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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


“Stargate Universe” Greenlit; Will Premiere As Two-Hour Movie in 2009, Followed By Weekly Series August 22, 2008 12:43 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe, Television.

Cheer up Stargate fans, the long-running franchise, which began with a film in 1994, then became a TV series (Stargate SG-1: 1997-2007) and another series (Stargate Atlantis: 2004-2009 ) is getting a new spin off.  MGM and SCI FI have announced that a go-ahead has been given on Stargate Universe. The new show will kick off with a two-hour movie in 2009, followed by a regular weekly run in the summer. Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, will serve as executive producers and writers on the new series. The news comes just a day after the confirmation that Stargate Atlantis would not be renewed for a sixth-seasonorder.  The two-hour movie that was also confirmed yesterday will still go forward.

The goal with the new show is to involve more space-based action than was shown on the two prior series:

“We’ve had great success with ‘Enterprise’ repeats on Monday night, and there’s clearly an appetite for space opera as ‘Battlestar’ goes away,” Sci Fi president Dave Howe said. “There’s an opportunity to keep the space opera as part of our programming strategy.”

“This is an opportunity to reinvent this franchise and make it relevant to a new generation,” Howe said. “We really don’t want to be more of the same. It’s going to build clearly off the existing franchise but with a cast that gives it a younger vibe.”

Said co-creators Wright and Cooper: “In ‘Universe,’ we plan to keep those elements that have made the franchise a success, such as adventure and humor, while breaking new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home. Above all, we believe the Stargate itself remains an enduring icon with infinite potential as a jumping-off point for telling stories.”

Here’s a complete description of the new series (and click after the jump for the full press release):

After unlocking the mystery of the Stargate’s ninth chevron, a team of explorers travels to an unmanned starship called the Destiny, launched by The Ancients at the height of their civilization as a grand experiment set in motion, but never completed.

What starts as a simple reconnaissance turns into a never ending mission, as the Stargate Universe crew discovers the ship is unable to return to Earth, and they must now fend for themselves aboard the Destiny.

The crew will travel to the far reaches of the universe, connecting with each of the previously launched Stargates, thus fulfilling the Destiny’s original mission. Challenges will arise though as the ship comes into range of Stargates placed centuries ahead of the Destiny and the crew is unable to control the ship’s navigational schedule. If someone is left behind, there is no way to go back for them, adding to the drama of encountering new races, enemies and adventures.

“Stargate Atlantis” Canceled; Movies Planned [Updated With Press Release and New Chart] August 21, 2008 3:08 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cancellations, News, Sci Fi, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Television.

UPDATED ON AUGUST 22ND AT 4:00PM: Because some wondered how the other SCI FI shows have fared, I’ve gone ahead and posted a chart detailing the ratings of Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka as well as Stargate Atlantis.  Check it out by clicking this link.

UPDATED ON AUGUST 21ST AT 2:45PM: I’ve attached the press release from SCI FI confirming the cancellation and announcing the two-hour TV movie (then video release).  Check it out after the jump.

The SCI FI Channel is ending Stargate Atlantis after five seasons on the air, that according to a report by Multichannel News.  There is still good news, however, as MGM and SCI FI will continue the straight-to-video venture that has proven successful thus far with the first Stargate TV franchise Stargate SG-1, which has already had two movies released on DVD to financial success.  The movie will air on the network in 2009 and then be released on DVD (and presumably Blu-ray as well).

Airing in 10-episode blocks since its premiere in July 2004, the series has seen declines with each string of episodes, until the later half of last season.  Its current viewership level of a little over 2 million viewers (includes a mix of live and delayed ratings data per Multichannel’s report) and a 1.22 household coverage rating (Live+Same Day only) through the first five episodes of this season is an increase over the comparable season four start.  However, it’s still barely half of where the show started off at (4.2M viewers and a 3.2 household coverage rating) for its series premiere in 2004.  Season five’s household rating average of 1.22 is 15% higher than the beginning of season four.

