Syfy has enlisted Alphas (working title) to join its slate of original scripted series by greenlighting the wry, action-adventure project from writers Zak Penn (X-Men: The Last Stand, The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk) and Michael Karnow, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head of Original Content for Universal Cable Productions. Eleven episodes have been ordered in addition to the 90-minute pilot directed by Jack Bender (director and executive producer of Lost). Universal Cable Productions will produce the series with BermanBraun Television. Executive Producers are Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein for BermanBraun and Zak Penn.
Emmy(R) winner and Academy Award(R) nominee David Strathairn (Temple Grandin/Good Night, and Good Luck) headlines a cast of both familiar and new faces including Warren Christie (October Road), Malik Yoba (New York Undercover), Laura Mennell (Watchmen), Ryan Cartwright (Bones) and Azita Ghanizada (Castle). Callum Keith Rennie (Battlestar Galactica/24) guest stars in the pilot.
“With each step in the development and production of Alphas, we knew we were onto something very exciting,” said Mark Stern. “Under Gail and Lloyd’s leadership, Zak and Michael created a smart, fast-paced script that attracted an amazing director in Jack Bender and an incredible cast. We couldn’t be happier to see this first-rate project come to fruition as a Syfy series.”
Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens whose brain anomalies imbue them with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Lee Rosen (Strathairn), investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing, to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy.
Production is slated to begin in Toronto early next year with an anticipated summer 2011 debut.