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Farscape Miniseries on Tap for Sci Fi

New York -- Sci Fi Channel will say a final good-bye to fan favorite Farscape and hello to several new fantasy/drama series and movies as part of its summer 2004/early 2005 programming schedule.

Also on tap for the channel are projects featuring several well-known producers and stars such as Martin Scorsese, Deal Devlin, Nicholas Cage, Vin Diesel and Ridley Scott that will help the network to broaden its programming schedule beyond "space operas," Sci Fi president Bonnie Hammer said during the network's upfront presentation here.

The network this summer will air a four-hour miniseries based on original skein Farscape that promises to provide a fitting end to the series, which the network abruptly canceled in 2002 after four seasons due to falling ratings. The cancellation touched off a major backlash from Farscape fans, who vehemently protested the network’s actions via a substantial electronic-mail campaign.

Other shows in development for the network include original series from Joel Schumacher (Batman) and Ridley Scott (Alien).

Also on the drawing board for Sci Fi is Kyra, a spinoff of feature film Pitch Black,with the film’s star, Vin Diesel, serving as executive producer; Eureka, a drama described as "Northern Exposure meets TheTwilight Zone";and Witchhunter Robin, a takeoff on the popular Japanese anime series of the same name.

On the movie side, actor Nicholas Cage will serve as executive producer of Dresden Files, a two-hour back-door pilot film about a detective with wizardlike powers, while Clive Barker (Hellraiser) will produce a six-hour limited series titled History of the Devil.

Other miniseries include The Triangle, Five Days to Midnight and Ringworld.

Also, Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Shawn Ashmore (X-Men) and Kristin Kreuk (Smallville) will join the cast of the network’s previously announced miniseries, Earthsea.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.