Nevertheless, and regardless of the fact that it picked up viewers when Live + 7-day ratings were factored in, a show with a respectable budget going into its sixth season of production on a cable network available to more than 80% of the nation should be attracting a larger audience.

In the meantime, fans can appreciate that SCI FI has decided to air the season straight through, foregoing their hiatus between 10-episode halves (I suppose that announcement was a hint at things to come huh?) as well as an extended life through straight-to-video movies:

“We’re excited to tell Atlantis stories on a bigger canvas,” Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, co-creators of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis and currently executive producers on Atlantis, said in a statement. “The successes of the two original Stargate [direct-to-video] movies The Ark of Truth and Continuum have shown us the opportunities that the movie format offers. We have plans for both SG-1 and Atlantis to remain vital as we expand the franchise.”

Other than it being announced that Stargate writers and producers (and current show runners) Joseph Mallozzi (who has a blog you can check at this link and confirmed the cancellation in this comment on his site) and Paul Mullie will write the first Atlantis movie script, there is no information about what the movie would be about, how many of the cast members would participate and who would direct. GateWorld.net’s report of the news indicates that MGM will make an official announcement on Thursday, so perhaps will get some more details at that point.

I know cancellations are hard to handle for some people but keep in mind that this is a business and sometimes regardless of how much you enjoy a show, the economics don’t warrant it staying on the air.  At least it got five seasons,much more than several other series even get a chance at.  Plus in this age of DVD and Internet entertainment there’s always the opportunity to revisit the material in some other form.

Also, Wright and Cooper are developing a third TV series in the franchise — called Stargate Universe –- and pitched it to the network in late 2007 (read a report on that from an April 2007 GateWorld.net article here).  SCI FI has made no announcement regarding that proposed new series.

I’ve included a chart below tracking the entire run of the show via the household coverage rating (click to enlarge).

Note: Two-hour episodes/nights are counted as one rating.  All data based on live or live+same day ratings.

Ratings for Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka (click to enlarge)

My complete analysis, including a season-by-season breakdown, of the above chart follows directly after the jump.


“Stargate Atlantis” to Return in the Fall August 6, 2008 9:11 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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Some good news for Stargate Atlantis fans.  In past seasons, its been common practice for SCI FI to air its original series in two batches of 10 episodes.  That looks to be changing this season as it appears Stargate Atlantis will be returning with its last 10 episodes of season five in the fall, not next season as originally expected.  The Futon Critic reports that after its 10th episode airs on September 26th at 10pm, the show will take a one-week break (for the premiere of two-hour premiere of Sanctuary on October 3rd from 9-11pm) and then return the following week in a new time slot: 9pm.

Through three weeks (we don’t yet have the numbers for the fourth episode of the season that aired this past Friday) Stargate Atlantis has averaged a 1.2 household rating.  That’s slightly above what the fourth season averaged through episodes (1.1 household rating).

A new episode of Stargate Atlantis airs this Friday on SCI FI at 10pm.

Comic-Con 2008: “Stargate Atlantis” Panel July 26, 2008 1:40 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2008, News, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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Here are some highlights, courtesy TV Squad, of the Comic-Con panel for the SCI FI series Stargate Atlantis:

  • Flanigan was the only original cast member of Atlantis at the panel.  Flanigan talked about how his character has evolved over the last five seasons. He use to do many things solo in the beginning, but now he’s a team player, he says.
  • Plenty of jokes to go around.
  • Jewel Staite answered a question about her most difficult show to film to date, saying it was the season four episode “Tracker”.
  • Picardo named an upcoming episode, “Inquisition”, because his character has nearly 10 pages of straight dialougue to go through.
  • Writer Brad Wright responded a question about whether there would be any romance between Sheppard and Teyla by saying that they have a unique relationship and it will be explored more this year.

