Introduced by NBC in the 1970s to ride the wave of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica had a troubled first evolution on television.
In 1979 at the sixth annual People’s Choice Awards, the TV series won in the category of Best New TV Drama Series, but the first episode of the TV series, the TV pilot movie, was broadcast on September 17, 1978. About 30 minutes before the scheduled end, that broadcast was interrupted by the signing of the Egyptian–Israeli Camp David Accords. After the interruption, which was nearly an hour in length, the episode picked back up where it left off.
During the eight months after the pilot’s first broadcast, 17 original episodes of the series were made with five of them as two-part shows, equivalent to a standard 24-episode TV season. Citing declining ratings and cost overruns, ABC canceled Battlestar Galactica in April 1979. Its final episode, The Hand of God, was telecast on April 29, 1979.
The second attempt was more successful. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writer/producer Ronald D. Moore created a critically acclaimed four-season series for Syfy which ran from 2003-2009. That version starred Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackoff, Jaimie Bamber, Grace Park, and Lucy Lawless. It turned a goofy sci-fi show into a rumination on what it means to be human, and the concept of destiny.
A third attempt has been on the cards for a long time. Initially Bryan Singer was trying to create a movie. That morphed into a television show. It has long been a goal of Mr. Robot creator and Leave the World Behind writer/director Sam Esmail. The project is at NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock for since launch.
Previously Michael Lesslie was attached to write and executive produce, as well as serve as showrunner. Now he has exited, and The Sinner creator Derek Simonds has joined. Esmail Corp. is still producing the reboot through UCP with Esmail and Chad Hamilton set to executive produce.
The new version of Battlestar Galactica is rumored to be distinct from both the 70s show and the more gritty reboot.
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