Tag Archives: Syfy

Save Stargate Universe Pages Returned…Now We Must Push Harder Than Ever!

 

Dr. Rush wants you to Save Stargate Universe!

Click Dr. Rush to go to the Save Stargate Universe Page on Facebook!

At long last and after almost a week, the Facebook pages of the Save Stargate Universe and Save Stargate campaigns have been returned to their rightful owner and all has been restored to its rightful place. As always, I would like to thank you, Faithful Reader, in all of your incarnations, for helping to bring attention to a problem in Facebook’s security. However, this attack on the campaigns could not have come at a worse time…the pages were stolen, admins banned, and their walls were filled with spam mere hours after the Forbes interview with our Fearless Leader, The Dude Dean. Needless to say, this doesn’t exactly present us in the best light, and between that and our frenzied tweets and messages about how the pages had been hacked, I am sure many people who would have joined our ranks were instead turned off to our cause forever.

 

What does that mean for us, cats and kittens? It means we have to bust our asses now that the pages are back under our control. It means we have to be blogging, tweeting, stumbling, digging, redditing, and every-other-social-media-verbing our way across the internet. It means we have to get the word out twice as hard.

Now, I know I have asked this of you before. It’s got to seem like every week I’m flogging you on to new heights and have some new reason why we have to push harder. And that’s true. I am. I do. If Dean’s our Fearless Leader, you can consider me your Friendly Drill Sergeant. I am not here to cajole you, and I am not here to stroke your heads softly and tell you everything is going to be okay. I am here to push you to be harder and make you better than you have ever been. I am not here to make you happy, I am here to make you excellent. I am here to make you the best damn internet army that ever tried to bring back a show. And why am I doing this, you ask?

Because from how it looks on the ground we’re losing.

The sets have been torn down. The props are being sold off. The actors, writers, etc. are moving on to other projects. Can all of these things be undone? Of course. What money makes it can unmake and make anew. But we have to give them a reason. We have to make them realize there is still money to be made in Stargate.

Because if we don’t the whole damned franchise is over.

In light of that, I have to ask all of your, my Faithful Readers, to push and push and push some more. If there is anyone, and I mean anyone, you haven’t tried to get to join, you need to talk to them. Comb your friends lists, tweet until the API runs dry, and share the pages on every site you can find. Push, my Faithful Readers…or soon there will be nothing to push for.

Save Stargate Universe and Save Stargate Facebook Pages Hacked!

Faithful Readers, I have sad news to report. For any of you who haven’t noticed yet, the movement’s Facebook pages have been hacked and Dean and all of the admins have been banned.

SaveSGU hacked!The Save Stargate page has also been hacked.

Save Stargate Hacked!
Now, is there any way of saying who did this, especially in light of the recent Forbes article with the interview with our Fearless Leader? No, sadly there is not. If anyone can be connected to the hack by Facebook, there may be some action, but the motivations of the hacker will most likely never come to light. The suggestion has been put forth that Syfy may have hired a hacker or have a hacker among their ranks who got tired of us and used this method to try to take us down. It is likely that even if that is true, we will never know.

What you can do at this point is go to this page on Facebook and fill out the report:

Facebook Report Page
Until the page is returned to its rightful owners, please do not click any links on the page (you can post things, just don’t click any links). I will post again when control of the pages has been returned and let you know when it is safe to use these resources again.

The Forbes article was a huge win, and even though this is a sad day because of the hacks, don’t lose heart and get discouraged. We have 55,000 people behind this effort…the actions of one script-kiddy with too much time on his hands (or a malicious hacker fulfilling the will of a corporation) can’t take that away from us. Once the pages are ours again, let’s show we aren’t discouraged by posting even more, by blogging even more, and sharing even more. They hit us, we’ve gotta hit back, twice as hard, in our own way. Just think, Faithful Readers and fans of Stargate…what would Colonel Young do? What would Doctor Rush or Eli do? Hell, screw that…what would Jack O’Neill do!? They’d get the job done. They’d fulfill the mission, no matter what. They’d do whatever it takes.

Can we do any less?

Is Syfy Trying to Block the Save Stargate Universe Campaign?

Syfail strikes again?

