Posts Tagged ‘Allison Blake’

The Syfy Channel Sizzles During Summer 2010

April 15, 2010

THE Syfy Channel goes boldly where it has never gone before in Summer 2010 with its first ever Thursday night reality bloc (Mary Knows Best and Paranormal Investigators); new scripted series (Haven) based on a Stephen King novella; popular returning series (Warehouse 13, Eureka, Ghost Hunters Academy and Ghost Hunters International), and fan favorite Saturday Night Original Movies including Lake Placid 3 and Stonehenge Apocalypse.

The traditional holiday movie marathon runs from Friday, May 28th through Monday, May 31st, including “cold as ice” films (Yeti), horror flicks (premiere of Wrong Turn on Saturday, May 29th @ 9:oo p.m.), “creatures in the water” films (Lake Placid 2) and a festival of Stephen King adaptations (The Stand) on Memorial Day, May 31st.

The new Thursday night reality bloc premieres Thursday, July 15th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with Mary Knows Best (working title), a docu-soap reality series following Mary Occhino, a successful radio host, psychic intuitive and mother of three, who gives a whole new meaning to the term “mother is always right.” Her children, Jackie, Chris and Carl, are a mismatched group f siblings consisting of a skeptic, a paranormal investigator and a reluctant psychic. In each episode, viewers will meet a humorous and unforgettable cast of family characters including Mary’s outspoken older brother Charles and two adorable grandchildren. The series is produced by Atlas Media Corp.

Following @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST is Paranormal Investigators, which debunks fact from fiction by uncovering the truth behind supernatural and unexplained occurrences which have been caught on tape. In each episode, the six-person team, led by former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, searches for the most intriguing and unusual images, videos and unnatural phenomenon found online and around the world. Selecting the most intriguing images, the team heads into the field attempting to re-create the video, carrying out key experiments and searching for clues and evidence. The team uses all the latest tools CGI (computer-generated imaging) and investigative techniques at its disposal to try to answer the question, “Is it real?” Produced by Base Productions.

The new drama series Haven premieres Friday, July 9th @ 10:00 p.m. EST/PST. Based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King, it follows FBI Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine to solve the murder of a local ex-con. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people with a remarkable range of supernatural abilities. Among the townspeople are local cop Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant), who eventually becomes Audrey’s partner, and the mysterious and charming Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour).

Cable’s top paranormal franchise, Ghost Hunters Academy returns with brand-new episodes on Wednesday, June 2nd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Expert instructors Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango will once again train a group of recruits to become the newest team member, but this time, one hopeful will be voted off each week by one of the ultimate judges of paranormal investigating: Ghost Hunters‘ Jason Hawes! Jason, Steve and Tango will put the new recruits through the paces with challenging investigations at six of the most daunting and memorable past Ghost Hunters locations: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Waverly Hills, KY), Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (Weston, WV), Mark Twain House (Hartford, CT), Fort Delaware (Delaware City, DE), Mansfield Reformatory – a.k.a. “Shawshank Prison” (Mansfield, OH) and the infamous Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO).

Season two of Warehouse 13 debuts on Tuesday, July 6th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST. The series follows two Secret Service agents who find themselves abruptly transferred to a massive, top-secret storage facility in windswept South Dakota which houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic, fantastical object and supernatural souvenir ever collected by the U.S. government. The Warehouse’s caretaker Artie (Saul Rubinek) charges Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) with chasing down reports of supernatural and paranormal activity in search of new objects to cache at the Warehouse, as well as helping him to control the Warehouse itself. Warehouse 13 also features Allison Scagliotti, along with series guest-star CCH Pounder.

Eureka kicks off its fourth season on Friday, July 9th @ 9:oo p.m. EST/PST with the introduction of new series regular James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) as Dr. Grant, a former resident of the town whose unexpected return is cause for serious alarm and, considering his romantic interest in Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), significant friction with Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). New and returning fans won’t want to miss the big changes in store for everyone in the small town of Eureka after a cataclysmic shift turns their lives upside-down. Eureka also stars Joe Morton (Henry Deacon), Erica Cerra (Jo Lupo), Neil Grayston (Douglas Fargo) and Niall Matter (Zane Donovan).

