‘Stargate Atlantis’ canceled; TV movie planned

Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Television

Stargate Atlantis Season 5 Cast Photo Courtesy of NBC Universal and Sci Fi Channel

SCI FI CHANNEL PHOTO

According to the always well-informed fan site GateWorld, Stargate Atlantis will end its run on Sci Fi Channel after the current season — its fifth — and return as at least one TV movie.

The series is a spinoff of the long-running Stargate SG-1, which wrapped last year and was itself based on the 1994 Stargate feature film.

Atlantis has been beset with casting changes almost since it began. Recently, SG-1 vet Amanda Tapping took the reins as mission commander from Torri Higginson, then turned them over after just one season to Robert Picardo (pictured, third from left) so she could bring her Web project Sanctuary to Sci Fi.

What of plans for a third Stargate TV series, tentatively titled Stargate Universe? We’ll have to wait and see.

SG-1 made the leap to direct-to-DVD movies almost immediately after its 10th and final season ended. The Ark of Truth concluded the final season’s storyline, and last month’s release Continuum both celebrated and toyed with the show’s convoluted timeline.

Stargate Atlantis stars (from left in photo) Jason Momoa, Rachel Luttrell, Robert Picardo, Joe Flanigan, David Hewlett and Jewel Staite.

Update

Here’s the press release:

New York, NY – August 21, 2008 – Building upon the successful Stargate franchise, SCI FI Channel today announced it has greenlit a two-hour movie based on the hit science fiction adventure series Stargate Atlantis. SCI FI will have the exclusive worldwide television premiere of the yet to be titled Stargate Atlantis film, which will then be released on DVD by MGM. The movie will be written by Stargate Atlantis’ executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who also serve as series showrunners. The movie is set to follow the fifth and final season of Stargate Atlantis, as it draws to its thrilling conclusion in January 2009.

“We’re excited to tell Atlantis stories on a bigger canvas. The successes of the two original Stargate DTV movies The Ark of Truth and Continuum have shown us the opportunities that the movie format offers. We have plans for both SG-1 and Atlantis to remain vital as we expand the franchise, ” said Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and who both currently serve as executive producers on Atlantis.

“We share in the producers’ enthusiasm to move forward in this direction and we look forward to a strong and continued relationship on Stargate Atlantis in this new format,” said Thomas Vitale, Senior Vice President Programming & Original Movies.

Stargate Atlantis follows the adventures of an intrepid team of military and civilian explorers who travel the distant Pegasus galaxy by means of a Stargate, a portal created long ago by a highly advanced alien civilization called the Ancients. In their never-ending quest to seek out other technologies left behind by the Ancients, the Atlantis team encounters alien cultures – some friend, some foe.

The series will reach a milestone with the 100th episode airing in January 2009. Atlantis is executive produced by Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Carl Binder, and Martin Gero. Mallozzi and Mullie share the reins as showrunners.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world’s largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching approximately 120 countries and territories around the world. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgmchannel.com.

SCI FI Channel is a television network where “what if” is what’s on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com <http://www.scifi.com>) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 93 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.

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