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Sci Fi to Bolster Scripted-Series Lineup

Hoping to push its ratings performances into orbit, Sci Fi Channel Wednesday released a slate of new original scripted and reality series for the 2005-06 season.

Looking to build on the heels of its ratings-rich Friday-night original-programming block of Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1, the network will roll out several new scripted shows later this year into 2006, including Urban Arcana, a drama about mythical creatures causing mayhem on Earth; Tomorrow’s Child, in which a young burn victim gets healed through “skin” of extraterrestrial origin; Time Tunnel, an updated version of the classic 1960s television series; and 3:52, a series that examines what would happen if 2 billion people suddenly vanished from the earth.

Also on the docket is Those Who Walk in Darkness, a near-future drama based on a John Ridley novel; and Heroes Anonymous, a live-action series chronicling the lives of aspiring superheroes seeking to balance daily life with their secret identities.

The network will also tap actor Michael Douglas to produce an as-yet-untitled project based on the works and life of suspense author Shirley Jackson, and it will venture into the world of comic books to produce Painkiller Jane, a series based on a superheroine.

On the reality front, the network will bow animated series Barbarian Chronicles, an ensemble comedy that will feature “middle-earth metrosexuals” living in a new magical world; and Seriously Baffling Mysteries, a spoof on the supernatural-investigative craze, produced by FremantleMedia North America.

The series will join previously announced reality series Dallas in Wonderland, where host Dallas Campbell attempts to accomplish bizarre science-fiction challenges.