On July 11, Syfy makes a bid to dominate Monday nights this summer by lining up two of its returning hits and then closing out the night with something new.
First up is "Eureka," starring Colin Ferguson as the regular-guy sheriff of a small Northwestern town stuffed with scientific geniuses and advanced technology, which returns for the back half of its fourth season. Among the upcoming guest stars are Wil Wheaton, Matt Frewer and Ming-Na.
Next is "Warehouse 13," which comes out of a second season that ended with a bang, leaving fans wondering if government agent Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) would have to search for historic artifacts with strange powers without the help of partner Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly).
Added to the cast for the third season is Aaron Ashmore as Steve Jinks, an ATF agent who's a bit of a human lie detector.
Anchoring the evening is the premiere of "Alphas," a thriller starring David Strathairn as a neurologist/psychiatrist in charge of a team of five "Alphas" -- people with specific enhanced abilities -- that looks into incidents involving others of their kind. Co-starring are Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Laura Mennell, Ryan Cartwright and Azita Ghanizada.
"It's also about things which I think are really yet to be mined in our dramatic literature," says Strathairn, "which is people who have particular neurological anomalies, which are discovering day to day there are more and more (of them).
"These people, in their day-to-day lives, are being put into a heightened and extreme and potentially life-threatening situation."
While Myka Bering's life is not under immediate threat, her decision to walk away from her job at the secret facility Warehouse 13 in South Dakota met with strong and often negative fan reaction. This has not escaped the notice of executive producer Jack Kenny.
"I know that people are nervous and worried," he says, "but all I can say is, 'Don't worry. It's all going to be fine. As a matter of fact, you're going to be happier than ever.' I actually think this season's our best one yet."
After all, at the end of season one, Artie Nielsen (Saul Rubinek), the agent in charge of Warehouse 13, appeared to have been killed in a giant explosion -- yet he survived.
As to whether Rubinek worries the fan reaction to his "death" might not be as passionate as that to Myka's departure, McClintock quips, "Oh, we just keep telling him that (it is). With Saul, there was rioting down in Yonkers."
As for the theme of the season, Kenny says, "In general, we've gone bigger, with more expansive, more emotional shows than we've ever done. We've really stretched ourselves and outdone ourselves in terms of the size and scope of episodes.
"Our theme this year has become how your past informs your present, how what happened in your past affects you in the present. Every character deals in some way with something that's happened in the past now affecting what's happening in the present, in a major way that's both familial and a way into the Warehouse."
Also this season, Neil Grayston, who plays Douglas Fargo on "Eureka," makes his second crossover appearance on "Warehouse 13." His first was in an episode last year, which was paired with a "Warehouse 13" episode in which the warehouse's tech wizard, Claudia Donovan (Allison Scagliotti), visited the town of Eureka.
This time around, Kenny says, "This is a really fun one. Pete and Claudia have to go inside a video game. We did some really cool stuff with that. They have to use an artifact to go inside a video game."
So, not only is it a crossover, but it's also "Warehouse 13" meets "Tron"?
"Yeah," says Kenny. "Why not?"
While "Alphas" may prove to be too intense for younger viewers -- and it is on at 10 p.m. ET -- "Eureka" and "Warehouse 13" feature action but not serious violence, all heavily laced with humor. This makes them attractive as whole-family viewing.
As a father of two young sons, this makes McClintock proud.
"I love the fact that kids can watch this show," he says. "It's a show that brings the family together, that makes everybody sit down and have fun and laugh and have a conversation about later. Maybe the dad and the son can do Pete lines together. That's the kind of stuff I did with my dad.
"I don't know if it's a grandiose thought for me, but it would be nice to be able to create memories like that, between a dad and his son. I know how important those memories are to me, still.
"Our first assistant director was telling me, 'My son loves your character.' I said, 'How old is he?' 'He's 13.' I said, 'That's perfect. That's basically Pete's peer group.' "Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times