Last week, we ran a story about Syfy’s upcoming Merlin panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con. In the press release announcing that event, Syfy buried a key point — that the cable channel had picked up the rights to air season four early next year. Now, the cable channel has specifically announced that Merlin will return for season four.
Here’s the new press release:
SYFY ACQUIRES FOURTH SEASON OF “MERLIN” FROM FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES
POPULAR SERIES WILL RETURN TO SYFY IN 2012
NEW YORK – July 18, 2011 – The magic of Merlin will return to Syfy! The channel has acquired the fourth season of Merlin from FremantleMedia Enterprises, it was jointly announced today by Chris Regina, Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, and FremantleMedia Enterprises.
Season Four of Merlin will premiere on Syfy in 2012.
In its third season on Syfy, Merlin averaged 1.93 million total viewers, marking an increase of 12 percent in total viewers compared to season two. Merlin also posted gains in the key younger demo, rising seven percent among Adults 18-34.
The epic fourth season will see Camelot on the brink of a Golden Age as the familiar blend of magic, mystery and action adventure returns. With Morgana now a dangerous outcast, Merlin must use all his power to ensure Arthur fulfills his destiny as the Once and Future King.
Colin Morgan will return as Merlin alongside Bradley James as Prince Arthur and Angel Coulby as Gwen while Katie McGrath is set to reveal the true depths of Morgana’s character. Broken after Morgana’s betrayal, Anthony Head also reprises his role as King Uther and Richard Wilson continues to support and advise Merlin as Gaius.
New to the fourth season is Nathaniel Parker (Stardust, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) as Agravaine. Other guest stars already confirmed for season four include Gemma Jones (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Bridget Jones) as the mysterious Cailleach and Phil Davis (Sherlock, Alien 3) as ‘The Gleeman’, an old world Circus-master with a dark and sinister secret.
Legendary actor John Hurt continues to provide the Voice of the Great Dragon.
The show is produced and created by the award winning team at Shine TV. FME holds the exclusive distribution, home entertainment and licensing rights to Merlin (known as The Adventures of Merlin in the rest of the world outside the US and UK) and has sold the series to over 52 broadcasters in more than 180 countries including Network Ten in Australia, MICO in Japan and RTL in Germany.
Merlin’s success and popularity continues to flourish across the globe, where it is now broadcast in 183 countries across the world. FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has invested in the fourth series of Merlin alongside UK broadcaster BBC One. The show is produced and created by Shine TV and Series 4 will be broadcast in the UK this fall and the US in early 2012. In the United States, Merlin has enjoyed solid ratings on Syfy, where its third season concluded in May 2010.
FremantleMedia Enterprises holds the exclusive distribution rights (excluding UK), home entertainment and licensing rights to The Adventures of Merlin. FME has secured licensing rights to produce numerous multi-territory brand extensions including a publishing and figurines range, experiential events and consumer promotions.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 99 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
What do you think? Will you wait to watch season four of Merlin on Syfy or find some way to watch it earlier? What would you like to see happen storywise?
Image courtesy Syfy.