Sci Fi Revamps Schedule

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Looking to expand its audience beyond Star Trek fans, Sci Fi Channel
unveiled plans for four new miniseries, a primetime block of original
'alternative reality' shows, its first animated series and a ramped-up slate of
original movies in partnership with new corporate sibling Universal Vivendi
S.A.

At Sci Fi's upfront, president Bonnie Hammer also revealed that the channel
is about to close deals to acquire two off-network series, The X-Files
and Roswell.

Among the miniseries in development: one based on 1970s series Battlestar
Galactica
;one based on CD-ROM game Myst; and two based on
books, The Forever War and The Chronicles of Amber.

Sci Fi also plans to program a second night of original shows that will offer
the network's own twisted tale on reality. One of them, The Belzer
Connection
,will be hosted by actor Richard Belzer.

Sci Fi will also turn Stephen King's Firestarter: Rekindled, its
recentminiseries, into an ongoing series titled Rekindled.

The network will do eight 'boy-action movies' this year, most produced
in-house. They'll take advantage of the coming merger of Sci Fi parent USA
Networks Inc. with Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

The network's primetime animated series, Tripping the Rift,is
based on an award-winning short film.

Taken, the $40 million, 20-hour miniseries from Steven Spielberg, is now
slotted to air in December, Hammer said.

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