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August 31, 2015

Syfy Cancels 'Stargate Universe'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 16th 2010 4:50PM
Another one bites the dust. Syfy, which recently yanked 'Caprica,' has also canceled 'Stargate Universe.'

Like 'Caprica,' 'SGU' was a spinoff of a very successful franchise, but neither show ever caught fire in the ratings. According to Deadline, the remaining episodes in the show's second season will air in the spring, but that will be that.

'SGU' was billed as the darker, grittier, edgier show of the 'Stargate' franchise. But some fans thought that 'SGU,' which debuted in the fall of 2009, failed to capitalize on the things that made 'SG-1' such a long-running hit and also didn't deliver the kind of thematic and dramatic complexity that its producers had promised.

In a blog post that became somewhat notorious within the 'Stargate Universe' fandom, I said all that and more.

In that post, I was responding to a comment that 'SGU' executive producer Brad Wright had left on my site. A sci-fi brouhaha ensued. But truth be told, I always thought the most interesting thing about that exchange was not what I said or what Wright said (though I do wonder if, despite Wright's prediction, ABC's 'V' will outlast 'SGU').

No, the most interesting thing about that incident was that it seemed to give fans who'd felt ignored a voice. I've been a critic for seven years but the ferocity of the reaction to that post was nothing short of amazing. To say I didn't expect that massive outpouring from fans is an understatement. But I welcomed the brouhaha (or kerfuffle, if you prefer), because the commenters were saying things that needed to be said. Whether or not I agreed with a particular opinion, I was glad all those thoughts were all getting an airing in a relatively mainstream forum.

It seemed to me that intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken fans of the 'Stargate' shows had a lot to say on the subject of 'SGU' and the producers' decisions, and I certainly didn't get the impression that these fans were being listened to in a serious way by the show's brain trust.

Do I think that fans should determine the creative direction of a TV show? No. But it was surprising to me that a franchise that is so dependent on its fans for survival should react so casually to their opinions. Speaking for myself, it's not that I didn't understand what the producers were going for. I just didn't feel they were actually doing what they said they wanted to do. But the producers, in public comments and in online interactions with fans, sometimes left the impression that fans just didn't get the innovations and creativity on display. That kind of thing gets old fast.

I said in that 2009 post that I was done watching 'SGU,' but the truth is, I watched one or two later season 1 episodes without writing about it. I wanted to see if the show evolved in a positive direction, but I found my criticisms of it hadn't changed. I didn't write about watching those episodes, because frankly, I didn't want to be perceived as having an ax to grind against 'SGU.' I never did, and I don't now. I was disappointed by 'SGU,' but only because I'd had such high hopes for it. I was a longtime watcher of all the 'Stargate' shows, and I welcomed the darker direction of the franchise, but the execution, at least what I saw of it in season 1, didn't do anything for me.

Fans who watched the show into its second season, please let me know what you thought about how it evolved. I'm truly interested to read what readers have to say about 'SGU' and whether they think it reached its potential.

In any case, it's the end of an era: The 'Stargate' franchise has been on TV since 1997. 'Stargate SG-1' debuted that year on Showtime, and it later transferred to Syfy, where 'Stargate Atlantis' joined the lineup in 2004 (that show ended its run in 2009).

There's no word on whether a new 'Stargate' TV show will ever grace the airwaves again. But if it returns, I think there needs to be some fresh blood involved in leading the franchise. I say that with no malice, only gratitude for the things I liked about the 'Stargate' shows (all three shows had some very good actors, there's no doubt about that). But I felt this way after 'Star Trek: Enterprise' went off the air. That particular show got better during the course of its run, but overall, the 'Trek' franchise felt tired and the stories were repetitive. All things 'Trek' needed a rest and, when it was time for it to return, the 'Trek' franchise needed new creative vision. I think the 'Stargate' franchise is in that situation now.

Do you agree, 'Stargate' fans? Leave your thoughts below.

