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Sliders Enters a New Dimension – Space! See it again – for the first time Spacecast.com, 1998. Lovers of cult favourite Sliders, will be thrilled this summer when Space launches the series, starting from the beginning. Sliders will run four times a week, beginning on Monday, July 6 at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) Sliders is one of the most requested series on Space – devoted fans have been calling, writing and emailing regularly since the specialty channel launched in October 1997. Now they will be able to catch all forty eight episodes of the first three seasons. Viewers can join genius grad student Quinn Mallory (Jerry O’Connell), who has created a device that opens a cosmic "wormhole" leading to parallel dimensions of Earth. He and his companions are inadvertently sucked into the wormhole, and become trapped on infinite Earths when the connection with their own original universe is severed. In a desperate effort to get home, the dimension-travelers are now doomed to "slide" from one version of Earth to another. They never know which version of reality they’ll land in next – it could be one where Oliver North is President, one where England won the American Revolutionary War, or one where men are almost extinct. "Acquiring Sliders is truly a triumph for our viewers," remarks Marcia Martin, Vice President and General Manager of Space. "We’ve made it a point to listen to our viewers ever since we launched, and they were relentless in making us aware that this was an important series to get." In fact, devoted fans – especially on-line fans – brought the series back from the dead when it was canceled after battling marginal ratings on network TV. Because of fan outcry, a fourth season has been produced – these new episodes will be shown on Space at a later date. Space: The Imagination Station is a 24-hour-a-day English-language national Science Fiction, Science Fact, Speculation and Fantasy channel owned by CHUM Limited, one of Canada's foremost broadcasting companies and program providers. CHUM Limited currently owns and operates 24 radio stations and 12 television operations across Canada. Space joins Citytv, MuchMusic, Bravo!, MusiquePlus and MusiMax. Still to come are MuchMoreMusic, Canadian Learning Television and CablePulse24.
- Special thanks to Blinker for this article.
Source: Toronto Starweek
By any definition, the parallel-universe adventure series Sliders is a cult show. It's never been a big hit, either with the public or the critics. It's been cancelled, and revived more than once. Even its most rabid fans acknowledge that the show isn’t exactly good. But there’s something about the little series - about four adventurers travelling through an apparently infinite series of alternate Earths, each one different from the next - that’s caught on with some viewers in a big, big way. And their devotion is reflected in the dozens of Sliders Web sites floating out there in cyberspace, where all parallel universes appear to converge. Sliders began as a midseason replacement of the Fox network in the U.S., airing erratically for three seasons before finally being put down last summer. It took about a year for the show to turn up again on an American cable network called the Sci-Fi Channel; here in Canada, Global airs the show Sundays at 10 p.m. I’m not exactly sure to what demographic Sliders is supposed to appeal to most. Judging from the Web sites, teenage girls seem to be watching it for hunky beanpole Jerry O’Connell, the kid from My Secret Identity, now all grown up and frequently shirtless. Sci-fi buffs love the possibilities suggested by the series, which posits that a better life lies waiting just a world away. Young teenage boys are clearly drawn to the presence of new cast member Kari Wuhrer, who frequently appears almost shirtless. The Sliders fan sites are as varied as the individual worlds visited by the characters on the show, and clicking through myriad sites on the Web gives you the feeling that you’re bouncing from one universe to the next. One of the busiest sites, Robb’s Sliders Page (www.tiac.net/users/robbp/sliders.html), reflects the near-pathological devotion of the Sliders fan. Maintained by Robert W. Potter, the site splinters off in every conceivable direction to provide an incredibly thorough reference to the series. Wonder why John Rhys-Davies is no longer on the show? Check out the Arturo page to find out what happened to his character. Need novella-length synopses of every episode from the first three seasons? They’re around. And if you really need to see the transcript of Jerry O’Connell’s last appearance on The Tonight Show, it’s up there. Tim Lucas’ Sliders: Into The Vortex (washington.xtn.net/~lucast/sliders/sliders.html) features a more artistic design, though it’s frame-enabled structure is a little hard to navigate; you’ll find yourself backing out of a lot of pages, rather than clicking through them. But Lucas’ episode guide is supplemented by a "nitpicks" link, pointing out continuity and logistical errors within each episode - there are a lot of them - and occasionally speculating on possible explanations for the mistakes. Lucas’ links page is also the most comprehensive I could find, with dozens of Sliders sites arranged according to their specific appeal - Fan Fiction, Fun & Games, Episode Guides, News, and so on. Another Site to try: The Expert’s Ultimate Sliders Companion Web Site (www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/9053/). In addition to a wealth of information about the cast and the production, and the best understanding I saw of the show’s jangled internal logic, this site also features the most obsessive, exhaustive Sliders episode guide on the Web - go to www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Lot/9053/legend.html if you dare - to see alternate worlds and guest appearances archived alongside each episode’s Neilsen rating and audience share. This guide is so complete that it even lists the other networks’ competing shows. One of the best features of this site is "Film Alternatives To Episodes," a simple spreadsheet page that offers the "inspirations" for a given episode. Some would call this the ripoff guide, as the show spent about a year stealing ideas from existing movies and TV shows; the Expert, whoever that is, is more generous. ("if you liked The Electric Twister Acid Test, try the movie Twister.") Finally, after sliding - sorry, surfing - through all these sites, click over to www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~lquinto/drinking.html for the invaluable Sliders Drinking game. Refreshingly blunt about the show’s wobbly quality ("Guzzle whenever you see some continuity, jump up and down in joy, and remember to thank God!"), the drinking game- compiled by Karen Litzau and maintained by Lloyd Quinto- reflects the true fan’s love of minutiae and sense of the absurd. Besides, anybody who advises you to "do the Dance of Joy whenever Sliders gets cancelled and then gets renewed again" has to have a sense of humour. Like the original Star Trek series- another low-rated SF show revived after a fan campaign, though it barely lasted another season- Sliders has anchored itself in the brains of millions of fans, both on the Web and in the real world. If all this adoration has piqued your interest, Space: The Imagination Station has acquired all 48 episodes of the series’ first three seasons and will air them in sequence four days a week beginning Mon., July 6. Check their Web site at www.spacecast.com for further information. Just make sure you don’t log into a server from a parallel universe.
- Special thanks to Blinker for this article.
Source: SF Tube
Not everything is over and done with, however. On the Sci-Fi Channel we've got a fourth season of Sliders starting up on Monday nights. They've got a lower budget but have been working on putting the science fiction back into the show as opposed to the ovie-ripoff-of-the-week that the FOX suits had been pushing them to do. Marc Scott Zicree joined the show as a producer for this season and sought out feedback from fans about what they liked and didn't like in the show. He's taken a lot of that feedback into consideration and from the preview he gave at LepreCon, I'd say he's accomplished what he set out to do and I'm looking forward to it. Joining the show as Quinn's brother, Colin Mallory, is Jerry O'Connell's real life brother Charlie. The character of Maggie(Kari Wuhrer) has been softened up and Rembrandt Brown (Cleavant Derricks) will be acting more as a father figure than a buffoon.
Source: Sci-Fi Entertainment
Sci-fi fans who are users of the Internet: take a stab at rewriting your
by Melissa Perenson
The efforts behind Sliders fanfic was inspired more by frustration with the series than anything else. "I stumbled across Sliders and found as the show progressed that it wasn't living up to the potential the pilot demonstrated," says Kyrie Daniels, 25, who runs the two-year-old Sliders fanfic mailing list that has a couple hundred subscribers. "In fanfic, if we wish, we can ignore certain events that occurred, particularly in the last season. For Sliders, it helped a lot of the hard core fans through the long hiatuses the series experienced." Plus, given Sliders' premise, fanfic takes on a particularly unique legitimacy. "With Sliders, it's likely happening in some other dimension just the way we're writing it."
*Thanks to Blinker for this article.
Source: The Outer Rim
Sliders: 9pm Mondays on the Sci-fi Channel (repeats); new episodes begin June 8th (UK).
