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Stargate Universe finale ratings highest since November

Tuesday - May 10, 2011
Category: RATINGS | Tags: , ,

Stargate Universe headed into the cancellation void with a bit of a bang last night, scoring the show’s highest ratings since “Visitation,” the ninth episode of the season, aired last November.

As fans around the world bid goodbye to the third series and the Stargate franchise (at least on television), an estimated 1.134 million viewers (Live + Same Day) tuned in to the final episode of SGU“Gauntlet” marked a 14 percent improvement over last week’s episode, and scored a 0.5 rating in the Adults 18 to 49 demographic.

We’ll have a wrap-up report on the big picture for the show’s ratings later this week.

The finale wasn’t any help as a lead-in to Sanctuary, unfortunately.  The show followed SGU at 10 p.m. on Monday with just 756,000 viewers estimated for the episode “Wingman” (0.2 demo rating).  This is a 10 percent drop from last week’s episode.  Since the show moved to Mondays last month, it has lost more viewers every week — now at 47 percent down from the last episode to air on a Friday.

On the big networks, Dancing With the Stars dominated with 20.7 million viewers over two hours on ABC (8-10 p.m.). CBS’s sitcom pairing of a repeat of Two and a Half Men and a new Mike & Molly earned 6.5 million and 7.6 million, respectively.  FOX’s The Chicago Code earned 5.7 million, and NBC picked up a little over 5 million with Law & Order: Los Angeles.

On Friday last week, WWE Smackdown turned in another 2.793 million viewer night.  More significant is that 10 p.m. time slot, formerly occupied by Sanctuary.  In its second week on Friday night, new reality series Urban Legends (narrated by Atlantis‘s David Hewlett) earned 1.090 million viewers — down 16 percent from its Friday night debut the previous week.

Stargate may be over (for now), but for the sake of reader interest and keeping tabs on how that scheduling strategy is working for Syfy Channel, we’ll continue to offer abbreviated ratings reports once a week here at GateWorld.  New episodes of Sanctuary continue Mondays at 10/9c.  In July the network will bring back its three summer scripted series — Warehouse 13, Eureka, and Haven — and also premiere Alphas, a new show we’re looking forward to checking out.

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 (50):Rules | Report Comment | Trackback

  • I would really like to see those continued ratings reports for any shows that replace SGU on the schedule (it be nice to see the same for Caprica) to have an expanding record of how it is the nights in question that are killing shows and not their quality.

  • This is proof that the audience is there and that Nielsenn is just not telling the whole story. At this point I’m so fraking sick of Nielsenn ratings that I really would rather not see reports anymore because every time I click on it its lower and lower ratings .

    SyFy should just have stuck to airing its scripted dramas in the summer. That’s all there is to it. Air your lighthearted dramas at the beginning like Eureka and Warehouse 13 and your more serious dramas like Stargate in the end July/August. You’ll get higher ratings because people won’t have anything else to watch. They can air their cheaper reality shows during the fall and won’t have to worry as much about lower ratings because they’re cheap to produce

    Either that or just accept that during the fall/spring seasons when competition is higher they should just accept lower numbers.

    That being said, where were all those viewers for the entire run of the series?? Why couldn’t they just stick it out? If they had we wouldn’t be having a discussion on the series finale but the season finale and be looking forward to season 3! Wish we knew what it would take to convince people that right now its important that they watch the shows live, at least until networks, especially in regards to sci-fi & fantasy accept that people use other means to watch TV.

    Means, I might add, that are advertised during the shows. If these methods like Hulu and iTunes and watching on SyFy’s website are not counted at all, why then do they advertise them? You always see the “watch on iTunes” during the show but to me it seems like a self-defeating advertisement because when people do then that means fewer viewers and canceled shows.

  • Funnily enough it was an amazing end… to an amazing show. I wished it had continued for another three seasons but so happy the way it ended.

    Ironically it had the best ending compared to the other two shows in the franchise.

    Sorry to see it end.

