20, 2002: Scifi Presents is re-running the
audio drama Titanic Dreams starring Gigi Edgley.
synopsis, courtesy of SciFi: "In the still night air on April 14, 1912, an iceberg
pierces the hull of the Titanic. A young American woman and an aging English bachelor
connect briefly on the deck of the doomed vessel. She is unwillingly placed in a lifeboat, and
he returns to the smoking lounge to await the inevitable.
Decades later, they connect again; he has dissolved into the water that claimed his life,
while she has passed through time onboard the lifeboat."
DUNE, THE SERIES?
23, 2002: According to
Variety, the powers that be with both the Sci-Fi Channel and the "Dune"
miniseries production are considering translating Frank Herbert's books into a
weekly series. This comes out as the second Dune mini-series,
"Children of Dune," wraps up shooting in Prague.
of Dune" is set for a spring 2000 premier on Sci-Fi
SPIELBERG PUTS NAME ON "TAKEN"
15, 2002: The Sci Fi
Channel threw a lavish party for television critics to celebrate "Taken,"
the miniseries about alien abduction and as a promotional gimmik, they installed
part of a spaceship set on a hotel lawn. A short film heralded the production as
"the most ambitious event in the history of television."
From The Orlando Sentinel:
PASADENA, Calif. -- Steven Spielberg didn't show up, but everyone was
talking about him. After all, when a program is called Steven Spielberg Presents
Taken, people want to know just how involved the Oscar-winning director is and that
the title is more than a promotional flourish.
And, boy, were there a few promotional gimmicks at work. For television
critics, the Sci Fi Channel threw a lavish party to celebrate the miniseries about
alien abduction and installed part of a spaceship set on a hotel lawn. A short film
heralded the production as "the most ambitious event in the history of
At the very least, the 20-hour, $40 million miniseries will be a huge
offering next season. It premieres in two-hour installments over the first two weeks
in December. But the hyperbole raised questions about Spielberg's participation.
"He very rarely puts 'Steven Spielberg Presents' [on a show], and
that's what we have," said Sci Fi Channel President Bonnie Hammer. "This
is a project he wanted to do. It wasn't something developed by his minions. He had a
conversation with [media mogul] Barry Diller early on and said he wanted to do the
definitive story of alien abduction."
Executive producer Les Bohem, who wrote the whole miniseries, had many
meetings with Spielberg. They went back and forth for four months in deciding how to
tell the story, Bohem said.
"He just kept letting me do it until I got it right," he said.
"He's real supportive of me trying weird ways to do it."
At one point, Bohem's 6-year-old son suggested the eventual ending to an
episode. Spielberg sent notes through the 10 months of filming in Vancouver that
started in September and ended in June. The notes keep coming as the miniseries is
"He's, like, full-tilt in there," Bohem said of Spielberg.
Spielberg didn't direct any of the miniseries. Rather, he selected the 10
directors who each did a two-hour episode. Yet Spielberg's imprint is on the aliens'
look. The E.T. director examined more than a dozen studies before deciding how the
extraterrestrials would walk, Hammer said.
Taken follows three families over four generations; it starts during World
War II and explores 50 years of alien abduction stories. In a central plot, a U.S.
military man and his family thrive after a UFO crash at Roswell in 1947. A lonely
woman meets an alien and gives birth to his child. A 10-year-old girl narrates the
The cast includes such TV veterans as James McDaniel, Michael Moriarty,
Eric Close, Matt Frewer and Catherine Dent. Anton Yelchin, who was born in 1989,
plays the unusually calm human-alien child. "He doesn't show a great deal of
emotion, except when he has to be taken away from his mother," Yelchin said.
Bohem said the story is resolved at the end, which should please
disappointed X-Files' fans. But Taken doesn't explain the meaning of life; instead,
it carries a theme that there should be no comfort in the idea that we're not alone.
"If there are other life forms on other planets, and they're way
smarter than us, I think they're still asking the same questions we are," Bohem
said. "Whoever they are, they're not going to solve all our problems. They're
not going to stop bad things from happening. They're as puzzled as we are by why bad
Sci Fi Channel hopes that good things happen with Taken, its biggest
project to date. It has been scheduled in early December to avoid the November
sweeps and the avalanche of holiday specials. Hammer hopes the project shows
"the broader world we're not a small, niche channel, that we have great epic
drama, that we appeal across the board to those who love dramas, thrillers,
Or those who love what Spielberg has done in his movies. In their first
conversation about alien abduction, Spielberg asked Bohem, "Well, if it's not
true, why do you think all these stories are so similar?"