Sliders, the little show that could. Saved from extinction by the Sci-Fi Channel (oh frabjous day, calloo callay!), the four adventurers will slide off into brand new worlds beginning June 8th.
A huge outpouring of fan's support saved this show, which has lasted three seasons despite low ratings. The show is about a brilliant young college student named Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) who develops a way of opening doorways into parallel universes. His friend, Wade (Sabrina Lloyd), convinces him to explore these parallel Earth's. Quinn and Wade are joined by Professor Maximillian Arturo (John Rhys-Davies) and Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks). Rembrandt, a member of a fifties singing group called The Spinning Tops, was hopeful of a comeback. He was on his way to sing the National Anthem at a baseball game when his Caddy was sucked into the wormhole. So the four "slide" to different Earth's, with their ultimate goal being that their next slide will finally bring them home.
Alternate Earth's have long been a staple of SF, from Murray Leinster's "Sidewise In Time" to the more recent alternate history novels of Harry Turtledove. I think this vein is so popular because we like to ask the question "What if?" This is the question "Sliders" answers.
Since beginning their journey, the sliders have been to a world that was dominated by the Soviet Union (the pilot) and England (Prince of Wails). They have been to a world where the peace movement of the '60s didn't happen until the '90s (Summer of Love); where intelligence is regarded higher than athletic ability (Eggheads); where dinosaurs still roam within protected parks guarded remotely by holographic park rangers (In Dino Veritas); and an Earth where time runs backward (As Time Goes By).
A few episodes stand out as being particularly good at pointing out problems and human foibles from different points of view. Examples of these are "The Weaker Sex," where the sliders land on a world ran by women. Here, the chauvinistic Arturo complains about his lack of rights and learns what it is like for the opposite sex on his own world. In another such episode, "The Young and the Relentless," they arrive on a world where teenagers have taken over, retirement is mandatory at ago 30, and Arturo and Remy (both over 30) are treated like second-class citizens.
My favourite of all of these has to be "The Guardian." This takes place on an Earth with a slower rotation, so everything is still in the past in relation to the sliders. Quinn befriends his younger self, who is grieving over the recent death of his father. Quinn teaches him how to fight, to the disapproval of his friends. In the end it is revealed that Quinn taught his younger version to fight so he wouldn't use a baseball bat against a bully, shattering his knee. Quinn had done this on his world and felt guilty about it ever since.
He also indulges in a great bit of wish fulfilment when he kisses his attractive elementary school teacher.
Another episode that deserves mention is their only holiday-themed show, "Season's Greedings." The sliders travel to a world populated by giant, floating mall cities, where everyone is force to spend, spend, spend, even the employees. Arturo takes a job as a Santa Claus and deprograms the greedy minds of the materialistic children wanting nothing but toys.
Other episodes have been not so grand, and I can understand why they ratings were less than spectacular. As it continued, the show seemed to get further out there in terms of content, delving more into science fantasy and fantasy than alternate world science fiction. One particularly bad episode had them land on an island populated by mutant animal men and an evil scientist. Sound familiar? It's H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau." "Sliders" needs to stay away from that kind of cheapjack imitation and foolishness if it hopes to last. Stuff like the ludicrous episode "Stoker," in which they land on a world where vampirism is an established fact, and a band called Stoker recruits Wade as their newest victim-er-lead singer. The episode made numerous references to Bram Stoker's work: the band's name, their clumsy assistant Renfield, a lead singer named Mina who was quickly killed, vampirism was made illegal in 1897, the same year Dracula was published. Then, when Quinn mentions the name Dracula to the local vampire hunter (yep, you guessed it, his name was Van Helsing) the guy says he doesn't get the reference. For this reason alone I found the episode hard to swallow. Also, a breakup in the cast has occurred. John Rhys-Davies was fired, his character killed off, and a new character added. Captain Maggie Beckett (Karie Wuhrer) joins our heroes to track down her insanely evil father, Colonel Rickman (played with malicious relish in this episode by British rock star Roger Daltrey). He contracted a virus during Desert Storm that eats at his brain stem, causing him to need spinal fluid from other people (yeah, I know it sounds hokey). He attacks them to get it, and when he is discovered he shoots the Professor and steals their timer (which has the co-ordinates to Earth Prime, their home), just as they are helping his Earth escape to another world to avoid being destroyed by a comet. They have a new timer, which is linked to Rickman's, that they use to follow him to different worlds. Now, with Rickman having plummeted to his death in the season finale, the sliders have separated, with Wade and Rembrandt sliding off with one timer and Quinn and Maggie sliding to what appears to be the future...
What direction the new season will take is anybody's guess at this point, but come June 8th you can be sure that millions of fans will be glued to their chairs awaiting the outcome.
Review by James Palmer
Showcasing his skills as a director on one episode of last season's Sliders television show, star Jerry O'Connell, coming off of high profile films such as Jerry Maguire and Scream 2, has been given the greenlight to go behind the camera for four more episodes when the series moves to the Sci-Fi Channel. Sliders will emphasize story-telling and see effects trimmed as its budget is halved from $1.5 million with Fox to $750,000 on the cable channel, according to a report in this week's Mediaweek
The sliders finally find Quinn's Earth, but it's not what they're expecting
Review by Kathie Huddleston
What if you found a portal to a parallel universe? What if you could slide into a thousand different worlds? So starts the fourth season of Sliders, as Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) and his ragtag band of travelers finally find their way back to their own Earth, only to discover that home isn't quite what it used to be.
Having gotten separated from Rembrandt (Derricks) and Wade at the end of the third season, Quinn and Maggie (Wuhrer) have been trying to get back to Quinn's Earth and find their friends for months. They arrive on Quinn's Earth to discover that their enemies--the Kromaggs--have taken over in Nazi-like fashion and that their friends are missing. The Kromaggs are evil yet highly evolved humans who slide to other worlds and conquer them.
With the help of resistance fighters, Quinn and Maggie discover that Rembrandt and Wade were taken to the Kromaggs' Re-Education Center. In a rescue attempt, they free Rembrandt, only to have Quinn taken. Quinn is tortured by the Kromaggs and discovers that Wade has been shipped off to a Kromagg breeder camp for cross-species replication.
In prison, Quinn finds his mother. As they are about to be separated, she confesses that he is not her biological son. His real parents were also sliders who were fighting the Kromaggs on their world. Concerned for Quinn's safety, they placed him with their doubles on Earth. Quinn also learns he has a brother, Colin Mallory (Charlie O'Connell, Jerry's real-life brother), who is living on an alternate Earth.
Now it's up to Rembrandt and Maggie to find a way to save Quinn, but can any of them save Earth from the evil Kromaggs?
Good ideas slide into average execution
Sliders has always had good ideas. From the beginning, the show's creators were clever when it came to bringing a T-Rex face to face with the sliders or exploring a world where men are the ones who give birth. As Sliders begins its fourth season on its new home on the Sci-Fi Channel, much has changed for the characters but not for the show itself.
While the ideas behind the episodes might be terrific, the writing, acting and production could be much better. In the season premiere, the show's creators start off with a good idea: The sliders get home only to find their home has been devastated during an invasion by the Kromaggs. However, as soon as the sliders arrive on Earth, what should be tragic events are glossed over. Resistance fighters and the sliders rescue Rembrandt, but leave behind other prisoners they could have saved. Quinn finally finds his real mother, but the reunion is hollow and forced. Worst of all, a major character, Wade, is written out with little emotion, considering what would be a particularly nasty fate.
In fact, many of the show's episodes have that hollow feeling. The worlds the sliders visit often don't feel populated, but rather two-dimensional and flat. It's as if the writers don't realize that a complication like the fact that Maggie can't breathe on Quinn's Earth could add great drama to an already tough situation. Instead, it's just an annoyance that the writers gloss over and get rid of too conveniently.
The character of Colin looks to be a good addition to the series, and the Kromaggs have great potential as continuing villains. But without any extra emotional edge and some good storytelling, it all seems a little bland.
