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Stargate fans organize Save SGU campaigns

Sunday - January 23, 2011
Category: FANDOM | Tags:

Syfy Channel may have cancelled Stargate Universe (story), but fans of the series aren’t letting the show go down without a fight.

Fans have organized a number of campaigns and petitions to show their support of the show.  “Save SGU on Facebook and Twitter has emerged in recent weeks as the most organized, though no Web site has appeared yet at the registered domain SaveSGU.com.  A Twitter account and website for SG:Unite have begun more recently.

One petition has 3,500 digital signatures so far.  Another hopes to “spread the love” for Stargate Universe with — amongst other actions — a Valentine’s Day card campaign.

Just what can fans who participate in such a campaign hope for its effectiveness? Of course there are success stories, including Firefly (which got a moderate budget film, Serenity) and Jericho (which got a 7-episode second season). But for every success, there are far more disappointments.

Fans fought for a sixth year of the Joss Whedon’s Buffy spinoff Angel after the now-defunct WB Network cancelled it in 2004.  But even when fans united by organizing letter-writing campaigns, online petitions, blood and food drives, advertisements in trade magazines and via mobile billboards, the network never budged.  Pushing Daisies on ABC. Wonderfalls on FOX. The syndicated Legend of the Seeker. The list of quality genre series that were denied a stay of execution goes on and on.

Will the fan outpouring and support have any effect in the case of SGU?  It’s difficult to say at this point.  Even executive producer Joseph Mallozzi has been quoted as calling the prospects of a third season of the series as “the longest of longshots.”  But the producer also remains both positive and coy in terms of some sort of continuation of the story.   An update on Mallozzi’s blog last week states there is reason to keep hope alive.

“Nothing definite as of yet to report but a minor hurdle was cleared,” Mallozzi states in the blog.  “Quite a few hurdles still lie ahead and there’s always the chance it might all be for naught – but right now, things are looking positive.”

Keep your browser locked to GateWorld for more updates as they occur!

(Additional reporting by Darren Sumner)

(Special thanks to Marjorie Roden for the tip)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chad Colvin is a GateWorld editor and convention correspondent. He lives near Madison, Wisconsin. Follow him on Twitter @ChadColvin. (More)


COMMENTS (199):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • SGUnite

    Thanks for linking to us! :).

    I’ve still got hope for a third season. Even if it’s a shorter season, as long as it wraps up the main points, I’ll be happy.
    -Chris

  • Jauh0

    I don’t that there’s gonna be a third season. The fanbase is so rifted and SyFy is more in to wrestling, disappointing fans, and getting their shows cancelled these days. I just hope that another channel(preferably one that lives up to its name) takes over broadcasting the show. What we need is a miracle. Nothing less will do.

  • Jauh0

    And I don’t think that SyFy(isn’t it combined with NBC or something?) will listen to anything else but $w€€£ old currency. What we need is a gazillion billion dollars.

  • I cannot see a 3 season it not putting the rating and it not even a great show, it has got better in season 2 but the damage was already done and with the “we not making SG:A movies because u did not watch SG:U (i have watch all SGU)” I’ve lost all respect for these people

  • No offense, but why did you need a tip from the organiser of the Spread The Stargate Love campaign for you to report on all these efforts? Even the most casual of fan couldn’t have missed all the twitter and facebook activity, as the various websites that have sprung up.

    Shocking then that a site promoting itself as the “complete” Stargate resource either didn’t notice, or couldn’t be bothered to report on it.

  • What we really need is a cable network dedicated to airing science-fiction programs.

  • Craig Engler (@Syfy on twitter) a senior executive at Syfy has stated many times that such petitions and campaigns simply do not work anymore because every show that gets canceled does this. And in the end, it really doesn’t work as Firefly and Jericho have unfortunately shown. On top of that, for every show that gets canceled people go to Syfy and ask if they are going to pick it up, which they don’t do anymore.

    All the people signing these are the same people who already watch the show and therefor they don’t matter, if you want this show to come back you have to somehow show Syfy that there are a bunch of new people that started watching the show not just the same group of the already to few, that did watch.

  • I hate Syfy they are just wrong I think people should just defect from them not use them at all

  • While I’m not 100% convinced we’ll not see SGU in SOME form next season yet, I’m also not holding my breath that these campaigns will do any good, because the only times I’ve ever seen them work in modern times in any form is with Firefly and Farscape.

    I’m starting to resign myself to the fact that not only will there not be any Stargate on TV next season but that in general there might not be much genre programming on networks at all next season, except for The Walking Dead and Dr. Who and maybe a few shows on SyFy, as my favorite shows continue to perform poorly since they’ve returned from their breaks.

    Lets face is, genre fans look towards other means to watch their favorite SF shows these days, its showing in the ratings and networks are ignoring that fact.

  • I can understand when this happened for SG-1 and Atlantis but I’m surprised that it’s happening for Universe. I’ve been a Stargate fan from the beginning and was upset when SG-1 and Atlantis were cancelled but I haven’t really cared that Universe got cancelled.

  • First off, I’d like to pick up the problem with the SGUnite campaign. It’s a death dealer…and obviously people who do not know the way things work. Their tip about contacting any other networks. Even IF (and it’s a big IF) another channel didn’t know SGU is cancelled a simple search would reveal it. Amatuers!

    As for the cancellation and fan response to it. I’d like to make a plee:

    DO NOT FIGHT THE CANCELLATION!

    Now, I am a fan of SG:1 SG:A and I actually thought that SG:U was okay. It was by no means great and certainly didn’t live up to the previous shows.

