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Syfy axes Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica

Wednesday - October 27, 2010
Category: GENERAL | Tags:

Caprica Cylon

Syfy Channel has dropped the axe on Caprica, the prequel drama series it once hoped would carry the mantle of its critically acclaimed Battlestar Galactica franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for Caprica and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series,” Syfy programming head Mark Stern said. “Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, Caprica has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season.”

The news comes on the heels of Syfy’s announcement that it has greenlit a 2-hour backdoor pilot for a third Battlestar series, Blood and Chrome (story).

The show has struggled on Tuesday nights since returning with the second half of its first season four weeks ago, with ratings starting at just 889,000 viewers and falling to 718,000 a week ago. Caprica has been following Stargate Universe in the 10 p.m. time slot.

SGU has also had a tough time in the ratings on Tuesdays, but is still drawing significantly higher numbers than the BSG spin-off. News on its renewal isn’t likely to come before December or January.

As of press time, Syfy had not yet updated its schedule or announced Stargate‘s new lead-out show.

The network had originally intended to wait until January to bring back the show, but moved up the mid-season premiere to October.  Together with SGU, the show represented Syfy’s first attempt to extend its original dramatic programming into the Tuesday night during the competitive fall season.

The final five episodes of Caprica will be yanked off of Tuesday nights effective immediately, and rescheduled for sometime early in 2011.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Darren created GateWorld in 1999, and today is the owner and managing editor. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children. (More)


COMMENTS (53):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • wow, not too surprising. But I don’t get why they are taking it off tuesday nights… to replace it with what? Just let it run out on tuesday

  • I’m disappointed, but not at all surprised. Caprica was a very good show. Shame…

  • Actually, SGU’s ratings are NOT significantly higher. Want to compare? Latest ratings:

    SGU: 1.01 mil., 0.4 demo
    Caprica: 0.84 mil., 0.3 demo

    That’s a difference of 170k and 0.1 demo. Saying it’s “significantly higher” is wool pulling, plain wool pulling.

  • Caprica had a decent concept, but it seemed to reach fever dream status by this point. It sucks it won’t get a second season cause with it’s concept I could see it getting better. The -only- silver lining I see here is that, since Blood and Chrome has been greenlit just before this happened, is that it isn’t meant to replace SGU, only Caprica. Which means, as long as SGU can build up to an average of above 1 million, will hopefully hold out for a third season. Now I just have to hope we don’t hear news of SyFy greenlighting an SG-like program over the next month or so.

  • This doesn’t suprise me. I actually half expected it when Syfy announced they would move the show(s) to Tuesday. To think they would do as good on a Tuesday as they were on Friday was a bad assumption.

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Personally, I won’t lose any sleep over it. However the concept was good, really good in fact. I just wish they didn’t focus on the Gods damned STO. If they focused on the Cylon model 0005 and the incessant drama of the greystones, Adamas and the STO this news could have been a announcement of a second season renewal instead of a cancellation. Ron and David really fumbled. My hope is that blood and chrome is on par with Battle star Galactica

  • @katikatnik: 1.01 is 20 percent higher than 0.84. Though both shows are having a tough time finding viewers on Tuesdays (as the article states), I think a 20 percent relative advantage is “significant.”

  • It was an interesting concept as others have said but executed poorly. NOT what I expected and not what the show was originally advertised as. The show was originally advertised as a prequel focusing on the creation of the Cylons and a family drama between the Adamas and the Greystones. So far it’s mainly been STO and religion. Not what I was expecting.

  • I agree with katikatnik, if you ever thought a few years ago that we’d be thinking a 1.01 million viewers for a SG show was anything but a disaster you would have though yourself delusional. The cost of running the show and not making the ad goals was too much for Caprica to even be kept on the air. With SGU being not much higher, it might not be bad enough to pull, but I doubt they are making the promised numbers and are having to “make good” to the advertisers.

    Sorry to say, I think this is the first but not the last cancellation to be announced by the network this year.

  • And I might add, with Caprica gone, it takes SGU to an even lower position in the heirarchy of Syfy shows. It was good to have something doing worse. Low hanging fruit and all that…

  • I have to agree with Darren. This show was NOT what Ron Moore, David Eick and SciFi promised. When I first heard about it I was amp’d, I have ALWAYS wanted to know the back store of the Cylons going back to Kobol. When I saw the “movie” I was excited from the first minute to the last minute. The movie showed serious potential, then came the first episode of the regular season. Boy was I disappointed, but I held out hope. But they kept on focusing on the STO, the excessive drama between the Greystones and the Adamas and all the BS that makes good Sci-fi suck. If they redid it with out the heavy drama, if they focused on the creation of the cylons with a smattering of drama like BSG did I feel this would have been a announcement of a renewal instead of a cancellation. (Message to Ron and Dave: YOU TWO FRAKKED UP!)

