wraithfodder (wraithfodder) wrote,
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wraithfodder

Atlantis has sunk, and the Wraith didn’t do it – Stargate Atlantis’ demise + where to write

Atlantis has sunk, and the Wraith didn’t do it – Stargate Atlantis’ demise + where to write

 

I refrained from posting my feelings last night (too late to really think coherently), but left open the post (right before this one) for anyone who wants to vent and get it out of their system… So, here is my opinion of the mess.

 

You hit episode #100 and what do you get for it? Walking papers, it seems…

 



THE AUTOPSY

 

Less than a year ago…

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117974591.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

The Sci Fi Channel has given a fifth-season renewal to "Stargate Atlantis," commissioning 20 fresh episodes.

" 'Atlantis' truly came out from under the shadow of its sister series this year and proved that it's a hit in its own right," said Sci Fi's Mark Stern, exec veep of original programming. The show's predecessor, "Stargate SG-1," ran for 10 seasons on Sci Fi before completing its run last year.

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3ifcd8e3f7380913c3a16a2745ffc8c7fc reported “The series that gets the most boost in the 18-49 demo from DVR playback is Sci Fi Channel's "Stargate: Atlantis," which on average doubles its numbers when factoring in Live+7 data.” … [You’d think this is what they want, the 18-49 demographics, people who watch the show, but…]

 

It’s dead, Jim. Yup. The Multichannel article at

(http://www.multichannel.com/index.asp?layout=talkbackCommentsFull&talk_back_header_id=6550871&articleid=CA6589329) said “Space drama Stargate Atlantis will conclude its run on Sci Fi Channel after the current, fifth season ends next January [2009] -- but the network has greenlit a two-hour Atlantis movie to run after that and says the show will live on as a network franchise. After airing on Sci Fi sometime next year, the untitled Atlantis movie will be sold as a home-video title by producer MGM, Sci Fi told Multichannel News on Wednesday. … Longtime Stargate writers and producers (and Atlantis show runners) Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie will write the Atlantis feature script. Other details, such as how many cast members would participate or who would direct, were not immediately available.” 

 

So, instead of 20 hours of entertainment, we get two hours, and whether it will be good is still debatable. I’ve never been a fan of Mallozzi’s overall writing style, as he tends to emphasize bang over characterization. (I know some folks love his work, but not me.) Carl Binder did the best when it came to delving into the characters complexities, something that honestly was not done enough in the show. I have the sinking feeling that we’ll either get replicators again, or worse, two hours of tying up the Michael storyline, something that should have been taken care of long ago (like mold under a carpet). Unless they can evolve him into a more complex villain, I do not look forward to the cardboard villain he became in his last episode. Nor do I want any Stargate SG-1 characters to appear in this movie. Sorry, they have their own movies.

 

I suspect the almighty dollar is what has caused the cancellation. The show is expensive to produce …salaries, etc. The success of the SG-1 movies in DVD format probably made MGM go “huh? Why do we need to pay people for 9 months out of the year to make a product when we can do one month, tops, and reap in profits cuz look at how well Ark of Truth and Continuum did in sales and downloads.”  Networks/execs don’t take into consideration the people getting laid off (corporations rarely do), so I feel for Joe F, David, Rachel, Jason and the rest. Heck, they’ve all got families to support, although I suppose Joe F will not miss flying back and forth to Vancouver every weekend, but still… unemployment sucks. However, I think Joe F, David and Rachel are all signed with six-year contracts, so they are probably still under MGM’s reach (to do the movie, if nothing else). Not sure if Jason has a similar deal or not since he came in midstream. I am very much hoping that they go onto better things, that we’ll see, and not end up on * gag * SciFi channel movies with crappy CGI monsters and horrid dialogue (but hey, if they do, I understand, gotta pay the bills!) But acting is a transitory business, and they all know shows can get axed at the slightest whim, so they had a good run. Ditto with the crew. Gah, hope David H and David N keep up their blogs! Truthfully, I think Mallozzi’s blog will drop in visitors once he no longer has SG details to dangle…

 

MGM/SciFi, yes, both are culpable in this fiasco. I won’t say disaster, as that word should be reserved for the real thing, like the Spain plane crash (very sad). SciFi owns a stake in the show and has input into it, but MGM, who holds the lion’s share (oh, bad pun) probably saw a more profitable way to suck cash off the fans by doing movies.  I think this move has been in the works for a while. Creation is ending all but two of their Stargate cons. Part of the reason is they’re not making the money they want, but I think they knew the end was near.

