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Syfy Greenlights ‘Magicians’ to Series

Syfy has given the greenlight to a full series of “The Magicians,” the magical fantasy project based on author Lev Grossman’s series of books from Universal Cable Productions.

The show has a grown-up “Harry Potter”-like vibe. It stars Jason Ralph (“A Most Violent Year,” “Aquarius”) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic called Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. He and his friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real — and poses grave danger to humanity.

“Ever since ‘The Magicians’ was published, I’ve wanted to see this story on screen,” said 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.”

Groundswell Productions’ Michael London and Janice Williams will exec produce the one-hour drama. John McNamara and Sera Gamble wrote the pilot, which was ordered in July, and will serve as executive producers. Mike Cahill 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 Syfy president Dave Howe. “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.”

Jeff Wachtel, president and CCO of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, gave ample credit to the writers — both of the series and the books — for creating the project.

“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,” he said. “We are lucky to have Sera Gamble, Michael London, John McNamara and Janice Williams as the team bringing this series to life.”

The 12-episode season will begin shooting in July in Vancouver.

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