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Stargate‘s ratings yo-yo back down with ‘Common Descent’

Thursday - April 21, 2011
Category: RATINGS | Tags: ,

Fans of Stargate Universe really seemed to enjoy this week’s offering, “Common Descent” — but, of course, enthusiasm doesn’t translate into ratings.

The seventeenth episode of SGU‘s final season earned an estimated 861,000 viewers (Live + Same Day) for Syfy Channel on Monday night, down 16 percent from the previous week.  The episode earned a paltry 0.3 rating in the Adults 18 to 49 demographic.

That drop may be partially explained by the loss of SGU‘s lead-in series, Being Human, which aired its well-rated season finale last week.  Stargate moved up to the 9 p.m. time slot this week, and now has a repeat of the previous week’s episode as its 8 p.m. lead-in.

The time change also means different competition over on the big networks.  The final half-hour of a 90-minute Dancing With the Stars gave ABC an easy victory at 9 p.m., with over 22 million viewers.  Cougar Town followed at 9:30 with almost 7.9 million viewers.

CBS aired a repeat of Two and a Half Men and a new episode of Mike & Molly in the 9 o’clock hour, with 7.4 million and 10 million viewers, respectively.

FOX picked up 6.4 million with The Chicago Code, and NBC’s certain-to-be-cancelled sci-fi series The Event earned 3.85 million.

Don’t miss the final three episodes of Stargate Universe!  Episode 18, “Epilogue,” airs next Monday at 9/8c on Syfy.

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 (40):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • that’s CRAZY one of the best episodes yet only 861k views this episode deserved at least 2million seriously dam I wish it hadn’t been cancelled they should have just stopped with season 1 now that it’s gotten good I Really am upset it’s getting cancelled

  • Eh, it’s not like ratings matter anymore. We know now they’ll never conclude the story anyway. :(

  • oh come on!!!! that was the best episode practically…there trying so hard People seriously man up and [email protected] watch the damn show!!

  • they also had the NHL and NBA playoff games on at the same time and pawn stars.

  • Not surprise they move the show to a different time slow, put up against even greater competition. Whole announce to the world that the series ends on a gigantic cliff, what did they think would happen.

  • Gateworld should really stop posting these vastly inaccurate numbers. They don’t take into account world wide viewers (Me in Japan), DVR, iTunes, and Hulu. Then there are the huge fans like me who cannot get the show any other way besides iTunes (legally). This whole situation is f***** up, and it’s a damn shame SGU had to die because of it. In the next few years the online model will go mainstream, but it will be too late for SGU. Autonomous needs to get on this and take down NBC/Universal :)

  • Darren

    With all due respect, Lee, the numbers are not inaccurate because they’re not pretending to measure SGU‘s total worldwide (or even U.S.!) audience. They are a statistical estimation of how many people in the U.S. watched the Syfy Channel broadcast at 9/8c Eastern and Pacific time (or DVR’ed it and watched it by 3 a.m.).

    You don’t count for Syfy Channel’s Nielsen ratings. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a part of the show’s worldwide audience. Don’t worry, MGM knows that.

  • I know (hope) we will get closure for SGU in some form, be it novel or graphic novel, but will the franchise live on in those formats in official cannon? Meaning the plots and stories advance and not at the end of the book it’s as if nothing ever happened. The SGA Legacy series is different…is that official cannon now? Brad Wright and the rest of the team need to clarify this.

  • @Lee_Machine: To be very brutal – for the continuation of the series/franchise, you matter very little. The online numbers matter very little. Only the US live+SD and C3 numbers matter.

    SyFy isn’t the CW where all their shows are made “in-house”, so they get revenue from abroad and thus the netlet can afford lower US ratings (there was a whole article about the wonder of the CW’s continuous survival). SyFy’s US based and the shows they air don’t belong to them, they don’t care about viewers abroad because they don’t bring them any money. No other network/cable was interested in the series. And the show’s way too expensive to land on MGM’s tiny cable.

  • Oh no offence here, it’s more of an emotional rant than anything :)

    I’m just as annoyed as I’m sure you are. You sounded quite depressed in the emergency Gatworld podcast. My wife and I look forward to your Stargate commentaries. Are you doing every episode or just say the top 25 at first?

    So if MGM knows this why not keep the show alive online? Charge a few dollars an ep for everyone in the world?

  • @Lee_Machine: Regarding SGA:Legacy. Only what you see on TV is strictly canon. Everything else is fandom – as far as the creators/writers are concerned.

    For MGM, SGA:Legacy is the only continuation of the SGA canon there is – at the moment. Jo Graham and Co. and Fandemonium have MGM’s blessing, they don’t need BW’s or JM’s, only MGM’s who is the owner of the rights. This is as canon as it gets.

    What Jo Graham and Co. did is basically on par with Timothy Zahn’s continuation of Star Wars. Or with Andy Mangels’ continuation of Star Trek: Enterprise.

    On the other hand, SG-1 isn’t actually canon either, as far as the origina movie is concerned. Should there be another theatrical movie, the writers would disregard all the TV stuff that has happened since then. So…

    Conclusion? For TV purists, the books aren’t canon. But it looks like it’s all you’ll get. So, if you are a fan of SGU, I guess you should hope that some author decides to pick up where the writers left off and give you at least somewhat official conclusion.

