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Syfy axes Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica

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

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.

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.


  • 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

  • Darren

    @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!

  • Overmind One

    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.

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