Perhaps it's too much to expect a television show to be more than average and to reach the heights other shows have managed. It just seems like such a waste of the potential. -- Kathie
Universal's television series Sliders, starring Sabrina Lloyd and Jerry O'Connell, spent three years in Vancouver before relocating to Southern California, often spending two to three days at locations ranging from Santa Barbara to L.A. Mychelle Deschamps, line producer, says the Tejon Ranch, spanning both Kern and Los Angeles counties, was one of the more incredible locations to film. In a scene involving dinosaurs, the location provided them with the openness they needed.
Source: Scifi Worldcon
Zicree emphasized that he plans to move the show away from the "movie ripoff of the week" format that it adopted in its last season, and will make it more science fictional, travelling to interesting worlds and telling stories that engage the characters on a personal level. He also plans to "tone down the bitchiness" of the characters. While at the Worldcon he has been actively soliciting novelists to pitch ideas to the show, hoping to bring in some original perspectives on the Sliders concept.
2:45pm ET, 13-May-98
Sci-Fi Unveils Original Lineup
The Sci-Fi Channel has announced an ambitious original programming slate for 1998-99 that includes five regular series, two live TV shows, a miniseries, a special event movie, and a pair of two-hour Sightings specials. The channel will also air all 80 digitally remastered episodes of the original Star Trek series. The lineup includes:
In addition to the announcement of the new Farscape series, the Sci-Fi Channel announced an impressive list of new and returning programming, according to the Ultimate TV website. Including:
Previously a Fox series, this re-vamped version picks up with a new storyline. The Sliders (or what's left of them) return home only to learn that that their Earth has been conquered by the evil Kromaggs, who also have Slider technology. The Sliders move through dimensions with a goal: to find whatever means they can to liberate their home world. Jerry O'Connell, Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer return joined by new cast member Charlie O'Connell (Jerry's real brother) who plays Quinn Mallory's sibling from an alternative Earth.
Source: Brunico Communications
By Meg Mathur
- Sliders slips back to TV on Global and Space
Life imitated art when a new fourth season of Sliders, a show about traveling through parallel dimensions, debuted on Global Television this month, and the original three seasons will premier on specialty channel Space: The Imagination Station in July.
Fox canceled the Universal-produced Sliders after its third season due to marginal network ratings (the show premiered in 1995), but fan outcry led to Universal's decision to produce a fourth season for the Sci-Fi Channel in the States. When Sliders went back into production, Global, the original Canadian broadcaster of the show, acquired the new episodes. Space will carry the new episodes in September 1999.
Sliders premiered on Global on Sunday, May 17 at 10 p.m. in Ontario, Vancouver and Quebec, following The X-Files, and at 9 p.m. in Winnipeg, Regina and Saskatoon. It will launch on Friday, May 22 in the Atlantic provinces.
The timing of the show was no coincidence. May 17 marked The X-Files' season finale, which leads viewers to the series' summer movie.
"There's a very compatible audience between X-Files and Sliders," says Doug Hoover, national vp of programming and promotions at Global. Mulder and Scully have averaged about 2.5 million viewers this season, so at press time, Hoover was expecting "a huge audience" for the Sliders premiere.
"It's a little early to tell," Hoover adds, whether Sunday will be a permanent slot for the show. "We wanted to get some ratings results and get a better feel for the summer schedules from the u.s. networks."
Sliders takes over the 10 p.m. time slot from The Outer Limits, which will find a new slot once the summer schedule is set, according to Shea Warrington, spokesperson for Global.
After the new Sliders episodes end on Global, the series slides over to chum's Space, which launches the three original seasons on Monday, July 6 at 8 p.m.
"[Sliders] was on our wish list from day one," says Isme Bennie, director of programming and acquisitions at Space. Despite an audience campaign to bring Sliders to Space, Bennie says, "they didn't influence our choice; we knew it was the right thing for us to have."
Space is also scheduling Sliders near The X-Files. "I knew several months ago that Sliders was going to be possible," Bennie explains, "so I kept in mind that I would want it at 8 o'clock [for] as many days of the week as possible." The series' three seasons will run four times per week before Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at 10 p.m. and The X-Files at 11 p.m.
TV Guide Online reports that actor Cleavant Derricks looks to more fully explore the potential of his character Rembrandt Brown in the new Sci-Fi Channel aired Sliders. Derrick felt that "Rembrandt was a great character for the pilot, because he had the audience's perspective. He let the viewers in on the series. And he was pretty good for the first few episodes."
Unfortunately, though he enjoys the character, Derrick felt his character hadn't evolved over four seasons of incredible adventures as a Slider. To resolve this situation, Derrick approached series' producer David Peckinpah.
Says Derrick, "I sat down with David and the writers, and I said, 'Guys, I love the humor of this character, and I love his audience perspective. But you've got to let him grow, to use the things he's learned in four years of sliding.'"
Happily for all, the situation was resolved for Derrick.
"I still want him to be the audience - but I think any audience member would adapt to this situation eventually."
Cleavant Derricks (a.k.a Rembrandt Brown) spoke to TV Guide Online about the newly revived Sliders for the Sci-Fi Channel. Perhaps of most interest to die hard fans from the Fox run is Brown's take on the state of the series as well as departed cast members.
Derricks feels that Sliders is now at its best. Says the actor, "The shows are stronger; I think it's better written than it's ever been. I think we've finally found our niche." Regarding ex-cast members John Rhys-Davies and Sabrina Lloyd, Derricks says they "left too soon." He adds, "That's sad; I would have liked for them to share in this, because it's so good now."
In particular, Derricks admired and enjoyed working with Rhys-Davies. "I respect John and love him. I still carry a bit of him around with me. He's probably one of the brightest men I've ever known. His love for humanity, for the arts, for giving the best you possibly can give...I really think he would be happy to be with us this season. And it's a pity that he won't."
That final comment suggests that odds are slim for the return of any dimensional version of Maximillian Arturo... but one never knows.
Source: TV Quest
Child star Jerry O'Connell grows up for "Sliders"
THE FOX NETWORK SENT THEIR CULT HIT SLIDERS SLIP SLIDIN'
AWAY LAST YEAR, NOW THE SCI-FI CHANNEL HOPES TO HIT A HOME RUN WITH BRAND NEW EPISODES.
By CHRISTOPHER ALLAN SMITH
The letter writing campaign- it's a time honored tradition in sci-fi. The cannon of genre legends is replete with shows saved or revived by them.
STAR TREK, BABYLON 5, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, QUANTUM LEAP, SPAWN, CAGNEY AND LACY- all were Interesting, quality shows written off by low ratings which were brought back from the abyss by the power of the fan's pen and the enthusiast's email.
But when SLIDERS returns to the airwaves on the Sci-Fi Channel June 8 with 22 all new episodes, it's comeback may single the first of a new breed.
Reviled by many fans when it was canceled by Fox last year, drawing anemic ratings and creatively thrashing around between lame movie rip-offs (anyone remember the guy surfing the tornado the week TWISTER came out?) and wacky what-if worlds (everyone's a vampire!), most who held so much hope for the show when it premiered were glad to see it go last May.
"When I originally came on the show, fans hated the show," reports Marc Scott Zicree, a veteran producer of such genre hits as the mid '80s exceptional TWILIGHT ZONE revival and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. "They wanted it to be dead. It was a far cry from the fan enthusiasm of a few years before, when the show began promisingly enough."
Premiering in March 1995, SLIDERS centered around boy genius Quinn Mallory (Jerry O'Connell) and chronicling his adventures with a motley group of comrades after a test of his sliding technology accidentally sets them shifting between a myriad of parallel Earth's, unable to return home. Among the group was lounge lizard Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown (Cleavant Derricks) and a now departed John Rhys-Davies as the wise older scientist Arturo.
Created by another STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION veteran Tracy Torme(?) and Robert K. Weiss (producer of the NAKED GUN movies and KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE), SLIDERS was seen by many genre fans as a sure thing, a 'Why didn't I think of that' premise with endless possibilities for exploring stories too varied to contemplate. Supplying intriguing what if scenarios at the start (what if America had lost the revolution?) SLIDERS eventually devolved into desperate grabs for reflected movie glory and tepid horror plots.
