Syfy picks up 'Three Inches' pilot

8:00 PM PST 03/15/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

THR EXCLUSIVE

Syfy has greenlighted a pilot that puts a spin on the traditional superhero genre and seeks to continue growing its "Battlestar Galactica" empire.

The network has ordered a 90-minute pilot, "Three Inches," from Fox Television Studios, writer Harley Peyton ("Twin Peaks") and executive producer Bob Cooper. It centers on an underachiever who gains the power to move any object using his mind, but only for a distance of three inches. He recruits a team of fellow heroes, each with their own less-than-spectacular abilities.

" 'Three Inches' is a fun, smart, offbeat spin on the superhero genre," Syfy executive vp development Mark Stern said. "It's a very postmodern approach, with a really wonderful, tongue-in-cheek script."

Added David Madden, executive vp at Fox TV Studios, "We felt there was something special and particularly twisted about this script, both in tone and in its sense of imagination."

The network hopes to at least pick up one of its two pilots. The other, "Alphas," also is about a team with superpowers.

Syfy also is seeking to expand its popular "Battlestar" franchise.

When asked about the chances of its modestly performing spinoff "Caprica" getting a renewal, Stern was bullish. He pointed to the show recently hitting a series high in the adult demographic using Live+7 ratings, drawing 1.6 million viewers and 913,000 adults 18-49.

"We have a lot of hope for that show," Stern said. "The (DVR data) has been very promising and growing week after week."

The network also is looking to order another "Battlestar"-related project. Details were slim, but Stern said the title would mark a return to the franchise's space-opera roots.

"We're looking for other ways to spin off 'Battlestar' beyond 'Caprica,' " he said. "That world is so rich. We're sitting down with (executive producer) Ron Moore and his team. It would not necessarily be a traditional series."

With Syfy's upfront scheduled for Tuesday, media buyers likely will receive added clarity on the network's plans. Until then, there's one project that Stern adamantly refused to discuss, a title so notorious, the Syfy executive would not divulge any hints about its content.

"I absolutely cannot talk about 'Sharktopus,' " Stern said.
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