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The Wil Wheaton Project Won’t Be Returning To Syfy

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wil wheaton projectLove him or hate him, Wil Wheaton is a beacon of light for all things nerd-tastic in the world, with a massive fanbase that would follow him into a sarlacc pit and back. (And if you hate him, you’ve clearly got too much negativity in your blood.) Unfortunately, that fanbase was not enough to convince Syfy execs that another season of The Wil Wheaton Project was worth getting into. Yet Warehouse 13 somehow made it to five seasons. (Not that I’m knocking that series.)

Wheaton announced the news himself via his blog at WilWheaton.net, and he was just as unapologetically thoughtful and kind about everything as one would expect. Maybe a little snarky, but not much, and nowhere near as blatantly rude as I’d have been. Maybe there’s a reason I’m not the former host of anything at this point in my life.

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Homebrewed Zombies Get Love In Syfy’s Town Of The Living Dead Trailer

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Have you ever had a dream that you wanted to turn into reality, no matter what the cost or the amount of work involved? Welcome to the rural town of Jasper, Alabama, where citizens have been working for years trying to get a zombie movie made. Their efforts, headed up by director John M. Ware, are the subject of the upcoming documentary series Town of the Living Dead, which unveiled its first TV trailer last night during Face Off, in anticipation for its premiere on Syfy later this year.

This isn’t a trailer that promotes deep inspection, where secrets and clues are hidden around every corner. Town of the Living Dead is about a bunch of good ole boys and girls getting their gore on, only it’s taken a lot longer than anyone might have expected or hoped for. Ware and his merry band of horror lovers have been trying to get their independent flick Thr33 Days Dead made for six years now, with a production schedule that is guided primarily by people actually showing up to do things. Or not. And Syfy is there to document the fun-filled process, though I’m sure the smiles get turned upside down when problematic obstacles occur.

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Syfy’s Space Thriller The Expanse Casts Its Lead And An Oscar Nominee

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LeviathanWakesOf the laundry list of shows and projects that Syfy is currently developing, the one we’re most excited about has to be The Expanse. The prospect of an adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan series is a legitimately exciting one, and while the network’s track record is spotty to say the least, we can’t help but be optimistic about this one. Not only is the story and subject full of potential, but they’re also in the process of putting together a strong cast, including two more new additions.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Shohreh Aghdashloo (X-Men: The Last Stand) and Steven Strait (Magic City) have both signed on for the deep space mystery thriller. They join Thomas Jane (Punisher), who climbed on board early last month. The two newcomers may not be household names, but they bring a lot of clout and prestige. Aghdashloo won an Emmy and has been nominated for an Academy Award, and Strait has been working steadily over the last few years, increasing his profile and strengthening his resume.

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SyFy To Adapt Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End As A Miniseries

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Childhood's EndArthur C. Clarke resides in the pantheon of science fiction gods. That might seem like a melodramatic thing to say, but it’s absolutely true. The guy was utterly amazing. Not only did he give us 2001: A Space Odyssey(among a slew of other books), he dreamed up the GPS system and discovered ruins of an underwater temple—and that’s just for starters. While 2001 is his most famous work, my favorite has always been Childhood’s End, which I’ve both read and taught a number of times. So I’m both excited and nervous to hear that SyFy has picked up the book as a miniseries. I sure hope it’s better than Helix.

Childhood’s End was published in 1953, before humans went to space or even sent satellites beyond our atmosphere. The book opens with an arresting premise: Earth is suddenly visited by alien ships who take residence over the planet’s major metropolises. The mysterious aliens, Overlords, keep their agenda a secret, but they start influencing humanity, largely in positive ways. They eradicate cruelty to animals with a high-pitched scream in the ears of would-be abusers, and they generally introduce a utopian age without poverty and crime. But of course, they can’t be entirely benevolent, or else the story would be pretty dull. When the humans figure out what the Overlords are after, there’s not a whole lot they can do. Clarke sets up a David vs. Goliath theme, but twists it in unexpected ways. I have long discussions in class about the ending—not only does it support multiple interpretations, but it strikes some people as unbearably sad and others as gloriously uplifting.

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Steven Weber Will Start Up A Cult In Season 2 Of Syfy’s Helix

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steven weberWhile America is currently on the cusp of falling down on our knees and worshiping a new god named Ebola—or something a little less dramatic—Syfy is putting audiences in danger of catching the NARVIK virus, which has wholly different side effects. Helix showrunner Steven Maeda is putting all the gears in motion for season 2 of the twisty thriller, and he’s bringing TV veteran Steven Weber along for an antagonistic role. We can probably expect a mid-season reveal that he’s actually the father of at least half of the show’s characters.

If you’ll recall, Helix ended its first season with CDC scientist Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) searching for his ex-wife and fellow scientist Julia in Paris, where she was taken by Spencer “The Scythe” Sutton (Robert Naylor) and is now working for Ilaria Corporation. The NARVIK virus is on the move now, no longer tethered to the frigid Arctic Biosystems setting, and what’s the exact opposite of a quarantined set of labs in the middle of a frozen tundra? An island paradise, of course.

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Syfy & Wolfgang Petersen Bringing John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War To TV

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OldMansWarDamn it, Syfy, this is getting out of hand. How am I supposed to reach my daily quota of world-weary cynicism and snark if you keep pulling B.S. like this? It was bad enough that you started developing intriguing projects like Ascension and Letter 44, but then you had to go and announce you were making a series based on James S.A. Corey’s Expanse novels, some of the best science fiction I’ve read in ages. But that wasn’t enough for you, was it? Oh no, now you’ve doubled down and decided to adapt John Scalzi’s excellent, Hugo Award-nominated Old Man’s War series as well. Knock it the hell off already! (Please don’t actually knock it the hell off.)

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that The Neverending Story’s Wolfgang Petersen is developing the Old Man’s War series for Syfy along with producer Scott Stuber (Safe House). Petersen was already attached to a previous incarnation of the project, a Paramount feature film that Petersen would have directed, with a script by David Self (Road to Perdition). That project eventually stalled and so now Old Man’s War is making the leap to the small screen and a reinvigorated Syfy that lately seems bound and determined to live up to the potential it squandered during years of Ghost Hunters spinoffs. The show is being developed under the name Ghost Brigades, the title of the second book in Scalzi’s series.