Ahead of tonight’s Season 1 finale, Syfy announced it has picked up a 13-episode second season of scripted drama Helix, from Sony TV. Production will begin later this year with an eye toward a winter 2015 premiere. From creator/co-executive producer Cameron Porsandeh and executive producer Ron Moore, Helix stars Billy Campbell, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kyra Zagorsky and Mark Ghanimé. The thriller, about a team of scientists battling a mankind-threatening outbreak, debuted January 10 to 1.82 million Live+SD total viewers. The premiere broke Syfy L+3 records by gaining 64% in 18-49 to 1.2 million and 53% in total viewers. Since then, the series has averaged 2.1 million total viewers, 1.1 million adults 25-54 and 1 million adults 18-49. “Helix has built one of our most loyal and consistent audiences in its first season on Syfy,” said Bill McGoldrick, EVP Original Content. The incredibly talented writing and producing team have crafted a thriller that consistently delivered suspense, twists and high quality drama.
A killer virus being barely contained in the Arctic was the launch point for Syfy’s new thriller series Friday. While that’s the premise of the series, Helix wasn’t exactly bubonic with viewers for its premiere. Despite a strong visual and panel Comic-Con presence last summer plus some hefty promotion, the 90-minute Jeffrey Reiner-directed debut episode garnered just 1.8 million viewers at 10 PM. With a 0.6 rating, Helix pulled in 734,000 viewers in among adults 18-49 and 893,000 in the 25-54 demo. That’s a far cry from the 2.7 million total viewers the channel drew for Defiance when that debuted on April 15, 2013. That two-hour Monday opener had 1.3 million among the 18-49 and 1.4 million among adults 25-54, Syfy’s top total viewers and 25-54 performances since 2009’s Warehouse 13. To give some further context of where Helix stands in the Syfy universe right now, Warehouse 13 had 3.5 million viewers with a 2.5 household rating, 1.7 million adults 25-54 and 1.3 million adults 18-49 for the third best viewership debut for any Syfy series behind 2004’s Stargate Atlantis (4.2 million) and 2006’s Eureka (4.1 million).
Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) is set for a lead role in USA Network‘s period alien drama pilot Horizon, executive produced by Gale Anne Hurd. Set during the height of World War II, Horizon, from Universal Cable Prods, centers on Lauren (Ruth Bradley), a secretary at the FBI who begins a secretive investigation into files that have been stamped with the codename “horizon.” The mysterious project provides links to the presumed death of her husband (Taylor Handley) and the disappearance of a young girl. Elwes, repped by APA and Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon, will play Max Hartman, a mysterious man who leads a double life in wartime DC. The casting expands Elwes’ relationship with USA and UCP where he has a memorable recurring role on Psych.
Jordan Hayes (House At The End Of The Street) has been added to another NBCU cable drama project, Helix, Syfy‘s upcoming series from from Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore. The project, written by Cameron Porsandeh, directed by David Slade and produced by Sony TV, is a dark thriller about a team of scientists, led by Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell), investigating a possible disease outbreak. Hayes, repped by Thruline and Amanda Rosenthal Talent, will play Dr. Sarah Jordan who is excited to work for the Center for Disease Control.
EXCLUSIVE: He’s played a local politician on two seasons of AMC’s The Killing and Honest Abe himself in Nat Geo’s Killing Lincoln, and now Billy Campbell is set to portray the emotionally troubled CDC pathologist lead in Syfy’s upcomng Helix. Two days before Helix’s Comic-Con panel, I’ve learned that the actor will play Dr. Alan Farragut in the dark thriller series about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak. Farragut is just getting over a failed marriage and the affair his wife had with his brother, who now needs his help after becoming infected with a deadly disease. Campbell, who also stars in the Ron Maxwell-directed Civil War feature Copperheads, is set to start filming on the 13-episode series in Montreal on July 29. Due to debut in January, Helix is executive produced by Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore, showrunner Steven Maeda and Lynda Obst. Writer Cameron Porsandeh is co-exec producing the series. Campbell is repped by CAA and KLWGN Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Feature and TV director David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) is set to direct the opening episode of Helix, Syfy‘s upcoming series from from Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ronald D. Moore. The project, written by Cameron Porsandeh and produced by Sony TV, is a dark thriller about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak. Moore, showrunner Steven Maeda and Lynda Obst executive produce and Porsandeh co-exec produces the series, with Slade set to executive produce the premiere episode. Production is slated to begin this summer in Montreal.
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has finalized a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Helix, a dark thriller from Ronald D. Moore, marking Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer’s return to the network. Steven Maeda (Lost, CSI: Miami) has come on board as showrunner of the project, written by Cameron Porsandeh. Helix, from Sony Pictures TV, where Moore and his Tall Ship Prods are under an overall deal, is about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak Hot In Cleveland) and Maeda executive produce, with Porsandeh serving as co-executive producer. “With its well-drawn characters, taut drama, and incredible production team, we couldn’t be more excited to see this intense thrill-ride of a series come to life,” said Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern. Helix is expected to begin production early in 2013 to debut later this year. In addition to hit Battlestar Galactica, Moore also co-created and executive produced Syfy’s prequel series Caprica.
EXCLUSIVE: Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore is returning to Syfy‘s primetime. I hear the cable network is finalizing deals for a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Helix, a dark thriller from Moore. Syfy had been exploring straight-to-series orders in lieu of traditional pilots, and Helix would be part of that strategy.
Helix, from Sony Pictures TV, where Moore is under an overall deal, is about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak at an Arctic research facility who find themselves trying to protect the world from annihilation. The project, which eyes a debut later this year, was written on spec by Cameron Porsandeh who serves as co-executive producer. Moore and Lynda Obst (Hot In Cleveland) executive produce. In addition to hit Battlestar Galactica, Moore also co-created and executive produced Syfy’s prequel series Caprica.
I hear Syfy is zeroing in on scripts for its next round of green lights, which may come next week. I hear among the top contenders for a pickup are Helix, from Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore, and The Almighty Johnsons. I hear Syfy are contemplating straight-to-series orders in lieu of traditional pilot pickups, and that the network may make greenlight decisions in conjunction with existing series renewals.
Moore’s Helix, from Sony Picture TV where Moore is under an overall deal, is about a team of scientists investigating a possible disease outbreak at an Antarctic research facility. Cameron Porsandeh wrote the spec the pilot is based off of and serves as co-executive producer. Lynda Obst exec produces alongside Moore.
The Almighty Johnsons is an adaptation of the New Zealand fantasy comedy/drama series created by James Griffin and Rachel Lang and produced by All3Media’s South Pacific Pictures. It centers on Axl Johnson, who on his 21st birthday discovers he and his family members are reincarnated Norse gods. Chris Dingess wrote the U.S. adaptation, which is being produced by Entertainment One.