Bohem says he replied: "Your movies? Because Close
Encounters is where I started."
THE FALLOUT CONTINUES
A couple of weeks back, Newscape sent y'all to the Charlotte Observer
to read an article
about Ben Browder. This week, Tim Miner, who pointed out the previous
article to Newscape, tells us that he found this blurb in the Observer's Financial
"Mark Ritchie, CEO of Salisbury-based Carolina Beverage Corp., makers
of Cheerwine, knew about "Farscape" on the Sci-Fi Channel, but he'd never
heard of its star, Ben Browder. Browder grew up in Charlotte, but lives in
Australia, where the show is filmed. In a recent Observer profile, Browder confided
that he misses Cheerwine, which he can't get down under.
When Ritchie learned of Browder's yearning, he took action. Turns out
Browder is a fan of Diet Cheerwine, but he wanted his cast mates to taste the
original, so the company is sending a case of each to the "Farscape" set.
'We're flattered,' said Ritchie."
Farscape game developer Red Lemon has sold their intellectual propert to
another Scottish game developer. Continued in the Newscape Specials pages.
KERMIT IN THE WALK OF FAME!
Kermit the Frog is among entertainers who will be enshrined in
the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. According to Johnny Grant,
chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber
of Commerce, This year's honorees met all the criteria in
longevity, professional achievement and contributions to the
of the lesser known entertainers who will have stars dedicated
to them are Susan Sarandon, Kevin Bacon and Martin Scorsese.
Rygel be far behind?
fi makes movies
The Sci Fi Channel is producing five low-budget TV
movies in Canada. Each movie has a budget of about $2 million
and will target Sci Fiís male viewers on Saturday nights.
first of these, due to be shown in August or September, is Devilís
follows an escaped convict (Bruce Campbell) and a
human-killing alien who get stranded at an airport. The convict
teams up with a pilot (Chase Masterson) to save the world from
the evil alien.
Bennet will star in Do
or Die, set in a world that exists after a comet
infects the population with Rapid Age Disease.
third picture to shoot is Control
Factor, about a government mind-control project.
After that comes Threshold
and after that, Deathlands
will shoot. All but "Devil's Pass" are expected to
premiere in 2003.
2, 2002: The second volume of Season Two DVDs for region 1 (USA &
Canada) is set for release on August 27th.
to ADV films, it will contain "The Way We Weren't,"
"Picture if You Will," Home on the Remains," and
"Dream a Little Dream."
a bit of news Exclusive to Karlsweb:
Extras in the second volume will be: Alien Encounters,
Character Backstory: Aeryn Sun, Actor Profile: Claudia Black,
Deleted Scenes, Weapons & Ships and Conceptual Drawings.
Exclusive Interview with Sharon Papa, ADV's producer of the
third volume of Season Three region 2 (UK & most of Europe,
Japan, South Africa) is already available.
are "Incubator," "Meltdown," "Scratch
'N' Sniff," and "Infinite Possibilities Part 1:
include: Deleted scenes, Paul Goddard interview with Stark
Info-Pod, Chiana Info-Pod, Behind the Scenes Episode Facts,
Gallery of Stills with concept artwork, character and prop
fourth volume of region 2 Season Three will available on August
19th and is already available for preordering at Blackstar
VEGAS CON CANCELLED
26, 2002: From
regret to announce that the convention planned for
September 7-8 in Las Vegas has been cancelled.
Those that ordered tickets will be refunded on their
credit cards within a few days, and we will also be
sending you a complimentary hand-signed autographed
photo of Ben Browder to apologize for the
Our other two Official Farscape Conventions (in
Burbank and New York City) will take place and
information is posted at our website.
VIRGINIA HEY COMING TO NYC CONVENTION
July 25, 2002: Creation Entertainment has added
Virginia Hey, who played Zhaan, to the list of guests who will be at the official
Farscape convention in New York on November 29-30 (Thanksgiving Friday &
FARSCAPE IN AUSTRALIA
August 5, 2002Foxtel's FOX8 is taking over production of Farscape from Channel Nine. They
intend to start showing Season 2 from either October or November, with Seasons 3 + 4
SIMCOE NARRATES AUDIO BOOK
26, 2002: Ivy Appleton: Prop Widow, a new audio book by B.B. Cherry, is now on sale
a quick synopsis of the book:
The cast and crew of the romantic comedy Three Cornered Love are dealing with problems
far more serious than the relentless April showers that have slowed shooting to a crawl. They
are over-budget, behind schedule and someone is leaking insider information to the tabloids.
