Syfy is looking in the direction of genre humor for its upcoming development slate, while at the same time, hoping lightning will strike again for the people who brought the network “Sanctuary.”
Both Kevin Sorbo and Lee Majors — both sci-fi/fantasy icons in the realms of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Six Million Dollar Man” — will pick up their own shows next year, both playing fictionalized versions of themselves.
Sorbo is set to star in a show called “Legendary,” a half-hour single-camera series that reunites him with former “Hercules” co-producer David Eick, according to Variety. Sorbo will play Kevin Sorbo, a former syndicated television star who teams up with a fan to defeat creatures threatening to destroy Los Angeles. Eick — who later worked on “Hercules” for 13 episodes in 1995 before moving on to “American Gothic.”
Sorbo, who himself would later star in the syndicated “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda,” has remained quite active as an actor, with at least a half-dozen other projects in development, according to Internet Movie Database.
Majors will star in a half-hour show called “Me and Lee,” where a young man with a bad back is lured into a futuristic lab where Lee Majors makes him bionic.
Comedy has typically done well on Syfy, with shows such as “Tripping the Rift” and more recently, “Outer Space Astronauts.” Putting Sorbo and Majors in roles that parody their star status — similar to what William Shatner did successfully in the 1998 film “Free Enterprise” — is a chance to continue that run.
But Syfy isn’t abandoning dramas. One new show that is part of the Syfy slate is coming from Damian Kindler, Martin Wood and Amanda Tapping — the trio behind the network’s hit series “Sanctuary.” It’s called “Sherwood,” and will retell the Robin Hood story — but have it set not in the 13th century, but instead the 23rd century.
That’s not the only thing Syfy has up its sleeve. Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain are prepping a series called “Orion,” which the cable channel says is a cross between “National Treasure” and “Firefly.” It centers around a space-faring relic hunter who looks for valuable objects to then sell on the black market while keeping her distance from bounty hunters.
Blackman and McCain wrote the screenplay for “Outlander” in 2008 as well as 2009’s “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.” McCain directed “Outlander,” which starred James Caviezel and Sophia Myles.
Mark Stern, Syfy’s vice president of original programming, told Variety that by continuing the momentum of its already successful shows, “we hope to expand our powerful brand by offering our viewers an imaginative next generation of programming.”