Farscape Series Heading for PC

 

(
EW)(NY-SIMON-&-SCHUSTER)(VIA)(VIAB) Hit Sci-Fi Television Series, Farscape,
to Become a Computer Game in 2002

 

Entertainment
Editors/Television & Computer Writers

NEW
YORK–(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)–Jan. 30, 2001–Simon & Schuster Interactive,
in association with The Jim Henson Company, announced today plans to publish a
computer game based on the popular television show Farscape in Q1 2002.
Farscape, the number one original series airing on the SCI-FI Channel (by
Nielsen media research), has garnered a tremendous fan following and is widely
praised by critics for its feature-film quality. Cutting-edge special effects
and technologically innovative creature design from Jim Henson’s Academy
Award-Winning Creature Shop(TM) illuminate the series and plot lines.

 

The
Farscape game will feature an action/adventure format in which gamers can
choose to be Earth astronaut John Crichton, or, one of the aliens: the outcast
Peacekeeper Aeryn, the street-smart Chiana, brutish warrior D’Argo, royal
sovereign Rygel, or high priestess Zhaan. The Farscape game is being developed
for the PC (Windows(R) 2000/ME/95/98) and a "next generation"
console platform, by veteran game studio Red Lemon.

ABOUT
FARSCAPE

 

Recently
named one of the year’s ten best programs by New York Newsday, Farscape is now
entering its third season on the Sci-Fi Channel, airing Fridays at 9 p.m. The
program stars Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey and
Gigi Edgley. It follows the exotic adventures of American astronaut John
Crichton (Browder), who is accidentally thrust into a motley band of escaped
renegades who traverse the universe in Moya, a living ship, on a quest for a
place to call home.

 

Filmed
in Sydney, Australia, Farscape is a natural extension of The Jim Henson
Company’s dedication to bringing fantasy reality to life. The series is
executive produced by David Kemper, Brian Henson, Juliet Blake, Richard
Manning and Robert Halmi, and is produced by Sue Milliken and Tony Winley.
Rockne S. O’Bannon serves as executive consultant.

 

More
information on Farscape can be found at www.farscape.com.
The site includes exclusive imagery, screensavers, and complete information on
the show and its characters. The site will soon feature Web-only interactive
expanded show content.

 

ABOUT
THE GAME

Our
heroes are stranded on a desolate planet in a far off corner of the universe,
caught between warring native factions and the deadly Peacekeepers. A chilling
mystery shrouds a hideous threat to galactic stability and the Moya crew has
to uncover the clues to stop it…before time runs out.

The
game combines extensive character interaction and fast paced combat in a
third-person environment. Gamers control major Farscape characters with
varying complimentary skills to solve a variety of inter-connected challenges.
This all takes place in a visual rich setting, reflective of the hit TV show.
The first public demonstration of the game will be made at the Electronic
Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, May 2001.

 

ESRB
RATING

The
Farscape game will be rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
All advertising and promotional materials currently carry a "RP" or
"Rating Pending" logo. More information on the ESRB and its rating
system can be found at www.esrb.org.

S&SI
USES GAMEProducer

 

To
choose a developer for the game, Simon & Schuster Interactive made use of
the new GAMEproducer system, which uses the internet to efficiently connect
publishers and developers throughout the world. With GAMEproducer, Simon &
Schuster quickly received dozens of proposals from leading development
companies and chose Red Lemon to develop the game.

 

ABOUT
THE PARTNERS

Simon
& Schuster Interactive (www.ssinteractive.com) is the consumer
software-publishing unit of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Based in New York,
S&SI publishes entertainment, education and reference titles across
numerous platforms. The Company is the Codie Award winning publisher of the
best-selling "Douglas Adams Starship Titanic" adventure, the
best-selling parody "Deer Avenger" series, and numerous critically
acclaimed children’s software titles.

Simon
& Schuster, the publishing operation of Viacom Inc., is a global leader in
the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in
fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed and
multimedia formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Trade
Publishing, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon
& Schuster New Media, Simon & Schuster Online, Simon & Schuster
U.K., and Simon & Schuster Australia. For more information about Simon
& Schuster, visit our website at www.simonsays.com.

Viacom
is the No. 1 platform in the world for advertisers, with preeminent positions
in broadcast and cable television, radio, outdoor advertising, and online.
With programming that appeals to audiences in every demographic category
across virtually all media, the company is a leader in the creation,
promotion, and distribution of entertainment, news, sports, and music.
Viacom’s well-known brands include CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Paramount
Pictures, Infinity Broadcasting, UPN, TNN, CMT, Showtime, Blockbuster, and
Simon & Schuster. More information about Viacom and its businesses is
available at www.viacom.com.

