The 4400 (pronounced \"the forty-four hundred\") is a science fiction television series produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in association with BSkyB, Renegade 83, and American Zoetrope for USA Network in the United States and Sky One in the United Kingdom. It was created and written by Scott Peters and René Echevarria, and it starred Joel Gretsch and Jacqueline McKenzie. The series ran for four seasons from July 11, 2004, to September 16, 2007.
The National Threat Assessment Command (NTAC), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of dealing with the return of the 4400. Dennis Ryland is the head of NTAC. Ryland assigns Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris as the lead team to investigate the 4400. In the second season, Ryland goes to Washington and is replaced by Nina Jarvis. In the fourth season, Meghan Doyle takes over as the head of NTAC.
The first-season finale, \"White Light\", reveals that the 4400 were abducted not by aliens, but by humans from the Earth's future, that Kyle Baldwin was to be their \"messenger\", and that they were returned to avert a catastrophe.
By the second season, it is revealed that all 4400 have a fictional neurotransmitter, promicin, in their brains, which gives them their powers. The government, afraid of what this large group would do with such power, had secretly been dosing all of the 4400 with a promicin inhibitor, which had worked on most, but not all, of the 4400. One of the inhibitor's side effects is a potentially fatal immune deficiency. The inhibitor is ultimately removed from the 4400 by a dose of promicin extracted by Kevin Burkhoff from the blood of the infant Isabelle, who was never given the inhibitor.
At the beginning of the third season, the Nova Group, a terrorist faction made up of 4400s, emerges. Originally formed as a \"defensive\" group in the aftermath of the promicin-inhibitor scandal, the Nova Group eventually carries out numerous terrorist attacks against the government and NTAC. The group is responsible for many terrorist attacks including the assassination of the men involved with the promicin-inhibitor conspiracy; the attempted assassination of Ryland; the framing of Baldwin for murder; and the driving of another person to insanity.
During the third and fourth season, it is revealed that only a certain faction from the future wants to see history changed. Another faction, which prefers the status quo, opposes the 4400, and has sent their own operatives, including Isabelle Tyler and \"the Marked\", into the past. The exact motives of both factions were not revealed.
An injection of promicin has a 50% chance of either killing the person taking the injection (by way of an aneurysm) or giving them a 4400 ability. In the fourth season, Dr. Burkhoff claims to have discovered how promicin interacts with the body, thus being able to predict whether a person will survive the shot or not. It is explained that nine out of ten left-handed people who take the shot survive. In the brain there is a small part called the corpus callosum. It is essentially a bundle of neural fibres that connects the two hemispheres and it is usually slightly larger in left-handed people than it is in right-handed people. That is why left-handed people survive; the size of that part of the brain helps determine whether or not a person will be able to integrate a new neurotransmitter. With further research, Dr. Burkhoff believes a simple CAT scan will be able to tell how anyone's body will react to a promicin shot.
The 4400 ran for four seasons. The first season is presented as a miniseries of five episodes, which aired weekly from July 11, 2004, to August 8, 2004, with a two-hour premiere. The second, third and fourth seasons are each 13-episode seasons (counting the two-hour premieres in the second and third seasons as two episodes). A special episode, \"The 4400: Unlocking the Secrets\", aired between the second and third seasons, on June 3, 2006, originally on NBC.
Writer and co-creator Scott Peters announced on December 18, 2007, that due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, budgetary problems, and lower-than-anticipated ratings, The 4400 had been cancelled and would not be returning for a fifth season.
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