TCA: Sci Fi unveils new originals

Still flush from hit miniseries Taken, Sci Fi Channel is
pushing forward with new original programming.

Sci Fi has inked a deal with Universal Television Group cousin Reveille
Productions to adapt two Marvel comics -- Brothers Voodoo and 1,000 Days -- into
television series.

In March, Sci Fi will welcome Tremors: The Series (originally slated
for this month), as well as the sequel to its successful miniseries Dune, three-part
series The Children of Dune.

Sci Fi and sister network USA Network are getting an additional $400
million in programming budgets over the next three years to increase production
of originals, Universal Television chairman Michael Jackson said.

Explaining the added investment, he said, "Sports and strips series are
other people's content. You don't control them. It's smarter to be in control of
your own destiny. When we create original programming, it helps all parts of our

To that end, USA has entered into a first-look development
partnership with Whoopi Goldberg, who will executive-produce series and specials
for USA Network and USA Cable. The first project, Sullivan's Travels,
stars Goldberg and will debut in Christmas 2004.

USA's "Crime Fridays" block will soon welcome a new original movie franchise, Ann Rule Presents, based on Rule's best-selling mystery books. The first
movie, The Stranger Beside Me, on Rule's own relationship with serial
killer Ted Bundy, premieres March 21.