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“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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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.
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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.

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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.

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Working Title for Next Stargate Series: Universe March 25, 2007 2:00 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Stargate, Television.
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According to Gateworld.net, the working title for the third Stargate series has been unveiled.  The series is currently being referred to as Stargate Universe.

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First of two Stargate SG-1 movies set to begin filming April, 15 December 21, 2006 8:53 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Science Fiction, Stargate, Television.
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According to an interview he gave to IGN.com, Michael Shanks announced that the first of two Stargate SG-1 films will begin filming April 15, 2007, while the second will start shooting June 1.

The first movie will follow the current 10th season Ori storyline, and the second one will involve time travel.

The entire cast is signed up for both movies.

Movie 1 will be executive produced and written by Robert C. Cooper (who will also direct it), while the second movie will be executive produced by Brad Wright and directed by Martin Wood.

Head on over to IGN.com to check out more details and read the full interview with Michael Shanks.

Source: [tv.ign.com]IGN Interviews Michael Shanks

New Stargate series in development December 15, 2006 12:51 am

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Science Fiction, Stargate, Television.
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According to GateWorld.Net, a third television series in the Stargate franchise is now in development.

The series is still early along in the concept phase, and is being worked on by the creative forces behind “Stargate SG-1” and “Stargate Atlantis”. The premise behind the show is still not yet known.

Gateworld reports that the series is not likely to be put into production until 2008 at the earliest.

“Stargate SG-1” returns in April of next year to where it will air its remaining 10 episodes of its 10th, and final, season.

It was reported about two months ago that though this will be the final season of ‘SG-1’, the series will continue on in two Direct-to-DVD (most likely) productions which should premiere in the fall of 2007.

“Stargate Atlantis” returns to finish off its third season this April, and a fourth season has already been greenlit for a as yet determined 2007 premiere.

Source: [GateWorld]Third Stargate series in development

Stargate SG-1 To Be Continued Via Direct-To-DVD Films October 11, 2006 8:22 pm

Posted by Rosario T. Calabria in News, Sci Fi, Stargate, Television.
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Executive producer Brad Wright told TV Guide that MGM has given him the green light and enough money to film two SG-1 movies, which likely would be made available by DVD.

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