'Battlestar’ Soldiers On

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New York— Adm. William Adama will command Battlestar Galactica for a full fourth season.

Sci Fi Channel said at an upfront presentation here Wednesday night that it ordered nine more hours of the popular drama, including a two-hour installment that will air next fall before season four begins, according to executive vice president of programming Mark Stern. The network had previously announced a 13-hour commitment to the series.

Hence, the Battlestar special, which would then immediately jump to DVD, will serve as the next piece of fresh video content and bridge to the show’s fourth season. The series’ third season concluded March 25.

It was unclear when the fourth season would launch in 2008 — or whether it would remain on Sunday nights — but it will most likely be split into a pair of 10-episode runs after the special.

Come July, Sci Fi will look to read minds with a new project featuring British mentalist Derren Brown. The six-episode series will capture Brown’s reported ability to predict and control human behavior by mentally getting into people’s minds.

Stern said the network has also ordered a two-hour pilot for a new series executive-produced by 24’s Kiefer Sutherland dubbed Phenomenon. The dramatic thriller follows a crack team of experts, led by a mysterious young female prodigy, as they investigate bizarre and supernatural anomalies of nature.

The 88 million-subscriber network also renewed paranormal reality series Ghost Hunters for a fourth season and announced that it will air its second-annual Ghost Hunters live special on Halloween night. The six-hour event will air beginning at 11 p.m., Sci Fi said.

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