‘Battlestar’ spinoff in orbit at Sci Fi

Cabler takes broadband Pulse

Showing faith in “Battlestar Galactica,” Sci Fi Channel is signing up for series spinoff “Caprica,” a prequel that takes place 50 years earlier.

“Battlestar” vets Ronald D. Moore and David Eick will exec produce, with “24” scribe Remi Aubuchon set to pen the script, currently in development.

Sci Fi also unveiled its broadband channel, Sci Fi Pulse, as part of its upfront to media in New York on Wednesday.

Cabler greenlit the event series “Motel Man” (Daily Variety, April 26) and has committed to a slew of new projects in development.

Series projects include “Snap,” from “Lost” producer Jesse Alexander; “Persons Unknown,” a mystery thriller by “Usual Suspects” scribe Christopher McQuarrie; “Blink,” which follows a group of afterlife investigators who try to help those about to make a fatally wrong decision, exec produced by Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”) and Michael Forman; and a one-hour drama revolving around a young slacker who realizes he has a supernatural gift, written and exec produced by Freddie Prinze Jr. and Conrad Jackson.

Sci Fi also is developing miniseries “Chariots of the Gods,” based on the Erich von Daniken bestseller, and reality skein “Destination Truth,” in which host Josh Gates will attempt to explain mysteries such as the “fire worm” of Mongolia.

As for the new broadband channel, Pulse reflects Sci Fi’s commitment to the multiplatform vision of Jeff Zucker, CEO of the cabler’s parent company NBC U Television.

Zucker’s “360-degree programming” initiative — enabling shows to have multiple outlets — was used as Sci Fi’s cue to ensure that every skein in development will have a broadband component, said Sci Fi exec VP-general manager David Howe.

Content for the channel will initially consist of current Sci Fi shows. Original content will start appearing throughout the summer, including Exposure, a short film competition giving moviemakers the chance to be voted into a two-hour on-air special; Tech Blog, a review and news blog about the latest gadgets; and Scifipedia, a Wikipedia of sorts for sci-fi geeks. Webisodes for “Battlestar Galactica” and upcoming Sci Fi shows are also in development.

Cabler also demonstrated its close affiliation with the Peacock with the recruitment of NBC News broadcasters Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales to host the channel’s two-hour “Declassified” specials “Countdown to Doomsday” and “Quest for Atlantis: Startling New Secrets.”

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