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‘Epilogue’ ratings show improvement for SGU, but Sanctuary suffers

Tuesday - April 26, 2011
Category: RATINGS | Tags: , ,

Yesterday’s new episode of Stargate Universe picked up significantly in the ratings, with more than 1 million viewers tuning in to “Epilogue” — perhaps helped by SGU‘s new pairing with Sanctuary, starring former SG-1 actress Amanda Tapping.  But Sanctuary‘s move from Friday to Monday dealt a major blow to its own ratings.

“Epilogue” drew an estimated 1.092 million viewers to Syfy at 9 p.m. on Monday night (“Live + Same Day”), up 27 percent from the previous week.

Sanctuary didn’t fare so well at 10 p.m., with just 868,000 viewers.  That’s comparable to SGU‘s numbers at 9 and 10 o’clock this spring, but a far cry (39 percent, to be exact) from what Sanctuary was doing on Friday nights just three days earlier.

Last Friday the show gained 17 percent over its mid-season premiere with 1.424 million viewers, holding on to about half of WWE Smackdown‘s 2.825 million.

This goes a long way in supporting our theory that, for the average Syfy viewer, it’s not so much the show as the night that it is airing — and that whichever of the network’s three dramas they kept on Friday nights back in October would be the one to keep its ratings up in “renewal” territory.

Fortunately for Sanctuary, Syfy has already renewed it for a fourth season — and it certainly could return to the Friday night anchor spot when it returns in the fall.

Monday night on the big networks saw 4.07 million viewers for The Chicago Code in FOX’s 9 p.m. time slot.  CBS aired repeats of The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly, with 7.68 million and 7.86 million viewers, respectively.  NBC limped along with 4.62 million for the sci-fi-ish series The Event (which is actually a notable improvement for that show).

But the victor for the night was once again ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which crushed the 90 minutes from 8-9:30 p.m. with over 22 million viewers.  That was followed by the sitcom Better Than You at 9:30, with 11.2 million.

Syfy’s line-up also faced an NBA play-off game this week, which averaged 3.35 million for TNT.

Don’t miss the penultimate episode of Stargate Universe next Monday!  “Blockade” airs at 9/8c on Syfy in the United States, followed by a new episode of Sanctuary.

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 (57):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • “it’s not so much the show as the night that it is airing”


  • That quote really does say it all. Looks like putting Sanctuary on Monday was a good experiment to test the theory. Good enough, now put them both back.

    So, MGM and SyFy, recall the escape pods. Let’s get back to work! Recall what cast you can and set a timeline to restart SGU … say in a year or two. Bring in an all-star cast to kick-start the interest. It can be done! Make it so!

  • Friday has always been Syfy’s most successful night, with double episodes of two or three original series that night. So the move was never going to be helpful. But Common Descent and Epilogue have been the best SGU episodes so far, so I think this week’s uptick can be explained both by Sanctuary’s lead in and viewers wanting to catch the continuation of the story started the week before. After losing viewers in season 1 due to focusing on personal drama rather than scifi, and Syfy’s horrible scheduling (seriously, a 4 month hiatus?), moving it for season 2 practically guaranteed its death.

  • Can you get the raitings for the show Sancturary was bumped for by any chance?

  • Does Syfy want Sanctuary out too? I guess Monday is the slaughterhouse where Syfy takes shows it wants gone. Will Syfy be smart enough to take its two biggest shows back to Friday for a one-two punch? Probably not, they don’t do SciFi anymore, they do wrestling.

  • captainstorm

    Seriously?? Childbirth 5 times over in 60 seconds was just wrong. I was upset that sgu was canceled, but with half the episodes ending with some horrid song and the lack of anything scifi… I can’t even form words this is just a very big disappointment. They should have just took the stargate and put it on One life to live if they wanted a drama show… and lets put it on during the day since its basicly a soap. Listen i’m some one who likes 98% of all scifi, I even liked enterprise and voyager.. just saying if I don’t like it.. its really bad. Just do us all a favor and bring back Atlantis!!! Lets face it everyone wants Atlantis! MGM Atlantis = $$$ SG1 DVD’s =$$$, I’m still pist that MGM took down the atlantis set to film hot tub time machine!!!

