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Syfy responds to Stargate ratings, time slot changes

Wednesday - May 11, 2011
Category: OPINION | Tags: ,


As Stargate Universe draws to a close this week, many viewers are still wondering just what happened.  Why was a show that has reached its creative zenith, and holding its own (relatively speaking) on a very competitive night of programming, kicked to the curb?

Last week I posted an op-ed piece in which I detailed my own analysis of WWE Smackdown‘s effects on Syfy Channel’s schedule — specifically, the cable network’s ability to continue to offer scripted science fiction drama the time and support that those shows need.  The piece has been getting a good deal of attention, thanks to many like-minded sci-fi fans passing it along. Our friends at TV By the Numbers even wrote about it on Monday, which has generated a great deal of continuing conversation about the network’s scheduling strategies.

Some readers questioned the timing of the publication. After all, Syfy has been airing wrestling since late last year, and SGU has been officially canceled since just before Christmas. We weren’t trying to grab readers the week that SGU is set to go off the air — there’d be no shame in that, but that actually wasn’t the reason we published it when we did. The piece was motivated by Sanctuary‘s startlingly low numbers after its move to Mondays. I drafted the op-ed after those first ratings were announced … then sat on it for a week. The already-renewed show getting fewer viewers than the canceled show? I was prepared to accept that it was a one-time fluke, the result of a change of night for Sanctuary, and potentially even trash the editorial.

So I waited for the second week of Monday ratings to see if Sanctuary would rebound. Instead … it went down. (This week, it went down again.)

Surely, I thought, the gang at Syfy was seeing what the rest of us were seeing. Stargate may have had creative issues, may have suffered seriously in the ratings on Fridays during its first season. (That’s without a 3 million viewer lead-in, remember.) But Sanctuary‘s sustained Monday free-fall proved that the night of the week was critical. After the show lost 40 percent of its audience in the move, SGU‘s drop of 20 percent (from 1.469 to 1.175 million) in its Tuesday move looked pretty good.

Soon after the editorial went up (and sci-fi fans the world over pummeled the network’s Twitter feed and inbox with the link), a network representative offered some words in response via Twitter.

SGU started strong with a 3-part opener, but bled viewers fast.

“I think the real issue is that running on Friday, straight through, one-third of the audience who tried [Stargate Universe] by episode 3 left by episode 7,” Craig Engler, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Syfy Digital, said. “Then we saw a promising recovery in [episodes] 8/9, then a big drop at 10, then another small recovery after hiatus for 11/12.”

Whether or not SGU would have benefited from the post-WWE time slot on Fridays — enough for a renewal — is “hard to say,” Engler said. “By that point I think everyone who was going to sample the show had watched and made up their minds.”

“It’s frustrating because the audience grew from [episodes] 1-3,” he added — “not a lot, but any growth during the first few episodes is usually quite promising. In hindsight, I also think [episodes] 1-3 being somewhat self-contained unintentionally provided an easy break point for sampling viewers.”

Engler is absolutely right that Stargate Universe struggled in the ratings over the course of its first season, when it was airing on Friday nights.  The show had lost 43 percent of its premiere ratings by the mid-season break, and rebounded to 37 percent down by the season finale. Drop-offs from a heavily promoted series premiere are, of course, par for the course.  But as a particularly expensive show, SGU had a tougher case to make for renewal.

I don’t dispute any of this, and I don’t dispute that Stargate may have still been cancelled if it had aired after WWE Smackdown last fall.  Even if it had accomplished Sanctuary‘s numbers of 1.3 to 1.4 million viewers each Friday, SGU might have been cancelled — because it was significantly more expensive than Sanctuary.  Fans may speculate, and Syfy execs may muse over the effectiveness of their strategy.  But the fact that Stargate has been out-performing Sanctuary on Monday nights (by as much as 35 percent, this week) is telling.

Again: It’s not only the show itself, but the night of the week it is broadcast.

When challenged about Sanctuary‘s drop when Syfy moved it off of Friday night, Engler suggested that “[it is] too soon to say about Mondays. [The] change is still quite recent. We’ll see how it does.”

But he did agree that “night of the week and lead-in always matter. TV is a complex beast … hundreds of factors impact shows also, not just the obvious.  The issues SGU had retaining viewers were on Friday nights well before wrestling.”

Did Syfy already have SGU's head stone picked out when ''Intervention'' opened up Season Two on Tuesdays?

Engler also intimated that he might write a blog post to respond in greater detail. If he does, I hope he’ll address whether or not Syfy had already largely written off Stargate Universe because of its first season ratings performance. (The Season Two pick-up, it turns out, was a contractual requirement stemming from an original, 40-episode deal.)  His statements about the ratings losses in the fall of 2009 seem to point in this direction.  Syfy certainly hoped that Tuesdays would help stop SGU‘s viewer erosion — but remember, the network had never before tried airing an original, scripted drama on Tuesday nights in the fall season.

What I tried to stress in last week’s article is not so much a case for SGU‘s renewal (that ship has sailed) as a case for giving the Friday night time slots back to scripted drama. (WWE viewers have noted for us in the past few days that, unlike WWE‘s live programs, Smackdown tapes earlier in the week, and originally ran on Thursdays for several years.) I’m not making the case to bring back SGU (… which would be awesome); rather I fear for the safety of quality, scripted science fiction.  Friday is simply a stronger performer for the genre that doesn’t get a lot of respect from the average viewer of police procedurals and medical shows — something that other networks (especially FOX) know well. Now, the summertime is one thing — but to force scripted dramas to go up against network programming during the fall and spring, on nights when the networks are at their strongest, is to handicap those shows.

This should be undisputed.  The question, then, is how to judge those handicapped shows when the ratings data starts to pour in.

As I said last week: If Syfy had renewed one of those struggling shows, it would have demonstrated that they are adjusting their ratings expectations accordingly.

It’s true that Syfy is building a successful Monday night of original dramas, starting with Being Human (renewed for Season Two) and the sure-hit block of Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Alphas starting in July.  I expect they will try to keep that momentum going on Mondays when the more challenging fall season arrives.  But when their fall dramas run into ratings trouble against the likes of Dancing With the Stars and Castle, will Syfy acknowledge that 1 million viewers is realistic (especially for a show like Sanctuary, which will be in its fourth season) — or will it cancel those shows for “under-performing” on a difficult night?

Ratings expectations must be lowered if Syfy is going to keep its dramas off Friday nights.

In other words: Stargate aside, Syfy must recognize that genre shows do better on Friday night — especially when they are serious character dramas with a demanding mythology and story arc.  If Syfy’s programming strategists are not willing to give Fridays back to drama, they must anticipate significantly lower ratings elsewhere in the week — and be prepared to renew those shows in spite of it.

However one might spin the numbers (and, as someone who loves the show, I’m certainly guilty of putting SGU in a positive light), what is clear from the swell of support that last week’s editorial received is that Syfy has an image problem on its hands.  The network has succeeded in broadening its appeal through rebranding, airing wrestling, and developing scripted dramas that are more accessible to casual viewers than traditional science fiction fare — whimsical procedurals rather than, for example, the arc-based “space opera.”  But that change of image comes at a cost.

