SyFy Cancels ‘Stargate Universe’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated December 17th, 2010 at 10:50 am,

stargate universe canceled SyFy Cancels Stargate Universe

Two months after SyFy announced that the Battlestar Galactica spin-off Caprica was coming to an abrupt end, another franchise staple for the network has been given a pink-slip. After much speculation, SyFy announced today that they will not be picking Stargate Universe for a third season.

Fortunately, fans of the series will not have to worry about a sudden disappearance of their favorite show from the television schedule, as SyFy still plans on airing the 10 remaining episodes of the second season. Of course, on what day and in what time-slot those episodes will air is still yet unknown.

The Stargate Universe series premiere garnered a respectable 2.4 million viewers. Unfortunately, as the series continued, it began to lose viewers week after week. When the second season took its hiatus on November 30, the show was averaging around 1 million viewers per episode – which is slightly higher than the ratings Caprica was receiving when it was canceled.

With news of Stargate Universe being canceled, one has to wonder how this will impact the subsequent episodes and inevitable end of the series. While everything has been planned for Gauntlet to be the second season finale, the producers may choose to tweak the last remaining episodes in order to get a proper send off to Nicholas Rush, Everett Young, and the rest of the Destiny crew.

Of course, with no real knowledge of Stargate Universe’s production schedule, one can’t really know how many of the episodes have already been completed – or if a last minute shift in the seasonal plot-line would even be possible.

Now that Stargate Universe has been canceled, it begs the question whether SyFy will attempt another series based on this popular franchise. While Stargate has been a staple on the network over 8 years, the ratings of this latest installment haven’t been promising.

stargate universe cast SyFy Cancels Stargate Universe

Even though Battlestar Galactica has been given a resurrection after Caprica with Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, another series from Stargate is unlikely. With Caprica, many cited the complete disconnect from the original series, and lack of Cylons and Cylon fighting, as their reason for not tuning in. Fortunately, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome picks up in the 10th year of the first Cylon war, which should interest those that originally passed on Caprica’s overly dramatic storylines.

Unfortunately, in the case of Stargate, there’s no real time-line of events that producers could fall back on and cite as being something they know would work as a television series this time around.

Hopefully I am wrong. Whether you’re a fan of Stargate or not, the series has had a rich and diverse run. It would be extremely unfortunate if it simply came to an end.


Stargate Universe is expected to return in spring 2011, on SyFy

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  1. Aww, man. Not SGU! Out of the Stargate franchise, it’s the only show that I’ve been able to follow completely. Damn Syfy for canceling it, especially when it was getting good.

  2. I admit I’ve been a fan of all the StarGates. Universe was very compelling. A really good story. I think it was limited by the time slot and that it needed to be given a lot more exposure. If Syfy channel could build more exposure, give it more traditional time slots, etc, it would have grown.

  3. Going to wait until season three of any syfy series from now on. It makes zero sense to buy into a series just to see it disappear.

  4. Damn it! SGU was incredible.
    I have to say, however, I had a feeling theres not much actually happenning, during the first season, after some introductory episodes… Maybe that could explain the numbers drops, cause I dont know what else could, as season two was just incredible so far…

  5. The truly sad part is Universe just took a turn toward the story arc that probably would have carried it forward through at least another season. I sometimes wonder if online viewing has made ratings of shows like these obsolete. Personally I know I won’t be able to view Universe when it is aired so I buy it by the season on iTunes because I don’t want to miss an episode and I don’t want to suffer through the occasional “buffering.” I enjoyed SG1, I stayed with the franchise through Atlantis, but Universe was the first series in the franchise that I felt really pushed the envelope and was the most adult and mature of the three. But now, in this world of Hulu and online viewing and the like – does that make air-dates and “ratings” obsolete?

    • I’m almost positive that Hulu and iTunes specifically are factored in when making decisions like this. It seems like every time a show is on the bubble they’re urging fans to tune in as well as buy episodes on iTunes and watch it on Hulu.

    • For networks, first run ratings are what counts most. While shows may be popular via Hulu, iTunes or even on DVD, it doesn’t fiscally provide the support needed to continue producing this type of programming.

