Syfy Acquires Basic Cable Rights to “Merlin” Series, Including Season Two; Premieres In April
via press release:
SYFY ACQUIRES BASIC CABLE RIGHTS TO CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MERLIN SERIES FROM FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES
26 EPISODE PACKAGE FEATURES U.S. TELEVISION
PREMIERE OF SEASON TWO
Merlin Joins Syfy Primetime Schedule in April 2010
New York, NY — February 3, 2010 — Syfy has acquired the basic cable rights from FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) for all 26 episodes (both seasons) of the critically acclaimed series Merlin, including the United States television premiere of Season Two, which has never aired on American television. Merlin joins the Syfy primetime lineup in April 2010.
Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, said, “A viewer favorite after only one season, Merlin will be a strong addition to our schedule this spring. We expect its enthralling imaginative vision, engaging young talent, and rich production values to resonate with our audience.”
FME’s Lisa Honig, SVP Program Distribution, North America commented, “Merlin has been a great success internationally with fans in more than 180 countries. Partnering with Syfy to continue that engagement in the US after a successful first series is a win-win for everyone.”
Season One of Merlin aired on NBC (Summer 2009). Both seasons 1 and 2 aired on BBC One in the UK (2008-09). BBC has commissioned a third season which will air in September 2010. FME also handles brand licensing and home entertainment for Merlin.
An imaginative new twist on a timeless legend, Merlin is set in the mythical city of Camelot, before history began. It’s a fantastical realm of legendary beasts and mysterious peoples, and a dangerous world where magic has been banned by the ruthless tyrant, Uther Pendragon.
When Merlin, a young man gifted with extraordinary magical powers, arrives in the kingdom, he quickly makes enemies, including the heir to Uther’s crown, the headstrong Prince Arthur. But guided by Uther’s wise physician, Gaius, Merlin is soon using his talents not just to survive but also to unlock Camelot’s mystical secrets.
As he does, Merlin discovers that his destiny and that of the kingdom’s young leader in waiting, Arthur, are inextricably linked.
Merlin stars Colin Morgan as Merlin, Bradley James as Prince Arthur, Anthony Head as King Uther, Richard Wilson as Gaius, Katie McGrath as Morgana and Angel Coulby as Gwen.
Merlin is executive produced by Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps for Shine Television.
ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes talkbackTHAMES, UFA and Grundy amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating over 14,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), Neighbours, The Bill, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife and Hole In The Wall.
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 95 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)