Other than BSG: Blood & Chrome, which has not yet been granted a full series order, Syfy has announced no such “traditional” science fiction shows on its development slate.  Perhaps the closest would be Sherwood, produced by the team behind Sanctuary and described as a sort of Robin Hood meets Firefly.  So far that one is just an idea, however, and hasn’t been given the go-ahead to cast and film a pilot.

We’ll continue to watch Syfy’s creative development and programming strategy in the months to come.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 (101):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • A response? I didn’t expect that. I’ll start reading now :)

  • Well said, Darren! I think all networks, not just Sci-Fi (sorry, “SyFy!”), need to start realising that they can’t realistically expect to get the viewer figures they got perhaps 10 years ago. New technology, such as TeVo means that people want to watch these shows later rather than when they air, and so they should expect that 1 million live viewers is all they’re gonna get.

  • A response, while may be all well and good, doesn’t bring Stargate Universe back and isn’t going to save the franchise.

  • Well, the response is a start at least. At least Syfy recognizes it has a problem. I hope this eventually leads to a renewal of SGU, since it was becoming a really good show in the second half of the second season. Hopefully, the timeline for traversing the intergalactic void on the Destiny will be the maximum time we will have to wait for the show to “wake up” along with Destiny’s crew (a little sooner won’t hurt, and hopefully Eli found a way to save himself).

  • Sanctuary is getteng not that good with the Story in that Season so I would not blame it on Wrestling.. but hey if you still think SGU was that good….

  • Tevo isn’t really new technology at this point and the habit of viewing shows later, rather than as they are airing, is hardly a new trend. Anyone else remember the VCR+ codes? I remember how excited I got about them, because it made setting my recording schedule so much easier.

    We may have traded the VHS for a hard drive, but the habit itself is something we got started doing in the 90s. I still have tapes somewhere with DS9, B5, and X-File episodes I didn’t watch when they aired.

  • Ever since the glory days of SciFi Fridays, the station has been having trouble with space based scifi. The decision to prematurely cancel Atlantis and completely replace it with SGU was a big mistake. They should have found a way to run them together and again create a block of sci-fi that people wanted to see.

    And if all they are going to ever get is 1 million viewers (which I don’t believe, BTW) you will need to resign yourself to much cheaper-to-produce shows than SGU or SGA, in order to make it worthwhile the network. You will never get the likes of Carlyle again in a show that inexpensive.

  • What Shows are actually real SciFi?

    I miss Shows like Star Trek
    Space above and beyond
    Farscape and so on

    that Drama crap is no SciFi its drama with 5 Min Scifitalk
    or that Vampire ..

  • And please note what Craig is saying, SGU was NOT getting enough viewers on Friday to warrant renewal. They moved it to a different night to try to save it. It didn’t work, but they tried.

    Whether SGU would have bounced back up to over 1.6 million viewers they would have needed to keep it going with the lead in of WWE is the question, I guess. I seriously doubt it, but I suppose it will never be known for sure.

  • Nothing will bring Stargate Universe back. Nothing. I’m stunned and very amused that people STILL think it is possible.

  • I’m from the UK, so I am not quite sure about the overall impact of services such as On Demand/Catch-up tv or items such as TiVo have in the US. After all, for good Sci-fi (or at least the hope of good Sci-fi) we have to turn to the television channels in the US and hope that they will renew them. However, if it is anything like in Britain, a huge majority of people are not concerned about watching programmes at the time they are on live, rather at a time which is convenient to them.

    I completely agree with Gate_Fan that the channels like SyFy can’t expect that they will be able to capture the same viewing figures they did ten years ago. Whilst they may be adapting their viewing schedule, I believe that more needs to be done by them to adapt the way they show programmes, and thus, the way they can advertise. After all it is the advertising revenue that pays for the shows!

    I think it is unrealistic expectation of the tv companies to expect people to sit down to watch their programmes at the time they want, unless it is a big sporting occasion or a competition style programme. Neither should they expect people to. Instead the companies should be thinking of ways to get their programmes onto a format, which will be watched by the most people. I believe SyFy already has a rewind service, but I don’t know how advertising works for that.

    If the networks were able to generate more money from their On Demand services, perhaps more sci-fi programmes could be shown and current series renewed. One example from the UK, from the BBC where ratings are obviously not a problem in terms of getting money (no adverts) was a recent adventure in to science fiction with a new programme called Outcasts. Whilst the numbers weren’t amazing on tv, there were phenomenally large numbers watching on iPlayer, the BBC’s on demand service. Yet when the decision for renewal was made, it was made based on the tv figures alone.

    Whatever, I have really grown to love this version of stargate and so will miss not having any (new) stargate to watch in the next few years.

  • There is Supernatural Saturday of BBC America…looks like a fantastic line up…as far as SyFy channel, I have written them off, I could easily watch the B class shows of Dino croc and snake heads on Chiller..

  • Good article(s) about the challenges of where to place shows and ratings. That aside my biggest gripe about SyFy’s decision to cancel SGU has less with the decision and more about cutting it at the knees without a proper ending. It’s a bit of an insult to do that. I understand that somebody has to bankroll this stuff and it’s not free, but a properly marketed 2 hour TV movie that wraps up SGU, SGA and SG would at least make me feel satisfied. Instead it’s like somebody gave me a cool novel to read and then half way through at a chapter break ripps it out of my hands, burns it in front of me and then says “Sorry bud, no more story for you!)

  • I seriously don’t know how they can even write off not only a series but an actually franchise due to the first seasons ratings?

    They knew it was completely different, they knew it would be more indepth, more character based, slower! They know and so does everyone else that a new style would take at least 2 season to pick up.. They also knew that if it was cancelled then the ratings (which are so out of date its untrue) would drop..

    It’s a lame reply in my opinion, nothing concrete to say to that SG:U was going to fail.. Even now the people who used to slate SG:U have changed their opinions..

    They should of just left the season on during the autumn, same day and it would of been amazing, but no, they screwed it over.. Its their error and they have ruined it!

    Screw Sanctuary, it’s garbage compared to SG:U (Sorry Amanda), SG:U is now one of the all time greats and they wouldn’t even give it a chance!

    SyFail

  • The fact they felt the need to respond to the article shows that someone at Syfy, may be there new bosses are questioning SYFY decision making, it certainly rare to get a direct response from an exec from a firm the size of Syfy. I

    The fact that 4 out of five shows aired on Monday or Tuesaday have all failed to established an audience there, with only Being Human succeeding to any great extent, that probably riding on the twilight wave than anything else.

    Even there reality TV Urban legions failed to established an audience on that night but it seem they cared more about that programme than there scripted shows as they move the show to there most successful night, Fridays to support it, where it goes on to get Sanctuary numbers. This to me shows they simply do not care about scripted shows anymore.

    Syfy tried to rebrand the channel to gain more viewers, but it made the classic mistake driving of its current audience and customers off. An attracted a new audience that only watch one show on the network.

    I suspect in the next year or two Syfy will undergo another re-branding exercise that will undo most of the current changes.

