Last night was the Gala event for the 13th annual Leo Awards. The best of British Columbia's TV & movie industry gathered to hand out their top awards. This years event was held at the Hotel Vancouver, after a scheduling change prevented them from holding it at their usual place, the Westing Bayshore. With the change in venue came a few challenges.
The most notable challenge was the red carpet set up on Georgia street. In the past, at the Bayshore, the carpet was set up along a very quiet and spacious sidewalk along side the hotels convention centre. This set up was great for everyone involved, as it was spacious & well lit with natural light when it is sunny. This year however, the red carpet was set up on the sidewalk of a mains treet that dozens of people use every minute. The carpet itself took up about 2/3 of the sidewalk, leaving a slim 3-5 ft ledge for fans & onlookers, uncredited media, autograph hounds & passer bys to navigate, with a lane of a busy thoroughfare just behind them. Thankfully for the awards there was no incidents with traffic hitting any people, despite many people, myself included, occasionally using the 1st lave of the street to walk in.
The cast of "Sanctuary" was the front & centre draw of the television side of the awards for the mostpart. With the loss of "Stargate Universe" this year, the gang from Sanctuary made up a lot larger portion of this years TV representation. SGU did have 1 representitive there, Jennifer Spence, a nominee for Best supprting actress in a drama, but failed to win, losing out to Lucia Walters from "Life Unexpected" in their 1 & only nomination as well. Ryan Robbins did bring home a solo award for the Sanctuary cast in the Best Supporting male category.
Many of the more notable Vancouver based shows won some awards as well. Fox sci-fi hit "Fringe" lead all TV shows in wins with 3 (tied with Sanctuary) for Cinematogray, Production design & best guest actor for Michael Eklund. "Supernatural" won for best visual effect. "Smallville" won for best program in its final season. "Human Target" won for best stunt co-ordinator.
Smaller shows like "Blackstone", wich won 2 awards walked away with the more notable awards for TV acting. Carmen Moore won the best actress award. The best actor went to Callum Keith Rennie from "Shattered"
In the movie side of the awards, "Gunless" walked away with 4 awards including best prgraom, cinematography, production design & stunt co-ordinator. "Altitude", "Transparency" & "Fathers & Sons" won 2 awards each, the latter taking home best supporting actor Jay Brazeau. Several movies snagged 1 award each, including "Life, Above All", "Amazon Falls" which April Telek took best lead actress, "Tucker And Dale VS Evil" which Tyler Labine took best lead actor & "Repeaters" which Alexia Fast took best supporting actress for.
Other notable winners were Paul McGillion for best lead actor in a short drama movie "A Fine Young Man" (which lead the way with 4 wins in that section..including best program), Shirley Broderikc for best actress in a short drama "The Closer You Get To Canada". "Mighty Jerome" won 4 awards, including best documentary program. "The Haunting Hour" won 4 awards as well in best youth or childrens program, including best show & best performance for Richard Harmon.
"Hiccups" had 5 wins, including best comedy program & best performance for Nancy Robertson, that was the most of anyone at the awards.
Below are some pics of the presenterrs, nominees & winners as they arrived for the awards.
Pictured "Blood & Chrome" & "Hellcats" star Ben Cotton. "The Listener" star Lauren Lee Smith, "Robson Arms" star Gabrielle Rose, "Intelligence", "Smallville" & "Alice I Think" star Michael Eklund, "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" & "Reaper" star Tyler Labine, "The Killing" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Brandon Jay McLaren with "Whistler" & "Tucker & Dale VS Evil" star Jesse Moss, "Wolf Canyon", "Harpers Island" & "Health Nutz" star Ali Liebert, "90210" star Dustin Milligan, "Smallville" star MacKenzie Gray, "Robson Arms", "Supernatural" & "Amazon Falls" star April Telek, "Stargate Universe" & "The 4400" star Jennifer Spence with "Kingdom Hospital" star Ben Ratner, "Twilight Saga Eclipse" "Kingdom Hospital" & "Dead Like Me" star Jodelle Ferland, "Charlie St Cloud" & "Whistler" star Amanda Crew, "Sanctuary" "Stargate SGI & Atlantis" star Amanda Tapping, "Sanctuary" "Dawsons Creek" & "Dead Like Me" star Robin Dunne, "Sanctuary" & "Dan For Mayor" star Agam Darshi.
