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Syfy is getting into the anthology business.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has greenlit two seasons of limited horror anthology series Channel Zero, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Written by Nick Antosca (Hannibal) and produced by Max Landis (Chronicle), Channel Zero will air on Syfy in two self-contained, six-episode runs in fall 2016 and fall 2017, respectively, as the centerpiece of the annual “31 Days of Halloween” programming event.
The first edition, Candle Cove, is based on Kris Straub’s story about a man’s obsessive recollections of a mysteries children’s television show from the 1980s — and the show’s suspected role in a series of murders and deadly events from his childhood.
Candle Cove originated from a user-generated Internet horror phenomenon called “creepypasta.” (Creepypasta is a form of horror stories that are passed around on web forums from multiple sites with the goal of disturbing and frightening readers. It takes its name from “copypasta,” slang for copying and pasting a block of text from website to website.)
The second season of Channel Zero will focus on an entirely new story, which has yet to be announced. Antosca and Landis will both exec produce the series, which hails from Universal Cable Productions.
“As lifelong fans of experimental horror and science fiction, from The Twilight Zone to Tales from the Crypt, we are overjoyed to have the opportunity to offer exposure to a new generation of creators,” said Antosca and Landis in a statement. “Channel Zero is a great opportunity to explore new frontiers in the genre, in a way that allows us to really dig in and get weird.”
“As Syfy’s first-ever Halloween original scripted series, Channel Zero will transport viewers into the deepest recesses of their darkest imagination, with frightening tales from two of the genre’s most accomplished storytellers, Max Landis and Nick Antosca,” said Syfy president Dave Howe.
Added NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment COO Jeff Wachtel: “We’re thrilled to partner with Max Landis and Nick Antosca to bring these brilliantly macabre stories to life. Fans are in for a haunting, spine-tingling ride.”
Channel Zero joins a growing lineup of anthology series on both network and cable, including FX’s American Horror Story and American Crime Story; Fox’s Scream Queens; HBO’s True Detective; and ABC’s American Crime and Secrets and Lies. Because of the shorter commitments, these projects have been known to lure A-list talent not normally seen on the small screen, like Jessica Lange and John Travolta.
At Syfy, the two-season pickup comes as Syfy prepares to launch several new ambitious new projects, including Childhood’s End, the first adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s iconic novel; the adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling series The Magicians; and Gale Anne Hurd’s Hunters.
Landis and Antosca are repped by WME and Writ Large.
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