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In a bid to further broaden its brand, Syfy is upping its commitment to the reality genre.
The network will announce at Tuesday’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York that it has picked up a trio of reality series — Haunted Collector, Legend Quest and Paranormal Witness — to launch later this year. The series will join the net’s growing cadre of unscripted hits, including Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth and Face Off, which was recently renewed for a second season.
The announcement follows continued ratings gains at the NBC Universal-owned network, where primetime tune-in is up 13 percent in total viewers and 7 percent in the advertiser-beloved adults 18-49 demographic thus far this quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier.
Haunted Collector, a working title, centers on a family of renowned paranormal investigators who spend its time tracking down haunted items. The family then houses its collections — think guns, jewelry, paintings and dolls — in its museum. The series, from Gurney Prods.’ Scott Gurney and Deirdre Gurney, will be paired with the second season of Hollywood Treasure, beginning in June.
A month later, Syfy will roll out Legend Quest, an action-adventure series that followsreal-life symbologist Ashley Cowie as he travels the world in search of hidden, mystical artifacts. Each episode is designed to combine Indiana Jones-style adventure and Da Vinci Code-type connections as theories are explored. The series is a co-production from BASE Production’s John Brenkus and Mickey Stern and Universal Networks International.
Finally, Paranormal Witness, a drama-documentary series from Raw TV, the creative team behind Locked Up Abroad and Gold Rush Alaska. The show will bring to life the stories of people who claim to have lived through paranormal experiences. Episodes will feature a mixture of first-hand testimony and gritty drama. Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton will serve as executive producers on the show, which is set to premiere in September.
The presentation will take place at the Foxwoods Theatre, where the Madison Avenue crowd will be treated to a performance of the troubled musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Syfy brass will have to hope the new offerings fare better.
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