"If one week someone's tuning in and seeing TWISTER, then another week they're seeing JURASSIC PARK and another week they're seeing THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU," says Zicree. "The problem with that an attitude develops from the fans of "I can see those at the movies and get better versions of this.' Particularly with a science fiction show where you have an infinity of worlds to visit, it's such a 'you know, you're aiming so low if you're not exploring the possibility of your own show.'"
As the last episodes petered out on Fox, the creators began casting about for new blood to reinvigorate the show in hopes of getting another network to pick it up.
Which brings up the question, why would the Sci-Fi Channel want to pick up a show that most agreed was wrecked?
"Some wanted it dead, but there were those who liked it," says Zicree "There are a lot of fan pages on the web. But the Sci-Fi Channel wanted a height profile with a major original series. By picking up SLIDERS, they already had name value and they knew they had something they could promote. Jerry O'Connell is becoming more and more of a movie star. He was coming off SCREAM 2 and JERRY MCGUIRE. He's headed places. I don't think it was a difficult choice for the Sci-Fi Channel."
Fine, makes business sense. But why should fans, burnt once by this show, give it a second chance?
Enter Zicree. Along with many others, Zicree was approached by Torme to come aboard and help retool the show for its new home. The process began with Zicree watching some episodes from the third season.
"I was really dismayed at what had happened to the show," Zicree remembers. It had gone in a direction I really didn't like. Fans clearly didn't like it because they were turned off by the show. It was taking this horror kind of track, it was ripping off a lot of movies, and characters weren't hanging together. I mean, the characters were sniping at each other. We've all had the experience of having a favorite show go south and really tank. In the case of SLIDERS the network had its ideas. The problem is, when a show isn't getting the ratings the network wants, the network will start making suggestions about what they think is needed. In this case, the solutions FOX was suggesting were worse than the sickness. That's why it was so good we went to a new network."
For him the first order of business in the show's resuscitation was to dial in to exactly what fans were criticizing about it.
"I went to science fiction conventions, I went online, and I basically said 'tell me what you don't like about SLIDERS and they told me," says Zicree.
And while Zicree and the new creative team made more than a few changes, there were some things the fans voiced out about he decided to leave as is.
"There was a female lead [Kari Wuhrer as Maggie Beckett] they didn't like," adds Zicree. "They didn't feel she clicked." While many fans online called for her to be bounced, Zicree and the others realized the fans may be confusing the actress with poor plot-lines.
"Often times, fans mistake the writing for the acting," Zicree observes. "They weren't understanding that the actress was actually very, very good, but we just weren't giving her anything to do. All we had to do was give her stuff to do, and once we started writing for Kari in ways that were good, once we started to do our job, she was able to do a great job."
As he listened to fan feedback and began to help rebuild the show, Zicree gained a newfound respect for what producers of bad TV put actors through.
"I have enormous sympathy for actors," he says. "If you write a bad script, no one knows what you look like or where you live, but the poor actors, their faces are right there."
Besides tweaking characters and staying away from movie rip-offs, there were bigger changes the crew zeroed in on as well according to Zicree.
One, in a word, were Kromaggs.
"They were created by Tracy Torme in an episode called 'Invasion,'" says Zicree. "We had an ongoing plot-line about a world where there was basically two human races, us homo-sapians and the Kromaggs, these telepathic, evil creatures who can slide from world to world. Six of our episodes follow that plot-line. "
In fact, the introduction of the Kromaggs is one of two major changes fans will see as SLIDERS reappears this summer. The first new episode, "Genesis," written by executive producer David Peckinpah, has Quinn and company returning to their original earth only to find it's been invaded by Kromaggs. The remaining inhabitants are fighting a desperate battle against the creatures, and losing. But that's just the beginning.
"Genesis" also reveals a secret that may have some fans scratching their heads. Suffice to say, Quinn discovers a long lost brother Colin Mallory, played by Jerry's real life brother Charlie O'Connell.
"Now with Charlie coming on-board, the challenge was to create a character different from Quinn," says Zicree. " We didn't want two of the same guy. What we came up with was a character that was from a non-technological world, almost like an Amish guy. He's an inventor, but not technical. We modeled him after Gary Cooper in MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN."
As promising as all these changes sound, it's still a little unclear how fans will embrace the show. Those at the Sci-Fi Channel hold high hopes, but haven't committed yet to a fifth season.
Zicree, for one, is hopeful though.
"They may renew at any time," he says. "They may be waiting for June to see how the new episodes perform. It's fairly late in the day, but I think the likelihood is good. They've been showing reruns on their network for a few months now and they've been doing very well."
But despite the changes and the crew's new found optimism, there are some things that probably won't be touched on as SLIDERS returns ¾ namely the hinted-at romance between Quinn and Maggie.
"We touch on it," admits Zicree. "However, we've learned from shows like CHEERS and MOONLIGHTING ¾ the flirtation is more interesting than the consummation. We do one show where we explore the road not taken with that story. That's a very interesting story."
Which leaves one last, logical question given the shows promising but spotty run. What happens if the show isn't picked up? Will there be a conclusion to Quinn and company's four year adventure?
"We wanted to leave it open ended in case they renewed the show we'll have something to do," laughs Zicree, "We also wanted to resolve some things this season too, or have them get to a certain point, where they feel a certain amount of closure. I don't want to spoil it, suffice to say they think they've gotten to one place then discover it's not what they thought it was. We play a twist on it."
What remains to be seen is if this is a world that will embrace a reborn SLIDERS, or if that's a course of events lost on another Earth.
11:53pm ET, 2-June-98
Space Adds Sliders, Weird Science
Canada's Space: The Imagination Station will be adding the SF television shows Sliders and Weird Science to its summer lineup. Space plans to show all 48 episodes of the first three seasons of Sliders in chronological order starting Monday, July 6.
Weird Science, the spin-off TV series based on the 1985 movie of the same name, will also debut on Space on July 6. Weird Science will air Mondays through Fridays at 12:30 p.m. ET and 5:00 p.m. ET, while Sliders will run Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET.
The phenomenon at the heart of "Sliders" refers to a group of young, improbably attractive humans who "slide" through vortexes that provide access to parallel dimensions of Earth. Call it coincidence, then, that for the drama's fourth season of 22 originals, it has performed an impressive slide of its own: From its previous home on Fox to the parallel dimension of basic cable and the Sci Fi Channel or, in less ethereal terms, from Rupert Murdoch to Barry Diller. Yes, the dreaded mogul vortex.
Of course, these things don't happen overnight. And in the case of "Sliders," it took more than a year to get up and running on Sci Fi after completing season three on May 16, 1997. But after getting the ax from Fox, here it is, ready to conquer a shiny new vortex each week. For the typically obsessed sci-fi fan, there is no purer nirvana than to have a beloved series brought back from the near-dead. For the rest of us, the new segs will elicit pretty much the same yawns as did the old ones.
If, as they say, there are only eight plots in drama, there are likely only two in science-fiction: earthlings at war with evil alien oppressors in a distant galaxy or earthlings at peace with beings who are yet to turn evil. And always, the earth folks are struggling to find their way home, wherever that may be. Such is life in "Genesis," the fourth season opener of "Sliders," which sports some cool effects from Eddie Surkin and his team, but feels predictably derivative.
To attempt to describe what happens in a "Sliders" episode from the perspective of an unplugged mortal critic is to invite embarrassment and certainly contempt from the sci fi geek universe. But here goes:
Quinn Mallory (the likable Jerry O'Connell) and Maggie (Kari Wuhrer) have been on a world sliding binge, going through a whopping 10 in three months, hoping to follow their pal Rembrandt (Crying Man) Brown (Cleavant Derricks) and rescue him from Quinn's home world. It seems that things haven't been the same since the world was invaded by the sinister Kromaggs (like Klingons, only dumber), who look and behave an awful lot like guests on a particularly nasty episode of "Jerry Springer."