  • I think SGU needs at least an average of 1.3 million viewers to have chance of renewal. It is currently getting only 1.0 million viewers. That is better than Caprica’s ratings, but not good enough.

  • I didn’t think the Tuesday experiment would work. They should move Universe back to Friday with Sanctuary. They should make a remake series of The Prisoner and put that on Friday with them.

  • Squall28 on the Syfy forum wrote just this:

    “I just got some unofficial news that SGU needs to uptick or they are done also.”

  • So they cancel Caprica after green lighting another prequel what is the point?

  • I also fear the SGU will be next to go before the year is over.
    And I agree that Caprica was a good concept,but kinda lost it’s way..sorry to see it go,though.
    Seems to me that every smart sci-fi show is doomed..mostly from the start,but at least before it’s time.And it’s not a new occurance..although BSG and Lost have survived the cycla they had planned..just remember Farscape,or Firefly.
    And every time it happens,it has to do more with stupid ,completely unreasonable programming schedule and management of Sy-Fy and it’s suits,than with the shows creators,producers etc!

  • Saw it coming, knew long beforehand, and I know what show is next. (doh)

    What is being cancelled/discontinued/rejected is the soap-fi model of heavy drama with science fiction sauce (and very little at that). First it was BSG, then Defying Gravity, now Caprica, and soon Stargate Universe.

    Only real science fiction appeals to real science fiction fans. And it takes a lot more than spaceships and robots to make science fiction. Caprica was just another generic drama, set on another planet (allegedly), with people who have the same social divisions, the same social/class hierarchy, same everything that any earth based drama would have. And the shows which copied too much from the (rather low rated) Battlestar Galactica made a HUGE mistake. Just because the critics liked BSG doesnt mean the viewers did. BSG was no ratings star, so what did they expect? Caprica deserved to be canceled.

  • I really liked this show. It’s a shame Syfy didn’t do much to help it by having a 6-month gap midseason and moving to Tuesdays. But soon all our favorite Syfy shows will be cancelled and there will be nothing but wrestling every night.

  • @psw
    Stargate Universe is getting well over 1.3 million viewers an episode based on the Live+7-day ratings. The premier had 1.787 million viewers and the second episode had 1.65 million. It’s the switch to Tuesdays, putting them against NCIS & DwtS(16 million each) that is killing these shows.

  • Caprica and SGU don’t belong on tuesdays. Put SGU back on fridays where it belongs and move wrestling to tuesdays.

  • @Darren Sumner: 20% still amounts to 170k only. But 20% sounds much better, doesn’t it? If you have a show that’s pulling 1 mil. viewers, ANY number will amount to huge percentage.

    It’s like when Joseph Mallozzi said that SGU increased 78% in Live+7. Looks amazing, doesn’t it? What he forgot to mention was that a) it was 78% of Live Raw, not even Live+SD and b) 78% = 500k viewers, the same number of timeshifters as last season, only this season, the Live viewership dropped so low that the same amount of timeshifters accounts for a much higher percentage. People who don’t watch Live, just don’t watch, they didn’t timeshift.

    I’m not saying that you are wrong or, God forbid, lying because you’re definitely not. Unfortunately, when someone does not know what the percentage you mentioned actually means, they might think that the show is doing well when it isn’t. It’s doing horrible at the moment – the last two eps were the lowest of the whole franchise, not even a series or a season.

  • @ katikatnik

    20% is still 20% no matter the original number, if were 20% of say 5 million viewers, it still equates to the same increase.

  • I didn’t like caprica b/c it’s religious attitudes, hell, i watched the first 2 seasons of BSG, and the last 3 episodes… i watch the first ep. of Caprica and didn’t even like it.

    I doubt that the 3rd series will do anything except crash.

  • you’re right, 20% is 20% but if there are 5 viewers, and I saw there was a 20% incrase. that means there are only 6 viewers… one viewer doesn’t make much of a difference. And since percentages are alwasy relative to the number they are “per” of … then they are misleading. It’s called propaganda through numbers… same thing happens with maps too… but I won’t get into that.

  • the tuesday experiment proved one thing to all. that SGU’s DVR ratings dont matter. sleep on that.

  • No one wanted religious controversy and teen drama. There was almost NO sci-fi in Caprica!

    Clarice Willow needs to die before the season is up.

  • i am gonna miss caprica i really liked the show now they will put on more wrestling which has nothing to do with syfy. who is ever at the helm on syfy needs to be fired

  • This may actually be good news for SGU. Move it into Caprica’s slot, follow it with it’s own previous-week episode, spread it out enough where there’s enough people watching to get the overall numbers up as far as actual money made versus raw advertising money power and then cut the budget some…SGU gets a third season. It’s a stretch, but for whatever reason, they do seem to want to keep SGU alive. This may have already been in the works. Maybe it’s why the previous-week SGU episode was replaced by ST:TNG.

