Pilot Order: Syfy Greenlights ‘The Magicians’ To Series

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Days after Syfy announced that it had pulled the plug on Helix, Syfy has green light a new book to series titled The Magicians. At least years Syfy press tour, the people in charge promised changes in their programming line up and the center piece was shows like 12 Monkeys, Helix, Killjoys and Defiance. The shift seems to be moving towards short, mini-series style stories and that is a good thing in my opinion. We wanted Syfy away from reality TV and we wanted more science fiction programming that takes us back to the glory days on Syfy (Battlestar and Stargate, etc).

Full length science fiction series are increasingly harder to make as audience get too picky or have short attention spans. So many great series never make it beyond their first year (Shiny?). Syfy has a great history with mini-series events like Tinman or Taken and the upcoming line up is exciting to say the least. I will be happy if Syfy continues to bring out large numbers of science fiction shows as 2015 is proving to be a very full line up. In the end, a few should stick and give us many years of flying through space, like a leaf on the wind (yea I’m still pissed about that).

(Press Release) NEW YORK – May 4, 2015 – Continuing its commitment to developing bold, high profile scripted dramas, Syfy today announced it has greenlit The Magicians to series.

Based upon Lev Grossman’s best-selling books, The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in 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.  Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star in this one hour drama.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) will executive produce. 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.

The Magicians pilot beautifully delivers a world filled with wonder, fantasy and intrigue,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy. “We can’t wait to delve deeper into the lives of Quentin and his college friends, as they struggle with the enormity of their burgeoning powers – and unleash them upon the world.”

“Ever since ‘The Magicians’ was published I’ve wanted to see this story on screen,” said Lev Grossman. “The people, the school, the other worlds, the magic. I’m so thrilled that it’s finally happening, and I’m beyond thrilled that we found the right people to do it. Get ready; you’ve never seen anything like this.”

“Lev is a visionary world-creator. It’s an awesome responsibility to honor the novels’ core audience and also to translate that vision to the screen,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.  “We are lucky to have Sera Gamble, Michael London, John McNamara and Janice Williams as the team bringing this series to life.”

Lev Grossman’s “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.

The twelve episode season will begin shooting in Vancouver in July.

The Magicians joins Syfy’s impressive roster of high-profile scripted and development projects, including the December 2015 10-part series The Expanse, starring Thomas Jane;  Arthur C. Clarke’s epic mini-series Childhood’s End, also set to premiere this December; Gale Anne Hurd’s 13-episode thriller Hunters; David Goyer’s Superman prequel, Krypton; and Incorporated, a pilot thriller from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Robert Prentice