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October 8, 2015


A Few Thoughts on the 'Alphas' Season Finale

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 27th 2011 12:05PM

How about that last scene of the 'Alphas' finale? If you're anything like my spouse, your immediate reaction was, "When does season 2 begin?"

The bad news is that the next season of the show won't arrive until some time in 2012. Despite the wait, I think the network has a potential hit on its hands. If the network is smart, it will keep 'Alphas' laser-focused on intelligent writing and character development, because those elements will make or break 'Alphas' future.

If the drama's writers, cast and directors are able to capitalize on what season 1 did right, it could break out as a hit for the network.

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'Alphas' Sets Season 1 Marathon and Extra-Long Season Finale

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 23rd 2011 2:45PM
Just a heads up for 'Alphas' viewers -- the show's season finale, which airs 10PM ET Monday, runs 63 minutes. If you're recording the show, make sure your DVR is aware of the overrun.

Another thing you should be aware of: Syfy is airing a marathon of the entire first season of the show, starting at 11:30AM ET Monday. So if you haven't caught up with 'Alphas,' now's your chance.

I wrote here about how the drama grew on me over the course of its first season. Its last couple of outings were particularly good, and it's heartening that the show got more confident and interesting as its debut season progressed.

But if, in this busy fall season, you don't have time to check out every episode of the show, I'll give you a list of the selected episodes you might want to check out before the season finale arrives.

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'Alphas' Gets a Second Season from Syfy

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 7th 2011 2:50PM
'Alphas,' Syfy's show about a crime-fighting team with special powers, has gotten a second season from Syfy, TVLine reports. The show, which wraps up its debut season Sept. 26, will return in 2012 with a super-sized number of hours -- 13 episodes, as opposed to this season's 11.

'Alphas,' which stars David Strathairn as the leader of a group of men and women with special abilities, has emerged as one of the most promising new shows of the year, as I wrote here. The drama has overcome a rocky beginning to become an enjoyable and intelligent take on superhero-flavored storytelling, and after a strong debut, it's been pulling in more than 3 million viewers each week,

Check out this article to find out which season 1 episodes you should watch to get caught up (if you're not already), and we've got intel below on what to expect when the show returns Sept. 12 with guest stars Brent Spiner ('Star Trek') and Rebecca Mader ('Lost').

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Talking TV Podcast Takes On 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Happy Endings,' 'Alphas' and 'Awkward.'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 1st 2011 2:30PM
Things are ramping up on the podcast front as the fall season approaches. But before we're deluged with the comedies and dramas that premiere later in September, Ryan McGee and I thought we'd take another look at three shows that premiered earlier in the year, and one veteran that's returning for its fourth season.

We discussed 'Alphas,' the Syfy drama I recently re-reviewed here, in the first quarter of the podcast. Then we talked about 'Happy Endings' and 'Awkward,' both which I recently wrote about as well (and there's a bit of 'Wilfred' chat at the end of the comedy portion of the podcast). Finally, we moved on to a 20-minute (non-spoilery) discussion of the fourth season of 'Sons of Anarchy.'

The running times for the podcast are below.

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'Alphas' and Syfy Want You To Win an iPod!

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 31st 2011 2:15PM
Alphas giveawayWhat could possibly be cooler than a t-shirt honoring 'Alphas,' Syfy's best new show of the summer?

Well, a super-cool 'Alphas' t-shirt and an iPod, obviously!

Syfy and 'Alphas' want you to spend the rest of the summer -- well, not Monday nights at 10PM, when 'Alphas' is on -- in style with a brand new t-shirt and 8GB iPod Nano.

To win, just tell us what power you'd like to have if you were an Alpha. Read the full rules below.

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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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EXCLUSIVE: 'Battlestar's' Jamie Bamber Nabs TNT Role, 'Caprica' Vet Invades 'Alphas' & Intel on 'Blood and Chrome'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Aug 22nd 2011 5:00PM
Jamie BamberTwo veterans of the 'Battlestar Galactica' universe have landed upcoming guest roles on very different shows.

Jamie Bamber, who played Lee "Apollo" Adama on 'Battlestar Galactica' and went on to appear in 'Law & Order: UK,' will have a recurring role on the new TNT series 'Perception,' which stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, an odd neuroscience professor who helps the FBI crack cases.

Bamber will guest at least twice on 'Perception' as a new professor who catches the eye of Kate Moretti (Rachel Leigh Cook), Pierce's FBI handler and former student.

