11:41am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Wil Wheaton to Host Weekly Talk Show for Syfy
Syfy is getting into the Wil Wheaton business.
The cable network has picked up 12 episodes of The Wil Wheaton Project, a weekly talk show hosted by the actor and geek culture expert, the actor announced Wednesday. (A formal announcement is expected to come later from the network.)
The series, set for a summer run starting Tuesday, May 27, at 10 p.m., will feature Wheaton providing his inside point of view and dissecting the week's most popular news in sci-fi film, television, pop culture, video games, viral videos and more.
Each half-hour installment will be a mix of commentary and humor, with Wheaton -- a regular guest star on CBS' The Big Bang Theory -- describing the series as a "Talk Soup for geeks." The series hails from Pilgrim Studios, with Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols (Ghost Hunters) on board to exec produce.
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"I really love that I get to be part of something that brings science fiction back to Syfy, and if I read correctly between the lines during our meetings with the Syfy executives, this is just the beginning of the network formerly known as Sci-Fi returning to its science fiction roots, which is awesome," Wheaton said in a blog post on his website. "Developing the show has been incredibly fun, and like I wrote last week, when I met the full staff of writers and producers, I was floored by how talented and funny they are. We’re going to make something that I just know you’re going to love, and I hope that so many people love it, we’ll get to make it for years to come."
Wheaton said the series will have a "heavy focus on those hilariously bad paranormal reality shows," with talks for some sort of partnership with Syfy starting a year ago based on that idea. "As we worked on the show more and more, we discovered that there were lots of scripted paranormal shows that provided a ton of comedic material. When we expanded to cover the scripted shows, we discovered that nobody was doing a show like this that was just focused on the genre shows that nerds like us love, and we decided that we’d make that show because of reasons," he wrote.
The pickup comes as Syfy has recommitted to going back to the more traditional sci-fi and fantasy genre that viewers had come to expect from the network.
Syfy becomes the latest cable network to add a talk show to its roster. Comedy Central has found success with Chris Hardwick's geek-infused @Midnight; Bravo re-upped Andy Cohen and his Watch What Happens Live for two more seasons; and John Oliver will host a weekly series for HBO in the increasingly competitive space that has seen talkers hosted by W. Kamau Bell (FXX), Anthony Jeselnik and others not fare as well.
Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) is repped by Stone Manners and Opus Entertainment.