 

Formed
in 1998, Jim Henson Interactive (JHI), a division of The Jim Henson Company,
is responsible for the worldwide digital expression of all intellectual
properties owned by the organization including such globally embraced and
commercially successful brands as THE MUPPETS, FARSCAPE, BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE
HOUSE, MOPATOP’S SHOP, CONSTRUCTION SITE! and THE DARK CRYSTAL.

 

The
Jim Henson Company, an established leader in family entertainment for more
than 40 years, is an independent multimedia production company; one of the top
character licensors in the industry; a leading publisher of children’s books;
and home to Jim Henson Television, Jim Henson Pictures, Jim Henson Interactive
and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop(TM). With headquarters in Los Angeles and
offices and production facilities in New York and London, the company is a
wholly owned subsidiary of EM.TV & Merchandising AG based in Munich,
Germany. The Jim Henson Company website is located at: www.henson.com.

 

WHAT
THE CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT FARSCAPE

12/31/00

Newsday–Diane
Werts

"They
make us marvel that TV has finally come up with a satisfying sci-fi
hour." The Year’s Best in TV # 10.

1/20/01

TV
Guide–Matt Rouch, The Rouch Review

"The
Sci Fi Channel’s irreverent, rip-roaring Farscape has been entertaining us
with a series of fantastic, explosively exciting new episodes. The January
26th cliffhanger is a stunner of psychological peril that pits astronaut
Crichton (Ben Browder) against the creepily cadaverous Scorpius (Wayne Pygram).
Farscape is more far out than ever. And isn’t that what you really want in a
sci-fi series, after all?"

1/5/01

USA
Today–Robert Bianco

"Farscape
boldly goes beyond expectations. By rights, Farscape should be far more
popular than it is. Farscape is more than just TV’s best space show since Star
Trek: The Next Generation. It’s a fully realized drama capable of puling in
even those of us who are usually reluctant to sign up for these galaxy quests.
3.5stars"

1/5/01

The
Newark Star Ledger–Alan Sepinwall

"With
Star Trek: Voyager going off the air at the end of this season, you’re going
to read and hear a lot about the death of science fiction on television.
That’s nonsense. SCI FI’s Farscape… has been telling more creative, more
entertaining stories for a few years now. Even though the series operates on a
budget much smaller than any Trek show, it often looks significantly
better."

1/5/01

Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette–Rob Owen

Farscape–
Returning for the last four episodes of its second season, television’s best
science-fiction series remains in top form. The show’s typically lush
production design/special effects and high caliber character
development/plotting are on display as the restless crew tries to save the
enslaved son of D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe).

1/4/01

Newsday–
Diane Werts

"Farscape
now sits at the center of SCI FI’s Fri, and it’s light years ahead of its
nightmates. The varied characters all have their own logic, the danger feels
palpable and the relationships are so real, they hurt. Are Browder’s marooned
Crichton and Claudia Black’s warrior Aeryn Sun not the tube’s hottest
unrequited twosome?"

1/4/01

Boston
Herald–Mark Perigard

Farscape–
"It’s time to acknowledge Browder might be SCI FI’s greatest asset. If he
were on a mainstream network show such as The West Wing he’d be a shoo-in for
an Emmy. It’s a shame his talent gets no respect because he works in science
fiction."

1/2/01

Scripps
Howard News Service–Dave Mason

"Farscape,
which takes no shortcuts in quality, easily ties with the X-Files as the best
sci-fi show on Television. Farscape is good at creating loose threads and
takes its time to weave its plots. In some ways, it’s more like a great long
novel than a TV show. The series is much more adventurous in its locales and
its creatures than Star Trek: Voyager and other Hollywood based sci-fi
series."

12/31/00

Boston
Herald–Mark Perigard

"The
season finale of SCI FI’s Farscape promises to be a nail-biter."

12/31/00

Orlando
Sun-Sentinel.–Robin Berkowitz

"This
goofy guilty pleasure, a melange of muppetry and Trekkian cliches, spices its
adventures with tongue in cheek humor as it charts the plight of earth
astronaut John Crichton."

12/4/00

Cableworld

"David
Bianculli of the New York Daily News casts his vote for (his favorite show)
Farscape. ‘It has impressed me a lot with its increasingly original stories
and high caliber acting. I like it for the same reasons I’m such a huge fan of
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: sly comedy mixed with genuine drama and suspense,
wonderful special effects and costumes and an original vision that rewards
loyal viewers.’"

 

 

CONTACT:
Simon & Schuster Interactive

Peter
Binazeski

212/632-3544 

[email protected] 

or
The Jim Henson Company 

Debbie
McClellan

323/802-1606 

[email protected]