NBCUniversal International Networks and OSN officially celebrated the arrival of Syfy to the region at an exclusive launch event in Dubai. The home of provocative and inspiring science fiction entertainment, Syfy is the only sci-fi focused TV channel in the Middle East.
The event also showcased Halcyon, a ground-breaking short-form linear virtual reality hybrid series available exclusively on OSN’s Syfy channel in the region, as well as compelling content including cult classics and genre-defining programming.
A global brand with a presence in over 100 countries, Syfy brings extraordinary into the ordinary, where viewers go to reinterpret and reimagine the world as they know it. Syfy’s great storytelling delivers unique, high-calibre drama and adventure enabling viewers to escape and “Imagine Greater”.
Underlining OSN’s focus on delivering ‘nowhere else’ content, Syfy brings a year-round roster of acclaimed original series, popular movies, Japanese animation, classic science fiction and fantasy programming only for OSN subscribers in the region, with Arabic subtitles available for most content.
“We are excited to have extended our channels’ presence in the Middle East and North Africa with OSN’s exclusive launch of Syfy,” commented Colin McLeod, MD, UK and EM, NBCUniversal International Networks. “This popular, genre-defining global brand is sure to quickly engage viewers across the region with the range of compelling programming that delivers on Syfy’s ‘Imagine Greater’ promise.”
Emad Morcos, Chief Content Officer of OSN, added: “Science-fiction enjoys great popularity in the region, especially among youth. The addition of this globally renowned channel only on OSN further defines our credentials as the go-to network for all cutting edge content. Syfy will be a great value addition for our subscribers who seek innovative programming.”
Viewers can expect to see the following content from Syfy:
From Executive Producers Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead, Terminator, Aliens) and Natalie Chaidez (12 Monkeys, Heroes) comes Hunters – a mind-bending thriller starring Julian McMahon (Fantastic Four, Nip/Tuck) and Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek, Chernobyl Diaries). After a decorated FBI agent’s wife goes missing, he goes on a desperate search to rescue her. His pursuit leads him to a secret government unit assembled to hunt a ruthless group of terrorists composed of shadowy figures… that are not of this world. Along the way, he discovers a world he did not know existed and unearths a mind-blowing mystery at the helm of his wife’s disappearance.
Based upon Lev Grossman’s best-selling books, The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity. Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star. Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy is an international sensation, published and widely praised in more than 20 countries. The epic conclusion to the series, The Magician’s Land, opened at #1 last summer on the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller’s list, and was widely acclaimed as one of the best books of the year.
Halcyon is a ground-breaking hybrid virtual reality short-form scripted series available across Syfy channels and companion websites outside the U.S., along with VR platforms the Oculus Rift and Samsung VR Gear, powered by Oculus. Created and produced by Secret Location, the multi-Emmy® and Cannes Lion Award-winning content studio who specialise in emerging platforms, Halcyon is a 15-episode short form scripted series, directed by BAFTA-nominated Benjamin Arfmann (Random Stop). The police procedural alternates between 10 episodes (fully localised in Arabic), as well as five VR episodes exclusively available on VR platforms. For viewers who are only watching linear episodes, short recaps of each of the five VR episodes will ensure that all fans are able to follow the complete storyline. Set in the year 2040, the series is centred on Blake Creighton (Michael Therriault) the CEO of the world’s leading Virtual Reality company; Halcyon. Having cornered the market on VR, Halcyon has discarded the VR headset and allowed users to access the virtual space using neurological implants that manipulate the senses to create a virtual world. When Creighton is found dead, presumed murdered, Detective Jules Dover (Lisa Marcos) and her partner, Asha (Harveen Sandhu), must consider if this could be the world’s first virtual crime.
Dark Matter is a space opera based on the graphic novel Dark Matter from Dark Horse Comics and adapted for TV by Prodigy Pictures and Stargate writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. The series features Anthony Lemke (Lost Girl), Alex Mallari Jr. (RoboCop, True Justice) and Melissa O’Neil (This Life). The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they got on board. The mysteries of their respective pasts will take them on a journey to the farthest reaches of colonized space. Hounded by the galactic authorities, their former employers, ruthless corporations, bounty hunters, and former enemies – they’ll have only each other to rely upon.
Adapted from the Golden Globe Award-winning 1995 film of the same name, the TV series stars Aaron Stanford (Nikita) in the lead role of Cole, a time traveller who arrives in the present day from a post-apocalyptic future with a mission to save the human race from an imminent deadly plague. The series also stars Amanda Schull (Suits), Kirk Acevdo (The Walking Dead) and Noah Bean (Damages). Producer of the original film, Charles Roven (American Hustle, The Dark Knight Trilogy) acts as Executive Producer alongside Richard Suckle (American Hustle, The International). Terry Matalas & Travis Fickett (Nikita), the show’s writers, will serve as Co-Executive Producers with Natalie Chaidez (In Plain Sight, V, Heroes) as Executive Producer.
From the producers of Orphan Black and Michelle Lovretta, the creator of Lost Girl, Killjoys follows a fun-loving, hard-living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad – a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multi-planetary class war. The series stars British actress Hannah John-Kamen, (West End musical Viva Forever), Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13, Smallville) and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters).
This fascinating reality series returns giving another bunch of budding prosthetic makeup artists the opportunity to compete against each other, put their wizardry to the test and dazzle the judges in a series of tough challenges. This time round, the talented hopefuls are tasked with creating unforgettable fantasy goblin kings, conjuring up original superhero characters, dreaming up sinister demons, and more. Whose wizardry will win the day? Guest judges include veteran character actor John Rhys-Davies and Hollywood director Bryan Singer.
Movie highlights include cult classic Serenity, written and directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.) and Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, based on the popular video game series by Capcom and staring martial artist Joey Ansah (The Borne Ultimatum). Also coming this autumn are: genre defining sci-fi comedy Flight of the Navigator, directed by Randal Kleiser (Grease), blockbuster The Incredible Hulk, starring Edward Norton and Liv Tyler and produced by Gale Anne Hurd. More highlights include Doom starring Karl Urban (Star Trek: Beyond, Dredd, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers) and Dwayne Johnson (Hercules, Furious 7) and directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Speed, Species), Pitch Black starring Vin Diesel (Furious 7, XXX) and Waterworld starring Kevin Costner (Robin Hood: Prince of thieves, Man Of Steel).
Complementing the channel’s premiere line up are great iconic series for the genre. These include Smallville starring Tom Welling as Clark Kent in his journey to becoming Superman, Eureka starring Colin Ferguson and co-written by Andrew Crosby, co-founder of award winning comic book publishing company of Boom! Studios, and Sanctuary starring Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Supernatural) and created by Damian Kindler (writer and producer of Stargate SG-1). Also on the channel this autumn is Warehouse 13, created and written by Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Once Upon A Time) and Stargate, directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow).
The addition of Syfy exclusively on OSN builds on its long-term partnership with NBCUniversal, which already brings an unbeatable choice of exclusive entertainment on E! Entertainment. In September, a 15-minute Arabic language segment on E! News was also launched highlighting OSN’s commitment to deliver more localized content.