  • “”””When challenged about Sanctuary‘s drop when Syfy moved it off of Friday night, Engler suggested that “[it is] too soon to say about Mondays. [The] change is still quite recent. We’ll see how it does.””” Thats a complete cop out by the time they’ve waited and saw the show will be cancelled and all the viewers will have deserted the show. like SGU!

  • Darren – I just read this in your article:

    “(The Season Two pick-up, it turns out, was a contractual requirement stemming from an original, 40-episode deal.)”

    I’m curious as to where you got this information from as Joe Mallozzi stated on his blog recently that this wasn’t the case and that if the ratings for season 2 hadn’t been sufficient that SGU wouldn’t have been picked up for a second season. That was in response to a tweet from Engler about season 2 being a forgone conclusion. Which is corret, I wonder?

  • Sorry, I mis-typed, I meant the ratings for season 1 !!!!!!!

  • @lin21 Joe Mallozzi blogged this 2 days ago: “The second season pick-up of Stargate: Universe was a foregone conclusion once we hit the rating average required for the second year component of the deal to kick in.”

    And Craig has responded to this article on twitter by saying:

    “To not misrepresent what happened @gateworld, I was not responding to any perceived gauntlet, simply answering questions asked of me. ”

    “I think a title without hyperbole would be, @GateWorld asked some questions on Twitter and I answered them. Less dramatic but accurate.”

    Darren, are you trying to get Syfy mad at you?!

  • Syfy is going down , the shows on the staion are not that good anymore even Sanctuary is getting more Hookie just like Eureka and WH13. I hope there is another tv station out there that is playing old episodes of Stargat and all the Star trek series. and even the original Battlestar galactica it was good for its time and the new one rocked. Once sanctuary is done on scifi My wife and I will be done with this aweful Station.

  • With the demise of old MTV and VH-1 which actually once aired music videos pretty much all the time but is now all pseudo-reality TV junk, a new network COOL TV( a broadcast network that was created featuring all music video all the time).

    Hopefully someone will create a new SciFi/SyFy network to do what this network is all but abandoning – call it SF TV (tag lines: No WRESTLING Here and No Pseudo Reality Show Crap Here and No ultra low budget crap movies like THOR THE ALMIGHTY).

  • I think the thing that annoys me the most is that when it comes to renewing a show or seeing how well it does it shouldn’t depend on live ratings as many of you have said you can just record it because lets face it not everyone is going to have the time people have to work during the week im sure a large portion of people would be in that boat thats why friday works so well because the majority of people dont have to work the following day.

    There are alot of people these days that will download a show on the internet certainly for fans from other countries this might be an option if they cant watch it. I know here in Australia where i live on free to air tv they have only just shown the 18th episode of the 1st season of SGU and cable is only 2 or 3 episodes in front of that. But i also think television audiences in other countries like Canada and the UK should contribute to that number it shouldnt be just reliant on a US audience if syfy is the main distributor surely aside from mgm then surely theyd make alot of money off giving the program to those networks such as Space and Sky i think its on in the UK.

    This should be all tallied up and contribute to whether or not a series is renewed its global viewership is important.But i guess the US company doesnt understand that.

    On another note i loved this show it was amazing and it was sci-fi unlike Sanctuary its more fantasy not knocking it in anyway just IMO SGU is better.

  • SGU is currently the best show on SyFy. Yes, season 1 was rough, but the execs at SyFy need to realize how much better the show has gotten. Plus, we routinely DVR the show, with kids to put to bed (etc), we often can’t watch the show live and they need to realize that their 30-40 year old demographic (like myself) may be recording the show and watching it later.

  • The viewing problems all scifi shows are having is simply that the demographics of these shows are the people who use digital media/computers the most. Our demographic simply is not suited to sit and wait infront of the tv at a set time and many dont want to. Just look at any download site and SGU is among the top (if not the one at the top) of shows downloaded! That should tell you much more than TV viewers.

    I have always liked scifi shows, but I have been mocked by my older brother (who thought the shows where geeky) or had trouble when my parents wanted to watch something else. So I never watch them on tv if I am not alone. I watch them on my computer when I want and in privacy. I suspect there are many who feel the same way, especially in our demographic.

    To monetize scifi shows well they need to:
    Air them online BEFORE it airs on tv. A show like this with many dedicated fans will gladly pay extra to watch it before everybody else.

    There is huge money to be made, the people in charge just need to get their head out of the old “nielsen-world” and into the new where all of their customers are waiting.

  • SGU managed to rid itself of most of the weak points of the first season (except the communication stones, though I think they became less reliant on them in season 2 as a device for stirring controversy). Unfortunately, a serial like SGU has a lot of trouble picking people up midstream (that’s the same reason I never got into BSG).

  • I don`t understand why MGM don`t tell anything???
    Their SG site is empty of new news ?
    They post only HD pictures and others sh****!

    @ace_love >>> SyFail very funny :X

  • Gasp! A falling out between thieves? Now that there’s no “Gate” for Gateworld and other “Gate”sites to talk about, Is that the reason why Gauntlets are thrown down, Duels are proclaimed with pistols at dawn? I don’t remember such proclamations when Atlantis was cancelled? Engler did not reply with @gateworld on twitter when he replied, did he? So the Gauntlet which was thrown down, is probably still lying on the ground, where it fell.

  • I’m not sure why you are keeping up this vendetta against Syfy. SGU was aired on Friday nights for a full year and the ratings kept dropping. If Friday night was the holy grail for new scripted programmes why didn’t SGU perform better than it did. You expected Syfy to keep airing it on Fridays in the hope that the ratings MAY have improved. You have already stated that you are aware that it was an expensive show and that certain figures were probably expected for it to remain a profitable and viable option.
    It clearly wasn’t living up to its expectations and you still blame the channel for this. Maybe you should put some of that blame on the creaters of the show. They they made a show that just didn’t appeal to a whole lot of people. As I’ve said before SGA was cancelled to increase the audience and to bring Stargate to the mainstream audience. SGU after its first season on FRIDAY nights couldn’t even achieve the ratings that SGA achieved in its 5th season. Why should Syfy continue to sit back and do nothing about this in the vain hope that more might watch. This is what you are advocating. They should have kept it on Friday and it would have survived?? The ratings speak for themselves, episode 19 achieved 1.178 and episode 20 1.469 and you feel that Syfy should have left SGU on friday nights with these terrible ratings, why? What kind of business sense would that have made. Why would Syfy have been happy with lower ratings for a show that was costing them more money than SGA.

    What was the purpose of cancelling SGA for its replacment to fair worse and to cost more. There are shows that air on Syfy and achieve much better ratings than SGU. They faired better because they were more popular. WH13 achieved over a million more viewers when it was aired in the very same Tuesday night slot as SGU. How do you account for that. Ratings may vary on different nights of the week but if a show is well received it will find an audience. I’m sure Syfy have its own expectations for Santuary and the loss in ratings may be acceptable to them because of its lower lost. SGU was already losing its viewers in the Friday prime time slot, so Syfy cannot be held responsible for that. They made changes to try and save the show but yet you continue to lay blame at their feet on the basis that the ratings MAY have improved if it had stayed on Friday night.
    But as mentioned several times now, the show didnt changes time or day in other countrys and the ratings did not improve, They continued to plummet. Thats because the main issues were with the show itself and not the channel or the day it was aired or the time slot.