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
With me out of town for much of September, making it tough to promote the polls much, numbers were down noticeably this month.
That aside, this month brought the closest margain of victory in the current show scores yet, it also brought the largest magain of victory in the former shows poll.
So lets start there....
GOLD - DEAD LIKE ME 20.0 %
SILVER - 21 JUMP STREET 10.7 %
BRONZE - (tie) SLIDERS & DANGER BAY 8.0%
The X-Files 6.7%
Robson Arms 6.7%
Stargate SG1 5.3%
Battlestar Galactica 5.3%
Dark Angel 4%
The Outer Limits 4%
DaVincis Inquest 2.7%
Neon Rider 2.7%
Stargate Atlantis 1.3%
Breaker High, Intellegence, The Twilight Zone, The Sentinel, The Collector, The L Word 0%
The L Word, Breaker High, Intellegence, The Sentinel & The Collector are all on the chopping block this month....if you like these shows, you better vote for them this month & show it.
For the current shows... its been all Supernatural so far...but Fringe is showing signs of life, cutting the gap this month to a single digit percentage & vote total deficit.
GOLD - SUPERNATURAL 30.9%
SILVER - FRINGE 22.2%
BRONZE - PSYCH 8.6%
Stargate Universe 3.7
V The Visitors 3.7%
Life Unexpected 3.7%
Human Target 0%
To show you how special some people are...I received 1 write in vote for TWILIGHT!!!???? I dont know of a TELEVISION show anywhere called "Twilight" that is currently being produced...and certainly not one in Vancouver.... This does make me wonder if I need a Vancouver shot movies poll though.
In 3 months now, Supernatural has dominated the current show category, finishing first all 3 times. Fringe has dominated the 2nd place podium just as much, claiming the runner ups title all 3 times as well. Third place started with Sanctuary in the first poll, them had Smallville & Psych tie last month. This month, Psych finished 3rd all by themselves, but by only 1 vote over newcomer Hellcats.
In 3 months now, Dead Like Me has shown to be the top show amongst those no longer running. Winning the title the last two months & finishing in a tie for 3rd the first time. While The X-Files started big, winning the inagural poll, they have slipped in the past two months. To 2nd last month & all the way to 5th this month. Stargate SG1 had 2nd the first month, but hasnt been able to find the podium again since. Dark Angel earned the bronze the first two times, but slipped substantially this month. 21 Jump Street snuck in for a silver this month after continually being "close", while Sliders takes a suprirising bronze after 2 months of being in the middle-top part of the pack, but as amazing as their claim of a bronze is, they split it with even more shockingly Danger Bay, who never did better than 12th prior to this month.
Biggest climbers this month were
Former shows- Danger Bay 6.5%+ from 14th ranked to 3rd ranked.
Current shows - Hiccups 4.1%+ from 11th ranked to 5th ranked
Former shows - The X-Files 7.2%- from 2nd ranked to 5th ranked
Current shows - Human Target 2.3%- from 10th ranked to 12th ranked
So in July, Supernatural won the inagural current show title, while The X-Files took home the inagural former show title. Were they able to hold on this month? Or would new champs be crowned?
Lets first take a look at the former show category.
In this category, we have a new champion...much to my liking.
