Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stargate Universe: 'Stargate' Opens Floodgates

From Multichannel News:

(Please follow the link for the complete article.)

`Stargate' Opens Floodgates

As 'Atlantis' Bows Out, Sci Fi Franchise Heads to New 'Universe'

By Kent Gibbons -- Multichannel News, 8/23/2008 5:53:00 AM

At Sci Fi Channel, the cycle went like this the last few days: cancel Stargate Atlantis on Wednesday, suffer the slings and arrows of outraged loyal fans — and then announce Friday the creation of a brand new Stargate Universe next year.
"It's kind of hard to cancel one, but it's good news to announce a new one," Dave Howe, the network's president, said on Friday.

For producer MGM Domestic Television and NBC Universal-owned Sci Fi, the Stargate franchise is big business, one that has now expanded beyond one-hour series to also include two-hour movie "events."

Atlantis, now five episodes into its fifth 20-episode season, wraps next January but will be followed by a two-hour movie Sci Fi has green-lighted for 2009.

There could be more Atlantis movies after that, as MGM has produced two so far extending the original Stargate SG-1 franchise after it ended a 10-year run of new episodes on cable (lastly on Sci Fi) in 2007.
"I think these things lend themselves to a bigger, kind of high-production-value, two hour event, which is great," Howe said of Atlantis...

Those moves may have muted the fans' reaction to the cancellation — but not completely. One barometer: an online petition to save the show had close to 1,000 signatures the morning after the cancellation news broke at night. By 1 p.m. Friday it had 3,774 names.
"There's no sign of a letup in my e-mail inbox, I can tell you," Howe said in a telephone interview from England Friday. "I've had to get on with IT because it is so clogged up with e-mails to 'Save Atlantis.'

"There's obviously a passionate audience for Atlantis and the characters of Atlantis," Howe said. "And yes, they're absolutely going to continue in the movie franchise. But people need to mourn for a while and come to terms with it. I don't anticipate that that will subside quickly. But once Universe is on air and they have kind of their next fix of the Stargate franchise, I think hopefully people will realize that it's in safe hands at Sci Fi, that we really value this franchise and it's in our interest and the fans' interest to let us continue the story and figure out how to retell it for a new audience every few years..."

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