On July 14th, new episodes of Ghost Hunters International premiere @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Like their U.S. counterparts, TAPS (The Atlantis Paranormal Society), GHI is a squad made up of everyday ordinary citizens who investigate and attempt to debunk claims of otherworldly activity. In the premiere episode, the team travels to the famous town of Nottingham, England and search for the Sheriff of Nottingham’s Ghost at the Galleries of Justice. Other countries on their global adventures will include Wales, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia and many more. The team includes Robb Demarest, Barry FitzGerald, Brandy Green, Ashley Goodwin, Paul Bradford, new cast member Scott Tepperman as well as Ghost Hunters Academy winners Susan Slaughter and Karl Pfeiffer.

Saturday Night Original Movies

Lake Placid 3 premieres in June 2010. In this sequel to Lake Placid 2 (most watched Syfy Saturday Original Movie ever), a game warden, his wife and their young son move into their aunt’s cabin on Lake Placid, where the lonely boy starts feeding baby crocodiles he considers to be pets. Three years later, the crocs start looking at him and his family as food. Stars Colin Ferguson (Eureka).

Stonehenge Apocalypse premieres in June 2010. When the giant stones of Stonehenge begin to move and cataclysms occur all over the Earth, only a fringe radio talk show host who’s an expect in UFOology figures out that the ancient monument is really alien technology. Stars Hill Harper (CSI NY).

Jack Hunter And The Lost Treasure of Ugarit premieres in July 2010. Jack Hunter, an adventurous fortune hunter, goes to Syria to find an ancient treasure buried thousands of years ago, which might be cured. Stars Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13).

Goblin premieres in July 2010. A family vacations in a mountain town haunted by a goblin that steals babies. When their newborn disappears, it’s up to his older half-sister to rescue him.

Mandrake premieres in August 2010. A group of adventurers searching for a Spanish conquistador artifact find that the jungle around them is a single living being – and it’s not happy they’re there.

Advertisements

James Callis Joins Syfy’s Eureka

March 16, 2010

PRODUCTION begins this week in Vancouver on season four of Eureka, one of the Syfy Channel’s most popular original series, it was announced by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development at Syfy, and Co-Head, Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. The dramedy’s new season welcomes an all-new regular cast member, James Callis (Battlestar Galactica) as Dr. Grant. Syfy has ordered 20 episodes of Eureka, which will once again be shot entirely on-location in and around Vancouver, Canada, and is slated to premiere on Friday, July 9th of this year.

Throughout the four-season run of Syfy’s award-winning Battlestar Galactica, James Callis starred as Dr. Gaius Baltar, garnering both critical acclaim and fan adoration for his portrayal of the self-serving, opportunistic, conniving genius. On Eureka, Callis will play scientist Dr. Grant, a former resident of the town whose unexpected return is cause for serious alarm and – considering his romantic interest in Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) – significant friction with Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson). New and returning fans won’t want to miss the big changes in store for everyone in the small town of Eureka after a cataclysmic shift turns their lives upside-down.

Once again this season, series stars Colin Ferguson and Joe Morton (Henry Deacon) will direct episodes, and making her directorial debut as well is female lead Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Also, special guest-stars returning this season include Jaime Ray Newman (Dr. Tess Fontana) and Matt Frewer (Taggart).

Eureka’s Jaime Ray Newman – New Girl In Town

September 13, 2009
Dr. Tess Fontana (Jaime Ray Newman) and Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) have an unconventional introduction to one another in the Eureka episode "Insane In The P-Brane." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Dr. Tess Fontana (Jaime Ray Newman) and Sheriff Jack Carter (Colin Ferguson) have an unconventional introduction to one another in the Eureka episode "Insane in the P-Brane." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Over the past several decades, the brilliant minds working at Eureka‘s Global Dynamics have been responsible for countless scientific breakthroughs intended to benefit humankind. Unfortunately, there are certain discoveries and inventions either far too dangerous or not yet perfected and must therefore be kept under tight lock and key. Such things are confined to Section 5, the most highly-secured of areas at GD. After an incident involving “the Artifact,” the section was closed down, but this (third) season, it was reopened to deal with a new threat. GD’s managing director, Dr. Allison Blake, called in an old friend, Dr. Tess Fontana, to get Section 5 up and running again. Although she has only been in town a short time, Tess has already made quite an impression on the locals, especially Sheriff Jack Carter.

