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James Hibberd

Katee Sackhoff's "Battlestar"/"Bionic" Future

May 16, 2007 7:22 PM

Live at the Upfronts

Even a bionic woman can’t be in two places at once, so how is “Battlestar Galactica” actress Katee Sackhoff going to manage her fourth season of “Battlestar” commitment with a “recurring guest role” in “Bionic Woman”? (Yes, I know I wrote earlier that I wasn’t going to spoil which “BSG” vets are recurring in “Bionic,” but it’s all over the Internet now anyway).

Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio, which produces both “Battlestar” and “Bionic” tells it this way: Originally, Sackhoff’s bionic bad-girl character was scripted to get killed off by good-bionic lead Michelle Ryan in the pilot. Only problem was, as “BSG” viewers can attest, Sackhoff tends to absolutely steal the screen. Naturally, Bromstad didn’t quite put it that way. Oh, wait -- she did.

“[Sackhoff] absolutely steals the screen in ‘Bionic,’” Bromstad said, before adding: “Michelle is a little more ‘girl-next-door’ and plays that very well.”

Bromstad said details are still being figured out, but expressed confidence Sackhoff was going to continue in both series. “Bionic” and “BSG” are both shot in Vancouver, which eases the logistics. Plus, of course, the studio produces both shows.

“In theory she can do both because it’s the same company, there are just Guild rules you have to be able to agree on involving the number of guest-star episodes,” she said. “It’s still being figured out how much she would reoccur and what role she will play. We’ll work with ourselves to make it work.”

“Bionic” was considered a frontrunner for the coveted post-“Heroes” slot, which industry observers were surprised to see snatched up by time-travel drama “Journeyman.” “Bionic” instead will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. -- normally a good time period, but this fall it will be up against “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off “Private Practice.”

“Yeah, we’re disappointed,” Bromstad said. “At the same time, I think it shows the network’s confidence in the show [“Journeyman”]. It’s a bold confident move.”

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