Well, this is interesting. A little bird told me to check out the routing on the various Syfy pages based on nationality…the page for http://syfy.co.uk, for example. Go ahead, go check out the link. It’s a pretty standard page and looks a lot like the US page (with the exception of having several shows running that we do not, but we’ll go into that at another time). Go down to the bottom of the page and take a look at the right-hand side. Social links, right? Now look at the Facebook link. Hover over it so you can see the link destination in your status bar. It should say:

http://www.facebook.com/SyfyUK

Okay, now that you noted that, go ahead and click it. Where did you end up? Well, if you were logged into Facebook and you are in North America, you are probably at your main feed, with a URL of http://facebook.com/home.php, and if you’re logged out, you should be on the main page, Facebook.com. If you’re not, please let me know in the comments. I would really like to see what is going on here.

Now, there are a few theories as to what is going on here. The most obvious is that Syfy wants their traffic segmented by nationality (or perhaps language), so they redirect attempts to go to other pages. However, this makes little sense, because why would Syfy want to steer its fans to their own feed, or to the Facebook main page?

Another theory is that it is an old redirection, from the days when we could use a lot more HTML on our fan-pages, and that now it’s simply broken due to changes in the Facebook code. I took a look at some of the code from a cached version of the page, but could find nothing particularly special. There are refresh redirects in the page, but they seem to be for the different sections of a given page.

So what’s going on here? Is it just a poorly maintained page? Is Syfy trying to segment its fans into nationalities, but the changes in the FB code are now rendering their efforts moot? Or are they working with Facebook and trying to keep the Save Stargate Universe Campaign, which is a multinational organization,  from flooding their boards? It seems there is little way to know unless some Facebook or Syfy employee will come forward and tell us (hint, hint). There is a mystery afoot, dear readers, and I wish to understand it.

Readers from outside the United States of America, please read this:

If you are from outside the US, we would really like to know if you can reach the main Syfy page:

http://facebook.com/syfy

Does anyone have any ideas on what could be happening? I am normally not a conspiracy theorist; I think conspiracies require two things out of people that humans are really bad at: secrecy and working together. However, I note that the result of this is that the entire SaveSGU memberships simply can’t go to either of the main pages. With our numbers at this point (well over 50, 000 members and growing), we could actually raise quite a stink if we want to, and this odd little redirect keeps us from doing so quite effectively.

What do you think? And remember, if you haven’t already, to join SaveSGU on Facebook.

Update!

Thanks to the efforts of many of my Faithful Readers and our Fearless Leader, we have nailed down how, exactly, this was done. It appears that locale separation and redirection is built into the depths of the page preferences page:

Country Restrictions for Facebook Pages

This is the culprit.

It also appears that it is very uneven. Canada can get to both pages, while France can’t get to either (that one leaves me scratching my head). So now we know the how, the question remains as to the why. We have roughly 50,000 people on the SaveSGU page, and plenty of them have been involved in slamming the Syfy pages. If they were doing this all along, we would have known it months, or at least weeks, ago. So it seems safe to say this is a newer change, which leads me to ask “why now?”

However, as I have been getting back to in the comments, it doesn’t really matter what the “why” is; whether it is about us or not, the result is the same…our forces are split, and one of our primary modes of being heard has been, if not silenced, at least stifled. My suggestion to our Fearless Leader, as it has been for weeks, is escalation. What form that escalation takes and how you can be involved remains to be seen…stay tuned here, on the Facebook page, and on the SaveSGU tumblog. Please remember to like and reblog posts from these sources (especially the Tumblr site…it needs some love) and, as always, Faithful Readers…thanks for being here and reading!

MGM and Syfy Feel the Pain as Fans Call to Save Stargate Universe

MGM has released their [amazon_link id=”B004TJ1H3C” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]full second season of Stargate Universe[/amazon_link], and like many fans I have a hard time bringing myself to call it the “final” season. And like many of the fans who posted to the wall of MGM’s innocent question, I had nothing good to say. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the show. Yet, somehow, I knew it was too good to last.

MGM hit by SaveSGU

Click the wall above to go look at the comments. They are pretty telling...these fans want their show back.