  • I hope that Sanctuary won’t be next on Syfy’s chopping block…


  • This whole situation has reminded me of how I used to think.I’m sure I’m not alone in this either.
    It became obvious to me many,many years ago that most people are perfectly happy to sit in front of their TV & watch absolute garbage.It was a constant source of irritation to me to see well written,well produced & innovative shows continually cancelled never to be seen again.Meanwhile the endless supply of soap operas,reality dross,celebrity gossip tripe & minority sports continued without pause.
    If only,I thought…if only there were a channel specifically dedicated to the sort of stuff I enjoy watching,this problem would finally be over.
    Apparently not.Instead we get wrestling on a sci-fi channel! Added to that we get TV networks using a 1950s model for measuring ratings in a multimedia age.
    & you know what? Even the actual fanbase for this kind of TV doesn’t help itself.The has been loads of griping over the past 2 years about the direction of SGU,the plotting,the focus etc…yes,sure I’ve had complaints myself but never enough to stop watching.It was slated for 5 seasons so thats how long I decided to watch for! Personally I’ve been rewarded,SGU became compelling in Season 2.Season 1 was mostly establishing character & developing plotlines,I kind of expected as much.There were plots & subplots I didn’t like but by & large those have been dumped anyway & the overarching story has come into play more & more as time has gone by.I for one was impressed in the end & looking forward to seeing it through.
    No chance of that now.
    In the end we can be our own worst enemies with our impatience & when you couple that with the deck being stacked against inventive speculative fiction from the off the chances of ever getting to see something we enjoy for an extended period of time become minimal.
    I wonder sometimes,how many seasons would SG-1 have lasted if it had started say 2 years ago? I somehow doubt we’d be looking at a 10 year run.I think the days of any sci-fi/fantasy drama lasting that long are over forever.But to be honest i’d settle for 4 or 5 anyway at this point!

  • That was a fine conclusion to SGU. I think it could easily be wrapped up with a single actor, David Blue could reprise his role wondering the ship.. perhaps actually interacting with Destiny in a way that it could not with the rest of the crew.. we know it has a personality of its own, and its very old.

    I like happy endings, so I’d like to think either the statis chamber can save him, but perhaps not revive him without additional repairs. And maybe in the meantime he does find the cure for ALS in the database.. he said search queries could be difficult.

    Rush had visitations of his own when he was alone, perhaps Destiny would unleash, or release ghosts of its own to help Eli.

    And something has been bothering me for a long time about the Sarcophagus in early SG1.. where did that technology originate.. with the Ancients or the Gould? Perhaps its a natural extension of the stasis pods, while your in downtime.. perhaps they make medical repairs.. flash blindness cured, kidneys regenerated.. with all the Alcor stuff.. seems really likely. ALS however not so much as thats genetic and not damage, though after its emerged perhaps the pods could help.. but I prefer Eli find the answer where Yusak? said it was.. a parting gift from their descendents.

    Its not just the end for SGU for a while.. for me it feels like its the end for SyFy as well.

    I know I won’t be back. Not to kick sand at the other series.. but they were an assemble.. that’s broken now.. SyFy has doomed itself.

    Hope it re-emerges as a NetFlix streaming channel someday.. ironic in thats how SciFi got its start.. re-running classics.. and moved on.

    Time to turn out the lights.

  • Well I have to say that SyFy really crewed the pooch. SGU is the best show on TV, and I am even speaking about any of the BIG network crap. I am glad to see that Sanctuary is dieing as SGU did when they moved it. BUT the one thing I did notice while watching the finale, was it said SEASON FINALE not SERIES FINALE so I am beginning to wonder if SyFy might pull at 3rd season out of the Magic hat for us. Only time will tell.

  • Good bye to another great SiFi show. Loved SGU and all of the other Stargate series. The last 3 episodes of SGU were watched on Zune through my XBOX. SyFy is a dead channel to me and not worth the extra money spent to keep cable. So Good bye SyFy Good bye cable and hello Internet TV. Hope to see SGU movies out soon and maybe I’ll be able to buy them from ZUNE or even on DVD.

  • @Browncoat1984 Sorry man,but what viewers?
    1,134 mill viewers is not even close to enough for a show like SGU to stay on air.It had that kind of numbers,between 900 thousand and 1,1-1,15 mill the entire time sice the end of season one.It had to have had around 2 stay on the air.And had SGU stayed on Friday it would have had that sort of numbers by now.
    I don’t watch Castle and all that,but I simply cannot watch live tv on Monday,or Tuesday for that matter and I know many other ppl with the same problem.Even if I have time,I’ve better things to do than to sit in front of tv in the evenings on those days.And ppl who do want to watch tv then are obviously thr ones who choose something else.That is obvious and should’ve been accounted for by the network.

    And Sanctuary is a perfect example of the same thing,same profile of viewers,only it has even far less appeal than SGU.SGU lost 200 000 viewers by that move and over a couple of weeks,Sanctuary lost almost a million!! If that isn’t telling..that’s why Darren was so right in his letter!