    I don’t think SG:U should be renewed or given a stay of execution. Put simply: it costs too much! Anything that costs as much does not deserve to be produced.

    Right here and right now a show can be put together to the same quality SO much cheaper. There are very successful shows being produced right now for less than $75,000 a season. There is just no excuse (other than the exorbitant cost of actors) that any show should cost as much as SG:U cost to make.

    Apart from the cost SG:U is a mediocre show. It had a shot, it failed. I can’t honestly think of a good reason that SG:U should go on any further. So what if there are questions unanswered? It’s not the first time it happened and it won’t be the last.

    My campaign (if I were to run one) would be called: “Support the cancellation by e-mailing people any letting them know it was the right descision”. It is what I will be doing.

  • I’m hoping that we can at least get a mini-series to wrap up the show. Anything beyond that would be gravy.

  • @wnelson

    I’m not sad to see SGU go either but…

    Sure it’s possible to make shows on a smaller budget. But if networks can make several million dollars from airing an episode (advertising etc.) then smaller budget shows just mean lower quality viewing for us and more profit for the networks.

    That’s why we’re plagued with so much “reality” television.

    In SGU’s case budget is a big issue because the viewership isn’t big enough to warrant the 2 million they spend on making each episode. SG-1 and SGA had smaller budgets and more viewers so they’ve really gone backwards financially.

    In comparison, I think Sanctuary episodes come in at about 1 million an episode (I saw an interview with Tapping where she said an entire season cost 20 million to produce) and more people watch it.

  • Not a chance, guys. Come on. Enough is enough. SGU is a toxic product, nobody is gonna touch it. I’ll be amused to be proved wrong.

  • @ngreen

    I actually wasn’t necessarily referring to traditional TV. A lot of good creative stuff is coming out from the edges these days. I could list 9 or 10 good shows that could be made on a tiny budget, but be the same quality that we are used to.

    Sanctuary is one of those. In fact that’s where it started (small budget web-tv show).

    The Guild, Carpool, Anyone but Me, David Michell’s Soapbox, Re-invent the Wheels…there is something for everyone and all good “traditional TV quality”.

    I personally think that web TV shows will become the pilots of the future…the cream of these being transferred (if the creator has that aim).

    The old model of commissioning new shows needs to die quickly. As you point out, it’s why we’ve got reality TV. If shows had a proving ground and were then picked up it makes far more sense.

    I tend to think these small scale shows are much better because time is precious. You can’t afford to waste time on set-up or runners or producers or extra crew, you do the set-up quickly before the actors arrive and shoot and go. No messing about. You have to be quick and efficient. That’s what’s needed in TV now…not hoardes of unnecessary crew, not massive set-up times. Quick, small and cheap. In no curcumstances should an episode of any show require more than 10 crew (including writer, costume, set and props).

    Traditional studios now have too much bloat slim them down and cut the fat.

  • They should never have cancelled Atlantis for SGU. I bet they’re feeling dumb now.

  • Some of you may be surprised that there’s a fan base fighting to save SGU just like the SGU fanbase was surprised that gate fans and fans of science fiction in general didn’t give more suport to SGU which was clearly superior to the previous two SG shows. Why would you make a plea for people not to show support their show. Whether it’s futile or not it’s our choice to show our support and let the writers/producers and actors know that they got it right and that science fiction fans appreciate their ground breaking work.

  • @wnelson For quality you need people. Just look at few low budget films on “that channel”. Lower the budget and lower the number of people working on something and you’ll inevitably end up with something that people will not watch more than a few minutes of, science fiction is notoriously expensive for quality and in the case of SGU I think worth every penny.

  • It’s nice to see Gateworld is still the bedrock of positive thinking as always… >:(
    Good luck guys. For everyone’s sake. (Myself included.)

  • @wnelson

    The best chance to continue SGU in some form is while the sets are still standing. Once these are demolished the revival cost bar is raised a lot higher.

    The existing SGU sets are a sunk cost. I expect that nearly 90% of the current per episode costs are personnel costs in one form or another.

    Getting these down to a point where revenue exceeds cost of goods sold is the key to restoring profitability.

    “Traditional studios now have too much bloat slim them down and cut the fat.”

    MGM’s recent journey through Chapter 11 bankruptcy might have engendered a renewed commitment to lean production operations.

    The key questions are:

    1. Can MGM can develop other distribution channels for the Stargate franchise?

    and

    2. Produce product for less than the available revenue from those channels?

    If so then some form of S-G will likely continue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_MGM_Television_shows

    This is MGM-TV’s list of TV properties. The SG franchise is clearly more valuable to MGM than its next four TV series put together. The next most successful series in that list is Animal Atlas.

    NBC-Universal-Syfy isn’t final. They have a long corporate tradition of making disastrous programming decisions based on utter ignorance of their audiences. As Dave Letterman observed of NBC executives, “if they didn’t know what they were doing, they wouldn’t be there.”

  • Jauh0

    @bellboy: For the sake of our mental health.
    btw, has anyone noticed that if you say anything bad about SGU on this site, it get’s cencored?

  • @Skiznot The show barely had any Sci-Fi at all to be honest. It was more of a drama driven show than Sci-Fi.

  • SGUnite

    @wnelson

    Yes, I’m planning to update the plan tomorrow, thanks for reminding me.

    I know that emailing SyFy won’t help. Telling them they’ve made the right decision won’t help either though.

    Also, I think you meant $750,000 per season, not $75,000, right? :P

    -Chris


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