The countdown to social media’s biggest-ever question — Did Syfy‘s Sharknado jump the shark with a sequel? — continues with the latest look at Sharknado 2: The Second One, which premieres July 30 after it storms into Comic-Con. Check it out:
One day after Syfy took a bite out of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, announcing its first Sharknado Week,Discovery Channel returned the favor — releasing its first promo for 2014 Shark Week, which pokes run at Syfy’s Sharknado. In the video, a guy climbs out of a gimongous shark that looks suspiciously like the one out of which Sharknado star Ian Zierling climbed, rescuing a damsel who’d been swallowed whole by said beast. But Discovery’s shark-climber-outer trumps Zierling’s performance; he saves a baby seal — maybe the one swallowed by the shark in last year’s Shark week promo. Judge the winner for yourself:
Sixty-nine days before Discovery is scheduled to unveil Shark Week 2014, Syfy this afternoon announced its first Sharknado Week — which, yes, includes the July 30 debut of Sharknado 2: The Second One. It also will feature the unveiling of Syfy’s new Roger Corman film Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda, which premieres Saturday, July 26. That means it will beat Shark Week to TV by more than two weeks. Discovery Communications execs were said to be less than thrilled with Syfy’s announcement, stopping short of calling it a blatant rip-off. But after Discovery had nicely invited Sharknado stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid to be guests on last year’s Shark After Dark, this seems along the lines of stealing the silver on the way out. In its announcement, Syfy even used some of Discovery’s traditional Shark Week slanguage — “fintastic” and such.
Here is Syfy’s announcement:
Syfy said today that it has given a green light to Sharknado 3 to air in summer 2015, and it looks like more of the same except in a new city — which is being kept under wraps. The network also revealed its first unscripted slate (see the list of projects below) and announced it is developing adaptations of the graphic novels Clone, from Robert Kirkman and David Alpert (The Walking Dead), and Letter 44 from Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3). That is in addition to The Magicians based on the Lev Grossman novels that we broke here first.
On the miniseries front, Syfy is developing Pax Romana, based on Jonathan Hickman’s comic book limited series published in 2007 about a Special Forces team that travels back in time to Ancient Rome on the eve of World War III to “fix” the future by altering the past. Roman legions battle modern day attack helicopters, tanks and soldier as the leaders of the expedition fight over their vision for civilization. Also in the works is an adaptation of the Frank Miller DC comic series Ronin, set eight centuries after a Japanese Ronin samurai failed to protect his master from a demon, he awakens in a futuristic, nihilistic New York in the body of Billy, a medical experiment. Warner Horizon is producing.
Meanwhile, Syfy also announced that veteran Tricia Helfer is returning to the network fold. She will star in Ascension, Syfy’s new original six-hour event series that was greenlighted in March. It also said that a new unscripted series, Town Of The Living Dead, will premiere October 7. The comedic docuseries from True Entertainment follows a small Alabama town trying to complete their own independent zombie movie six years in the making.
A recap of Deadline’s top TV stories this week:
Stephen Colbert Named CBS’ New ‘Late Show’ Host
By The Deadline Team
A week after David Letterman announced his retirement, CBS has named his successor. Stephen Colbert has inked a five-year deal to take over Late Show, a move that is effective as soon as Letterman officially steps aside from the late-night show he has headlined since its launch on CBS in 1993.
NBC’s Jimmy Fallon And Seth Meyers Welcome Stephen Colbert To ‘Late Show’: Video
Moonves Takes A ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ Victory Lap
Stephen Colbert Does Not Envy Whoever Replaces David Letterman (Video)
David Letterman On Stephen Colbert’s Hire
CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet Despite Practically Perfect Stephen Colbert Hire
By Lisa De Moraes
CBS’ announcement today that Comedy Central rock star Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman as host of its late-night show in 2015 caps a whirlwind week in which the network jumped from being just a little footnote in the coverage of The Battle Of The Two Jimmys to the undisputed star of the late-night drama.
Syfy is entering the hot zombie genre with Z Nation, a 13-episode series from Asylum, the company behind the network’s hit schlocky horror franchise Sharknado. Executive produced/showrun by Karl Schaefer (Eureka), Z Nation is set three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, and a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America. “Z Nation is a unique new journey into the long established zombie genre,” said Syfy SVP Chris Regina. “Instead of existential despair, the series offers hope that somehow, some way, humanity will not only survive, but triumph.” Added Schaefer, “Our everyday heroes take the fight to the zombies.” Z Nation, set to premiere this fall, will be produced by Asylum, in its debut doing a regular series, and sold internationally by Dynamic Television. Schaefer is repped by APA and Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox & Light LLP.
