Tahmoh Penikett, Laura Vandervoort and Ryan Carnes

Sci Fi Channel has cast the leads in a pair of two-night/four-hour movies that, if well-received, could be developed into series.

For starters, Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, now on Dollhouse) and Laura Vandervoort (Smallville's Supergirl) will front Riverworld, says the Hollywood Reporter. They will play a war correspondent and his fiancée who, shortly after dying, awaken in a land populated by everyone who has ever lived on Earth. And you thought the line at Starbucks was long now.

Meanwhile, onetime Housewives player Ryan Carnes has been tapped to star as The Phantom in a mini about the comic-book hero. Isabella Rossellini will guest-star as Lithia, a villainess lording over a mind-control experiment.

Both Riverworld and The Phantom started production Monday and will premiere sometime in 2010.