Syfy and USA to Host First “Wizarding Weekend” This Week!

Back in May, we learned that the streaming rights to the Harry Potter movies would be moving to the NBCUniversal-owned networks Syfy and USA this summer. Now, the first of their announced “Wizarding Weekends” is almost upon us!

In a recent press release, the networks announced that on July 13–15, all eight Harry Potter films would air with limited commercial interruption. To make things even more exciting, the first six films will be the extended director’s cut versions! Exclusive interviews and special features will also air during the weekend. If you’ve already made plans for this weekend, you may want to start thinking of excuses now.

Additionally, the networks also revealed that Wizarding Weekends are only one of the special events they have planned. In the future, USA and Syfy will host special promotions, including a Back to Hogwarts Marathon, Dark Arts Marathon, Wizarding World Week, and special Christmas Marathon. Even better, the Fantastic Beasts movies will eventually be included in the rights deal, with the first film arriving in 2019.

While some fans might have been thrown off by the lightning-quick movement of the streaming rights from Freeform to HBO to Syfy and USA in recent years, it looks like this arrangement will be in place for a while – the networks hold the rights through 2025. Plus, if you happen to be at one of Universal’s Harry Potter parks, you may get a chance to participate in fully immersive entertainment experiences sponsored by the network.

Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, praised the networks’ plans:

Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of [t]he [w]izarding [w]orld on television. With SYFY, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.

Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, USA Network & Syfy, also spoke in favor of the deal.

Both networks will have a unique but complementary [w]izarding [w]orld look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year – on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE – that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands. And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.

How excited are you for Wizarding Weekends to begin?

Press Release

NEW YORK, NY — July 9, 2018 — Stoking the fiery passion of fans all across the Wizarding World, SYFY and USA Network will transport viewers to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry like never before with a multi-platform exploration of all facets of the Wizarding World films.

Beginning with the simulcast of the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND from July 13-15, 2018, both networks become the new U.S. television homes of the entire Wizarding World franchise library in a previously announced deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution extending through April 2025. All eight Harry Potter movies – as well as the Fantastic Beasts films slated to begin in 2019, 2021 and 2023 – will air in HD with limited commercial interruption as the networks commemorate 20 years of Harry Potter fandom. The first six films will be extended director’s cut versions. Beyond the HARRY POTTER WIZARDING WEEKEND, SYFY and USA have also programmed monthly stunts including BACK TO HOGWARTS MARATHON, DARK ARTS MARATHON, WIZARDING WORLD WEEK and a special CHRISTMAS MARATHON.

SYFY and USA will be supporting the celebration as the biggest acquisition launch in both networks’ history with marketing, promotion, digital and social campaigns. In addition, special content and promotions with Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, both home to the incredibly themed lands of [t]he Wizarding World of Harry Potter, are now available where guests can enjoy fully immersive entertainment experiences based on the Harry Potter series. In all, the campaign will be bigger than the Quidditch World Cup itself!

“Whether they’re superfans who live and breathe Harry Potter or a new generation yet to discover the franchise, we’re giving fans of all kinds an entirely new way to experience the magic of The Wizarding World on television,” noted Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. “With SYFY, we’re inviting fans to really ‘geek out’ and go deep into their passion and knowledge. And at USA, we’ll be able to fire up a bigger, broader audience with massive scale to introduce a whole new legion of fans.”

“Both networks will have a unique but complementary Wizarding World look and feel for the fans as we create moments and events throughout the year – on-air, online, off-the-screen, on social or at SYFY WIRE – that infuse a wonderful wizarding ethos into our collective creative brands,” added Alexandra Shapiro, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, USA Network & SYFY. “And the biggest moments will always make sure fans are front and center.”

SYFY and USA will present a new viewing experience for fans of the films. The custom design packaged on-air and online will include IDs and bugs supported with hours of new footage delving deeper into the mythology of Harry Potter, trivia and fun facts to test even the most advanced wizard’s acumen, behind-the-scenes footage and fresh interviews with cast members and production crew dishing on their favorite moments, including:

· Eddie Redmayne (as Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts)

· James and Oliver Phelps (as Fred and George Weasley)

· Stanislav Ianevski (as Viktor Krum)

· Jany Temime, Costume Designer

· John Richardson, Special Events Supervisor

· Paul Harris, Wand Choreographer

· Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, Graphic Designers

Also included in the on-air campaign will be special footage, including an exclusive behind-the-scenes studio tour from Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter – and fan testimonials from San Diego Comic-Con and and [sic] [t]he Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, including A Celebration of Harry Potter. Keen observers will also spot some familiar fan faces from the SYFY and USA channels.

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Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.