The writers’ strike has helped all sorts of projects get off the ground, though unfortunately most of them have been terrible reality shows that obliterate brain cells. However, there are some scripted shows such as NBC’s upcoming Quarterlife, which was originally an online series, that may never have made it to air without the striking writers. These are desperate times for the networks, and desperate times can lead to the strangest programming decisions.
Viewers who are feeling deprived of original programming will be happy to hear that the script-starved Sci Fi Channel may be ready to take another look at Caprica, the proposed Battlestar Galactica spin-off from executive producer Ronald D. Moore. The script for the two-hour pilot of the series, which would act as a prequel to the events in Battlestar Galactica, was completed back in 2006, but the Sci Fi Channel chose to pass on it at the time.
In a recent issue of TV Guide, Sci Fi Channel Vice President Mark Stern stated, “I just got a call from NBC-Universal. They want us to take another look at the project.”
Though he didn’t elaborate any further, the renewed interest in Caprica comes as a shock to Ronald D. Moore, who claims he hasn’t heard anything from the network. In a statement to Ain’t It Cool News, Moore said, “Despite the rumors to the contrary, there’s still no word on Caprica. I have yet to get a call from the network about it, and if they’re really considering it, they’re keeping it to themselves.”
This is definitely a strange situation, but just because Moore hasn’t received word from the network is no reason to give up hope. It’s possible that the plans to resurrect Caprica are at such an early stage that they simply haven’t contacted the BSG mastermind yet.
As originally conceived, the series was to be set on the planet Caprica about 50 to 70 years before the events that take place in Battlestar Galactica. The show was going to follow the family life of Joseph Adama, father of William Adama, who is played by Edward James Olmos in the current series. The spin-off would deal with the creation of the Cylon race and the events leading into the First Cylon War.
The Sci Fi Channel was originally scared away from Caprica due to the low ratings of Battlestar Galactica, as well as the fact that the show was planned to be very story arc heavy. The network has always been a fan of more standalone episodes, and even pressured Moore to add more standalones to the third season of BSG. This tactic backfired, as both fans and critics lambasted Galactica for a run of subpar episodes.
In my opinion, the Sci Fi Channel should absolutely pick up Caprica. Aside from a couple of awesome shows, the network is known for having scripted programming that is a boil on humanity’s rear end. Also, let’s not forget the apocalypse of quality that’s known as the Sci Fi Original Movie. The network is going to need a smart, buzzworthy show after BSG exits the airwaves, and Caprica is their best hope. They were idiots not to pick it up the first time, and they’d look even more ridiculous if they passed it over again.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: TV Guide, Ain’t It Cool News
(Image courtesy of the Sci Fi Channel)