Last night Syfy invited the press and advertisers to learn about their new shows, and see a private performance of the Broadway debacle Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (that will be getting its own entirely separate review, because I can't even begin to squish all my thoughts on that in here). Anyway, there was the usual hobnobbing, and then Syfy President Dave Howe took to the stage, along with a flipping costumed Spider-Man to unveil their multitude of new shows. We saw clips of a lot of them, and there's some potential... of course, there are more shows about ghosts (because, of course) and also even more cheesy original films coming our way in the next year.
This is their big new show, it starts in July, and is either going to be incredible awesome and the superhero show that I've been anxiously hoping for... or a total forgettable trainwreck. We shall see. Basically it involves a group of people who have mental and physical abilities, and it stars David Strathairn as the team leader. I was kind of iffy on it, until I saw this one Wanted-style bullet shot, and then it caught my interest. Lots of mind control and the like happening here, less guys in costumes, which in my mind is far more interesting... unless it turns out to be like No Ordinary Family.
Battlestar: Blood and Chrome
Obviously I'm anxiously awaiting this one, but they just mentioned that it was in development, showed us bupkis for footage and gave no date. Though it does co-star the poor unfortunate Ben Cotton, who was stuck recently on Hellcats as a wrongly jailed criminal and had to be further tortured by being visited frequently by Marti. He deserves a good show. And we sci-fi fans deserve a good new Battlestar show, especially since Caprica got axed when it was just getting really interesting.
The network is also trying their hand at comedy, and given the amount of immature giggles this title earned from the audience, they might be on to something. This is about a guy with "super" powers, but his whole ability involves moving items three inches He's also joined by a bunch of other super folks in spandex. Ridiculous power and ridiculous premise, which actually makes for good comedic potential.
In the Dark
I'm so over ghost shows and ghost hunting shows in particular, but this is a bit of a different twist, as it focuses on incompetent ghost hunters and pokes fun at the genre along the way, so it might be alright. I don't think I'll be watching it, but you know, the 30 seconds we saw of it made me chuckle, so I can see it having its fans.
Me and Lee
We didn't see any footage of this comedy, but it actually is the one that I'm most curious about. A guy goes in for surgery, it goes wrong, and then Lee Majors makes him bionic. I mean, really. It is so beyond quirky that it just might fly.
Haunted Collector/Paranormal Witness/School Spirits
Three more ghost shows, Haunted Collector is apparently about objects that are ghostly, Paranormal Witness features lots of ghost encounter recreations and looks like Paranormal Activity, and School Spirits is about haunted schools... apparently? The last one is being brought to you by Mark Burnett... for whatever that's worth.
Culture Shock with Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee is doing this reality show which is billed as a "real-life DaVinci Code." As horrifying as that prospect sounds, it will a) probably be better than the movie, b) look into secret societies and c) make me feel really old, because Tommy Lee isn't looking exactly what you'd call young these days. The presentation had a pre-filmed clip of Tommy Lee "talking" to us about his show, and if they were going for edgy... it missed the mark.
Face Off, but without the whole competition aspect. It's a reality show that follows Cleve Hall and his family as they make monsters.
Arguably more of a Spike show, but this reality series is about stunt men doing stunts. Lots of explosions, which is just how I like my shows.
Dinner with Deepak
Deepak Chopra has dinner with people (a la that Jon Favreau show a few years back) and instead of discussing pop culture or the like, they talk about the meaning of life and alternate universes and other frivolous things of that nature.
There were a host of other shows that got announced yesterday, but we saw hide nor hair of them at the presentation. They are as follows: Legend Quest, about a symbologist traveling looking for important mystical artifacts; Hi Tech Hoaxes, where a team punks people with supernatural elements; Tyler Shields, about a photographer who takes pics with a surreal spin; Overthunk, where creators come up with Rube Goldberg chain reaction devices; Change the Day You Die, which sounds like Dr. H from The Biggest Loser would love it, as people are confronted with their death and given a chance to transform over 10 weeks; Imagination Nation, one big commercial for Hammacher Schlemmer; and America's Smartest Kids, where kids are tasked to invent a device to make the future better.
They've also got plans for Christmas week with Neverland, a take on Peter Pan that's more of an origin story. Keira Knightley is voicing Tinkerbell. So there's that.
Lastly, the network is sticking with their plan of doing Saturday original movies. After the amazingly awful one with Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, they've got Bigfoot, pitting The Brady Bunch's Barry Williams against The Partridge Family's Danny Bonaduce. There are some other stellar titles, including, but not limited to, Jersey Shore: Shark Attack, Snowmageddon, Zombie Apocalypse and St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun. Yeah, its all quality stuff... by which I mean I'll probably sit through all of them.
Your take on the new lineup? Sound off below.
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