Cover of Lev Grossman's The Magician's Land

Given that Syfy hasn’t had much critical acclaim since Battlestar Galactica went off the air (sorry, Defiance), the channel is presumably casting about for another show that could connect with both audiences and critics alike. Such a program could maybe burnish the Syfy image, which has been tarnished by mockbusters and the umpteenth installment of Real Life Ghost Detectives Who Are Definitely Real in recent years. Picking up a series based on bestselling novels isn’t a bad way to do that, although quality-wise, there’s a better chance of ending up with The Strain than Game Of Thrones. Nonetheless, Deadline reports that Syfy has ordered to series The Magicians, based on Lev Grossman’s book trilogy of the same name.

As we reported earlier, the story is essentially “Harry Potter gets older and depressed,” though with a lot more whining than such a description might imply. Adapted by writer John McNamara (Aquarius) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural), the show follows Quentin Coldwater as he learns magic, mopes around, tries to fight evil, mopes some more, and then acts like an asshole and doesn’t learn from his experience. It’s a remarkably true-to-life character. The series will begin shooting in Vancouver in July.

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