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June 15 2005

Sci Fi Channel to show Firefly in correct order. It's a radical concept but it might just work.

Fantastic. I'm loving the Sci Fi channel right now. Loving it mightily.
anyone think Sci-Fi may be trying to establish some legitimacy in their genre as FX has done? I mean their movies are still crap but they've been making suprising good decisions in hour longs for the past year or two. SG1, Atlantis, BSG, now Firefly. Ignore Andromeda and thats downright impressive.
This is excellent! Finally!
I don't care what Joss has said about this being a film franchise now. I'm gonna allow myself to hope, only a little bit though, that we'll see Firefly Season 2 on Sci Fi. And ideally with movies in between seasons. Come onnn--Universal!
This is the line that caught my attention.

SCI FI acquired exclusive rights to the show from 20th Century Television, which produced the show for the Fox Broadcasting Co.


Do we know if they are talking about broadcast rights to season 1 or complete rights to the show as a whole? I guess the second option would still would not preclude a clause in the contract saying the show could not be produced for TV for a certain number of years, as we were told recently...somewhere.

And BTW, yea me. This is my first properly done quote. (About time.)
I'm so happy to hear this. I was truly worried that it would be messed up again. I really enjoy the Train Job now but as an introduction episode for the show it didn't do a good job. I know that wasn't Joss' fault at all but I will forever wonder how many people never tuned in again.

I'm totally loving Sci-fi. I watch that whole line-up anyway and although they cancelled Farscape they did give us the fantastic mini-series for it. I would be thrilled if Kris' dream came true that the show came back to tv as a series with movies inbetween seasons. But, I'm betting if it ever comes back to television it would be after the trilogy was done (and that's if all the stars, who will most likely be superstars by then, are willing to come back).
What a refreshing change! A story about a network getting it right.
Finally, a way to let all those friends of mine I don't trust with the DVDs to experience this great show. I knew SCI-FI would come through for us.
I'm not feeling overly kindly towards SciFi on this because they turned Firefly down before. Its Universal (their parent company) that is making them do this, IMO. Which isn't to say I have anything against SciFi, I love them for giving Ron Moore a go on more BSG :) I just don't see this news as a reason to feel MORE kindly to them as I don't think there was a lot of choice for them.

[ edited by zeitgeist on 2005-06-15 20:28 ]
When did SciFi turn down Firefly? If you're talking about picking it up after it was cancelled, then I doubt SciFi could afford the series.
Wow. Who would have ever thought that showing a show in correct order would work?

I don't know folks...I may have to side with the people at fox... I seriously have doubts that showing plot lines in correct order will help a show be sucessful.

/ end sarcasm

I'm very excited to see it on tv. I'll have to force friends that are far away to turn on their tv's.
killinj -- yeah, I'm sure that was a big part of it. Nothing against them, like I said, just this doesn't change my thoughts about them one way or the other.
newcj, I'm thinking broadcasting rights for season one only. Surely, FOX productions realizes they may have a diamond in the rough here and I doubt they will toss their control of the rights aside. BTW, congrats on the quote. It took me forever to learn those tricks as well. I owe much to several kind souls here that took the time to teach me.

Wish to tip my hat towards SCI FI, they've really done an excellent service these past two years. Is it just me or are they actually listening to their viewers? Now, there's an idea the other networks can take a page from. Case in point, they took a lot of heat from the 'Farscape' cancellation, but they pulled through with the 'Peacekeeper Wars' as closure. Yeah, I know many people are still bitter, but it was something. More than I can say for the other networks these past two years. Then there's the new Battlestar series. That show took me by surprise and I'm tickled pink over it. Can't wait for the second season.

Last, SCI FI will show 'Firefly' in its correct order and I can't stress how important that will be. I remember watching the show as Fox aired it and I lost interest by the fourth episode. It didn't make any sense or reason. Then, the DVD set came out and I saw what Joss meant in the story. It was wonderful and I cursed Fox for not supporting the show and dooming it before its time. I feel it would have surpassed BtVS and AtS if it had its do. Again, another thanks towards SCI FI.
Don't forget, Sci Fi had a chance to pick up the series from Fox back in the day... but declined.

Of course, NOW they are a believer in the show after its legendary DVD sales, the upcoming film, the comic books, the action figures, etc. But I have only recently forgiven the Sci Fi Channel for not picking up Firefly back when it was a sci fi show in need.