I had the same issue with Caprica. It was so full of nuance and power, it had so many layers of character development and plot…and the whole time Caprica was running, my wife and I were wondering how long it would last. And, in my not-so-humble opinion, I think there is something really wrong with a world where the surest sign a show will soon be cancelled is its own excellence.

I know it’s trendy to make fun of everything, to play the cynic about everything and be ironic in even our most cherished experiences. And I am no different, in many ways, than most of my generation. I am cynical, sometimes to a fault. I don’t believe that, in the end, the good, the right, and the true will win. I think there are very few “good guys”. There are definitely “bad guys”, and there seem to be some “better guys”, but the truly good are few and far-between. I didn’t believe Obama would bring us change I could believe in…and he hasn’t. I didn’t believe that Prop. 19 would pass, and I didn’t believe Steve Jobs when he said he was going to start opening up the Apple platform. I don’t believe in karma, the idea that people get what they put out into the world. If that were true, schmucks wouldn’t run Washington and some of the sweetest, most wonderful people I know would catch a break once and a while. I don’t believe in happy endings and triumphant victories. The real world, with all its vicissitudes, just doesn’t work that way, and life is so complex and muddy that even wanting those things could be considered dangerously naive.

But not in science fiction and fantasy. When I watch a truly good show or movie, or let myself sink into a good game or book, I believe. I believe in Superman, and that he will always find a way to save everyone. I believe in Dr. Who, and that sometimes, just sometimes, everybody lives.

And I believe in Stargate and the crew of the Destiny, a ship flung out across space and time to find the very secrets of existence itself.

This is the power of science fiction and fantasy. It can make the most cynical of us weep with hope and joy. That is what is threatened by Syfy’s shift in programming and its ongoing cancellations to make room for things like wrestling and reality television.

Click the wrestlers to join the Save Stargate Universe Group on Facebook!

Click the wrestlers to join the Save Stargate Universe Group on Facebook!

Syfy, back when it was SciFi, seemed to understand this capacity that their programming could have. They stood behind shows and took on flagging shows from other networks. They cultivated their connections within the world of science fiction conventions and had no problem associating themselves with geeks. Things have changed over the years, until we now get quotes like this:

“What we love about this is we hopefully get the best of both worlds,” Mr. Howe said. “We’ll get the heritage and the track record of success, and we’ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.” -Dave Howe, president of the Sci Fi Channel

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” – TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.

and there is even an indication that this was the plan the entire time:

“We spent a lot of time in the ’90s trying to distance the network from science fiction, which is largely why it’s called Sci Fi. It’s somewhat cooler and better than the name ‘Science Fiction.’ But even the name Sci Fi is limiting.” -Tim Brooks again

So, with this we see the roots of the @Syfail phenomenon. The network intended to build itself on the fans of science fiction and fantasy, and then “distance the network” once it had the backing and stability to do so.

Click above to join the Syfail group on Facebook!

Click above to join the Syfail group on Facebook!

If this was the plan all along, then this goes far beyond any one show or franchise. This is about the genre as a whole. Because where do the rights for all the old science fiction and fantasy shows end up? Syfy. Who “rescues” shows that are flagging on other networks? Syfy. Who is determined to “own the imagination space”? Syfy.

“We really do want to own the imagination space,” Mr. Howe said. “We want to get the credit for the range of content that we already have on our air and that we’ll be doing more of in the future.”

Now, look at their current lineup. Look at the choices they have been making, the shows they have been backing, and ask yourself this very, very important question: Do you want them to? Do you want them to own your favorite shows, just to “get credit” for them, and then replace them with wrestling? Sanctuary is next. It has moved to Monday…the night shows go to die. What’s next?

And as a final thought, I want to preemptively answer all the people who are going to say they don’t care about Stargate Universe or who want to argue its relative worth in comparison to SG-1 or SG-A…this isn’t just about Stargate. This is about the whole damn “imagination space”, and if we, the fans, don’t defend it, who will?

Thanks to this post for all the quotes.

Syfy, Sci-Fi, and Fandom: The “Gauntlet” Has Been Thrown

Tamara Johansen wants her show back!

Click Here to Join the Save Stargate Universe Campaign on Facebook!