  • This episode was superior to similar episodes done in other sci fi shows, like ENT’s E2.

  • I don’t want more SGA – I want more SGU. Last nights episode was not only top qulity Stargate but also top quality Sci-Fi. As for ratings it’s quite obvious that w/e series has the lead in of WWE will receive the best ratings…

  • *headdesk*

    I don’t understand the thinking of any of the networks right now. Why do they feel the need to “compete” by pitting shows against each other in the same time slots when there are plenty of time slots during the week when there is NOTHING ON. I don’t understand why everyone sticks ALL their good shows into the same spot. For crying out loud, I often have THREE THINGS I’m watching all on at the SAME TIME, especially on Thursday nights, but the rest of the time there’s nothing (not that this affects anything in terms of numbers since I don’t get counted, but I still prefer to watch things live). Why not spread things out a bit? Especially if a show is doing poorly. Move it to a time when it isn’t going to be getting as much competition. And for the love of god, no matter HOW well a show is doing, putting it up against a show that’s getting 10 to 20x the numbers is a TERRIBLE. IDEA.

    Can we get some people with common sense in charge of scheduling now please?

    Thank god Space is keeping Sanctuary on Fridays. I’m not sure if the Canadian views normally get counted with the US views (since Space is a co-owner of the show), but if they do, might be good to keep in mind that the two are now on different nights.

  • “it’s not so much the show as the night that it is airing”


  • Sanctuary has never gotten stellar ratings, but they’ve never been bad– until now that is. :( Pax wasn’t so bad compared to this train wreck, in fact I’d rather have the ratings for Pax than this. IF and that’s a big IF, it does rebound, I can’t see it going up at much, and Castle last night was a repeat. Ratings like this can never happen again, tonight was just embarrassing, for the show, the cast and crew, and the fans, and it breaks my heart that happened.

    SGU did have great ratings, and they started to go down, even back in S1 on Fri, fans lost interest because… the show didn’t appeal to them, and they didn’t get good ratings on Fri, Tues or Mon, and Syfy must have seen that it made no difference what day it was on, there was no saving it. Sanctuary on the other hand as always got good ratings in Syfy, and Syfy must have seen that, and I hope they’ll see Monday doesn’t work, and Friday does. I also hope they’ll see that with Urban Legends.
    See, I don’t like to wish that a show fails, but if Urban Legends getting canned means Sanctuary will go back where it belongs, than so be it. I’ve read things from twitter, and many think it belongs on Fri. Anyway, SGU did have great ratings, and they started to go down, even back in S1 on Fri, fans lost interest because… the show didn’t appeal to them, and they didn’t get good ratings on Fri, Tues or Mon, and Syfy must have seen that it made no difference what day it was on, there was no saving it. Sanctuary on the other hand as always got good ratings in Syfy, and Syfy must have seen that, and I hope they’ll see Monday doesn’t work, and Friday does. I also hope they’ll see that with UL.

  • Is anybody surprise? I almost forgot it was on because I JUST watched an episode on Friday. Changing your date drastically in the middle of a run like that makes no sense, and you will almost ALWAYS loose lots of viewers who will still expect it to be on during its regular time.

    Sanctuary is about the only show in recent memory that I can think of where the show changed the day in the MIDDLE of a set of episodes. The only other show I can think of is No Ordinary Family which changed to Saturdays. It would have made sense to just change it to Mondays BEFORE it starts back with new episodes, not DURING the set of new episodes. That’s just asking to loose viewers!

    @Rocky many felt that Stargate belonged on Friday too but SyFy doesn’t care about fans, just viewers. Of course, if it keeps on axing shows like it has been then it won’t even have viewers, because the viewers, who are fans, won’t bother watching new shows for fear of them being canceled.

    Oh, and the ratings analysis in the news doesn’t make any sense. How can Stargate GAIN any from Sanctuary’s viewers when Sanctuary itself LOST viewers? If anything, I would think it wouldn’t matter since a lot of Sanctuary viewers are Stargate fans and they have probably already made the decision to watch or not watch the show.

    What will it take for SyFy to bring back that A-rating lineup of series like it had in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis/Battlestar? I thought that last fall they would try to bring that back with Stargate Universe/Sanctuar/Caprica but they failed epicly at that…I certainly hope Eureka and Warehouse 13 do not suffer any ratings woes because if they get canned that pretty much guarantees I will never again watch a new program on that network.

