Though this show debuted in 2004, I put this as 2008 favorite because I caught up with the DVDs this year. This version is almost entirely different than the Battlestar Galactica of the early 80s, and is darker than any other sci fi show.
The basic premise is that humans created sophisticated robots who rebel and nuke their planets all to hell (yes, very much like Terminator). The only humans who survive are the 50,000 who were on spaceships when the attacks happened, and they're on the run. Also, the robots look like humans, and some of them may think they are human until their programming switches on. So, any of the main characters could be bad guys.
You have prejudice - I understand. Yes, these things are true about it:
-It is science fiction
-It is on the Sci Fi Channel
-The humans are not from Earth
-They are in space on spaceships
Do you like Star Wars? Because Battlestar Galactica is way less geeky sci-fi than that. There are no Wookiees, Ewoks, talking catfish, talking obese lizards, talking ghosts...in fact, there are no aliens at all.
Do you like the Terminator movies? BSG also has killer robots that look like humans, including hot chicks (yes, I deliberately used Tricia Helfer's hot picture to help sell my post).
How about 24? BSG is the only other show that handles controversial political topics and sometimes is even ballsier than 24.
Lost? BSG also handles a large cast of characters who are so well written and acted that you forget your bias against "sci fi."
Of the three people I have persuaded to give this show a chance, all three have become huge fans. It has better action, acting, and writing than most shows on TV.