So let’s use a dirty word: geek. Now, in my mind, being a geek isn’t a bad thing. More than anything it means that we’re enthusiastic. Some of us are into comics, some of us are into games. Some get their kicks off of technology while others love math. But movies, television, and books are the most common targets of our obsessive collecting and fact-gathering, and science-fiction, with its combination of all of the above, attracts our eye more often than many other genres. Just think about it…when was the last time you met a romance geek? They exist…but they generally don’t have their own T.V. networks and collectible shops.

And all of those T.V. networks and collectible shops, those websites and game manufacturers, they get a lot out of us. We hyperventilate over the latest superhero movie, we stand in line for days in line for a game release. But most importantly, we buy everything related to our newest “favorite”, and between all those graphic novels, DVDs, and season passes, it adds up to a lot of cash.

That’s why there has always existed a special covenant between fandom and science-fiction. More than any other genre, science-fiction writers, actors, illustrators, and directors have come down among the masses and, with humility bordering on befuddlement, accepted our passionate praises. Conventions, signings, openings…they come among us because they are us; most media made for science-fictions is made by science-fiction fans. And we have lifted them up, made them our idols…and made them rich.

Which is what makes what the Syfy Network has been doing puzzling, troubling, and, yes, angering. They have broken the sacred covenant held between the curators of our art and us, the hungry audience. By choosing crass profits and heeding the siren call of wrestling, they have turned away from the very people who built them up. We, the fans, paid their bills and put their kids through school while they were still a fledgling network…and now they are sick of us.

Caprica was a blow. Reviews were mixed, and I understand that not everyone enjoyed the heavily layered and emotional storylines. Compared to Battlestar Galactica, full of robots with machine-gun arms and epic space battles, Caprica’s slow build of each level of intrigue may have seemed tedious. But the depth was there, the story was there, and if there was anything the second half told us, it was that Caprica had no problem providing both the robot-mayhem and the mind-bending metaphysics Battlestar Galactica made us fall in love with.

The recent cancellation of Stargate Universe, putting Stargate off the air for the first time in fourteen years, is yet more troubling, and Syfy’s justifications, remarkably similar to those used to justify Caprica, were put forth in an open letter to Stargate fans from Syfy, which was sent out via Gateworld, a dedicated Stargate fansite. Craig Engler(@syfy himself), Senior Vice President and General Manager of Syfy Digital, goes into details, but it all comes down to the same argument: the ratings weren’t there.

Even if we ignore my argument involving fallacious metrics for gauging a show’s popularity, or the scathing “Dear Syfy: Please Stop Lying” from the Caprica Times, it’s hard to ignore Joseph Mallozzi, writer and executive producer for all three Stargate series, as he addresses the open letter piece by piece:

“The show quickly moved forward and officially launched on October 2, 2009. The debut was watched by a good if not spectacular 2,779,000 viewers. To give that some perspective, Stargate Atlantis debuted with over 4 million viewers, soSGU was more than 25% below that.” – Engler

“File this one under baffling.  Comparing the SGA premiere to the SGU premiere overlooks is grossly unfair.  First – Atlantis premiered during the summer while Universe – originally slated for a fall premiere – premiered in the much more competitive fall.  Second the time between the two premiere has seen a significant increase in DVR usage and internet downloads, and a simultaneous erosion in live viewership.  Coincidence?  Maybe, but I don’t think so.  Simply put, back when Atlantis aired, fewer viewers were recording or downloading television and many more were watching television live.” – Mallozzi

“With untenably low numbers and no sign of growth on Fridays where it had now lost 1/3 of its initial audience, we decided to move SGU for its second season. We’d had tremendous success on Tuesday’s with our breakout hit Warehouse 13, so we paired SGU with Caprica and moved them to Tuesdays, hoping to introduce both shows to a new audience.” – Engler

“Sigh.  Okay, look – while I understood (and supported) the move to Tuesday night and the pairing with Caprica, I nevertheless take exception to the assertion that the network had enjoyed “tremendous success on Tuesday’s with [their] breakout hit Warehouse 13″.  While Warehouse 13 certainly aired on Tuesdays, it did so in the summer (where, I’d like to reiterate, SGU was originally scheduled to air).” – Mallozi

“We moved the final 10 episodes of SGU to Monday nights where we’d just had success with a new show called Being Human, but the ratings remained flat.” -Engler

“Okay but, realistically, the series had already been canceled so I’m not sure how much reasonable audience growth could be expected at that point.” – Mallozzi

In any case, Engler’s response signals one thing: they have heard us, and now they are trying to play reputation control. But this is the internet, and reputation control is our playground.

