News

'Battlestar Galactica' prequel, movie in works

Maureen Ryan
Chicago Tribune (MCT)

"Battlestar Galactica" kicks off its final set of episodes Jan. 16, and airs its series finale March 20. But longtime fans shouldn't mourn its passing too deeply: There's more interstellar goodness coming your way.

Sci Fi Channel announced Tuesday it has given the green light to "Caprica," a prequel series that takes place half a century before the events of "Battlestar Galactica."

The two-hour "Caprica" pilot, which was shot earlier this year, was directed by "Friday Night Lights" veteran Jeffrey Reiner. Eighteen additional hours have been ordered by Sci Fi, and production on the series will begin in the summer.

The show, which stars Eric Stoltz, Polly Walker ("Rome"), Paula Malcolmson ("Deadwood") and Esai Morales ("Jericho"), will debut in 2010.

So we'll have to wait at least a year after "Battlestar" ends, but given the show's pedigree - it was created by "Battlestar" executive producer Ronald D. Moore and "24" writer Remi Aubuchon - and its cast, there's a good chance "Caprica" will be worth the wait.

That's not the only "Battlestar" project in the pipeline. Thanks to the positive reception to "Razor," a TV movie that came out in 2007, executives at Sci Fi commissioned another stand-alone film, "The Plan," which was shot last summer. It will air on Sci Fi sometime after the "Galactica" series finale, but it's not a continuation of the show. It's set in the time frame of the first and second seasons of the drama.

No date has been set for "The Plan," but there is a plan for the 10 "Battlestar" Webisodes that were also filmed earlier this year.

Starting Dec. 12, two Webisodes per week will go online at scifi.com. Watch for some interesting personal revelations regarding one "Battlestar" character.

This week the networks made a series of midseason announcements:

On ABC, the new Nathan Fillion vehicle, a comedic procedural called "Castle," will arrive March 9.

Also on ABC, "Cupid" will debut March 24. This is the second version of "Cupid" from executive producer Rob Thomas.

"The Unusuals," a new cop show featuring Amber Tamblyn of "Joan of Arcadia" and Harold Perrineau of "Lost," begins April 8.

The summer filler series "Flashpoint," which did surprisingly well for CBS, returns Jan. 9.

If you've been missing Christopher Gorham (formerly of "Ugly Betty"), his new thriller, "Harper's Island," begins April 9.

"Reaper" will return March 17 on the CW.

One more TV development worth noting: FunnyorDie.com will post the entire season premiere of the HBO comedy "Flight of the Conchords" on Dec. 17. The show will debut on HBO Jan. 18.

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