Syfy Orders First Online Series, Announces New Digital Initiatives
Building upon its recent transmedia successes, Syfy Digital today announced significant new digital, social and second screen storytelling initiatives including a game-to-TV Avatar joining the cast of the hit series Defiance; Syfy Now debuting on Android phones and tablets this summer, an interactive handbook to the eagerly anticipated new drama Dominion, and a new web experience for Syfy Sync for Sharknado 2 and Defiance.
Syfy also announced its first original digital comedy series Underlings, a workplace comedy that brings viewers inside a criminal organization. The cast includes Joseph Gatt (Game of Thrones' wildling leader Styr, Magnar of Thenn) and Jessica Chobot (Attack of the Show).
In making the announcement, Michael Engleman, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Digital and Global Brand Strategy, Syfy, said: "Today we think about digital as a core part of our content experience, rather than a companion part. Our storytelling strategy rests on three pillars: enabling greater participation so that fans can influence content and programming, extending the 'first screen' story to provide a deeper, richer narrative experience, and, lastly, providing greater access to what goes on behind the scenes. The net result is a more multi-screen brand of storytelling for a fan base that absolutely craves it."
NEW Syfy DIGITAL INITIATIVES
Season 2, premiering June 19, will feature a new character based on an actual player's in-game avatar. The winner of the "Play the Game, Join the Show Contest" was revealed on Facebook in a video by the show's executive producer, Kevin Murphy, in September. The live-action character based on the winner's avatar will be joining the show's cast this summer.
The Defiant Few
Defiance is unveiling a new way for fans to interact with the show online and via social in Season 2. Starting with premiere, every week, viewers will be invited to participate in a parallel storyline where they'll be encouraged to take on "missions" consisting of web-based casual games and challenges that will propel this storyline and give viewers a chance to win substantial real-world prizes.
Citizen's Handbook - A Guide to Vega
Created by the series' writers, Citizen's Handbook - A Guide to Vega will provide an immersive, interactive guide/handbook to the fictional city of Vega, featuring exclusive video and multimedia content created specifically for this experience. It will allow viewers to delve into the rich mythology of Dominion weeks before the series premieres on-screen on Syfy June 19.
Earlier in the year, Syfy enjoyed great success with the Opposite Worlds Twitter Popularity Index, which created a new means of interacting with a competition Reality Show via social media. Kalev H. Leetaru utilized his patented research methods technology to measure the "social sentiment" around the contestants on the show, producing the weekly rankings from "most popular" to "least popular." Syfy will now use the next generation of that innovative technology and apply it to Season 7 of its highest-rated unscripted series Face Off, giving viewers the ability to directly affect the outcome of the show by cheering for, or talking smack about, players on the show via Twitter in natural-language tweets.