“We can officially announce we shot cameos Tuesday,” Today co-anchor Matt Lauer announced this morning on the program, of his appearance with Today weatherman Al Roker in Syfy‘s upcoming Sharknado sequel, Sharknado 2, debuting July 30 on the fellow NBCUniversal network. Lauer’s co-host Savannah Guthrie, giving the performance of her lifetime, responded that she is “wildly jealous.” Today played a clip in which Roker, on the Today set, explains to Lauer, “This is a twister with teeth.” Lauer contributes: “Enough said indeed, Al, Thank you very much.” The cameo was shot yesterday. Lauer also showed a clip in which he uses a Today orange umbrellas to stab something that looked like it came from the fish department of Whole Foods, only wrapped in green fabric. “I can’t believe we gave away the whole climax of the movie,” Lauer said. “I’ll remind you the Golden Globes are next January — who are you wearing?” Guthrie snarked.
In Sharknado 2, “a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a ‘sharknado’ on the city’s population and its most iconic sites,” Syfy has said of the sequel. The original orgy of bad special effects and even worse acting had triggered a social media feeding frenzy among journalists and celebrities when it premiered last July.
Miss Deadline’s top TV stories? Catch up on the week now:
Bob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)
By Lisa De Moraes – Bob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, today to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties tomorrow night.
‘Snake Salvation’ Star Dead From Snake Bite; NatGeo To Air Tribute Episode
By Jen Yamato – With the first season fully filmed National Geographic had no plans for a second season of Snake Salvation, says a network rep. Now in the wake of Jamie Coots‘ death NatGeo is working up a special tribute episode “so people can understand Pastor Jamie and his method of worship and see that he died doing what he believed was his calling.”
Actors Added To Fox’s Matt Hubbard, ABC’s Jeff Lowell Comedy Pilots
By Nellie Andreeva – Ely Henry (Suburgatory) and Asif Ali have been cast as leads in Cabot College, Fox‘s multi-camera comedy pilot from Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.
R.I.P. ‘The Waltons’ Patriarch Ralph Waite
By The Deadline Team – The man who played the patriarch on CBS’ long-running series The Waltons has died. Ralph Waite was 85. He also had been recurring since 2008 as Papa Gibbs, the father of Mark Harmon’s character, on NCIS.
Greta Gerwig To Topline CBS’ ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spinoff
By Nellie Andreeva – Indie darling Greta Gerwig will lead the cast of How I Met Your Dad, CBS’ spinoff from long-running comedy series How I Met Your Mother.
Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are packing up their chainsaws and heading to Manhattan for Sharknado 2: The Second One, which will trend on Twitter some as-yet-unspecified day in July, Syfy warned today. Not only are Ziering and Reid back, Anthony Ferrante again will direct the screenplay by Thunder Levin, who also wrote Sharknado, so as to make sure the sequel is as craptastic as the original. And Syfy and producer-distributor The Asylum have hired casting director Mike Fenton and his partner Ann Frederick, of Fenton-Frederick Casting, to supervise cameo casting. So, Damon Lindelof, Mia Farrow, and Greg Berlanti — get in touch with them quickly, because shooting begins next month. In Sharknado 2, Syfy says, “a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a ‘sharknado’ on the city’s population and its most iconic sites, with Fin and April the only ones able to save the city.”
Microbudget oddity Fateful Findings is the latest wannabe cult classic to wade into the waters infested by movies like SyFy’s low-budget phenomenon Sharknado. I can say with certainty it’s one of the most memorably terrible movies I’ve ever lived through. Filmmaker Neil Breen – a Las Vegas-based architect by day who wrote, directed, produced, edited, production designed, and cast himself front and center as the star of the pic to frequently awkward effect – has pacted with NY-based Panorama Entertainment targeting a handful of regional theatrical engagements hoping for hot word of mouth and repeat late-night bookings to propel the film into cult glory.
While we bow to no one in our devotion to Sharknado, we must acknowledge it suffered a shocking lack of vampires. And zombies. Happily, the company that brought us Sharknado, aptly named The Asylum, has rectified at least part of that situation: Sharknado network Syfy announced today that on Saturday, November 9, it will premiere its new movie about a sister and brother team, prospecting for gold in an underwater cave, who accidentally disturb a colony of blood-sucking amphibious predators, aka sea vampires, who can function on land without having to wait for some freakish weather system to wreak havoc on the area — just dim-witted gold-prospecting siblings. It’s called Beast Of The Bering Sea — presumably Vampnado was taken.
Tragically, Jonathan Lipnicki, that cute little kid from Jerry Maguire, plays the brother, and Sharknado’s Cassie Scerbo is returning to Syfy as the sister. Kevin Dobson (Knots Landing) also stars, and your guess is as good as mine as to who, or what. Perhaps more newsworthy, Syfy also announced that two weeks later, it finally will premiere the movie that was supposed to have started it all. Stonados will premiere on the network on Saturday, November 23. It’s about — you know it’s coming — a freak weather system, that causes the hurling of deadly boulders. Which is to say they are deadly boulders that are being hurled — they’re not hurling boulders, which would be a medical drama, on TLC.
