NBCUniversal-owned Syfy and USA Network are kicking off their acquisition of Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter franchise with an entire weekend of wizarding July 13-15.
Starting Friday night, both networks will air all eight Harry Potter films — from Sorcerer’s Stone through Deathly Hallows, Part Two — featuring extended director’s cuts of the first six as well as limited commercial interruptions throughout.
After the initial weekend, both networks will keep the magic alive with frequent programming stunts, including marathons like Back to Hogwarts, Dark Arts, Wizarding World Week and, of course, Christmas.
Both networks are creating unique promotional assets—with help from creative agency Loyalkaspar—to support the franchise’s launch, as well as working with Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood and their Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks to find cross-promotional opportunities.
Fans continue to be front and center, especially for Syfy, with the on-air campaigns for both networks featuring them in spots as well as offering their testimonials.
“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,” said Chris McCumber, president, entertainment networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, in a statement. “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.”
The custom on-air and online packages will include original IDs and bugs as well as hours of new footage that allows fans to delve deeper into the mythology of Harry Potter.
Both networks also have collected fresh interviews with cast members and production crew talking about their favorite moments from the series, including Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts’ Newt Scamander); James and Oliver Phelps (twins Fred and George Weasley); Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum); Costume Designer Jany Temime; Special-Events Supervisor John Richardson; Wand Choreographer Paul Harris; and Graphic Designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.
NBCUniversal acquired rights to the films — including the three upcoming Fantastic Beasts movies slated for 2019, 2021 and 2023 — through April 2025.