Viewers Take to Spielberg Alien Series
The Sci-Fi Channel’s 20-hour, 10-night Steven Spielberg miniseries “Taken” has shattered viewing records on the cable network, as the first episode of the marathon attracted more than 6 million viewers and has already sparked talk of a follow-up series.
“We’re ecstatic about the numbers,” Darryl Frank, co-head of DreamWorks TV, which produced the show for Sci-Fi, tells Variety.
The program, which cost $40 million to produce, centers on a young girl, Allie (played by 8-year-old Dakota Fanning), and follows the stories of three families over 50 years of alien abductions.
Also in the cast are Matt Frewer, best-known for playing Max Headroom, and Heather Donahue, who starred in “The Blair Witch Project.”
The first 10 hours of “Taken” conclude Friday, but Sci-Fi will repeat them twice on the weekend. The cable channel will rerun the show all next week, with the final two hours airing Dec. 13. All 20 hours will be aired consecutively over the Dec. 14-15 weekend in a blowout marathon.
Explaining the show’s popularity, Frank tells Variety: “It delivers a mix of sci-fi special effects with strong characters and family drama.”