Syfy picks up Lev Grossman's urban fantasy tale The Magicians to series

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May 4, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT (Updated)

We heard last year that Syfy was developing a series based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling urban fantasy series The Magicians, and now the network has pulled the trigger and greenlit a full season.

The 12-episode debut season will essentially follow a group of 20-somethings as they attend a university that teaches magic and stumble upon something that could doom humanity. The adaptation stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year) as Quentin Coldwater, a student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret New York university specializing in magic. Coldwater and his friends will find themselves sucked into a world they’re not quite equipped to handle.

Along with Ralph, the series also stars Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead). Michael London and Janice Williams (Milk) are attached to executive-produce, along with the John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural). The pilot was directed by Mike Cahill (I Origins).

"The Magicians pilot beautifully delivers a world filled with wonder, fantasy and intrigue," Syfy president Dave Howe said. “We can’t wait to delve deeper into the lives of Quentin and his college friends, as they struggle with the enormity of their burgeoning powers -- and unleash them upon the world.”

Grossman said he’s wanted to see the story told ever since the book was first published back in 2009, and promises audiences have “never seen anything like this” before. 

Shooting is set to ramp up on the Syfy [Corporate owner of Blastr -Ed.] series in July, and a premiere date has (obviously) not been announced yet.