Exclusive: Syfy gets real with 'Top Chef' alum Marcel

marcelImage Credit: Isabella Vosmikova/BravoSyfy is breaking into the reality biz in a big way. Sources confirm to me exclusively that the cable network is adding to its lineup not one, not two, but three new reality shows (all tentatively titled, at least for the moment): Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen, Paranormal Witness, and Face Off. The skinny on the trio:

* Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen will follow whiny Top Chef alum Marcel Vigneron — yes, the one with the hair — as he endeavors to employ molecular gastronomy in his new catering and event company.

* Paranormal Witness is an anthology docudrama that sounds suspiciously like it was conceived a few months too late to cash in on post-Paranormal Activity hoopla. (Every week, it’ll introduce someone else who’s been spooked by this or that.)

* And finally, Face Off sounds like a Shear Genius competition for special-effects makeup artists. (Or, if you prefer, RuPaul’s Drag Race, only with the contestants working to uglify, not prettify.)

What do you think? Sound like fun? Or do you tune in to SyFy to escape from reality, not face an even scarier version of it? Your thoughts below.


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  • Lisa

    I LOVE Top Chef !
    What’s a cooking show doing on SyFy..?
    Marcel’s hair is out there but SyFy? I don’t think he’s from another planet…

    Marcel is a pretty good chef but he can definitely be a tool and that’s why the new show will probably be intresting .

    • Jess

      The Sci-fi premise comes in with the whole molecular gastronomy thing. It’s a new (ish) form of cooking that applies scientific principles and techniques to create new types of foods. It’s an interesting field.

      • Daxx2513

        They’re a little late to that boat. There are already two or three other shows with the same premise. Marcel, while a good chef, wasn’t that good at it anyway.

  • David4

    Syfy is as much of a science fiction channel as G4 is a gaming channel.

    • MaryJane

      I guess it’s time to start watching those faucets drip. That’s about as exciting as these new shows sound. Yawn.

  • Nikki L

    Face Off sounds very interesting; I might actually watch that one.

    I have no idea what molecular gastronomy is, and I don’t feel like looking it up.

  • marcyfoote

    Wrestling is bad enough. What are you doing SyFy? Let’s not forget SyFy stands for Science Fiction.

    • Spacecase

      Saddly no, SyFy stands for Siffy… which in turn is short for a certain nether region disease. Now Sci-Fi on the otherhand stands for Science Fiction… :)

  • MsSuniDaze

    Not surprised. Had a feeling they would be changing their format a bit after they changed their name. Now it should just be ‘Sigh-fy’.

    • David4


      Sigh-fy, that’s a good one!

  • Bryan

    Molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking. Molecular gastronomy seeks to investigate and explain the chemical reasons behind the transformation of ingredients, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general.

  • sammy

    Both “Face off” and Marcel’s shows sound good. I hope “Face off” is more like “Project Runway” then “Shere Genius” which is horrible. I hope that Marcel’s show focuses on the cool science of molecular gastronomy and not just kitchen drama. I guess we’ll see how Syfy tackles reality TV.

  • Pamela

    VERY disappointed!

  • Steven

    Just looked up molecular gastronomy and WOW! That sounds so incredibly boring!

    • Hud

      Doesn’t seem like it will make much of a series … maybe a half hour special … but not on SyFy. Though in the hands of the right chef the food can be fun and even tasty. Whatever happened to Science Fiction on the SyFy channel? What I want on SyFy is more original scripted programming (and not horror films but real sci-fi).

  • Flyer

    Reality shows? Is that really the way Syfy wants to go with its programming? If Syfy wants me to continue watching anything other than Caprica, the network execs need to drop this reality show drivel and develop quality scripted shows and mini-series. I loved shows like BSG, “Tin Man” and “Alice.” And it’d be great if Syfy would give a second chance to shows like Dollhouse, Pushing Daisies and Flash Forward.

    • BG

      Yes, it would be great if Syfy actually gave syfy shows a second chance…which is why it will never happen.

    • DarkHawke

      Well said! Maybe it wouldn’t serve the egos or corporate interests involved, but “SyFy” SHOULD be the home of speculative fiction shows that were creatively fantastic but ratings-deprived. I know there are tons of complications vis a vis ownership, contracts, production companies, video releases and the like, but yet more reality tripe (these are NOT the first “reality” shows they’ve tried to push on us) is solely the course to becoming a generic cable channel, like G4 or Spike. And at that point, who really cares?

      • Randy

        I really don’t like this direction with SyFy. I loved BSG, what happened to Doctor Who on SyFy?, Caprica is great, Eureka, Tin Man was good, Lost Room (did i get that right). But I don’t get all these reality shows coming onto SyFy. I want scripted programming. Hell, I did watch SyFy to get away from reality shows. They need to check their definition. FICTION

  • BG

    “Syfy is breaking into the reality biz in a big way.”

    Breaking into? You do realize that Ghost Hunters has been on for years, right? They even have a competition show called Ghost Hunters Academy. C’mon, EW–Don’t be so late to the parades.

  • mae

    Marcel with his own show?!?! What a tool! I will tune in only if he gets his a** handed to him every week.

  • Christy

    Terrible idea for Syfy to go the reality route.

  • hc

    The “sources confirm to be exclusively” thing is super annoying and even more so when that bravado is misplaced. This news is super old.

  • Jeff from Jersey; yes New Jersey

    How can you run out of Sci-Fi programming (good and not so hot) and put on these shows? The Outer Limits repeates (from Showtime) are better than these selections.

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