  • @katikatnik: the lowest numbers in the franchise? Really? Did you compare them to original viewing figures on Showtime in the 90s? Just curious :)

    Anyway, I’m disappointed but sadly not surprised. Caprica wasn’t light sci-fi general audience seems to prefer. Nevertheless it was interesting show and I liked it. What I want to know is, why are they yanking off rest of the season? It seems pointless. It won’t do better in January and the season should be completed before everybody forgets about it.

  • @Petra: Only the ratings for SyFy are available – 5 years of SG-1, 5 years of SGA and 1+ years of SGU. And of those, the last two eps (at the least) hit the rock bottom. Also Showtime =/= SyFy. Different cable, different conditions.

  • I’m not surprised the show is being canned but its a knife in the chest and a twist that they are going to make us wait till 2011 for the final five (is there irony in that statement?) episodes. Unless they are rewriting them to the show can end gracefully I don’t get why they are doing this.

    I guess there wont be much left for me to watch for the next few months/year on syfy now. SGU to me isn’t worth watching anymore, after the last episode and there are plenty of other shows I can watch till B.C. airs, like Dr. Who on BBC-A. Might give syfy’s taste of Being Human a glance but other than that I don’t think anything on that channel is going to be recorded on my DVR for a long time.

  • This does not look good for SGU. I don’t think you can blame this on being moved to tuesday nights. The viewership is just not there/interested. Both SGU and Caprica are both supposed ‘SciFi’ shows that actually have very little actual science fiction. Most Sci fi fans when they tune in to watch want science fiction not soap opera that just happens to have a Scifi setting (ie on a space ship/ alien planet). So is it really surprising that ratings have bombed?

  • This is disappointing news, but I’m not surprised. I liked the show…I wasn’t much into drama series prior to BSG, and I didn’t get interested in BSG until the series was near its end. I decided to make sure I watched Caprica from the beginning. I thought it was good. I wonder what the finale will be like…hopefully it has a decent ending.

    SGU probably does need to be moved to another night again. It’s probably hard to find a good night though…many people will probably DVR most any night. There’s just so many choices of what to watch these days. Years ago, you didn’t have nearly as many channels as you do today, so there wasn’t as many shows to choose from. Some shows just end up getting DVRed a lot as a result.

  • Hah! At least now I know that if my SGU goes down, we’ll have taken one of BSG’s down with us. A minor victory, but a victory none the less. BSG & Craprica are so awful, just so awful. I’m glad it’s getting canceled. If SGU gets canceled then at least I have this to fill my heart with song.

  • @ anonGateWorld

    “Stargate Universe is getting well over 1.3 million viewers an episode based on the Live+7-day ratings. The premier had 1.787 million viewers and the second episode had 1.65 million. It’s the switch to Tuesdays, putting them against NCIS & DwtS(16 million each) that is killing these shows.”

    —–

    Sure, episode 22 of SGU got 1.6 million viewers live + 7, but that means nothing! The season 5 average of SGA was 1.6 million viewers live + SD and 2.1 million viewers live + 7!!! SGU’s ratings just look bad in comparison. And live + 7 ratings are of course also completely unimportant. TPTB and actors just mention them constantly for PR reasons. Just read this article, if you don’t believe me:

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/10/17/network-jedi-mind-tricks-live7-ratings-and-your-favorite-show/68123

    And Warehouse 13 was shown on Tuesday a week before SGU started. It had the same strong competition (NCIS, DwtS,…) as SGU and still manage to get 2.45 million viewers live + SD. SGU doesn’t even get half as many viewers! And SGU’s episode 19 also only got 1.178 million viewers live + SD and that was on a Friday. SGU’s ratings have a downward trend from the start of the series. This downward trend is just continuing in season 2. The move to Tuesday isn’t the reason for the bad ratings.

  • The Big Bang Theory mentions Caprica tonight on their show. Ironic eh?

  • I just recently began catching up on Caprica… so it’s no surprise it gets canceled. The same thing happened with Andromeda and Farscape. But I digress…

    It’s a decent show but it falls into the same category of “overly intense” that seems to be Sci-F.. er.. “SyFy’s” latest “thing”. I feel it’s the same reason SGU is barely hanging on.

    While I like long story arcs and a bit of intense drama, this style of storytelling just gets too heavy over time. Sometimes I miss the simple enjoyment offered by the prior Star Trek and Stargate series.

  • @ Rikaelus, don’t you think there’s a balance to be had though? Not everything has to be Warehouse 13 and Eureka where people are never serious and they are always cracking jokes one after another. Isn’t there room for at least one show like SGU or Caprica? Apparently not. Let’s have more Ghost Rassling.