BRONZE MEDAL - Dark Angel 10.8%
SILVER MEDAL - The X-Files 13.9%
GOLD MEDAL - DEAD LIKE ME 17.0%
The entire list of shows beside the top 3, in order
Battlestar Galactica 8.2
21 Jump Street 7.7
Stargate SG1 6.7
Twilight Zone 4.1
Stargate Atlantis 3.1
Outer Limits 2.1
DaVincis Inquest 2.1
Danger Bay 1.5
Robson Arms 1.5
The L Word 1.5
OTHERS- The Sentinel & The Collector 1 vote each
For the current show.... Supernatural managed to keep its title. In fact, they won by a larger margain than the month prior.
BRONZE (tie)- Smallville & Psych 7.2% (by one vote)
SILVER- Fringe 16.6%
GOLD- SUPERNATURAL 51.7%
The entire list of shows besides the top 3 include.
Stargate SGU 3
Life Unexpected 3
Human Target 2.3
Now I am a little shocked I must saw that SPN is running away with this so handily. I really like the show, and I understand I have a lot of Supernatural fans that come by here. But I also thought I had a lot of Fringe fans as well, I really expected more of a fight from them. I am also a bit shocked, granted they arent my main fanbase, that Smallville and SGU dont get more attention than they have so far.
There was a slight drop is participation this month from last on both polls. But still over 450 total votes cast between the two polls. Only a drop of 11.4% between the two polls...the former show poll having a more substantial drop.
Big climbers this month were.
Former shows- Highlander 3.3%+ from 15th rank to 9th rank
Current shows- Life Unexpected 2.7%+ from 11th rank to 6th rank.
big droppers this month were.
Former shows- Stargate SG1 9.2%- from 2nd rank to 6th rank
Current shows- Sanctuary 6.5%- from 3rd rank to 9th rank.
The September poll is up, as Supernatural looks to try & 3-peat. While Dead Like Me & The X-Files will undobtedly battle it out for 1st on the former shows list again.
My poll for Best current & former Vancouver shot TV shows was 2 of the more popular ones I have had.
I have decided...it will be monthly... and maybe at the end of the year, I will have an annual winner based on the monthly totals.
There is also the chance bad performers will eventually be axed from the former show list, as it gets longer.
For now though, the unveiling of the first ever monthly champions.
First up... the top 3 for shows no longer filming.
Apparently, Vancouver does Sci-Fi like nothing else. The top FIVE int his category all have spent time on Sci-fi channels.
BRONZE MEDAL (tie) - Dark Angel and Dead Like Me 12.4%
SILVER MEDAL - Stargate SG1 15.9%
GOLD MEDAL - THE X-FILES 19.3%
The entire list of shows beside the top 3, in order
Battlestar Galactica 10.3
Stargate Atlantis 4.7
21 Jump Street 3
Outer Limits 3
Twilight Zone 2.6
Danger Bay 2.1
Robson Arms 2.1
The L Word 1.3
For the next month, additions have been made to the list.
DaVinci's Inquest & Intelligence have been added to the list. In the future I might delete shows if they continually perform poorly since this list could get pretty long after awhile.
Also, a section for "other" has been added now. So you can suggest other shows.
Now onto the poll that got the most votes, despite hacing a maximum of 3 votes per person....the current TV show poll.
Lets get to the top 3, shall we?
BRONZE- SANCTUARY 8.8% (by one vote)
SILVER- FRINGE 18.4%
GOLD- SUPERNATURAL 38.8%
The entire list of shows besides the top 3 include.
Stargate SGU 5.4
Human Target 3 votes (% not shown)
Life Unexpected 1 vote
Currently, no new shows were added to this list. But with the new TV season coming, some additions might be coming. for sure Hellcats will be added once it airs.
Thats it for "July" (which actually ended in early August because of the shortened time the poll was open. August poll is already open, so go vote for the August winners.
A total of 527 total votes between the two polls were made.
With 114 votes, Supernatural had the most of any show in both polls. That gave them 21.7% of the total votes...good enough percentage to be 1st in either poll on percentage alone.
With 1 vote, Life Unexpected was the only show not to register multiple votes in either poll. The least any other show got was 3.
I occasionally argue with inanimate objects, but I usually win. So its all good.