‘Battlestar’ burns out next year

Sci Fi Channel drama will end run after fourth season

Low-rated but critically worshipped Sci Fi Channel drama “Battlestar Galactica” will sign off next year after its fourth season, producers said Thursday.

Move isn’t a stunner. Rumors about the show’s fate have been swirling for months, and the skein had to fight to get renewed for a fourth season.

Despite some of the best reviews for any show on TV — and a fiercely loyal fan base — “Battlestar” is a very expensive show to produce, especially for a cable net. Sci Fi has tried to turn that buzz into bigger ratings, but the show never seemed to break out beyond a core niche.

Sci Fi stuck by the skein, however, because of its status as a signature program for the net.

Exec producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick issued a joint statement saying it was their decision to end the series.

“This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and, finally, an end,” producers said. “Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end, and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms.”

Producers promised to end the show “with a bang.”

Sci Fi exec VP of original programming Mark Stern said the cabler respected Eick and Moore’s call.

“We have always known that Ron and David had a plan for ‘Galactica,'” he said.

“Battlestar” will begin its fourth season with a two-hour episode in November. It will then return in early 2008 to finish out its 22-episode run.

Cabler hasn’t yet said if it plans to move forward with a proposed “Battlestar” prequel series.

For his part, Eick remains busy. He’s exec producing NBC’s buzzworthy “Bionic Woman” remake and has a slew of other projects in development.

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