13 Responses

  1. Langley
    February 26, 2018 at 11:47 am |

    Great piece. My only disagreement is with the anti-SyFy sentiment when it comes to SGU.

    The truth of the matter is that SyFy committed to 2 seasons of SGU before anything was filmed. The producers knew, ahead of time, that they were getting 40 episodes to film. They also knew, quite early, that it wasn’t doing well. They had the power, in their hands, to wrap the story up neatly by the end of the 40th episode, but *they* chose to end it on a cliff hanger. When the renewal didn’t come (the show wasn’t ‘cancelled’, it just wasn’t renewed — SyFy met their obligation to license 40 episodes), then we fans were left in the lurch.

    It was unprecedented that a network would order 40 episodes of a show, and commit to paying the license fee that made producing them possible. That’s how much they believed in Stargate. They should not be getting so much hate from us, and if they were to repeat that deal today, I would hope that it comes with a string attached — that a complete narrative would be told within the 40 episodes, and no cliffhanger at the end.

  2. Nobycane74
    February 26, 2018 at 5:27 pm |

    I would have to say….SyFy is out. There would be no way that they should open dialog with them if this would occur. SyFy burned the Stargate franchise once…no need in subjecting them to it twice.

    I would honestly say the market these days could easily be Netflix or Hulu. And the latter would be more reasonable as Hulu currently still shows ALL three SG series on their platform.
    So Hulu could be the best market with that notion.
    Netflix is possible, but MGM would have to licence the rest of the SG series to Netflix in that case to make it worth while…which I am not sure if there would happen or not.

  3. Langley
    February 26, 2018 at 8:42 pm |

    Thanks Darren:

    I’d still disagree — the guest editorial you link to is also based on the same false premise, that the cable network was at fault for the end of SGU. I’d hate to think that all this network-bashing by fans is being read by other networks, and that would cause them to pass on licensing future SG properties.

    I’ll also disagree with the presumption that they were going to move away from SGU’s type of SciFi because of WH13. Prior to that they had Eureka and Battlestar Galactica going side-by-side, and from this angle it looks like they were trying to repeat that success with WH13 and SGU….except SGU didn’t have the mass appeal that Galactica did. But despite that they stayed true to their commitment, and we had 2 of the best seasons of TV ever.

  4. ViRGE
    February 27, 2018 at 2:03 am |

    I wouldn’t dismiss SyFy outright, but ultimately I think this is a pretty valid list. There are only two realistic outlet options for a new series on a real budget: a major TV network, or a major streaming service. MGM can’t carry it on its own; their subnets nor their streaming service is big enough for critical mass.

    With that said, while I suspect most people agree with Darren that Netflix looks like the most tantalizing option, I don’t think the problems should be dismissed out of hand. Dropping 13 episodes all at once is a big problem; viewers quickly burn through them and then have nothing for months and months. They grow impatient and move on, and any word of mouth about the series is quickly exhausted. It’s an okay release strategy for a highly serialized show, but it’s a poor release strategy for an episodic show. (And Stargate would fail hard as a serialized show).

    If MGM were to go the streaming route, i’d argue that they need to pull a Star Trek here and continue doing weekly releases. As a matter of practicality, Space Canada is virtually guaranteed, and there are a few other international broadcasters that have traditionally been eager to buy in to episodic sci-fi series. So if only for that reason alone, episodes would need to be delivered weekly to keep everyone in sync and to satisfy international buyers.

    Meanwhile domestic viewers would be much better served by being able to savor and dissect each individual episode. The significance (and brilliance) of episodes like Window of Opportunity, McKay and Mrs. Miller, Tao of Rodney, and A Matter of Time would be lost if they were packed into a binge watch of a dozen other episodes.

  5. Welfam
    February 27, 2018 at 7:42 am |

    One thing I am sure of… if more Stargate means more of the same production quality (in all aspects) that Origins exhibits then I would prefer not to taint the legacy of the show. I have been a torch carrying hardcore fan since the original movie. Origins is bad. The writing… the direction… the budget… And I am still trying to figure out how they are going to justify Catherine going through the gate with her revelation in the original movie that “this is as far as we have ever gotten”. No more prequels!

  6. Kendog52361
    February 27, 2018 at 8:13 pm |

    There could be a very convenient “excuse” for why Catherine didn’t mention it. We already know there’s a “Time Copy” of Mitchell in the past, in that exact era, he could easily tell Catherine that she needs to keep this to herself “to preserve the timeline”.

  7. Langley
    February 28, 2018 at 6:07 pm |

    Hey Darren: Thanks for the answer!

    I’ve learned that to ignore what the networks ‘say’ and watch what they ‘do’. They’re nothing if not derivative. In the case of moving away from genre-heavy programming, IMHO they ‘said’ they were doing that because others ‘said’ they were doing it. Their lineup of flagship shows included SGU and Caprica, so they didn’t ‘do’ what they ‘said’ they were going to do.

    Ditto with the move back to more hard sci fi. The lineup really hasn’t changed *that* much, they just speak about it differently.

    Ditto with MGM. CBS decide to do a subscription service to resurrect Trek, so they’re derivative with SGC. Not that it’s a bad thing, but once you see the pattern of behavior, you parse what they say they’re doing differently. They’re beholden to advertisers after all.

    When it came to SGU, SyFy gave an unprecedented 40 episode order over 2 seasons. That hasn’t happened since — ‘The Expanse’ came closest with 26 over 2 seasons, before they renewed with a third.

    I really hate to poke blame at the network that did so much for SG*, and if they came calling with a 40-episode commitment again, I’m sure the producers would jump at it. Let’s not be the ones preventing them from doing so by dishing undeserved hate in their direction :)

  8. Langley
    February 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm |

    (And I’m biased, I know, because I had many good years of employment at various studios around Vancouver because of the orders and $ and commitment SyFy put into shows that were filmed here)

  9. Richard
    March 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm |

    The end of the SG franchise is , from my standpoint, a culmination of different factors. To be more specific three big factors : the fans, SyFy and the vibe of tv audience at the time.
    The fans were rigid and not very open to SGU.
    The mainstream started to want story, immersion, darker, real. And they got it in 2011 when ironically SGU ended – (shows like True Blood, GOT, Grimm, Hell on wheels, Falling Skies, The Borgias, Alphas,….)
    Maybe Syfy tought they would hit gold with SGU, but they were to soon and the writers failed in the stories.

    Two years of SGA and a nice ending movie, then SGU- well we would not be talking about a possible new show but about the mindblowing ending of this season of SGU.

    Conclusion: the format of the new show needs to appeal to the big audience and the fans. Not an easy task. The 13 episode could work , if it is one big story. Binge watching is the mainstream . People don’t want twelve time a situation with problem x, solution y does not work so crazy twist solution z, happy end and the episode 13 cliffhanger. They want on lazy sunday in their couch to experience one big story with twist and turns, emotions, humor, no certainty and at the end the wow feeling.

    But i’m from Belgium, so i can misread the current vibe of the audience in the US.

  10. Emteem
    March 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm |

    Is Syfy’s hold on the show over? I remember, I thought, that when SG1 was canceled that the producers couldn’t take it somewhere else (and there were claims of Showtime being interested in bringing it back) because Syfy had a right of first refusal plus veto power in their contract with MGM for anything Stargate related. If that’s still in effect than it’s Syfy or nowhere.

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