'Battlestar' special in Sci Fi galaxy

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NEW YORK -- Sci Fi Channel hit "Battlestar Galactica" will air a two-hour episode in the fall that will bridge the gap between the current third season and the fourth season slated to begin in January, the cable network said Wednesday during its upfront presentation.

Sci Fi executive vp original programming Mark Stern said the episode will feature the whole cast and not necessarily be related to the story line. It will be filmed in the next few months as the show returns to production and will then be marketed as a separate DVD.

In other "Battlestar" news, Sci Fi GM Dave Howe said the network had picked up the back-nine episodes of the upcoming Season 4.

"Sci Fi has never been hotter," Sci Fi Channel and USA Network president Bonnie Hammer said at the presentation, held at the nightclub STK in the trendy Meatpacking District of lower Manhattan. "It's something we live and breathe every day."

Sci Fi also said that it has reached a deal for six one-hour episodes of a series with British mentalist Derren Brown.

The still-untitled project will feature U.S.-produced episodes featuring a man who predicts and can control some human behavior. Sci Fi said Brown, who has had a series of specials in the U.K., has inspired participants to rob and give up their car keys and wallets to strangers.

The show is being executive producer by Andrew O'Conner and Michael Vine for Objective Prods., an independent production company in the U.K.

Sci Fi also has renewed the series "Ghost Hunters" for a fourth season. Additionally, the new drama series "Painkiller Jane" will premiere April 13, while the launch of "Flash Gordon" and the return of "Eureka" are slated for summer.

The network also is developing "Phenomenon," a two-hour pilot executive produced by Kiefer Sutherland.
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