As many of you have heard by now. Supernatural & Smallville have been pre-empted for tomorrow nights originally scheduled mid-season premieres.
The CW is instead going to show repeats of a program that will be on tonight.
What is posted below is a top secret official press release I obtained thru channels that I can not name at the Ostroff household. Frankly, the contents of it even shocked me.
But it will take even more luck & work than even the likes of the characters have had in surviving as many near deaths as they have.
Last month, a post made by a site called deadline.com stated that Syfy, a station allegedly for science-fiction television, was going to cancel 1 of the few shows, on their quickly depleting list of original programs.
Stargate Universe (aka- SGU) cast & crew learned this news not thru a phone call, but a tweet. A 140 character or less update on their livelyhoods & careers. While the utter lack of class Syfy station has shown to their possible former employees is appalling, and should be a red flag warning sign to anyone who in the future thinks of working on a project for them, what is actually more disturbing is that they let this news slip out to a website to tell the world first. They didnt even have the respect, decency or professionalism to tell those who it affects themselves. They let a website tell it, then later used a 140 character or less post on twitter to confirm it. It really makes you wonder how Syfy president Dave Howe was ever given the job if this is how he handles such major issues.
The amazing part is that the station has currently 6 actual sci-fi style original program shows to its list. Of it, there is really only 3 they have that can without question say they outperform SGU at this time.
"Being Human" 1st season- Unproven
"Caprica" Already Cancelled
"Eureka" which started with 4.1M for the shows premiere episode, and is down to 2.5M now in its 4th season.
"Haven" in only its first season Unproven.
"Sanctuary" one show that has managed to capture an audience.
"Warehouse 13" which started with a 3.5M opening & has dropped off to 2.4M for its S2 closing.
While the numbers for SGU are below that of Eureka, Sanctuary & Warehouse 13, the fact still remains that Syfy had very few shows they can call their own & are often filling their television voids with marathons of shows that fans have very likely watched already, dont care for specifically, or more likely, already own the box sets of. Even the most ardent Star Trek fan can only sit thru their favorite versions of the show so many times.
This is a station thats been so desperate to fill time, it has resorted to adding Professional Wrestling & a reality game show about video game players to its table of shows. While I have been in the past a pro wrestling fan & have nothing against those that still are, reality is, it has no right being on a network solely devoted to sci-fi programming. But, it is a ratings juggernaut for a station & has low costs to them as WWE picks up much of the production costs. There in lies the problem. Syfy has sold out. Its no longer about creating programming for a subsection of society that tend to be loyal to a fault for products they like. Its about whoring themselves out for ever last penny they can, even at the cost of the stations soul.
This station has very few of its own shows, so why cancel 1 that has held its own in season 2? While season 1 saw a sharp drop in ratings, season 2 has been steady. There is something to be said about a show, on a station where almost everything it airs has massive ratings drops, is holding its own & not losing viewers. While season 1 was finding its feet & at times, may have been a bit long in getting to its points, season 2 has been intense, full of action & arguably amazing. If S1 was "decent", season 2 has been "absolutely amazing". If fans from S1 were to rejoin, they would be blown away at the changes & character development that has happened since then. but we may not see it develop beyond, because as it stands right now, its to be terminated at seasons end... despite being probably the best show currently on the network & arguably, one of the top sci-fi shows on all of TV.
The question is "what now?" for the show.
Various campaigns thru twitter & facebook have popped up to "Give SGU another season" & it certainly is a campign that has garnered a lot of attention. One campaign has garnered over 8500 fans on facebook (probably be 10,000.. if they hadnt spit in the face of the fans by alienating them thru actions depicted by the leader whom told a cast members mother to 'fuck off" in a disagreement), while smaller campaigns have popped up ranging from a few dozen to several hundred. These campaigns are so passionate about what they are doing, they now find themselves at odds over how to best promote the concepts & gameplans to save the show. But I am not going to get into the politics of fandom in here...this is about coming up with a gameplan for the show. This does show however, excessive devotion. To fight this hard, so hard you are even fighting with yourselves, means you want to see the idea succeed. It might be self destructive, or, it might be healthy.
While shows that are cancelled arent all that often saved by their networks, or new networks, it does happen. I can vouch for that on 2 different fronts. Two of my all time favorite shows, Dead Like Me, and Robson Arms both came back from essentially being dead for short lived returns.