With a plan to deliver some much needed TLC to her husband, Ivy Appleton, wife of the troubled
film's Prop Master, throws caution (and her own budget) to the wind and travels to Wilmington,
North Carolina for a surprise visit.
Other voices include Andy Hallett (from
Angel) and Barbara Benjamin-Creel. Anthony plays Ivy's husband Kelly.
For more information, check out the author's website.
USA DVD 2.3 ANNOUNCED
August 26, 2002:
ADV has announced the next in their series of Region One DVDs will be released on
October 8th. The volume contains Farscape's Season Two episodes:
Out of Their Minds
My Three Crichtons
Look at the Princess part 1: A Kiss is but a Kiss
Look at the Princess part 2: I Do, I Think
Look at the Princess part 3: The Maltese Crichton
Extras will include
Dictionary: The Moya Menu
Biography: Virginia Hey
Backstory: Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan
The Game Trailer and ADV Previews
27, 2002: Threshold, an original movie
for the SciFi Channel has recently completed production in Toronto. In a SCI FI Wire
interview, Terryl Rothery (Stargate's Dr. Frasier), said the movie is about...
on the Newscape Channel News page
FI ORIGINAL MOVIE
27, 2002: Threshold, an
original movie for the SciFi Channel has recently completed production in Toronto
and has an expected broadcast date of sometime in 2003. It stars Teryl Rothery
(Stargate's Dr. Frasier), Nicholas Lea (X-Files' Krycek), Steve Bacic (Andromeda)
and Jamie Luner (Profiler).
a SCI FI Wire interview, Terryl Rothery said the movie is, "about astronauts working one of the space stations
when a meteor shower hits. This one astronaut gets imbedded with some of the rocks,
or so they think it is. And it ends up being this alien insect that incubates in a
human and [then] takes over the human, and they feed on other people."
DEAD ZONE NEWS
26, 2002: Nicole deBoer,
series co-star of USA Networks' The Dead Zone, is talking about the show's
season one finale, as well as the what's to come in season two. Recently, the show
was picked up for another year.
Ms. deBoer said that this season's
finale will use elements from the original book by Stephen King, and will continue
using them as a major plot thread throughout the next year. "They introduce the
character of Greg Stillson in the last episode of the first season," she said
in a recent interview. "He's the politician who ends up being the evil guy in
the book, who's basically Johnny's nemesis, and they met back when they were
children. Sean Patrick Flanery plays him, and he's really, really good. So they're
just starting to introduce that now."
The next new episode airs on USA in
early September and the new season begins in early 2003.
For more information on this
article, go to TrekWeb.
MORE RATINGS NEWS
August 29, 2002
reports that the SciFi Channel wrapped it's best summer ever, ranking ninth among all
basic-cable channels on a household basis and ending with a record 1.0 prime-time rating
(representing 741,000 households) for August! Overall prime-time ratings for the summer were
up 13% over last year.
SciFi ranked fifth in adults 25-54 and
seventh in the 18-49 age range in key prime-time demographics.
"Leading the charge was SCI FI
Friday, a two-hour block of original series that included the original series Stargate
SG-1 and Farscape. The block set a summer record for the channel, averaging a 1.4
rating (1.1 million households). That represented a 27 percent ratings increase over last
summer's ratings average for the time period and a 46 percent increase in household delivery
over last year."
CROSSING OVER REDONE
26, 2002: According to Variety, Crossing Over with John Edward will have
its first run episodes in syndication and repeats will air on Sci Fi. This is the
opposite of its original format and one of several adjustments being made to the
The series, which debuted in syndication last fall in a shared window after
getting its start on Sci Fi, previously aired on Sci Fi first. The show began as a
latenight show on Sci Fi and will continue to air on the network at 11 and 11:30
p.m. Sunday-Thursday. Now the focus is being tweaked to feature more daytime appeal.
Part of a revamp of the show's look and focus is a
new set that will double the size of the studio audience and feature, as the fall
press kit puts it, "a brighter look and feel."