Indeed, the Kromaggs are trademark sci-fi monsters: swine-like, sadistic, power-mad, needy of cosmetic surgery, with Hitler-esque delusions of grandeur. They start breeder camps for cross-species replication and enjoy devouring glazed eyeballs in their own sauce as a between-meal snack. They also carry these nifty laser torture devices that work like intergalactic tasers when applied to the temples. Swell group of guys, really.
So anyway, the upshot in the complex opener, written by executive producer David Peckinpah, is that Quinn finds out his mother isn't really his mother and that he has a brother (leaving open the entrance of O'Connell's real-life sibling Charlie as a series regular in a month or so). And Quinn and his sliding pals want out of this dimension, pronto.
Episode, smartly directed by Reza Badiyi, shows "Sliders" to be significantly less annoying than many sci fi efforts. At least it sports a compelling premise (how many of us have tried to escape the Kromaggs in our own lives at one time or another?) and a believable leading man in O'Connell.
Tech credits are sharp.
*Thanks to blinker for this article*
Source: OnSat Magazine
What a Trip
by Linda Yovanovich
Talk about a bummer ride. After three years of 'sliding' from one parallel dimension to the next, Quinn Mallory finally slides into home only to find out that home ain't sweet home after all. But on the up-side, his mother informs him he has a long-lost brother named Colin--roaming around on some alternate Earth.
And so begins the fourth season of the series "Sliders." But there were more bumps in the slide. First, the show faced cancellation by FOX. On the upside of that, it was picked up by Sci-Fi Channel. Then there was the 40 percent production budget cut. But hey, at least they're on.
Another up that came from the bumps in the vortex, according to star, director and
producer Jerry O'Connell (who plays Quinn Mallory) is that with the show's move to Sci-Fi
Channel, it is no longer the red-haired step kid of the Rupert Murdoch clan (at FOX).
"You know, when you work on the Sci-Fi Channel, [the show] can be a little more
intelligent because the fan base is strictly science fiction." Indeed, the sliders
have come home, so to speak, even if it means fewer gigantic, maneating earthworms due to
O'Connell, the former husky kid from "Stand By Me" and admitted sci-fi fan, nonetheless stands firmly by the show. "I think it's going to be a really smart, hip show this season. It's not just [the sliders] chasing bad guys, or bad guys chasing us. There's a little more depth there." Returning to more traditional science fiction roots, the show will look deeper into storytelling. "I'm a huge fan of 'The Twilight Zone,' and when you see those shows, it's not about the special effects; it's about the story and Rod Serling's writing," he says. "Early 'Twilight Zones' were about the anti-Communist feelings in the United States. You can just see it oozing from the storylines without them ever commenting [outrightly] on it."
This year, the "Sliders" itinerary includes a trip back to Earth Prime, where Kromaggs have taken over; a slide that finds Slider doppelgangers wreaking havoc; and a trip to a seceded California where Charlton Heston is serving as president. They'll also take a closer look at more personal plots. Now that original slider Wade (Sabrina Lloyd) has been sent to a Kromagg breeder camp, the sexual tension between Quinn and Maggie (Kari Wuhrer) will likely increase, and the bond between long-lost siblings Quinn and Colin (Charlie O'Connell, Jerry's real-life brother) will be explored. And poor Rembrandt (Cleavant Derricks) continues to get dragged along for the ride.
Get ready to slide.
10pm ET, 10-June-98
Sliders Makes Sci-Fi History
The new season of Sliders debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel Monday night to record viewing numbers, becoming the channel's highest rated series premiere of all time. The first of two back-to-back original Sliders episodes ran at 9 p.m. ET and earned a 2.2 household rating in the Nielsens, which represents 1,072,000 homes. The second original episode ran at 10 p.m. ET and garnered a 2.4 rating, or an estimated 1,168,000 homes.
Those numbers were enough to best the channel's former record-setting premiere, the two-hour pilot for Space: Above & Beyond, which aired in January and earned a 2.1 household rating. Sliders also set a new mark for the highest-rated series episode on the channel, a title formerly held by the second telecast of V: The Series, which earned a 1.8 rating in August 1996.
The new episodes of Sliders kicked off the show's fourth full season and its first on the Sci-Fi Channel. Sliders originally ran on Fox for three seasons before being pulled from that network's programming lineup.
Ultimate TV reports that the debut of the new Sliders episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel earned the network its highest ratings ever. The first episode scored a 2.2 household rating. Though relatively low compared to typical network numbers, this stat still represents over one million viewers for the network.
Source: Enterainment Weekly
When Sliders (cancelled by Fox in 1997) moves to the Sci-Fi Channel on June 8, star Jerry O'Connell, 24, will have someone familiar around to help him adjust to the new digs: his brother, Charlie, 23, joins the cast as Colin, the long-lost sibling of Jerry's character, dimension-hopper Quinn Mallory. The Bros. O'Connell took time to field some very juvenile questions. -- Kristen Baldwin
EW: Okay, Charlie, How'd you get this job?
CHARLIE:: There was a worldwide search, and I wore a disguise so that no one would recognize me as Jerry's brother. And then on the final audition after I gave the reading, I took off my disguise....
JERRY: It was pretty much nepotism to the nth degree. When the show went to Sci-Fi, they made me a producer. Charlie was coming back out to L.A. and I said, "You're not coming back unless you have a job." He said, "You want me to have a job, get me a job." So as a producer, the first stunt I pulled was adding his character.
EW: Jerry, did you try to replace your Jerry Maguire costar Tom Cruise with Charlie?
JERRY: Yeah. All of my gigs, I sort of say, "Hey, is there a part for a brother?"
EW: I want each one of you to tell me an embarrassing story about the other.
JERRY: I was in the fourth grade, he was in third. One day I remember hearing over the PA system, "Charlie O'Connell, please come to the principal's office. Your mother has your snow pants." I felt so much embarrassment for the poor guy.
CHARLIE: He was in the second grade, I was in first grade, and he did the poopies in the pants. We were in Catholic school, so he went home in a nun's outfit.
EW: Did you guys have derogatory childhood nicknames for each other?
JERRY: Charlie was "Upchuck." I was always a little husky, so there were a few comments about weight, but I quashed them as soon as I could.
EW: You guys versus Jeremy and Jason London in a fistfight -- who wins?
JERRY: No doubt Charlie and I, because we were born and raised in New York.
EW: Charlie, you've done some runway modeling in New York. Do you and Jerry ever fight over who's better looking?
CHARLIE: No. I think Jerry knows.
EW: Which Brady brother would you be?
JERRY: Charlie's most definitely Marcia. If I were any of the Bradys it would be Sam the Butcher, because he was the only one who was actually getting a piece.
CHARLIE: I'd have to go with the next-door neighbors in the movie who thought they were nuts.
EW: Jerry, you let out a, like, 20-second burp in the upcoming film Can't Hardly Wait. Was that real or dubbed?
JERRY: All real. The scene called for me to chug beer. So they got me cases of non-alcoholic O'Doul's. When you're killing 48 O'Doul's, the burps just happen.
EW: Charlie, you're playing the older brother on Sliders. Why?
CHARLIE: Because Jerry hasn't hit puberty yet.
JERRY: You're the older brother, because [my character]didn't know you existed. It's good you paid attention this season, Chuck. Sorry, I forgot to wake you up for that meeting. -- End
Source: People Online
Sci-Fi Channel (Mondays, 9 p.m. ET)
The premise of this adventure series (which slid off the FOX network in 1997 after three seasons and resurfaces this month on the Sci-Fi Channel with 22 new episodes) has always struck me as a lot niftier than its execution. Jerry O'Connell (Scream 2), Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer return as dimension-tripping travelers who wander from one parallel Earth to another. Each is weirdly different from our own: religious fundamentalists prevail in one world, Internet junkies rule another, drug pushers infest a third. Yet there is a tiresome similarity to the plots: In almost every episode our plucky heroes are captured by the reigning totalitarian regime only to be rescued by the local resistance group.
