Farscape Cancelled, Live-Action, Anime Features Planned

The Sci Fi Channel will not venture into a fifth season of its hit original series Farscape. The remaining fourth season episodes, set to begin airing in January, will see the series finale of the outer space fantasy/adventure from The Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark Ent.

The series stars Ben Browder as a cowboy astronaut transported to another part of the universe, where his survival depends on a ragtag team of fugitives, played by Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley and Raelee Hill. Created by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Farscape combines live-action, CG, astounding make-up effects and sophisticated puppetry to create its fantastic and dangerous world at the other end of a wormhole.

On its website, Sci Fi Channel cites a stunted growth in fan base and the swelling cost of production as reasons for discontinuing the show. The cabler notes that the decision was a tough one, commenting “There are no bigger fans of Farscape than we here at Sci Fi Channel.”

Stargate SG-1, which Sci Fi recently acquired from Showtime, has taken over Farscape‘s spot as the channel’s highest-rated series and tentpole property.

Fans, however, will not endure a total loss. A statement issued by The Jim Henson Co. on www.farscape.com promises that in addition to plans to syndicate the series, a live-action feature film and an anime project are in the works. The statement concludes, "We are eager to move forward with the Farscape creative team in developing new projects that will resonate with our overwhelmingly loyal fan base."

Fans can also find classic episodes on home video. ADV Films will release Into the Lion’s Den (Part 1) on DVD and VHS as part of the upcoming Farscape: Season 3 release, scheduled for 2003. Farscape: Season 2 Volume 2.2 hit retailers last month.