Mystery Science Theater 3000 on The Sci-Fi Channel Mini-FAQ

1.Why is MST moving to the Sci-Fi Channel?
A: Comedy Central canceled MST, and Sci-Fi decided they wanted it.

2. Cool! When does it start?
A: SFC will begin airing 13 new episodes of MST on February 1, 1997.

3. What time will it be on?
A: Nothing's written in stone yet, but it appears it will air Saturday nights at 4 PM EST, repeated at 11PM EST, and probably a third weekly showing also.

4. Are there going to be any cast changes?
A: Trace Beaulieu, who played Dr. Forrester and Crow, will not be on the show. He has left Best Brains. Bill Corbett, who helped write towards the end of season 6, will be the new voice of Crow.

5. What about Dr. F?
A: Dr. Forrester won't be on the show anymore.

6. What about Mrs. F?
A: Mary Jo Pehl will be returning as Mother Forrester.

7. What kind of movies will be featured?
A: MST will only feature "science fiction movies from Sci-Fi's library." Some people have speculated that this means MST will have only straight science fiction movies. However, I think a more reasonable assumption is that fantasy and horror movies, also part of SFC's programming, will be featured too. What will NOT be shown are any more of the teen crime movies (eg Kitten With a Whip, Violent Years), which have been some of my favorites.

8. What about those educational shorts?
A: There are currently no plans for shorts. The selected movies have been long enough to fill the entire show. It's also not clear whether the shorts would violate the "sci-fi only" agreement. Keep in mind that the SFC library includes old movie serials, though. Two shorts will be featured on the long-awaited, much-delayed MST CD-ROM project [now tentatively slated for June 1996].

9. Will SFC air reruns of the Comedy Central shows?
A: SFC will NOT air reruns of Comedy Central episodes. Rhino Home Video will release up to 20 episodes by the end of 1997.

10. I heard that SFC was responsible for the end of the syndicated MST.
A: There is a persistent and somewhat credible rumor that SFC wanted to be the exclusive home of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and asked that the syndicated episodes stop. A Sci-Fi representative recently denied this on USENET, however.

11. What happens after those 13 episodes?
A: Options exist for three seasons and "over sixty episodes." It is not clear, however, how this would pan out. When Julie Walker was with BBI, she told me it would work out to three 22-episode seasons, or 66 episodes.. But one of the "feedback" guys at the Dominion, SFC's website, says since the first season starts in the middle of the TV year, the first season would be 13 episodes, followed by two full 26-episode-season orders, for a total of 65 episodes.

12. Will MST have a higher budget now?
A: Many releases and stories about the deal indicated that MST will have a higher budget than in the Comedy Central. The new budget is around $85,000 per episode. Again, there is some confusion here, since Season 6 was rumored to be budgeted at $100,000 per episode. But the Brains took a big cut for Season 7. The money for the movies came out of the budget at Comedy Central. SFC already has an extensive movie library, and MST has free access to them. SFC also sprang for new, "glossier" sets.

13. USA Networks owns the Sci-Fi Channel. WIll MST show up on USA?
A: There is little chance MST will air on USA, Sci-Fi's mother network. SFC apparently regards MST as a signature show and wants to keep it to itself. Nevertheless, USA has aired a couple of Twilight Zone (another SFC signature) marathons. So you never know.

14. Any word on the movies that will be featured?
A: Sharp-eyed visitors to the BBI studios spotted tapes with "Season 8" scribbled on them. The movies were "The Mole People", "Revenge of the Creature [from the Black Lagoon]," and "The Leech Woman." BBI has since confirmed these as featured movies. Kevin Murphy announced in an online chat on November 4 that "The Land Unknown: would be featured as well. "Day of the Triffids" has also been rumored as a feature. Check out Petrea Mitchell's upcoming episode page for details.

15. Anything else?
A: MST will be getting its first international exposure (outside of Canadian cities which pull in syndicated episodes or saw the movie). Episodes will air on Sci-Fi Channel Europe and on the Saturday Sci-Fi Channel block of USA Network Latin America.

Credits: by Jamie Plummer. thanks to Julie Walker, the feedback guys, Chris Cornell, Mike Pearce, and anyone else who may have inadvertently supplied info for this FAQ. MST (c) BBI. This FAQ may be reproduced in any form as long as this message is contained. This version updated November 11, 1996.

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