Sci Fi Goes High Tech

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New York — Sci Fi Channel will begin creating a broadband pulse next month.

That's when the NBC Universal service will begin making full-length episodes of existing series Battlestar Galactica, installments of new show Eureka and uncut original movies available on its Sci Fi Pulse broadband channel.

The channel debuts May 8 and is accessible through Sci Fi's Web site (www.scifi.com). The network also unveiled an ambitious slate of original fare as part of an upfront presentation Sci Fi and USA Network president Bonnie Hammer made during a press luncheon here last week.

The Sci Fi Pulse broadband service will bow with the aforementioned fare, it will eventually will present original Webisode spinoffs of Galactica and other Sci Fi shows, as well as Web-exclusive series, Sci Fi Channel executive vice president and general manager David Howe said.

The site will also feature a festival, dubbed “Exposure,” which will let online users vote on short works produced by would-be filmmakers. The best of the bunch will later be showcased during a two-hour network special.

Other new offerings from the Sci Fi Channel Web site include Scifipedia (http://scifipedia.scifi.com), a genre-based online encyclopedia maintained by the online community and Tech Blog (http://blog.scifi.com/tech/), which will feature up-to-the minute news about the latest technological gadgets.

In original programming, the linear network is developing several new series, with an eye toward having seven scripted drama series on the air by early 2007, according to Howe. Three new shows will join incumbent Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis and Eureka, which is set to premiere this summer.

'BSG' PREQUEL

Among the contenders for the remaining slots: Caprica, a Battlestar Galactica spinoff that takes place over a half-century before the parent skein; Snap, a one-hour thriller about the Internet taking over every aspect of people's lives; Persons Unknown, in which strangers mysteriously end up in a town they can't escape from; The Bishop, about a privileged kid with supernatural powers; Blink, in which a group of afterlife “investigators” try to stop people from making mistakes that could alter their destiny; and the Nicholas Cage-produced Dresden Files, about a detective with wizard-like powers.

Also on the docket is Motel Man (working title), a limited series about a detective whose access to a motel room key opens up a world of supernatural occurrences. The network this fall will debut a six-hour miniseries dubbed Chariots of the Gods, based on the novel of the same name.

In the reality genre, the network is developing several series including Destination Truth, which seeks to investigate unexplained phenomenon around the world, as well as Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, a Stan Lee-produced competition series.

The network is also exploring several late-night offerings, including a sketch comedy series dubbed Ministry of Unknown Science and an entry from Carson Daly Productions.

Sci Fi will also team up with NBC News Productions to create two new specials under the network's “Declassified” moniker: Countdown to Doomsday and Quest For Atlantis: Startling New Secrets.

On the film front, the network is keeping the pipeline pumping as it will develop 28 new projects for its successful “Saturday Night” original movie franchise, according to executive vice president of original programming Mark Stern. Titles include Cyclops, Supergator, Screech, Monster Ark and Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon.

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