The series will feature more at-home celebrity
readings, shows done entirely on-location, follow-ups and profiles.
THE END IS NOT NEAR!
August 17, 2002: A
casual statement during the end titles of Farscape and Stargate SG-1 Friday night
has the fans in an uproar. Voiceovers during the end credits of both shows promoted
next week's episodes as season finales. After next week's "season finale,"
both shows should have 11 more episodes to run in their current season
Filmforce has the
following to say:
"In an attempt to clear things up and also get
a response to an Ain't It Cool News rumor about Farscape in danger of being
cancelled, the Farscape Weekly website
spoke to Sci-Fi Channel and got some answers.
First off, SFC refuses to even talk about anything
on the AICN site as they don't recognize them as a reliable news source. They did
say that if there was going to be any announcement made about either show, it would
probably come next week. Rumors have been circulating that SG-1 hasn't
performed to expectations but a recent panel at the San Diego ComiCon let it be
known that there have been talks for a seventh season, despite the fact that MGM
recently pulled the plug on the proposed sequel to the original film.
Now, as to those "season finale" promos,
most people who have been watching Sci-Fi for a while know that the cable network
has what could be called an odd philosophy when it comes to programming. It's
been known since the beginning of the season that both SG-1 and Farscape
would be going on hiatus until January, when they would both return with new
episodes. So rest easy, fans, the sky isn't falling yet for either show.
In the meantime, a few new series will be invading the Friday night time slots,
including a remake of the 1970's Leonard Nimoy-hosted In Search Of... and the
Steven Spielberg produced mini-series Taken in November."
In the latest Farscape: The Official Magazine,
David Kemper talks about working on "eps 415, 416, 417, and 418, as well as
blocking out the remainder of the season." He also says, "In case you're
unaware, when I speak of episode 414...I mean the fourteenth episode of the 4th
season. Since we do 22 a year, we're shhooting our 80th episode"
previous interview with Mr. Kemper:
Question:Sci-Fi plans to run 11 episodes in a row before
going into repeats.
In response to this, DK said, "I can't tell
you how our scheduling processes work but we're reactive to the network. When they
lock in their schedule, I design the rest of the season. When I'm plotting the
story, if I know there's going to be a long break, I try and set up some kind of
situation that will keep people interested."
13, 2002: There'll be a new Farscape statue coming out this winter from Toy Vault. For more information on this
and other Toy Vault items, go to the Newscape Action
FARSCAPE GAME SHIPS
9, 2002: Simon & Schuster has announced that Farscape
has started shipping and will be available at US retailers this weekend.
For loads more information on Farscape: The Game, the demo,
and some screen shots, check out the Newscape Games Page
AUSTRALIAN DVD NEWS
7, 2002: Not only is Farscape moving from the apathetic Network 9 to Foxtel,
Farscape is coming to DVD in Australia! The whole first season in one gorgeous set
with a huge number of extras and deleted scenes to boot. To see just what's included
in the set, click here.
August 7, 2002:
Slow Dazzle's 2003 Farscape Calendar is available for pre-order from Direct Calendars. Amazon.com also has it listed on their website. If
it's anything like the previous two editions, it will be gorgeous.
SCIFI TO GET MAKEOVER
6, 2002: Both
scifi.com and the Sci Fi Magazine will be redesigned this year. The unveiling will
take place in the fourth quarter to coincide with the marketing push for Steven
Spielberg's miniseries "Taken."
...Continued on the Newscape
SciFi Channel page
FARSCAPE STARS AT DRAGON*CON
2002: Dragon*Con is THE place to spot favorite Farscape stars in Atlanta this
summer! Virginia Hey (Zhaan), Lani Tupu (Bialar Crais &
Pilot's voice) and Kent McCord (Jack Crichton) appear on this year's Dragon*Con guest list. Nearly 250 more of the
"who's who" in science fiction and fantasy will be on hand as
well, representing a wide variety of media. Click here for some of the
SciFi faces you can expect to see.
To help you gear up, we have some great surprises in store
in preparation for Dragon*Con. So stay tuned. The convention starts
Friday August 30th and runs through Monday September 2, 2003. Time's
a-wastin'! Register for Dragon*Con today! Click on the button for Dragcon*Con 2002 details!