  • Everyone keeps trying to compare Eureka and Warehouse13 to SGU. You can’t do that. Those 2 shows are first run episodes during the summer season. Most (actually all) networks shows are in repeats during that timeframe. Viewers who want to watch something other than repeats, would be tuning into shows like Eureka and W13. SGU was running opposite the high rated first run shows (NCIS on Tues and House on Mon). It’s like comparing apples and oranges. To have that kind of competition, you can’t expect high ‘live viewing’ numbers.

  • I admit,i did not like the direction season 1 was going. The fact of the matter is that season 2 the writers seemed to have listened to all the neg feedback .
    Season 2 was a great improvement and i really enjoyed it while still fuming about SGA. If a season 3 would have happened and was written as good as season 2 it would have had a great rebound.
    If syfy is going to mess with the air days & times they should be more patient.It really should have been given time to mature. Also that mid season break was a grave mistake. SGU should have been on the summer schedule and no mid season break, it worked with other shows on fridays before.

  • Another tweet from Craig Engler, re the article:
    “@MatPease Unfortunately distortions like that make it difficult for me to continue to try and answer fan questions.”

    (this was in response to @MattPease’s tweet “@Syfy i didn’t see a distortion? they asked question, you answered them, they posted them on their site. the title is just a eye grabber “)

  • Actually that response from MatPease was in response to Syfy’s tweet.

    Mat’s original tweet, to which @Syfy responded to was:

    “@Syfy come on! let @GateWorld have their moment! online media is all about hypebole!”

    Sorry

  • if Blood and Chrome does really well then that would make Darren’s argument void, right?

  • “Then we saw a promising recovery in [episodes] 8/9, then a big drop at 10, then another small recovery after HIATUS for 11/12.”

    Why is Syfy still crippling these shows with a”mid-season break”? They have always done this with Stargate, it was not as bad with SG-1 and Atlantis. Because they were more start a mission, wrap it up by the end of the show type series. But it was really bad with Battlestar Galactica and SGU. These show have individual episodes, but still very connected over-arching story, and hard to pick up and watch an episode here and there. Just air one season all the way through then put something else on til the next season.

  • @blackhawlk | May 11 @ 1:48 pm
    I agree with you 100% finally someone will see the light.

  • I think television network in general and production studio really need to continue working on finding better way to improve the financing of their shows.

    There’s not doubt in my mind that a show like SGU will down the road be seen like Star Trek was perceived in the 60s : a show that got cancelled way too early. With reruns alone SyFy would probably earn a lot more money by show in the next decade with SGU than they probably will with a single night of WWE smackdown.

    But I also don’t think that putting all the blame on SyFy is the right thing to do. Yes, they cancelled the show but MGM is the studio with the final word on what they want to do next with the franchise and from what I’ve read, not much as been done on their side to try to keep the show alive, even through a possible one time movie. Regardless of the deadline they give to the production crew to come up with something to fit into their budget, a profitable idea remains profitable.

    Down the road, I think sadly that MGM just didn’t believe that Stargate was as profitable a franchise as it could be for the time being and that putting new money into the show wouldn’t turn as much profit as putting money elsewhere :(

  • Sorry i’m new at this comment thing but,
    it seems to me that as a global network syfy aren’t actually taking all the viewers of stargate into account before axing a perfectly good program. As someone who lives in the UK and gets SGU way after the US does it’s annoying to find that such a cool channel would cancel a very popular show. Also, i think that Syfy may start to push people away if there isn’t at least a conclusion to the SGU story ‘Gauntlet’. A reluctance to finish stories and programs may be a sign that if a show is to be cancelled half way through storytelling them what’s the point of watching the channel??? (just a few thoughts)

  • @Sylvia | May 11 @ 2:09 pm

    Ha! Craig Engler’s statement right there is a bold faced lie. The reason he doesn’t answer questions as often anymore is because @SyFy loses Twitter followers by the boat loads every time he does his little Q&A sessions, doesn’t matter what topic they’re about. He actually tweeted that little fact like a week or so ago, not long after the Q&A session with Darrel.

    I’m so glad SyFail doesn’t worry about its “image” as much as it struggles to bring us good, quality science fiction!

  • (insert plenty of sarcasm in that last statement)

  • The thing that i do not get that WWE is a sport and watching WWE i have noe seen on Space ship or alien so how can WWE be on a SCI’FI Channel. SGC was a differnent to other SCI’FI shows due to the facts that there hending to the end of the Universe and there has not been a show that tells you is there an end for me thats whats good about the show. Plus i think SG1 should come back and end the war with the Lucian allnice and exposes the hole of the world to the Stargate Program

  • The whole system of rating the performance and the deciding factor on renewals in response to nielsen ratings is flawed. Yes many people already know that but its unbelievable how lazy people are to devise a more appropriate modern day analysis tool to replace this system. I am not afraid to say it and mostly everyone already knows there are many other methods of procuring multimedia in this modern age that does not require the use of a television.

    The fact is it is much more convenient and easier for people to just download,stream etc. the content and this is the reason why the rating with the flawed system are “low”. There is a much bigger audience of SGU then what this stupid flawed system can pick up on. Also the fact that the majority of the audience for the stargate franchise and any other scifi show for that matter have the intellect to watch the episodes at their convenience using methods that the nielsen system can’t detect, I believe is the reason for SGU’s downfall and that really is screwed up :(

  • Well cruz on over to Facebook..and check out the Syfy channel page…it is filled with rage..not a lot of happy campers out there

  • Your points are well made in your discussion and,not only do I agree with them, but I’d come to most of the same conclusions. When SciFi was changed to SYFY, it would seem that the change literally did remove scifi from the network, for the most part. Why remove “scifi” from your name if you still were going to make that the main thrust of your programming.
    As for Stargate Universe – it’s superb 2nd season wasn’t really ever appreciated or helped by the SYFY network. And that’s a loss for us and for them as well, as surely they have to know that many series take some time to find their path. The first season of SGU had quality shows, and stories that set the groundwork for what was to come later. It might have been wiser to have held some of that back – but second-guessing isn’t my point. It would have been nice had SYFY had more confidence in the series from the outset and showed that in allowing it to grow at its own rate. I really think that they would have had a super hit by the 3rd season – had they not -thrust its 2nd season onto a first time Tuesday fall situation. TNG didn’t hit its stride really until its 3rd season – but, despite all the great years the SG1 and SGA gave the SciFi network – the same group couldn’t get behind SGU and allow it to find its niche. (I hesitate to mention the cancellations of both SG1 and SGA – each show was ended well before it needed to be. In the case of SG1, even having brought in new members, something which usually doesn’t work, had succeeded – and still, 10 years notwithstanding, SYFY let it go. SGA could easily have continued for two or three years or more. So, perhaps, even before SGU came… Scifi was being banished from the SciFi network).
    Nevertheless, I don’t see that because SGU has at least ended for the time being and perhaps permanently that such means that the Stargate franchise is gone forever. That makes little sense.
    What is gone, for me, though is watching anything on SYFY. I’m changing my subscription to eliminate that channel – I’m tired of endless Realty shows; I find wrestling absurd, how anyone can believe the wrestling dances are genuine is beyond me. And – what’s left, terrible Sat movies that are beyond bad and not even funny. It will be interesting to see whether Eureka at 8, Werehouse at 9 and Alphas at 10- on Mondays will be as successful as Eureka and Werehouse were at 9 on Tuesdays, Summer viewing not withstanding.