DLM managed a straight to DVD movie to quell its fans & while it was not anything near the 3rd season fans screamed for, petitioned for, wrote into Showtime & MGM for, and even held rallies for outside the offices, it was something...even if it was a hack version of something (try to not rant about Sarah Wynter's lack of acting skills right now...*deep breath*). The shows fans fought hard and got something.
While Robson Arms was the little show that could. It first fought just to get on the air. After season 1, it sat, with no 2nd season announcement for over a year. Its second season aired 19 months after the final episode of S1 aired. It fought & clawed its way back from death to manage not just a 2nd season, but a 3rd too, before again, meeting an unjust fate by CTV. The fanbase for them was admittedly far smaller than DLM or SGU. But they were devoted & let the station know what they wanted....and they got it. The reality is, fighting sometimes works.
All that being said, stats dont lie, lots of shows have campaigns to resurrect their programs, and most fail. But I can tell you, from my personal experiences, it can happen.
SGU is 1 that could have that lifeline to draw from. It has some things going for it, such as it is a Canadian based show. This means a Canadian station could look at a show, with an already developed fanbase & jump in & just fine tune things to their liking a little. The most likely choice for this is "Space" the Canadian version of Syfy (they have many of the same programs on), but Space isn't known for creating its own shows too much. In fact, they have already come out & said its not feasable. Like Syfy, who gets their approval from the pursestrings of a bigger media conglomerate (NBC), Space also is under the umbrella of a media conglomerate, CTVglobemedia, arguably the largest such television empire in Canada. Besides Space, the CTV empire is responsible for over 20 other stations from basic cable to pay per view channels in Canada. It is, without question, the most viable solution for a home for SGU to end up on if a Canadian company steps up.
The question becomes, how to convince them to run with the show.
Well, the first fact is simple. SGU is filmed in Canada. As a Canadian station, Space is obligated to show a minimum amount of Canadian content. Sure, they have quite a bit already, including EVERY...SINGLE...SHOW Syfy carries right now, but this would give the CTV empire 1 more, which they also could move to their flagship station CTV for any variety of schedule filling needs (a weekend afternoon filler, or late night marathon materials)
The second fact needs to be about financial potential. They are business people afterall. Can they make a profit from this? Or, at least make it financially sensible thru selling off international distribution?
The U.S. has 10Xs the population of Canada. It is also the primary financial centre for television. Ratings in America count exponentially more than ratings in Canada. So for a Canadian show to do well, they theoretically need far beyond 10% of the domestic numbers to warrant labelling something a success...unfortunately, the budget of the show still needs to stay comparable...so suddenly, you need to have better results than even that assuming U.S. numbers struggle to rise. That is where it gets complicated...proving that is possible without being able to show it first. I dont know what the numbers are on SGU showing on Space, but theoretically, if its doing about 150,000 households or more, it would be doing approximately 1.5Xs better here than in the U.S. currently, where its doing about 1.0M households a week. Those numbers may not be enough for CTV to take a chance on it by itself. This is where the idea of a split cost idea with a foreign station may come in.
Why couldnt the Canadian company work on a split deal with another country that admires their Sci-fi programming? Hello U.K?? We might have a business proposition for someone there. With a split cost between two stations in two different companies, it becomes quite financially feasable...then take into consideration distribution rights still in the rest of the world...well, how could it NOT look appealing?
The complexity of striking a deal to get the shows rights might be confusing as well. If Syfy has the rights, what might happen could be a deal where CTV, for the Space Channel, buys the rights from Syfy, in agreement, they give Syfy a deal on the U.S. rights for broadcasting it, taking away some bargaining power for looking for the best financial situation in the U.S. market.
Maybe, there is even a deal, like how other shows from other networks have done it. Where CTV, for the Space Channel, doesnt actually buy the rights, but instead puts up some $ for the production costs to Syfy to continue making the show.
If MGM is the owner of the shows rights, what do they want? Do they barter a deal where they get to choose the U.S. distributror? Do they get a nice deal on DVD sales? Or do they simply look at it as a dead asset that they can turn into liquid asset now & sell for whatever they can get?