Don’t forget to join the SaveSGU Campaign on Facebook, learn the Plan, and make your voice be heard!

(Thanks to Justin Zimmer for the awesome banner!

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Weekly Updates for May 21, 2011: #SyFail Campaign Gains Steam, #SaveSGU Fights the Power, and #Rapture Doesn’t Do Anything

SyFailTop of the evening, Faithful Readers! I know, I know, I’ve been bad about posting, but I assure you I have been very productive on other fronts. I have been getting setup to start self-publishing my work, I’ve been preparing for a new look, format, and vision for the Social Medial Philosophy Project, and (as ever) I have taken a job for the Lovecraft eZine consulting on web development, SEO, and SMM. I swear, every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in! But I guess it’s inevitable…code is in my blood, and as my readers can attest, the online world and coding edge their way into my work all the time.

But enough about me…

#SyFail Tops 1,100 Fans

As of the time of writing this, the Syfail community on Facebook has gained 1,148 followers. A search for #SyFail produces a page of results. Their general activity seems focused on the cancellations in general, rather than about any specific show. Their info panel doesn’t say much, but be sure I will be following them in the days to come (and following them on Twitter at @SyFail ). And to continue the theme…

#SaveSGU Fights the Power!

At time of writing, the Save Stargate Universe has 44,979 fans. Posts all over the net and twitter searches show that Stargate fans are upset and not willing to stand down. The fact that, for the first time in well over a decade, the Stargate franchise as a whole is over has also brought together fans trying to make sure the franchise stays alive at all: the Save Stargate currently has over a thousand fans and is gaining ground daily. @SaveSGU has over 2600 followers and is going strong. And the question remains: Will Syfy listen?

And finally…

#Rapture Doesn’t Do Anything

It’s not like those of us with half-a-brain in their head thought anything else would happen, but it’s still, apparently, news. Twitter has lit up with #Rapture all day, and people have been very busy announcing that they are, in fact, still here. It’s quite mystifying, in my opinion. Have we, as a generation and a world, become so starved for something to do (and so jaded by irony) that we spend a nice Saturday afternoon paying a whole lot of attention to something that isn’t happening and that almost no one thinks will happen?

And now, Hitler reacts to the cancellation of SGU:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDaGWz7qf9c&feature=related&w=480]

What You Can Do To Save Stargate Universe

stargate universe logo

Image via Wikipedia

The time has come. Tonight is the night. “Gauntlet,” airs tonight (9PM ET), and that will be it for Stargate Universe. A franchise that began with Stargate: SG-1 fourteen years ago will end, and there is no indication that it will be continuing. The movies have been cancelled. SGU has been cancelled. It seems like all is lost. And yet…

There is a band of intrepid fans who are determined to Save Stargate Universe. They are determined to invoke the powers that saved Chuck, Futurama, and other shows saved by their fans, and they are pulling out all the stops to do so.

First, there is The Plan, which has multiple facets. Part One is a standard Post Flood.

“POST FLOOD”

On Monday, May 9th, every member of Save Stargate Universe leave a post on the SyFy facebook page, the SyFy Forums, and any other public forum/page related to NBCUniversal, SyFy, or MGM, demonstrating your anger for the cancellation, your desire for more Stargate, and your willingness to fight for it.  Please try to keep the language civil.  There are children who visit this site.  Keep posting all day long and during the last episode of Stargate Universe.  If your comment is deleted, post again.  If you are blocked, you know they saw it.  There are over 26,000 of us.  If we all do this, they will get the message.