 

SciFi may not have had a total say in it, but it may suffer for treating the show like the unwanted stepchild (heck, they retreaded ad copies for two seasons, and couldn’t even spell Ronon’s name correctly in their television ads!). Their SciFi Friday lineup is now toast. What’s left? Stargate was the lynchpin. BSG is doing its swan song. Doctor Who is something they buy and must wait to get. So far the ads for Sanctuary don’t scream “watch me” but I probably will just to see Chris Heyerdahl, as I like his acting. I”ve tried Ghost Hunters, etc. and they don’t appeal. Eureka is cute, but if I can save some bucks and cut the Skiffy channel…

 

Despite my quibbles, I do like Stargate Atlantis. It’s my favorite show as I adore the characters. I think the show could been a lot better had they brought in new writers, instead of seeing retreads of SG1 episodes. The show was fun, but it wasn’t exceptional. It wasn’t Masterpiece Theater, but it was comfort TV, which is hard to find these days. Every week you tuned in to see your favorite characters (unless the writes/producers decide to smite them for the sake of, sigh, ratings, or some other inane but not explained reason (Weir)). I gave upon spoilers this year as the expectations sometimes ran too high. I’d rather have no expectations, as that way I wouldn’t get disappointed. While I love SGA, season 1-3 are the ones I watch the most. Season 4 was good, but… it was lacking. I think it was because Carter had no direction, and at times, it was like the kids were running the base  (except for “Adrift,” which was good drama and hard decisions).  Season 5 has been good, but still, something is lacking again. Woolsey is a better commander, but I cringe at some plot holes, their medical mistakes (argh!) and am not looking forward to a future season 5 episode with Keller in the woods (did we not already do that kidnap-tied-up-Keller stuff in season 4??)  I think that’s why when I read the news last night, I said a choice swear word, but well, not much else, besides posting the news around. If they had killed the show in season 1 through 3, I would have been a lot testier about it.

 

THE GOOD

 

The fandom. I gotta say one of the best parts of Stargate Atlantis has been the fandom. It’s been great for the most part, with intelligent conversation, great fanfic, hysterical photomanips, etc. I’ve made some great friends, have read some marvelous fan fiction (hey, MGM, let some of these fans write the movies!)

 

The next couple months are going to be… interesting. The Save the Show campaigns have already started (lemons or bottled water? It’s hard to sort out right now, but then the news is only a day old). I don’t think that MGM/Skiffy will budget because movies will be cheaper for them, but I’m going to spend some time and stamps and write into MGM and SciFi and let them know what I think about their decision.. Crap, I need my Sheppard and McKay fix! When the show’s final episode ends, a certain percentage of fans are going to drift away. Some fans just need active shows to be involved in a fandom, whereas fanfic writers, mostly, don’t. While we’ll all go through withdrawal, we’ll also now have no constraints – no episodes to contradict what we just wrote. We can go wild! (As if we haven’t already.)

 

On another plus side, we don’t have to watch SGA decline horridly when the writers truly run out of ideas and them write really gawdawful episode, like Rodney is kidnapped by the ghosts of vengeful playboy bunnies and then the Ghost Hunters® must come in an rescue him (yes, a crossover to boost ratings), and then the next week, Wraith Ringside Wrestling to tie in with that awful WWE (awful to me, at least).. There, said it, they can’t make ‘em  into a movie now. I own the copyright! ;)

 

IF YOU FEEL LIKE WRITING, and why not?

 

Anyway, here are addresses scoured from various boards, LJs, etc. who have been involved in Save Our {fill in name} campaign related to SGA (mostly for cast changes). I don’t think we’ll change MGM/SciFi’s minds; they’re looking at the bottomline, but, if there is an overwhelming amount of support, this could push for maybe two movies in 2009 instead of one. The more people WANT the product, the more the producers will think “okay, we can make money, let’s do it.”

 

Some advice. Emails are quick and easy, but…

 

1) Spend the dime and call up SciFi and express your displeasure (don’t rant or scream or  threaten to burn down the building – just makes you look, er, unstable). Instead, tell them what this decision means to you – and to them. If you only have SciFi for SGA, let them know that you’ll be dropping their channel once SGA ends its run. But threatening a boycott does squat

 

2) Send snail mail. They’re a nuisance. They must be opened, sorted, COUNTED.  I can’t tell you how important snail mail is. You’re talking about half a dozen letters, a couple bucks in postage. Don’t write in crayon (unless, of course, you’re a kid and then it’s okay).