Conspicuously missing is John Rhys-Davies, who played Professor Arturo, the bombastic yet charismatic mentor to physics whiz Quinn (O'Connell, who's also a producer). Rhys-Davies wanted out, so Arturo was killed off. Bad move. But hang tough, Sliders fans. Among the new wrinkles this season: Quinn learns he has an older brother, Colin (played by real-life lookalilke younger sib Charlie O'Connell, who joins the cast in July). This week, though, it's still the same old story, as the Sliders are imprisoned by Nazi-like humanoids called Kromaggs, holdover villains from last season. Not to worry, though: Our heroes quickly get sprung by . . . Vive la Résistance!
Bottom Line: Game cast battles lame scripts
-- MIKE LIPTON
Terry Kelleher is on vacation.
*Special thanks to Blinker for the article*
"That new guy's a punk," Jerry O'Connell told TV Guide Online of the latest addition to the Sliders cast. "I don't know how he got the job." The Scream 2 and Sliders star made the crack about his kid brother, Charlie, who joins the cast of the Sci-Fi Channel series in July, playing, oddly enough, the elder of the two siblings. Meanwhile, Jerry is pulling quadruple-duty on the revived show, putting in time as an actor, writer, producer and director. "I've written one Sliders episode so far this season, sort of a Western takeoff," he says. "It should be lots of fun."
Source: Scifi Weekly
Sliding into success
By Jefferson Graham / USA Today
Sliders has slid into its most thrilling alternate universe yet: The former Fox series, now airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, is the channel's highest- rated show.
"Some shows just air in the wrong time period, or on the wrong network," says Barry Schulman, Sci-Fi's vice president of programming. "Our network is more appropriate for Sliders than Fox."
Sliders (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 PT, repeats at 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. PT) is about a group of young explorers who "slide" into parallel worlds. Jerry O'Connell (Jerry Maguire, Scream 2) stars. Sci-Fi began airing reruns in March and introduced the new fourth season earlier this month.
The first fresh episode pulled in a 2.2 rating -- small by network TV standards, but great for Sci-Fi, which averages a 0.7 rating. (One ratings point equals 980,000 homes.)
By comparison, sister network USA'sLa Femme Nikita, the highest-rated drama on basic cable, averages a 2.0 rating.
"We're very, very happy," Schulman says. "Sliders has become our South Park -- a signature show that brings attention to the network."
The new Sliders is the first of four original programming moves for the channel. In August, Sci-Fi will introduce the weekly anthology Welcome to Paradox. In January, Poltergeist: The Legacy will move from Showtime to Sci- Fi, joined by Farscape, a new series from the Jim Henson Co. and Hallmark Entertainment about an American astronaut lost in space.
The direction of Sliders has been in flux for years, with producers pushing for thoughtful "What if?" scenarios (What if the British had won the Revolutionary War?) and Fox calling for an action-oriented show.
But at Sci-Fi, "we've come down firmly on the side of 'What if?"' says executive producer David Peckinpah. "We have more thought-provoking stories."
"We can be a lot more cerebral and freakier," says O'Connell, who became a producer this season and added brother Charlie to the cast. "On a major network like Fox, you have to cater to the masses. At Sci-Fi, we just worry about our core audience."
Sliders replaces another canceled Fox series, Space: Above and Beyond, as the top show on Sci-Fi.
Only two original cast members remain with the show: Jerry O'Connell, as Quinn Mallory, and Cleavant Derricks, as Rembrandt Brown.
In its last season on Fox, professor Maximilian Arturo, played by John Rhys-Davies, was killed off. Slider Wade Wells, played by Sabrina Lloyd, died off-screen in the season opener. Kari Wuhrer, who joined last season as Maggie Beckett, remains on the team.
When the show started in 1995, Quinn had figured out how to "slide" through parallel dimensions as part of a science project. This season, the gang is home on Earth Prime, which has been taken over by the evil Kromaggs.
*Thanks to Blinker for the article*
**04 Jul 1998
Source: TV Guide
Most people would be upset if their show moved from a big network like Fox to
a smaller cable network like the Sci-Fi channel. Not Jerry O'Connell, (right)
who plays physics whiz Quinn Mallory on Sliders. With the later 9PM/ET time
slot, "We can be more adult, a little more freaky," he says. "It
used to be a little too comic book for me. I'm an NYU film grad. I want to do
all this dark stuff." Now he can, and since he's become a producer, he can
also do things like hire his brother, actor Charlie, to play his on-screen bro
Colin. They've lived together, gone to college together and double-dated, so why
not work together?
*Thanks to Blinker for the article*
TOM AND JERRY
The Province; Vancouver, B.C.; Jul 6, 1998; by Jonathan McDonald
"I just love Jerry
O'Connell," a friend said the other day. "Didn't you think he was
great in Jerry Maguire?"
O'Connell played a somewhat
dopey, insecure, pedestrian, daddy- whipped football player and top NFL draft
pick in Tom Cruise's Jerry Maguire -- and no, he wasn't particularly great
It was an extended cameo,
one that any dopey, insecure, pedestrian real NFLer could have played without so
much as a sweat.
Well, now you can see
O'Connell four times a week on Space: The Imagination Station. The new network
will air the first three seasons of Sliders (5 p.m.), in which O'Connell plays a
keen adventurer who travels between dimensions searching for trouble and a few
good lines. The trouble is generally yawn-inducing; so are the lines. The
special effects? Pure fromage.
*Thanks to Blinker for the article*
American TV star Kari Wuhrer, the gorgeous fighter pilot from the sci-fi series Sliders, is striving for success her way. Kari, who plays marine officer Maggie Beckett, has cut a pop-rock album and is heading to Australia in a few weeks to promote it - though she is deliberately steering clear of the major record labels. "I'm selling it through the Internet in the beginning of August," she says of the album, 'Shiney'. "I'd like to do it with baby steps. I'd like to do it my way." A big fan of Cat Stevens - in addition to Radiohead, Tori Amos, Elvis Costello, Sonic Youth, Kate Bush, Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell - Wuhrer is in the midst of divorcing musician Daniel, who has a few songs on her album. "He's an incredible songwriter and he's going to do something one day, I hope," she says. While Kari hopes to break into the pop world, she is certainly making a name for herself in Hollywood. She co-starred with Jack Nicholson in Sean Penn's 'The Crossing Guard', with Jennifer Lopez and Jon Voigt in 'Anaconda' David Schwimmer in 'Kissing a Fool', with Ray Liotta and Anjelica Houston in 'Phoenix', and with Emilio Estevez in the coming attraction 'Sand'. Nicholson, she says, "taught me a lot about film making and a lot about preparing for a role as an actor". "He was really giving and generous. He's a good coach, a little sexual ... but really a great guy," she says. A larrikin? "Yeah, more than a bit." In Sliders, Kari is one of a team of four who slide to parallel dimensions of earth, using a timer which opens a sliding vortex. The motley crew - including real-life brothers Jerry and Charlie O'Connell - experience and explore the earth as it would be if a different historical or evolutionary path had been taken." "We make a social commentary with each show, though I don't think it's anything that serious. We have the 'what if' factor," she says. "What if we weren't as conscious about our society as we are today? What if we let the whole drug issue slide? What if we let democracy slide? The list goes on. I like to think instead of just entertaining. We show what America would be like without the values we've installed." Kari says brothers Jerry and Charlie (who play brothers Quinn and Colin Mallory) "fight all the time, especially when Jerry directs. He always picks on his younger brother to be a better actor." This season, the Sliders are battling to save their home world, Earth Prime, from the evil Kromaggs - a warrior and predatory race from a parallel world who enslave every world they find. "Even though they're physically stunted in our evolutionary process, they were much more heightened intellectually, scientifically," Kari says. Does she believe in UFO's and aliens? "I'd like to - and when I look up in the sky and I see things moving, I'm riveted. But I've got too many things to worry about on this world to spend my time thinking about what's on another world," she laughs.
