Syfy’s newest original series Alphas has found solid footing among the network’s regular viewers, so they’ve ordered a second round of the superhero series after just eight weeks. The show will return in 2012 with thirteen episodes.
Alphas debuted this summer to 2.5 million viewers, beating out Syfy’s most popular series Warehouse 13, which premiered its third season the same night. While the show hasn’t reached the same numbers since, it’s consistently scored in the 1.5-2 million range, a solid showing for a new cable show. According to Syfy, Alphas averages 3.3 million viewers including repeat airings and DVR viewers.
The show centers around a group of ex-military operatives and civilians working with the FBI in New York City. The Alphas team members all have special abilities, though they’re not exactly in Avengers or Justice League territory: each super-human power comes with its own debilitating and immediate weakness. The team works to track down and capture other ‘Alphas’ who have less noble intentions.
Alphas hasn’t quite lived up to hopes of a Heroes successor, receiving a lukewarm reception from Screen Rant and other critics. Fans seem similarly reserved, giving the show a 6.8 score on Metacritic. Still, Alphas fits in well with the rest of the network’s lineup, and a dearth of superhero shows (rest in peace, The Cape and Wonder Woman) makes it an attractive diversion.
Like other Syfy shows, Alphas features regular guest appearances from science fiction favorites like Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Brent Spiner and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles‘ Summer Glau. Three weeks ago Lindsay Wagner, famous as the original Bionic Woman, appeared in a crossover from Warehouse 13. This places Syfy’s three biggest original series in the same shared universe, since Warehouse 13 and Eureka have been crossed on multiple occasions.
Fans of the long-running Eureka will no doubt be miffed that their favorite show got the axe while Alphas is continuing, especially when the latter has actually had better viewership on some episodes this year. It’s worth noting that Alphas is pretty conservative when it comes to effects and exotic location shooting, and is almost certainly cheaper to produce by design.
Alphas is currently airing Monday nights at 10PM. The finale is scheduled for October 3rd.
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