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[04/26/04 - 12:00 AM]
'Mutant X' to End as Fireworks' Future Dims
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- CanWest Global Communications has announced it is folding the remnants of Fireworks Entertainment, the company behind such series as "Wild Card," "Strange Days at Blake Holesy High", "Mutant X" and "Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda," with production and acquisition of all of its properties being shut down last week.

In addition, "Mutant X" cast member Karen Cliche has confirmed the series will not return for a fourth season.

The news comes just four months after fellow Canadian studio Alliance Atlantis pulled the plug on its production division, save for its involvement in the "C.S.I." franchise. Both moves are widely understood to be the result of the gradual drying up of the international syndication market. Said developments have hit the Canadian studios the hardest, leaving only a handful of independent companies.

As for Fireworks, the company had narrowed its focus to the North American market in recent years however "it has become clear that the steps taken to date have not been sufficient to restore Fireworks to profitability and ensure its long-term viability," the company said in a statement to the press.

CanWest will take a $149 million writedown to be reflected in its second-quarter fiscals. The company is currently looking for a buyer for Fireworks' film and television library.

As for the fates of its existing series, "Wild Card" and "Strange Days at Blake Holesy High's" production will shift to fellow CanWest subsidiary Global Television while "Mutant X" and "Andromeda's" futures remain uncertain.

Nevertheless, "Mutant X's" Cliche posted to her official web site that the cast was told last week they won't be returning for another season (click here to read the original post):

"Just thought I would be the first to let you know before it has been officially announced that 'Mutant X' is canceled. We are all very sad. Don't know when they will make it official, but we have [the cast] been advised that we aren't going [for] another season. We are all now trying to go on with our lives and careers, and who knows? This could be an opening of wonderful opportunities for many people. Always look at the bright side!"

The show's U.S. distributor, Tribune Entertainment, however has yet to confirm the news. Tribune had previously cleared the show in 85% of the U.S. through the 2004-05 season back in January (read the story).

"Andromeda," which like "Mutant X" is distributed in the U.S. by Tribune, may also suffer the same fate. Tribune had signed a deal cable's Sci Fi Channel to share the series' upcoming season in a 10-day split window earlier this year (read the story).





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· ANDROMEDA (SYFY)
· CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS)
· CSI: MIAMI (CBS)
· CSI: NEW YORK (CBS)
· MUTANT X (SYNDICATION)
· WILD CARD (LIFETIME)









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