One year after announcing its intention to rebrand from Sci Fi
Channel to Syfy, the NBC Universal-owned cable channel plans to tout its success
to advertisers and media buyers at its upfront presentation March 16 at the Museum of Modern Art
in New York.
The network is also pitching a new advertising metric, which
it calls "The Syfy Effect." It is essentially a new sales-marketing initiative that aggregates results from other metrics,
including brand recall and program engagement, and pairs it with interactive testimonials from advertisers and viewers.
"In the past year, we've seen the positive impact and successful
results of the Syfy Effect," says Syfy President Dave Howe, according to a
prepared remarks. "Our commitment to producing more and more high quality original
programming that inspires the imagination of our consumers is providing advertisers
with highly creative and innovative environments for their products. And that's
why more and more business partners are turning to us to help solve their marketing
challenges. It's a true reflection of the power and promise of what happens when
we "Imagine Greater" together."
One of the primary drivers of the rebrand to Syfy was to boost
its international presence. To that effect, the network will be available in 50
countries by the end of 2010.
On the programming side, the network is planning to launch a
Thursday night reality programming block, debuting July 15, and anchored by new
series Mary Knows Best, which explores the daily life of self proclaimed "psychic" and Sirius Radio host Mary Occhino and Paranormal Investigators, which follows a team of investigators examining unexplained phenomena (both working
It is also retooling the previously announced Ghost Hunters
Academy, turning it into a competition series to find a new addition to the
Ghost Hunters investigation team.
The network also renewed unscripted hit Destination Truth and hidden camera series Scare Tactics for fourth seasons.
On the scripted side, Syfy ordered a 90 minute pilot of action
adventure/fantasy Three Inches. That show is a wry take on the superhero
genre, with the star discovering he can move any object with his mind, but only
The other scripted shows slated to debut this year are Being
Human, based on the British series, and Haven, based on Stephen King's
The Colorado Kid.
Syfy had its best year ever ratings-wise in 2009, boosted by
the rebrand, which was the subject of some gentle ribbing at the 2009 upfront. In
its presentation, the network plans to unveil some additional numbers touting its
upscale delivery growth, particularly with adults in the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos.
Among P18-49, Syfy was up 17% for those making over $75,000 and
$100,000. With P25-54 earning those amounts, the network was up 11% and 14% respectively.
The network also pulled back the curtain on a number of reality shows
in development, including a cooking series starring a former Top Chef contestant.
The series are:
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 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new subway line. 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 décor to a delicious menu that
emphasizes Marcel's unique brand of avant-garde cooking.
Marcel's Quantum Kitchen is a production of Intuitive
Entertainment. Executive Producers: Kevin Dill and Mechelle Collins.
Force of Nature
Force of Nature follows the life of Ariel Towne, an average guy who
just happens to be a Feng Shui master, as he interweaves contemporary,
practical solutions with ancient mystical philosophies to help his wide range
of clients achieve their goals. The show will tap into Ariel's unique
ability to translate a misunderstood, controversial discipline into an
accessible tool relevant to virtually any client, situation, or space from
personal homes to restaurants, stores, and even sports arenas. With Ariel
as the guide, viewers will peer in on clients who are grappling with
compelling, relatable problems - and desperately in need of Ariel's
help, and will be inspired by the amazing transformations that Ariel
Force of Nature is a production of Evolution Media. Executive Produced
by Douglas Ross, Greg Stewart and Kathleen French and Co-Executive Produced by Alex Baskin.
The Latimer Project
Jason Latimer, three time World Champion of Magic and owner of Latimer
Corp, an illusion design firm, is the creative genius behind the greatest
imagined. Together with his master builders, thinkers and illusioneers,
this modern-day Harry Potter transforms everyday magic into epic visual
trickery. From concept to creation, we follow the process behind Jason's
visions. Starting with doodles in a notebook ending in stunning illusions that
can include elaborate ten-ton props, Jason and his team create breathtaking,
mind-bending events for his clients.
The Latimer Project is a production of Pilgrim Films & Television. Executive
Produced by Craig Piligian and Rob Katz.
When the world's most brilliant scientists and engineers
can't get the job done they turn to just one man... Dezso Molnar.
This docusoap follows the travels and travails of the "rogue
inventor" who is known simply as Mr. Impossible. No matter how difficult
the problem or how futuristic the technology, Dezso always finds a way to make
the seemingly impossible suddenly possible. Whether his inventions are being
launched into space, raced at over 600 miles an hour across the Utah Salt Flats,
or diving into the depths of the Mediterranean,
he is always on the lookout for ways to change life as we know it.
Mr. Impossible is a production of Story House Productions. Executive
Produced by Andreas Gutzeit and Carsten Oblaender. Co-executive produced by Laura Gelles.
From Dimitri Doganis & Bart Layton, the acclaimed creative team
behind "Locked Up Abroad", this tense, filmic and high-octane
drama-documentary series brings to life the stories of people who have lived
through paranormal experiences that defy explanation. Using the mixture of
intimate first-hand testimony and grittly realistic drama that production
company Raw is known for, Paranormal Files will take the audience into a world
turned upside-down by extraordinary and terrifying events
Paranormal Files is a production of Raw TV. Executive Produced by Dimitri
Doganis & Bart Layton.
Face Off is an exciting new competition/elimination series which
explores the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited
imagination which allows them to create amazing works of living art. Each
episode involves incredible reveals as we see the finished results of the
competitors' work. The show will go beyond simple effects make-up
and incorporate many different skill sets including prosthetics, 3-D design,
animatronics, sculpting, puppeteering, casting and molding.
Face Off is a production of Mission Control Media. Executive Produced by
Michael Agbabian & Dwight Smith.
The Dome Experiment
Throughout history, social scientists have been studying "nature
vs. nurture" and the great debate about what makes us a civilized
society. The Dome Experiment will test the boundaries of Human Nature. Twelve
test subjects from all walks of life (the leader, the worker, the entertainer,
the provider, etc) will enter "The Dome", a completely sealed bio-environment.
Relying on each other for all of their daily needs (food, shelter,
entertainment, security), they will face a series of challenges and experiments
designed to expose the true nature of humanity. The results will be a
fascinating look into the fragility of learned human behavior and will answer
the question: what plays a bigger role - genetics or the environment?
The Dome Experiment is a production of 3 Ball Productions. Executive Produced by J.D. Roth, Todd Nelson and Adam Greener.
Untitled Artifact Search Series
From Michael Agbadian & Dwight Smith, this fast-paced
action-adventure series travels the world in search of some of history's
greatest relics and artifacts, all of which are believed to hold hidden powers
and mystical significance for ancient and modern cultures. Each episode will
Jones-type adventure and Da Vinci Code-style connections as the hidden truths
and alternative theories of these mythical objects are explored like never
Untitled Artifact Search Series is a production of Mission Control Media.
Executive Produced Michael Agbabian & Dwight Smith.