It’s been over a year since Sci Fi scored strong enough ratings for its “Battlestar Galactica” remake to expand the miniseries into a full series run. Anxious to refresh viewer memories and probably attract a larger audience, NBC Universal TV will reair the miniseries as an NBC network primetime event.

The original four-hour miniseries, cable’s most-watched miniseries of 2003, will air in a three-hour format on NBC on Jan. 8. Sci Fi’s new series version will premiere on Jan. 14.

Directed by Michael Rymer (“Queen of the Damned”) and written by Ronald D. Moore (“Carnivale,” “Roswell”), the miniseries (and subsequent series) stars Edward James Olmos as Commander Adama, the leader of a plucky group of humans fighting against the Cylons.

Mary McDonnell and Jamie Bamber co-star.

In its two-night premiere in December 2003, “Galactica” averaged 4.2 million viewers, topping HBO’s heavily lauded “Angels in America,” which hit the air at the same time.

“Galactica” remains the third highest-rated original event in Sci Fi history, behind only the Steven Spielberg-produced “Taken” and the channel’s adaptation of “Frank Herbert’s Dune.”

At the time, “Galactica” raised some hackles among fans of the 1979-80 ABC series for changes that included making the Starbuck character – played by Dirk Benedict in the original – a woman (now played by Katee Sackhoff) and by making the evil Cylons appear human.

Williams a hit at NBC
Dan Rather’s news broadcast came in third.

Even without Tom Brokaw, NBC retained control of the nightly news race. Although ratings were down by a comfortable margin from Brokaw’s farewell broadcast, Brian Williams’ Thursday premiere as “NBC Nightly News” anchor still drew a crowd.

Williams’ first night as Brokaw’s replacement drew nearly 11.7 million viewers according to fast national Nielsen figures. Williams’ newscast still easily topped Peter Jennings’ “World News Tonight,” which brought 9.3 million viewers to ABC. Soon-to-depart Dan Rather drew only 7.4 million viewers to “CBS Evening News.”

Brokaw, 64, left “Nightly News” on Wednesday night after 21 years behind the desk. That Wednesday telecast drew 15.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched regular broadcast of the NBC newscast since January 1997.

“That’s “Nightly News’ for this Wednesday night,” the veteran anchor said as he signed off on Wednesday. “I’m Tom Brokaw; you’ll see Brian Williams here tomorrow night; and I’ll see you along the way.”

Williams was named as Brokaw’s successor late last year, while Brokaw will continue to produce documentaries for NBC News. For the season, NBC has a 13 percent advantage in total viewers over ABC’s news coverage and a 44 percent lead over struggling CBS, which will have to replace Rather this spring.



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