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2002 Hiatus News & SCIFI's Friday Night Programming
Joan Hedman 15 August 2002

Chris Regina, Director of Programming at The SCIFI Channel, confirmed that "Unrealized Reality", the episode airing on 23 August 2002, will be the last new episode of Farscape to air this year on SCIFI. The hiatus, as the period between new episodes has been dubbed, will extend into early January; Regina says a run of eleven new episodes (the remaining episodes of Season 4) will be aired beginning either January 3 or January 10, 2003.

While this implies that the remaining episodes will be run in one continuous block, that wasn't exactly clear. That would bring us to mid-to-late March. It's conceivable that SCIFI is shifting Farscape's "season" to run from June through March, with one hiatus from September through December. Seasons 1 through 3 began in March, had short breaks in May, and then enjoyed a solid block of new episodes throughout the summer before the long hiatus began until January (for Seasons 1 and 2) and April (Season 3). You can see the breaks between new episodes in the Ratings chart:

Time series graph of ratings

Production delays pushed out the start of Season 4 until June; it's likely (but this is speculation) that Season 5 will begin in June as well. If that's the case, SCIFI could delay the last four episodes until April, so that the between-season break is not quite so long.

SCIFI Fridays, in the Meantime

Regina detailed SCIFI's programming for the rest of this year's SCIFI Fridays, confirming that Stargate SG-1 will continue with doubled episodes through September. Beginning October 4, SCIFI will broadcast eight episodes of a new version of In Search Of.... You may recall the original 1976 series, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, investigated mysteries from the paranormal (Amityville) to historical (the construction of Stonehenge). Mitch Pileggi (Skinner on The X Files) will be hosting. It appears that this series was originally slated to appear on Fox as part of their Fall 2001 lineup, with rebroadcast later by USA Network. It's unclear whether or not these episodes ever actually aired on Fox, USA, or anywhere else.

In Search Of... will bring us into November, where SCIFI Fridays will showcase specials relating to the Steven Spielberg project, Taken. The miniseries, comprised of ten, two-hour episodes, will air in November and December, taking us right up to Farscape's return.

What About Repeats?

At this point, there are no plans to air repeats of Farscape on other weeknights, nor are there any Chain Reactions planned. However, there is a lot of flexibility in the programming, and repeats could be slotted in. Regina didn't rule it out entirely, but neither did he indicate that it was likely.

Caveats

Please keep in mind that there is always a certain amount of fluidity regarding television programming schedules. As of this writing, Regina expects new Farscape episodes to resume in January, but nothing in this industry is set in stone.

 

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