  • The whole system is stuck in 1985, but the problem of getting out of that system is all the really complicated licensing agreements that exist between the networks, studios and anybody else involved.

    I’ve been trying to get an idea off the ground for a while but thus far have failed so i’m kinda hoping that one of the big companies somewhere like Google eventually give it a try. I know people technical enough to do this (me included) but the risk of ending up in a lot of trouble is just to high if it doesn’t have backing of the studios. Anyway incase anybody with a lot of money is listening this is it, just make sure I get a small cut okay :)

    Basically a system like the Apple TV or Google TV which is a worldwide box with a simple user interface that needs a TV and internet connection.

    Once connected up you can search for any program or film you want from any point in time and just start playing it no monthly fee. The program will stop at pre determined points and show adverts, just like a normal TV channel does now. So a 43 minute show actually takes an hour to watch. None of this advert at the start, just adverts in the breaks as normal.

    The adverts can be targeted to your location (so this works anywhere in the world opening up to new viewers) and the adverts work just like Google adwords. Anybody can create an ad, get it approved and then pay for each time it’s shown. These can be spliced into old programs or new programs and will always be the latest active adverts, your box just downloads them and sticks them in the gaps.

    The advertisers obviously pay on a ppv basis and an ad will cost more to air in popular shows and current episodes (NCIS for example) but less if somebody watches say Red Dwarf. You could tailor the ad to the type of program and obviously location, which would be good for allowing small local business to say run adverts for their bike shop in a bike program in their local town, bringing potentially more advertising revenue into the eco-system.

    The income from the advertising would then be split between the people running the system, and the studios/producers/etc.

    A program would need to fit into a traditional timeframe for it to work and as such you’d be looking at a 30 or 60 minute watch time. The beauty of this is that a studio would know how many people watched it and could easily figure out if a show was making money or not direct from their advertising revenue. You could still launch a show in traditional slots and pay for advertising in other people’s show to get a better lead in.

    However as I said existing licensing is far too complicated and as such no mater how many people I talk to, this is going nowhere fast.

  • Sylvia – thanks for the clarification. :)

    My feeling is this: quality is subjective and
    quite honestly is thus irrelevant when considering renewals just for that very reason. Every fan who loves a show thinks it’s great and doesn’t want it to be canceled; they feel that show is of a good quality.

    What seems to count is viewers watching programmes live – watching those commercials, and all US tv shows are judged in the same way, by the same standards. Love it, hate it, Nielsen is what counts. How the tv channels use those figures and what they need from the advertising revenue is something that’s unique to each channel and show, I’d guess. Expensive shows need to garner enough viewers to watch the ads and justify the costs of the shows much more than cheaper shows, obviously.

    SGU on Friday’s didn’t get what was needed. It was given another chance and moved to a different day for its second season. That didn’t work and it seems the show lost more viewers. Would it have lost them anyway, if the day had stayed the same? We’ll never know. Would it have changed things if it had a different lead-in? We’ll never know. Would the show have been more successful initially if the type of episode shown in season 2 had been in the opening season? Again, we’ll never know. We can only hypothesize.

    I know this. It’s doesn’t matter if I loved or hated SGU. What mattered was that, for whatever reasons, not enough people stood by SGU in its first season for it to have sufficient viewers for it to keep its Friday spot on SyFy. After that? The rest is history, as they say.

    I think SyFy did give SGU a fair go. But, sometimes you have to cut your losses, as unfair as that seems to disappointed and loyal fans.

  • Monday night shows in general haven’t fared well this year. Fox just cancelled a slew of shows, including Chicago Code, their brand new show that was airing on Monday nights right after House (which did get renewed – THANK GOD!) the same timeslot that DwtS is in… House stays ok in that slot only because it is specifically made for the people who think DwtS is stupid.

  • Darren

    @Sylvia: No, I’m not trying to get Syfy mad. :) Just using the platform that this site gives me to make my concerns about their programming strategy heard. So far, it seems like a lot of other fans feel the same way.

    Despite the provocative headline (hey, “Move wrestling off Friday” was a challenge, and a network rep did respond), I’m not trying to pick a fight with the network. And I’m in no way advocating any sort of anti-Syfy campaign. They have to put up with a lot of angry viewers, especially around cancellation season. The constant barrage of shouting is probably easy for them to ignore, honestly. What I hope I’m doing is providing a voice that is calm and reasoned — not angry, but raising legitimate concerns about the impact of these decisions on the overall genre.

  • Well said Darren, i don’t believe they have given the genre the best time slot to help it keep the live viewer base that it needs to servive, but i do believe that the issue is that the US is not the only country that enjoys Science fiction, I live in Australia, and i feel like we have been delt a crap card because i know a heap of people who enjoy this show and watch it every week, because it plays on a friday night at 8pm. but our views dont count for anything. I think that Syfy in the US should take a note out of Sci fi Aus’s book. They know what they are doing.

  • supersonicsjm

    I think MGM should do and experiment once and for all to see if the night of the week would have made a difference to the ratings. One way they could do this is commission a 3rd series of Universe straight to DVD/Blu-ray and see what the sales for that are like and the reviews. If they’re considerably better than predictions based on the viewer ratings the previous series received when they were airing on Syfy, then they could commission another series direct to DVD/Blu-ray, or potentially another series to air on TV.

  • I love SGU. But SyFy was right to both cancel it and change its time. The show just wasn’t holding up in the Friday ratings, and something had to be done.

    However, the root of the problem is deeper. It’s not what SyFy did and what it did not do. The problem was the very fact that the show was pitched to SyFy and not to another network/channel. SyFy already had a very specific kind of Stargate viewers, a kind that was not willing to change their habits regarding show structure and plot.

    I blame the SGU producers for pitching the show to SyFy in the first place. I don’t blame SyFy for what it did later (they had to do something), or the existing Stargate viewers (ok, just a little).

  • @ Darren
    But you haven’t put any blame on the producers of sgu aka brad wright, Joe Mallozi. Brad Wrights arrogance with is quotes(i can dig them up) also alienated viewers. Him attacking the show V. Anywho your post did not put any of the blame on them. Thats going to not only make your post tunnel visioned but biased. And that won’t get to them.

  • I was scanning through the posts and noticed the mention of Syfy not having an on-demand service – I literally facepalmed

    These services have proven to be very successful here in the UK; enough to gain additional figures to make shows like SGU attractive when underperforming on linear TV (as long as you establish a successful on-demand service.)
    Have these services not caught on yet in America, or is this a case of incompetence specific to Syfy?

  • Darren

    @Eagalis: As I tried (again) to make explicit, my beef here isn’t about the cancellation of SGU. I acknowledged that the show had creative problems and bled viewers over its first 10 episodes, but your comment indicates that you don’t really get the point of this and the previous editorial.

