Check Out Our New Look

Ira Steven Behr To Run SyFy Series ‘Alphas’

By | Monday December 20, 2010 @ 12:28pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Star Trek veteran Ira Steven Behr has joined Syfy’s newly picked up series Alphas as executive producer/showrunner. Alphas, from BermanBraun, Universal Cable Prods. and writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow, stars David Strathairn and follows a team of ordinary citizens who possess extraordinary and unusual mental skills. Behr will serve as an executive producer alongside Penn and BermanBraun’s Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. The series’ 90-minute pilot was directed by Lost director-producer Jack Bender. Behr has an extensive sci-fi background. He worked on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. On Deep Space Nine, he rose to executive producer/showrunner and wrote a total of 53 episodes, more than any other numbers. Behr also served as executive producer/showrunner on USA’s sci-fi drama The 4400 as well as on the second season of Starz’s series Crash, based on the Oscar-winning feature. Syfy had ordered 2 pilots set in the world of real-life superheros, Alphas and 3 Inches. Alphas has been picked up to series while 3 Inches is being reworked and remains in contention.

Comments 22

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 »

Comments (19)

David Strathairn In Talks For ‘Alphas’ Lead

Nellie Andreeva

David StrathairnEXCLUSIVE: David Strathairn is in negotiations for the lead in SyFy’s action-adventure 90-minute pilot Alphas, directed by Jack Bender. Additionally, Ryan Cartwright is set to co-star in the pilot, from BermanBraun and writers Zak Penn and Michael Karnow. Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens possessing extraordinary and unusual mental skills who take the law into their own hands and uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able or willing to solve. ICM-repped Strathairn would play the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the team: an eccentric, absent-minded professor at times, who is also a cunning and manipulative power-player willing to bend the rules in pursuit of his objectives.  Cartwright will play a member of the team who has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. His Alpha ability allows him to “read” wireless transmissions passing through the ether – e-mails, cell  phone communications, television signals, etc. Read More »

Comments (7)