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Sci-Fi orders 18 more episodes of ‘Sliders’

Show finds niche in cable

NEW YORK — The Sci-Fi Channel has commissioned another 18 original hourlong episodes of “Sliders,” which has found a cable audience after the Fox network canceled it in May 1997 for low ratings.

Since Sci-Fi began running new editions of “Sliders” exclusively on June 8, the series has averaged a 1.8 household rating in cable homes, making it the highest-rated original series ever scheduled by Sci-Fi.

It’s rare for a series canceled by a broadcast network to succeed in the ratings when a cable network buys the rights to keep it in production. Among the successful crossovers is “Silk Stalkings,” which has become a bellwether for USA since November 1993, when CBS dropped the series from its latenight schedule. And Lifetime kept “The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd” in firstrun production for two years after NBC canceled it in June 1988.

The Sci-Fi Channel’s sister company, Studios USA, produces “Sliders” in association with St. Clare Entertainment. Fox ran it from March ’95 to May ’97.

Focusing on a team of explorers who move through time and space, “Sliders” stars Jerry O’Connell, Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer.

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