Highest Ratings in Sci Fi Net History, So Why Not Say So?

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Highest Ratings in Sci Fi Net History, So Why Not Say So?

Postby msspurlock on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:11 am

It's puzzling that Sci Fi's press release doesn't mention this. We hear things like it beat out the competition handily, but they neglect to mention that this show that they CANCELLED took them out of the doldrums in just two nights.

Oh well. I guess they want to just go back to being the "all Stargate, all the time" network?
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yeah

Postby aeryn-rules on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:45 am

networks are notorious for making bad decisions and then not owning up to them. look what happened to star trek way back in 69'. it was cancelled after 3 seasons and look what's happened to it since. and i know it didn't get the same kind of overwhelming fan response like farscape did. thier writing campaign was not good enough to get anything going for many years. we got some form of farscape back after only 2 years. taking star trek into account, i think farscape will do just fine getting back on the screen, big or small.
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Postby Flake on Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:21 am

I really wish I could have been the person who went up to the SciFi Channel board and told them that Farscape was coming back for a mini-series. And then, I also wished I could have seen their faces when they found-out that Farscape, a show that they cancelled, pulled them into the highest ratings board for those two nights. It will probably happen again next time the mini is aired. They must be kicking themselves in the mivonks for even considering canceling this great show.
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Re: yeah

Postby gothix on Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:24 am

aeryn-rules wrote:networks are notorious for making bad decisions and then not owning up to them. look what happened to star trek way back in 69'. it was cancelled after 3 seasons and look what's happened to it since. and i know it didn't get the same kind of overwhelming fan response like farscape did. thier writing campaign was not good enough to get anything going for many years. we got some form of farscape back after only 2 years. taking star trek into account, i think farscape will do just fine getting back on the screen, big or small.


You must be a youngster. Star trek fans did mount a massive letter campaign after the original series was cancelled, I know I was a part of the effort, being from the first generation of Trekkies. Why it took so long was more about the mindset of execs at the network. You still had many in charge who were there back when television just got started. If you think today's programming executive is deaf to the wishes of the viewer audience you never met one from the 50's/60's. The concept of listening to the viewer's feedback was not to be considered in any way. The harder we pushed the more obstinate they became. It took fresh blood in the business to turn things around. If you do a bit of digging into history you'll find out that our write in was the first ever in television history and stands to this day as the longest and largest.
As for dedication, you'll be hard pressed to find any fan base that was more fanatical than the early trekkies.(I remember when they stormed the movie room at one early world con and trashed it because the officials refused to have round the clock screenings of star trek.)
If you want to attribute the success of getting Farscape back in just two years on anything it'd have to be because the path you took was blazed many years before by fans of earlier series.(Star Trek, Quantum Leap etc...)
Not trying to bash you in any way, just give you a bit more perspective into the history of Science Fiction/Fantasy in television and the adversarial nature of the network/viewer relationship.
I personally can't wait for the campaign to keep Farscape going to continue so I can do my part.
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Postby aeryn-rules on Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:39 am

i meant no slight to the star trek campaign or the people who did it, i was just using that as an example that such actions by the fans can turn other wise dead shows into global phenomenons. and thank you for setting me straight on the trek campaign. i guess i just take today's customer satisfaction climate for granted.
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Postby gothix on Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:33 am

aeryn-rules wrote:i meant no slight to the star trek campaign or the people who did it, i was just using that as an example that such actions by the fans can turn other wise dead shows into global phenomenons. and thank you for setting me straight on the trek campaign. i guess i just take today's customer satisfaction climate for granted.



