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Syfy Adaptation Is a Tricky One

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Lev grossman’s book trilogy The Magicians has its hardcore fans, and they’ll be the judge of whether Syfy has successfully pulled off the adaptation trick. The Magicians, about a young conjuror enrolled in a secret school of magic (think a darker take on Harry Potter), debuts Jan. 25. The TV series ages up the characters a bit, but otherwise follows “the same general roadmap,” according to Sera Gamble, executive producer. “We’ve inherited great characters from Lev,” she said. “We get to deep-dive more into them.”

The series comes from Universal Cable Productions and Groundswell Productions. Around 1.3 million watched a mid-December sneak-preview.

Grossman has been active in shaping the show, even if it’s in an unofficial capacity. “He reads the scripts before our bosses do, he sees the cuts before our bosses do,” said Gamble, former EP on Supernatural. “No one knows the DNA of the show better—he lived in it for 10 years.”

Grossman took to his blog last month to weigh in on the process. “There were a few changes that I got hung up on along the way…” he said. “But you know what? After a while I got over it.”

The producers are fans, he added, and are acting in “very, very good faith.”