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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Lewis deSoto

It is precisely the slower pace, darker content and the slow burn of SGU which grabbed me, opposed to the other SGU franchises which were like comic book versions of good scifi ideas. A million year old starship? Quantum entanglement body mind switches? Alien machine races wiping out all technologies? Fantastic ideas that SGU handled with aplomb. If you simply watched it every once in a while, then you really did miss the point. I believe MGM's new owners Spyglass entertainment has the wrong idea about television series and the karma from fans.

July 06 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eludium Q36

Here's an idea, why not continue the series in book/eBook form ?! Books are such a richer source of storytelling anyway. I'd really like to see the SGU storyline play out in full via (inexpensive) books.

May 10 2011 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm very disapointed that SGU has been taken off. after whatching it over the last 2 years it seemed like the show was finally coming back after wandering around silly lesbian relationships, interpersonal drama and other silly things for too many episodes which may have been the nail in the coffin in my pinion.
Atlantis was heading in the same direction when it suddenly resurged and then again nose dived after it was assured that it would not be renewed. This may have been in response to the re-newal of Eureka and Wharehouse 13 and a very silly looking show called Alfas which doesnt look like it will last long.
Hopefully it will be brought back, ther seemed to be a little stir last year when ther was an attempt to bring back the Terminator show on Fox which again died a horrible death at the hands of idiot reality shows.
Speaking of which how do dumb ass shows like TAPS, Monster quest and Huanted Hollywood get a fresh start but "real" shows are canned?

May 09 2011 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sharon Dhooghe

from the very first episode I was extremely excited about SGU and what the future held for it. I was saying to myself that this show was going to last as long as SG1! To David Blue and the rest of the actors on SGU, the Writers, producers and everyone else on SGU, I want to say that you all did a amazing job and that SGU was not given a fair chance from SyFy.

I am extremely sad to see SGU go! To the producers and writers, may I beg that you somehow find another network that will pick up SGU! Please! I will miss you desperately if SGU does not continue.

With all my hopes and prayers!

April 28 2011 at 4:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sharon Dhooghe

I love Stargate Universe!!! I look forward to this show each week. For everyone who is saying SGU is a terrible letdown and no good, I will say this, I totaly DISAGREE with you. I cannot express enough how wonderful SGU is! I do not know what I am going to do now that SyFy has decided to cancel it. I could not believe it when I heard SGU was being cancelled! The show has not even been given a chance! And to be honest,, from the very first episode in season 1 I was l

April 28 2011 at 4:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I look forward each week to SGU. I absolutely love the characters, especially Dr Ruch and Eli. I am sad it is cancelled and wish it were not!! I can honestly say it is one of my favorite shows. It is my favorite of all the Stargate shows and I disagree that the franchise has run its course.

April 22 2011 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rita Thompson

Frankly, the only reason I watch Syfy anymore is Stargate Universe and the reruns of SG1 and Atlantis. I started watching Eureka and Warehouse 13 because I was watching Stargate shows. But really without Stargate and Sci-Fi Fridays....I probably won't watch Syfy anymore after Stargate Universe leaves. I do not think it has reached it potential since Destiny's mission was to explore the universe. It should never run out of potential story lines. I'm sorry but the Sci-Fi channel and now Syfy channel started going down hill when they canceled SG1. They will continue to go down until they crash and burn.

April 21 2011 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Truth Warrior

Don't worry fans, there will be plenty of wrestling and grade XYZ movies ( you know, the same story line and just change the "monsters" ). SyFy has become a great network ,,,,,,,,,,, for 10 yr. olds.

April 17 2011 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stargate Universe is a better series than I thought it would be, and it was just getting into a stride.
I don't think canceling it was a good decision, and I really don't want to say goodbye to the Stargate adventures. There is just too much potential to let it drop.
Can there be yet another revival?

April 16 2011 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

if sy-fy follows through with the cancellation of stargate universe I will delete the sy-fy channel from my channel guide and never watch said channel ever again you can count on that!!!!

April 13 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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