No problem.
As bad as things are in today's politically correct and squeeky clean world think about what the viewers of 60's television had to contend with.
All there was to watch in Science Fiction/fantasy programs was ridiculous crap full of screaming females and BEMs. Even programs like The Outer Limits were subject to "creative" control from the board room.(If it didn't have plenty of fist fights and scary monsters do a rewrite!)
To actually stand up and admit you liked science fiction literature and film was certain to get you branded as some sort of weirdo.
Still, thanks to countless fans over the many years it's become one of the largest and most diverse genres on the planet. Certainly one that can claim the most loyal and devoted fan bases of any.(Think not just of Star Trek but programs like Dr. Who, Quantum Leap etc...)
If you take the long view of how programs like Farscape have been treated by the broadcasters/networks you can clearly see a pattern.
One that has little to do with whether the show in particular is popular with the viewer audience or not.
In fact in the past decade we've had more shows in the science fictiion/fantasy/horror genres cancelled than ever before, all for no apparent reason.(Firefly, Brimstone, American Gothic are just a few that come to mind. All had devoted fan bases that stuck with them.)
And everytime an intelligent entertaining program is cancelled it's timeslot is always filled with vacuous, politically correct drivel that masquerades as science fiction/fantasy.
SciFi channel would have us watching the likes of Stargate SG-1 or worse.
And I for one have never been able to accept the ratings game as any more than a sham at worst or an horribly inaccurate scale of measurement at best.(They'll never get me to believe that SG-1 is the biggest scifi program on the planet.)
If we can have dozens of "sports" channels on cable/satellite why oh why can't we have more than just on devoted to science fiction?
Having more would certainly put the empty heads at SciFi on notice.
Just think, one or more channels devoted to intelligent science fiction, that
didn't practice censorship, and actually listened to viewer feedback.
With SciFi my biggest complaint is censorship. Why bother running box office science fiction movies if you're just going to chop them up to the point of insensibility and dub over dialog?(This is where the writers on Farscape really showed there stuff. Create a whole new galaxy with it's own language. One that the viewers would recognise had parallels with our own language, thereby handily sidestepping the censors altogether.)
I would SOOO love to see a new channel devoted to science fiction/fantasy and horror that was aimed at those of us who are adult enough to appreciate intelligent fare.
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Postby aeryn-rules on Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:46 am

that would be a dream come true. i'm so tired of the lack of quality programming on sci-fi right now. instead of wasting money on python 3 or some other insipid badly written show, they need to invest it in quality. maybe some of the more wealthy farscape fans will get together and start up the farscape channel. all intelligent sci-fi with farscape as the flagship. i can hope.
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Postby cyberman on Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:34 pm

It's nice to see that there are others that still distrust the Sci-Fi channel as much as I do, despite the return of Farscape. I couldn't agree more with the sentiments mentioned above. I was disappointed with Sci-Fi even before it made it's broadcast debut. I remember in 1992 seaing a promo for the channel and seeing a clip of Doctor Who. It being my all time favorite show (prior to Farscape), I was delighted to see that there would be another place to see Doctor Who aside from American PBS stations. You can imagine my disapointment when Doctor Who NEVER made it to Sci-Fi.

Also, I might add that a major difference between the Trek campaign of old and the Farscape campaign of today is the internet. The connectivity of the internet allows a fractured fan base to band together exponentially quicker and with greater ease. The level of communication is also enhanced allowing for a greater impact on the powers that be.

In my experiance the best shows on television are always cut down before their prime. Farscape, Firefly, Angel, and Babalyon 5 to name a few. EVen shows like Andy Ricter Controls the Universe are too much for the mindless executives in hollywood. It's amazing to me that a show like Arrested Development is still making it.
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Postby Fracture on Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:46 pm

Actually Stargate can't be the most watched sci-Fi show. I don't have numbers but I would imagine that Enterprise (as bad as it is) would pull in higher numbers because of the brand name and being on UPN. I think they jsut say it's the most popular Sci-Fi show and they skirt the wording a bit there by just saying sci-fi. They really just mean their channel.

Anyhow I don't think shows like Farscape will ever get a chance for extended periods of time without something backing them from the get go. Buffy was one of the most recent shows to have a storyline that built off of all the previous episodes but it wasn't quite as dependant on history as Farscape is. It suceeded mostly due to the witing and dynamic they had. Angel was doing pretty well also but suffered the backlash of Buffys move to UPN from the WB.

While it stinks that television panders to the LCD but they sort of have to. Shows that you can jsut pick up whenever can do better because casual viewers can watch 5 episodes a season and not feel totally lost. I have friends tht actually refused to watch farscape because they saw like 1 episode in season 3 were totally lost and said that it looked like a great show and they knew they woudl like it if they saw it from the beginning. In this respec Farscape is huring by being distributed by a stupid Anime company that feels they can gut fans with the same horrid pricing scheme that anime has. (Althugh he does now own all of season 1 and I have 2 and 3 to let him borrow when he get's up to speed :))

Anyhow, off topic. The only shows I have seen suceed that are written like shows like farscape are, are shows on Premium cable like HBO or Showtime. Those channels are less interested in ratings and mroe interested in bringing in new subscribers. I do think if Farscape were to all of a sudden show up on HBO a lot of us who don't own HBO woudl pick it up just for that.