      This is especially true when the series is not produced by the network or a sister company under the same corporate umbrella. SyFy (NBC Universal) airs Stargate Universe, but MGM (Sony Corporation of America) produces it.

      In the end, it’s all about advertising. Air-time on any network has a certain value and with Stargate Universe underperforming compared to other SyFy series, the commercial ad-rates they could ask for this series from advertisers aren’t enough to fiscally justify its continuation.

      • That’s really too bad considering how archaic the Nielsen system is.

        • Not to mention the fact that the Nielsen system is a complete monopoly and they’re extremely controlling when it comes to the ratings.

          Of course, the Nielsen system was originally set up for advertisers and internal use throughout the various networks. It wasn’t until the growth of the Internet that ratings have been brought into the vernacular of the television viewing audience.

          I remember the first time I had someone sit me down and completely explain Nielsen ratings to me. The 1 million or 2 million viewers is just the ratings shell… the deeper the numbers and breakdowns go, the more complicated it is to understand them.

          I understand Nielsen ratings, but if someone asked me to explain them, I’d talk in circles.

          • Well if we ever get face time and you’re up for it, I actually find this really interesting. =-)

            • Haha… I’m sure we will at some point. Make sure to bring a notepad, because I’ll need something to scribble on. ;-)

      • Some good points to consider here, Anthony.

        From past stories I’ve read (both on SR and other sites) it seems as though there’s some slight turmoil in the decision making that drives SyFy. (I’m sure this is true of any network, mind you.) If I recall correctly, the power players at SyFy did some tinkering with the final season of Battlestar Galactica as well as Sanctuary that took a toll on the shows in some capacity. I’m not sure what direction they want their network to go, but I have enjoyed a number of their original series and hope they get things sorted out soon.

        If you compare SyFy programming to its sister network USA, it seems that quirky programs are the way they’re leaning. Eureka, Warehouse 13, etc. which are far less dark than SGU. Plus, they have to save money for Sharktopus 2. :)

        • Sharktopus and movies like it were a creation of complete genius ridiculousness.

          While previous SyFy (or Sci-Fi) original movies and miniseries were more expensive, they’ve figured out a way to to present something to the world that costs a little more than an episode of Stargate Universe does to produce. When it airs, those films have proven to garner solid ratings for the network.

          …not to mention the great word of mouth that comes from something as crazy as Sharktopus.

          Also, creating an “event” like the premiere of their films allows the network to charge higher ad-rates. This is why the various MTV Awards were created. Mel Karmazin (head of Viacom at the time) knew that if they created some kind of awards show and invited celebrities to it, they could charge double the normal ad-rate.

          While a SyFy original movie premiere won’t bring in double the ad-rate, it will be more than just a regular episode of a television series.

          …Ok, I’m done rambling. ;-)

          • I enjoy the rambling, especially if it’s sensible and coherent. :)

            It makes sense from a business standpoint if they can take, say, a 13-episode series and from that budget instead create 13 original events which generate more money for the network.

            Also, I wouldn’t mind if Vic let you do a post explaining the Nielsen ratings.

            • Shhhhhhh….. Don’t say that out loud.

              I know Vic would let me write a piece explaining the Nielsen rating, but sitting down and actually doing it makes my palms sweat. ;-)

              • Well, for safety’s sake (and SR deadlines) we can’t have your palm sweat shorting out the keyboard.

      • First run ratings…Hmmm. We don’t even have cable. All of our viewing comes comes from Hulu, NetFlix, etc. I remember the first people I met that had given up their land lines for cell phones. It seemed odd at first but is pretty common now. I see the same thing slowly happening to cable. We gave it up and don’t miss it at all. I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

  6. Eff-off SyFy. I am tired of getting into your shows only to have them cancelled. Go concentrate on more killer zombie dinosaur elf movies.

  7. That’s sucks. I’ve been watching this show, since it STARTED. Even, when it was, just Stargate and Stargate Atlantis. There is no other shows that I really like from SyFy, if you do cancel this show.