Part Two is the Tissue Box Campaign, which Stargate: SG-1 fans will recognize from the very first episode:

“TISSUE BOX CAMPAIGN”

During the week of May 9th, purchase three boxes of Kleenex (or three of any box of tissue you are able, does not matter if they are the cheap ones, but the bigger the better!) and write on it these three things:

‘SEND MORE!’

‘Save Stargate Universe Tissue Box Campaign’ www.facebook.com/SaveSGU

(We WANT them to know who is doing this)

‘BRING STARGATE UNIVERSE BACK’

You can also include any message on these boxes that you like, but we want these things on there so that this campaign is uniform.  If they know we are organized, they know we are serious.  Remember; do not send any violent threats.  You can be arrested for sending threats through the mail.

Addresses for this part of the campaign and others will be listed at the end of this post. Remember to be safe and sane about what you send these people through the mail.

Part Three is the equally clever Communication Stone Campaign:

“COMMUNICATION STONE CAMPAIGN”

During the week of May 9th, find several stones (not too small but no boulders either!) and write on it these three things:

‘CALLING OUR DESTINY’

‘Save Stargate Universe Communication Stone Campaign’ www.facebook.com/SaveSGU

(we WANT them to know who is doing this)

‘BRING STARGATE UNIVERSE BACK’

You can also include any message on or with these stones that you like, but we want these things on there so that this campaign is uniform.  If they know we are organized, they know we are serious.  Remember; do not send any violent threats.  You can be arrested for sending threats through the mail.

Finally, there is the Bye Bye Syfy Campaign:

BYE BYE SYFY

Anyone who is done with SyFy all together (meaning that there is not another show on that you want to watch, I know that many like Being Human and Merlin, no shame in that) delete the SyFy Facebook page from your account.  Now remember before you do this, to see any updates or post on the wall, you have to “like” the page.  So we leave that up to your discretion.  This is a personal choice and not mandatory.

I also want to encourage others to join the SyFail group on Facebook. As I have said elsewhere, in my opinion Syfy has been increasingly going astray and alienating its fanbase. A Save Sanctuary page has already been started because no matter how amazing the show is, we know which way the wind is blowing. Speak out, in every way you can, and maybe, just maybe, Syfy will listen.

And remember, another way to help make sure the Stargate franchise continues is to buy their DVDs and products:

Stargate SG-1

Stargate SG-1: The Complete Series Collection (2007)

Stargate: The Ark of Truth/Stargate: Continuum [Blu-ray]

Stargate Atlantis

Stargate Atlantis: All

Stargate Atlantis: Complete Series Gift Set [Blu-ray]

Stargate Atlantis DVD:

Stargate Atlantis – The Complete First Season

Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Second Season

Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Third Season

Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Fourth Season

Stargate Atlantis – The Complete Fifth Season

Stargate Universe DVD:

SGU: Stargate Universe: Complete First Season [Blu-ray]

SGU: Stargate Universe – The Complete First Season [DVD]

And finally, with heavy heart, I must finish and prepare for the season finale. Let’s just hope it isn’t the series finale, instead.

Addresses for The Plan:

MGM:

John Bryan

MGM Worldwide Television Distribution

2500 Broadway Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404-3065 USA

 

Syfy:

SyFy

c/o NBC Universal

Dave Howe

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112 USA

 

NBCUniversal:

NBC/Universal Media Studios

c/o Barry Wallach

Domestic Television Distribution

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City CA 91608 USA

NVFTWWGAG6UB

Save Stargate Universe Facebook Campaign Recruits Over 22,000 Fans…Will Syfy Listen?

stargate universe logo

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s face it, folks. Syfy has gone astray. They have lost the faith. They have sniffed the air of easy wrestling profits and been lured away into confusion and avarice. But they can be redeemed…through listening to the people that made them who they are today.

The fans.

Right now, the Save SGU page on Facebook has 22, 453 fans. That is larger than the population of eleven sovereign nations. The Stargate franchise has run continuously for fourteen years. First the hit SG-1, which ran for ten years, expanded upon the mythos and gave us new heroes, villains, and stories. Stargate Atlantis took things to a new level and took the heroes to a new galaxy. Finally, Stargate Universe drew upon new inspiration, giving a grim, gritty, and a far more desperate situation for the heroes than ever before.

