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DEEP SPACE NINE/THE 4400 Mastermind Ira Steven Behr To Oversee Syfy's Looming Superhero Series ALPHAS!!

I am – Hercules!!

A series I perceived (until about a minute ago) as horribly unpromising, Syfy’s “Alphas,” has just hired as showrunner the great Ira Steven Behr, who masterminded both “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “The 4400,” according to Deadline Hollywood.

The pilot was penned by and Michael Karnow (“House of Buggin’”) and Zak Penn, best known perhaps for scripting such awful Marvel Comics movies as “Elektra,” “Fantastic Four,” “Incredible Hulk” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” (He also turned in a draft for “The Avengers” before Marvel wised up and hired Joss Whedon to write and direct.)

Before “DS9,” Behr was a major force behind the later (better) episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Syfy earlier this month ordered 11 hourlong episodes of the series in addition to its already-shot 90-minute pilot.

The series will follow a team of civilians who possess overdeveloped neurological abilities. A version drafted for ABC featured a hot girl who could bend people to her will, a “Rain Man”-type autistic savant, an ex-FBI agent who could use adrenaline to give himself super-strength, and a woman who could destroy stuff with her voice.

Laura Mennell (Jenny Slater in “Watchmen”) plays Hot Girl. Malik Yoba (“Defying Gravity”) plays Adrenaline Man. David Strathairn (“Good Night, And Good Luck”) plays their leader, Dr. Lee Rosen. Callum Keith Rennie (Leoben Conoy on “Battlestar Galatica”) is also in the pilot.

Find all of Deadline’s exclusive on the matter here.


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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 21, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    I'm looking forward to this Dramedy!

    by RaptorJesus

    A drama with any comedy what so ever is a dramedy, right herc?

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 12:29 a.m. CST

    David Strathairn!?

    by ROBRAM89


  • Dec. 21, 2010, 1:28 a.m. CST

    He's no Ronald Moore...

    by waynefoolx

    ...but he's no Brannon Braga, either. I'll tune in.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 1:59 a.m. CST

    SyFy + Anything = Poo

    by SoundtrackWhore

    Not to mention the guy who ripped off Babylon 5 is involved. I think Sy should show re-runs of B5 and Stargate Atlantis than subject us to another of their new shows. And for the record, TNG even found a way to screw up their own creation, the Borg (see Edward Scissorhands reject as Borg with a conscience). That was Ira's doing! I think I'll skip generic superhero dramedy.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Yet Another X-Men TV Series, Not Called The X-Men

    by Media Messiah

    The 4400 were the way of Rising Stars, and then there was that other rip-off Heroes, and now this.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 2:42 a.m. CST


    by Li75

    was an awesome series. and even tho it ended prematurely it still wrapped up quite nicely. heroes was a poor imitation of 4400

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 3:01 a.m. CST

    the only super-hero show that has worked....

    by samsquanch

    is called Misfits. You don't know about it because it's British, but it fucking kills anything else that's ever been on tv involving super-powered people. I just finished season two, which was way better than the first season, and it's been picked up for a third, starting I think in the fall of 2011. <p> btw, this is my first post here in awhile, WHAT THE FUCK is up with this new format? Not being able to just scroll and skim through people's posts makes it too annoying to read anyone's stuff. Honestly, why bother clicking on every single post? What is the point of that?

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 3:07 a.m. CST


    by blackflowerX

    I TOTALLY agree with samsquanch , Misfits is THE best Super Hero show ever, and it has hilarious black humor. I thought I would hate it , but its fantastic. <br><br> Also , maybe the "expand all" thing you click at the top right hand of the talkback box needs to be more obvious , everyone is missing it..... Just sayin'.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 3:16 a.m. CST


    by Li75

    its english - stop giving the welsh and scottish false credit :) i have the boxset but keep forgetting to watch it. if you havent seen 4400 check it out btw

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Misfits is great!

    by ls420

    love the tone and visuals...its worth tracking down for any superhero fan out there/

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 5:16 a.m. CST

    With Ira Steven Behr running the show this could great.

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    I added "could and great" because while Ira Steven Behr is a genius, SYFY really needs to get behind the show. A showrunner can only do so much.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST

    I've tried to stay away from Misfits because...


    ..from the adverts, it looks like X-Men meets Trainspotting which is not an equation I like. Am I right?

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:31 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:32 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:34 a.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 7:48 a.m. CST

    It's *Janey* Slater

    by raw_bean

    ...not 'Jenny'. That is all.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Exactly wayne.

    by Bartleby T. Scrivener

  • It would seem to fit the networks desire to cash in on the superhero thing.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Misfits is awesome

    by kimbers

    ive already emailed herc to tell him he should check out misfits @christian bale- i thought the exact same thing but it is very dark and very british it was the episode where nathan had sex with the old/young woman sucked me in

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:17 a.m. CST

    and i liek the trailer for the new episode

    by kimbers

    "i call it lactokinesis" "that has to be the worst power eveah!"

