1:36pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Bazillion Dollar Club' Docuseries Set at Syfy
Syfy is producing a real version of HBO's Silicon Valley.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network announced Tuesday that it has picked up The Bazillion Dollar Club.
Described as a high-adrenaline, high-stakes docuseries, Bazillion will take viewers into the Silicon Valley-based world of today's forward-thinking innovators. The six-episode hourlong series will debut in 2015.
The show will follow Dave McClure, a drill sergeant who founded software accelerator 500 Startups, and Brady Forrest, the mind behind the hardware accelerator Highway1. The companies offer two of the world's most aggressive accelerator programs that mentor startups leading up to the launch of their billion-dollar idea.
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“The Bazillion Dollar Club gives our audience of imaginative thinkers the opportunity to literally invent the future by bringing to life their visionary ideas and dreams,” Syfy president Dave Howe said. "This show is important to Syfy’s unscripted strategy to engage fans with entertaining and informative real-world drama that taps into their curiosity, passion and creativity."
McClure has invested in more than 800 companies worldwide, including 3D printing firm Makerbot, which was acquired recently for $400 million, and social media startup Wildfire, snapped up by Google for $350 million, among others. In five years, his venture-capital firm has funded thousands of entrepreneurs and helped them raise more than $2 billion.
Forrest's PCH and Highway1 companies have funded more than 35 companies, with a focus on innovative consumer products. He also co-founded Ignite, the worldwide global talk series that has been featured in more than 200 cities.
“Part of the fun of science fiction is seeing all of the fantastic gadgets and technologies, and imagining how they could exist in the real world,” said Bill McGoldrick, Syfy exec vp original content. Added Heather Olander, senior vp alternative series development and production: “The inventors that are part of Dave and Brady’s program are developing products and technology that seem like they are ripped straight from the world of sci-fi, but these innovations will be our future reality.”
HBO's Silicon Valley earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy series in its freshman season. The Mike Judge comedy centers on a group of nerdy geniuses and their startup ideas.
Bazillion hails from Zero Point Production and exec producers Lydia Tenagalia, Christopher Collins and Craig H. Shepherd. Abigail Shafran will co-exec produce.