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MGM Won’t Close Stargate Door

8/23/2006 11:29 AM Eastern

Fans of Stargate SG-1 have good reason to hope the longest-running science-fiction series in TV history will survive despite being canceled by Sci Fi Channel.

A spokesman for producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer said the series -- which will leave Sci Fi’s air at the conclusion of its 10th season next year -- will live on in some capacity.

“We don’t look at Stargate SG-1 as a TV show, but a franchise. It is our intention to vigorously find a find way to extend the franchise,” said spokesman Jeff Pryor, who noted that MGM was evaluating other potential distribution outlets. ”We want to move forward, but no negotiations have taken place” at this time, he added.

Fan site GateWorld (www.gateworld.net) published an interview with executive producer Robert C. Cooper in which he said, “As far as the future, I can't comment yet because nothing has been confirmed. What we want to emphasize is that the franchise is not dying. SG-1 will go on in some way. We're just not ready to announce how.”

Ratings for the show -- the 200th episode of which premiered Aug. 18 -- have been declining this season, but Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for Sci Fi, said creative and economic decisions also came into play.

Stern added that under terms of its contract, the network’s decision to cancel the series prohibits MGM from making any new episodes of the show to air on U.S. television.

He noted, “If MGM came to us for less,” Sci Fi would be interested in more Stargate SG-1 fare, whether in the form of episodes, movies or miniseries. He would not disclose the network’s license fee to MGM.

Currently in the midst of the first half of its 10th season, Stargate SG-1 will complete its original run on Sci Fi next year, when the service plans to run the final 10 installments of this season. Stern said encore episodes of Stargate SG-1 will also continue to air on the network past the conclusion of its 10th campaign.

The show also airs in syndication, and Sci Fi ordered a fourth season of spinoff Stargate Atlantis (www.multichannel.com/article/CA6364600.html).

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