Four will be all for Battlestar Galactica. The critically acclaimed, but low-rated, SCI FI tentpole will go off the air with its fourth season next year.
Update: Added the official press release, read past the article to view it.
The decision isn’t too surprising, given the relatively low ratings the show has put up over the past few seasons. However, execs are stating that the decision to end the show has little to do with ratings, and more to do with feeling that the show must eventually come to an end. Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick issued the following joint comment about the decision:
“This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and, finally, an end,” producers said. “Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end, and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms.”
Battlestar Galactica will return with a two-hour movie this November (titled “Razor”), and then finish off its remaining 20 episodes starting in January 2008 (the show will expectedly run straight through with no, or limited, breaks).
Though fan support, and more so support among the press, for the series has always been high, the series never managed to break through as a hit.
It started off very strongly with its mini-series back in 2003 (4.18 million average over two nights, with a peak of 4.46 million for night 2) and ratings remained strong and consistent for the shows first season (3.05 million premiere, 2.90 million season average). But the ratings began to go downhill beginning with the second episode of season two, which dropped a devastating 23% from the season 2 opener.
Ratings never rebounded, and the series was only able to muster a very weak 1.52 million viewers for its season three finale this past March.
A press conference will be held on Friday to officially confirm the news.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
OFFICIAL SCI FI PRESS RELEASE
Executive Producers to Conclude the Series With Its Fourth Season
New York, NY – June 1, 2007 – Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have decided that season 4 of Battlestar Galactica, SCI FI Channel’s Peabody Award-winning original series, will be its last. They will use the 22-episode season, currently in production, to draw the saga of humanity’s struggle for survival to a close.
“This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and finally, an end. Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms,” stated Eick and Moore. “On a personal level, it’s been a creative privilege and an honor for all of us who work on the show and we know we’ll be lucky to ever see its like again. And while we know our fans will be saddened to know the end is coming, they should brace themselves for a wild ride getting there – we’re going out with a bang.”
“We respect the producers’ decision to end the series and are proud to have been the home of this groundbreaking show. We have always known that Ron and David had a plan for ‘Galactica’ and trust that fans can look forward to a truly amazing final season,” stated Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, SCI FI.
Production on the final 22 hours of season 4 is currently underway in Vancouver. An extended two-hour episode, “Razor,” will premiere in November 2007, setting the stage for the rest of the season to commence in 2008.
Redefining the space opera with its gritty realism, Galactica’s intensity, issues-driven topicality, and command performances have garnered it unprecedented critical acclaim. In addition to winning a prestigious Peabody Award, the series has been honored as one of the 10 Outstanding Television Programs of the Year by the American Film Institute (AFI) for two years running and the #2 sci-fi project – television or film – of the past 25 years by Entertainment Weekly. Battlestar is also responsible for introducing the expletive “frak” into the pop culture lexicon.
Battlestar Galactica is from NBC Universal Television Studio and is executive produced by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. Its stellar cast is led by Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Tricia Helfer and Grace Park.