    Perhaps that’s my fault for including talk of SGU at all. As I said above, the impetus for the op-eds was Sanctuary‘s low Monday ratings.

    Here’s a simple question to crystallize the discussion: If Syfy keeps Sanctuary on Mondays when it returns in the fall, and if it continues to average in the 800k viewers, should Syfy cancel it? It was getting something like 70% more viewers in a different time slot. So if Syfy cancels that series at the end of 2011 … will it be because of the show?

  • You know what annoys me more? Certain people on here who purely want to rub it in and troll! Always chiming on about Atlantis, picking silly arguments and dropping snide comments

  • Darren its useless even responding, its not your fault that they are still sour over Atlantis! They are picking at thinks just for the sake of it.

    I’ve only started to post on here recently, i’ve been reading this site for years and can spot the trolls from a mile away.. You’re explaining things that will only land on deaf ears.

  • There were some pretty serious creative problems in the first season, but they seem to have really made a serious comeback. I’d call SGU1 the worst season of Stargate by a mile, but SGU2 one of the best.

    But it’s all really unfortunate. I suspect that the problems early on play a significant part in just plain killing the thing. The way they used the stones so much was just weird, made it the sort of show you’d be embarrassed to watch, and oh my god every episode with Chloe. It wasn’t about being different, it was artistically bad; there was a distinct habit of confusing emotional content with what amounts to symbols for emotional content, the drama equivalent of showing a man slipping on a banana peel as an actual joke.

    But it did turn around to be simply grand on many levels.

    It’s very unfortunate that it was too late and all the production staff dispersed by the time we saw that, and that the SyFy people didn’t consider it in those terms, but I’d be happy if they’d just write a book wrapping it up. I understand though if the creative folks would be happier moving on.

  • This season really picked up. First season was so so. I feel like the show was finally picking up steam. Did anyone notice that it said we were watching the season finale not the series finale? Was that a slip up on syfy? I hope so.

  • Now that SGU is over I am not watching anymore shows on scifi. Unless by some miracle the have a friday night line up of Battlestar Galactica:Blood and Chrome, Farscape the next generation with Crichton and 18 yr old son and finally, Stargate Universe with characters from all 3 shows. Now that would bring the fans back!

  • Sounds like SGU’s rating were bad whatever day it was showing. And blaming TIVO for the poor live ratings is ridiculous. Things have not changed THAT much since SGA (and even SG1) were airing and their ratings were better than SGU’s. Also as Stryse pointed out earlier there have been VHS tapes to record shows to watch at a more convenient time since the 90’s. Why can’t people accept that SGU’s ratings are poor because people are not interested. Stargate fans are not interested. Just been watching the latest episodes here in the UK and I can’t remember even seeing the Stargate recently. It’s not Stargate anymore. SGA should have had more seasons to tie up its story lines (and the ratings would probably have been better). SGU’s ratings are the worst Stargate has ever had and it’s not surprising it was cancelled although I feel bad for the SGU fans for losing their show and not getting a proper ending. As for other shows such as Sanctuary getting poor ratings it’s for the same reasons as SGU. I love Amanda Tapping and think she is great but Sanctuary just doesn’t interest me so I don’t watch it. They are scifi which doesn’t appeal to me. What really appeals to me is SG1/SGA and BSG. Now they were awesome scifi shows.

  • Here’s an idea, what if SyFy ordered some Stargate movies for their Saturday night movies instead of the usual drivel they show??? I bet they would get even BETTER ratings if they did AND it would be a way to show Stargate fans that “yes, we still care about you, so here’s a bone we’re throwing at you”

  • SGA was cancelled with an average of 1.6 million viewers in season 5. Season 1.5 of SGU only got 1.4 million viewers and that was on Friday! SGU was the replacement of SGA and it was expected, that it would get much better ratings as a new series. It didn’t.

  • You know, one thing that no one (that I can remember) has mentioned are the crazy long haituses that SyFy always has. They start with 8-12 episodes and then take it off the air for 6 months. If they completed the season and then there was a break, more people would be looking for the show when it comes back on. When you move around the schedule, the dates in which is returns, you screw with the viewer ship. Most of the shows I watch that are successful, at the end of season, tell you when to expect it to come back on.. Syfy? Nope.

  • @psw you can’t compare the rating between a show that was running for 5 years, based on a 10 season main show, with that of a brand new concept that was technically only given a season before being axed..

    Most of season 2 wouldnt of even been watched due to the cancellation.. If it would of had a season 3 then it’d be a whole different story

  • I have to honestly put a lot of the blame in the antiquated Neilsen TV ratings system that works very well with technologically impaired viewers that watch “Dancing with the stars” but dont take into account the “SGU” viewers who record the show on there DVRs or download the show on the internet. Another point is, Air Date/Time matters! Family Guy did not become a hit until Fox dropped it due to low ratings, then Cartoon Network took it over & aired it on Adult Swim. What did bad on one network due to time slot became a Hit on another Network with a diff time slot! Last point. Sometimes, it takes 2 or 4 seasons before a show finds its legs. to cut SGU so soon just as it was getting better reminds me of the fools at Fox. One last thing. to the fools at the SyFy channel, Just change your name to the Ghost Channel, since that is pretty much what you air these days.

  • I think some people are incorrect in their facts.

    1) SGU was NOT a replacement of SGA. It is a totally different series

    2) I don’t remember ever reading that it was expected that SGU would get SGA-like ratings, they’re two completely different shows.

  • “(The Season Two pick-up, it turns out, was a contractual requirement stemming from an original, 40-episode deal.)”

    That bothers me because it means that if the producers had wanted to they could have turned it into a 40 episode maxi series with a beginning, middle, and end.

  • I never got into the whole cell phone thing, and I probably never will. I viably can make a few texts a day, I can call for a few minutes a day. I’m more computer-centered, and I can’t even be on that all day. If the relationship is dependent on being glued to a communication device full-time, we’ll just both be frustrated.

    So you should message me if you’re not going to be badgering me on the phone at all hours.

    Syfy is a business, and they’re out to make money. Since Syfy isn’t subscription based like, say, HBO is, they have to make all of their money from advertisers. Advertisers want to reach as many people as possible, so the Nielsen rating system was devised to figure out how many people any given program is reaching, and by extension how many people an advertisement is reaching, so the advertiser can determine if the money they’re giving Syfy is worth their while.

    If you watch a show live, you don’t get to skip commercials. However, people who watched SGU on their DVR almost as a rule skip the commercials. So why should Syfy pay any attention to the live+7 viewership?

    If Syfy can’t supply the viewers, then their advertisers will no longer do business with them. Which is why networks drop unpopular shows.

    Same for viewing online. If you downloaded it from iTunes, the money went straight into MGM’s pocket, and Syfy didn’t see a cent. Hulu ads are questionable in effectiveness (plus SGU episodes were getting delayed by weeks on Hulu), and if you downloaded it on bittorrent, well, advertisers don’t like that either.

    The world might be changing, but the television industry has yet to figure out a way to catch up with the world.