  • I am sad to see SGU end, as I was really enjoying the series and have watched since the beginning. I don’t understand how these network guys make decisions on what shows stay and which ones get cancelled, but I think they were really on a role as the last few episodes of SGU were the best ever. Everytime I really enjoy a series they pull the plug – like Star Trek Enterprise, Lost, Gilligan’s Island, etc. It seems like the best series always get cut to make room for a bunch of crap like Dancing with the Stars or some stupid reality show. Who knows what’s going to happen with V and Fringe, they will probably cut those out at some point. I always DVR this stuff (Direct TV HD-DVR) and watch on my own schedule, so I am not sure if people like me get counted in the numbers or not. I am hopeful that someone somehow may revive SGU in the future but I’m not holding my breath. And it’s just a matter of time before these networks all start losing their funding due to people that will soon start pulling the plug on big cable and satellite in favor of Internet streaming at a lower cost, perhaps charing on a per-show or per-episode cost. No good content with paying viewers will be mean the end of those networks that can’t ante up. I would pay for SGU, V, Fringe, and those type of shows that I enjoy but will not pay for wrestling – but perhaps there are others that will. Sorry for the ranting, but I’m done. Goodnight SGU.

  • Did anyone else notice that the “Now Watching” overlay during the finale stated “season finale” not “series finale”? Hmmm… Something to think about.

  • First of all, Browncoat;

    SyFy belongs to NBC Universal. They have a minimum audience level to meet, or the show gets cancelled. It’s simple numbers., and 1.14 million is nearly three million below their “happy” threshold. Even SG-1 would be cancelled by NBC (hang on, it was!). Also, all those direct viewing websites and the like were demanded by fans, not the networks. All television is based on the advertising space you can sell, so any method of viewing which cuts out advertising reduces their profits.

    The summer shows like Eureka get much smaller audiences than the fall shows, but the cost to produce is much lower, so they remain financial despite the low audience numbers. If Universe were a summer show, there would be half the cast, and Destiny would be a cardboard cut-out. Pretty show = expensive to make. Expensive to make = need four million viewers. SyFy = money making venture, NOT public service for nerds.

    Secondly, jWillis;

    The Go’a’uld sarcophagus technology was developed by a long-dead Go’a’uld named Tel’chak. He pretended to be a mayan rain-god. He found an Ancient device (wierd cubic thingy which glowed) that healed people, but it was too powerful (heals well, with slight monsterism). He used it to make the first sarcophagus. See SG-1 season 7 episode 11-12 (Evolution Parts 1-2)

    Yes, I’m a huge nerd myself.

    For all those who haven’t yet realised;

    SciFi was sold to NBC Universal two years ago. They decided to re-brand SciFi into SyFy, and at the same time, move away from a focus on science fiction and fantasy. SyFy is now a channel of Imagination (whatever that means, but it don’t mean scifi). WWE Smackdown was moved to SySy in order to get wrestling fans to watch this channel, and they are hoping the wrestling fans will stay to watch whatever else they have on. Wrestling fans do not watch scifi, so there will be less and less scifi on SyFy.

    I’m serious. Look on NBC Universals website, and read interviews with Dave Howe the manager of the channel.

    Many people complained constantly about Hinman, but at least she watched the genre. Howe came up through things like Fear Factor. Nuff said.

    Finally, a little history;

    Star Trek was nearly cancelled after only 10 episodes back in ’66. Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy was a fan, and on the board at Paramount, so she pushed. She had a lot of clout back then, and it stayed on the air.

    Next Gen again was nearly axed, but an exec (cant remember who) was a fan, and demanded that it stay on.

    SG-1 was axed, and rescued at the last second by SciFi back in 2002.

    Basically, this stuff has never been financial at first. The genre of epic science fiction serials does not make money until the video (or dvd) comes out. Unfortunately, video piracy has recently become an epidemic. DVD sales do not even come close to justifying the creation of an expensive series.

    Did you download the show, or buy the DVDs? Did you watch the show on television, or did you download the episode froma torrent site? Stop complaining about damage you yourself wrought.

    Rant done, I’m going now.

  • Its just frustrating. I make the effort to watch my favorites like SGU and Fringe live because they struggle in ratings yet I feel my efforts are in vain because even when I do support my favorites they get canceled (okay, Fringe was renewed, thanks FOX!!!! I never thought I’d support FOX over Sci-Fi when it comes to sci-fi but for once I am very happy with them, and they even have two more SF shows starting next season that look like they might be more interesting than anything SyFy has starting up).

