<i>Alphas</i> Is More Like <i>The X-Files</i> Than <i>Heroes</i>, Zak Penn Insists

Although it's difficult not to draw comparisons between Sfy's upcoming superhuman thriller Alphas and a certain canceled NBC superhero drama, co-creator Zak Penn wants you to know something: It's nothing like Heroes. Seriously.

"Well, I mean the first thing is I really did try to start from a totally different paradigm," he tells Superhero Hype. "I mean, I was saying to them before, the show is probably closer to The Mentalist or The X-Files in its pitch. Seriously, that's where we started from. And then I kind of got in some of the stuff I always wanted to do in superhero genre. I managed to find the real-world equivalent of it. So as opposed to Heroes, which is completely serialized -- I haven't watched the whole series but it is a lot like X-Men. We purposely started from the totally other direction in terms of what the show is actually like. In the same way that Law & Order is nothing like Heat. They're two opposite ends of the genre."

So there you have it. The series follows five people with extraordinary abilities brought together to investigate cases that point to others with superhuman abilities. There appears to be an over-arching mystery, but no world- (or cheerleader)-saving, time travel or interest-killing carnivals. Yet. Here's the official description:

Alphas follows a team of ordinary citizens with extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Taking the law into their own hands, the unlikely team, led by Dr. Leigh Rosen (David Strathairn) investigates cases that suggest other Alpha activity to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing, to solve. These gifted individuals must balance their quirky personalities and disparate backgrounds with their not always visible powers as they work to solve crimes, stop the ticking time bomb and catch the enemy. Alphas also stars Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada.

Alphas premieres Monday, July 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.

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