Syfy Announces ‘Ringworld’ and ‘Childhood’s End’ Mini-Series and Four More Multimedia Events

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Science fiction fans have plenty to cheer about after Syfy’s upfront presentation to advertisers on Wednesday. The cable channel announced an ambitious slate of original programming that includes two mini-series events, Ringworld and Childhood’s End, inspired by the works of science fiction legends Arthur C. Clarke and Larry Niven.

Syfy will be adapting Niven’s classic novel Ringworld as a four-part mini-series with Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) tapped to write the project. The story centers on a team of deep space explorers who are on a mission to investigate a “mind-blowing” alien artifact called Ringworld. After crash landing on the structure, the team discovers the ruins of a highly advanced civilization that could hold the secrets to the origin of humankind, as well as the key to Earth’s salvation.

Childhood’s End will be executive produced by Michael DeLuca (The Social Network). The story focuses on the peaceful invasion of Earth by the Overlords, who bring about an end to all wars, creating an almost utopian atmosphere.

“We’re proud to bring to life these science fiction masterpieces, Ringworld and Childhood’s End,” said Syfy President of Original Content Mark Stern, in making the announcement. “With their brilliant scope of imagination, the astonishing visions of these two novels created riveting possibilities into the future of humanity which remain timely and provocative.”

In addition to Ringworld and Childhood’s End, Syfy also announced the high concept projects Helix, a thriller from Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore, Dominion (working title) from Sons of Anarchy writer Vaun Wilmott, the Hunger Games-style competition series Opposite Worlds and Unbreakable, an unscripted program that will push contestants to mental and physical extremes. Each of these programs is set to be a multiscreen event in the vein of Syfy’s upcoming multiplatform series, Defiance. For more information on all of these series, check out the official descriptions below:

Helix — A team of scientists investigate a possible disease outbreak in an Arctic research facility and find themselves trying to protect the world from annihilation. Co-executive producer & writer: Cameron Porsandeh. Executive producers: Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), Steven Maeda (Lost, CSI: Miami), Lynda Obst (Contact). Production company: Lynda Obst Pictures & Tall Ship Productions. Studio: Sony Pictures Television

Dominion (working title) – In this series (formerly called Legion), 20 years after evil angels descended from heaven to lay waste to the human souls they felt God had favored over them, a reluctant “savior” must arise to protect Vega, the last remaining stronghold of humanity. The savior has more to fear than just angels, as the elites of this new society conspire to gain power for themselves. Writer/CO-EP: Vaun Wilmott (Sons of Anarchy). Director/EP: Scott Stewart (Defiance). EP: David Lancaster. Studio: Sony Pictures Television. Based on the feature film “Legion'” produced by Bold Films.

Opposite Worlds — Opposite Worlds is based on the mega-sensation Latin American reality series, Mundos Opuestos, in which twenty people from all walks of life are mixed together in two opposing teams that live in two distinctly different worlds – the Past and the Future. The Future is a Utopia where every wish can be granted with a push of a button; the Past is a constant struggle for survival. Each week, players compete in a series of challenges to determine who lives in the Past and who lives in the Future, and fight to be the last man standing. Production company: Smart Dog Media. Executive producer: Craig Plestis. Format devised by Canal 13, Sergio Nakasone, Juan Pablo Planas and Veronica Ruaro.

Unbreakable — Based on The Death Race, an extreme endurance race held annually in Vermont, Unbreakable sets to test competitors’ inner resolve to persevere through mental and physical extremes. Nothing is as it seems in this competition, where contestants must navigate through a seemingly natural but altered environment full of obstacles and challenges. Testing each individual’s spirit to its limit, the contestants will either self-eliminate or fall by the wayside, until only one will remain to conquer all. Production company: Pilgrim Studios. Executive producers: Craig Piligian and Joe Desena