NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Sci Fi Channel announced Tuesday it has green-lit production on the new original series "Caprica," a "Battlestar Galactica" prequel to be shot in Vancouver.
Twenty hours of the drama, including the two-hour pilot, have been ordered, it was announced by Dave Howe, Sci Fi's president.
Taking place 50 years before "Battlestar Galactica," "Caprica" stars Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker.
Production on the series is slated to begin next summer in Vancouver for a 2010 premiere.
Jeffrey Reiner, who has worked on the TV series "Friday Night Lights," directed the pilot.
"'Caprica' will build on 'Battlestar Galactica's' acclaimed legacy of gripping drama and extraordinary characters," Howe said in making the announcement. "It's the beginning of a brand new epic saga that will appeal to both new viewers, totally unfamiliar with the 'Battlestar' franchise, as well as existing loyal and passionate 'Battlestar' fans."
"It's definitely not as dark as 'Battlestar,' but like that show, this series has smart, dimensional characters who grapple with issues of love, sex and politics from a world in transition," added Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming for Sci Fi.