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Mallozzi: Stargate Universe is a 5-year story

Saturday - November 27, 2010
Category: GENERAL | Tags: ,

The producers of Stargate Universe hope that the show will live on for five full seasons, according to executive producer Joseph Mallozzi.  He told fans at his blog that the writers have five years’ worth of story, building up to the final pay-off and conclusion of SGU.

“There are a number of arcs and elements that will figure into the ultimate finale we have planned,” Mallozzi said.  “Ideally, we’d get five years to tell the entire story in satisfactory fashion but, if it came down to it, we could pay it off over the course of a single season.”

Stargate Universe is the first show in the franchise to be conceived as a single, arc-based story with a beginning, middle, and end, rather than an episodic series that could go on as long as the ratings would support.

At this point, Mallozzi also said, the studio is not thinking about a back-up plan for finishing the story in another medium, should the show be canceled without sufficient warning to pay off the story.  Right now “the plan is deliver the ending at the conclusion of Season Five,” he said.

The show’s ratings in its new Tuesday night time slot, however, may threaten that 5-year story.  Last month Syfy Channel canceled Stargate‘s lead-out show Caprica for low ratings.  Meanwhile WWE Smackdown and Sanctuary are thriving on Friday nights, blocking the likelihood of returning SGU to that night on the schedule.

Robert Carlyle as Dr. Nicholas Rush. (From ''Malice'')

The network is expected to announce its decision about SGU Season Three in December or January, following next week’s conclusion of the first half of Season Two.  The second half should pick up in the spring, after production on Season Three would need to have already begun.

The show does benefit from a larger number of DVR-delayed and online viewers … which don’t mean much to the advertisers who pay to keep Syfy’s programming on the air.

“I think our audience is there but simply growing more diffuse,” Mallozzi said of the ratings.  “It would terrific if the television industry found a way to catch up with the modern media’s technological advancements, find a way to make sure everyone is counted in those ratings — but barring a major miracle, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

“The only alternative to ensuring a third season is to bring more viewers to Tuesday nights, be they SG-1 fans, Atlantis fans, or fans of  Celebrity Circus.”

Stick with GateWorld for the very latest, and be sure to watch the final episode of the fall season this Tuesday night at 9 p.m. (8 Central)! Visit GateWorld’s Season Two episode guide to learn more about “Resurgence,” and be sure to visit Joe’s blog for more from the SGU writer/producer.

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 (94):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • The JMS/Babylon 5 approach: make a long-term plan and stick to it no matter what. There’s a very real danger of the show ending before the story is finished, but if it works, it pays off dividends and becomes a brilliant example of what the medium of television can be.

  • “Mallozzi said. “Ideally, we’d get five years to tell the entire story in satisfactory fashion but, if it came down to it, we could pay it off over the course of a single season.””

    You see, you just don’t say that. People will take it to mean that what you currently have planned is so bloated with filler and not watch it or that you don’t have enough confidence in your own show that if it came too it you can cut enough content to fill 20 episodes and again, people wont want to watch something that cut up. Its rule number 1 in everything, you make your audience believe you are 100% for what you are pushing.

    “which don’t mean much to the advertisers who pay to keep Syfy’s programming on the air.”
    Unfortunately this is quite true and chances are it will get worse, for all shows, before it gets better, as more people buy DVR, TiVo boxes or download from the internet. I’ve heard rumors that there are talks of making it so DVR’s cant skip over ads but seeing as that is a primary reason people buy such equipment I doubt anything will materialize.
    “It would terrific if the television industry found a way to catch up with the modern media’s technological advancements, find a way to make sure everyone is counted in those ratings — but barring a major miracle, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
    Product placement. I’m serious. I wouldn’t be surprised if in some future episode you see someone in the mess hall reach for a multigrain bar with a shot clearly showing the label (didn’t they do that in the pilot episode with Greer pocketing some protein bars?). Maybe they find some crashed alien tech that Rush compares to a G.E. d345 generator or something

  • This sounds like desperation to me. Its like they’re saying to the audience ‘stick with us PLEASE, we will eventually get to the point honest gov, after all we’ve got to, the show’s only going to last another 3 years please please please please please (with a cherry on top)’ secretly behind the scenes they’re saying ‘if we can get away with selling this for 5 years we’re geniuses’. I’ve loved stargate since the start but we’ve been short changed on this one guys. The producers, directors and writers are suffering from battlestar envy and we’re being made to suffer for it. Granted Battlestar was truly awesome but so was stargate at point in its own way.

  • the bbc did a star trek night 10 or 15 years ago or so and there was a song on there that sums up exactly how I feel about the produces of the new stargate show. Its a brilliant song by the brilliant adam and joe, just type in adam and joes star trek song into youtube and look for the numpty dresses like a klingon sat in front of a keyboard and enjoy, its pure class!!

  • The fact that the producers have a concrete plan for SGU is exactly what I want to hear. The absence of a plan in SGA was blatantly obvious and what took away from an otherwise entertaining show. A perfect example is the complete lack of a long-term story-arc solution to the Pegasus replicators…. half of S.4, really? ok… we did that… uhm… where do we go now???

    I would absolutely love for this show to be told the proper way, unlike “Ark of Truth” for SG-1, which screamed for an 11th season.

