Friday, January 26

State of Galactica Address

Source: Ragnar Anchorage

We have seen a number of sci-fi shows come and go within the last year. CBS’ Threshold, ABC’s Invasion, NBC’s Surface- all have received the axe. And all of them had continuing story arcs dealing with aliens from other worlds or strange creatures inhabiting this world. Why did Battlestar Galactica survive and not receive the same fate? That’s simple to answer. First up, the effects never dominated the character-driven stories. Second, the Cylon psyche was explored in such a compelling fashion that viewers found themselves cheering for some of the models as they opposed other models (reminding one of human frictions within our society). Third, the search for Earth seems to be an even more prevalent theme in the show than originally imagined or conceived by Ron Moore. Finally, the acting continues to be superb. Olmos & McDonnell shine in their roles. Lawless and Stockwell also managed to catch the limelight every now and then. And some of the secondary characters have risen to primary cast level- e.g., Aaron Douglas as Chief Galen Tyrol comes immediately to mind. Wouldn’t you agree with my assessment, Shaun?

The declining ratings for Battlestar Galactica have come up over and over again. Some have inferred people are turning away from the show- “in droves.” That is a faulty inference as there are many more cable channels out there that are competing with BSG for that coveted timeslot. That the show is now on itunes makes it more accessible at times convenient for the fans- not necessarily the time it is first aired on SCI FI. That all of SCI FI programming has shown a ratings decline (below 2.0 typically) means that it is not Battlestar-specific content people are tuning away from, but perhaps that channel overall. My best educated guess is that Battlestar will bounce back to a 1.5 or 1.6 now that it is paired up with The Dresden Files on a new night, Sundays. Many sci-fi/fantasy shows that shifted their timeslot to Sundays have benefited from the programming change- shows like X-Files and Charmed which lasted 7 or more seasons. Am I spot on in my assessment of the ratings, Shaun?

The Season 3 finale will contain multiple cliffhangers, and some fans are outraged if the show gets cancelled- then the story will never be resolved. My retort to that is BSG is not going to get cancelled this year. There has been more media hype than ever for this show. Two all day marathons on SCI FI have occurred in the past month alone. And if BSG was ever in danger of being cancelled, SCI FI would have told RDM to wrap up the storyline well before the filming ended for Season 3. Remember SG-1. The producers were told before the midseason break that the tenth season would be their last. RDM would have received the same ‘treatment’- especially as this show has pulled in more respectable ratings than SG-1 in its final season. So the question remains: What is in store for BSG in Season 4? Perhaps there will be a reduced budget for the 20 episodes? Perhaps they will go with 13 episodes instead of 20? One thing is for sure, when mid- February rolls along (if not before then), we will see the “greenlight” given to another season of BSG on SCI-FI. So Say We All, Shaun, So Say We All!

1 comment:

Adrian Cronauer said...

I applaud your optimism, however, Sci Fi did a heck of a number on Farscape to the point of a grass roots effort to force Sci Fi to get them to fund a movie wrap up for the story.

Personally, I don't see how this show can go from all the acclaim it has gone, to this "ratings issue." The fact is, that even non-sci fi fans are picking up the show and liking it. I have recommended it to a number of people who don't follow sci fi at all and the reaction is usually that they want to borrow my DVD sets to catch up.

I just feel that we as fans owe BSG the service of reminding Sci Fi Channel and RDM how much we enjoy the show and giving it the attention it needs to continue.

As someone who has worked in live television, I stress this to anyone and everyone who enjoys the show. Tivo it to ensure that your viewing habits are recorded in ratings, watch the show and encourage others to do the same. Let Sci Fi know how you feel, cause if you don't, then they will certainly have no problem cancelling it.