 

3) Yes, write BOTH MGM and SciFi. Both entities are involved in the series (Just read the press releases), both stand to profit (or not, if people cancel their SciFi channel subscriptions). If SciFi gets flooded with mail, etc., they might just send it all over to MGM.

 

 

SCI FI CHANNEL:

 

Viewer Comments line: 1-212-664-3571

 

SNAIL MAIL:

 

Chris Sanagustin is in charge of overseeing Atlantis and was at Comic Con

 

Ms. Chris Sanagustin

VP Original Programming

NBC Universal - Sci Fi Channel

100 Universal City Plaza

Bldg. 1400, 14th floor

Universal City, CA 91608

 

Fax: 1-212-664-3890

 

Ms. Sanagustin reports to Mark Stern:

 

Mr. Mark Stern

Executive VP Original Programming

NBC Universal - Sci Fi Channel

100 Universal City Plaza

Bldg. 1400, 14th Floor

Universal City, CA 91608

 

Dave Howe

President

NBC Universal - Sci Fi Channel

30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor

New York, NY  10112

 

Thomas P. Vitale

Senior Vice President, Programming and Original Movies

NBC Universal - Sci Fi Channel

30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor

New York NY, 10112

 

E-MAIL

 

David Howe

Dave.howe@nbcuni.com

 

Thomas P. Vitale

Thomas.Vitale@nbcuni.com

 

mark.stern@nbcuni.com

mark.stern@unistudios.com

 

GENERAL E-MAIL FEEDBACK

 

feedback@scifi.com

scifiweekly@scifi.com

programming@ scifi.com

 

FAX

 

212-413-6509

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

MGM

 

Charles E. Cohen

Senior Executive Vice President

MGM Finance and Corporate Development

MGM Television Entertainment

10250 Constellation Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA, 90067

General Phone Number: 310.449.3000

 

One site lists his phone as 310-449-3102

 

Email: ccohen@mgm.com

 

EMAIL

 

There is a general email as well

mgmonline@mgm.com

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

CAMPAIGNS TO SAVE SGA

 

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/SaveSGA/

 

http://community.livejournal.com/fight_for_sga/ (URL fixed)

 

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

TO WRITE THE PRODUCERS, OR CAST

 

(crew or cast name)

Stargate Productions

Bridge Studios

2400 Boundary Road

Burnaby, BC

V5M 3Z3

Canada

 

Fax: 1-604-292-8550

 

What could it hurt if every fan who enjoyed the show just sent one letter, or postcard, to the cast/crew of SGA and say “great job, enjoyed the show’?

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

OTHER PEOPLE.

 

Various entertainment and science fiction magazines.

 

 

culttimes@visimag.com

dreamwatch@titanemail.com

Entertainment Weekly: ew_letters@ew.com

sfx@futurenet.co.uk

starburst@visimag.com

stargate_sg1@titanemail.com

tvzone@visimag.com

xpose@visimag.com

 

Email TV guide: letters@tvguide.com

 

OR do a JEER here: cheers&jeers@tvguide.com

 

Thanks to the following folk for addresses:

 

http://www.savecarsonbeckett.com/addresses/

which has even more advice, so if you’re going to write, check them out first

 

http://community.livejournal.com/save_weir

 

 

LASTLY, SciFi’s press release + Joe Mallozzi’s comments, which explains a tiny bit, but well…

 

 

http://nbcumv.com/scifi/release_detail.nbc/scifi-20080821000000-scifichannelgreen.html

 

SCI FI CHANNEL GREENLIGHTS 2-HOUR FILM FROM MGM BASED ON POPULAR 'STARGATE ATLANTIS' SERIES

Published: August 21, 2008

 

New York, NY – August 21, 2008 – Building upon the successful Stargate franchise, SCI FI Channel today announced it has greenlit a two-hour movie based on the hit science fiction adventure series Stargate Atlantis. SCI FI will have the exclusive worldwide television premiere of the yet to be titled Stargate Atlantis film, which will then be released on DVD by MGM. The movie will be written by Stargate Atlantis' executive producers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, who also serve as series showrunners. The movie is set to follow the fifth and final season of Stargate Atlantis, as it draws to its thrilling conclusion in January 2009.

 

"We're excited to tell Atlantis stories on a bigger canvas. The successes of the two original Stargate DTV movies The Ark of Truth and Continuum have shown us the opportunities that the movie format offers. We have plans for both SG-1 and Atlantis to remain vital as we expand the franchise, " said Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and who both currently serve as executive producers on Atlantis.

