April 30, 2014 1:15pm PT by Philiana Ng
Syfy Developing 'Pax Romana' Mini, Robert Kirkman's 'Clone' and 'Magicians' Dramas
Syfy has unveiled a massive slate.
The cable network announced at its upfront presentation Wednesday that it is putting into development several scripted projects: Robert Kirkman's graphic novel Clone, Lev Grossman's The Magicians and Jonathan Hickman's Pax Romana. In major casting news, Battlestar Galactica alum Tricia Helfer has landed a lead role in the six-part space opera Ascension.
Clone, based on the best-selling graphic novel from Kirkman and David Alpert (The Walking Dead), centers on a retired soldier who investigates a break-in at his house, only to discover that the burglar is a clone of himself. David Schulner (Dracula) will write and executive produce the Universal TV project with Kirkman and Alpert. This comes nearly a year after the comic was first put into development and marks Kirkman's fifth property to be adapted for TV, joining The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead spinoff, Thief of Thieves (AMC) and Outcast (Fox International TV).
The Magicians is based on Grossman's book series that follows a group of 20-somethings in New York who study magic and discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is real and poses a grave danger to Earth. Sera Gamble (Supernatural) and John McNamara (In Plain Sight) will write and executive produce the Universal Cable Productions project alongside Michael London.
Pax Romana, from writers Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia, is being developed as a miniseries and centers on a special forces team that travels back in time on the eve of World War III to "fix" the future by altering the past. Hickman is a co-executive producer, along with Alpert, Federman and Scaia. Universal Cable Productions is behind the project.
Additionally, Syfy has ordered Town of the Living Dead, a "comedic docuseries" that follows an Alabama town trying to complete their own independent zombie movie, which has been six years in the making. The series, from True Entertainment, will debut Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 10 p.m. Executive producers are Glenda Hersh, Steven Weinstock and David Stefanou.
The network is also developing eight unscripted projects with varying focuses: couples (Adam + Eve), first-person POV survival (Alive and Alone), Silicon Valley (Billion Dollar Club), the workplace (Family Affects, Fantasy Makers), geek trivia (Geeks Who Drink), a sci-fi apocalypse (The End Is Near) and fraternal twins (Twins).
Syfy previously ordered a third Sharknado, its first original digital comedy series, Underlings, and a Killjoys adventure series. It is also developing Frank Miller's Ronin and Letter 44, based on the Oni Press comic. Other series on Syfy's scripted slate include Z Nation, The Expanse, Dominion, 12 Monkeys and mythology drama Olympus.