Sci Fi Channel Shows Off Comfort With Emerging Tech

'Scifipedia' and 'Sci Fi Pulse' Will Be Added to Web Site

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As one would expect from a cable network named the Sci Fi Channel, new technology plays a large role in its strategy. The network is adding cutting-edge digital features to its Web site, such as a Wikipedia-like Scifipedia and an online broadband channel, Sci Fi Pulse.
Sci Fi Pulse will feature complete episodes of select Sci Fi original series and movies as well as original Web-only content including webisodes of 'Battlestar Galactica'
Sci Fi Pulse will feature complete episodes of select Sci Fi original series and movies as well as original Web-only content including webisodes of 'Battlestar Galactica'

Web-only content
The Sci Fi network enriched its Web site with the April launch of Scifipedia, an online user generated encyclopedia about all things sci-fi. The site also recently added Tech Blog, featuring reviews of the latest consumer gadgets. In May, the Sci Fi Channel will launch its content-rich broadband channel, Sci Fi Pulse. The channel will feature complete episodes of select Sci Fi original series and movies as well as original Web-only content including webisodes of "Battlestar Galactica" and the new drama "Eureka."

The projects were revealed at the Sci Fi Channel's presentation for the press yesterday at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Bonnie Hammer, president, USA Network and the Sci Fi Channel (part of NBC Universal), explained the network's multiplatform emphasis.

"All the current talk of new media is not a new concept for us," she said. "Genre fans are really early adopters who embraced our award-winning Web site and original Web content from day one. We have long known that if we want to own the genre, we will have to own the digital space."

User-participation projects
Sci Fi plans several user-participation projects for the Web site. Viewers will have an opportunity to shape the channel's programming by giving their feedback on pilots of potential new series that will be posted online. Viewers will also have the chance to create programming for the channel as part of Exposure, Sci Fi's user-created film festival. Aspiring filmmakers will be able to post their short films online, and the best films, voted on by the online audience, will be part of a two-hour cable special. Filmmakers picking up the most votes will be invited to be involved in creating one of Sci Fi's Saturday night action movies.

This summer, Sci Fi will premier "Eureka," starring Colin Ferguson, about a seemingly ordinary town in the Pacific Northwest that is actually a secret government-created haven for the world's greatest minds. On the slate for next season is an unscripted "American Idol"-style contest called "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" Comic-book legend Stan Lee will judge contestants who have created their own superhero. The winning character will be immortalized in a comic created by Mr. Lee and will appear in a Sci Fi channel movie. Also likely for next season is "The Dresden Files," a drama about a wizard/detective who lives in Chicago.

Several dramas are in development, including "Caprica," a prequel of sorts to "Battlestar Galactica." The story follows the lives of two families who inhabit the universe of "Battlestar Galactica" 500 years before the events on the popular show. Also intriguing is "Snap," a drama created by Jesse Alexander, a producer of "Alias" and "Lost." "Snap" tells the story of a federal agent who discovers that the Internet has become sentient and is manipulating humans.

Other dramas
Other dramas in development are "The Bishop," about a young slacker who learns he has a supernatural gift and goes on a quest to find the father he never knew; "Persons Unknown," about a group of strangers who awaken in a deserted town with no memory of how they arrived; and "Blink," about a group of "afterlife" investigators who try to help people about to change their destiny by making a wrong choice.

Also in development is a miniseries, "Chariots of the Gods," about a man's discovery that Earth is a pawn in a covert war between two alien factions, and a reality show, "Destination Truth," that follows a man as he travels the globe to investigate stories of the unexplained, such as Big Foot or the Chupacabra, a mythological monster that sucks the blood of goats.
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