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October 21, 2014

DavidStrathairn

Checking In on 'Alphas,' the Summer's Most Promising New Drama

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 30th 2011 3:00PM
In my 'Happy Endings' piece yesterday, I noted that I'm using this week to check in on shows I won't be able to write about during the September premiere crush. Today's program: Syfy's 'Alphas.'

The bad news is, 'Alphas' doesn't return until Sept. 12. The good news is, you have almost two weeks to catch up on this Syfy drama, which has turned out to be surprisingly good, especially in recent weeks.

I say "surprisingly" not just because much of Syfy's recent scripted fare has been lightweight, unambitious or slipshod (or all three), but because so much could have gone wrong with this particular show, which follows a team of investigators with superhuman abilities.

Not only has 'Alphas' successfully avoided many of the pitfalls that have bedeviled other superhero-flavored projects, it's done a good job of balancing character-driven moments with taut, well-paced storytelling. Not every episode has been an unqualified success, but the Aug. 15 and Aug. 22 outings, to name my favorites, were truly excellent, if not downright badass.

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Malik Yoba Talks About 'Alphas' and Being an Acting Teacher (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 23rd 2011 5:45PM
Malik Yoba talks about 'Alphas' and teaching on 'Good Day New York'By day, Malik Yoba is a strongman on the Syfy show 'Alphas.' By night, he is a mild-mannered acting teacher at Long Island University, he revealed on 'Good Day New York' (weekdays, 9AM ET on Fox). When he's not filming the show in Toronto, as part of an ensemble cast with David Strathairn, he's back home in Brooklyn, preparing for class with his students.

Yoba teaches a course called 'The Working Actor,' which is appropriate because he happens to be one. His goal is to help students achieve that status too, but don't expect to become his co-star after taking the course. At least not right away. "I can't guarantee people jobs but I can certainly tell you what I've done," he said. "And I'll bring in famous friends like David Strathairn, who's an Academy Award nominee, who's in our show 'Alphas.' He'll be one of our guest speakers."

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David Strathairn Explains How 'Alphas' Are Different Than Other Superheroes (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 11th 2011 3:15PM
David Strathairn discusses Syfy's new series 'Alphas' on 'Today'The principal characters on Syfy's new series 'Alphas' might seem like superheroes, but that's not necessarily true. David Strathairn said Monday on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM on NBC) that you won't see Superman or mutants with steel claws on the show, just regular people who happen to be able to harness normal human abilities better than most.

"We can't change the weather with a flick of our hand or put out a fire with our breath," said Strathairn, "but all these individuals have capabilities that we all have except they can heighten them to extraordinary levels." Supposedly, the abilities are based in "neurological fact," or real abilities. "You could look at someone and override their willpower and just suggest something you want them to do and they do it," said Strathairn by way of example.

Strathairn's Dr. Lee Rosen is the de facto Professor X, the man charged with "trying to ferret out bad Alphas using their skills for nefarious means," and also trying to help the good ones control their gifts. Hopefully, someone in the cast has the gift of second season renewal.

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TV Casting: Freddy Rodriguez, David Strathairn Lead New Pilots

by Andrew Scott, posted Feb 11th 2010 12:23PM
Freddy Rodriguez'Six Feet Under' alum Freddy Rodriguez will lead the CBS pilot 'Chaos.' Rodriguez will reportedly play a naive agent who wants to make the world a better place in this drama from director Brett Ratner. Meanwhile, Oscar nominee David Strathairn ('Good Night, and Good Luck') is also headed to the small screen in the ABC pilot 'Matadors.' He'll join the recently cast Zach Gilford ('Friday Night Lights') in the series, about dueling legal families in Chicago. [Hollywood Reporter]

More casting news after the jump.

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TV Casting: Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White are 'Hot in Cleveland'; David Strathairn Books 'House'

by Andrew Scott, posted Jan 12th 2010 1:30PM
Hot in ClevelandFour TV vets have just inked deals to star in the new TV Land comedy pilot 'Hot in Cleveland.' Among those joining the show are Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and 'Frasier''s Jane Leeves as three best friends from Los Angeles who get trapped in Cleveland, then decide to stay when they realize the locals think they're hot. Also on board is Emmy winner Betty White, who will play the trio's "grumpy" and "opinionated" neighbor (how very Sophia Petrillo of her). In the meantime, this marks the second pilot order from the network, after 'Retired at 35,' starring George Segal. No word yet on a premiere date. [Hollywood Reporter]

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