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- Category: Giskard's Blog
- Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 23:28
- Written by Giskard
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Having just finished watching both season 1 and 2 back to back of Stargate Universe, I have some thoughts about the show and its cancellation.
Stargate Universe started out feeling like pure classic scifi and quickly became a Coronation Space Soup Opera that would not appeal much to scifi fans generally due to all the soupy crap that got introduced.
By mid way through the second season it was starting to feel like a real scifi show again and by the end it was definitely well on its way to establishing it self as a classic scifi show.
Unfortunately it was canceled when the Scifi Channel pulled out, the Scifi Channel also took on Andromeda around season 4 and that got canceled by Season 5. Leaving me thinking the Scifi channel is the kiss of death to a good scifi shows and very little they have done since has convinced me I am wrong about this.
I already have trouble seeing how syndication benefits a show or fans, especially when they cancel a show due to viewing figures, when half the planet has not even had a chance to see that show yet because of syndication.
For example Stargate Universe was cancelled long before I got a chance to see it.
Both shows where made by Canadian/American companies and taken on my major American channels. Firefly which was done by Fox and was cancelled within months of airing due to viewing figures. Fox, Sky and the Scifi channel are all part of the same media group if my memory serves me correctly, they tend to take on shows and deny them to other channels, limiting the audience and then cancel them when the viewing figures are too low.
Only their success on American TV is used to decide these things and then only on the first showing. Repeats, DVD Sales, BluRay sales, International viewing ratings are not considered.
Personally I think that says more about their viewing figures and their own short sighted business model than it says about the shows they fund and pull the plug on. It probably says a lot about them not understanding their own views too, who may not even like scifi at all.
Farscape was an Australian show and went to 7 seasons and did get a mini series to explain the ending after it got canceled. The longest running scifi series in American history is Stargate with 10 seasons but that is a very rare example of a scifi show in the US not being cancelled and disappointing fans with a bad ending.
Stargate Atlantis had its ending rushed when it was canceled, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of fans when suddenly there where back on earth.
I learned that if a show does not do well in the USA, it gets cancelled regardless of how well it does outside the USA and that to me makes most US shows high risk things to watch because the chances are about 8 out of 10 they will just end suddenly one day without explanation. And that is out right annoying, especially when DVD or Bluray sales prove the show is popular despite what the viewing figures say.
Dr Who is a BBC show that is in its 11th Season now, with a 12th Season on its own. It has not always been filmed back to back as most shows are but it does tend to do well no matter what and it never leaves the fans disappointed.
Those who start making TV shows should be obligation to give a show good ending if the show is ever cancelled. Dropping it like a stone is basically like saying "who cares how our customers feel about this".
I blame the number of cancellations of North American Scifi shows on the method of funding for these shows that prevails in the USA. It is all about advertisers and viewing figures the first time a show is aired and usually does not factor in anything else.
The viewer would be far better served if such shows went straight on to DVD or Bluray, and season 2 got made when sales of Bluray or DVD paid for it to start. That way a shows future and budget was provided by the people who want to see the next season and not by some dick in a suit at some major media cooperation that does not care about the show or its fans.
TV channels can barely show episodes in order most of the time and naming the season thats being show in the TV Guide is something they seem to avoid doing entirely. So you never know what your watching until its recorded and you view it for the first time.
Virgin in the UK had even showed one part of a 2 part StarTrek TNG episode and forgot to show the second part. Channel 4 in the UK when it showed Babylon 5 Season 1 for the first time did not even bother showing the pilot until AFTER season 1 had finished showing for the first time. The BBC take shows off for every sport that comes along and then wonders why scifi fans get annoyed with them.
But the way TV companies insist on a cliff hanger ending for a season and leave us to wait 12 months for the next episode assuming we will even remember what the last episode was about 12 months from now is pure arrogance on their part and even more annoying.
With the rise of DVD and Bluray sales, finally being able to see shows in order that I have seen repeated on TV channels many times out of sequence makes a massive difference to my enjoyment of the shows them selves.
If you work out the cost of watching shows out of order on TV network and you work out the cost of buying an entire season on DVD or Bluray, you actually save money getting the DVD or Bluray versions most of the time and get to enjoy the shows better too.
Without all that TV channel bollox getting in the way.
TV channels do not seem to be serving our best interests these days and major networks in the USA seem to be fatal to many good shows us viewers like due to their short sighted decisions and business models.
If a company got a loan to make a show and paid that loan back out of dvd and bluray sales or other profits, it would be following a business model that made sense. Profits could fund a second or subsequent season from those sales. Making the second and future seasons even more profitable because the first season would have paid for them out right.
If the fans fail to buy enough DVDs or watch the show enough on TV or fail to take an interest in the repeats, then I think everybody would recognize it as a dead end show and understand it if future seasons never got made. But the budget a show has available could be directly related to the number of sales the show made, the more popular a show, the bigger the budget.
The number of US viewers watching the first showing would not matter and would not be the factor that kills many good shows dead. The ability to make a profit world wide would be the deciding factor, which is how it should be.
With a self funded TV show, those making the show could decide on how it develops from season to season instead of some suit in a TV cooperation board room that does not even watch the show or understand its viewers.
These days TV companies seem to be failing to deliver the goods these days and are becoming a reason for not subscribing to a network at all.
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