It took Battlestar Galactica for me to get over it. And guess who's special FX team they scooped up to make that happen?!
I don't begrudge them turning down Firefly back when Fox cancelled it. Sure, it would have been great if they had, but as killinj pointed out,Firefly was too expensive for them at the time. I remember the creator of Freaks and Geeks saying that after they were cancelled, MTV did make an offer to continue producing the show, but at a vastly cut budget (and the episodes would have been a half hour), and they just didn't want to do the show in a truncated fashion. I have no knowledge that conversations with Sci-Fi even got to the point of similar discussions, but I could fathom it being like that. Firefly was a terrific show,but the ratings it brought with it and the price it would cost weren't worth it to Sci-Fi at the time. Sometimes, business IS business. I can't yell at Sci-Fi for not saving a show they had nothing to do with creating ORr endangering in the first place. However, Sci-Fi is completely in my good graces these days, thanks to Battlestar Galactica, which is simply terrific. I am someone who just never has cared about any "spaceship" shows of the Star Trek type... the only exception was Firefly, which I would never have watched if Joss weren't involved. But my friends begged me to check out Battlestar, and damn, that is one fine show too.
Good points Eric G and I reiterate my stand that this doesn't change my opinion of them. I don't really fault them for turning down FF at the time nor do I credit them with much for picking it up now when the parent company told them to. BSG is phenomenal and I've been a fan of Ron Moore's from his DS9 days and even earlier and I was thrilled to see his name attached to BSG, which is what got me to watch it.
It's a radical concept but it might just work.

Heee!
According to a snippet from a Variety story (which btw can be view free if you watch the MSN commerical):

The Sci Fi Channel has bought exclusive cable rights to "Firefly" from Twentieth TV for a total license fee of about $450,000 in a deal that includes three episodes Fox never ran.

Which would indicate a "syndication" type deal, I believe. Not a wholesale transfer of ownership rights.

As for Sci-Fi turning down the series two years ago, until the NBC-Universal deal was made (in early 2004), there is no way Sci-Fi would've been able to afford Firefly.
That's pretty cool that Sci Fi has exclusive rights to re-air the series (and is this the first time "Trash", "The Message", and "Heart of Gold" will air in the U.S. ? 'Cause they've aired everywhere else in the world that Firefly has played, as far as I know).

Heh, guess Firefly on HBO will definitely not happen now. I remember that being a popular choice back when Joss was shopping the series around.
I think SciFi is doing great at the moment. I'm kinda turned on by Atlantis and BG. I mean, Mad Mad House was kinda cool for the idiocy factor, but huh? Someone probably told them to do a reality show and then they watched their fans drop like flies. Cancel Farscape and produce Mad Mad House instead??? Perhaps lesson learned. And Andromeda used to air in that 7:00 Friday time slot, but I don't know for how long. So good on you, SciFi. I like you more than I did when I discovered Taken. And that was a lot!
that's great news, i'm happy for you guys ! it sure took them long enough tho', eh ? i was beyond thrilled when space (the imagination station) in canada picked it up fairly soon after it was cancelled - and then of course ran it in proper order.
I'm just happy they are airing it, whatever the reason. I finally get to see it.
I think that the series returning is dependent on too many variables to be successful.

1. Will the movie be successful? As none of us have seen it (if you saw it in a screening, you suck), we are unsure at this point of its universality (is that a word) to an audience.

2. Can SciFi afford it? SciFi currently has many big-budget shows (SG-1, BSG, Atlantis...), so would there be room for a show that already failed on a network station?

3. Would FOX let them afford it? If FOX were to let go of the rights to a series that they own the rights to, and they own the merchandising to, it would be very unlikely that they would hand the whole thing over with a discount price tag.

4. Would the cast be able to return? I don't see this as the biggest of the issues, as all of the actors on the show have said how much they loved working on the show, but at the same time, would it pay enough for them to leave/quickly wrap up whatever they were working on to join a regular one-hour series?

Finally, I must say that this is excellent promotion for the series, and I don't think that we can blame them, or like them any differently for being forced into taking the episodes. I can't wait to watch.
No offense to some of the above posters but TV is a business. The show didn't do to well in the ratings and there was no real buzz about the show. Then to top things off, Sci-fi spent a huge amount of cash to get the rights to SG1 before. Then spent a bunch more to produce two original series called SGA and BSG.

Taking on Firefly wasn't probably in their best interest from a financial perspective. Rumour had it that Sci-fi bet the farm on those two new shows and had they failed....bye bye Sci-fi channel.

Now move a year ahead and those two new shows are a hit. Advertising revenues are very good. There now is a buzz about Firefly. Timing is everything. It didn't make sense to do anything until now for Sci-fi. As far as the other networks...that is a different story.
Uh, the Stargates and BSG are really not big-budget shows. They're all less expensive than Farscape was, and Farscape was less expensive than Firefly. Firefly really was big-budget, way way way out of Sci-Fi's league.
Have to point out that Sky One in the UK funded the making of Battlestar Galactica as well as the Sci Fi Channel.
Umm. BSG costs over 1.5 million per episode and will increase to around 2 million next season. The original SG1 costs approx 1.7 million per episode. SGA is said to be at 1.3 million per episode.

To put it in perspective, Lost is one of the most expensive at 2.8 million per episode. Now factor in the 1 miilion or less for all the Reality TV shows.

I don't know about you but those are big budget shows for a channel that is not considered a big network. BSG shared or not that is still big money. In one night thats around 4.5 million dollars (combined). For the Sci-fi network that is a huge gamble.


They could not afford Firefly at that time with so much riding on those shows. Can't hold that against them. Sci-fi channel one year later is in a much better place revenue wise.

[ edited by DarenG on 2005-06-17 23:30 ]

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