1999, TV Show


Should Bionic Woman fail to ...

Question: Should Bionic Woman fail to achieve network-television-caliber ratings on NBC, would NBC/Universal consider permanently moving the show to the Sci Fi Channel? Ratings expectations on a cable network are much lower. The smaller audience that tuned in to watch the show on NBC might be enough to keep the show alive on Sci Fi, assuming the viewers switch over. Furthermore, if we again assume that Universal airs reruns of Bionic Woman on Sci Fi like they did other NBC shows of the genre (Heroes, Surface) and if it does receive decent (cable) ratings, is that a good enough gauge to make a permanent move? I know this seems like a negative assumption about a brand-new show (sci-fi doesn't exactly have a good track record on network television), but I'm just curious if this is something studios ever consider. And if not, why wouldn't they? Answer: A one-word answer: money. Bionic Woman is almost certainly too expensive a show to produce on Sci Fi's budget, although that's hard to ... read more

I'm not sure you actually get ...

Question: I'm not sure you actually get why we "greedy" fans are so upset about the Battlestar Galactica scheduling issues. Unlike all the long-hiatus shows you mentioned in your recent column, these episodes will have already been written and filmed, even gone through postproduction, and the Sci Fi Channel would be simply refusing to show them, just to package the DVDs separately and stretch the shelf life of their flagship show. Yes, patience is a virtue and we'll get the episodes eventually, but this would be a terrible marketing move. Heroes had a significant ratings drop after just a few weeks on hiatus, and the network responded with the exact opposite strategy: no midseason breaks at all. As you said, this meant a longer wait between seasons for Heroes fans, but that's the price for a full, unbroken run of episodes that hooks people and tells a complete story. Meanwhile, the way to send Galactica out with a bang is... to go off the air for eight months (already), then insert an ... read more

Farscape Stars Browder and Black Keeping Busy

Ben Browder and Claudia Black courtesy SciFi Channel

Whether or not Farscape stars Ben Browder and Claudia Black reprise their roles on the upcoming Scifi.com webisodes, the actors have plenty of other projects to keep them busy. Browder is writing and starring in Going Homer, Sci Fi Channel's just-announced six-hour miniseries. He’ll play the father of a 12-year-old boy who sees Greek and Roman gods walking among us. The actor/writer and his writing partner, Farscape’s Andrew Prowse, have also sold a movie script, Black Mountain, to MGM. In the flick, Browder will get his action hero on, playing a investigator trying to solve horrific murders in a small town. We hear shooting could start this fall. As for Black, she had to bow out of a role on the new NBC cop drama Life, in which she would have played star Damian Lewis’ former wife, because of a scheduling conflict. The Australian actress is due to give birth to her second baby in November. Life producer Rand Ravich says he hopes to find a role for her in the show late... read more

Exclusive: Farscape Producer Talks About the Franchise's Future

Ben Browder and Claudia Black courtesy Sci Fi Channel

Last week Sci Fi Channel made the out-of-nowhere announcement that the dearly departed cult favorite series Farscape would be coming back with all-new webisodes. In an exclusive interview, executive producer Brian Henson gave TV Guide some scoop about the upcoming revival, and also indicated that bigger plans for the franchise lie ahead. A dozen new webisodes of the irreverent 1999-2003 live-action/puppet science-fiction adventure could launch as early as this fall on Scifi.com. Scripts have yet to be written, but Henson says the installments will be three to six minutes long, and “each one is a cool little cliff-hanger scene that takes you on a mind-twisting adventure." He expects some of the series’ actors and writers to return, but as of yet no deals have been signed. As to whether stars Ben Browder and Claudia Black will come back, Henson hints that their characters’ son, D'Argo Sun-Crichton, will likely be featured in the project. “The story will definitely ... read more

I don't know about you, but I ...

Question: I don't know about you, but I was quite excited to learn that there will be new Farscape episodes, even if they'll just be shown on the Web. What is your opinion of these "webisodes”? I know Battlestar Galactica has done them in the past. Are they novelty items that are around just to promote a website? Or are they a legitimate storytelling medium? Answer: For me, there's no downside in reviving the Farscape franchise, even if only for the webisphere in bite-size minisodes. It's not yet clear just how long each of these 10 installments will be, but they probably won't be more than a handful of minutes. They certainly won't be full-length episodes. The deal was brand-new when Sci Fi announced it over the weekend, and details are still scarce. I know Sci Fi hopes to use original core characters and actors, and you have to figure Ben Browder at the very least is a strong candidate to return, since he's still in business with Sci Fi, developing a future miniseries. The real issue ... read more

Farscape Lives, and Sci Fi's Other Awesomes Plans

Ben Browder by Bob Akester/Sci Fi Channel Photo

Sci Fi Channel announced at the summer TCA press tour that cult fave Farscape is returning in the form of a 10-part broadband-channel series. The cabler is also giving Battlestar Galactica fans an eight-part series of broadcast "minisodes" concerning the original Cylon war and leading up to the Nov. 24 premiere of the full-length "Razor." These shorts and the full episode will then be packaged together on a DVD, as well as offered on the channel's website. Sci Fi's new offerings in development include The Awesomes, an animated series from SNL's Seth Meyers; Going Homer, an Odyssey-inspired six-hour miniseries from Farscape star Ben Browder and producer Andrew Prowse; and God, Inc., a sitcom about His administrative staff. read more

I've been a fan of Stargate ...