  • i agree, JM is surprisingly frank, too frank. Saying they could pull it off in one season is probably true and Joe knows if they get anything, it will be a one season and thats it. A show with this kind of ratings doesnt go on for five seasons.

  • I sincerely hope that SGU gets its 5-years. I’m enjoying the show immensely and definitely feel that this story NEEDS to be told.

  • Is it me or do they beg us to watch the show or stop putting out our opinions that “taint SGU” or the Atlantis fans who are “Punishing SGU” but this seems like another way to beg viewers.

  • To me is shows that they know what they’re doing. It can be really beneficial to have a show planed out and know the ending instead of pissing off the fans with a rushed ending later on.

  • @Gaeth i’m not putting words in their mouths they blamed sga fans for punishing sgu.

  • They may very well have five years of plot material in the works. But after admitting grave mistakes with the show’s manner there were to have been widely applied fixes in order to retain those viewers that ran from this gloomy SGA replacement. The failure of these fixes if any is now borne out in the current static ratings.

    They can pontificate about a five year run all they want but it won’t change the fact that this experiment has not captured the viewers or critical acclaim that was hoped for.

  • perhaps a follow up movie called Epilogue.. seriously I paid for the entire iTune season and even on-demand I’m drifting further behind on my watch list, these days i get around to it. The story it seems to be going no where.. slowly, great acting (i think) production values are pretty good, FX are really decent. But the story and chracterizations.. I feel bad for the actors and actresses because of what they put them through. I feel positively depressed after watching each episode.. sad.

  • Wasn’t Mallozzi just answering a fan question on his blog. I don’t think he issued a statement of desperation for people to watch.

  • @ib1117: Maybe not but SG1 and SGA got the ratings. SGU seems to be getting neither at the moment.

  • SGU will probably get a third season unless the ratings for the next episode are more abysmal than usual. It would seem the SyFy network executives are dragging their feet on canceling the show indicating they want to let it continue. The slight upward movement in ratings for the past few episodes most likely will get it a third chance. Though a fourth and fifth season appears to be unlikely.

  • Oops my last comment was directed at ib1117’s comment on the other series not getting critical acclaim not their last post (didn’t notice the last post) – just to avoid confusion. :)

  • Why doesn’t Syfy move SGU to Fridays when Sanctuary isn’t on? If they could be benefiting from WWE Smackdown why not try it for the 3rd season of SGU? Or would that be too simple?

  • Sam and Jack Shipper

    Wow, they basically told SG1 & SGA fans where we could go and now they are begging us to watch. I am sorry….I thought you were going to pull in so many new fans with your wonderful new show that you didn’t need us. Ok…that’s what I thought!

  • Joe Friday

    I miss SG1 and SGA, but I won’t be depressed if SGU gets canceled at the end of Season 2. I don’t hate it, but it’s failed to engage my interest like the other Stargate series. I just don’t understand why they’ve tried so hard to distance themselves from the previous shows. Stargate is a long running franchise, if they wanted to start over as a separate entity they should have picked a new name and premise. The only thing that would make me a regular viewer would be more crossover episodes with SG1 and SGA characters. My favorite episodes were the ones where RDA and Shanks appeared. But these types of episodes have been few and far between. I would suggest that SGU producers embrace the Stargate mythos and fandom if they want to get renewed for all 5 seasons.

  • I absolutely love the old Stargates, but I must say that unlike the older shows it is noticeable that this show actually has a direction for it’s story arc. This season has me totally hooked. I didn’t like it as much for the first half of season 1, but slowly it’s starting to come into its own.

  • I want to find a way to watch this show from Belgium on tv and support them just because I’ve been a stargate fan all this time. But on the other hand I’d like the show to wrap up as I’m not intrested in drama fillers that serve no purpose. However this doesn’t mean that the main story line is of no intrest to me, I think it has great potential but I tought that I was watching a sci-fi show and not drama 101. The only actor on this show that’s actualy considered good in my eyes is Robert Carlyle who I think is doing a great job.

    Now ending this show quickly would mean no more stargate and probably no more stargate movies either and that would just make me sad.
    I don’t know I geuss I want the show to keep on going and if the producers want our support now then I geuss we have an obligation to give it to them after all these years. I just wish they could make the show less drama based then they’d get their fans back.

  • I don’t know why ppl are hating so much on SGU… yeah I was sad to see SGA go but, I rather have a Stargate series then not have one. I wish that there was a movie for SGA, and I really wished there was a season 11 for SG1… but sometimes we can’t get everything we want. I’m really liking season 2.

    I wish I lived in the USA for the sole purpose of contributing to the ratings, but i don’t, instead I live in Canada. I just wish that syfy would consider their investment else were as well. I watch on Space Channel(Canada) every Friday… even though I watch the damn show on Wednesdays when I download it from the net. I still watch on Friday to be able to help boost the rating on my country.

    The reason in my opinion ppl aren’t liking the new show is because it tries to copy BSG a little. But the thing that I don’t understand.. is that, I see ppl saying that they lived BSG and the liked SG1/SGA. So why wouldn’t you like SGU…. if it borrows from BSG then shouldn’t it be good then. I don’t care what ppl say. I like SGU, and I truly don’t see anything wrong with it.

    ps. I love BSG.

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