Abracadabra! The Magicians Ordered By Syfy!

Jason Ralph

Syfy has announced a big one. The network has greenlit The Magicians, a modern epic fantasy based on the trilogy of novels by Lev Grossman.

The series stars Jason Ralph (above) as Quentin Coldwater, a graduate student who enrolls in  Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and, along with his classmates, discovers the magic they’re talking about – the magic they’d read about as children – is real.

John McNamara and Sera Gamble, who wrote the pilot, will executive produce. The Magicians begins filming in July. For more, follow the jump.

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UNIVERSAL CABLE PRODUCTIONS TO BEGIN FILMING IN JULY

NEW YORK – May 4, 2015 – Continuing its commitment to developing bold, high profile scripted dramas, Syfy today announced it has greenlit The Magicians to series. 

Based upon Lev Grossman’s best-selling books, The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real – and poses grave danger to humanity.  Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star in this one hour drama.

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) will executive produce. John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), writers of the pilot, will serve as executive producers.  Mike Cahill (I Origins) directed the pilot. Universal Cable Productions will serve as the studio. 

The Magicians pilot beautifully delivers a world filled with wonder, fantasy and intrigue,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy. “We can’t wait to delve deeper into the lives of Quentin and his college friends, as they struggle with the enormity of their burgeoning powers – and unleash them upon the world.”

“Ever since ‘The Magicians’ was published I’ve wanted to see this story on screen,” said Lev Grossman. “The people, the school, the other worlds, the magic. I’m so thrilled that it’s finally happening, and I’m beyond thrilled that we found the right people to do it. Get ready; you’ve never seen anything like this.”

“Lev is a visionary world-creator. It’s an awesome responsibility to honor the novels’ core audience and also to translate that vision to the screen,” said Jeff Wachtel, President and Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment.  “We are lucky to have Sera Gamble, Michael London, John McNamara and Janice Williams as the team bringing this series to life.”  

Lev Grossman’s “Magicians” trilogy is an international sensation, published and widely praised in more than twenty countries. The epic conclusion to the series, “The Magician’s Land,” opened at #1 last summer on the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller’s list, and was widely acclaimed as one of the best books of the year.

The twelve episode season will begin shooting in Vancouver in July.

The Magicians joins Syfy’s impressive roster of high-profile scripted and development projects, including the December 2015 10-part series The Expanse, starring Thomas Jane;  Arthur C. Clarke’s epic mini-series Childhood’s End, also set to premiere this December; Gale Anne Hurd’s 13-episode thriller Hunters; David Goyer’s Superman prequel, Krypton; and Incorporated, a pilot thriller from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

About Universal Cable Productions

Universal Cable Productions (UCP) creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted and digital content across media platforms for domestic and international distribution. UCP’s content library spans classics such as Emmy-award winning, “Monk,” and critic and fan favorites “Psych,” “Battlestar Galactica,” and “Warehouse 13.” In the U.S., UCP’s programming can be seen across various networks, including: “Dig,” “Playing House,” “Royal Pains,” “Satisfaction” and “Suits” on USA Network; “Ascension,” “Defiance,” “Dominion,” and “12 Monkeys” on Syfy; “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce” on Bravo; “Difficult People” on Hulu; “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome” on Machinima Prime/YouTube, Syfy and DVD/Blu-Ray; and “Side Effects” on Awesomeness TV/YouTube. Universal Cable Productions is a part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. Follow us @UCPisTV.

About Syfy

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 96 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.  (Syfy. Imagine Greater.)