Which brings me to the last thing that REALLY makes me jsut hate the Sci-Fi channel. They KNOW how popular Farscape is. If another network wanted Farscape they woudl logically want all of it. However the Sci-Fi Channel will never let their grip on that go because they know how popular it is and don't want anyone rubbing their nose in it.

Said this when they cancelled the show "I'll never watch this stupid channel again" Well I lifted that ban this past week to see Farscape again and now that I've seen it it's back on. I hope the channel rots.
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Postby Fracture on Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:48 pm

Dr. Who was on Scifi. I rememebr being sick and home from work one day it was on at like noon, but not every day at non, randomly at noon.
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Postby cyberman on Thu Oct 21, 2004 3:57 pm

Funny, Fracture. I had the same boycot on Sci-Fi after cancelation. I lifted the ban for the mini and, like you, will turn my back on the channel again.

Yes, a few shows get lucky. Buffy was a great series that managed to live out all of it's planned story arcs. Incedentally, I never got into Buffy before syndication.

Doctor Who may have made it to Sci-Fi at one time, but it wasn't early on like their, pre-broadcast promotions suggested. I will say that they showed the Doctor Who TV movie but I have never seen an episode of the BBC television series on Sci-Fi
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Postby Fracture on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:03 pm

Was a buffy fan from day 1. I watched it as a joke and was surprised how well writen the diologue alone was. It reminded me of how kids I knew talked to each other when no one was around and so I got hooked.

Farscape is another story. I didn't get into it until tabout 1/2 way through the second season and all the scenes with John going nuts were what initially brought me into the show, Particularly the scene in the Criton get's married and turned into a statue set of episodes where he and Braca have that hilarious interaction on the ship they were hiding on.
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Postby cyberman on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:24 pm

It sounds like our experiances were somewhat reveresed, although you managed to join the Farscape family while it was still churning out new eps. Yes, the introduction of Harvy (at the time not named as such) in Season 2 was my favorite aspect of that season. A great way of using your villian and keeping him present in the story without over exposing the villian and thereby making him less threatening. A problem with Scorpius in Season 4 in my opinion.

I too enjoyed Buffy after getting into it. I was really able to consume the series in high volume while in graduate school since I was always home in the mornings and was able to watch two episodes back-to-back every day. I'm as much a fantasy buff as I am sci-fi but what I really liked was the humor infused into each episode... some more than others.
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Postby PauZhotaBrit on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:33 pm

I with you all! I just got so mad at some of these networks for cancelling what I thought were "my shows" *Farscape, Buffy, Angel, X-Files* Now I know some of them had their run and it was great *doesn't take away the sad factor, especially when you love a show so much* but, others, like Farscape still had so much to give! I was like "AHHHHHHH All my shows are going away, what am I gonna watch?" Cuz lately soem of the shows they have been puttin gout, gimme a break! I have to say it *and apologize if anyone really did like it* but, TREMORS, the series? To replace Farscape? WHAT THE F*CK? I never understood that move! And what got me more was I was seeing all the other things sci fi was throwing money into *original movies that were a little less than adequate any day* and all I could say was "That was money that could have gone towards Farscape! They are slowly redeeming themselves with the mini and I think EarthSea looks AWESOME! But, yeah some of these netwrks need to pull their heads out of their *sses:)
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Postby Fracture on Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:58 pm

Esentially with a channel like the Sci-Fi Channel you have peopel who know that there is money in science fiction and they want to tap into that. However none of them really like science fiction. They might like th x-files and damn if this show based on a movie starting McGuiver isn't cure but they don't really undersand the genera. They understand it has something to do with monsters and ray guns and space, outside of that they never grasped that science fiction suceeds because it can take real world problems and examine them outside the context of reality and no one is upset.

For example. There is an episode of STTNG in which Riker falls in love with a "genederless" person from some planet. Well it turns out that people on that planet used to have gender but now they do not and anyone who has thoughts of becoming a gendered person again they get sent off to the brainwashing tank and forced back into a role.

Now if Riker had gone down and fallen in love with a Man (which is a simmilar concept) the episode would have had zero impact. But it's only on a show like Star Trek where you can take an Issue like that and twist it around a bit as to make people who might not have seen the same point of view had it been depicted in our grounded reality.

And that is the very concept that these execs will never fathom. They are ok with science Fiction as long as it's based in reality, but then it's not science fiction, it's crap.
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