12 Monkeys comes as Syfy looks to beef up its original scripted fare, following the successful launch of pricey drama Defiance. The network is looking to add five or six new original scripted projects for 2014 to join Helix, which also was picked up straight to series.
"We're looking at short orders, maybe eight to 10 [episodes] as opposed to 13," Stern said. "Some may be [split runs of] 10 and 10. Our goal is to do five or six original scripted series a year and a big tentpole event miniseries that could also possibly serve as a backdoor pilot to a series as well, the way that Battlestar Galactica did. It's an exciting time for us."
"We're really trying to figure out what our next year is going to be," he added. "We have Helix in January; we're trying to figure out what our summer series is going to be. We have a lot of different options. We know that Defiance is going to come back in the summer, and the last six episodes of Warehouse 13 are going to be back along with Defiance. Then there's this big gray zone after that of what follows. We definitely have a miniseries we want to try to do for December of 2014 -- Jamie Foxx's is a series of half-hours we might do for Halloween of 2014. We're looking to do a big four-hour miniseries -- a tentpole mini -- at the end of 2014, and we're trying to figure out what that's going to be."
"We have a half-dozen scripts that are all pretty amazing in their own way," Stern said of Syfy's development pipeline. "It's a return to our roots in terms of science fiction: cool, interesting push-the-genre science fiction. Some we're looking at doing straight to series, because you really want to give them the flexibility and do a closed-ended, arced run. Some of them are going to be traditional pilots, and then we'll decide and they may be a bit more episodic."
12 Monkeys joins a development roster that also includes Bryan Fuller's High Moon and Proof, from M. Night Shyamalan, among others.