While the BBC is in decline mode, but Doctor Who is becoming a franchise. With Doctor Who about to debut season 2 in April -and with a third season already planned - and its first spin-off Torchwood set to begin airing this fall, it looks like Sarah Jane Smith and her trusty robot dog K9 are back in a new children's series.
Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane and K9 will return to Doctor Who in the third episode of season two, called School Reunion. If this is true, this would be the second attempt by the BBC to launch a Sarah Jane show. She did a sort of one-off/potential pilot called K9 and Company back on 1980. But with the success of the new updated show, the BBC appears to to be striking while its hot.
Unlike the CSI franchise, the BBC seems to appealing to a large spectrum of Who fans. While the current series is for famlies and long-time fans, Torchwood will be more adult sci fi fair featuring Captain Jack actor John Barrowman. If this Sarah Jane spin-off is true, it will be designed for the younger audience.