Sci Fi renews ‘Farscape’

Channel's highest-rated show is also one of most costly

NEW YORK — The Sci Fi Channel has renewed “Farscape, ” its highest-rated original series, for a third full season encompassing 22 hourlong episodes.

“This is the first time we’ve ever gone as far as a third year of production on a series we were involved in right from the get-go,” said Bonnie Hammer, executive VP and G.M. of the cable network.

Each episode of “Farscape” costs about $1.5 million, making it one of the most expensive original series on cable TV. Produced in Australia, “Farscape” is a joint venture of the Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark Entertainment, with the Nine Network of Australia as a co-producer.

Hammer said “Farscape” joins three other original scripted sci-fi series — “The Invisible Man,” “Lexx” and “First Wave” — this summer to give the channel the most ambitious firstrun lineup since it began life in September 1992.

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