Sharknado! star Ian Ziering has been added to the guest list on Discovery Channel‘s first Shark Week after-show, Shark After Dark. Also signed: original Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, shark-diving WWE Wrestler Justin Gabriel, world-level surfer Laird Hamilton, as well as Alison Sweeney and Tom Green, despite their lack of known shark connections. Shark After Dark premieres tonight and will air each night during Shark Week from 11-midnight ET/PT. Josh Wolf — best known for his regular appearances on E’s Chelsea Lately — is hosting, despite having no love for sharks. Back when Shark After Dark was announced — from after-show impresario Michael Davies (The Talking Dead, Watch What Happens Live) and CBS late-night host/avid Shark Week fan Craig Ferguson — Discovery Channel said it was lining up guests for its first late-night Shark Week after-show who were Shark Week-passionate or had shark connections.
Fandango is reporting that Syfy’s Sharknado sold out midnight showtimes in three cities – New York, Boston, and Seattle – and additional showtimes were added continuously to meet fan demand. The cult phenom is playing on roughly 200 screens in movie theaters across the country. Fandango called the sales pace ”bloody good” for screenings hosted by Regal and NCM Fathon Events. Sharknado premiered on Syfy on July 11th, drawing just 1.4 million total viewers. But social media interest was high and a repeat viewing a week later on Syfy drew about a half-million more viewers. Starring Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, the pic’s nonsensical plot investigates the ecological nightmare of sharks caught in a tornado and falling from the skies into the streets of Los Angeles. The network has already ordered a 2014 version.
Regal and NCM Fathon Events will host midnight screenings of Syfy’s strangely popular Sharknado! on August 2, with the TV movie set for about 200 screens in NCM’s Digital Broadcast Network. Sharknado! premiered on Syfy on July 11, drawing just 1.4 million total viewers. But social media interest was high — most of the media reporting was about that more than about the movie itself, which stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid as part of a group that investigates the ecological nightmare of sharks falling from the skies and swimming through the streets of LA. A repeat viewing a week later on Syfy drew about a half-million more viewers, and the network has already ordered a sequel (or a prequel) to air in 2014.
Word of mouth worked well for Syfy’s repeat of Sharknado! Thursday night — an average of 1.9 million viewers tuned in. That’s half a million more than watched the craptastic it’s-raining-sharks flick one week earlier. But it’s still not the mega-crowd you might have expected, given the social media frenzy that erupted over the flick’s premiere. Actually, to be perfectly accurate, it was the media frenzy over the social media reaction to the movie, which was on levels approaching the social media reax of Pretty Little Liars on a bad night. Except that, among those tweet was, OMG, it’s Damon Lindelof! And Greg Berlanti! And Mia Farrow!
Related: Syfy Orders ‘Sharknado 2′
Anyway, just like the first time around, on Thursday viewers once again saw a tornado snatch up a mess of sharks — like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, only with sharper teeth – which made them so mad they began to attack adorable towheaded children and potential love interests of Ian Ziering. And so the weary day wore on, until Ziering decided he’d had enough, and used a chainsaw to disembowel one very big shark who spoke for all the flying sharks, and they all lived happily ever after.
Syfy has ordered a Sharknado sequel; this time flying sharks attack Manhattan. It will premiere on the network in 2014. The network is holding a Twitter contest to name the movie. Tweet your submissions to @SyfyMovies using #Sharknado. “Every once in a while, there is a perfect storm — on television. The fans are clamoring for a sequel. Or perhaps it will be a prequel,” the NBCUniversal-owned network’s EVP Programming Thomas Vitale gushed in today’s announcement.
The original orgy of bad special effects and even worse acting had triggered a social media feeding frenzy among journalists and celebrities when it premiered last week. Word got out the network was mulling a sequel, but that was before Nielsen reported the movie was actually watched by average of 1.369 million people, which is nothing to dance about.
UPDATED, 1 PM: Hours after Syfy network announced it would repeat last night’s orgy of bad special effects and even worse acting known as Sharknado in response to the social media feeding frenzy it triggered, and word got out the network was mulling a sequel, Nielsen reported the movie was actually watched by an average of 1.369 million people.
In case you were one of the 312 million or so people in the country who did not watch, Sharknado, in round numbers, went like this: the ecological nightmare caused by global warming triggers a freak weather system that results in a mega tornado choc-a-block with angry sharks who sail through the air attacking innocent children and blondes, and causing to be uttered such lines as “they took my grandfather, so I really hate sharks.” The movie culminated in a mano-a-sharko scene, in which our hero Ian Ziering was swallowed by a flying shark but, happily, he had his chainsaw with him at the time; he sawed his way out, also rescuing the distressed damsel who’d earlier been consumed whole by same shark.
“Given the enormous popular demand, Syfy will present a special encore presentation of Sharknado on Thursday, July 18 at 7PM (ET/PT),” the network announced proudly this morning before the audience numbers came in.
What would summer be without another SyFy Channel schlocky original TV movie about sharks? In the lame tradition of Sharktopus comes this latest on July 11th, Sharknado, which is what happens when a tornado sucks thousands of sharks out of the ocean and hurls them around Los Angeles. Tara Reid and Ian Ziering star so you know it’s quality casting. Though Roger Corman does it better: