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

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

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.

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Z Nation Unveils The First Footage From Syfy’s Zombie Adventure

Perusing the upcoming slate of shows currently in development or production over at Syfy, there are definitely a few popular types of shows that the network hopes to capitalize on. Among others, there’s a clone drama (Clone), a time travel adventure (12 Monkeys), and, of course, zombies. Their upcoming entry into the undead sweepstakes, Z Nation is set to debut this September, and now we have our first good look at the series.

Aside from the bare bones of the story and set up, you don’t learn too much about Z Nation from this trailer. Action and post-zombie mayhem are the key features in this video, that and a zombie baby. You can bet their going to play that card in order to traumatize a character that can’t believe he has to shoot a baby in the head. People seem to have a big problem doing that.

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Syfy Orders Alien Invasion Drama Absolute Zero

SyfyHaving been writing about pop culture in one form or another for over a decade, it’s still completely surreal for me to find myself excited to write about Syfy’s original programming lineup again. For the longest time, Syfy seemed to have completely lost its way and embraced the lowest common denominator, a tragedy epitomized by the goofy name change from “The Sci-Fi Channel” to “Syfy.” But now, against all odds, Syfy seems to have found its mojo again, greenlighting one intriguing project after another…and much of it actual science fiction, by Crom! Now we can add another to the ticker, as Syfy is developing a new alien-invasion thriller series called Absolute Zero.

Deadline reports that Absolute Zero unfolds in the year 2124, set in a mining colony on one of the moons of Jupiter. Some of the miners uncover a frightening alien species, a discovery which puts the Earth right in the crosshairs of an alien invasion. It will be interesting to see where the show goes from there, assuming it goes to series. Would the larger show continue to be centered on the mining colony, or would the threat of impending invasion pull the action out to other locales? The premise is pretty basic at this point, so it’s hard to get a feel for what this show might be like in the long run. We’re cheerleaders for any new science fiction shows, however, especially ones that are actually set in outer space.

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Syfy’s 12 Monkeys Casts Brad Pitt’s Wingnut As A Woman And Adds A New Villain

12 MonkeysFrom the first moment we heard that Syfy was reworking Terry Gilliam’s wingnut time travel adventure 12 Monkeys into a continuing series, my first question has been, what about Jeffrey Goines? We’ve heard about the casting of most of the key roles, and even seen a trailer full of footage from the pilot episode, but there wasn’t even a peep about the character played by Brad Pitt. That is until now. But, like the rest of the show, there have been some significant changes made to the part, chief among them, the character is now a woman. They’ve also added a new villain into the mix.

According to a press release, Emily Hampshire (Cosmopolis) has been cast in the role, though there is no word on what her name might be. Part of my hopes they just keep it Jeffrey Goines, because why the hell not. In Gilliam’s 1995 original—which is itself based on the avant-garde French short La Jetee—Jeffrey is a rich lunatic that the time travelling James Cole, played by Bruce Willis in the film and Aaron Stanford (X-Men 2) in the series, meets in a present day mental institution.

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Nick Cannon + Science Fiction Improv + Syfy Network = Nectar Of The Demons

nick cannonSyfy, you old son of a bitch. Here I thought you were dedicated to revitalizing your brand and intent on bringing only mid-to-top quality material to future audiences. Now you go and climb into the metaphorical bed with Nick Cannon and that all came crashing down to—name a location!–Earth. Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment will work with the network to develope an as-yet-untitled sci-fi/fantasy improv series. Because if there’s anything hardcore geeks want to get excited about, it’s Whose Line is it Anyway, Zaphod?

Cannon and collaborator Michael Goldman will executive produce the series, which will be an hour-long weekly contest taped before a live studio audience. The premise involves a “home team” of 4-6 “national comedians” taking on a different amateur improv team each week. The challenges, naturally, will be different unscripted games, and we’re assuming that help from the studio audience will be needed. So, there’s time travel, dragons, space, fairies, and aliens. That’s about as hard as I think this show’s studio audience will put its collective brain to work.

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