  • Spiral Galaxy

    WHY ARE THEY NOT LOOKING AT HOW MANY PEOPLE RECORD THE SHOW ON DVR!?!? It’s a 24 hour world and people have lots to do….I hardly watch any show when it actually airs as I work evening shifts. DVR is how I watch everything!! If 1 million people watched the show when it aired and another 500, 000 recorded it, do those not count or what? If not, then that would just be a big bowl of wrong!!

  • @ace_love: “you can’t compare the rating between a show that was running for 5 years, based on a 10 season main show, with that of a brand new concept that was technically only given a season before being axed…”

    Yes, you really really can. A new show is always expected to do better than the show it replaced – it’s the reason why it’s replacing the old one, to DO BETTER. Shows usually do best in their first season and then keep dropping, NCIS being the exception to the rule.

    SGU already had 15 years of previous shows, an in-built audience, being a new concept or not, it was a part of a franchise. And by the S1 finale, it dropped below SGA’s S5 average. And that’s BAD, really bad. Read the article, Craig said it clearly that SGU’s audience on Friday didn’t warrant a pick-up.

  • I pritty much have written off SyFy. Since Farscape’s cancelation the channel has gone down hill personaly. I will say 90% of the shows on SyFy channel I can not stand to watch. I dont understand america’s infatuation with Reality TV. Nothing in these shows pertain to my reality, and if they did I would not watch them because I get enuff of my reality thats why I want to watch science fiction. I would like to know what other ways that TV executives use to gage ratings. Amazon and Itunes both have TV shows if you purchase the seasons. Purchase the season and usually a day after original airing you own the episode forever. You can watch the whole Stargate franchise on Netflix. I also dont understand why TV executives dont look at the long term results, unless SyFy does not see any $$ from distribution of media. It makes no sense to me to cancel a program and not give that program an oppertunity for closure. I myself will not purchase a series that has been canceled and not given a chance for closure. Nothing against the series but to me it is like purchasing only half a book.

  • syfy have you forgotten what your name is -_- seriously sgu was getting good and you dropped it bring it back!!!!!

  • @katikatnik –

    What was the first thing that was said about the show? ITS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, ITS DEEPER – SyFy knew exactly what they were getting in to with this.. They knew it wasnt a mini story every ep!

    Just because someting is part of thr franchise doesn’t mean it’ll peak the same interest from their usual demographic, you can tell if you’ll watch something or not via a trailer..

    SG:A was a clone of SG:1 – FACT
    SG:U was not a replacement for SG:A – FACT
    SG:U was aimed at a more grown up demographic – FACT

    ANYTHING that parts away from the original format would need a full 2 season before a commissioning decision – FACT!

    Syfy did not support SG:U after the first season, they didn’t give it a chance at all – SG:A had 5 seasons.. You CANNOT compare the two! – FACT

  • The only people who compare SG:A to SG:U are the ones who are still bitter about it – FACT

  • Whats with the recent title change on this article,Was gateword pressured to change the title?? Is gateworld getting soft on syfy?

  • @Piraxian – Google and Apple would love to do something like that…and would have the feds all over them in a heartbeat if they tried to.

    @3531767 – Gateworld has always been soft on Syfy. You don’t get the kind of access to information that Gateworld gets by antagonizing the source. Darren and the others have to walk a very fine line.

  • Syfy just locked down their Facebook page, I’m assuming because of all the anger over the SGU cancellation.

  • @eversonj90 – I just saw that. They got hell from SGU fans. Their threads on Facebook usually have between 120-200 comments, but the SGU one had 1352 before it got locked! Show them hell.

  • Darren

    Title change was a courtesy to fans who objected to the sensationalism of the original, and to Syfy, who suggested that the Twitter comments were not in fact addressed as a response to my editorial last week.

    So it’s not being “soft” so much as correcting a misperception and dialing down the rhetoric. The content of both editorials, including my challenge regarding wrestling on Friday nights, remains the same.

    For its part, Syfy has also agreed to write a response to Stargate fan complaints over the cancellation decision. We’ll be publishing that later today.

  • If anyone noticed the @SyFY twitter feed also deleted the past two days of comments there leaving only the comments just prior to the airing of Gauntlet.

    Overall, comments where overwhelmingly positive positive about SGU, while clearly letting SyFy know Stargate fans displeasure/outrage. Many of the comments clearly stated that they would not be watchinge SyFy anymore because of this.

    As Darren stated, SyFy clearly has an image problem and in this age of Social media news travels fast and fans are letting it be known, that they are going to punish SyFy for this slight against them regardless of their cancellation rating justification.

    SyFy may be hoping to get past this news cycle (as politicians do), but it seems Starget fans are’nt dropping it.

  • SyFy is throwing out the offer of three SGU press kits if people retweet their message. It sounds that they hoping to drown out the the negative SGU comments.

  • @ darren – Thanks for the clairification on the title change, and all your tireless time devoted to all things stargate.
    However By syfy locking down their facebook pages ,locking topics on their forum shows how pissed and fed up fans are with them and what cowards they are. They cant take the heat .

    If we indeed back off and get soft on them then they will continue business as usual.I dont think Stargate fans that are dissapointed should stop expressing their displeasure.

    Im sure they will (syfy)have every excuse in the book but their own bad decisions resulted in this and frankly they should continue to hear the fans complaints.

    If they dont want to air Stargate then maybe they should give those rights to another network. Im sure someone would pick it up, it happened with SG-1 .

  • 3531767 – When Syfy didn’t pick up a third season of SGU, MGM was free to sell the show to anyone else they wanted. But no one picked it up. Nor were any other channels in the global market willing to pony up the cash to pay for the production costs. Syfy didn’t actually end SGU’s run. MGM owns and produces the show. By not picking up a third season, Syfy did essentially pull the plug since Syfy carried the bulk of the development costs but another network could have picked it up if they wanted. Unfortunately, they did not. It’s easy to blame Syfy but I can’t really blame them for the decision they made. The show’s ratings were pretty bad and it’s an expensive show. Syfy only makes money on their broadcasts with the commercials they sell, the value of which is determined by the ratings. I do wish that SGU had gotten a third season to wrap things up but I also can’t see how they were making money on the show with the ratings so low.

  • The comment regarding the shows fate being decided from the first seasons numbers, highlights a disturbing trend I noticed when SyFy canceled Caprica……

    When SyFy first started getting bigger the success was largely due to their willingness to give shows a chance to re-invent themselves and adapt to what audiences wanted to see. Examples; Sliders(began on Fox, picked up by SyFy in season 4, re-invented itself with new enemies and new characters and found new life)Andromeda (was picked up by syfy after season 3 and ran for 2 more seasons)Stargate SG1 (originally on Showtime picked up by SyFy in season 6 and is one of syfy top rated series) SyFy also took several old ideas and re-invented them, Battle Star Gallactica, Doctor Who, Flash Gordon, The Bionic Woman, Tremors, and The Outer Limits.

    I was shocked when SyFy decided to cancel Caprica. A show with writers and producers with a history of being able to adapt and change. The last 5 episodes of season 2 were phenomenal, and left me wanting more. Now again with Universe. Every reason SyFy and Universe bashers have cited for the shows demise are true, BUT Stargate writers and producers much like their Caprica counterparts, have a history of reinventing themselves and changing to satisfy audiences. The 2nd half of Universe much like the 2nd half of Caprica was awesome.