  • They are still airing Sanctuary on Fridays on Syfy. It is just a repeat of Mondays episode.

  • Glad to see the ratings slide upward but it’s truly of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. To address the 1 overly critical remark about the episodes quality and proclaiming we “all” want more SGA however; i really don’t. I mean i’d take it but really want i want is more SGU. Last nights episode was not only top quality Stargate but also top quality science fiction. This season has been fantastic and it’s sad to see the show cast aside with it’s creativity finally shining through. Back to the numbers however it goes w/o saying that whichever series has the WWE lead in will get the best numbers. And SyFy will never pull off another block such as SG1, SGA, BSG.

  • @Browncoat1984 Very well said. It always did good on Fri, some nights it did very good, and it’s first night on Mon it– it hurts to even think about it. :( What happened tonight DOES NOT reflect on the show, it’s the move, Syfy knew the risks, and it still did it. I also knew they’re be a drop, and but I didn’t think it’d crash and burn. The situation is completely different now, the show always bounced back on Fri, they’d go from high to not so high rating, now it’ll being back from low to low. If the ratings are bad again next Monday, then *hopefully* Syfy will see reason and move it back to Friday where it truly belongs. It has strived on Friday nights for a very long time, only to be disrupted by this pointless time change. Sanctuary always has been a solid, quality and unique show. So it’s definitely not the content that screws the show around.

    We are lucky Sanctuary got confirmed for a S4, because if Syfy made the move before that announcement, then I’m afraid Sanctuary would not have been renewed for another season. I’m still in disbelief about it, I feel Sanctuary was seriously hurt today, not just because of the ratings, I feel they were embarrassed, and I hate that. They got a good record, now it’s blown. This is something that should not have happened and now needs to be fixed.

  • It is sad, because Hollow Earth arc is over and show is awesome again.

  • Sorry, but sometimes I honestly think you people actually do live on another planet. Some of the quotes here just show a total lack of understanding of how things work on a network. I’m sad it’s died too, but seriously – think about what you’re saying…

  • I agree with you professorhenryjonesjr, most of us don’t understand the bone headed decisions the management of these stations make.
    SGU’s ratings dropped in the 1st half of season 2 because they put it on a stupid timeslot, had they left it on a Friday night, likely it would have improved as people recognised the improvements that had been made.
    I didn’t like the constant fighting amongst the crew either, or the stupid songs that were completely out of place in the show, and include immoral use of someone elses body via the stones. The fact remains that they listened to the criticism’s and made some major adjustments that worked very well.
    There are a fair few science fiction series where season 1 left quite a bit to be desired, normally things improved.
    If this was the 90’s still, then SGU would easily have made its full run, that decade was very kind to SciFi.

  • @captainstorm its obvious your completely bias for Atlantis and hate the fact that (as you see it) Atlantis was cancelled so they could bring in SGU. Buy had they kept Atlantis and aired SGU right after it like they did with SG1 to Atlantis you’d be telling a different story. So just so everyone is clear mr I like 98% of all scifi is still Pissed that Atlantis was cancelled and that’s why he hates SGU and its him and fans like him. If you can call them fans. Are the reason the entire Stargate franchise has been shelved!

  • Darren

    @Jedi40: There is currently a rerun of Monday’s episode scheduled for 11 p.m. on Friday (outside of primetime), but so far that’s not continuing into May.

    @Browncoat1984: It is mathematically possible for Stargate to gain viewers and rate higher than Sanctuary if the shows’ audiences don’t entirely overlap — i.e. if some viewers normally watch Sanctuary (part of their 868,000) but not SGU.

    @TheAdmiral: We’ll definitely be watching to see how Urban Legends performs in the post-wrestling time slot this Friday, and report it next week.

  • Every 10-15 mins or so, Syfy is getting ravaged by comments on their Facebook page “Save SGU” “Frack you SyFy” “Why have you moved Sanctuary” etc etc etc

    Surely they must realise what they have done? I don’t understand the mentality of it..

  • SyFy is a joke like the whole Universal.
    They killed Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and now SGU. Im done with that company.

    SGU is epic!

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