SGU drew its share of criticism. Some accused it of being a Battlestar Galactica clone, and I have to admit, there is a clear inspiration there. But that criticism holds little water when you look beyond the camera-work; Stargate Universe and Battlestar Galactica are as different as night and day when you look at their styles of character development, plot development, and story organization. While both series have that “dark and gritty” feel, BSG is about the fleet, about the Cylon’s Plan, and first and foremost, it’s a religious story: angels guiding the path of their god’s children, both human and Cylon. Stargate Universe lives in a different universe, one full of aliens, the remains of the Ancients, and human heroism on a level far beyond that of Battlestar. And SGU is more than that; it is the continuation of a fourteen year tale. When you become responsible for a franchise with as much power and following as Stargate, as Syfy did after SG-1’s fifth season, you take on a responsibility to do the franchise justice. And who really feels that Syfy is doing the franchise justice?

But the problem goes beyond Stargate Universe. Caprica, a prequel to the incredible (and incredibly popular) Battlestar Galactica, received about as little support as a show could while still being on the network. The series was smart, beautifully shot and acted, but just as the fanbase was really being established, it was cancelled. Sanctuary, the immensely popular show starring Stargate’s Amanda Tapping, has been moved to late evening Monday nights…a timeslot that can easily be the kiss of death. A “Save Sanctuary” campaign has already begun on Facebook, and already has over 300 fans. This group claims to know which way the wind is blowing and is preparing for the inevitable announcement. I look forward with trepidation to the new Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, another prequel to BSG set during the First Cylon War. From the evidence I have seen, if it doesn’t “do well enough” right out of the gate it will get less and less support from the network, get moved to less and less popular time-slots, and then finally get cancelled.

Apparently, Syfy’s new, ridiculous logic (to go with its new, ridiculous name) is that if a show doesn’t rake in money hand over fist right away, before it has even gotten a chance to establish its characters and story, then it’s deemed “not good enough” and the plan becomes “do everything that can be done to disrupt the series and assure that it will fail, then cancel it while feigning surprise that it failed”. And why are they doing this? Well, to any long-time fan of science fiction, this sounds like a very, very familiar logic. It’s the logic of Fox. It’s the logic that led to Firefly being shown out of order. It’s the logic that led to time-slots being changed. And it’s the logic that finally killed one of the best shows in years. It was the same logic used on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, as well, and Dollhouse. It’s almost like they want these shows to fail.

And perhaps they do. Fox filled its lineup with one reality show after another. Syfy is getting into the wrestling business. Is there a connection? Of course there is; these shows cost almost nothing to make, are very popular, and do incredibly well on normal television. And that is part of the explanation as well: normal television versus streaming and download services.

The networks claimed, each time, that the show just didn’t have the ratings. But ratings are done on television sets, and the audience is moving to computers and streamed services. I haven’t had cable for at least ten years, because cable isn’t worth the money and I can get my shows via streaming and download services without the commercials or the manipulations of the time-slot. The Nielsen Rating system doesn’t take anything except television into account, which means that shows that might be immensely popular look like they have little audience at all. Network executives (the same people who thought that alienating their own fanbase was a great idea) apparently can’t be bothered to keep up with all these new online systems of measuring popularity, so they increasingly target their shows towards what does well on Nielsen and ignore the rest.

Of course, what can you really expect from Syfy, whose reason for changing their name was because:

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.”

Make sure you catch that loud and clear, fans and readers: the people who like science fiction and who the Sci Fi network built its business on are dysfunctional, antisocial boys living in their parent’s basements. This is what these people think of their own fan-base, the people who paid their bills and fed their children.

So can Syfy turn things around? Can they keep their fans, rather than turning into a wrestling, NASCAR, and reality-show clone? It all depends on whether they can stop looking at Nielsen and start looking at popularity tracking technology that was created more recently than the 1950s. The fans are here, the shows are popular, and if Syfy keeps them on the air and shows some loyalty to the franchises and to their fans, they will gain our support and (more importantly) our dollars. If they do not, if Syfy doesn’t regain the faith and come back into the geekdom fold…it will go the way of Fox: never to be trusted (or watched) again.

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzd4NxGdwJw&feature=related&w=480]