Battlestar Galactica

By Joal Ryan
Tue Jul 12, 7:14 PM ET

"Since relaunching as a miniseries in 2003, Galactica has proved a solid performer--on cable. There, its first-season debut episode, which aired in January, was watched by 3.1 million.

Galactica's unspectacular turns for NBC--earlier in the year, it rebroadcast the miniseries--underscores the challenge sci-fi shows face in finding broad audiences in that broadest of arenas--broadcast network TV.

A Website (http://www.angelfire.com/trek/proutsy/) that keeps track of TV's longest running shows lists lots of western, cop and doctor shows, but only two over-the-air network sci-fi shows, X-Files and Star Trek: Voyager.

Cable and syndication, on the other hand, are far more hospitable environments for geek love. Sci Fi Channel's Stargate SG-1, humming along on basic cable since 1997, helped run off Star Trek: Enterprise when UPN moved the since canceled series to Friday nights. And then there is the ultimate off-network success story: Star Trek: The Next Generation, which in seven seasons in first-run syndication, produced 99 more episodes than the failed NBC series, Star Trek, that spawned it.

The Sci Fi version of Battlestar Galactica, starring Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell, needs only to fend off the Cylons for 22 more episodes to surpass the combined runs of the original 1978-79 ABC series, starring Lorne Green and Richard Hatch, and the reconfigured, land-locked version, Galactica 1980, also aired on ABC.

Galactica embarks on its second cable-universe season on Friday"

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