wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,
wraithfodder
wraithfodder

Stargate's cancellation: Take Three - screaming bloody murder

To correct, the 'screaming bloody murder' isn't about Stargate... it's the hideous noise that woke me around one a.m. this morning - a coyote in the backyard. They don't make that wonderful howl you hear on TV. Instead, they sound like something being put through a wood chipper. Very creepy and scary and that's why the cat will never go outside!

Well, we're in day two of Stargate SG-1's 99.9% death knell.... fandom is 'reacting,' for better or worse, with tempers flaring and in some small instances, sides being chosen. Yes, in some cases it's very much like when Farscape got the axe and Stargate SG-1 came on board. Some Scapers were ticked off and said so; well, now, it's SG1 fans ticked off at SGA because Atlantis got the renewal and SG1 didn't.

My comments (plus news articles) listed below in spoiler space just cuz it's so blasted long).

I’ve through today’s press, condensing down some pertinent details as well, everybody’s working with the same press releases and SciFi, et al, are as talkative as a clam with tetanus…

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds36162.html - Several cast members from SG-1 will transfer to spinoff series Stargate: Atlantis, which has been renewed for a fourth season in 2007.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060822/tv_nm/stargate_dc_1 - "Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, Sci Fi believes that the time is right to make this season their last on the channel," Sci Fi said.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/08/22/television.stargate.reut/index.html - "MGM has tremendous amount of confidence in 'Stargate,' and we are vigorously working to continue the franchise," studio spokesman Jeff Pryor said.

 

http://www.variety.com/story.asp?l=story&a=VR1117948764&c=-1 - The cancellation "was not a ratings-driven decision," said Mark Stern, exec VP of original programming for the Sci Fi Channel. "We're actually going out on a high note," he said, as the net has given the production staff enough time to usher the series to a conclusion tying up all the loose ends.  Stern said Sci Fi plans to use some of the cast members of "SG-1" on the successful "Stargate: Atlantis" sequel, now in its third season and still going strong.

 

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6364600.html?display=Breaking+News - "Sci Fi Channel is proud to be the network that brought Stargate SG-1 to its record-breaking 10th season. Ten seasons and 215 episodes is an astounding, Guinness World Record-setting accomplishment. Stargate is a worldwide phenomenon. Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, Sci Fi believes the time is right to make this season their last on the channel. Sci Fi is honored to have been part of the Stargate legacy for five years, and we look forward to continuing to explore the Stargate universe with our partners at MGM [Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer] through a new season of Stargate Atlantis."

 

http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,19824,00.html - In a statement long on plaudits (i.e., "worldwide phenomenon") and short on specifics, Sci Fi said it was canceling SG-1 because, well, it just was.  "Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, Sci Fi believes that the time is right to make this season [its] last on the channel," the network said.  A call seeking comment from MGM, the studio behind SG-1, was not immediately returned Tuesday. In the Hollywood Reporter, an MGM rep said the company was "vigorously working to continue the franchise."

 

http://jam.canoe.ca/Television/2006/08/22/1769928.html - Spinoff series "Stargate Atlantis," however, will return to Sci Fi for a fourth season. Some cast members from "SG-1" may continue their roles on "Atlantis."

 

http://community.tvguide.com/thread.jspa?threadID=800004939 - … do the Sci Fi executives get special bonuses for bad timing when it comes to delivering the bad news to their shows? … Sci Fi lowered the boom just as the series was celebrating its landmark 200th hour in high style with an affectionately entertaining parody/tribute episode. Way to take the wind out of a show’s sails, Sci Fi. …The Stargate story appears to be far from over. It’s possible Stargate’s production company could find a new home for the show, as has been rumored. (My colleague Ileane Rudolph continues to follow the story. Look for her updates in the magazine and online.) The Atlantis spinoff, a much younger and presumably less costly enterprise, will continue on Sci Fi, keeping the mythology alive and the door open for guest or regular appearances by familiar, friendly faces (perhaps even our old buddies from Farscape, Ben Browder and Claudia Black, who have been great fun to watch in the last two seasons).

http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/ - A shabby axing for an interstellar show - The show’s producers and MGM, which owns the franchise, want to continue “Stargate SG-1” in a different venue, perhaps as theatrical features or TV films, but it’s hard to believe that the series, as it is presently constituted, will find a home at another network. Given the age of the show -- it’s now North America’s longest-running sci fi drama -- “Stargate SG-1” is not cheap to make, and aging series rarely are attractive to other networks. According to Multichannel News, word about Sci Fi’s axing of “Stargate SG-1” leaked out to some of the show’s personnel as the cast and crew prepared to attend a Saturday party at a Vancouver hotel intended to celebrate the airing of the 200th episode. Given that news of the cancellation began emerging over the weekend, before final ratings for “200” were available, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Sci Fi Channel had decided to end the long-running show this season, no matter what. It’s surprising and shabby treatment for “Stargate SG-1,” which helped Sci Fi emerge from the margins of the basic-cable world and gave the network a steady rock on which to build the rest of its programming. One would have thought that the powers that be at Sci Fi Channel would let the show’s cast, crew and fans celebrate the much-lauded “200” without pulling the plug on the program so abruptly and with such frankly terrible timing.

