Sci-Fis Taken Debut Pushed Back to 2001


Sci Fi Channel's monster 20-hour miniseries from Steven
Spielberg, Taken, has been delayed, and it isn't expected to air until sometime
next year, officials confirmed last week.

The mega-miniseries, which had been projected to cost as
much as $40 million, had originally been set to debut on Sci Fi during the third quarter.
But that premiere date has been pushed back as the project has become embroiled in
litigation -- a lawsuit filed by Taken'sformer executive producer.

A Sci Fi spokeswoman said Taken is still on the
network's schedule, but for sometime in 2001.

Sci Fi announced the project from Spielberg and his
DreamWorks Television with much fanfare last April, touting it as "the most ambitious
miniseries ever produced for cable television."

A science-fiction epic about alien abduction that spans 50
years, Taken was slated to air in two-hour installments over a span of 10 days on
the network.

In a press release announcing the project, Spielberg was
quoted as saying, "There clearly was no other place but Sci Fi Channel for a project
of this magnitude."

But plans for the miniseries hit a bump last year. In late
November, Robert Goodwin, a former executive producer of The X-Files,filed
a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and fraud against DreamWorks in Superior Court in
Los Angeles.

Goodwin, who is seeking $1.8 million is damages, said he
was hired by DreamWorks to executive-produce Taken for $900,000 for its 10 two-hour

Production had actually started in Vancouver, according to
the suit, with a crew hired. But the suit charged that the project was shut down because
Spielberg didn't like the Taken scripts. Goodwin claimed that Spielberg's script
approval wasn't part of his one-year contract with DreamWorks.

According to a DreamWorks spokesman, Taken is still
in development.

Goodwin's attorney, Richard Ross, said the lawsuit is still
pending and probably won't go to trial until the end of this year.

In addition to Taken, Spielberg has another big
miniseries in the works for another cable network. Spielberg and Tom Hanks are
executive-producing Band of Brothers, an 11-hour World War II miniseries, for Home
Box Office. Band of Brothers, which will be filmed in Great Britain, is in