Posts Tagged ‘Mark Stern’

The Syfy Channel Expands Its Reality Programming

May 29, 2010

MARKING a major expansion of its reality programming, the Syfy Channel has announced it is greenlighting three new reality series, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen, Paranormal Witness and Face Off. This broad-based slate builds upon the success of the channel’s unscripted programming such as the Ghost Hunters franchise and Destination Truth on Wednesday nights, along with Syfy’s new Thursday reality block, which premieres July 15th.

In making the announcement, Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Content for Syfy/Co-head, Original Content for Universal Cable Productions, said, “We couldn’t be more excited to see these shows move forward. Whether it is pushing the scientific boundaries of cooking, immersing us in first-person accounts of paranormal encounters, or exploring the creative artists behind special effects make-up, each of these series underscores the increasing breadth of Syfy’s diverse brand.”

Ghost Hunters, the #1 paranormal investigative series on television, and Destination Truth – whose recently completed third season established series viewing records – rank among the most popular basic cable programs during Wednesday prime.

On Thursday, July 15th, Syfy launches the new reality block of Mary Knows Best at 9:00 p.m. EST/PST followed by Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files at 10:00 p.m. EST/PST.

MARCEL’S QUANTUM KITCHEN – Utilizing the science of cooking, Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen stars one of America’s most notorious chefs, molecular gastronomist Marcel Vigneron (Top Chef). In each episode, Marcel and his new catering and event company will be hired by a demanding client to produce an extraordinary celebration or event. Based on the client’s requests Marcel will dream up a theme and cuisine for the event, which range from a fairytale graduation party and a Goth-rock fashion show to a birthday dinner held on a platform suspended in mid-air. He and his team of party planners and chefs will tap the depths of their imagination and culinary talents to create everything from the immersive decor to a delicious menu that emphasizes Marcel’s brand of avant-garde cooking. Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen is a production of Intuitive Entertainment, and executive produced by Kevin Dill and Mechelle Collins.

PARANORMAL WITNESS – From Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton, the acclaimed creative team behind Locked Up Abroad, this tense, cinematic, high-octane drama-documentary series brings to life the stories of people who have lived through paranormal experiences that defy explanation; from poltergeist to alien encounters. Using the mixture of intimate, firsthand testimony and gritty realistic drama that the producers are known for, Paranormal Witness will take the audience into a world turned upside-down by extraordinary and terrifying events. The series is a production of Raw TV, and executive produced by Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton.

FACE OFF – This is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination which allows them to create amazing works of living art. Not only will the show incorporate effects make-up, it will include a wide range of skill sets including prosthetics, 3-D design, animatronics, sculpting, eye enhancers, puppeteering, casting and molding. Each episode involves incredible reveals of the competitors’ finished work, and the drama of one contestant being sent home by the panel of expert and celebrity judges. It all culminates in one winner and one grand prize that will launch a career! Face Off is a production of Mission Control Media, and executive produced by Michael Agbabian and Dwight Smith.

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Lost’s Jack Bender Directs Syfy Channel Pilot Alphas

May 27, 2010

THE Syfy Channel has inked award-winning director/executive producer Jack Bender as director/executive producer for the action-adventure 90-minute pilot Alphas (working title) from writers Zak Penn (X Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk) and Michael Karnow, it has been announced by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy, and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, which is the studio for the project. Bender just wrapped six seasons as an executive producer and director on the critically acclaimed series Lost, and directed last Sunday’s much anticipated series finale. Alphas is executive produced by Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun from BermanBraun Television and is slated to commence production in Toronto this summer.

Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Using physical feats and uniquely advanced mental abilities, this unlikely team takes the law into their own hands and uncovers what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.

“We are very excited that Jack has chosen to be part of Alphas,” said Stern. “His vision and expertise are perfectly suited to this project, and will truly elevate it.”

Bender is a film director, actor, television producer and screenwriter who has also directed such popular shows as The Sopranos, Carnivale, Alias and Boston Public. He is also an accomplished painter, sculptor and mixed media artist.

Syfy’s Eureka And Warehouse 13 To Do Crossover Episodes

May 20, 2010

WAREHOUSE 13 and Eureka, the Syfy Channel’s top scripted series, are joining together for the first time ever for a pair of crossover episodes this summer, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development, Syfy, and Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions.

In the episodes, which are currently filming, Douglas Fargo (Neil Grayson) of Eureka’s Global Dynamics is sent to Warehouse 13 to help update its aging computer system. This triggers a seemingly sentient computer virus that sends the Warehouse into lockdown and traps the team inside The Warehouse 13 episode is entitled 13.1 and will air on Tuesday, August 3rd @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST.

The Eureka episode entitled Crossing Over, will air on Friday, August 6th @ 9:00 p.m. EST/PST. Warehouse 13‘s Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti) pays a visit to Eureka, hoping to see some amazing technological wonders. She gets more than she bargains for, though, when seemingly random objects begin appearing around town. Working with Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) and Fargo, Claudia has to help solve the mystery before the strange anomalies have deadly consequences…particularly for newcomer Dr. Grant (James Callis).

Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) will guest-star in the Warehouse 13 episode as former Warehouse agent Hugo Miller.

Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) Coming To Syfy

May 12, 2010

THE Syfy Channel has acquired the rights to the classic British detective series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) from ITV Studios, Inc. for development as a pilot for a one-hour scripted series to be produced by ITV Studios. Josh Bycel (Scrubs) and Jonathan Fener (American Dad) will write and executive produce. Howard Braunstein of Jaffe/Braunstein Entertainment (The Memory Keepers Daughter/Christmas in Canaan) will also executive produce.

Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is based on the popular British detective series from the late 1960’s in which Marty Hopkirk (Kenneth Cope) is murdered in the line of duty. He returns as a ghost, visible only to his former partner, Jeff Randall (Mike Pratt), and assists him in crime-fighting from beyond the grave. The series, which was syndicated in the U.S. under the title My Partner The Ghost, was later revived on British TV in 2000 for two seasons with actors/comedians Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in the title roles.

“Josh and Jonathan have found a great way to update the buddy-cop formula with a supernatural twist. We look forward to working with them, Howard and ITV to bring new life to this British classic,” said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for Syfy.

Julie Meldal-Johnsen, Senior Vice President, Business, Development and Business Affairs, Scripted/Digital, TV Studios, commented, “We’re delighted at the opportunity to develop this proven property for Syfy and are fortunate to have partnered with writers of the caliber of Josh and Jonathan.”

Syfy Greenlights Three Inches Pilot

March 24, 2010

THE Syfy Channel has ordered the 90-minute pilot Three Inches from writer Harley Payton (Twin Peaks) it has been announced by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Development for Syfy. The action-adventure/fantasy will be produced by Fox Television Studios and Executive Producer Bob Cooper, whose Landscape Entertainment is producing. J.J. Jamieson heads up television for Landscape Entertainment. Peyton also serves as executive producer.

In Three Inches, Walter, a professional daydreamer and underachiever is struck by lightning and develops a unique “super” power – the ability to move any object using just his mind…but only a distance of three inches. He’s soon recruited by a covert team of superheroes each gifted with their own extraordinary abilities. Together, the unlikely band of heroes proves that “super” is simply a state of mind.

“Three Inches is a smart , off-beat spin on the superhero genre. It introduces a new group of crime fighters who possess some imaginative – if not all that super – powers,” said Stern. “We look forward to working with Harley, Bob, and Fox Television Studios on this project.”

David Madden, executive vice president, Fox Television Studios, said, “We felt there was something special and particularly twisted about this script, both in tone and in its sense of imagination. we could not be more thrilled to be working on it with Syfy.”

Harley Peyton was producer and/or writer of more than 20 episodes of David Lynch’s groundbreaking television hit Twin Peaks, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for Drama Series (1990). He also wrote the screenplay for Less Than Zero, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. He is currently working on a follow-up to the feature film The Thomas Crown Affair.

Paranormal Investigators Series Comes To Syfy

March 19, 2010

THE Syfy Channel, the leader in paranormal reality programming, has greenlit a new hour-long series, Paranormal Investigators (working title), it was announced on March 16th by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy, and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions. Paranormal Investigators will separate fact from fiction by scouring the web and traveling the world in an attempt to uncover the truth behind some of the most compelling, unexplained supernatural and paranormal occurences caught on camera. The series is executive produced by John Brenkus and Mickey Stern for BASE Productions, and is a co-production with Sci Fi Channel Europe  LLC. The six episodes of Paranormal Investigators will commence production in spring 2010 and premieres on Syfy, Thursday, July 15th @ 10 p.m. EST/PST.

Paranormal Investigators is a strong and natural fit for our growing Syfy reality slate and will be in great company alongside our successful Ghost Hunters franchise,” said Stern. “Our new partnership with BASE Productions is an exciting way to continue to grow our development mission of imagination based entertainment.”

The six-person team, led by former FBI Spacial Agent Ben Hansen, consists of Larry Caughlan, Jael de Pardo, Chi-Lan Lieu, Bill Murphy and Austin Porter. In each episode, the team will first analyze and debate potential cases by reviewing intriguing and unusual scenes and images captured on video and posted online by “eyewitnesses” from all over the world. This wide-ranging phenomena can include ghosts, poltergeist activity, UFOs, alien and creature sightings and past lives.

After agreeing on which video warrants further investigation, the team will embark on a full investigation in order to try to explain the unexplainable and dispel hoaxes from fact. They will try to re-create images, carry out scientific experiments, and search for clues and evidence using the latest technology and investigative techniques in order to answer the question, “Is this real?”

Paranormal Investigators will take viewers inside the creepy and mysterious world of paranormal behavior,” said Brenkus. “In each episode, investigators armed with the latest in high-tech equipment set out to uncover the truth behind compelling images, to dispel or prove their accuracy.”

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).