“Tess is very passionate, spirited, quirky and brilliant; of course everyone in Eureka is brilliant, Jack Carter [Colin Ferguson] being in his own way the most brilliant,” says actress Jaime Ray Newman, who plays Tess on Eureka. “She is also a very focused gal who marches to her own drumbeat. My character comes to town to work on some extraterrestrial findings that have been unearthed. Tess ends up sticking around a lot longer than she ever imagined, and along the way a romance kindles between her and Jack.

“I hadn’t really done much Sci-Fi before this, so it was a matter of getting used to helping tell a story where the town and Earth are constantly in peril and about to explode. With something like that, it’s important to keep that momentum up and keep things feeling like, ‘Oh, this time it really is going to happen.’ It’s one big adventure after another, and playing that every week is a challenge, but it’s a blast as well. It’s not hard to show Tess’ enthusiasm about the science because it mirrors my own excitement about acting and working in the arts. So it’s an easy transference for me.”

Jack and Tess have to figure out a way out of the Fifth Dimension in "Insane In The P-Brane." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Jack and Tess must figure out a way out of the Fifth Dimension in "Insane in the P-Brane." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Newman’s character is introduced in the season three Eureka episode Insane in the P-Brane. Tess barely has time to settle into her new office at GD when a scientist who has been studying paranormal activity appears to go mad. Are his condition and the ghostly happenings around town somehow connected to the reopening of Section 5? As Tess and Carter get close to finding out the answer to that, they end up in another dimension.

“The toughest part of my first episode was the language,” recalls Newman. “Because of the story, I was bogged down with a lot of technobabble, so the trick was getting those words out and somehow managing to act at the same time. So that was definitely a challenge, but from the get-go, Colin and the rest of the cast as well as the crew have been amazing. These are the nicest people I have ever worked with. Everyone has been very supportive and patient, and I honestly love the character they [the producers/writers] have created for me. Tess is funny and speaks the truth, which sometimes gets her in trouble,” chuckles the actress.

“I’ll never forget our last day of work on this episode. It was all done on-location with a second unit [film] crew and Matt Hastings [consulting producer] worked with us. We filmed the very first scene where Jack and Tess meet on the side of the road and she’s somewhat irreverent towards him. Then we also did the last scene where the two of them are lying on the ground looking up at the sky. It had rained every day of the shoot except this particular one. It was a gorgeous fall day and the leaves on the trees were beautiful. It’s hard to explain, but the scenes were the types of exchanges where my character and Colin’s just got to be two people who are finding each other.”

Jack and Tess in the Eureka episode "Ship Happens." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Jack and Tess in the Eureka episode "Ship Happens." Photo by Marcel Williams and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Although Tess is developing relationships with all the characters on the show, her main ones are with Allison Blake (Salli Richardson-Whitfield) and Jack Carter. “Allison and Tess have been friends for years,” says Newman. “The two of them went to graduate school together, so they share a long history and a real kinship. Tess considers Allison to be a great pillar of strength at GD and she has a lot of respect for her. On top of that, Allison is going to be raising two kids on her own. She’s a pretty amazing woman, and Salli plays her so beautifully. Salli is such a leader and really sets a precedent on-set. Everyone does, though. Colin, Salli, Joe Morton [Henry Deacon], they all come to work and do a bang-up job and are respected by the crew.