  • I think it truely embarasses the executive producers of syfy when I ask, “why is your network a misnomer?”. The name of the network implies science fiction, so why is wrestling on their network? It is fictional, true, but it lacks the qualifier. I think a great deal of ratings are misleading due to netflix, hulu, and nerds (like myself) being biased towards science fiction along with competence with technology (torrents and piracy for example). It is a shame caprica never had a chance, as BSG was great (as much drama as scifi) but demand curtailled the opportunity for caprica to follow in Its steps. When I think of science fiction, I assume advanced technology and exposure to the next frontier. Not ghost stories and homo-erotic men grappling with the desire to prove their evolutionary prowess with headlocks and fireworks. It is a true shame that a true scifi network hasn’t dominated basic cable, but I guess that is what the median wants. Perhaps cable is the problem and syndication is killing what is driving the stake. I’m on season 5 of sg-1 and am waiting till I finish it to move one to SGA, but I’ve noticed a great many guest appearances from actors from firefly, faRscape, star trek, and bsg and it’s a shame the network has abandoned it’s fans of late.

  • “I assume advanced technology and exposure to the next frontier”

    indeed it is a small part of Science Fiction

  • I don’t see the point to any BSG prequel, I know how it ends. They all die.

  • Ah yes, but geeking is akin to existential optimism in each of our own small existances.

  • It IS in the wrong time slot. 10pm is too late. Its not dark enough to justify such a late slot. The problem with syfy is that its producing SGU and Caprica as grimy, not dark. BSG was black, dark, nasty, Caprica is just not dark enough. SG:U is just depressing and s l o w.

  • My father and I were talking about this the other day and we both agreed that one of the things that probably didn’t work out for Caprica was that the attack (Train being destroyed) compared to both BSG’s opening attack and even compared to modern history that it didn’t grab peoples attention enough.

    In BSG, all but 50k of the human population spread across 12 worlds was wiped out.
    In Real life, we’ve had planes crashing into skyscrapers killing thousands.
    In Caprica, a terrorist blows up a train and kills a few hundred.

    My point is that that the tragedy wasn’t big enough to get the audience’s attention. The previous show takes humanity to the edge of extinction and our own history has regrettably had larger tragedy so the audience didn’t really feel the impact of the event. What may have worked though is the destruction of an entire city (a prime example is in Season 1 of BSG when Sharon told Baltar her home town was Troy and Baltar remembered there was a massive incident there. They never touched what happened other than it was big enough for a man like Baltar to have bothered knowing what happened which could have been used as the tragedy that kicked off Caprica).

    In any case, here’s hoping BSG: B&C works out. I think being closer to the first remake will help attract the old crowd.

  • I’m not surprised at all. I hated this series. You’re telling me the Cylon war was stared because of a spoiled teenage brat got stuck inside of a virtual world? Come on… This was BSG for teenagers, no thank you.

  • I’m not surprised that Caprica was cancelled. What were the producers expecting? There was so much focus on morally questionable characters without any positive outcomes. None of the characters seemed “good”. I didn’t find that I could relate to any of the characters barring Zoe, and even then the focus was rarely on her but her father. I grew to love hating Baltar in BSG but in Caprica all the characters seem to have ambiguous motives. It’s just too much work to watch.

    And as much as I love SGU I have to admit that this franchise has been a bit of a let down too. It’s taking way to long to get to a point with it. MGM keep promising that the episodes will have action in the episodes but at the end of the day the action is always secondary to overly dramatic dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, I love SGU, but it really needs to pick up the game and move the story forward quicker.

  • I am not at all surprised by Caprica getting canned- only at it getting canned *before* SGU.

    That said, I still maintain that Tuesday is the new “Let’s put a bullet in the head of this show and be done with it” day that Fridays used to be. SyFy made a calculated move to put Caprica and SGU, two poorly performing(vs the Tuesday programming seen elsewhere) shows against several better performing shows.

    Short and simple, I really believe that SyFy is just trying to kill it’s two big money pits to free up spaces for more “mainstream” shows. That plus the fact that both Caprica and SGU are subpar VS their respective franchises.

  • everything the last couple of years has failed on the syfy channel. even the renaming from scifi to syfy itself has been an epic fail. i think they show more wrestling on syfy now than actual science fiction programming! did the former head of spike tv take over this networkh or something? lets not kid ourselves sgu will not make it to a third season. don’t get me wrong. i am a stargate franchise fan big time and i enjoy sgu. but it’s ratings are either on par or a tad bit higher than that of atlantis during it’s final season. for having actual established television and movie stars on sgu i would make have to admit that atlantis numbers back then are far more better than sgu’s present numbers today.


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