Galactica Gets 22 More Episodes

Can too much “Galactica” be a good thing? Questions over the future of the acclaimed series, set to air its third season finale on Sunday, were answered a few weeks ago when it was announced that it would be picked up for a shorter than expected 13-episode fourth season.

Now comes word via TV Guide that the series has been picked up for the ‘back nine’ which brings the total to a full 22-episode fourth season. The pick up includes a two-hour telemovie to air in the fall on Sc-iFi Channel as well as a direct-to-DVD release. The other 20 episodes will begin airing in 2008.

The move is a surprising but welcome move on the part of the Sci-Fi Channel as the series has hit some ratings hurdles this season. A move to Sundays in a new timeslot made little difference. From a business standpoint however it will give the series 79 episodes in total (incl. the mini-series) which allows for robust and highly profitable syndication deals.

Of course the other question is will the extra episodes yield better quality? Despite being one of the best shows on television, even hardcore fans have admitted that many of the stand alone episodes (eg. ‘Dirty Hands,’ ‘The Woman King’) often fall decidedly short of the quality of the multi-part ones.

It was a problem not suffered by the shorter 13-episode first season as it didn’t require filler. If “Galactica” wraps up next year as many expect, the move is a good sign in that it will mean likely very little in the way of weak episodes – a problem plaguing many serial dramas who’re uncertain about which way they’re headed.

Finally, the telemovie is rumorued to deal with the events of what happened to the Pegasus between the fall of Caprica through to its appearance on Galactica last season.