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Battlestar Fodder

"Battlestar" gets a fourth season

"Battlestar Galactica" will return for a fourth season of at least 13 episodes in January 2008, the Sci Fi Channel confirmed today. While on some levels, this decision is a no-brainer--given BSG's critical acclaim and status as the Sci Fi Channel's flagship show--the program's high production costs and unexceptional ratings gave executives pause. According to this Los Angeles Times article [registration required], BSG attracts 1.7 million viewers to its Sunday night episodes; not bad numbers, but less than half the audience drawn by basic cable hits like "Nip/Tuck" and "The Closer." Still, the Sci Fi Channel's head of programming cites the "cachet" and "credibility with the creative community" that BSG gives the network, helping it break free of its cheesy origins and develop current projects from George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and other Hollywood luminaries. Moreover, the show has recouped some of its costs through strong DVD revenue--over 1 million discs of the new BSG have been sold--and the channel is looking into ways to "monetize" the 510,000 viewers who watch on personal video recorders like TiVo; these viewers are not counted in Nielsen ratings as advertisers assume they skip the commercials.

Fans should keep an eye on the episode count, which may still change; while BSG's first season also was 13 episodes, the past two seasons have had full 20-episode orders, allowing the creative team to delve deeper into secondary characters and develop multi-part arcs like Pegasus and New Caprica. Perhaps a shorter season would be balanced out by the BSG movie reportedly in production?

For his part, BSG executive producer Ron Moore never "doubted doing another season. I design my season-ending cliffhangers with the hubris that we'll be back." Ah, if it only were always that simple.

Posted by DD on February 13, 2007 1:33 PM
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Let me get this straight. After this season wraps I have to wait all the way until January of NEXT year?

-- Posted by: anon at February 13, 2007 3:39 PM

Hey, it worked for "The Sopranos."

(Moore and Eick also expect to tide us over with a two-hour DVD movie, released somewhere between season three's end (March 25) and next January.)

-- Posted by: DD at February 13, 2007 3:54 PM

As long as it comes back, I don't care when or where. Greatest ... show ... ever.

-- Posted by: mac at February 13, 2007 8:21 PM

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