Theres still even outside all of those question, the possibility that maybe they cant work out a deal to generate a 3rd season...so what about a few straight to DVD movie like Dead Like Me or Firefly managed? Simply to wrap up loose ends & complete the story? Correct me if I am wrong, but the sales for Dead Like Me: Life After Death were financial gold for the company. I vividly recall it being in the top 3 in Canada & top 10 in the U.S. opening day on Amazon. In the top 5 in Canada after a week & top 20 in the U.S. Unfortunately, Firefly was not something I followed when it did its movie, but I recall hearing a lot of buzz about it, I am sure its sales were just as incredible. If they put together a 2 or 3 movie set to wrap up the storlines (although its being suggested the creators are saying they cant do it with anything less than a season...you take what you can get).
How can you, the fan get involved? The obvious answer- BUY SGU PRODUCTS. But also, make your voices heard. Let the stations know, let advertisers know, hell, even let the cast know, that they are wanted back.
Any potential suitors will want to see a healthy show. So alienating & abandonning it is not the best avenue. Support is. Buying the DVDs is good, buying episodes online is good, but in the end tv viewers matter the most. ALSO, key battle point people often overlook.....
MAKE NOTE OF WHAT PRODUCTS ARE PAYING FOR ADVERTISING TIME!!
Seriously. This can make a difference. If you see a product being advertised during an episode, whether its first run, or a repeat, make note of it, and definitely let that company know that you saw their ad on an SGU broadcast. Whether its a short email to their site, or a phone call into a comments/questions/complaints line, let them know. They are, afterall, the ones who pull the pursestrings open or closed. DO NOT take commercials lightly, they have more influence than most board members. If the products tell Syfy, or other stations "we are getting a lot of recognition off this show..." trust me, they will find a way to magically come up with the $ in their budget to keep making it.
Theres a lot of questions that I personally cant answer, but this does show that there are a multitude of potential options still out there for SGU to breathe more life. It is just a matter of whoever is holding the keys, to hand them to someone willing to take over.
Saving SGU is a real possibility. It will just take all hands on deck to steer the Destiny to that outcome... to complete its mission.
Buy SGU Blu-Ray, DVDs & single online episodes on Amazon
(U.S.) http://amzn.to/fNmE0K (Canada) http://amzn.to/elGBzq
Want to learn more about the campaign or the cast? Check them out on twitter or facebook.
Helping to resurrect SGU campaign twitter accounts.
Cast's twitter accounts
http://twitter.com/AlainaHuffman - Alaina Huffman (Lt. Tamara "TJ" Johansen)
http://twitter.com/AtleastLevesque - Elyse Levesque (Chloe Armstrong)
http://twitter.com/BrianJacobSmith - Brian J. Smith (Lt. Matthew Scott)
http://twitter.com/Cpbinder - Carl Binder (crew- writer)
http://twitter.com/DavidBlue - David Blue (Eli Wallace)
http://twitter.com/Ivonbartok - Ivon Bartok (crew- producer/director)
http://twitter.com/jbowyerchapman - Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Private Darren Becker)
http://twitter.com/Julia_Benson - Julia Benson (2nd Lt. Vanessa James)
http://twitter.com/JulieMcNiven - Julie McNiven (Ginn)
http://twitter.com/limajamil - Jamil Walker-Smith (Master Sgt. Ronald Greer)
http://twitter.com/LouDPhillips - Lou Diamond Phillips (Col. David Telford)
http://twitter.com/MingNa - Ming Na (Camile Wray)
http://twitter.com/PatrickGilmore - Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker)
http://twitter.com/PeterKelamis - Peter Kelamis (Adam Brody)
http://twitter.com/SpenceJen - Jennifer Spence (Dr. Lisa Park)
Want to tell MGM or Syfy or Space how much you want this show to continue (being respectful works better than crude & angry letters with these people....and thats coming from ME)
Email Charles Cohen Executive Vice-President of MGM firstname.lastname@example.org (also believed to be a Stargate fan)
Email the Syfy Station email@example.com or post on their facebook wall http://facebook.com/SyFy
Contact Space Channel on their facebook wall http://facebook.com/SPACEchannel
So last summer the Supernatural fanbase converged on Vancouver for a SPN convention.
While the vast majority of the fans were clearly there to see the likes of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles & Misha Collins. Like with any show, theres fans of most every imaginable character.....its reported some people even lined up to get the guys bodyguard Clif, because he was in 1 episode for blink or you'll miss him long.
For someone like me, its an opportunity as well. These events promote a list of guests that are scheduled to come. For a fan of the show, who is also an autograph hound, this is a huge help. It means I dont have to speculate on who is in town that week
This particular con had quite an array of guests, from momentary prison-mates, to angels, to demons, to the Winchester boys themselves.
