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Two Similar Pilots: Syfy’s ‘Three Inches’ Faces Tweaks, Possible Half-Hour Conversion To Join ‘Alphas’ As New Series

Nellie Andreeva

It is usually a great problem for networks to have when all the pilots they’ve orderered come in strong. But, in the case of Syfy’s  similarly-themed Alphas and Three Inches, it created a dilemma. Syfy had been looking to launch a series set in the world of real-life superheroes. To increase its chances of success, the network ordered two such pilots, Alphas and Three Inches, “that were slightly different in tone but very similar in subject matter,” said Syfy EVP original content Mark Stern. Alphas, from BermanBraun, in-house studio UCP, writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow and director Jack Bender, stars David Strathairn and follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Three Inches, from writer Harley Peyton, director Jace Alexander and Fox TV Studios, centers on an underachiever (Noah Reid) who can move any object three inches with his mind and recruits a team of fellow heroes. The hope was for one of the pilots to become a series.

Instead, unexpectedly for everyone at the network, “we found ourselves with 2 pilots that we loved,” Stern said. “They were both excellent and tested very well. Ultimately it came down to which pilot would work best as an hourlong franchise. We thought they both did but felt Alphas had a little bit more potential for that.”

So Syfy on Tuesday gave Alphas an 11-episode series pickup. But it is not giving up on Three Inches just yet and is looking … Read More »

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Syfy Picks Up ‘Alphas’ Pilot To Series, ‘Three Inches’ Still Alive

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: It came down to the wire for Syfy’s two drama pilots about people with special abilities, Alphas and Three Inches, which were both in serious contention for a series pickup. Syfy just made its final decision, giving Alphas an 11-episode order in addition to the 90-minute pilot. Production is slated to begin in Toronto early next year for a summer 2011 debut.

Alphas, from BermanBraun, UCP and writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow, stars David Strathairn and follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Penn and BermanBraun’s Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are executive producing the series whose 90-minute pilot was directed by Lost director-producer Jack Bender. “With each step in the development and production of Alphas, we knew we were onto something very exciting,” said Syfy’s EVP original content 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.” Co-starring on Alphas are Warren Christie, Malik Yoba, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada. Meanwhile, it is not over yet for Three Inches. “Three Inches is a terrific project that we continue to be interested in,” Stern said. We are … Read More »

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