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‘Alphas’ Given New Life On Syfy

Will the new superpower series rival ‘Heroes?’


They say life is a rollercoaster, but this phrase holds particular relevance for the troubled “Alphas” series which has finally reached the end of its bumpy and uncertain ride of pre-broadcast life.

Syfy, the former SciFi Channel, has announced that it has commissioned a 90-minute pilot episode for the project with the intention of developing it into a new series should it receive a warm reception.

Focusing on a group of average people, “Alphas” explores the lives of those who possess extraordinary mental abilities and how these powers change their lives in very unexpected ways. And despite the inevitable comparisons to another comic book themed show, Syfy couldn’t be happier with their decision.

“What we loved about this idea is that it played into a new way of approaching the superhero genre,” Mark Stern, Syfy executive vice president of original programming, said. “The idea of ordinary people who have one slightly extraordinary feature about them and are singularly not so special but together can do extraordinary things was very attractive.”

Of course, the whole idea may sound like a clone of NBC’s “Heroes” series but in reality “Alphas” has been around for almost as long as the once popular super series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show initially started off as “Section 8” which was turned down by NBC in 2007 when the network was already committed to “Heroes” for the fall season. The series was eventually given life at ABC for a six episode pilot season with expectations of pairing it with “Lost,” a move that would certainly have pushed the series to greatness.

Then of course disaster struck. The Writers Guild of America downed tools and headed to the picket lines leaving “Alphas” in limbo. Like many other shows, the series never recovered from the strike although not from a lack of enthusiasm from the Disney-owned ABC network. Instead, it was creative differences that brought the series production to a halt before the first episode was even scripted.

Ironically, the decision for Syfy to pick up the series means that “Alphas” is now back where it started with the Universal conglomerate which not only owns Syfy, but NBC as well.

“Alphas” is being developed by “X-Men: The Last Stand” writer Zak Penn and Michael Karnow.

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