Sci Fi Announces Autumn Battlestar Galactica Movie; ABC Locks Up its Lineup

Want more Battlestar Galactica? Your wish is my command.

Following its up-front presentation in New York, Sci Fi announced that it would significantly augment the episodic count for the previously announced fourth season of the show, increasing the installments from 13 to 22 episodes. Season Four of Battlestar Galactica is currently slated to launch on the cabler in January.

If that wasn't enough good news, Sci Fi also announced (I'm sure in an attempt to sate fans' appetites for BSG until 2008) that it would be airing a two-hour Battlestar Galactica movie sometime this fall, bridging the gap between the series' third season (wrapping up on Sunday with an incredible twist) and the fourth season.

However, Mark Stern, EVP of original programming at Sci Fi, said that, while the two-hour BSG flick (which will be released on DVD, separate from the box sets) features the entire Battlestar cast (read: Starbuck) it won't necessarily relate to the current storyline. Meaning that it could be a flashback story, fleshing out some of the character's backstories or could be a specific storyline set in the past. Curiouser and curiouser.

In other scheduling news, ABC locked up most of its real estate when it gave early full-season pickups to a whopping 11 (yes, you read that correctly, 11!) series for the 2007-08 season.

Early pickups include full second seasons for freshers Brothers & Sisters, Ugly Betty, and Men in Trees. Those series will return next season to the schedule, along with returning series Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and Boston Legal.

On the reality side, returning in 2007-08 are The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. ABC had previously granted an additional season to unscripted series Supernanny, Wife Swap, and America's Funniest Home Videos (which apparently will never, ever die).

With 14 of its possible 21 primetime hours already locked up, I'm extremely intrigued to see which pilots ABC ends up ordering to series and how it structures its lineup, following the debacle it created in the poor scheduling this season with Lost.

Has ABC learned its lesson? Will it be January before we see Season Four of Lost? Stay tuned as the May up-front presentations loom ever closer ....

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Jace is an LA-based television development and acquisitions junior exec who watches way too much television for his own good and would love a TiVo for every room in the house. (He’s halfway there.) His blog, Televisionary, can be found at televisionary.blogspot.com.