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[08/12/10 - 11:08 AM]
Syfy Acquires Third Season of Popular Series Merlin from Fremantlemedia Enterprises
The new season will make its U.S. television premiere on Syfy in early 2011.

[via press release from Syfy]

SYFY ACQUIRES THIRD SEASON OF POPULAR SERIES MERLIN FROM FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES

RETURNS TO SYFY IN EARLY 2011

New York, New York - August 12, 2010 - Syfy will rekindle the magic of Camelot, announcing today the acquisition from FremantleMedia Enterprises of the third season of the popular Merlin series, which will make its U.S. television premiere on Syfy in early 2011.

The second season of Merlin concluded on Syfy, Friday, July 2. It averaged a 1.3 HH rating, 1.72 million total viewers, 687,000 Adults 18-49 and 938,000 Adults 25-54 based on Live +7 DVR data.

Compared to the Friday 10PM time period in 2Q '09, Merlin was up +63% in HH rating, +81% in total viewers, +96% in Adults 18-49 and +95% in Adults 25-54.

In making the announcement, Chris Regina, Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, Syfy, said: "The enchanting imagination of Merlin proved very popular with our audience and we're delighted to bring the series back for a third season on Syfy."

Commented Lisa Honig, SVP, Program Distribution FME North America: ''We are extremely excited about the next season of Merlin returning on Syfy, following the success we had with the second series. We look forward to growing the audience and feeding the appetite of the devotees who already love the program, the characters and the brand."

Merlin creator and executive producer Johnny Capps said: "We are thrilled that Syfy will be broadcasting the third series of Merlin. The upcoming season will add an exciting new twist to Merlin's ongoing struggle to protect Prince Arthur, as well as thrilling audiences with bigger and bolder action sequences, stunning CGI monsters, mysterious villains and comic fun for all the family."

Merlin returns with a host of brand new guest stars joining the popular regular cast to enthrall audiences over the 13-week run. In this third season, there is a familiar blend of magic, monsters and mayhem, but when secrets are exposed and old friends choose new sides, it is clear that the kingdom of Camelot will never be the same again.

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 Goblin. Guest stars from the previous season such as Emilia Fox (The Pianist and Ballet Shoes) who plays Morgause, and Santiago Cabrera (Heroes and Che), who plays Launcelot, will also be returning for this series.

Colin Morgan returns as Merlin, who must fulfill his destiny of protecting the young Prince Arthur (Bradley James) and the kingdom of Camelot, a place where magic has been banned by the ruthless King Uther (Anthony Head). They rejoin Katie McGrath as the mesmerizing Morgana, the King's ward who has a secret she dare not reveal, Angel Coulby as her loyal maid Gwen, and Richard Wilson as wise Court physician Gaius.

Legendary actor John Hurt returns 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.

This third season of Merlin will air in the UK on BBC One in September.

ABOUT FREMANTLEMEDIA ENTERPRISES & FREMANTLEMEDIA

FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment. It is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 countries worldwide. FremantleMedia is a subsidiary of RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is 90% owned by Bertelsmann AG, an integrated media and entertainment company that commands leading positions in the world's media markets. For further information, visit http://www.fremantlemedia.com

ABOUT SYFY

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 96 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)





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· MERLIN (SYFY)





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