Networks orders 20 episodes for fifth season

The Sci Fi Channel has given a fifth-season renewal to “Stargate Atlantis,” commissioning 20 fresh episodes.

” ‘Atlantis’ truly came out from under the shadow of its sister series this year and proved that it’s a hit in its own right,” said Sci Fi’s Mark Stern, exec veep of original programming. The show’s predecessor, “Stargate SG-1,” ran for 10 seasons on Sci Fi before completing its run last year.

In its Friday 10 p.m. timeslot, “Atlantis” has chalked up a season-to-date average of 1.8 million total viewers, easily outperforming Sci Fi’s primetime average of about 1.3 million total viewers.

Stern said Sci Fi is in “a good place” when it comes to scripted original series, anticipating lots of buzz for the final 22-episode season of “Battlestar Galactica,” now in production. Sci Fi has also renewed “Eureka” for a third season and greenlit “Revolution,” a two-hour pilot for a proposed series. Stern said Sci Fi has made no decision yet on whether to renew “Flash Gordon,” another Friday-night original, for a second season.

Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie are the exec producers of “Atlantis,” which is produced and distributed by MGM Television.

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