In a recent interview with the Vancouver Sun newspaper, Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis co-creator and executive producer Brad Wright spoke about the business side of the two successful Canadian productions. Stargate SG-1 is currently shooting its 200th episode, making it the longest-running drama series on cable television, and the longest-running sci-fi series ever made on this continent. Stargate Atlantis is filming its third season at The Bridge Studios in Vancouver, B.C. Together they are Canada’s biggest ever television money makers.”A lot of television franchises go off the rails because there’s a turnover of the creative people behind the show,” Wright said. “… The show doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s meant to be a fun show.”The Stargate franchise has brought $500 million U.S. in production into British Columbia, the paper reports. “And the revenue stream runs deeper for show owners MGM and Sony, because the Stargate franchise has spawned DVDs, books, merchandise, a magazine, comic books, and theme park rides.”Stargate SG-1 is currently shown in 100 countries, with a weekly viewership of 10 million. The response to the show is particularly fervent in Australia, Germany, France, and Great Britain. But the surprising news is that it’s not as successful in Canada where it is filmed.”The show is so much bigger in England than it is in Canada that it’s almost embarrassing,” Wright said. “The show does OK in Canada, but we aired opposite Friends for a long time. Our biggest resurgence in Canada has come from sales of the DVDs.”The sheer numbers associated with the production are staggering. The Canadian cast and crew per-season numbers 400 people for both Stargate SG1 and Atlantis. Also:
Each episode costs an average of $2 million U.S.
$60 million is the annual infusion into the B.C. economy.
10 million people watch worldwide each week.
30 million+ are the numbers of Stargate DVDs sold to date.And there are four amusement rides based on Stargate, one in Germany and three at Six Flags theme parks in the U.S in Chicago, Louisville, and San Francisco.But the exciting news is that a Stargate movie is still in the works. Wright and his writing team have written a screenplay for a feature film, which he hopes will be produced in the near future.Read the entire interview with Brad Wright at the Vancouver Sun. SG-1 and Atlantis return this July for new seasons on The SCI FI Channel.(Thanks to Elyse for the tip)