 

"We share in the producers' enthusiasm to move forward in this direction and we look forward to a strong and continued relationship on Stargate Atlantis in this new format," said Thomas Vitale, Senior Vice President Programming & Original Movies.

 

Stargate Atlantis follows the adventures of an intrepid team of military and civilian explorers who travel the distant Pegasus galaxy by means of a Stargate, a portal created long ago by a highly advanced alien civilization called the Ancients. In their never-ending quest to seek out other technologies left behind by the Ancients, the Atlantis team encounters alien cultures – some friend, some foe.

 

The series will reach a milestone with the 100th episode airing in January 2009. Atlantis is executive produced by Brad Wright, Robert C. Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Carl Binder, and Martin Gero. Mallozzi and Mullie share the reins as showrunners.

 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., through its operating subsidiaries is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., Ventanazul, MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in international TV channels reaching approximately 120 countries and territories around the world. MGM ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), Texas Pacific Group (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%). For more information, visit www.mgmchannel.com.

 

SCI FI Channel is a television network where "what if" is what's on. SCI FI fuels the imagination of viewers with original series and events, blockbuster movies and classic science fiction and fantasy programming, as well as a dynamic Web site (www.scifi.com <http://www.scifi.com>) and magazine. Launched in 1992, and currently in 93 million homes, SCI FI Channel is a network of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies.

 

###

 

Contacts:

Michelle Rosenblatt

212.664.4759

michelle.rosenblatt@nbcuni.com

 

Jeff Pryor

310.449.3446

jpryor@mgm.com

 

Granados, Maureen

Junior Publicist - SCI FI Publicity

Phone: (212) 664-4143

Fax: (212) 703-8533

Email: maureen.granados@nbcuni.com

Division: SCI FI

 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

August 21 2008

 

http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/august-21-2008-all-good-things/

 

By now, I assume you’ve all heard the news. This will be Stargate Atlantis’s fifth and final season. I’m disappointed but not surprised. We came into this year knowing that renewal would be a longshot. With 100 episodes under our belts, rising production costs, and the US dollar’s steep decline, the odds were stacked against us. Still, we’d heard no definite word either way and if SG-1’s surprising 10-year run taught us one thing, it’s that anything is possible. The circumstances that contributed to SG-1’s longevity were very different but, back then, we hadn’t expected it to get a sixth season pick-up either. Furthermore, with our strong premiere numbers and the equally impressive showing of the ensuing episodes, some of us were, if not exactly upbeat, then cautiously optimistic. We watched. We waited. And, finally, received word the other day.

 

We told the cast first, then headed down to set and broke the news to the crew. These are people who have given so much of themselves over the show’s five-year run and we felt it only right that they hear it from us rather than finding out about it elsewhere.

 

It’s been a bittersweet couple of days. On the one hand, I’m sorry to see the series end but, on the other hand, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished. 100 episodes is pretty damn impressive feat and, as evidenced by the quality of recent stories and the uptick in the ratings, we’ll be going out on a high. Even though I see a lot of anger directed at both MGM and Sci Fi, the fact is we couldn’t have done it without their support. And we’re going to count on that support as Atlantis continues its adventures as a movie franchise.

 

Episode 20, Enemy at the Gate, will mark our 100th episode and, contrary to online speculation, we will not be ending things with a cliffhanger. Regardless of whether we got the pick-up or not, we had always planned a clean conclusion to our 100th episode, one that would hopefully leave fans satisfied yet eager for more. And that “more” will come in the form of the Stargate Atlantis movie…

 

About a month ago, with so much uncertainty about the future of the series, Rob Cooper pitched out the idea of shooting the SGA movie at the end of this season. His thinking was that if the series did end, we would have a movie in hand. If, however, the series was picked up, the “SGA movie” (codenamed Project Twilight) would simply become the opening two episodes of the show’s sixth season. Alas, this notion never got past the consideration stage and, as a result, we won’t be rolling right into it as planned. On the bright side, however, the network has greenlit the movie and we do have a terrific idea in mind. Obviously, I can’t say much about it at this point but suffice it to say that it should include the entire cast in addition to a certain gaunt and pallid flowing-locked guest star. And, if it proves anywhere as successful as the first two SG-1 direct-to-video features, you can be assured that this will be the first in a long, long line of Stargate Atlantis movies.

 

Like my grandmother used to say: Whenever a gate closes, a hyperspace window opens…

Tags: cancellation, stargate atlantis
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