New York— Sci Fi Channel has commissioned a record-setting 10th season of Stargate SG-1 and ordered up a third season of spinoff drama Stargate Atlantis.
Production on both 20-episode seasons is scheduled to begin early next year, with premieres on the channel this summer.
The shows, along with Battlestar Galactica — for which discussions on a season-three renewal continue, according to network general manager Dave Howe — pushed Sci Fi to the top of basic-cable ratings on Friday nights during the summer.
With the order, SG-1 — which started out on Showtime before shifting to Sci Fi — will become the longest-running science-fiction drama in U.S. television history, the network said. The X-Files ran on Fox for nine seasons.
SG-1’s ratings rose this past season: It averaged 2.4 million viewers per premiere installment, despite major cast changes, including the departure of star Richard Dean Anderson. Ben Browder, Beau Bridges and Louis Gossett Jr. joined the cast in season nine. Fresh episodes of Atlantis notched some 2.3 million viewers on average, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
Sci Fi’s lineup of original alternative series fare on Wednesday night is still taking shape. Although Sci Fi has commissioned new episodes of Ghost Hunters, it has not yet made a decision concerning the fate of Tripping the Rift, said Howe.