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'12 Monkeys' Adaptation Lands Series Order at Syfy

The adaptation of Terry Gilliam's feature film stars "Nikita's" Aaron Stanford and will debut in January.

Aaron Stanford 12 Monkeys - H 2014
Courtesy of Syfy
Aaron Stanford in "12 Monkeys"

Nearly a year after 12 Monkeys was first put in development with an eye on a series order, Syfy has made it official.

The cable network on Friday announced that its adaptation of the Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis feature film has been picked up to series with a 13-episode order for a January 2015 premiere.

Nikita's Aaron Stanford and Suits' Amanda Schull star in the drama based on Universal Pictures' Terry Gilliam film. In Plain Sight's Natalie Chaidez serves as showrunner on the drama about a time traveler from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in the present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race.

Feature film producer Atlas Entertainment is on board to executive produce the series. Charles Roven, who produced the film, will exec produce the series alongside Atlas' Richard Suckle and Jake Kurily. Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett (Nikita) penned the pilot and will co-exec produce. Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights) directed and exec produced the pilot. Noah Bean (Nikita) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) co-star.

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The series pickup -- coming just a week after Syfy renewed outbreak thriller Helix for a second run -- arrives as the NBCUniversal-owned cable network has made returning to its sci-fi/fantasy roots a la Battlestar Galactia more of a priority under new network president Dave Howe.

"12 Monkeys is a captivating time-travel adventure and high-stakes race against the clock. We are thrilled to add it to our slate of engaging and thought-provoking new scripted projects including the recently announced event series Ascension and the second season renewal of Helix from Ron Moore.”    

12 Monkeys, from Universal Cable Productions, was originally developed by Howe's predecessor Mark Stern and first put in the pipeline in July 2013.

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The addition of 12 Monkeys gives Syfy two new dramas based on feature films, giving the network a leg up on marketing to existing fans. The cabler will bow Dominion -- an adaptation of 2010 supernatural action drama feature Legion -- later this year. Also on tap at Syfy is Ascension, a six-hour space opera in the spirit of Battlestar set for a November bow. Syfy will look at the limited series as a jumping-off point for a potential TV series based on the property, in much the same way Battlestar did.

12 Monkeys joins Syfy's roster of original scripted fare that also includes Continuum, Defiance, Haven and Lost Girl and arrives as the cabler is saying farewell to Warehouse 13 and Being Human this year.

The 12 Monkeys pickup leaves Bryan Fuller's long-gestating High Moon as the only pilot in the works at Syfy.

Stanford becomes the latest Nikita alum to score a new gig. Shane West stars in WGN America's first scripted drama, Salem; and Maggie Q just boarded a stalker drama pilot at CBS from The Following's Kevin Williamson.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit