Syfy beefs up reality slate

Musician Tommy Lee and author Deepak Chopra are coming to Syfy as part of its 2011/2012 reality development slate.
March 23, 2011

U.S. cable network Syfy has announced its upcoming programming and development slate, which includes an increase in reality and unscripted fare as well as celeb-fronted series featuring musician Tommy Lee and author Deepak Chopra.

The NBC-Universal owned network’s slate of original fiction and non-fiction series and specials, announced by Syfy president Dave Howe during its upfront presentation in New York yesterday, is its largest to date. The increased development is in response to the growth the network has seen in the Adults 18-49 demo over the past year.

The net’s summer of unscripted programming kicks off in June with the second season of reality show Hollywood Treasure, which will be paired with the premiere of Haunted Collector (w/t) and the debuts of Legend Quest in July and Paranormal Witness in September.

Haunted Collector, from Gurney Productions, follows John Zaffis and his family who track down haunted items. Legend Quest, a coproduction between BASE Productions and Universal Networks International, is billed as part Indiana Jones adventure and part Da Vinci Code, with symbologist Ashley Cowie searching for the world’s greatest relics and artifacts.  Paranormal Witness, from Raw TV, is a drama-documentary series that uses first-hand testimony and drama to bring to life stories of paranormal experiences.

Syfy’s reality development slate includes Culture Shock with Tommy Lee, an investigative travel show featuring the Motley Crue drummer as he searches for various rituals, symbols and other mysteries of secret societies around the world. It is a production of ITV Studios America.

Also on the slate is Monster Man, which focuses on Cleve Hall and his unique family business, building creatures for Hollywood films, also from Gurney Productions.

On the topic of Hollywood, Stunts Unlimited deals with an elite and exclusive group of artists who perform movie stunts. Executive producers for the series are Ric Roman Waugh and Gary Binkow.

Hi Tech Hoaxes features two teams of engineers, techies and pranksters competing against each other to create a hoax on an unsuspecting pair of people, produced by North One Television.

In every episode of Dinner with Deepak, author and spiritual teacher Dr. Deepak Chopra brings together noteworthy guests to eat and talk. It is executive produced by Deepak Chopra, Gotham Chopra, Tim Piper and Sharad Devarajan.

Tyler Shields is a docu-series featuring unconventional photographer Tyler Shields and his team, produced by RelativityREAL, while Overthunk is a one-hour competition series featuring “the best gizmo gladiators” in America, produced by 25/7 Productions.

Change the Day You Die takes candidates on a 10-week transformational journey where they face a series of mental and physical challenges designed to reverse their bad habits and add back valuable lost years to their lives. It is produced by 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA and Zig Zag Productions, with 3Ball’s JD Roth and Todd A. Nelson and Zig Zag’s Danny Fenton and Matt Gould as exec producers.

Imagination Nation, produced by North South Productions, follows the creators of Hammacher Schlemmer, America’s oldest continuously published catalog featuring unexpected and innovative products, as they meet inventors to find fresh offerings for their inventory.

Lastly, America’s Smartest Kids is a reality competition show in which teenagers are challenged to invent a better future while competing for the title of America’s Smartest Kid. It is executive produced by David Zelon and Michael Sardo.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.