and so, the (Stargate) Universe ended

In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. — The Hitchhiker’ Guide to the Galaxy

This is pretty depressing news – Stargate: Universe seems to have been canceled. They are midway through their second season run and the final ten episodes will air in the spring, they will also modify the plot to wrap up the storyline early (since it was originally scripted for a five year run).

That shows like ST:Voyager get dragged out for years but the great shows like Firefly and SGU get dropped before they’ve had a chance to build a wider following is massively frustrating to me. It’s amazing to me that Galactica was permitted to survive long enough to finish. Sadly, most science fiction (and SGU was no exception) have tried to imitate Galactica’s formula of oversexed characters to try and draw in the mainstream male demographics. I expect the lesson of SGU’s demise, as far as TV producers go, is that there was too much plot and not enough skin. SGU was one of the few shows out there that could credibly be called a successor to Galactica; even Caprica Galactica’s own designated heir already got the axe. The future of American science fiction is dim.

We still have the British franchises, namely Doctor Who, and if the stars align more of Sherlock. And Warehouse 13 seems to have survived the chopping block, though for how long?

Meanwhile, the SyFy rebranding is revealed to have indeed been appropriate. SyFy doesn’t have the patience that Sci-Fi channel did for good science fiction. They just want shows that look like science fiction. It’s just “siffy” now. I’m disgusted, and if I had the option to choose cable channels a-la-carte I’d drop Siffy entirely.

Incidentally, this is an example of why cable should indeed be a-la-carte. Niche channels will regress towards the mean of television norms instead of staying faithful to their niche as long as they are subsidized by general cable premiums. If these niche channels must justify their existence, however, to the niche audience, they will take more risks – and the niche audience will be more willing to pay. Right now I pay about $40 for hundreds of channels; I’d happily pay $50 for just a handful, and Siffy could get a much larger share of my money.

I hope at some point that we can skip able distribution entirely and see a future where TV shows are marketed directly to Netflix and Hulu plus.

At any rate, the long drought of American science fiction has begun.

9 thoughts on “and so, the (Stargate) Universe ended”

  1. i’m tired of this shit, every good show i like gets cancelled

    sarah connor chronicles
    stargate universe
    and so on…

    so, what am i going to do? simple, stop watching scify shows from big networks. They don’t understand that the way they measure ratings is not the way poeple watches tv anymore. That may have worked 10 years ago, but not anymore. People don’t watch shows the very same day they are aired. I’m really tired, they’ve lost a very loyal scify viewer. They sould have the balls to say public, the name of the one the man that decided SGU should be cancelled. Someone must have said “well, no more SGU”. Well, it would be nice if they have the balls to say it public and show his/her face to all the people they are fucking. Cowards!!!


  2. And It wasn’t just SyFy that was the colored here. The Fans of Stargate destroyed SGU in the interwebs which was sad, Atlanti was Different from SG1 and SGU was Diff from the other 2 and some fans couldn’t wrap their brains around it and smeared SGU. I myself am a Fan of Stargate as a whole and love each series as it’s own entity with SG1 and SGU being my Favs. I just hope another network picks SGU up cause I want to see 5 yrs, not a compressed 10 episodes.

  3. I agree. It seems the better the program, the higher the odds of getting cancelled. Sci Fi especially. I don’t get it.

  4. I could never get into SGU (or Caprica, for that matter). Of the shows mentioned in this post and comments, the only one I really get worked up about is Firefly. I do enjoy Warehouse 13 and Eureka on SyFy, but neither are what I’d call classics – they’re great disposable entertainment, but I doubt I’ll ever rewatch any of them (the way I rewatch Firefly)…

    Also, I don’t think that the cable premiums are what drive niche channels to abandon their niche. I think the more likely culprit is advertising. It still bothers me that wrestling is on SyFy though.

  5. “Sorry about the typos, posted from an IPhone”

    Been there, done that, finally figured out how to turn autocorrect off.

    The obnoxious thing about the iPhone’s autocorrect is that it changes things when you’re not looking at them.

  6. I enjoyed SG:U much because it wasn’t a clone of its predecessors. Yes, it was a bit Star Trek Voyager mixed with StarGate Atlantis, but I appreciated that it continued the franchise, was striving to be different yet good, and was entertaining. Same for Caprica. Much like the loss I felt for shows I loved like Jericho and Journeyman, I feel that network tv has betrayed me again in a numbers game that I’m not sure tv can really catch like lightning in a bottle. I long for a day, a network that strives to make quality in the genres they claim and not see loyal, if not modest, viewer numbers as something to dump. It doesn’t help build future relationships. CBS still has my ire for Jericho and Moonlight. NBC for Journeyman. SyFy for adding wrestling and becoming Spike Me2 instead of SciFi genre haven.

    Until the costs can come down and we can finance the shows, we’ll see networks play the numbers game with sponsors and lose shows here and there to whats cheap, easy, and nothing of a legacy. Does anybody buy seasons of reality shows?

  7. I agree with the article.

    I finally canceled my cable subscription after The History Channel and SciFi started changing their formats. I was paying my cable fees for history, learning, discovery, and scifi. (I used lower case for the channel names since they don’t match the dominant shows on those channels) When I couldn’t find shows matching the obvious channel formats that I was wanting to watch, I saw no reason to continue paying for a product I didn’t want.

  8. Basically television networks give up to easily on sci-fi. They seem to always expect huge ratings from the very beginning but a lot of sci-fi shows really just need time to build some momentum. Seriously I find it difficult to get into new sci-fi shows when they get canceled after 2 seasons. Eventually they are gonna run out of ideas for sci-fi and look back on the shows they canceled and say “Gee guess we kinda screwed the pooch there.”

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