When Does It Start: Friday July 9th at 10 / 9c on Syfy

In a nutshell: An FBI agent arrives at a small town in Maine for a routine case only to discover it’s a refuge for people suffering from supernatural afflictions. Mysterious events ensue…

What’s It About: Based on the Stephen King novella, The Colorado Kid, Haven finds Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) a shrewd and confident FBI agent with a mysterious past, digging up a whole heap of trouble in the small town of Haven.

Along for the ride are Eric Balfour as local rogue Duke Crocker and Lucas Bryant as Haven cop Nathan Wuornos. Duke and Nathan don’t get along… so expect a love triangle with Audrey in 3, 2, 1…

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Plus Points: Um, Stephen Kind and Syfy – a match made in heaven. King’s name brings undeniable clout to the project and is pretty much the main reason why people will be tuning in…

Emily Rose appeared in cult fave Jericho, and Eric Balfour, despite his show killing reputation (see below) has a following among the Syfy crowd (partly due to his time on 24)

Syfy have done a decent job of raising awareness of the show – though the promotional campaign has been much more muted than for previous series such as Warehouse 13 and Caprica.

Plus it’s summer – and as we’ve seen already this year – cable shows are going from strength to strength (Hot In Cleveland, True Blood), while the networks continue to struggle (The Gates, Persons Unknown). It’s the perfect time to launch a serialized supernatural mystery series….

On The Downside: Turning a 179 page novel into a 13 part series involves a fair bit of stretching – so the series is just using the book as a jumping off point rather than as a faithful reproduction.

I’m a Stephen King fan and have read and loved many of his novels over the years – but even I’d have to concede that The Colorado Kid isn’t among King’s most well known books. Plus we all know the track record for King adaptations – for every Misery and Shawshank Redemption there’s a Sleepwalkers and a Graveyard Shift.

Interesting to note in the behind-the-scenes profile below how eager star Emily Rose is to distance Haven from King’s horror projects – and place it more in the realm of the The Green Mile and Stand By Me. I’m not sure that’s necessarily what Syfy audiences want to hear. And the trailers for the show don’t give very much away – we don’t see any real supernatural events or big effects sequences…  strong winds aren’t exactly scary! Will Haven have the teeth to compete with an envelope pushing series like True Blood?

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Finally there’s the Eric Balfour factor. He has a reputation in the industry as a show killer – Hawaii, Sex, Love and Secrets, Lie With Me and Conviction – will Haven continue the trend – or become his signature show?

Prediction: I’d say Haven is a pretty safe bet for Syfy – echoing previous hits like Warehouse 13 and Eureka. Expect strong summer ratings at least 3 series…