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Ron Moore may not make any more Battlestar Galactica webisodes

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 18th 2006 7:05AM

No more BSG webisodes.Waiting for new Battlestar Galactica webisodes on SciFi.com? Well, you may be waiting for a long time because executive producer Ron Moore said he won't be delivering any more of them, including the ten episodes that have already been completed. Why? Because SciFi's parent company, NBC Universal, is being a bit tight with the purse strings.

Universal executives are witholding residuals and credit from the writers of the BSG webisodes, claiming that the three-minute episodes are 'promotional materials'. When Moore heard this he halted delivery. In turn, NBC Universal seized the webisodes and filed charges of unfair labor practices with the Writers Guild of America. The WGA then went back to Moore and told him not to deliver any more Internet content until their was residual deal.

Last month, nearly six million people streamed BSG episodes within two days of the premiere. Compare that to the 2.2 million people who watched the third-season premiere of the show. This goes to show that the Internet is beginning to draw more and more television viewers into its gaping maw, and that the industry is going to need to work together with the WGA to determine the best course of action.

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Well, i would love to see the dam webisodes anyway!!

January 29 2007 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jean Prouvaire

While I have no doubt that the primary reason for Resistance's creation was promotion, there is also no doubt that the form of this marketing crossed over into unambiguously creative realms. This is not to say that advertising copywriters and art directors aren't creative, but I'm using the term in a more specific sense, of creating narrative fiction with characters, plot, conflict and no overt "buy this product" message.

If the principle for ongoing compensation for creating a story or a character or a production design holds true across all these established media - theatrical features, television, radio and so forth - then without a doubt the principle must also hold true for internet, mobile and other modern distribution channels. The nature of the output does not change the nature of the input.

NBC Universal refusing to acknowledge this self-evident truth (assuming I haven't inadvertently misrepresented their position is) is a blatant attempt to alter the remuneration paradigm.

By changing the rules on residual payments the studios are attempting to drive a wedge between what the writers (and others) get, and what they - the studios - keep, a gap that will get substantially wider as the net takes off as a distribution channel.


October 24 2006 at 11:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chris w

NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT? Jesus...what a frakking godsdamn stupid comment by someone who has never watched this show!

James Huston..we have a problem. People like you should stay the frak out out of BSG posts with those stupid ass comments.

October 19 2006 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Calling the poster a troll, however amusingly, does not enlighten. But, on the otherhand, speaking unknowledgeably about a show does not impress, and invites sarcasm. The fact that the same person would actually blog about something theyve no knowledge of is what is astounding.

Allow me to enlighten you, James, by posing a pointed question or two. Having watched the season premier (as was implied), i suppose you just know, or have no questions about, what would bring a man to become a suicide bomber? Or, what brought one of the Chief's men to "betray his own kind"? They could jus tell you, i suppose, and let it be some immediate truth about the show- something that just popped up from thin air about 140days into the occupation, OR they could show you the lead up, say, through video snippets on their website.
It's a definite possibility, James. In fact, thats exactly what they did. And should you actually want to know the answers to those two questions, the webisodes await you.

October 19 2006 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nicole Simon

I had to watch them through youtube, as I did not bother to find out a proxy to get access from international ...

October 19 2006 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tim McCleese

'Since there's no character develepment in the show'

What are you smoking?

October 18 2006 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"since there's no character development on the show"

uhhh...have you actually WATCHED BSG? Oh, that's right...trolls aren't allowed to own TV's. Bugger.

October 18 2006 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

"since there's no character development in the show."

Blink. Blink.

I hope you are joking. Or at worst a troll.

October 18 2006 at 2:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I didn't even know they had webisodes, not that I care since there's no character development in the show.

October 18 2006 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GC in CA

The article claims that "viewers streamed "Battlestar" Webisodes 5.5 million times last month," not that "nearly six million people streamed BSG episodes within two days of the premiere," as you stated. Divide the 5.5 million by the 10 webisodes, and you're down to 550,000 views each. Take into consideration that the measurement is of views, not users, and that some people are going to watch the videos more than once, that probably drops down to an average of 400,000 user/viewers for each episode. Interesting numbers, but less than 10% of what you implied. The season premiere may have had only 2.2 million people watching, but that's still more than five times the number of people watching the web shorts. That 2.2 million number also (I assume) only includes the first broadcast of the premiere, and doesn't take into account the rebroadcasts that would have added viewers to the total, the same way the webisode views represent a cumulative total.

I'm also not sure what you mean by, "this goes to show that the Internet is beginning to draw more and more television viewers into its gaping maw," as though it's a zero-sum game and no one who uses the internet can watch TV, or vice versa. If an episode of some series appears on the TV in your living room, does that make it television, but if it appears on your computer monitor, that makes it "web-based entertainment"? It isn't as though this story is an example of a grass-roots insurrection against network hegemony. The web episodes were written by the same people who write the main series, shot by the same crew, and performed by the same actors, to be posted on the website of the network owned by the corporate parent that pays them all.

October 18 2006 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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