I had a prefered list I was hoping to get to the convention, and some were in fact there. Of my "wish list" of the top 3 for me, I managed to get 2 of them.
While I did miss Demore Barnes (Raphael), I did infact get a couple of the ones I really wanted.
First was Aldis Hodge (Jake Talley). For SPN fans, he really rings as little more than a 2 episode piece to advance a storyline. Best known for shooting poor Sam in the back, I was more eager to get him because of his work on a show I had just started watching weeks earlier, Leverage. His role as hacker extraordinairre on the show was what I was more excited to see him for. We managed to catch him out for a walk on his day off & he was more than gracious in signing & taking photos. Thanked us for our time & for watching. Great guy.
I also managed to stumble upon Richard Speight Jr. The playful arch-angel Gabriel, known in earlier episodes as The Trickster. With a full beard going on, he almost tricked us, but another hound was able to properly identify him from a distance & we managed to get him & just like Hodge, super friendly, very patient & thanked us for coming.
Finally we met Katherine Boecher (Lilith) who made it a hat trick of positive encounters as she stopped to sign & do photos with before heading out shopping.
We also saw Misha Collins temporarily that weekend taking a cab and on more than 1 occasion I saw Brock Kelly & Clif lurking around.
Anyways, a few pics from the weekend....a couple months late.... and a couple bonus photos of former Ghostfacer A.J. Buckley from awhile before that.
RIGHT CLICK ON VIDEOS TO FIND OPTION FOR FULL SCREEN (which is more centred than the ssmall little screen in the blog is)
Here are a couple videos from the set of Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol that was filmed outdoors on the streets of Vancouver Friday night. The scene involces Ethan Hunt ( Tom Cruise) running thru the streets of Bangalore, India, which the Vancouver street had been turned into.
Above is him starting his run on the street above, as he runs down a staircase (that you cant see because of the angle)
Below is him continuing the run on the street below, this is the continuation of his run from the part above.
Till this week I was really on the fence about Tom Cruise.
As an actor, I quite like his work.
From his off film work though, I have wondered about him.
The often mocked & criticized Scientologist action star is in town right now to film "Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol" and last night they had a public shoot.
I will go into more details about the shoot in my next blog when I post some video. But this blog is about Tom the person, Tom the P.R. machine.
Last night Tom did everything short of handing out money to win over fans. With Vancouverites having to have endured some pretty rude celebs in the not so distant past like Reese Witherspoon, the charismatic Cruise was a pleasure for celeb watchers in town.
On at least 2 different occasions Tom came over near the crowd, spoke to them (from a distance) & posed long enough for people to snap off a few pics.
When he left on his lunch break he again waved to the fans, let everyone get a couple more pics & waved to everyone lining the street that he drove off from.
it wasnt though till midnight that Tom hit a homerun with the fans, most of whom were already just happy with what they had up to that point.
On a break between scenes, Tom went from being Ethan Hunt, to being Tom Cruise & headed directly over to the crowd of a couple dozen onlookers that were still around. With two security guards (who were NOT very friendly) & a variety of crew in tow, Tom came over & interacted with the crowd. Taking photos with fans, talking to them, shaking hands & signing a few autographs.
As the crowd swelled (extras came over to join in the interaction as well) to around 100 people, Cruise didnt slow down. Each interaction seemed sincere, seemed appreciated by not just the fans, but Cruise himself. He often asked fans if the photos they took were ok & if they werent, he would pose for a 2nd, and a 3rd and he gave them suggestions on how to make the photo better if it still wasnt turning out. Who does that????
The only negative thing anyone had to say about the entire event was 2 things. 1- that his bodyguards were unprofessional in grabbing items from people (myself included) & thrwing them on the ground. Perhaps in their delusional brains they think they are above the law, that is actually a criminal offense, I suggest they think long & hard about trying to do it again. next time I wont be so naive as to let you take it (I actually though, like many other handlers have done before, he was taking it to get signed by Tom), because I will actually make an issue out of it. 2- The extremely aggressive fans. I often point out how its fans that are the problem, the pros are often the easier group to manage because we know how to act. This was example #1 of that. They were VERY pushy, often the entire pile of people would sway back & forth as people jostled for the space out there. Whats worse, 90% of them were literally there just to take a photo of him. They werent trying for a photo with, or an autograph, just a photo...something that coulda been done from 5 ft further back. In all my travels, I have NEVER seen such an aggressive display from fans & onlookers. It was truly disgusting.
