Sci Fi riding Hurd to ‘Mars’

Widen to pen adaptation; mini to air next year

Gale Anne Hurd will oversee the six-hour miniseries “Red Mars” for Sci Fi Channel.

Project is based on the bestselling novel by Kim Stanley Robinson, a member of NASA’s Mars Committee.

Last month, Bryan Singer and Dean Devlin came aboard to exec produce Sci Fi’s Bermuda Triangle series “Triangle.”

Now in development, “Red Mars” follows the lives of the first colonists to approach the planet. Author Robinson will consult, Gregory Widen (“Backdraft”) to script. Sci Fi will air the mini late next year.

“We realized if we are going to maintain a level of quality, we have to work with creatives we respect,” said Sci Fi prexy Bonnie Hammer said about her latest coup. “We’ve proven that we can give them the freedom that is synonymous with Sci Fi and put marketing muscle behind it.”

Hammer marveled, “A couple of years ago, we couldn’t get a call returned. At this point, people are calling us and we say, ‘Come in and pitch!’ ”

Details of the budget were not released, but Hammer said the net is “very competitive budget-wise.”

‘Hulk’ producer

No stranger to the sci-fi genre, Hurd is producing upcoming summer pic “The Hulk” and exec producing “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine.”

Sci Fi is in production on a four-hour mini remake of “Battlestar Galactica.” It is also developing Ursula Le Guin’s “Earthsea” series with Lawrence Bender.

In December, the Steven Spielberg-produced miniseries “Taken” landed Sci Fi in the top primetime spot among all basic-cable networks for two weeks in a row, averaging nearly 5 million viewers.

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