January 29, 2008 / 8:29 AM / 10 years ago

Raimi brings fantasy to syndication with "Wizard"

LAS VEGAS (Hollywood Reporter) - Filmmaker Sam Raimi aims to conjure up some syndication magic.

The “Spider-Man” director is teaming with Disney-ABC Domestic Television and ABC Studios on a new first-run, live-action weekly series targeted for a fall launch. The series, “Wizard’s First Rule,” is based on Terry Goodkind’s best-selling epic fantasy series “The Sword of Truth.”

“Sword” follows the extraordinary transformation of woodsman Richard Cypher into a magical leader who joins with a mysterious woman to stop a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Raimi is executive producing the hourlong series with Robert Tapert (“The Grudge”), Joshua Donen (“The Quick and the Dead”) and “Xena: Warrior Princess” production executive Ned Nalle.

“In discussing these incredible story lines and rich characters with my friends and partners Robert Tapert and Josh Donen, we agreed that ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ would make an amazing television series -- one that could be produced with compelling, self-contained episodes,” Raimi said.

Production on 22 episodes is slated to begin in May.

“Wizard‘s” marks ABC Studios’ first venture into broadcast syndication.

The show also marks the return of the weekly syndicated fantasy series genre, which had disappeared after its heyday in the late 1990s with “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Xena.”

Disney is bringing the show to the syndication marketplace for a fall launch.

“Wizard’s First Rule,” Goodkind’s first installment in the “Sword of Truth” series, was published in 1994, followed by 10 additional titles. The books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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