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Farscape renewed for two years

Courtesy of Variety
October 2, 2001

The Sci Fi Channel has engineered the biggest program commitment in its history, a two-year, 44-episode renewal of the cable network's highest-rated weekly series ''Farscape.''

Shot in Australia, ''Farscape'' stars Ben Browder as a contemporary American astronaut who's sucked through a worm hole that takes him to the far side of the universe, where he befriends some aliens and is hunted by others.

With a production budget of $1.4 million per hourlong episde, ''Farscape'' is one of the priciest series in all of basic cable. Sci Fi's license fee to the show's producers, Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark Entertainment, comes to about half of the production cost, which gives the network exclusive U.S. rights, including reruns.

Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer said, '''Farscape' is our signature show, and with this deal, it now becomes our longest-running original series ever.''

Sci Fi plans to schedule the new episodes of ''Farscape'' beginning in January, most likely as the linchpin of a Friday-night block of original programming.

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