Sci Fi Channel is venturing beyond aliens and space to capture a wider
audience and make a play to join cable's ratings elite.
The network unveiled a slate of fantasy-related originals Tuesday that
executives hope will boost Sci Fi's appeal.
'We're trying to make the channel relatable-Earth-based with a twist of Sci
Fi, whether it's scripted drama or alternative reality,' president Bonnie Hammer
said at a lunch with reporters in New York.
In addition to those originals, Sci Fi has also snagged the rights to off-Fox
The X Files.
It will share the show with Turner Network Television and begin airing it in prime time in
Hammer said she wants to move 'solidly into the top 10 as a fully branded
Sci Fi's blockbuster original will be Steven Spielberg's Taken, a
20-hour series with a $40 million price tag.
Taken will air in 10 parts during the first two weeks
New original series include an animated show, Tripping the Rift, and
Rekindled, building on recent miniseries Firestarter:
Hammer said the channel will keep looking for smart acquired products.
Sci Fi is close to inking deals for off-nets of United Paramount Network's Roswell, and it has
secured the rights to E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.
Building on hit Crossing Over with John Edward, Sci Fi unveiled three
new shows billed as alternative reality.
On daily strip Dream Team with Annabelle and Michael, humorous and
sexy dreams are analyzed in front of a studio audience.
Scare Tactic, a weekly, mixes elements of Candid Camera with
supernatural twists. The Belzer Connection, hosted by Richard Belzer, will
poll celebrities and experts on conspiracy theories.