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:26 a.m. CST

    hey, just sayin is my line!

    by rben

    just sayin.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Who gives a rats ass?

    by googamooga

    If it's like everything else on 'SyFy' (stupidest name ever, what was wrong with 'Sci-Fi'?), it will suck. If it's good, like SGU, it will be cancelled.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 10:51 a.m. CST

    This will either be good or a steaming pile of crap

    by VAwitch

    Behr can only be running a show as good as his scriptwriters put out. I don't understand why folks get all a ga-ga about a show's producer... if the actors suck ass, or more often - THE SCRIPT SUCKS - the best producer in the world isn't gonna make it gold. That's what TNG, DS9 & the 4400 had in common - generally good writing, and actors that could work w/ it. Given the current script-head... I'm not holding my breath.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST

    misfits is up on youtube

    by john

    the xmas epi was fooking twisted get past some of the plot holes, and its brilliant and robert sheehan is gonna be a huge star

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Misfits says "In your face, Smallville!"

    by Wormie1

    I looked up Michael Karnow at the IMDB. It does not list those Marvel movies Hercules mentioned. Anyway, Elektra was poor, but the other ones are OK.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 2:15 p.m. CST


    by john

    you are mostly right...but its done in such a way that you will enjoy it note...the majority of the show is filmed near the same walk where alex trashed his droogies in clockwork orange and the show is smallville if written by a combination of ennis, moore, ellis and milligan its a very twisted take on the genre

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST


    by JAMF

    looks fucking dreadful. why must all the 'science fiction' on british screens be mediocre shit like doctor who (a kids show) and misfits (heroes in hollyoaks) thank god for my internet connection or i wouldnt get to watch anything decent.

  • Actually no, Behr left the TNG writing staff after season 3. He wasn't involved with any of the later TNG seasons.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 4:08 p.m. CST

    looking forward to Misfts season 3

    by samsquanch

    I have a feeling they're going to go balls out. I like where the show is at. Barry, or 'the Invisible Cunt' as Nathan calls him, has become one of the most interesting super heroes I've ever seen on tv. It's really come into it's own, and it's set up to go anywhere. I think it's done really well too, in terms of ratings. <p> @li75- it's definitely 'English', not 'British', though it's London, so everyone's from everywhere.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Sounds like everything else on TV

    by SisterSpooky

    Every TV show nowadays all sound the same, hows it any different from the ton of Superhero shows, Cop shows, generic shows out there? I'm beginning to think all Network TV has just jumped on any familiar bandwagon and hopes it gets an audience. Is this even original in concept? I don't think so, they all sound the same, can't tell them apart.

  • Dec. 21, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Good Lord

    by brobdingnag

    "before Marvel wised up and hired Joss Whedon to write and direct" - Yeah, that's what they did, wised up. You can always tell who has shit taste in by this kind of remark. If you like this made for TV ass-clown you will consume any piece of shit that has a fantasy or sci-fi theme no matter how bad the concept.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 12:19 a.m. CST

    The bugs on this site have really irritated me...

    by Toruk_Makto

    First time since this cluster of a changeover I've been able to log in.

  • Dec. 22, 2010, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Misfits most excellent

    by ls420

    they finally made a superhero show that works and doesnt take itself too seriously. hands down the best comic tv show so far

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Misfits is one hell of an amazing show

    by filmstu2005

    Just like 2 weeks ago i started watching it, finished out both seasons and its fucking AMAZING. I am totally engaged and entertained by the show's intrigue and dark comedy. All it took was one simple episode in S2 to get me hooked and i was a crackhead for this shit. The actors are brilliant and look like REAL people. Im curious, are there any other great British shows I should be aware of? Being Human maybe? Or Doctor who? Ive never seen them b/c i keep getting this feeling that they'd be too much like those old weird shows, like The Tomorrow People. Please tell me they're nothing like that. Back on the Misfits deal, who didnt absolutely fall in love all over this shit with the Grand Theft Auto episode and the player shot that new guy straight in the head?? I was like HOLY SHIT this is whats been missing on the tube Keep it coming misfits. And just say no to an American version. They' revamp it into Gossip Girl with ugly models who cant act their way out of an orgasm.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST


    by kimbers

    not much over here similar to misfits tbh red riding is worth a watch and you may recognise one of the actors but its dark, and not played for laughs life on mars is worth checking out though being human is a bit soap opera and dr who is hit and miss league of gentlemen (not to be confused with the 'extraordinary' comics/movie) is a brutally funny and dark comedy series though to be honest for good dark drama/ comedy i look to hbo, fx etc etc