Q: When did the Sci-Fi Channel pick up the
A: On June 24, 1996, the Sci-Fi Channel
officially released a statement that said, in part:
Sci-Fi Channel has
rescued the award-winning comedy series "Mystery Science
Theater 3000" from cancellation, and brought it safely to
its original programming lineup where the series will
flourish with exclusive, original episodes...
airing on February
Q: Were any of the CC-era episodes shown on
A: No. The deal was for new
Q: When the series first moved to Sci-Fi, it
was reported that the channel would only let BBI
select movies that fit the channel's definition of "sci-fi"
-- which included horror and fantasy films as well. But
later they were doing all sorts of films. What happened?
A: As the channel got more comfortable with
Best Brains, they loosened the reins a bit; and by season
ten, they lifted the restriction completely.
Q: I've heard a rumor that BBI was told not to
criticize the movies too harshly, because Channel executives
feared alienating its viewers. True?
A: Of course not. BBI had as much editorial
freedom during the Sci-Fi Channel era as it had during the
Q: I live in the U.K.
Wasn't MST3K running on TV over here for a while?
A: Yes, MST3K ran on the British sister
the Sci-Fi Channel, known as Sci-Fi Channel Europe (it later became
independent of America's Sci-Fi Channel and changed its name to Sci*fi) from January, 1998, to September,
Q: Sci*fi only showed episodes from season eight and
a few season nine episodes! Why didn't they show the rest of
A: The channel chose to purchase the rights to
only those episodes.
Q: Weren't Sci*fi
executives talking about getting the rights to the other
A: Back when Sci*fi
was still a sister network with America's Sci-Fi Channel,
officials there publicly declared that there would be no
attempt to acquire any more episodes.
Then the channel became an independent operation, and
channel officials changed their tune, claiming that they were going
to acquire more episodes. But it never happened, and many fans came to
the conclusion that this was simply a lie designed to placate the fan
Q: Why did Sci*fi
stop showing MST3K?
A: Late in 2000, an official from the channel
posted the following message on the channel's website: "One
of the major problems we have in the UK is clearing and
licensing these films in the first place -- the people who
own the rights to the original films are often not keen, as
MSK3K does tend to take the p*ss out of their
product...[Also] whenever we do schedule them, they rate
incredibly badly. Obviously there are not as many MST3K fans
out there as you think."
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