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 Found on: TV Guide Ask Matt Roush

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Number of posts : 2
Age : 72
Location : USA
Registration date : 2008-08-31

PostSubject: Found on: TV Guide Ask Matt Roush   Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:24 pm

Question: I'm writing because of the cancellation of Stargate: Atlantis. I know this show isn't on your radar, and that the "cancellation blues" is an all-too familiar refrain, but I hope you'll hear me out. I get that television is a business, I really do. In the case of Stargate: Atlantis, it's actually a franchise. But what was once a strength has now led to the show's demise. The franchise released two successful straight-to-DVD movies for SG:A's predecessor (SG-1) and is therefore encouraged about the ROI (return on investment) for SG:A movies. There's also a shiny new third show in the works, designed to "bring...younger viewers" to the franchise. It was greenlit the day after SG:A was cancelled. Honestly, why bother waiting a day? Just put both announcements in the same press release, because the connection is crystal clear. There's only room for one Stargate show in the universe, and Sci Fi (yes, I'm having Farscape flashbacks), MGM and SG:A's own creators sat down and made a business decision for the good of the franchise. The thing is, the show did what it was supposed to do. Maybe a People's Choice award doesn't mean anything, and of course, quality is subjective (I happen to think that this season has been fantastic), but the ratings are up in key demographics. I never used to worry about one show (other than direct competition) posing a threat to another. The more good TV, the better, right? But in niche markets, network-studio production business models don't seem to allow for similar programming to co-exist. Stargate isn't CSI. So who needs Grey's Anatomy when your favorite show can be shot down by its own franchise? Again, I get that TV is a business, a product. I'm not lamenting SciFi's "betrayal." But even in business, there's an understanding. We did what we were supposed to do. We bought the product by the millions, and in the end, it didn't matter. I never used to ask, "Why should we watch? Why should we care? It just ends in frustration!" But I admit that I am almost there. My question is this: With television production and distribution moving in new directions, is there any hope that the landscape will become less precarious? That actual viewership will have more impact? That fans will have reason to be a little less cynical, a little more open and a lot less disappointed? Lisa

Matt Roush: The simple answer to your complicated question is that no show (possibly not even Law & Order) is going to last forever. The business isn't likely to become any easier to predict or endure as shows fall on and off the schedule at what might seem like corporate whims. But in the very peculiar case of the Stargate franchise, I see this latest transition as a pro-active attempt to refresh the brand while keeping its former elements alive and kicking in TV-movie format. Doesn't seem to me that the fan base is being betrayed at all. You do make some intriguing points about how the success of the Stargate brand has caused the possibly premature demise of Atlantis as a weekly series, but in this case, as long as the creators are on board and can make the jump from series to movies in a coherent and entertaining fashion, it makes sense to me. My take on this is a bit dispassionate because I'm not a regular viewer; I like Atlantis, its characters and its humor, but it's not a habit and I'm reluctant to even tackle this issue because of the furor of this genre's fan base. But I can't help comparing it to the Star Trek brand, in which most of the shows from Next Generation onward averaged a seven-season run until the franchise finally ran out of gas. Stargate is not Star Trek, and a five-season run of Atlantis seems more than fair (if a bit of a surprise considering SG-1 lasted an amazing and out-of-the-norm 10 seasons). To introduce a new Stargate series, one with a more outer-space feel, while continuing Atlantis in movie form seems like smart business. Which obviously won't placate the fans. But what would besides an indefinite run, which is only possible in fantasyland.
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Number of posts : 6
Age : 45
Location : CA
Registration date : 2008-11-14

PostSubject: Re: Found on: TV Guide Ask Matt Roush   Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:16 am

Sad But he is wrong about fans wanting it forever; of course we wanted more story, but even one more year with the intent it would be the final season would be great. It's the way they canceled it that fans have a huge problem with. If they told fans it was the final season from the get go, it might generate more ratings -- hence more money -- and possibly more seasons or a greater # of movies.

We are going to do a mailing campaign, phase one hitting MGM finale week.
Hope you will consider joining us!
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