Sci Fi Boards Battlestar Galactica

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Production is about to lift off on the Battlestar Galactica cable series.

Buoyed by the franchise’s performance in December as a miniseries, Sci Fi Channel has green-lighted production on 13 installments of a one-hour series. A Sci Fi spokeswoman said work will begin next month in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the special-effects-laden production expected to hit the screen sometime in the fourth quarter.

All principal cast members from the miniseries -- itself a reimagining of the 1970s ABC television show -- will reprise their roles for the series, including Edward James Olmos (commander Adama), Mary McDonnell (president Laura Roslin), Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) and Tricia Helfer (Number Six), among others.

Ronald Moore (Carnivale, Mission Impossible 2) also returns as writer and executive producer for the series, which will be produced for Sci Fi, in association with Sky One.

The network’s miniseries journey with Battlestar Galactica averaged a 3.5 household rating and 4.2 million viewers Dec. 8-9, according to Nielsen Media Research data, making it the highest-rated original miniseries on cable and Sci Fi’s highest-rated show in 2003.

The initial installment Dec. 8 from 9 p.m-11 p.m. pulled a 3.2 household rating (3.9 million viewers two-plus). Then, in a TV rarity, the premiere of the second half of Battlestar the following night scored a 3.8 (4.46 million viewers).

The performance of Battlestar ranks as the third-highest miniseries for Sci Fi behind Emmy Award-winning Steven Spielberg Presents Taken and Frank Herbert’s Dune.

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