SCI FI Channel and MGM Television Entertainment have reached an agreement to extend MGM's Stargate brand with a new series for the Channel. Production on the first season of Stargate Universe, a weekly series based on the popular Stargate franchise, will begin in early 2009, with the show targeted to premiere that Summer. Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and who both currently serve as executive producers on Atlantis, will serve as executive producers and writers on the new series.
"SCI FI has enjoyed tremendous success with Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and we're proud to be the home of the new Stargate Universe," said Mark Stern, Executive Vice President, Original Programming for SCI FI & Co-Head Original Content, Universal Cable Productions. "Universe will continue the Stargate legacy of vibrant storylines and compelling adventures, but will re-invent the format in a whole new way."
"The Stargate franchise enjoys a loyal and substantial fan base that welcomes each new installment with fevered enthusiasm," said Charles Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Corporate Development for MGM. "We are delighted to be working again with Brad and Robert and look forward to seeing new adventures with the launch of Stargate Universe on SCI FI Channel next year. Stargate Universe will continue the longstanding relationship between MGM's stellar science fiction franchise and cable's premiere destination for all passionate science fiction fans."
Thomas Vitale, Senior Vice President Programming & Original Movies said, "Stargate Universe is a natural progression for the Stargate brand and for our network. Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis have been key drivers for SCI FI and we are looking forward to seeing where this next chapter leads, as each new installment of the Stargate franchise further engages the SCI FI audience."
Wright and Cooper said: "In 'Universe,' we plan to keep those elements that have made the franchise a success, such as adventure and humour, while breaking new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home. Above all, we believe the Stargate itself remains an enduring icon with infinite potential as a jumping off point for telling stories."
After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate's ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.
What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.
The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny's original mission. Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship's navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.
Stargate Universe will debut as a two-hour movie event on SCI FI. Following its premiere, Universe will assume a regular hourly slot in Summer 2009.