'Perception,' which also stars Kelly Rowan and Arjay Smith, premieres in the summer of 2012. And no doubt Bamber fans are aware that Bamber was also recently cast in a guest role on 'CSI: Miami.' (More nerd-bait casting: 'Star Trek' actor LeVar Burton will recur as a dean at Pierce's university.)

Another veteran of the 'BSG' universe, 'Caprica' actor John Pyper-Ferguson, will have a key role in the season finale of Syfy's 'Alphas,' a drama about people with extraordinary abilities.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Alphas' Sneak Peek

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 8th 2011 5:10PM
AlphasNow, we're not saying that fog automatically makes things scarier, but when coupled with an abandoned football field at night, things can get pretty eerie.

But the teenage couple featured in AOL TV's exclusive preview of tonight's all-new episode of 'Alphas' didn't seem to let the creepy atmosphere get to them. And even mysterious clanging didn't interrupt their makeout session on the bleachers.

Wait until you see what finally freaked them out!

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John Corbett Returns to 'Parenthood,' 'Alphas' Books Major Nerd Bait & More Casting News

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 2nd 2011 7:00PM
John CorbettJohn Corbett is reprising his role as Lauren Graham's ex on 'Parenthood' this season. The former 'Sex and the City' stud will drop into town for several episodes as Seth, the alcoholic father of Sarah's character.

"Just when everything seems to be going well between Sarah and Mark [Jason Ritter], Seth shows up and he's kind of in a darker place than he's been," creator Jason Katims told TVLine. "And so you see Sarah really having to struggle with wanting to help him and be there for him, but also at the same time [be fully present] in this relationship with Mark that's really good and healthy."

Also going on in the Braverman world: Brittany Belt will play Haddie's BFF who disapproves of her relationship with Alex, TVLine reports.

In other TV casting news ...

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'Alphas' Exclusive: Sneak Peek at Monday's Episode

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 1st 2011 6:15PM
AlphasAnother dangerous criminal, another opportunity for the Alpha team to save the day.

In this weeks AOL TV 'Alphas' exclusive sneak peak, watch the gang carry out a raid using their special powers -- unfortunately, the guy at the other end has a potentially deadly Alpha trait of his own.

How will the team fare? Watch the clip below and get ready for tonight's episode, 'Rosetta,' airing at 10PM on Syfy.

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EXCLUSIVE 'Alphas' Preview: One Nasty Subway Ride (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 25th 2011 6:15PM
AlphasAs any New Yorker can tell you, riding the subway isn't always the most pleasant experience. This young Alpha runaway on 'Alphas' (Mon., 10PM on Syfy) can certainly attest to that.

In 'Anger Management,' Dr. Rosen and the team must relocate the base after an attack. Meanwhile, the aforementioned runaway causes a series of riots up and down the East Coast.

The preview clip below shows what happens when a subway ride turns particularly violent with an Alpha on the train.

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The 'Alphas' Track Down an Unerring Sharpshooter in Syfy Series Premiere (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 12th 2011 3:44AM
'Alphas' - 'Pilot'Syfy wrapped up its night-of-a-million-three premieres with the series launch of 'Alphas' (Mon., 10PM ET on Syfy). The idea is to tap into that same sense of joy and wonder that fans got when they watched the first season of 'Heroes.' Remember when that show was great?

The Alphas may not be the unassuming everymen who comprised the 'Heroes' crew, but they do harness normal human capabilities for their powers. And they have the advantage of already being organized as a team under an eccentric doctor, like so many comic book teams that have existed over the years.

To help ease us into this reality and these people, we're introduced to who will become the fifth member of the team. And in classic comic book fashion, they had to fight before they could all decide to get along. But that scene showcased everyone's abilities beautifully.

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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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Review: With 'Alphas,' Syfy Aims for Superhero Territory

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 11th 2011 1:30PM
If you have even casual familiarity with the world of superhero comics and films, nothing about 'Alphas' (10PM ET Monday, Syfy) will strike you as unusual.

There aren't any tights or costumes in sight, but many of the familiar building blocks are put in place by the drama's series premiere: The unusually powerful team that sometimes held back by bickering and interpersonal issues; the abrupt government agent with the ambiguous agenda; the thoughtful, professorial leader of the team who is not named Professor Charles Xavier but who might as well be. (At least 'Alphas' comes by its 'X-Men' connections honestly: Co-creator Zak Penn was one of the writers on a couple of 'X-Men' movies.)

As an origin story, 'Alphas' hits some notes too hard and lacks a certain subtlety, yet there's potential in this tale, especially if it delves into the psychological cost of being extraordinary.

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