Julia). This sets the pair on very different paths as each falls deeper into this strange and supernatural world.

During a conference call with journalists, executive producer Sera Gamble discussed the changes from the book series, going beyond just telling Quentin’s story, and a confrontation that is coming up between Quentin and Julia.

Aging Up and Other Book Changes. “I think the first most obvious difference that the fans will notice when they tune in is that we’ve aged the characters up a little bit. Quentin is 17 when you meet him in the book, and he is more like 22 in our television show. They are headed into graduate school. And we did that for a number of creative and practical reasons. But when we realized that this is a choice we might have to make, John McNamara, my writing partner and I, took it very seriously. We didn’t want to change anything from the books that we didn’t have to, so we sat down with Lev Grossman, the author, and hashed out what that change would mean and we all realized we really loved it. So, I think that’s been for the best. And I think throughout the season, we’ll be hitting a lot of the greatest hits of book one. We sometimes come at them a little bit differently. We say we have the same general roadmap but we sometimes take slightly different roads than Lev did in the books.”

Going Beyond Quentin’s Story. “One of the great things about making this as a TV show is we get to deep dive into more of the characters. I think when you read the books, you first and foremost are kind of inside the experience of Quentin Coldwater. But because we spend many, many hours in this world, we get to spend a lot of time in Julia’s point of view and a lot of time in Alice’s point of view.”

Quentin and Julia’s Divergent Paths. “You’re with Quentin and he’s very much our way into Brakebills and we’re deep into his story. But at the same time, we’re seeing a very parallel story unfold for Julia. She’s the one who didn’t get into Brakebills, she has to either give up magic or figure out some way to get it on her own and it turns out to be a much more dangerous and unreliable way of getting magic. It also, I think, really heightens the relationship between Quentin and Julia. [In the pilot it’s made clear] they’re life-long best friends and there’s a lot of layers to that friendship. And it became really clear as we were writing these two stories at the same time that she doesn’t just sort of fade away from his life in that, ‘oh, well. I’ve outgrown my friend,’ kind of way. There’s an active hurt and an active antagonism that grows from the way each of them handled the fact that one of them got into the school and one of them didn’t.”

Related: Meet the characters of THE MAGICIANS

A Confrontation is Coming. Gamble dropped one spoiler for us, saying that there’s a “confrontation coming between [Quentin and Julia]. I mean, after what you see in the pilot, it’s clear they have some issues to hash out. The confrontation – magic is the subject. The confrontation is totally human. There’s a scene that I really enjoy between the two of them in an early episode in the season that would not be out of place on a show with no magic. And there’s a ton of magic in that episode and they do a ton of magic in that episode. And magic is the reason that they’re having a conversation that they’re having ostensibly, but they’re having the talk that two former best friends need to have because both of them have tripped up and they have damaged the relationship. So, we really try to make sure that the character journeys on the show would make just as much sense if you tuned in a show in a world where magic weren’t real.”

Technology at Brakebills. An interesting tidbit that Gamble shared in terms of worldbuilding is that she was “reading about this kind of crystal grid that someone had set up to kind of minimize the bad stuff that comes off your computer and that turned into a mind meld with our production designer, (Rachel O’Toole) about what they would have to do at Brakebills in order to use conventional electronics. Because essentially, Brakebills University is a place where people have been doing spell upon spell upon spell for many generations. And so, the air is very thick with enchantments and a lot of your “so to say” muggle hardware malfunctions at Brakebills. They don’t use cellphones very much, and they don’t use computers very much because they’re just not reliable in that atmosphere. So, there are little rooms that the students have kind of jury-rigged in order to do things like play video games and use their cellphones and look things up on Google. And it’s one of my favorite sets, though it’s quite tiny. Alice and Quentin sneak into this little supply closet that students have jury-rigged with a bunch of crystals to be able to use computers in there. The visual, it’s really beautiful and it came from this random Google in the writer’s room.”

How Involved is Lev Grossman? “Lev is an active part of the making of the show. He reads the scripts before our bosses do and he sees the cuts before our bosses do. So, we’re very transparent with him about the process and we ask for his advice at times and he sends us really thoughtful interesting good notes.” Gamble also said that he “certainly hasn’t agreed with 100 percent of everything we ever pitched, so he’s always very gracious about it. My perception of it is that it doesn’t come from the feeling that we’re diverging from the books. He really does take the ideas of the show on their own merits and understands that we’re making a version of the story and that we’re making kind of an iteration and adaptation and that it will be the same in some ways and it will by necessity and also because it’s sort of an organic growing thing, it will be different in certain ways. He certainly doesn’t stress out about that to us.”

Don’t miss the two-hour premiere of THE MAGICIANS on January 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.