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This Just In

'Galactica’ Won’t Fly For a Fifth Season

Los Angeles — The fourth season of Sci Fi Channel’s Battlestar Galactica will be its last.

Producers Ronald Moore and David Eick put out a statement last Thursday, confirming the move, saying: “This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and, finally, an end … Over the course of the past year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end, and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms. And while we know our fans will be saddened to know the end is coming, they should brace themselves for a wild ride getting there — we’re going out with a bang.”

Sci Fi programming chief Mark Stern said the channel “respects their decision to wrap up the story and trusts that fans can look forward to a truly amazing final season.”

Sci Fi previously committed to air a two-hour special this fall that would act as a bridge between the season that ended March 25 and the 20 one-hour episodes that will follow later.

Battlestar Galactica has suffered steady audience declines over the years. The second half of the series’ third season — which ran on Sunday nights from January-March — averaged 1.9 million viewers.

That was down 8% from the 2.1 million viewers it averaged during the first half of the season (January-March 2006), when the show aired during its traditional Friday-night slot.

Both of those numbers were down significantly from the 2.8 million viewers the show drew for its first season in 2005 and the 2.3 million viewers it averaged during the second season. During Battlestar Galactica’s sophomore campaign, the network aired original episodes from July-November 2005 and from January-March 2006.

Baio Looks for Love In VH1 Reality Series

New York — First it was Flavor Flav, now Happy Days heartthrob Scott Baio will seek to get his love life in order on national television as part of a new VH1 reality series premiering in July.

Scott Baio Is 45 … and Single is a reality series that will follow Baio as he enlists the help of a highly-regarded life-coach to help him find a new love, according to network executives.

In each of the series’ eight episodes, Baio will reconnect with some of his most substantial and combustible flames in order to get to the bottom of his bad-boy behavior, according to the network.

'Shear Genius’ Finale Sets Benchmarks for Bravo

New York — The first season of Bravo’s hair competition show Shear Genius went out in style among viewers as the May 30 finale clipped record series ratings across a host of metrics, according to Nielsen Media Research. The finale, in which Anthony from across the pond was crowned “Shear Genius” delivered 1.3 million total viewers, 859,000 adult 18-to-49 watchers and 816,000 adult 25-to-54 viewers.

Those figures represented gains of 34% over the previous seven episodes among total viewers (up from 972,000), 34% among adults 18 to 49 (from 649,000) and adults 25 to 54 (from 570,000), according to Bravo offices.

All told, first-season series premiere installments averaged a 0.96 household rating and 1.01 million viewers.

USA Sets Sail With Latest 'Pirates’ Film

New York — USA Network has reached an agreement with Disney-ABC Domestic Television for the cable-TV rights to Walt Disney Pictures’ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

USA has the network-window premiere for the film — starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Geoffrey Rush and which took in more than $404 million worldwide in its opening weekend — beginning in September 2009.

The 2006 premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl was the biggest theatrical movie in USA’s history and the highest-rated movie in five years in the 25-to-54 demo, the network said.

Commercial-Ratings Summit Is Set for Next Week

New York — Executives from across the cable, broadcast and agency communities are slated to gather at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau headquarters here next week to discuss the establishment of standards for Nielsen Media Research’s commercial minutes ratings.

The Commercial Ratings Commission is tentatively scheduled to meet June 11, according to CAB spokesman Chris Jones. He said CRC is not designed to address how different networks perform with commercial ratings averages vis a vis the traditional program ratings data that has been the metric used over the decades to buy and sell TV commercials. Rather, the group wants to share information about how software systems are handling the new data and how to design systems and processes aimed at standardizing commercial minutes as a measurement tool.

Among those scheduled to attend are top executives from CAB, A&E Networks, Discovery Communications and Comcast, ABC, NBC and Fox, advertising agencies and Donovan Data Systems, the leading supplier of data processing and information management services to the advertising industry.

Voom Taps AOL for Everest Promotion

New York — Rainbow Media’s Voom HD Networks and documentary-production company Atlantic Productions have signed an agreement with AOL to promote Ueverest.com, a Web site tracking a team of Mount Everest climbers making a film about the death of legendary mountaineer George Mallory near the summit.

AOL’s True Stories documentary site will feature exclusive videos, blogs and other content from the Altitude Everest Expedition 2007 project.

Voom expects to air a behind-the-scenes documentary about the climb that will air in the first quarter of 2008 on its extreme-sports channel, Rush HD. A theatrical film on the expedition is scheduled for release in early 2008.

Voom general manager Greg Moyer declined to disclose the budget of the Everest project, but he said it’s the largest single project the cable programmer has undertaken.

Given that the only U.S. distributor for Voom’s HD channels today is EchoStar Communications’ Dish Network, is the idea to encourage fans of the film to lobby their local cable companies to carry Voom?

Moyer replied: “What we have to do is be out in the popular culture with buzz-worthy content. If we do that often enough, people will say, 'Geez, how can I live without Voom?’”

But, he added, “I don’t want to make the leap that we’re going to get there with one project.”

Altitude Everest Expedition 2007, which involves about 80 people on and off the mountain, is currently in the middle of an approximately 40-day trek. The film’s producers are investigating Mallory’s final climb, in an attempt to determine whether he actually reached the summit of Everest in 1924.