Syfy Canceled Stargate Universe, So What Now?

[Note: This is an opinion piece by the Editor-in-Chief. It’s his site, he’s claiming privilege. See what we have to live with? However, the views expressed herein do reflect those of Pop Culture Zoo.]

First, let’s clear one thing up, Syfy did not cancel Stargate Universe, they just didn’t order any more episodes. While that may seem like a grasping-at-straws technicality, it is actually an important distinction, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Previously on the Internet
First, I think we should take a few moments to look at the way in which the cancellation was handled by Syfy. The first indication that anything was awry was Deadline’s article making the official announcement. Now, being Deadline, I instantly dismissed the story as false or at least a half-truth at best. Firing off an email to Stargate Universe unfortunately yielded me a confirmation that the show had indeed been cancelled with the following statement from Syfy included:

“Syfy will end its original action-adventure series Stargate Universe when the show returns with the final 10 episodes of its second season in the Spring of 2011. The Stargate franchise — consisting of Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe — has aired on Syfy since 2002.

Syfy has a slate of new sci-fi/fantasy scripted projects lined up for 2011 including the series premiere of Being Human on January 17, the recently green lit one-hour drama series Alphas and the much anticipated Battlestar Galactica prequel pilot movie, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. Warehouse 13, Eureka and Haven will also return with new seasons next year.”

In my original report I omitted the second paragraph. In my opinion it seemed rather trite to say “Hey, we canceled a show you enjoy, but, hey, check out what we have to replace it!” Shortly after receiving the above statement (through the SGU publicist, not directly from Syfy) the channel finally, officially released word of the end of Stargate Universe…on Twitter. As far as I am aware, there was never a formal press release issued by Syfy, like there was with the cancellation of Caprica, just statements released to press agencies as they made inquiries to the network. Additionally, at least one of the actors made it clear that they found out through Twitter, just like everyone else and other comments suggested that was how other actors from the series found out as well. There is also the fact that the Executive Producers/Creators of the show were each on respective vacations and the entire things seems to have been handled with disrespect towards the folks who have shepherded as successful franchise for Syfy for the better part of eight years. In Syfy’s defense, the likely scenario is that the news leaked to someone after the decision had been reached, but before they adequate tie to notify the majority of the people involved. I imagine that the channel was pretty much forced into verify the info as it was out anyway.

So, what did I mean above by my clarification of the technicality? Well, Syfy doesn’t actually own Stargate Universe, MGM does. From my admittedly limited understanding of TV legalese, what this means is that MGM takes care of producing the actually show and has some sort of broadcasting deal with Syfy whereby the channel gets to air the first run of the show. While this may at first seem trivial consider two facts; One, the Stargate initially aired on the premium channel Showtime before it was “canceled” and then saved by Syfy (then the Sci-Fi Channel) and Two, MGM itself has issued no statement regarding the future (or not) of the series. I think this is significant because there are many more broadcast options available for the series in today’s market and there are perhaps other channels that would be interested in a series that already has standing sets and a built-in audience.

Below, I’ve included address for some of these channels to write to in order to express interest in watching Stargate Universe on their channel. I’ve also included the address for Syfy. I honestly don’t think there is any chance that they would reverse their decision, but there is the small possibility they could be persuaded to commission a mini-series or movie to wrap up the storyline. This happened when the network canceled the series Farscape, so there is precedence. Obviously, a full season of 13 or 20 episodes would be ideal, but I think it would be worth expressing the desire to have a wrap-up to the show in whatever form we can get it. To that end, I’ve also included an address for Dynamite Entertainment. They currently have licenses to produce Stargate comics and have just wrapped up mini-series for both Daniel Jackson and Val Mal Doran. With the success of other canceled shows continuing “seasons” in comic book form (Buffy at Dark Horse, Angel at IDW and DC Comics’ upcoming continuation of Pushing Daisies) there is another precedent that has been set for a continuation of sorts.

The remaining ten episodes of Stargate Universe season two will air on Syfy sometime in 2011 and this would be a great opportunity to increase the ratings to show Syfy and/or any other potential suitors how popular the show is. Pop Culture Zoo will continue our usual coverage of those remaining episodes so please stay tuned for that.

Science-fiction is based on impossible things happening and sci-fi fans have proven themselves willing to fight for causes they believe in. There are many TV series that have proven that a cancellation isn’t necessarily the end. Take all of that, mix it together and you have the potential for something rather surprising. There are still options for Stargate Universe to continue. Let your voice be heard and make one of those options happen.

Thank you,
Joseph Dilworth Jr.
Pop Culture Zoo

Find out more ways to help save Stargate Universe at SGUAwareness and the Save Stargate Universe Facebook page.

Mr. Mark Stern
Executive VP Original Programming, NBC Universal Syfy
100 Universal City Plaza
Bldg. 1400, 14th Floor
Universal City, CA 91608

Dave Howe
President, NBC Universal Syfy
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10112

Thomas P. Vitale
Senior Vice President, Programming and Original Movies, NBC Universal Syfy
30 Rockefeller Plaza, 21st Floor
New York NY, 10112

Charles E. Cohen
Senior Executive Vice President, MGM Finance and Corporate Development
MGM Television Entertainment
10250 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA, 90067

Dynamite Entertainment
155 E. 9th Ave, STE B
Runnemede, New Jersey 08078-1158
United States of America

OTHER CHANNELS TO CONTACT (this list will be updated frequently, so please keep checking back)
2230 E. Imperial Hwy
El Segundo, CA 90245

Steve Belgard
Starz Entertainment
8900 Liberty Circle
Englewood, CO

299 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2Z5

P.O. Box 9, Station ‘O,’
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
M4A 2M9

1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

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