  • I’ve only read one SG-1 book, and the first SGA Legacy book. Legacy aside it had the feel of anime filler. Great for character development/backstory but at the end nothing happened. We won’t be seeing any conclusion for sometime to come, but if/when the franchise is rebooted they need to do it in the future so they don’t have to forget everything that happened in the previous series, but it’s in the future so you know things have changed. The Furlings are longer in hiding :)

  • Why are we surprised? They just freakin announced that not only SGU but the FRANCHISE is ending! So nobody cares to watch live because they know it won’t matter, and even before that announcement it didn’t.

    That being said, the lead-in or lead-out or whatever has NOTHING to do with ratings. Seriously, why would somebody who wants to watch a show about vampires, ghosts and werewolves want to watch a dark, character-driven space drama? They have NOTHING in common. I’ve never understood this obsession with lead-ins and lead-outs. I like a show, I watch it, and I’m done, and I think most sci-fi fans are the same way, What, do networks think we do nothing but sit around and watch TV all night so we’ll just stick around for whatever’s next because we have nothing else to do? Even Caprica it didn’t make sense to say that one show gained/lost viewers because of the other show.

    The only time in the history of TV I can think of that I was convinced to sit down and watch and entire night of program was the infamous sci-fi Friday when they aired Stargate Atlantis, SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica. And that’s only because they were ALL great shows. Caprica was ok too but I didn’t stick around because it was on too late so I DVR’d it and I was only interested in it because of the BSG connection (same goes with Stargate Universe and the Stargate connection).

    Anyway, its all silly at this point and I’m just tired of it because Nielsenn ratings, lead-ins/lead-outs – don’t make sense. If your show is good, people will watch it either live or through other means, ratings don’t mean anything and neither does what comes before or after. Being Human had absolutely nothing to do with SGU’s ratings while it was on, neither did Caprica, nor did Caprica have anything to do with SGU’s ratings.

  • @Lee

    With the announcement of no further Stargate TV from Brade Wright, that may change from the novels. Until Star Trek Enterprise ended and the Trek franchise went on a similar hiatus (and even now with no new stories coming from the Primeverse) the novels for Trek were the same – great character development, ok stories but nothing special because they couldn’t kill off characters. Now, with it pretty much being a sure thing that we’ll never see these characters on the screen again, the novels are far more bold.


    The post TNG/TOS/DS9/Voy/Ent novels have become much more bold in their stories. Characters actually move forward rather than staying the same, and even some like Janeway are killed off (and Janeway isn’t even killed off in a Voy novel!), other major developments like Picard and Beverly get married, the Borg launch a huge invasion of the alpha quadratn, a new faction is formed in the aftermath to combat the Federation, etc. I’d love to see the Stargate novels do stuff like this that shakes up the universe we know and love and adds new and interesting dynamics to it. That is, as long as the stories are good and interesting and the characters are consistent.

  • Im guessing the time change and lead in series had very little to do with this ratings drop. I watch live every week. Im guessing since they announced that they shelved the whole franchise had a lot more to do with it.

  • I’m more sad about the cancellation of SGU now then I was when it happened a few months ago. I actually like the show now. I still think it lags behind SG-1), but it’s actually a good show.

    It’s all the fault of a bad SGU first season— if it wasn’t for a truly horrific season 1… we might have another long Stargate series run.

  • What I wish they had done was to give SGA a 6th and final season, used it to launch a mini-series of SGU where they could see what worked and what didn’t (given the new direction) and then tweaked it a bit before the actual series started.

  • So.. anyone else notice this episode is exactly like the Deep Space Nine episode “Children of Time?” It annoyed the hell out of me watching it. The fact that this episode is a sequel to that SGU episode that’s exactly like Voyager’s “Deadlock” compounded it. So we’re just getting lazy in the final strecth, eh?

  • I don’t seriously know what people expect. Half the normal Stargate audience simply can’t watch the show the day it’s on, and now Syfy has mothballed the franchise it doesn’t make any difference if there’s not going to be another series. Because the story is being shown in two seasons instead of five, the overall premise of the show has been lost anyway.

    GateWorld, I appreciate that you have this responsibility to report on all things Stargate, but stop revealing the f***ing ratings for the episodes! If Syfy actually cared about it they would change their minds – but they don’t.

  • May I be the first to say FRACK THIS RATINGS!!! You want good ratings, then put SGU on friday’s where stargate has been on for the past decade! Smackdown obviously draws in ratings, so why not have SGU be after Smackdown. Syfy is just trying to make their decision to cancel the show right by puting it against tough competition. Millions of people watch stargate, obviously not at the time their giving it, but at a later time because they have shows that starts on mondays 9/8c for years. You can’t expect people to just drop their usual tv schedule and pick something else up. My God its just like a small privately owned grocery store opens up near a walmart supercenter and expects to get in millions of customers. Blaming syfy is the least of whom we should blame, we should all be pointing fingers at MGM. MGM has no balls to put their foot down and demand a proper schedule. Obviously WWE does, because they got rid of scifi fridays

  • @puddlejumper-1
    I agree, u would think with Stargate supposedly being MGM’s second highest money making franchise behind james bond that they would take more intrest in the future of a show that has brought them a big chunk of their income

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