  8. S.G.U was a great show. I hope the ratings take in to account the fact that more and more people these days catch up on these episodes online. Not too many people sit around of a night waiting for each episode to air on TV. No need to, you can watch the re-run the day after at Hulu. Times have changed. I just hope the ratings take this in to account.

  9. I think Universe tried to hard to be BSG instead of a new adventure in the Stargate mythos. I think they should have offed a bunch of the characters that had no charm or umph. i.e. Col. Young, Lt. Scott, Rush’s ‘assistants’, half of the science team

    • Dude, it was those characters that made it so great. Without those characters, it wouldn’t be half a great the show it is.

  10. I’m so disappointed. Initially I wasn’t sure about the show as it was so different from SG1 and Atlantis. But it really grew on me especially this season. I’m one of those people that only watch it online and I do wonder if we get counted. I imagine we must as it would be foolish not to. Hopefully they will have time to tie up the show in the remaining episodes.

  11. It took about half of the first season for the stories to really come together, but once they did I felt the second half was enjoyable. The fact that episodes air on Tuesday nights aren’t likely to help, as their are many choices on the major networks. This is a shame, as I’ve come to enjoy the story and looked forward to seeing where (most of) the characters were headed.

  12. I’m very disappointed to hear this. I have been following this show since the first season and it has FINALLY become a great show. I hope they give it a proper send off. I can’t understand how they cancel this show, yet we keep getting the horrible Saturday night movies. The only show I will be watching on SyFy now will be Warehouse 13.

  13. This is so disappointing. I just downloaded all of Season 1 to catchup!! WHY?! WHY!? Ok, I know rating. I agree with most here that this is my fav of the SG family. Dark, but in a good way and so many possibilities. Like the dark, serious cousin to Star Trek Voyager.

    So many of the other SyFy programs are mind-mushing. Science Fiction is being replaced with fluff.

    Hopefully there will be a change — is there hope? Tell me where to write, I’ll begin a blitz!! Anywhy, I hope they end the show gracefully and with a juicy bang — might lead to a movie, who knows.

    • I think that is breach of contract :) they get you to buy then cancelnthe show.

  14. Every show I like gets cancelled…Jericho, legend of the seeker, Farscape, not to mention Firefly. Whether it’s ScyFy or one of the three-letter networks, there is this constant belief by the execs that some unknown show will better than the one they have now. ScyFy or really NBC/Universal is the worst offender. I am sick of them. They show no loyalty to their fans at all. The reason why Sci-Fi is having less and less viewers is because they keep saying screw off to those million of us who were watching every episode. So, I say to the ScyFy: Screw you! I am, out of principle boycotting the rest of the shows you air. If you don’t want to be SciFi anymore and air endless seasons of bull crap reality shows than we are parting ways.

    • I agree with you ,, i am pissed this show was just beginning to build up, Did they cancel Merlin? because it like dropped out right no word nothing.. i am done with the Syfy channel I’m so pissed!!

      • Not sure. Season 3 just ended in the UK and it’s looking like there will be more seasons.

  15. Does Syfy even have anything to do with science fiction anymore? Why couldn’t they run the show on two days instead of just one (like AMC does)? I often have to view it on Hulu because I don’t have time to view it in it’s slot. They could count up all the combined ratings. Maybe Bridge Studios could keep it in production and show it on Hulu or iTunes and bypass Syfy entirely. TV channels are too beholden to the almighty advertising buck.

    • In response to your initial question, if I recall correctly the logic behind rebranding from SciFi to SyFy was partially in an effort to be more than science fiction. I agree that the network didn’t seem to promote SGU as much as, say, Eureka or Caprica. As much as I like SyFy, they seem to be pushing slick, glossy shows (similar to their sister network, USA).

      • They also changed the name because you can’t copyright “SciFi channel” but you can copyright “SyFy channel”.

  16. Not really disappointed. Maybe now they’ll make the Stargate Atlantis movie that we were promised.

  17. Of course sigh fie will give SGU a proper ending…
    The cast will auction off their wardrobe after searching for the ghosts of Caprica while wearing tights before wrestling to the death!