Ghost Hunters 100th Episode – A Celebration In Pictures

March 7, 2010

AS previously reported on SciFiAndTvTalk, the original Ghost Hunters series celebrated its 100th episode on March 3rd with a two-hour live event in New York that aired in conjunction with an investigation at Alcatraz in San Francisco. Below are some photos from the New York broadcast. Enjoy! 

Pictured (L-R): David Howe, President, Syfy; Bonnie Hammer, President, NBC; Mark Stern, Executive VP, Syfy; Grant Wilson, Jason Hawes, Craig Piligian, Executive Producer, Ghost Hunters; Alan David, Executive Producer, Ghost Hunters. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - Jason Hawes, David Howe and Grant Wilson. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - From Ghost Hunters & Ghost Hunters Academy - Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - Ghost Hunters' Kris Williams, Amy Bruni and Britt Griffith. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Destination Truth's Josh Gates hosting the 100th Live Ghost Hunters event. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International's Barry FitzGerald and Dustin Pari. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - Our original Ghost Hunters - Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Ghost Hunters Live at Studio 8H in New York. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

Pictured (L-R) - Everyone up on stage! Steve Gonsalves, Dave Tango, Josh Gates, Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, Kris Williams. Amy Bruni, Britt Griffith, Barry FitzGerald and Dustin Pari. Photo by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel

As noted above, all photos by Heidi Gutman and copyright of the Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Stargate Universe And Sanctuary Renewed By Syfy

December 14, 2009

THE Syfy Channel has greenlit production on a second season of Stargate Universe (SGU)  and a third season of Sanctuary, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Programming, Syfy & Co-Head, Original Programming, Universal Cable Productions. Sanctuary, the network’s groundbreaking new hit series and SGU, the highest rated premiere of the Stargate franchise in four years, has ordered 20 new hours for each show. SGU and Sanctuary commence production in Vancouver, B.C. in winter 2010 with a new season premiere slated to debut on Syfy in the fall of 2010.

The Syfy Channel Finds Haven

November 30, 2009

THE Syfy Channel has ordered 13 episodes of the supernatural drama series Haven, based on the novella The Colorado Kid by renowned author Stephen King. Haven from E1 Entertainment will be the first property to be produced for Syfy pay channels around the globe (excluding Canada and Scandinavia). The announcement was made today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Content for Syfy and Co-Head, Original Content for Universel Cable productions, and E1 Entertainment’s John Morayniss, CEO of E1’s Television Group. Production is expected to being in early 2010 for an anticipated air in 2010. International distribution is being handled by E1 Entertainment.

Deep in the heart of Maine, Haven is a town where people with supernatural abilities have migrated for generations because it mutes their powers, allowing them to lead normal lives. At least, until recently. When hot-shot FBI Agent Audrey Parker is called to Haven to solve the murder of a local ex-con, she catches the killer, but uncovers a much deeper mystery about this town. Each week, as the townspeoples’ dormant powers begin to express themselves, Audrey will try to keep these supernatural forces at bay while unraveling the many mysteries of Haven – including one surrounding her own surprising past in this extraordinary place.

The impressive creative team behind Haven includes Scott Shepherd (Tru Calling, The Dead Zone) serving as showrunner and is joined by his partners, Executive Producers Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller (The Dead Zone, Wildfire, Greek) and E1 Entertainment’s John Morayniss (Hung, The Bridge) and Noreen Halpern (Hung, Copper). The pilot is written by Sam Ernst (Shrek the Third, The Dead Zone) and Jim Dunn (Shrek the Third, The Dead Zone), who will also serve as executive producers on the series. Adam Fratto will serve as co-executive producer.

Haven is the quintessential Stephen King town, full of complex, yet identifiable, characters and compelling supernatural situations. Sam and Jim wrote a great pilot and we can’t wait to see Scott, Lloyd and Shawn join them in bringing this town to life as a series. We also couldn’t be more excited to partner with our international Syfy channels and be in the business with E1, who will definitely deliver the high-quality production value we expect,” Mark Stern said in making the announcement.

“E1 has successfully orchestrated the first Syfy global partnership with Syfy in the U.S. and their international pay channels and we couldn’t be more pleased,” added John Morayniss. “What a combination; the Syfy brand, the pedigree of Stephen King and the global presence and reach of E1. With those ingredients, I predict a worldwide ratings hit for Haven. Syfy audiences and television viewers around the world will be enthralled with this exciting new series.”

Syfy President Dave Howe commented, “This is the first series to capitalize on the global power of the Syfy brand. This and more series like this in the future will be a potential game changer for Syfy’s business, enabling us to commission and produce more and more high production value original content that can live on Syfy’s growing network of channels around the globe.”

Roma Khanna, President Universal Networks International added, “Haven, based on the novella The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, is the first major content partnership driven by our global Syfy business and is the first step in our plan to invest in more top-quality content for Syfy Universal and our newly revitalized global channel portfolio. This world-class project illustrates our commitment to deliver more high-profile, first-run content, which provides compelling entertainment for our viewers around the world.”