The SCI FI Channel is adding The Dresden Files, a detective/fantasy series starring Paul Blackthorne (24, Presidio Med), to its lineup of original dramas with an 11-episode order beyond the two-hour movie pilot. Directed by David Carson (Star Trek: Generations), the pilot was filmed in Toronto last winter and will launch the series on SCI FI in January 2007.

The series will be produced by Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, and executive co-produced by Nicolas Cage.

Based on the best-selling series of novels by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files, written by Robert Wolfe and Hans Beimler, tells the story of Harry Dresden, a Chicago-based private detective with extraordinary abilities. Where others see typical crimes of assault, kidnapping and murder, Harry sees otherworldly forces at work. He's a wizard, the real thing, the only wizard listed in the Chicago yellow pages. Whether consulting for the police on inexplicable crimes or following his own cases, Dresden does battle with the forces of darkness, always maintaining a wry sense of humor and a unique perspective on our world.

"We're delighted to be in business with SCI FI on The Dresden Files," said Kevin Beggs, President of Television Programming and Production, Lionsgate. "We've assembled an outstanding creative team to translate the tone and attitude of Butcher's beloved best-sellers to the small screen, and believe this series has the potential to attract a very large and loyal following."

Paul Blackthorne, best known for his acclaimed performance as the villainous Stephen Saunders on 24, also starred in Presidio Med and the feature film Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. He has guest starred on Medium and ER, and has a recurring role on Deadwood.