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Sci Fi: Atlantis Will Swim On

8/22/2006 3:50 AM Eastern

Sci Fi Channel confirmed the Multichannel News report (www.multichannel.com/article/CA6364450.html) that it will not renew original series Stargate SG-1 for a record 11th season but that it will renew, for a fourth season, spinoff series Stargate Atlantis.

SG-1 aired its 200th episode Aug. 18 and is the longest-running science-fiction show in U.S. television history.

GateWorld (www.gateworld.net), an independent Web site that earlier reported the Atlantis renewal, said episode 200 (featuring parody sequences and numerous inside jokes aimed at Stargate fans) delivered a 1.9 average household rating, up 36% from the prior week’s episode. GateWorld added that it was the first show in the current 10th season to meet or exceed last year’s average episode rating of 1.8.

Overall, SG-1’s ratings have been off about 30% this year.

The channel said in a statement via SciFi.com (www.scifi.com): "Sci Fi Channel is proud to be the network that brought Stargate SG-1 to its record-breaking 10th season. Ten seasons and 215 episodes is an astounding, Guinness World Record-setting accomplishment. Stargate is a worldwide phenomenon. Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, Sci Fi believes the time is right to make this season their last on the channel. Sci Fi is honored to have been part of the Stargate legacy for five years, and we look forward to continuing to explore the Stargate universe with our partners at MGM [Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer] through a new season of Stargate Atlantis."

The show began on Showtime then moved to NBC Universal’s Sci Fi after five seasons. MGM and the show’s producers are believed to be pursuing other possible distribution avenues for an 11th season of SG-1. On Monday, MGM said it had reached a deal to sell episodes of the two Stargate series on Apple Computer’s iTunes download service.

September