It's official. SCI FI Channel has green-lighted production on FLASH GORDON, a series based on the popular comic-strip franchise. The announcement was made yesterday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Production on the 22 one-hour episodes begins in Canada early this year. The series, produced by Reunion Pictures, is slated to debut on SCI FI in July, with a broadcast syndication window to follow. The series will be produced under an agreement between King Features Syndicate, which owns the rights to Flash Gordon, and Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr. (The Legend of Earthsea). The characters of Ming, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov will be brought back for a contemporary retelling of the comic-strip story created in 1934 by Alex Raymond. The strip is still distributed internationally by King Features Syndicate.