“LOST” Premieres on SCI FI in September, “Sanctuary” in October July 7, 2008 6:20 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cable TV, ECW, Eureka, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Lost, News, Sanctuary, Scare Tactics, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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SCI FI has revealed their fall plans.  New episodes of Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth will return on Wednesday, September 3rd, taking over for Ghost Hunters International and Scare Tactics when they wrap on August 20th.  The off-network run of LOST will kick off on Monday, September 15th and the show will air in blocks of four episodes starting at 7pm ET every Monday.  The mid-season finale of Eureka will take place on September 23rd at 9pm.  The next week on September 30th, the network will slide ECW into the time slot, followed by the premiere of Scare Tactics at 10pm.

Rounding out the schedule, Stargate Atlantis will wrap the first half of season five on Friday, September 26th, and the new drama from former Stargate SG-1/Stargate Atlantis star Amanda Tapping (pictured right in character) will debut the following week on October 3rd with a two-hour premiere.

Sources: The Futon Critic and Gateworld.net

Robert Picardo and Stargate Atlantis Producer Joseph Mallozzi Discuss Atlantis: Season Five July 6, 2008 1:00 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, Sci Fi, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Television.

New series regular Robert Picardo and producer Joseph Mallozzi recently held a press conference to discuss the upcoming fifth season of the SCI FI series Stargate Atlantis (July 11th at 10pm).  The topics included how the new season kicks off, whether Tori Higginson will be returning to reprise her role as Dr. Elizabeth Weir and more.  Check out the highlights after the jump.


SCI FI Channel Sets Premiere Dates for Summer Lineup May 29, 2008 3:06 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Eureka, Ghost Hunters International, News, Scare Tactics, SCI FI Channel, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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The SCI FI Channel has announced the premiere dates for its summer television series. New episodes of Ghost Hunters International and Scare Tactics (with new host Tracy Morgan) will premiere on Wednesday, July 9th at 9pm and 10pm, respectively.  The fifth season of Stargate Atlantis, which will air its 100th episode, will premiere on Friday, July 11th at 10pm.  And the third season premiere of Eureka kicks off on Tuesday, July 29th at 9pm.

“Stargate Atlantis” Prepares for Season 5 With a New Castmember February 5, 2008 1:28 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, News, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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The SCI FI Channel today issued a press release about the the fifth season of Stargate Atlantis, which begins production later this month. In addition to plans to celebrate the show’s 100th episode, the network announced a new regular castmember; Robert Picardo.


Amanda Tapping Leaving Atlantis to Focus on “Sanctuary”, Expect Press Release Tuesday February 4, 2008 6:00 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Casting, News, Sanctuary, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis.

After eleven years on the Stargate franchise as a regular cast member, actress Amanda Tapping is leaving her role on Stargate Atlantis to focus on the new series Sanctuary, which was just picked up by the SCI FI channel for 13 episodes (related article here).


SCI FI Channel Renews “Stargate Atlantis” for a Fifth Season October 24, 2007 3:14 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Renewals, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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No longer paired with Stargate SG-1, SCI FI seems content with the weakened performance of its drama series Stargate Atlantis as the network today announced they’ve renewed the show for a fifth season.


Comic-Con 2007: Some Info Revealed On New “Stargate” Spin-Off July 30, 2007 2:45 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, Television.
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Suring panels on the Stargate franchise (including the ending ‘SG-1’ and the upcoming fourth season of ‘Atlantis’), writer Robert Cooper briefly spoke on the upcoming spinoff series, currently being referred to as Stargate Universe.


Sci Fi Sets Premiere Date for Painkiller Jane March 15, 2007 11:40 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Television.
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New science-fiction series will debut after Sci Fi’s two Stargate series on Friday the 13th (April 13th).


Amanda Tapping to Join Stargate Atlantis February 21, 2007 10:00 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in Cable TV, Casting, News, Sci Fi, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1, Television.
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Amanda Tapping, who plays Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter on the soon to conclude Stargate SG-1 will continue to play that role on its spinoff series: Stargate Atlantis.