*Thanks to Blinker for the article*
Source: Continuum Millimeter.com
Post Group Completes Sliders Season
By: Matt Cheplic
Things are different on Sliders this year. For starters, the sci-fi series has migrated to the Sci-Fi Channel for its fourth season. And for the first time, The Post Group in Hollywood has assumed control of the visual effects, dailies transfers, online, titling, and tape-to-tape color correction.
The Post Group recently completed 2-D and 3-D work for all 22 one-hours. "On average, there's about a dozen effects shots per show," says executive producer Michael Morreale, "but it varies from episode to episode." While each installment called for its ownnuances, there were certain constants in the effects department, as well. "One main recurring thing is the vortex," explains Morreale, "which is the tunnel they travel through to get from one world to another. We developed that, then discussed the ins and outs of it for each episode." The team animated the vortex in Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator and then used Quantel's Harry to composite the vortex with the live-action environment. PowerAnimator was also called on to animate the Manta Ship-a flying vehicle that resembles a manta ray.
Aside from executing composites, Morreale and his team drew on the Harry for 2-D effects. "One fairly common thread is that the characters run into the cro-mags, the not-so-good-looking humans. And more often than not, the cro-mags shoot laser guns. We used the Harry, because it's the perfect box for that. It's not new technology per se, but it's a simple effect, so there was no reason to turn to the Inferno or Fire."
Morreale says a quality-over-quantity philosophy drove this season's effects. "Rather than doing 20 cheesy effects, we concentrated on fewer effects that made sense in the storyline. Quite frequently, we'd say to them: 'You're spending X amount of dollars, and that's twice what you want to spend.' So instead of doing eight laser blasts, for example, we'd do four good ones. That's where Inferno and the Sparks plug-ins really came into play. Sparks gave us a lot options, and we met with the writers early on to say: 'Here's a litany of effects we can do.' We'd show them the things Sparks gives us, like particles, warp, and such. So the writers had a better grasp of the effects. They would remember them and write them in."
The Post Group also offered on-set effects supervision to make this Sliders season unique. Visual effects supervisor Bill Kent was available to the production to answer questions about potential effects and help make shooting more conducive to effects work once in post. "Often, they don't take into account that they can do something easy that looks hard, like a split screen composite," says Kent. "Or they may want to do something they think is easy, but they don't realize they have a blowing tree in the foreground that has to be rotoed out." Kent points out that while Sliders is heavy with effects shots, the production is still only afforded a TV budget. "I'd read each script, do a breakdown, submit a budget to the show based on what I was visualizing and what they could afford. Then I would step away from the production people and work with director and DP during each shoot." This season's first episode of Sliders earned the highest ratings ever for a series on the Sci-Fi Channel.
*Thanks to Blinker for the article*
Source: Continuum www.mca.com/sliders
Sci-Fi Channel Furthers its Commitment to Original Programming With Renewal of Hit Series Sliders
The Team of Adventurers Who Travel to Parallel Earth Dimensions Returns in 1999 for 18 New Episodes
The successful slide to The Sci-Fi Channel has resulted in the renewal of Sliders for a fifth season of 18 original episodes beginning in 1999, it was announced today by Stephen Chao, President of Programming and Marketing, USA Networks. Sliders, produced by Studios USA Television, will mark its second season of original episodes produced exclusively for The Sci-Fi Channel.
Since its June 8th premiere on The Sci-Fi Channel, Sliders has been the network's highest-rated series with original episodes averaging a 1.8 HH rating* in Monday prime time. The series propelled the network to its most successful second quarter ever in prime time. Sliders also achieved triple the time period average of second quarter, 1997.
"Sliders' outstanding performance on the channel has brought record-breaking ratings. Its renewal reflects the commitment we have to expanding our roster of exciting original programming," says Chao. "We are excited to be moving forward on the original programming front, particularly with strong original programs like Sliders."
The program is also credited for elevating traffic to Sci-Fi's award-winning Web site, The Dominion (www.scifi.com). The Dominion underwent a 54% surge in front page views for the month, and a stellar 1100% increase in traffic to its weekly original Sliders pages. Created exclusively for the channel Web site in conjunction with the show's writers, the Sliders area provides viewers with an in-depth exploration of the alternate Earths visited by our heroes.
Sliders, which aired on FOX-TV from March, 1995 through May, 1997, stars Jerry O'Connell (Scream 2, Jerry Maguire), newcomer Charlie O'Connell (Jerry's real-life brother), Cleavant Derricks (Dreamgirls) and Kari Wuhrer (Anaconda). The series follows the adventures of a young team of explorers who "slide" through parallel dimensions of Earth using a timer which opens a sliding vortex. They explore Earth in the current year, taking the alternate route to personal and historic situations. Produced by St. Clare Entertainment in association with Studios USA Television, Sliders airs regularly on Mondays, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET.
The Sci-Fi Channel, a USA company (NASDAQ:USAI), is available to more than 50 million homes and features a mix of original and classic science-fiction, fantasy, horror and futuristic series, movies and specials, plus science fact programming. The Dominion, Sci-Fi Channel's web site, is located at the following address: (http://www.scifi.com).
4:23pm ET, 13-August-98
Sci-Fi Renews Sliders
The Sci-Fi Channel has renewed Sliders for a fifth season, ordering 18 new episodes of the series that will air in 1999. Sliders has been the highest-rated show on the Sci-Fi Channel since it debuted on the network on June 8, earning an average 1.8 household rating in the Nielsens.
"Sliders' outstanding performance on the channel has brought record-breaking ratings," said Stephen Chao, the president of programming and marketing for USA Networks. "Its renewal reflects the commitment we have to expanding our roster of exciting original programming."
Sliders stars Jerry O'Connell, his real-life brother Charlie O'Connell, Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer. The series previously ran on Fox, from March 1995 through May 1997.
The Sci-Fi Channel has announced that they have ordered up another 18 episodes for the 1999 season. Many have believed that the series could get the ax after moving to the cable net from Fox. No word yet on whether or not the program will undergo another change in casting
NEW YORK -- The Sci-Fi Channel has commissioned another 18 original hourlong episodes of "Sliders," which has found a cable audience after the Fox network canceled it in May 1997 for low ratings.
Since Sci-Fi began running new editions of "Sliders" exclusively on June 8, the series has averaged a 1.8 household rating in cable homes, making it the highest-rated original series ever scheduled by Sci-Fi.
It's rare for a series canceled by a broadcast network to succeed in the ratings when a cable network buys the rights to keep it in production. Among the successful crossovers is "Silk Stalkings," which has become a bellwether for USA since November 1993, when CBS dropped the series from its latenight schedule. And Lifetime kept "The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd" in firstrun production for two years after NBC canceled it in June 1988.
The Sci-Fi Channel's sister company, Studios USA, produces "Sliders" in association with St. Clare Entertainment. Fox ran it from March '95 to May '97.
Focusing on a team of explorers who move through time and space, "Sliders" stars Jerry O'Connell, Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer.
*Thanks to blinker for this article*
Source: Scifi IGN
TV: Sliders Slips into Fifth Season
Sliders gained a hard core audience similar to that of Quantum Leap before it got tossed from Fox's Friday 8-9 slot, going so far as to spawn action figures and a comic book before vanishing from the air. However, smart and savvy programmers at the Sci-Fi Channel felt that it would be perfect for them, so the station picked it up and ordered enough episodes to finish the fourth season.
During its time there, it's been the highest-rated show for the cable channel. Ever. In fact, it broke records. Sensibly, the Sci-Fi Channel's renewed Sliders for a new season, chronicling Quinn and Co.'s adventures.
Last season, Quinn discovered he had a brother, and that his parents weren't really his parents, and that an alien race named the Kromaggs also had sliding technology and were using it to invade Earth, dimension by dimension. The war was ostensibly over by the end of last season, but with so many worlds to choose from, you never know.
