Syfy and USA Network are hosting Harry Potter Wizarding Weekend July 13-15, both NBCUniversal networks celebrating being the new home of the eight-film franchise. All eight Harry Potter movies, as well as the Fantastic Beasts films slated to begin in 2019, 2021 and 2023, will air in HD on the networks with limited commercial interruption. The first six films will be extended director’s cut versions.
Beyond Wizarding Weekend, Syfy and USA have also monthly Potter stunts planned, including a Back to Hogwarts Marathon, Dark Arts Marathon and a Christmas marathon.
The Potter films represent the biggest acquisition launch in both networks’ history, say Syfy and USA. The films are based on the seven novels in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, with her final book split into two films. The Fantastic Beasts films are also based on Rowling books, serving as a prequel to the Potter saga.
“Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of The Wizarding World on television,” noted Chris McCumber, president, entertainment networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “With Syfy, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.”
NBCUniversal worked out the deal for the Potter films with Warner Bros. in 2016. The package was worth north of $200 million, said the NY Times. Disney’s Freeform previously had the rights to the Potter movies.
Syfy and USA promises a new viewing experience for fans of the films, including IDs and bugs supported with hours of new footage delving deeper into the mythology of Harry Potter.
“Both networks will have a unique but complementary Wizarding World look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year–on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE–that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands,” added Alexandra Shapiro, executive VP, marketing and digital, USA and Syfy. “And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.”