New ‘Battlestar’ orbit

Sci Fi Channel drama moving to Sundays at 10

“Battlestar Galactica” is hitching its hopes to Sunday nights.

The critically acclaimed Sci Fi Channel drama will move from Friday nights to Sundays at 10 beginning Jan. 21.

Move will mark the first time Sci Fi has tried an original series on the night — and the first time since its premiere in 2003 that “Battlestar” will have a new home.

Cabler usually runs a mix of original movies and acquisitions on Sunday.

Third cycle of “Battlestar” is off slightly from last season. Since its premiere Oct. 6, series has averaged 2.1 million overall viewers (down from 2.3 million) and 1.4 million in adults 18-49.

Sci Fi exec VP of programming Mark Stern said there are two reasons for moving the series.

“Broadcast and cable networks realized Friday was not such a bad timeslot, so it’s not the easy lay-up it once was,” he said.

In addition, he added, Sundays have bigger HUT levels and will be less competitive come January when football leaves the sked.

Frosh one-hour “Eureka” showed that “we can launch a show successfully on a new night beyond Friday,” Stern said. “Sunday is the home for premiere programming and for us, that’s ‘Battlestar.’ ”

Sci Fi Channel also will debut its detective drama “The Dresden Files” Jan. 21 at 9, where it will lead into “Battlestar.” Stern said the cabler is hoping that “Dresden” will bring in a new and broader audience to the latter.

“Battlestar” will have at least two major competitors when it makes the move: CBS’ “Without a Trace” and ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters.”

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