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EXCLUSIVE: Sci Fi Buys ‘Stargate SG-1’ Flicks For Spring ’09 Schedule

Sci Fi Channel has acquired the U.S. television rights to premiere both of the Stargate SG-1 made-for-DVD movies released so far by MGM, with plans to make them Sunday-night movie events next spring, network officials told Multichannel News Friday.

Stargate: Ark of Truth, released as a DVD this past March, will air first, in early spring, and Stargate: Continuum, released as a DVD this past July, will air late in the spring, according to Thomas Vitale, senior VP of programming and original movies at NBC Universal-owned Sci Fi.

Vitale wouldn’t reveal the purchase terms, but said it was part of a deal that also included the new TV series Stargate Universe, scheduled to debut on the channel next summer (possibly July).

Sci Fi also ordered from MGM and the Stargate production team a made-for-TV movie to follow Stargate Atlantis, the series that’s wrapping up its run on Sci Fi with the current, fifth season. The 100th and last episode of Atlantis finished shooting last week.

The Atlantis movie might not air until late next year, Vitale said, and could act as a “bridge” when Universe takes a break. Sci Fi generally splits its series seasons in two with several months in between the first and second set of episodes.

“We’ll continue to have an original Stargate presence throughout the year,” Vitale said.

Ark of Truth continues the Arthurian storyline of SG-1’s final season and “gives a very satisfying conclusion to that story arc,” Vitale said.

Continuum—partially filmed near the North Pole with a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine as a key prop—is “an exhilarating, standalone Stargate adventure,” Vitale said.

“Both of them are incredibly interesting, for different reasons. They both have great value to Sci Fi and to our viewership. And personally, I love them,” he said.

MGM and Stargate SG-1 co-creator Brad Wright have deemed the DVD sales a success and say they expect to make more SG-1 movies. Amanda Tapping, who played Samantha Carter in SG-1 and Atlantis (and stars in new Sci Fi series Sanctuary, debuting Oct. 18), told Multichannel News this week plans are under way for the third SG-1 movie. “I’m really looking forward to the SG-1 movie ‘cause we had so much fun making the two that we made,” she said.

Vitale said “we’re very interested in partnering with MGM to do additional SG-1 movies as well, and we’re talking about it.”

Sci Fi has long aired twice-monthly Saturday movies, adding a monthly Sunday night movie franchise this year. Upcoming Sunday features will include Cyclops, set in ancient Rome, starring Eric Roberts and produced with legendary director Roger Corman; sequels to two theatrical hits, Anaconda 4 and Lake Placid3; and a futuristic adventure flick Lost City Raiders, Vitale said.