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Sci-Fi Channel

According to Variety.com, Sci Fi is developing a new take on Alien Nation, the 1988 feature that previously spawned a spinoff series on Fox.

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Tim Minear – a veteran of sci-fi TV, having worked on The X-Files, Firefly and Strange World – is developing the pilot and series bible for the series, which is built upon the relationship that develops between a human cop and one from the ranks of the alien “Newcomers” whose ship crashed on Earth twenty years earlier.

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Book of Beasts - James

Sci-Fi Premiere’s the Book of Beasts this Saturday at 9PM. The movie stars Battlestar Galactica’s James “Baltar” Callis. More than twenty years after the death of King Arthur, an evil wizard uses a magical book to take control of the Kingdom of Camelot.  Arthur’s daughter teams up with the sons of the Knights of the Roundtable to lure the legendary Merlin out of exile so he can help them fight the evil wizard. Premiere’s Saturday, May 30th at 9pm.

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The fine folks at the SyFy Network (I really can’t type that without laughing because I keep thinking Sifee) are trumpeting the ratings numbers for the series finale.

Battlestar Galactica’s epic series finale, airing from 9-11pm on Friday, March 20, added to its phenomenal ratings with the inclusion of Live + 7 DVR data. Overall, the episode averaged a 2.2 Household rating, 3.1 million total viewers, 2.1 millon Adults 25-54 and 2 million Adults 18-49. This was the best performance for Battlestar Galactica in total viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49 since the February 4, 2005 episode.In addition, among all SCI FI original series telecasts in the network’s 16 year history, this is the #5 most-watched original series performance in Adults 25-54 and the best performance for any original series on this measure since 2005, and is the #4 most-watched telecast in Adults 18-49. A limited-edition, uncut version of the highly-anticipated pilot of Caprica, the new drama series from the producers of Battlestar Galactica, will premiere on DVD from Universal Home Entertainment on Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

I’m not sure what SyFy (Lol) gains from releasing the DVD before Caprica airs on the channel. Ah, I guess this is truly it, the final Battlestar Galactica Post and it’s about the ratings. I can’t imagine there’s much more news about the show other than Caprica – which I’m counting as a totally different thing. But then again, I am scheduled to speak with David Eick sometime in the next few days. Anyhoo

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dave_howe

There have been a lot of responses to the rebranding of the SCI FI Channel to Syfy, which takes effect on July 7, 2009. Most of those responses [as is usual on the good ole Interweb] have been negative – and there’s been a question of whether SCI FI appropriated the name from a popular website that had existed for ten years before a sudden name change. SCI FI honcho, Dave Howe said of that situation, “Once we settled on Syfy it became apparent to us that, you know, the Syfy Portal existed.” Of course, he said a lot more than as he attempted to give us a better understanding of the process of rebranding and its ramifications for the channel’s future.

(Fearless leader note – Do I deliver or what? I told you last week I’d try and get Dave to spill his guts about this stupid name change, unfortunately I was in the middle of moving to Florida so couldn’t sit in. But our fellow Sci-Fi Digital Press folks put his Dave’s feet to the fire. Great job Ken! Participants in this teleconference call included: Ken Gold [Media Boulevard], Meredith Woerner [i09.com], and Kelly West [cinemablend.com]. [click to continue…]

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The SCI FI Channel announced today that they have, along with long-time creative partners RHI Entertainment, begun work on a series of three four-hour movie events: Philip Jose Farmer’s renowned Riverworld; Lee Falk’s The Phantom [the first costumed avenger, created a full year before Superman], and Lewis Carroll’s Alice.

Phantom

Riverworld is a two-night, four-hour movie event based on the popular award-winning series of novels by Philip Jose Farmer. It’s the adventure of Matt, a combat photojournalist, killed along with his fiancée by a suicide bomber, who awakens in a mysterious world where everyone who has ever previously lived on Earth, has been “reborn” along the banks of a seemingly endless river. Determined to locate his lost love Jessica, Matt joins forces, a 13th century female samurai warrior named Tomoe and American novelist Mark Twain. Together they sail upriver in search of its source, and to discover where they are and who put them there. Riverworld is produced by Reunion Pictures (Airdate 2010).

The classic comic book character The Phantom has been re-imagined and transported to present day in a live-action, four-hour movie from writers Dan Knauf (Carnivale) and Charles Knauf. A favorite costumed hero for more than six decades, The Phantom relies on his wits, physical strength and skill with weapons over superhuman powers. Production is slated to begin in April in Montreal with Director Paolo Barzman (The Last Templar) at the helm. The Phantom is produced by Muse Entertainment (Airdate 2010).

Alice is a modern-day reinterpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alices Adventures in Wonderland. The four-hour movie event is written and directed by Nick Willing; director of SCI FI and RHI’s 2007 record-breaking, Emmy-nominated miniseries, Tin Man. Production on Alice is expected to begin in May in Vancouver. Alice is produced by Reunion Pictures (Airdate: Late 2009).

Pre-production and casting are under way.

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TELEVISION NEWS: Sci-Fi Becomes SyFy

In one of the dumbest rebranding moves ever, one of my favorite networks Sci-Fi Channel is rebranding itself to become the SyFy network. There must be some reason beyond the explanation they give for this change. Their stated reason is they have grown beyond the “generic” Sci-Fi moniker and wanted a new name to reflect that. But really, is SyFy not going to make people think Sci-Fi?  No, my conspiracy radar is up. What’s going on here?  Since Eclipse is part of Sci-Fi’s “Digital Network,” I’m going to see if I can get some email or phone time with Sci-Fi President Dave Howe later this week to see what the dillio is with this. At the very least I’m sure there will be a conference call in a few weeks. I’m sure I won’t get more than what’s in the press release, but I’ll give it the old college try. My characteristic, tactful response to the PR folks who sent the press release “What? This is a stupid idea.”  Read the full press release after the break.

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Ellen & Bottle

Following the big reveal – Ellen Tigh as the final Cylon – I was privileged to take part in a teleconference with Ronald D. Moore and Ellen Tigh, herself, Kate Vernon. The conversation on touched many things, including why Dualla, and a shocking new theory was submitted by one of the panel of journalists. In short, it was a blast.

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