Anyways, hes a few pics....video will come later of the scenes when I have more time. In short, Tom Cruise won over MANY fans last night...myself included.
(portrayed by: Jensen Ackles on "Supernatural")
A hat-trick for Supernatural fans. Dean Winchester, the Jensen Ackles acted character on "Supernatural" takes the top spot in the Most Entertaining Or Fascinating Character of 2010 finals.
The apocalpyse stopping, demon hunting, sharp tongued older Winchester brother fended off a steep field of contenders, including some of his own castmates, as well as... 2 Smallville contestants.
Dean beat out Superman's main squeeze, "Smallville" cutie Lois Lane (Erica Durance) by 54 votes in the end 722-668
While Lois fans might feel disappointment that they gave up a lead they had had since very early in the contest, they can also take solace in the fact they prevented a clean sweep of the podium for Supernatural. 3rd spot goes to the monotone speaking often confused angel Castiel (played by Misha Collins) from Supernatural with 478 votes. Deans baby brother Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) takes 4th spot at 459.
Oliver Queen, aka, The Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) from Smallville takes 5th spot with 357, while Crowley (Mark Sheppard) from Supernatural made a big push on the final day to jump from 11th to 6th with a final total of 343.
The best of the non SPN vs SV crew was the often absent minded scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) on "Fringe" with 314 votes.
The mr. know it all theoretical physicist from "The Big Bang Theory" Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) with 291 votes grabbed 8th.
The Legen...wait for it.. Dary ladies man Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) "How I Met Your Mother" grabbed 9th with 206, while socially awkward thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf) of "Leverage" rounds out the top 10 with 201.
Eli Wallace (David Blue) of "Stargate Universe" ginished 11th 179. Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) from "dexter" 12th with 152, Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell) "Burn Notice" 13th with 112, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) "Burn Notice" 91 and finally, Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) "The Big Bang Theory" rounds out the contest with 75.
1ST - DEAN WINCHESTER 722
2ND - LOIS LANE 668
3RD- CASTIEL 478
4TH - SAM WINCHESTER 459
5TH - OLIVER QUEEN/GREEN ARROW 357
6TH - CROWLEY 343
7TH - DR. WALTER BISHOP 314
8TH - DR. SHELDON COOPER 291
9TH - BARNEY STINSON 206
10TH - PARKER 201
11TH - ELI WALLACE 179
12TH - DEXTER MORGAN 152
13TH - SAM AXE 112
14TH - MICHAEL WESTEN 91
15TH - AMY FARRAH FOWLER 75
Dean Winchester from "Supernatural"
In a year of highs & lows for his character Dean Winchester on The CW hit "Supernatural" Jensen Ackles acting skills were tested this year.
Ackles has often shown great prowess as a comedic actor on the show, but this season more than any, his dramatic skills were tested, and he seemed to pass.... at least our fans think he did. From getting the wholly hell beat out of him by his 6'5 brother Sam, to having to play the part of Death to help out his brother, Ackles portrayed Dean more seriously this year than perhaps any other. His win over Taye Diggs from "Private Practice" of 57 votes didnt even seem possible a couple days before closing, as Diggs had a sizable lead for most of the event. But when the SPN fanbase finally caught wind their show & cast were in, they came on fast & furious & eventually overtook the top spot 1117-1060.
The totals of 1117 & 1060 were the 1st & 2nd highest vote totals in all the polls. Showing this contest was the most hotly contested of the 7.
For "Fringe" star John Noble, 3rd place in what is essentially a popularity poll can be seen as a small victory with 471 votes.
After a very strong write in campaign in the nomination round, David Blue from "Stargate Universe" probably didnt disappoint the SGU fans by coming in 4th with 275 votes. "Burn Notice" star Jeffrey Doniovan frounded out the field with 249 votes.
1ST - JENSEN ACKLES "SUPERNATURAL" 1117
2ND - TAYE DIGGS "PRIVATE PRACTICE" 1060
3RD - JOHN NOBLE "FRINGE" 471
4TH - DAVID BLUE "STARGATE UNIVERSE" 275
5TH - JEFFREY DONOVAN "BURN NOTICE" 249
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.