    Universe ends with very intriguing story lines. Who built the drones, what is Destinys mission, how many human colonies are out ther, how advanced are the colonies, who and what were the season 1 aliens, what happened to the souls trapped in Destiny?

    Bottom line SyFy was founded on re-invention and ability to adapt. Over the last 12 months we have seen SyFy cancel 2 shows with a history of re-invention and adaptation. Both shows were canceled without giving the writers a chance to change, and both shows had final episodes that looked like they would have gone in the right direction if they were given the chance.

  • Hard to believe people are still trying to ascribe the show’s failure to network positioning and not the creative trainwreck that obviously alienated so many Stargate fans.

  • I was able to make the leap to the new Stargate show being a fresh restart. While the show did lack serious creativity in going outside its main plot. Lacked a continued alien influence throughout he series. I mean seriously did they really think the show would be successful without some serious alien plotting. Really aliens they don’t really talk to. Drone ships that want to attack you at every turn. Not even a story about the alien race and how they made these drone ships and how they all died off. This series seriously lacked any kind of background stories other than the humans on the ship that lost their lives because of a twist of fate. We really did not need a survivors lost in space TV series without any real villains. An seriously the last episode left e with a headache and zero closure what so ever. With no commitment for at least a book to close out the story. With Farscape ending in a similar way. I will never again give the SyFy channel my viewing pleasure just to end a series like this. I am not going to waste my time with the channel until they do things much better than this series had to offer. Season three may have answered many of my needs for the series. But you have to be good enough to get there. Just assuming Stargate fans will ingest a new show without be good is wrong. I think the series needs closure. I might have bought the Bluray or DVD set if it had a memorable ending. As it is just a forty chapter book without an ending. I don’t buy incomplete books!!

  • @Darren you’re absoulutely right,getting a point across that it is not only about SGU,but the end of SF on this sinking ship of a network!!

    @mythos Go back to 80’s when your way of thinking was dying out but was still somewhat actual!

    @Sylvia Get some councelling over the loss of SGA and if you want a job at SYFY,please apply there ans stop posting englers tweets over here,we do have twitter.

  • @ ace_love

    It doesn’t matter if the tone of SGU is different to SGA. They cancelled a Friday evening show (SGA) and replaced it with another one (SGU). SGU is at least as expensive as SGA and it was a new series, so it was expected to get better ratings than the old series in the time slot.

    If they would have replaced SGA with an expensive Simpsons like series, than they would have also expected from it, that it would beat SGA’s season 5 ratings easily.

  • Excuses….if it was based on ratings Syfy would have to cancel 95% of its programing. Feels to me like the general discontent and the alienation of the SGU fanbase is getting to Syfy and hurting their network $. The fact is that the entire sci-fi genre is in a crisis and Syfy is the main cause. Stop making excuses for your crazy desicion making and start bringing better shows to that garbage network. The y put SGU againts

  • Time for a new network. SYFY has run it’s course. Simply Boycott it and prove that you can’t screw over your fan base and walk away scott free.

  • Hello everyone,

    I am an hardcore fan since the beginning (the first movie). I have seen every episodes of the different stargate shows at least 2 times each. I am from France, where it is even harder to follow scyfy …

    First, let me say that: SG-1 was HUGE, SG Atlantis was MAGNIFICIENT, … SG.U was B-O-R-I-N-G since the beginning!

    Yes boring, who cares about the rivality between Rush and Young, who cares about the different love affairs, who cares about coffee withdrawal (seriously? Get real!!) who cares about the personnal dramas of everyone in their respective pasts, who cares about the personnal history between Telford and Young?
    N-o-b-o-d-y!!!!

    (Remind yourself of all the dramas in Battlestar Galactica, which was unbearable during the last episodes)

    I think we ALL wanted to get action during planetary exploration, battleships fights in space, encounter with other species (good or evil), problems with the daily maintenance of the ship, … something worth seeing and life threatening!

    Honestly, the last 10 episodes WERE what we were waiting for, since the beginning, in order to be hooked for ever…

    I guess it was too late to invert the trend at this point, but with a little patience, keeping the focus on what the scyfy follower wants to see, on the S3 we might have seen a reversal.

    I hope they have had a valuable lesson from this and that an other stargate avatar will emerge – rather sooner than later.

    Thanks for reading me.

  • Okay, this is too painful to let this ride. I’m looking at the statistics they’ve used to measure the success of this show and wondering what idiot is coming up with them. Why? Because they’re completely misrepresentative of the show’s demographic and don’t in any way, shape or form represent the amount of online licensing SyFy did to get this show on the web.

    Okay, look. Who watches SyFy? Sci-fi geeks. Sci-fi geeks tend to be technology geeks. Technology geeks see no point in paying for cable when they can watch shows on the Internet. Now, if SyFy didn’t want people watching their shows on the Internet they shouldn’t have licensed to Netflix, Amazon, iTunes AND Hulu, NONE OF WHOM ARE LISTED IN THE STATISTICS THEY USED TO DETERMINE THE VIEWERSHIP OF THIS SHOW! I think if they looked at the number of people watching the show via these venues they’d have found they have a much larger viewing audience than they think-and that there’s still money to be made if they stop thinking solely in terms of life with cable and start looking for ways to make money by putting the show (and their advertisers) out on the air.

  • @Jim – Ironically, it was in the 80’s when this same issue was creating buzz because of VCR’s.

    I’m not defending the Nielsen rating system. I just am aware enough to look at the situation rationally. People argue that the numbers must be higher…but there’s no more proof of that then that they’re accurate. Until someone can come up with proof that more than the number of people the ratings feel were watching the show did, then it’s just speculation…just like the Nielsen ratings. These are the rules they have to play by, just like everyone else. Yes, it means you have to pander to a given audience to do well – I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but it is how it is. And again, they knew that going into SGU. If they want to say they made the show they wanted to make and are sorry the ratings didn’t let them finish the story…that’s one thing. But for them to say that it was everyone else’s fault that the ratings weren’t there…yeah, not buying it.

  • All some big blabla and hot air. Engler just cant admit that the way his TV channels determins the viewer numbers are not suitable for our time anymore. Nowadays Online Streams are preferred. We will get to you Engler and belive me the ship of renewing SGU is not Sailes. http://www.facebook.com/SaveSGU. You made a big mistake by treating us fans and the actors like fools. Even me whos a lot on the internet didnt hear about SGU’s cancellation in December 2010. You know why you did this in silence, because who where looking for a reason to destroy the show, because intellectually unchalleging scum TV makes more money than some high quality TV shows with a cost of$5Mio an episode. But you will bring SGU back trust me: http://twitter.com/SaveSGU

  • Hello I am quite late to the cancellation of this show because I have just now heard of the famous Stargate shows and movies and I love them already. My favorite in fact was SGU which in my eyes was the best looking and best plot of all the shows and movies. And even thought the viewers dropped is probaly because of DVR’s and the people watched the later which in my case I used Netflix to watch the whole series in a week. The way that it ended is perfect for a renewal and I really think it could be a great show once again. Thanks for reading!


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