“As for Tess and Jack, they start out at odds with one another. She’s this pistol who kind of walks in, takes her territory and Jack is like, ‘Hey, who the heck do you think you are?’ Ultimately, they go through all these crazy things together, like getting stuck in the Fifth Dimension, which creates a bond between them and they find out they have a lot in common and really like each other. One of my favorite episodes is You Don’t Know Jack, where Allison has her baby. Along the way, we all lose our memories and Jack has to help Tess piece together how she knows him. Colin and I really got to do some acting there. It wasn’t just about the planet being in danger or some nano-technological technobabble, but rather two people connecting, and that to me is always the most fun. I know the writers like writing scenes like that, but there’s not alot of time for that sort of stuff. So when we get it, I don’t waste a second of it.”

Having appeared onstage in her first Equity professional play when she was just 12 years old, Newman went on to study acting and English literature at Boston University’s School for the Arts theatre conservatory for two years before transferring to Northwestern University in Chicago. After graduating, she spent a year-and-a-half working on the ABC daytime drama General Hospital.

Tess is helped through a life-and-death situation by an old friend, Dr. Bruce Manius (Billy Campbell), in "Shower the People." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

Tess is helped through a life-and-death situation by an old friend, Dr. Bruce Manius (Billy Campbell), in "Shower the People." Photo copyright of The Syfy Channel

“Talk about a great training ground,” notes the actress. “I come from a theater background, and onstage there’s a real freedom. You can do whatever you want, within the confines of the character you’ve created, of course. Every night can be different and you don’t have to be worried about hitting your mark, being lit in a certain way, etc.

“It’s not that theater isn’t a technical craft like films, but in my mind it’s a much less self-conscious craft. When you’re in front of a camera it’s not easy to ignore that big thing in front of your face that captures your every blink. So I still feel like I’m working on having that same freedom in front of a camera. I look at someone like Colin Ferguson, and you never feel like he’s acting because he is so easy with it. So Colin has been a good role model for me to watch, especially with comedy. There’s almost a musicality to the way he performs.”

A Line in the Sand, Catch Me If You Can and the forthcoming The Gauntlet are among Newman’s feature film credits. On the small screen, she has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and guest-starred on such popular series as Supernatural, Bones, Medium, Nip/Tuck and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The actress was also seen in the recurring role of Mindy O’Dell on Veronica Mars, while her first Sci-Fi experience was on Stargate Atlantis as Lt. Laura Cadman in the episode Duet.

Jaime Ray Newman at Comic-Con 2009. Photo by Evans Vestal Ward and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Jaime Ray Newman at Comic-Con 2009. Photo by Evans Vestal Ward and copyright of The Syfy Channel

Veronica Mars was awesome,” enthuses Newman. “I’m a huge fan of Rob Thomas [series creator/executive producer] and I loved working with Ed Begley Jr., who played my husband [Cyrus]. My character is a murder suspect kind of straight out of the gate, and early on I made the decision to play her in a very film noir, femme fatale, Veronica Lake-type of way. That was really different for me and I loved the challenge.

“With Stargate Atlantis, all I can say is that David Hewlett [Dr. Rodney McKay] was such a rock star. The first episode I did was sort of an homage to the movie All of Me with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. My character’s consciousness was trapped inside Dr. McKay’s body and David was so good at all the physical stuff that the storyline called for. You could just tell when we were shooting that it was going to be a classic episode, and it really was.”

It was back in college that the actress also discovered her love of music. While living in Chicago, she performed with her own jazz quartet along with the popular funk band Sweet, Sweet Candy. Nowadays when not acting, Newman spends part of her time performing with her cover band School Boy Crush. This fall, the actress will be playing Kat Rougemont opposite Rebecca Romijn, Lindsay Price and Paul Gross in the new ABC series Eastwick. As with all her jobs, this one is sure to be yet another learning experience.

“As an actress. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet people who are inspiring and aren’t afraid to creatively stretch themselves,” says Newman. “Again, it’s about being around someone like Colin Ferguson, who is that good all day long. A while back I did a play [Turnaround] with David Schwimmer, and watching him do eight shows a week was just amazing. I recently did a play that [writer/producer/director] Neil LaBute directed, which was incredible, too. So for me, the best part about this job is watching others who are really free within their craft and sharing in that creative energy.”

Steve Eramo

As noted above, photos by Marcel Williams or Evans Vestal Ward and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!