Media Connection Expo
SLIDERS - Kari Wurher was a wonderful interview, sharing her experiences working with Jon Voight in ANACONDA and Ray Liotta in the upcoming PHOENIX. She says that she will direct a SLIDERS episode this season. She also said that Jerry O'Connell and his brother will leave the program this season. She will be alone with Cleavant Derrick's character until the replacement characters come into the show. But she says that they will have an interesting chemistry. She also hinted that she has a long term commitment to the program. Look for the new season on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Source: Scifi Weekly
In your latest article, you stated thatwould not miss newcomer Colin [Charlie O'Connell]. However, in a poll conducted by Sci-Fi Wire, over 85 percent of over 1,200 voters said that Colin was a welcome addition to Sliders.
In addition, there is a campaign to have him return. Letters, e-mails, and bulletin board posts are being sent daily.
Your article also stated that [the O'Connell brothers] did not want to return. The executives were the ones not happy with Colin and decided he should not return. They wanted Jerry [O'Connell] and used Charlie as blackmail material. Jerry tried to bargain a deal where he would return for a certain amount of time if Charlie could continue on Sliders..Universal declined. You also stated that these were rumors. However, Marc Scott Zicree stated at DragonCon that the O'Connells would not be returning.
I think you should do your research. If the fans know this, then so should Science Fiction Weekly.
The Sci-Fi Channel boasts that Sliders is its highest-rated series, so why change it? If Jerry wants to leave, we can't stop him. But to ax another character just because his brother won't cooperate is crazy. Lose half the cast...lose half the ratings?
Editor: We didn't state that the O'Connell brothers didn't want to return. What we said was, "there are rumors that the O'Connell brothers want to leave the series at the end of the season. While Sliders wouldn't miss newcomer Charlie, the show would have a tough time continuing without Jerry." As to everything else, as far as we're concerned it's just speculation until we receive official word.
3:45pm ET, 30-September-98
Sci-Fi Sets September Record
The addition of the original Star Trek series combined with the strong performance of Sliders and Welcome to Paradox has given the Sci-Fi Channel its highest September ratings ever. The channel averaged a 0.8 prime-time rating for the month, a 33-percent increase over its average from a year ago. Those numbers mean that 397,000 households watched the channel during prime-time hours, an all-time monthly high.
Star Trek earned an average 1.0 rating during its first 30 days in the 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. ET time slot, doubling the channel's performance from September 1997. Meanwhile, the two-hour Monday night block of original programming that includes both Sliders and Paradox garnered a 1.1 average rating, a 57 percent increase over that time period from the previous year.
With the recent exit of Jerry OConnell and his brother Charlie from the Sci-Fi Channels Sliders, the program looked to finally be on its last legs. Now comes word from the Hollywood Reporter that Robert Floyd (Godzilla, Cold Hearts) has signed onto the series to play "a fast-talking lab assistant in a research center who cons his way out of situations." Theres no word on whether or not Floyd is intended to be the series new lead or not. The trade also reports that the Sci-Fi Channel is scheduled to announce "multiple cast changes" next week.
Variety reports that the Sci-Fi Channel has decided to go forth with their commitment of 18 additional episodes of Sliders, this in spite star Jerry OConnell and his brother Charlie leaving the show. The main reason to continue was to bring the total amount of Sliders episodes up to a number that would allow full syndication. To accomplish this task, USA Studios Tembi Locke will join the previously reported Robert Floyd to fill out the cast of four with remaining members Cleavant Derricks (one of the original four) and Kari Wuhrer.
Sci-Fi proceeds with 'Sliders' despite defections
By John Dempsey
NEW YORK (Variety) - The Sci-Fi Channel said it will go ahead with 18 new episodes of ``Sliders'' despite the defection of two of the show's stars, Jerry O'Connell and his brother Charlie. A Sci-Fi spokesperson says both actors have decided to pursue movie careers -- Jerry has already appeared in two box office winners, ``Jerry Maguire'' and ``Scream 2.''
Jerry O'Connell and the returning Cleavant Derricks are the only actors who were part of the cast when ``Sliders'' premiered on the Fox network in March 1995. Two other principals, John Rhys-Davies and Sabrina Lloyd, bowed out when Fox canceled the series after the 1996-97 season. Sci-Fi subsequently picked up the series, and began screening episodes on June 8.
The show's producer, Studios USA, hired Kari Wuhrer and Charlie O'Connell as substitutes for Rhys-Davies and Lloyd, respectively. Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke will join Derricks and Wuhrer for the new season, which starts filming Thursday in Los Angeles.
``Sliders'' has become the highest-rated primetime series on the cable network,
averaging a 1.5 rating in cable homes (744,000 households) in its Monday 9 p.m. slot.
9:32pm ET, 6-November-98
Sci-Fi Sets 2nd Ratings Record
The continuing success of the original Star Trek series and Sliders has given the Sci-Fi Channel its second straight month of record-setting prime-time ratings. The channel averaged a 0.9 prime rating in the Nielsens for October, a 28-percent increase over its average from a year ago and an all-time high for the Halloween month.
The highest-rated telecast was the Oct. 24, 9 p.m. ET, showing of the film Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, which earned a 2.1 rating during its basic cable premiere. Sliders was the highest-rated series for the month, averaging a 1.1 rating.
Two months ago the Sci-Fi Channel set an all-time September high when it averaged a 0.8 rating in prime.
3:12pm ET, 9-October-98
O'Connells Depart Sliders
When production begins on the fifth season of Sliders next week, co-stars and real-life brothers Jerry and Charlie O'Connell--who played the on-screen brothers Quinn and Colin Mallory--won't be returning. The sibling actors have left Sliders for other projects, and they will be replaced by Robert Floyd and Tembi Locke in two newly created roles.
"The Sci-Fi Channel is extremely supportive of Jerry and Charlie and we respect their decision to pursue other projects," said Stephen Chao, the president of programming and marketing for USA Networks. "Sliders' most appealing element is its unique premise of traveling to parallel Earth dimensions, and we are excited to continue the adventures for another season--with more innovative plot twists in store for the audience."
Sliders, which also stars Cleavant Derricks and Kari Wuhrer, ran on Fox from March 1995 to May 1997 before coming to the Sci-Fi Channel on June 8. Since then it has been the channel's highest-rated prime-time program, averaging a 1.5 household rating in the Monday, 9 p.m. ET, time slot.
The fifth season of Sliders will air on the channel in 1999.
Defections won't affect 'Sliders'
Sliders fans can rest easy -- the Sci-Fi Channel says it will go ahead with 18 new episodes of the show, despite the defection of two of its stars, Jerry O'Connell and his brother Charlie. A Sci-Fi spokesman says both actors have decided to pursue movie careers -- Jerry has already appeared in two box office winners, Jerry Maguire and Scream 2. The move will leave Cleavant Derricks as the only actor who was part of the cast when Sliders premiered on the Fox network in March 1995. Sliders has become the highest-rated primetime series on the cable network. Filming on the new season starts Thursday in Los Angeles.
Date: Oct 1998
Source: Scificon 3.0
Win a trip for two to
Universal Studios Hollywood for a "meet & greet" on the set of Sliders,
airfare, accommodations and two passes to Univeral Studios Hollywood Theme Park. Brought
to you by First Auction. Entries deadline: November 2, 1998
Spoiler warning: Our reporting contains rumors of potential Season Five episodes
Continuing its turbulent history, Sliders has received the go-ahead for a fifth season of wormhole-induced adventuring, with a commission from the Sci-Fi Channel for a further 18 episodes. Unfortunately, the latest casualties of the show are Jerry and Charlie OConnell who sadly wont be returning for the new season. To replace them, Robert Floyd has been cast as Derek Quade, a fast-talking lab assistant in a research center who cons his way out of situations, while the other new character is apparently named Melissa Hunter. The Internet has been buzzing with reports that Tembi Locke has won the role.
Episodes rumored for the coming season so far include: Rembrandt getting amnesia, a world where Remmy never left the Spinning Topps who went on to make millions, a Kromagg trap for the Sliders, an episode set on a world in the throes of the Industrial Revolution and another world with cannibals, a story where the Sliders discover a super-weapon that can wipe out the Kromaggs, the return of Logan St Clair (Quinns parallel sliding twin), and an episode which resolves the storyline of Wade Wells. Report by Paul Spragg
*Special thanks to Blinker for this article*
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