FarScape's David Kemper Returns
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/2/2006 5:02:00 AM
FarScape creator David Kemper is returning to TV via a five-picture deal with Sci Fi Channel, co-produced by Rigel Entertainment. He also has a new series in development for cable, according to Rigel executives.
FarScape, which ran for four seasons on the cable net, is one of its most popular ever. Kemper was also a writer for Star Trek: TNG, Voyager and other sci-fi series.
Rigel Entertainment’s new president, David Macaione, says the first two Kemper films, creature features Heat Stroke and Tyrannosaurus Azteca, are in development.
They are being targeted for Sci Fi’s Saturday movie franchise, according to network spokeswoman Adrienne D’Amato, who said Sci Fi will be a production partner as well. The first one could hit the network by sometime next year, she said.
There is also a series in development from Kemper, says Macaione, described as a high-concept, post-apocalyptic take on Xena, based on a comic book featuring a strong female lead.
Macaione says three cable networks have expressed interest, though D’Amato could not confirm that Sci Fi was one of them.
Jeffrey Hayes, whose credits include the $32.5 million, eight-hour, limited series Nightmares and Dreamscapes for TNT, will co-executive produce the series.
According to Macaione and Rigel founder John F.S. Laing, Rigel has also just sold a 13-hour "semi-scripted" series to women’s network We. The series features reenactments based on the books of paranormal investigator Hans Holzer.
Laing, who is CEO, had been running the operation, but brought in Macaione from theatrical distributor Regent Entertainment to help him ramp up production.
Macaione says his focus is on boosting the company’s telefilms as well as a "large-scale launch into hour scripted series," with the Kemper series the first volley.
Rigel’s library also includes off-USA episodes of Pacific Blue, the Mary Higgins Clark TV movies that aired on PAX (where Macaione worked before Regent), Robocop, and Showtime’s Universal Soldier pictures. among others.
Laing formed Rigel in 1992, having run Orion TV International from its launch to its 1991 demise. Astronomy buffs--and editors who can Google--will note that Rigel is the brightest star in Orion.
I am very happy to hear that David Kemper has so many things in the mix. It sounds like he will be very busy for some time now. However excited I am to see his new work and happy I am that he is keeiping so busy, I would love to see him back working on more Farscape!!! Even your own article says that Farscape was one of the most popular Sci Fi shows ever and yet ... after the Mini-Serries - Peacekeeper Wars, it has been completely dead. At that time, Both Mr. Kemper and Brian Henson stated that they could see more Farscape on the horizon, but there hasn't even been rumours of anything happening. Even the Farscape Convention this year is being billed as "The Final Frelling farewaell". That would obviously, lead fans to beleive and worry about any future that Farscape will have. It was the best Sci Fi show ever to run on TV and probably one of the best shows regardless of genre and yet, it appears that everyone, including Mr. Henson, is willing to let it die. Please do not let that happen. As I said, I am happy that Mr. Kemper has new work and projects to do. I know as a writer, it is very important for him to be able to continue onward but I will still hold out hope that one day he will be back doing work on some Farscape project. Best of luck to him and may he return to Farscape one day soon.
Mark Jacobsen - 3/17/2007 10:31:00 AM EDT
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