SCIFI CHANNEL ATTENDEES
2002: Besides Virginia Hey (Zhaan), Lani
Tupu (Bialar Crais & Pilot's voice) and Kent McCord (Jack
Crichton), several other faces familiar to SciFi Channel viewers will be
attending Dragon*Con this year.
From SciFi Friday's Stargate SG-1, look for Teryl
Rothery, Sara Douglas, Peter Williams and Tony Amendoal. Babylon 5 is
represented by Richard Biggs, Stephen Austin, Julie Caitlin Brown, Jason
Carter, Andreas Katsulas, Julia Nickson and Tracy Scoggins. Traci Lords will
be there from First Wave. Chris Demetral from The Secret
Adventures of Jules Verne. From Star Trek you'll see Nichelle
Nichols, Phil Morris, Louise Fletcher, Ethan Phillips, Robert Picardo and
That's just the beginning! Click on the button below to
learn more about the Who's Who of Dragon*Con August 30 - September 3, 2002.
In related news, ratings for the top 10 cable networks for the month
of July are now available. Sci Fi fared well, coming in seventh among age group
18-49, and fifth among people aged 25-54. USA Network was first in both categories,
as well as in the 18-34 age group.
22, 2002: Sci
Fi's latest Friday night program, Dead Zone, is set to
go for a second season.
USA Network has renewed its hit new series "The
Dead Zone" for a second season.
will pay a strapping license fee of $950,000 or so an
episode, a figure that will still leave its producer
with a deficit of half a million because the
production cost of each hour comes to about $1.45
million, making it one of the most expensive shows on
Paramount TV Distribution, which owns the
international syndication rights to "Dead
Zone," has already grossed more than that
$500,000 per episode from foreign sales.
is still negotiating the exact number of episodes for
the renewal with "Dead Zone" producer Lions
Gate, which owns the North American rights to the
network is eager to commission 13 new episodes on top
of the existing 13. Lions Gate wants to do even more,
seeking to secure a deal for as many as 26 new ones.
The production company's argument is that 26 fresh
hours would help USA avoid the syndrome of declining
viewer interest triggered by a long time lapse between
original episodes. Because these discussions are still
taking place, the parties declined to comment on the
already has included a clause in the contract that
gives it first refusal on the reruns of "Dead
Zone" if the program's success stretches to 88
episodes or more.
Nielsen ratings provide ample reason for optimism that
"Dead Zone" will have staying power. For the
first four weeks in its Sunday at 10 time period,
"Dead Zone" is averaging a gaudy 3.6 rating
in cable homes, which translates into 4.8 million
viewers. Show delivers a 2.9 rating in adults 25-54,
the audience USA targets, and a 2.7 in adults 18-49.
Zone" harvested a 4.7 rating in cable homes for
its June 16 premiere, the highest rating for the debut
of a scripted series in the history of basic cable.
The series stars Anthony Michael Hall and David Ogden
the beauty of "Dead Zone" for USA is that
reruns of the show will fit the program strategy of
the Sci Fi Channel, USA's sister net. Sci Fi has
already begun repeating each "Dead Zone"
episode Friday night at 8.
FARSCAPE SEASON 4 DVD
August 5, 2002: The lucky folks in the UK remain far ahead of the US
fans in the DVD area. According to Contender Entertainment's Lee Binding, they're
going to start releasing the Season Four episodes beginning in February. See the
next article for info on their Season Three releases.
UK DVD 3.4 OUT THIS MONTH
August 2, 2002:
The latest of the region 2 DVDs will be released on August 19th in the UK. Here are
the specifics on what will be included in this set:
Episodes - Infinite Possibilites Part 2: Icarus Abides; Revenging Angel;
The Choice; Fractures.
Extras: Anthony Simcoe interview. Deleted scenes. Behind the scenes episode
facts. Original sci-fi episode facts. Original sci-fi episode trailers. Gallery of
stills featuring concept artwork. Character and prop photography.
If you want to know what countries/regions are able to play region 2 DVDs,
go to the DVD FAQ at DVD
a recent article in Cinescape Magazine, Sci-Fi Channel President
Bonnie Hammer was named one of the Power 100 in Genre
Entertainment, coming in eighth behind the likes of George Lucas
and Steven Spielberg. Her programming decisions have doubled
Sci-Fi's ad revenues and more than doubled it's viewers. One of
the highlights mentioned in the article is Sci-Fi's recent
decision to commit to Farscape for two more seasons. This is the
most expensive programming decision in the history of cable