Syfy Orders Sharknado 3 and a New Series from the Producers of Orphan Black, Adds Tricia Helfer to Ascension, and More

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Either someone accidentally hit "send all" on a month's worth of upcoming Syfy press releases, or the network is competing for a new world record. Okay, or it's just doing what TV networks do during the Upfronts, but suffice it to say that all of a sudden we've been hit with a whirlwind of Syfy announcements that've rained down on TV.com HQ like sharks from a tornado, so let's talk about them, shall we?

... Speaking of sharks and tornados, the days when I forget that Sharknado is a thing that exists are the best days, but Syfy is apparently intent on never letting me erase that movie from my cerebral cortex. The network is already planning Sharknado 3 for 2015—you may recall that Sharknado 2: The Second One doesn't even premiere until July 30—so go ahead and place your bets as to which city will be inundated with toothy flying fish come next summer. I bet it's Omaha. 

... A Cylon is returning to Syfy! Tricia Helfer will star in the previously announced six-part miniseries Ascension, which follows a covert space mission that sent hundreds of people on a century-long voyage to a new world. But when they're roughly halfway there, the murder of a young woman forces the voyagers to question the true nature of their mission. Helfer will star as the captain's wife, Viondra Denniger, who's described as being "beautiful, manipulative, and dangerous." Gee, I don't know if she'll be able to pull that off. 

... From the producers of Orphan Black and the creator of Lost Girl (Michelle Lovretta) comes the new series Killjoys, which follows a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters who chase men and women throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, interplanetary class war. Look for 10 episodes to premiere sometime in 2015.

... In development is a new Ronin miniseries, based on Frank Miller's comics. The set-up is simple: Eight centuries after a samurai named Ronin failed to protect his master from the clutches of a scary demon, he wakes up in a "futuristic, nihilistic New York in the body of Billy, a medical experiment." But naturally, the demon wakes up too, so now Billy/Ronin must fight it because of reasons having to do with a magical sword. Sooooo this is basically just Sleepy Hollow but with a samurai instead of a sarcastic Revolutionary War veteran and a demon instead of the Headless Horseman and a sword instead of the Headless Horseman's head?

... Also on Syfy's development docket is a "longform" series based on Pax Romana, Jonathan Hickman’s graphic novel about "a time-traveling clash of ages and arms." The show would follow a Special Forces team as they travel back in time to Ancient Rome on the eve of World War III "to 'fix' the future by altering the past." Because that type of tinkering always works out. Also, the Special Forces take all kinds of modern gear back in time, including helicopters and tanks, so that should make for some interesting battle scenes!

... Keeping in line with the graphic novel theme, the network is developing three additional series based on comic-y source material: First is Clone, about a government conspiracy and clones, with The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman on board to executive-produce. I guess Syfy wants its own Orphan BlackThere's also Letter 44, about the discovery of an alien construction project in the asteroid belt and the astronauts who were sent to investigate it, and Magicians, which is based on Lev Grossman's book series The Magicians. The latter would be a one-hour drama following a group of 20-somethings who discover that "the magical world they read about as children is real and poses a grave danger to Earth."

... How you doing? Hanging in there? Grab a beer or a glass of water or something, we still have a few more items to go. Syfy has eight—count 'em, eight!—new reality shows in development, including Adam + Eve, about "couples" who are introduced to one another for the first time and then dropped into a remote locations to spend 90 days together without any other human contact. There's also Alive and Alone, which is the title of my autobiography but also a first-person POV survival show; Billion Dollar Club, a docuseries set in the cutthroat world of Silicon Valley; Family Affects, a comedy docuseries set in a family-run pyrotechnics company in Hollywood; Fantasy Makers, about the men and women who own and operate a "haunted" New York City attraction called Blood Manor; Geeks Who Drink, a game show about pub quizzes; The End is Near, which tells the stories of men and women who believe the world is on the verge of a sci-fi-like apocalyptic scenario; and Twins, which is described as a social experiment that tests fraternal twins who believe they have ESP.

... Oh and here's an unscripted that's already en route to your TV screen: Town of the Living Dead will premiere on Tuesday, October 7 and show you what's going on in a small Alabama town whose independent zombie movie has been six years in the making.

... Finally, Syfy is launching a bunch of "transmedia" tie-in projects to accompany its programming, and as part of the network's ongoing attempt to be the cool mom, Season 2 of Defiance will feature a new live-action character based on an actual player's avatar from the Defiance video game. Season 2 premieres Thursday, June 19.


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