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Syfy goes off script

Net to unveil development slate of 10 reality shows

Syfy is set to announce today at its upfront a development slate of 10 reality shows. The event will be held at Foxwoods Theater ahead of an ad-buyers-only presentation of pricey Broadway tuner “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

Slate includes “Dinner With Deepak,” hosted and produced by bestselling author Deepak Chopra; and RelativityReal docu-series “Tyler Shields,” which follows the life and work of the art photog. “Shields” is produced by “Star Trek” star Zachary Quinto. No production company is yet attached to “Deepak.”

Syfy original programming prexy Mark Stern said he felt the success of the net’s “Imagine Greater” rebranding allowed it to explore more reality fare but that the wider mandate wasn’t the only consideration. “I think that it’s very important to us as we go deeper into reality that it feel appropriate and relevant,” Stern said.

In keeping with the success of the net’s makeup competish skein “Face Off,” Syfy will further explore the fx world with Gurney Productions’ “Monster Man,” which follows the work of creature fabricator Cleve Hall and his monster-making team.

Stern called the show “our own ‘American Chopper,’ ” referring to the offbeat family dynamics on that Discovery Channel hit. “This whole world of special effects makeup and creature-making is something that we’ve been exploring for quite a while.”

Along the same behind-the-scenes theme, the slate includes “Stunts Unlimited,” a series that follows the titular stuntman fraternity through the development process as its members create complex and dangerous stunts. Series is produced by Ric Roman Waugh and Gary Binkow with no production company yet attached.

And with the net’s other reality franchises exploring the unknown, Syfy will develop “Culture Shock With Tommy Lee,” in which the former Motley Crue member seeks to uncover and expose secret societies. Stern said that any show involving a celebrity was a tough sell to him, but that he was won over by Lee’s sincerity. “This comes from a very deep-seated, personal desire to uncover the truth behind these secret societies,” Stern said, “starting with his father’s membership in the Freemasons.”

Breaking new ground for the net, Syfy has North One Television’s “High Tech Hoaxes,” in which teams of engineers play technologically advanced pranks on unsuspecting pals; 25/7’s “Overthunk,” a competish skein in which creators build competing Rube Goldberg-esque devices; and 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA’s “Change the Day You Die,” in which the show’s creators use predictive technology to perform an intervention on seemingly healthy folks with bad habits that will eventually kill them.

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