'Sliders' Now On Base At Sci-Fi
June 24, 1997
The Hollywood Reporter
By Scott Hettrick

The Sci-Fi Channel has picked up off-network rights to the one-hour Fox drama "Sliders" and has ordered 22 new episodes from Universal Television.

The order of new episodes is unusual for a cable network, particularly one the size of the Sci-Fi Channel, which generally does not have the budget to support network-quality series. Sci-Fi sister network USA Network produces original episodes of the former CBS late-night drama "Silk Stalkings," and Showtime produced original episodes of "The Paper Chase," which also originated on CBS.

But Sci-Fi has added more than 12 million subscribers in the past year to reach 42 million overall, and it has been increasing its investment in the production of original programming. The network's first original drama series, "Mission Genesis," premieres July 21, and longform productions of "Dune" and "Invasion Earth" have been announced.

Last year Sci-Fi picked up Comedy Central's "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and is producing more original episodes of the series.

Sci-Fi has acquired all 48 episodes of "Sliders" that have played on Fox.

"Sliders," which debuted in March 1995, has been dragging down Fox's Friday night schedule with low ratings in its third season.

But even a percentage of the Fox ratings would be a lift for Sci-Fi, and the demographics of "Sliders," about the adventures of a young team of explorers who "slide" through parallel dimensions of Earth to experience personal and historic situations, is a perfect match for Sci-Fi.

The Hollywood Reporter; hr62797

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