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No Series Finale Bump for Stargate Atlantis + Sanctuary Ratings and Analysis January 13, 2009 12:48 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cable TV Ratings, News, Nielsen TV Ratings, Sanctuary, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Television.

stargateatlantiss5cast-011309There was no bump to be had for the season five/series finale of Stargate Atlantis last Friday.  While registering season highs among key measures including total viewers (2.02M), Adults 18-49 (973,000) and Adults 25-54 (1.15M), the show actually posted slight declines in all three categories vs. the season four finale on March 7, 2008: 2.12 million total viewers, 1.06M Adults 18-49 and 1.25M Adults 25-54.

Measured against that season four finale, ‘Atlantis’ was off by 5%/100,000 among total viewers , 8%/80,000 among Adults 18-49 and 8%/100,000 among Adults 25-54.

Both episodes received an identical 1.5 rating among households.

The first season finale of Sanctuary aired out of Stargate Atlantis and drew a 1.6 household rating, 2 million total viewers, 900,000 Adults 18-49 and 1.13 million Adults 25-54.  Those numbers were the highest for the show since its series premiere back on October 3, 2008 among total viewers and Adults 18-49.

I have to admit that while I’ve watched every episode of Stargate Atlantis, I’m not much of a fan these days so I don’t much care one way or the other about its cancellation (but I always, always feel for the fans) but I do find it very interesting that the new series Sanctuary is performing only as well as the just-canceled five-year series.

Moving back to the ratings, the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis (including all available timeshifting data), averaged a 1.6 HH rating, 2.1 million total viewers, 1.06M Adults 18-49 and 1.24M Adults 25-54.  Compared to season four, ‘Atlantis’ was up (again, this includes live+same day and all available timeshifting data): 14% in HH ratings, 5% in total viewers and 5% in Adults 25-54.  SCI FI didn’t list the yearly change for Adults 18-49 so I imagine the show actually decreased some in that all important demo figure. (Incidentally, while it’s not nearly as important in cable television as in broadcast television, Adults 18-49 is considered the most important demo).

Sanctuary, meanwhile, had a slightly better season than ‘Atlantis’, save among Adults 18-49 where the later had a ever-so-slight advantage, drawing an average (live+same day plus all available timeshifting data) 1.8 HH rating, 2.35M total viewers, 1.04M Adults 18-49 and 1.36M adults 25-54.

SCI FI notes that this is the best performance for a first-year original scripted series on the network since the 2006 debut of Eureka.  The network introduced three scripted shows in 2007: The Dresden Files; Painkiller Jane and Flash Gordon, but they were all poorly received and were canceled after just one season.

And about that SGA finale — SPOILERS for any one who hasn’t seen it yet — please tell me I’m not the only one that finds it — oh what’s that word I’m looking for..oh yes– stupid that the show ended with Atlantis on Earth?  I know they’re working on a TV movie, but Earth, really?

Source: SCI FI



1. Morjana - January 18, 2009 7:46 pm

Atlantis started on Earth (see the first episode, Rising), so Atlantis came full circle by returning to Earth. I don’t think that is stupid.

2. LoyalTrekFan - January 18, 2009 10:46 pm

I’m always amazed that what qualifies as a failure on a network is called a hit on cable. Star Trek: Enterprise regularly received ratings similar to SGA and Sanctuary every week. ST: ENT was on UPN, a minor network, and was called a ratings “failure” and that no one was watching. Sci-Fi says that Sanctuary is “officially a hit.” Sci-Fi Channel is a cable network and people say everyone is watching the hits like BSG and Sanctuary yet no one watched ST: ENT that received the same ratings?! Just my observation.

As for Atlantis returning to Earth: they wanted to show the Atlantis crew come home, as Col. Carter put it. Who knows, maybe they will have traveling back to the Pegasus Galaxy by the time of the next film. It’s certainly possible.

3. Daoud - January 19, 2009 2:23 am

Yes, really. You’re the only one that finds it — oh what’s that word I’m looking for..oh yes– stupid that the show ended with Atlantis on Earth?

Obviously, you were *never* watching it closely: the ancients were from Earth, left Earth with Atlantis, thus creating the whole “myth of Atlantis”.

4. Rosario T. Calabria - January 25, 2009 9:29 pm

But the show was based in the Pegasus galaxy, so why do they have to come back?

I don’t know, that’s just how I feel. I’ve always been a bigger fan of SG-1 than Atlantis, so I probably don’t care all that much to see them “return home” if you will.

I mean, with them on Earth, the show basically becomes Stargate SG-1, no?

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