    I generally just DVR most every show except for a select few that I really want to support, SGU and Fringe are two of them. But Mondays is a BAD night because our DVR gets worked over-time. At 7:00 we record Sanctuary and Chuck, my mom watched House at 7 and at 9 we watch Castle. At least Heroes isn’t on anymore to add another conflict and add SGU to that mix makes Mondays a busy night (House has no relation to the other series whatsoever but it happens to be a popular show and my mom loves it).

    Sanctuary, Eureka and Warehouse 13, as I keep on saying, will be the LAST shows I watch on SyFy until they prove that they can produce something worthwhile and keep it around.

  • Here’s a bold suggestion. Make a new stargate series! It could be called Stargate: Legends, or Stargate: Legacies, or anything really. And the point of the show would be to finish all the stories. It would finish SGU, Atlantis, and post SG1. Each week I could jump from a story in the Pegasus galaxy then to the Milky Way and then again to Destiny. I feel this way many old fans would come back and new fans could be attracted depending on how it is presented. As a franchise there is still a lot of story to be told and there is still money/ratings to be earned. The problems I see is that a lot of props would have to be remade and it might be hard to convince the network of the show’s viability when compared to SGU’s ratings. However, I’m just a fan. I need to know how it ends!!!

  • @Browncoat1984, your live watching efforts really are in vein because unless you have a Nielsen box hooked up to your TV, whether or not you watch it live is moot because Nielsen technically decides if you’ve watched or not.

  • Television is dying. People don’t want to watch TV, because they can watch whatever they want in the Internet. Without commercials, but most important – without schedule. That’s all. The more far we go, the more average TV viewer intelligence will drop, because smart people will leave.

  • I couldnt even bare watching Sanctuary this time round, I watched The Event then SGU, put Sanctuary on and felt way too depressed..

    I don’t even want shows with fillers, full stories within 40 mins.. I want big ass stories that take weeks to unfold! (with the exception of Fringe)

    SG:U has changed the way I watch my shows, I’ve grew up, I want in-depth storylines, SG:U delivered on the biggest scale (even though I didn’t like the first 10-12 eps)

    I still can’t get ever thats its finished

  • @Snipe, I would love to think You could be right.
    Epilogue was so good I was having dreams all night about SGU (got in my head big time). That episode reminded me of TNG’s “The Inner Light”, left a similar impression.
    SGU is enormously better than “V” or “The Event” and deserves to be properly finished.

    I really hope there are some serious questions being asked at the management of SyFy about how they could stuff so many shows up, all to save stupid Wrestling which could easily be on a Sat or Sunday night.
    It’s as though someone has taken control that doesn’t understand Science Fiction at all. SciFi has always been a niche tv product, it has to be marketed at the right time, right place. “Location, Location, Location”.

    If SyFy were to admit they have stuffed up and order a proper conclusion to SGU, then I will mostly forgive them, but only if they do something to avoid this situation again.

  • Well, SGU’s series finale couldn’t beat Being Human’s season finale. In the same slot, with the same competition. So, there obviously are shows on SyFy that can do well with full competition on Monday.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sad that the SG franchise is dead, but honestly, in this case it’s pretty much on the heads of the writers who took too long to develop the story in S1 which cost them half the viewership within 10 episodes. If S1 was as good as S2 was – from what I heard – I think we would be telling a different story here. But the writers obviously didn’t learn anything from shows like Defying Gravity…

  • I have to ask – and forgive me if this seems nieve… But what exactly would it take to get this show back on air. What could we do (those that want it back) as a collective to try and turn this around – not necessarially with SyFy channel (their decisions on a number of shows over the last 3 years have been questionable at best!)…

    Facebook group, letters to the network (SyFy) all being well and good – but surely there is something else? Something more impacting??

    At rather ‘we’ not sit on our laurels reminicing of the show – and perhaps put something in to action sooner and with more impact?!

  • katikatnik: I would like to point out that SGU is serialised sci-fi drama and Being Human is fantasy “vampires are cool now” weekly show. This is huge difference. Also Stargate established viewership were watching it on fridays. On mondays about third of them DVRed it. Also BH received heavy advertising while SGU in second season got close to null. New time (changed three times!), heavy competition (in fall it’s very heavy). Sorry, but they are not comparable.

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