'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Smallville' stars dive into 'Riverworld'

Tahmohpenikett_dollhouse_240 Sci Fi, soon to be SyFy, has cast its lead actors for their upcoming four-hour movie events "Riverworld" and "The Phantom," both of which may lead to a new series.

Tahmoh Penikett, of the network's ground-breaking "Battlestar Galactica" and currently on FOX's "Dollhouse," will play the lead in "Riverworld" opposite "Smallville" supergirl Laura Vandervoort, while "Desperate Housewives" actor Ryan Carnes will play the titular lead in "The Phantom."

"Riverworld," based on the novel series by SF author Philip Jose Farmer, centers on the greater part of humanity that lived on Earth suddenly finding themselves resurrected on a terraformed planet known as Riverworld. Among these people are war correspondent Matt Ellman (Penikett) and his fiancee (Vandervoort), both of whom had been killed and now find themselves alive and kicking.

Joining the pair is Alan Cumming (who had starred in SciFi's "Tin Man") as the Caretaker, Jeananne Goossen and Mark Deklin.

Giving "The Phantom" grief will be Isabella Rossellini as the villainous Lithia, who is heading a mind-control experiment. Joining in on the fun are Cameron Goodman and Sandrine Holt.

"Riverworld" and "Phantom" have already begun production and are set to air in 2010. A third RHI project, "Alice," is also planned.