Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, the ten-episode, 20-hour miniseries Taken was one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by cable TV's Sci-Fi Network, ultimately costing 40 million dollars — a price that proved well worth it, inasmuch as the series posted the network's highest-ever ratings. Covering a period from 1947 to the present, the story focused on three different families, each of whom was profoundly affected by extraterrestrial visitation. The Keys family was headed by WWII bomber pilot Russell Keys (Steve Burton), who spent virtually his entire adult life haunted by his "close encounter" with aliens. The Clarkes were originally represented by lonely Texas waitress Sally Clarke (Catherine Dent), who was impregnated by a charming stranger (Eric Close) who turned out to be an alien survivor of the Roswell crash. And the lives of the Crawfords were dictated by ruthless Army officer Owen Crawford (Joel Gretsch), who was determined to prove that the government had covered up the truth about Roswell by dedicating his life to tracking down all space aliens and their half-human descendants. The story was narrated by Allie Keys (Dakota Fanning), a "hybrid" child of the present day, whose story determined the outcome of the final episodes.
Welcome to the Takeshi's Castle, a Japanese game show involving 100 to 140 contestants who try to go through a series of silly physical challenges designed to eliminate them. Designed like a live-action Mario game, thousands of people have come to take on Takeshi's Castle to try and win the ¥1,000,000 prize but hardly anyone does! Each episode was filmed over the entire length of the day, with some challenges going well into the night.