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Tripping the Rift Goes Primetime on Sci Fi Channel

Sci Fi Channel premieres its first animated series, TRIPPING THE RIFT, March 4, 2004 at 10:30 pm. The scandalously sexy, 3D animated, comedy for adults from DPS Film Roman and CinéGroupe, joins the channels new Thursday night lineup that includes the reality show MAD MAD HOUSE (9:00 pm) and practical joke show SCARE TACTICS (10:00 pm).

Offering humorous spoofs and homages to sci-fi classics as STAR TREK, STAR WARS and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, the twisted half-hour comedy follows the intergalactic adventures of the crew of The Free Enterprise, a smuggling vessel captained by a stumpy purple alien named Chode (voiced by Stephen Root). Maurice LaMarche voices Gus, Chodes sexually confused and verbally abused robot slave, and Gina Gershon is Six, a well-built, sex-crazed android. "Stuttering" John Melendez does the voice of Bob, the agoraphobic ships computer. The cast also features T'Nuk, (Gayle Garfinkle) the ship's aesthetically-challenged pilot and Whip, (Rick Jones) Chode's teenaged slacker nephew.

The misfit shipmates battle archenemies and new obstacles in s pace each week. In the premiere episode, "God is Our Pilot," Chode and Gus decide to take a trip back to the beginning of time and inadvertently kill God in the process. Upon returning to the present, they find that the absence of God has resulted in a world of peace and harmony, something sure to drive Chode crazy.

TRIPPING THE RIFT offers up more sex than most sci-fi programs and the requisite violence, action and campy humor expected for this genre. It started as a short film on Film Romans LEVEL13.NETshowcase on the Net, and won a Playboy animation contest.

Created by Chuck Austen and Chris Moeller, TRIPPING THE RIFT features the raucous humor of head writers Terry Sweeney (MAD TV, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) and Lanier Laney (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE). William Rosenthal and Andrew Borakove story edited the "God is Our Pilot" episode. Danièle Joubert produces and Jacques Pettigrew, Michael Lemire, Peter Schankowitz and John Hyde serve as exec. producers. Ken Katsumoto is production exec. Bernie Denk directs the series, Guillaume Lefebre is technical director and Louyse Lambert serves as art director.

Launched in 1992, Sci Fi Channel ( now reaches 83 million homes and airs original and classic sci-fi, fantasy and horror programming. Sci Fi Channel is owned by Universal Television Networks, which is part of the Universal Television Group, a division of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation company of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications firm.