 

My comments:

 

1) How to lay off people… May I suggest that SciFi execs took a page – literally – from NorthWest Airlines handbook on how employees should handle their upcoming layoff? http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0608170207aug17,1,6096838.story?coll=chi-business-hed points out that the airline actually gave out a a handbook with tips for handling their layoffs. It included 101 money-saving ideas such as, "Don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash." Aieee. The tact that SciFi exhibited in laying off (or at least announcing a 99.9% certainty of layoff) to the Stargate cast/crew was tacky, tasteless, etc. etc. They took the opportunity to find perhaps the crowning moment of joy for the entire production crew and twisted it around into something nasty and painful.  Could they not have waited a week? Or maybe two? Let the cast/crew enjoy a few days of fun?

 

Unfortunately, I’m sure many of us have been through this kind of crap. I know I have. One day you’re there, the next, poof, gone. And despite what Mr. Stern says about the ratings, yes it IS about the ratings, as ratings are ALL about money. If the ratings on Stargate had been 4.8 consistently, they could have made a lot in ad revenue, etc. But SG1 was expensive, and SciFi did (expletive deleted) about advertising it. Yes, ads here and there, but they used last year’s ads in some places (!) and did the big, huge, this is stupendous ads for the “200th” episode, which did great in ratings, but alas, SciFi had already made the decision to axe the show. It wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to axe it as soon as they renewed season ten, as after all, they can now crow loud and far they have the “longest running sci-fi show (in North America).” Why spend money for more? Sigh. Yes, cynical outlook, but I’ve watched TV for decades and have seen it happen before.

 

To expect folks in Hollywood (US or Canuck) not to bow down to the almighty dollar in the end is akin to thinking Bambi can scamper across the Cross Bronx Expressway and not get flattened by a semi truck….

 

2) Atlantis and the SG1 cast. Different sources interpret: Several cast members from SG-1 will transfer to spinoff series Stargate: AtlantisStern said Sci Fi plans to use some of the cast members of "SG-1" on the successful Stargate: Atlantis sequel … Some cast members from "SG-1" may continue their roles on Atlantis. … The Atlantis spinoff, a much younger and presumably less costly enterprise, will continue on Sci Fi… and [keep] the door open for guest or regular appearances by familiar, friendly faces (perhaps even our old buddies from Farscape, Ben Browder and Claudia Black, who have been great fun to watch in the last two seasons).

As an Atlantis fan, I find this well, er, alarming. It’s not that I dislike the SG1 folk. Heck, I’ve been watching SG1 since it was on Showtime (yes, pay cable, premium channel!). I’ve been watching it through thick and thin, good and bad. However, SG1 has had 9.5 years (10 years if they let it run its course) and as much as I will miss not seeing Daniel or Sam or Mitchell or Teal’c, etc., I would miss even more the chance for the Atlantis characters to grow into their own. While I can see the network execs going “if we bring Daniel over, we’ll bring over a key demographic group of fans.” It’s a business decision. I can understand that; however, many of us have grown to enjoy SGA to stand on its own. An occasional ‘guest star’ scenario is one thing, but I would not want a semi-regular and heaven forbid, please, no regular roles for SG1 folk on SGA. This does a disservice to the SGA folk, who are working to create their own mythology. Yes, they’re a product of SG1, but the ‘apron strings’ have now been cut and it’s time for SGA to make it or break on its own. I want the writers (in particular, Carl Binder) to continue exploring the characters. Binder does a very good job on character development – “The Real World” being an excellent example. SGA are only NOW getting backstory on Sheppard (promised in the upcoming episode “Phantoms”, to air in a few weeks). It’s been three years. Time for it to grow, not regress, particularly if along with SG1 cast come some writers along with some ideas. Sorry, but the Ori, the Gou’ald, do NOT belong in the Pegasus Galaxy. We’ve got the Wraith, and the human-Replicators should be IT for crossover villains. New galaxy, new villains, new heroes. Let’s not waste the opportunity.

 

3) The future: We’re still days away from perhaps another announcement from MGM or Bridge… hopefully something that will appease most fans. I seriously don’t think SG1 will get a pickup as a series for an 11th season, and if it does occur, I suspect there will be drastic changes (such as monetary/salary cutbacks). My hope instead is that MGM goes the telemovie route – give us several great two-hour movies on TV, those which will rapidly go to DVD (thus giving the bean counters the joy of new revenue). This would keep SG1 going but keep SGA separate and growing.

 

 

Tags: stargate sg-1
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 4 comments