SyFy Acquires Steampunk Series Riese For Web and TV

Another win for independent production: The Canadian steampunk fantasy Riese has been picked up by the channel formerly known as Sci-Fi — both for online distribution and development for a potential broadcast series.

It’s a deal that unavoidably draws comparison to the one for Sci Fi’s previous web-to-TV acquisition Sanctuary, which was watched by 2.7 million when it premiered and was recently renewed for a 3rd season.

According to Riese creator Ryan Copple, this does mean that Riese will remain offline until its launch on SyFy this fall, which he believes will be promoted alongside Sanctuary — including TV spots, which could be a big boost for the show in its online-only days. At that point, season one and the completed-but-as-yet-unseen season two will air; while Copple and his team have plans for a third season ready, it’s currently unclear whether or not those plans will be adapted for the television version.

The web version of Riese, which won a Streamy Craft Award for Best Cinematography last night, cost approximately $200,000 and features a cast drawn heavily from Stargate alumni (a fact which, Copple said, didn’t hurt getting SyFy’s interest). Fireworks International put together the deal.

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