The USA Network has given the axe to two genre shows co-created by Star Trek veterans: The 4400 and The Dead Zone. The 4400 was created by Scott Peters and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine writer and producer Rene Echevarria. The Dead Zone was created for television by Deep Space Nine & Voyager co-creator Michael Piller with his son, Shawn Piller (who wrote for TNG and VOY). Both shows also featured a number of Trek vets both in front of and behind the camera.
The 4400 was about people who were abducted by time travelers and then sent back with special abilities to help ‘save the future.’ The show ran for four seasons and aired its last episode on September 16th. Echevarria brought in his old boss Ira Steven Behr to be executive producer and show runner for The 4400 (as he was for DS9). DS9’s Robert Hewitt Wolfe also wrote and produced for the series in the first season. In addition recurring DS9/ENT star Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, Brunt, Shran, etc) had a recurring role as did Penny Johnson (DS9: Kasidy Yates). The show received three Emmy Award nominations in 2004, including one for Outstanding Miniseries. It was Peters who broke the news of the show’s cancellation on the USA Network forums.
Jeffrey Combs with Summer Glau in ‘The 4400’
The Dead Zone was about a man who gains psychic abilities after recovering from a coma. The Pillers created the seres based on the a Stephen King novel of the same name (which was also turned into a feature film). DS9 actress Nicole de Boer (Ezri Dax) was in the regular cast and one-time TNG guest actor David Ogden Stiers (Timicin in “Half a Life”) had a recurring role. The series has been on the air for six seasons; its last episode aired the same day as The 4400‘s last episode, September 16th.
Nicole de Boer with Anthony Michael Hall and Chris Bruno in ‘The Dead Zone’
These make the second and third series from Trek veterans being brought to an end by NBC Universal (owner of USA Network and The Sci Fi Channel). Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica will premiere its 4th and final season in early 2008.
For more information on the cancellation of both shows, see TV Guide.