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Sci-Fi rides ‘Wave’ skein

Channel orders 22 segs of Coppola-produced series

The Sci-Fi Channel has picked up the Francis Ford Coppola-produced original skein “First Wave” for a March premiere.

The futuristic suspenser follows the exploits of a fugitive Earthling who is framed for the murder of his wife after uncovering evidence of a vast alien conspiracy. The Sci-Fi Channel has picked up a full 22 segs of “First Wave” as part of a push to expand its lineup of original fare in primetime.

Deal was unveiled Wednesday at the Western Cable Show by Stephen Chao, prexy of programming and marketing for USA Networks, parent of Sci-Fi Channel.

“First Wave,” created by film and TV scribe Chris Brancato (“Hoodlum,” The X-Files”), is produced by Larry Sugar’s Sugar Entertainment, Coppola’s American Zoetrope and Pearson TV Intl. Project was packaged by CAA.

Although originally designed for the U.S. syndie market, “First Wave” debuted in Canada and a number of other foreign markets last year before the deal with Sci-Fi was clinched. In a deal that portends changes to come in the increasingly global TV market, the “First Wave” partners opted to move forward with the production even though a domestic outlet had yet to be locked in.

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