If Stargate Universe is going to reach new viewers and improve its audience share by moving to Tuesday nights, the show has a tall hill to climb.
“Intervention,” the Season Two premiere, drew approximately 1.175 million viewers to Syfy Channel at 9 p.m. last night, according to TV By the Numbers. That’s a 20 percent drop from the season finale, which aired in early June.
The Stargate franchise has historically added big numbers when DVR-delayed viewing is factored in — as much as 40 to 50 percent, some weeks (not to mention the heavy online viewing of the genre audience). Syfy is gambling that moving the show from the less-watched Friday night time slot to a night when more people around the country are watching television will help, both with the DVR time-shifting and by exposing the series to more people.
The network has had big success on Tuesday nights in the summer time. That’s when its two highest-rated original dramas — Warehouse 13 and Eureka — air. Warehouse‘s second season finale aired in the same time slot just one week ago, drawing 2.4 million viewers.
But the fall months are, of course, significantly more competitive. SGU is up against popular shows and brand new series on all major broadcast networks (which don’t program their Friday nights as aggressively), including:
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
The Biggest Loser (hour 2) (NBC)
Raising Hope / Running Wilde (FOX)
Life Unexpected (The CW)
Also in Stargate‘s disfavor is the absence of any lead-in or lead-out series to help draw viewers to the cable network. The previous week’s new episode will repeat at 8 p.m. starting next week; Caprica will join SGU at 10 p.m. next week.
“Intervention” is the lowest-rated episode of the series to date (unseating “Incursion, Part 1”). With the show’s current fan base following Universe to Tuesday nights, hopefully it can only build from here as awareness spreads.
New episodes of Stargate Universe continue next Tuesday with “Aftermath” at 9 p.m. (8 Central) on Syfy!