And the debacle continues, with Sci Fi lobby some salvos, several of which are sure to aggravate SG-1’s considerable fan base Read more below.
- Aug 28 2006 - http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6366152.html -
- NO NEW EPISODES Mark Stern, executive vice president of original programming at Sci Fi, said in an interview last week that series producer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is contractually prevented from making any new episodes of the show to air on other U.S. channels, so that’s not a viable option for hopeful fans to pursue. “There is not going to be [an 11th season] on U.S. television,” Stern said flatly. “Our contract with MGM prohibits it.”
- “We don’t look at Stargate SG-1 as a TV show, but a franchise,” the MGM spokesman, Jeff Pryor, said. “It is our intention to vigorously find a find way to extend the franchise.” … Pryor said MGM was evaluating other potential distribution outlets. “We want to move forward, but no negotiations have taken place” at this time, he added.
- Fans and observers have suggested fresh SG-1 fare could materialize in the form of movies or miniseries. Sci Fi, for example, aired an original Farscape miniseries in 2004, a year after canceling that popular drama. … New shows also could appear episodically via premieres abroad, via distribution on the Internet or as a download series on Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes media-download service or another pay platform. SG-1 and spinoff series Stargate Atlantis — which Sci Fi renewed for a fourth season last week — became available on iTunes a week ago.
- A Sci Fi spokeswoman said three episodes have yet to be written, which could give the producers “an eye toward closure.”
- Stern cited several factors behind Sci Fi’s decision to close the gate on another season. “The ratings have softened.” Sci Fi puts the decline at 11%, to 1.95 million average viewers per episode, during the current season, measured against the season nine average of 2.19 million. That average, though, was raised by the relatively highly rated 200th episode, with storylines and inside jokes aimed at the fan base. Initial episodes this season had been about 30% behind viewing numbers for early shows in season nine.
- “It’s done a great job, rejuvenated with the additions of Ben [Browder], Claudia [Black] and Beau [Bridges], but we think we’ve come to the end of those stories,” [Stern] said. “We really felt like it was the right time to segue out, for the show not to overstay its welcome.”
- “We would look for opportunities for some or all of the members to appear on Atlantis,” Stern also said.
- He added: “We only have a certain amount of resources. We still have Atlantis, and Battlestar Galactica is our big show coming back in October.”
- Sci Fi also added rookie hit Eureka and has high hopes for upcoming series The Dresden Files and miniseries The Lost Room. “There are also a couple of pilots we want to look at,” Stern said, and the network plans to decide soon about comic book legend Stan Lee’s Who Wants To Be A Superhero?
Okay, a Variety article at http://www.variety.com/story.asp?l=story&a=VR1117948764&c=-1 quotes… 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.” Yet the Multichannel article above states that Stern said “The ratings have softened,” so that to me looks like ratings was definitely a part of it.
Oh heck, this all boils down to money, fans aren’t stupid, and the fact that SG-1 cost an arm and a leg and series like Eureka, that Superhero show, cost much less is a big part of it. Yes, I assume the Superhero show, being a reality show, is incredibly cheap. It was pretty obvious that the folks involved weren’t being paid (were they paid??) to act.
Sci Fi wants its own products to push but more importantly profit from. For reasons unfathomable to the common folk, MGM approved the clause in some legal contract that gave Sci Fi the rights to airings in the States, so if Sci Fi ain’t gonna show SG-1 in any new format, well, hell, nobody is! Battlestar Galactica is the new golden goose on the block, with its spin-off Caprica no doubt waiting in the wings, and money is required to fund that.
Honestly, it seems doubtful there will be any more seasons of SG-1 – it’s just too expensive for an aged show. Television movies seem to be the best route – two hours of an encapsulated story – not dependent upon renewals – better budgets. Make it, show it, put it to DVD.