Question: I've been a fan of Stargate SG-1 since the beginning, but I felt that the last two seasons were rather redundant (the natural end to the story occurred when the Gou'ald were defeated). The finale of Season 8 was a fitting end to the show in comparison to "Unending," the series finale. "Unending "didn't seem to conclude the series; there were no great character developments, and there were an awful lot of ponderous moments. Stargate: Atlantis should have taken over after SG-1's Season 8. Perhaps the declining ratings indicated this. What do you think of the entire show now that it has been concluded? Answer: This was never a show I watched with any particular regularity. I usually caught it at the start and end of the season when screeners were sent out, and I made a special point of checking in when my Farscape buddies Ben Browder and Claudia Black came aboard. I loved the fact that even when entire universes were at stake, the show never took itself that seriously. But the ... read more

Trekkers, Browncoats, Losties and Geeks: Are You on the List?

As you will see detailed in the Friday, June 29 Interviews & Features column, TV Guide presents the Top Cult Shows Ever, an updated "best of" list that is sure to ignite conversation and debate — both of which we encourage at this blog set up just for the occasion.* Denotes a newcomer to the list since our previous 2004 countdown30) Strangers with Candy (1999-2000) *29) Absolutely Fabulous (1994-2003)28) Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007) *27) H.R. Pufnstuf (1969-1971)26) Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1975-1978)25) Firefly (2002-2003) *24) Twin Peaks (1990-1991)23) Dark Shadows (1966-1971)22) Doctor Who (1963-present)21) Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)20) The Avengers (1966-1969)19) Quantum Leap (1989-1993)18) Veronica Mars (2004-2007) *17) Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990)16) Babylon 5 (1994-1998)15) Family Guy (1999-present)14) Battlestar Galactica (2003-present) *13) Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1989-1999)12) Pee-Wee's Playhouse (1986-1991)11) Jericho (2006-present) *10) Xena: Warrior... read more

It's Almost Over for The Sopranos

James Gandolfini in The Sopranos by Craig Blankenhorn/HBO

Go away to the Midwest for a family wedding and look what happens. My fave sci-fi drama Battlestar Galactica goes all Lost on me and announces a closing date (I’m OK with it; at least this isn’t another Farscape debacle), and then The Sopranos! Which, by the way, I was unable to watch live, because no one in my family has HBO! (Ironic, right? I thanked the TV gods Monday afternoon for HBO on Demand.) TV’s landmark family crime drama went on a bloody rampage this week, just as we expected might happen in the next-to-last episode. A Sopranos tradition, upheld to the end. (Everyone from Adriana to Big Pus-y to Richie Aprile could have sounded the alarm when Bobby Bacala went into the train store.)It was a sensational way to get us primed for Sunday’s series finale, even if I couldn’t help thinking that a mob war between Phil’s New York gang and the “pygmy thing over in Jersey” could have been the driving force for the entire final season, instead... read more

Do you know why Stargate SG-1 ...

Richard Dean Anderson, Stargate SG-1

Question: Do you know why Stargate SG-1 isn't being renewed for a new season? I was an original fan of the movie, but didn't get into the series until Ben Browder made the leap from the still-missed Farscape. The occasional episodes I saw before that were usually not that great, but lately, with Claudia Black as Vala and with the new story lines, they seem pretty entertaining. I know that its ratings are supposedly down, but I was under the impression SG-1 was still a solid performer. This move seems even more incredible given the fact that Stargate Atlantis has been renewed. Why couldn't Sci Fi just say, "No more bugs-chasing-the-team episodes" (always the worst) instead of canning the series? Also, I know the studio that produces Stargate SG-1 is shopping for a new home. Do you think there's a chance someone else could pick it up? Maybe G4 or Spike? Answer: You may be relatively new to Stargate, but that makes you the exception. From what I gather, the main contributor to Stargate's ... read more

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Premiered: March 19, 1999, on Sci Fi
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (127 ratings)
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Premise: Cult favorite about an astronaut stranded light years from Earth in an alien war zone and his adventures with a group of extraterrestrial fugitives on the lam from an evil collective. A handsome production design, complex characters and imaginative plot twists characterized this gem throughout its run, which ended with a jaw-dropping finale that brought the tortured romance of Crichton and crewmate Aeryn to a (seemingly) shattering end.



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