SyFy channel announced today that they have cancelled a potential third season of Alphas, leaving the final episode of Season 2 as the series finale. This sucks for fans of the show, as Season 2 ended on a cliffhanger and will not be resolved. Ignoring for a moment the “curse of Summer Glau” jokes and the horrible B movies they constantly show, this is disturbing news for the network. I actually liked and watched Alphas during Season1; however, when the finale revealed an overall story arc that was a direct rip-off of X-Men (which the show was already flirting with through Season 1), I tuned out, although the weekly serial crime element portion wasn’t bad. Ryan Cartwright, who played autistic signal hacker Gary, provided many laugh-out-loud moments and was the highlight of the show.
The whole ratings and ad dollars system on TV is broken, with people using DVRs to skip commercials, so basing shows on ad dollars tied to ratings is worthless – however, that’s the reality at this time. I’m not sure how an established network like SyFy justifies cutting original shows for yet more fake reality shows about hunting ghosts. Based on what I see from other sites, SyFy’s most popular shows have been original programming like Battlestar Galactica, Warehouse 13 and Haven, so I don’t understand the decision to go away from that. SyFy has been doing that for some time though, cancelling my personal favorite, The Dresden Files, after one season.
And to show producers: you never know when your show is going to be cancelled. Why you continue to embrace cliffhanger endings at the end of the season is beyond me. Wrap it up at the end of the season and start a new arc during the next season.