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WIRE Buzz: SYFY unwraps fresh holiday programming; Bly Manor tops Nielsen chart; new sci-fi podcast The Oyster

By Josh Weiss
Toys of Terror

Praise Jason Voorhees, the holiday season is finally upon us! For SYFY, the season officially starts tomorrow with Friday the 13th. To celebrate the unluckiest date on the entire calendar, the network is hosting a special, day-long movie marathon of horror classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street and It Follows.

Things kick off bright and early tomorrow morning (Friday, Nov. 13) at 6 a.m. EST with a SYFY Channel Original: director Trent Haaga's Heebie Jeebies. A second showing of Wes Craven's original Nightmare on Elm Street closes out the marathon after more than 12 hours of content. 

It's a great way for you Halloween junkies out there to get your post-Oct. 31st fix.

The full Friday the 13th programming schedule is as follows:

6:00 a.m. — Heebie Jeebies

7:59 a.m. — Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

9:45 a.m. — It Follows

12:00 p.m. — Jeepers Creepers 3

2:00 p.m. — A Nightmare on Elm Street

4:00 p.m. — Lake Placid

5:45 p.m. — Monster House

7:45 p.m. — Pitch Black

9:45 p.m. — The Last Witch Hunter

11:45 p.m. — A Nightmare on Elm Street

But wait, there's more. As we move into Christmas territory next month, SYFY will debut two new holly jolly horror films: Toys of Terror (airing Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 p.m. EST) and Letters to Satan Claus (airing Saturday, Dec. 19, at 9 p.m. EST).

Toys of Terror tells the story of David and Hannah Cashman, who promised their family a fun Christmas getaway, but when the kids find a stash of old toys, things become ... not so fun. Produced by Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Entertainment, the film arrives on home video Jan. 19, 2021.

Toys of Terror SYFY key art
Toys of Terror

Letters to Satan Claus revolves around Holly who, after returning to her hometown of Ornaments as a big-city news reporter, faces off with the demon of her past following a simple typo made in her letter to Santa. It's a harmless mistake that summons Satan to kill her parents. Yikes! We guess there is a worse gift than receiving a lump of coal on Christmas.

Letters to Satan Claus
Letters to Satan Claus

Next up: Netflix's Haunting of... series is no one-trick pony. Per Deadline, Season 2 of the horror anthology — titled The Haunting of Bly Manor — scared its way to the top of Nielsen's streaming chart, knocking Schitt's Creek out of the No. 1 slot with a reported 1.8 billion minutes of viewing between Oct. 12-18.

In fact, Netflix dominated all 10 spots on the list with a combination of original and licensed content, muscling Amazon's The Boys out of the Top 10. It should be noted that the Nielsen chart only accounts for streaming views in the U.S. from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+.

The most-streamed Netflix offerings are:

The Haunting of Bly Manor: 1.821 billion

Schitt’s Creek: 1.373 billion

The 100: 933 million

The Office: 900 million

Great British Baking Show:  674 million

Criminal Minds: 647 million

Grey’s Anatomy: 629 million

NCIS :  618 million

Hubie Halloween: 608 million

The Blacklist: 591 million

Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of... IP hails from Doctor Sleep writer-director Mike Flanagan. Where Season 1 drew from Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, Season 2 was inspired by Henry James' The Turn of the Screw.

For those of you on the lookout for new podcasting content, The Oyster — an upcoming sci-fi podcast from The Paragon Collective — has lined up an amazing voice cast, including: Logan Browning (Netflix’s Dear White People), Carla Gugino (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World: Dominion), Keith David (The Thing), Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian), Constance Zimmer (House of Cards), Donnell Rawlings (Chappelle’s Show), and Kenny Allen (Zane & Heath Unfiltered).

Created, written, and executive-produced by Alexander Aldea and Adrienne Schaffler, The Oyster takes place in the year 2050, when pollution has made the planet uninhabitable for human beings. Civilization eventually moves underground, with people having microchips implanted in their brains. The chip is part of a rating system that determines an individual's worth to this dystopian society. If a person's score is high enough, they can move underground and survive. If it's too low, they're left on the surface to die.

Twenty percent of the world's population is allowed to perish this way, but it turns out there aren't enough people left to sustain the species. Two years later, the government creates The Oyster in an effort to cut down on the consumption of natural resources. The invention is not a tasty mollusk, but "a software program that fills the user with nothing except pleasure and pure bliss," teases the official synopsis. "But what happens when reality begins to fade and The Oyster is all that remains?"

The Oyster voice cast

The Paragon Collective's Logan Browning and Alex Cline also serve as executive producers. Jordan Cobb (creator of Janus Descending) co-wrote the project with Aldea and Schaffler. Episode 1 drops tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 13) on on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other podcast platforms.