  18. Well, at least there’s hope for tv entertainment, this show was freakin’ horrible. Too bad they can’t bring back SG-1, especially without RDA…

    • SG1 was only good because we SciFi nerds are even loyal to cheesy shows. The writing in SGU was far superior to SG1 tha was more bottle episodes than ones that moved the plot. The second season was just getting steam and they pull the rug out.

      • Greg, really? SGU was better written than SG-1??? Give me a break. The stories were horrific. The character acting was terrible(except for Rush, and the whole lesbian side-plot was an absolute joke.
        I was a huge fan SG-1, and I liked Atlantis, but this show was garbage.
        Definitely deserved to be canceled.
        Go watch Sanctuary people.

        • Well, that’s just your opinion. For many others, myself included, who actually enjoyed this show, this was the one program that satisfied their need for actual mature sci-fi programming beyond nasty aliens and things blowing up. If you find yourself averse to series that deal with such tricky matters as actual human relationships, go watch some childrens tv. Leave this sort of thing to those of us with the mental capacity to process it. Also, in conclusion (and partially just to get your goat) yes, SGU was better written than SG1. So there.

        • SGU and SG-1 were differently written. Personally, I found the writing on SG-1 clever and fun and I enjoyed it for the most part, but I don’t know that I would call it great writing. Let’s not forget that SG-1 had its own difficulties along the way – but that was a different era of television. SGU was more complex and emotionally grounded so for my money it was better written, however the pacing of the show had serious shortcomings. In an attempt to build a sense of danger, tension and vulnerability they sacrificed forward motion of the plot. I hope SyFy reverses this decision – because if they don’t it will likely signal the end (or at the very least a long hiatus) for a franchise that has been a big part of the science fiction landscape since 1994.

      • @Greg

        LMAO, right, so putting in as many gimmicks as they can, with younger “hipper” characters “with attitudes” and with much higher ranks than they really could have achieved in real life and overly dramatic sequences and dialog equals better writing to you?? LOL, ok…

        Funny thing is, when I saw the first few episodes of this turd of a show, it reminded me of the 200th episode of SG-1 where it was just a bunch of parodies, and this reminded me of the “younger hipper cast” parody, except they weren’t trying to be funny in this… Sad…

  19. I am really disappointed with this decision! I love SGU! Why is it that the more realistic a show gets (on SyFy), the better the acting is, the less successful the show is? BSG was another one of my favorites, I don’t even know why SyFy invests money into the hundreds of ‘B’ movies that it produces… It was a great run SGU!

  20. I never got too much into SG-1 too much. But Atlantis was the s**t. And yes, where is that DTV flick? Maybe they can’t afford Jason Mamoa anymore, who knows.

    But am I concerned for Universe? No. I suspect some threads can be wrapped up. Worst case? DTV film of SG-1, Atlantis or Uni that helps soften the blow.

  21. Sy-Fy has been slowing ditching the format that made it what it was. Maybe another cable channel will pick it up.

  22. Now SGU also falls victim to the move to Tuesday night.

    I knew from the moment they started airing wrestling and moved their Friday shows to Tuesday it wouldn’t work.

    They should have moved wrestling back to Thursday where it ran for a long time before it moved to Friday, and kept their scifi block for Friday.

    It makes no sense to cannibalize their best night of the week before wrestling to show wrestling. The amount money they must pay to show Smackdown, must offset whatever audience gain they get from Smackdown.

    If I as just an observer could see this happening why couldn’t the high paid execs at Syfy and Universal couldn’t?

  23. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Be realistic. They cancelled the Atlantis tv movie, which would have made a fortune in dvd revenue. The people in charge at Sci Fi are braindead morons.

  25. Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome… I am not going to even bother with this show because as soon as I like it Syfy will cancel it. Syfy used to be my primary channel to have on all the time, and now it’s something I flip past.

  26. Oh no! I’ll miss Stargate! At least I have the DVDs. I just watched SG1 “Thors Hammer” last night. What a great show. Booooooo!!!! SyFy what’s wrong with you???