As we reported last month, the third season of Merlin is kicking off on Syfy on Friday, January 7, 2011. There are 13 episodes in this season and Merlin has already been renewed for a fourth season of 10 episodes by the BBC. The BBC is supposedly already talking about possible specials and/or a fifth season.
Here in the states, Syfy will likely wait to see how season three performs before purchasing the rights to any more.
Here’s the press release from Syfy…
THE MAGIC OF CAMELOT RETURNS WITH SEASON THREE PREMIERE OF MERLIN FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, AT 10PM ON SYFY
NEW YORK – December 8, 2010 – The magic is back! The popular series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Anthony Head, returns for a third season on Syfy beginning Friday, January 7, at 10PM (ET/PT), immediately following tag team partner WWE Friday Night Smackdown.
The second season of Merlin, which concluded in June, averaged 1.72 million total viewers and a 1.3 HH rating, based on Live +7 DVR data.
Season three sees The young wizard Merlin (Colin Morgan) in increasingly more dangerous and dark battles in his secret quest to protect Prince Arthur (Bradley James) in the fabled kingdom of Camelot, where magic is forbidden by King Uther (Anthony Head). They rejoin Katie McGrath, who portrays the mesmerizing Morgana — who has a dark destiny of her own — Angel Coulby as her loyal maid Gwen, and Richard Wilson as wise Court physician Gaius. The new season finds Camelot’s heroes pushed to their limits as the kingdom is thrown into turmoil by the return of Morgana from a year’s absence.
A host of new guest stars joins the regular cast to enthrall audiences over the 13-week run.
Harry Melling (The Harry Potter Series) portrays Gilli, Warwick Davis (The Harry Potter Series, The Chronicles of Narnia) will play Grettir, Miriam Margoyles (The Harry Potter Series, Being Julia) will play Grunhilda, and Mark Williams (The Harry Potter Series, The Fast Show) is the voice of a mischievous Goblin. Guest stars from the previous season such as Emilia Fox (The Pianist, Ballet Shoes) who plays Morgause, and Santiago Cabrera (Heroes, Che), who plays Launcelot, will also be returning.
Legendary actor John Hurt once again provides the Voice of the Great Dragon.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) holds the exclusive distribution, home entertainment and licensing rights to The Adventures of Merlin.FME has sold the series to over 52 broadcasters in more than 183 countries including Network Ten in Australia, MICO in Japan and RTL in Germany. FME has also secured licensing deals to produce numerous multi-territory Merlin branded products including a publishing range, figurines and an iphone application. FME has invested in the Merlin series alongside UK broadcaster BBC One. The show is produced and created by Shine TV. Series three is currently broadcast in the UK. A fourth series has been commissioned by the BBC.
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 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
More information on Merlin
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) holds the exclusive distribution, home entertainment and licensing rights to The Adventures of Merlin.FME has sold the series to over 52 broadcasters in more than 183 countries including Network Ten in Australia, Syfy in the US, MICO in Japan and RTL in Germany. FME has also secured licensing deals to produce numerous multi-territory Merlin branded products including a publishing range, figurines and an iphone application. FME has invested in the Merlin series alongside UK broadcaster BBC One. The show is produced and created by Shine TV. Series three is currently broadcast in the UK and on Monday 25th October it was announced that a fourth series had been commissioned by the BBC.
More information on FremantleMedia Enterprises and FremantleMedia
FremantleMedia is one of the leading creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world. FremantleMedia is part of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio broadcast company, which is in turn 90 percent owned by Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s major media and entertainment companies. FremantleMedia’s worldwide production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time entertainment, drama, serial drama and factual entertainment programmes. FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment around the world. The FremantleMedia Group (which includes talkbackTHAMES, UFA and Grundy amongst others) has operations in 22 countries, one of the most comprehensive global networks, creating nearly 10,000 hours of programming a year, rolling out more than 60 formats and managing over 300 individual titles. FremantleMedia has some of the world’s most sought after and long running formats in its catalogue, and globally, produces such programmes as: Idols (co-produced with 19 Productions in the US), The X Factor (co-produced with Syco in the UK), Got Talent (co-produced with Syco in the UK and the US), Neighbours, Family Feud, The Price is Right, Farmer Wants A Wife and Hole In The Wall.
Image courtesy BBC.