Today has brought news from a variety of sources that the SyFy Channel has canceled its low-rated but very excellent (in this humble viewer’s opinion) series Caprica.
Speaking about the cancellation, Mark Stern, Executive Vice-President of Original Programming said, “We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for Caprica and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series, Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, Caprica has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season.” The show will stop running new episodes as of this week’s (October 26th, 2010) episode, with the remaining five episodes of the season to run at some point early next year.
Now, I am not a television executive, and I can understand that with its numerous effects shots and fairly large cast, this can’t be a cheap show to produce, and if the numbers aren’t there, the numbers aren’t there, but for crying out loud SyFy, what the hell are you thinking?!? I really shouldn’t be surprised though. This is the same network that pushed Battlestar Galactica to an early end. This is the same network that sent Farscape to a premature death. This is the network that has entirely too many hours of wrestling on to still call itself SyFy. (Whatever the hell SyFy means anyway.) This is a network that has always pushed the bottom line over any dedication to quality.
And it’s not like I haven’t seen this happen before. The sad fact of the matter is that quality does not equal money, and all too often the things we love most are the things which are taken from us too soon. I’m sure every one of our readers has a show or comic that was canceled before they wanted it to be. More often then not, if there’s a battle between money and quality, money will win every time. And it sucks. It sucks big time. And we can write letter campaigns, and send emails and sometimes it works. Chuck fans were able to get the show renewed twice. A nation of Star Trek fans got new interest in the property after decades off the air. A small collection of fans were able to keep Spider-Girl in print for longer than anyone, especially Marvel, thought possible. But more often than not, it doesn’t work, and the shows we love get canceled.
The real shame is that Caprica was really just starting to get into the meat of the story. Just like Battlestar, it was some of the smartest writing on television and while it may not have had as many action scenes as Battlestar had, it was loaded with interesting characters and exciting ideas. And I guess fans of the franchise have at least one more series to look forward with the Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. And I have lost the only remaining reason to even bother heading towards SyFy’s way while channel surfing. So farewell for now Caprica, I’ll be back to finish up with you next year, and then I never have to watch the stupid channel you’re on anymore.
[Source: Entertainment Weekly, Deadline]
So is it worth it to even get into this show? It seems that with it getting canceled so quickly they won’t be able to wrap up the story and I can’t see investing the time into it knowing I won’t see it conclude.
Comment by Brian M. Frain — October 28, 2010 @ 1:16 am
It really is a shame.
So many BSG fans didn’t give it a fair chance and that really messed with the numbers.
Wasn’t the same as Galactica, but had worlds of potential.
Comment by The Movie God — October 28, 2010 @ 1:32 am
I really liked BSG and liked Caprica too. Thing is, it’s a different series and should not be compared.
Now they approved another spin-off Blood and Chrome, I guess they’ll cancel that one too after a couple of episodes:(
I just hope that the people that are checking these ratings (Nielsen?) realise one day that the TV as a big black box in the living room is not the only way people watch content, maybe 20 years ago it was.
Looks like the people at syfy do not know what they are doing either. There’s less and less real sci-fi content (Ghost Hunters?, Wrestling?). The bit they have, they cancel prematurely.
No more reasons to pay to see this channel in Spain. I’m cancelling my cable subscription. A real pitty though as it is hard enough to find good Sci-fi these days!
Comment by Alex K — October 28, 2010 @ 4:34 am
I had a bad feeling when I read about “Blood and Chrome”. I really don’t know why it has not taken off. It is an amazing show with really great writing and even better acting. Why more BSG fans or fans of well written sci-fi did not give it a chance I don’t know. This is why I hate getting hooked on a show.
The worst part is as posted by Henchman21 is that it really was getting to the meat of the story after laying the foundation in season 1.
All that’s left for me on that channel now is Warehouse 13. Why don’t they stop putting money into those HORRIBLE SyFy movies they make and keep shows like this going. Sad.
Comment by Frank — October 28, 2010 @ 5:25 am
I hated when it happened to Firefly, one of the best sci-fi series ever done, and also dollhouse (yes, I’m a Whedon fan :P)
Comment by Akira — October 28, 2010 @ 7:54 am
This is what happens when the television system supports an increasing amount of channels and stations.
The more options there are to viewers, the more likely a show of high caliber will lose out to crap like Dancing With The Stars.
Comment by Devon — October 28, 2010 @ 8:07 am
I think part of the problem was that BSG and Caprica handled the narrative and ‘action’ differently. There are ‘action’ moments in Caprica, but by no one’s definition could it be labeled under ‘action’. BSG could be labeled under action–it was definitely more geared towards the military aspect then the religious or drama aspect of the series.
The new series, Blood and Chrome, will likely be more in line with BSG than Caprica–after all its when Adama is in the military and set during the first Cylon war right?
I don’t know Syfy has become something of a joke. I was more than a little surprised when I heard Stargate Universe had been renewed for a second season honestly–that’s another one with a predecessor its only marginally like (SGU is much darker than SG1 or SGA–and the military is a lot more ‘Sit down, shut up, we have the guns, we have control’). Their original programming is certainly getting leaner and leaner.
I’ll stick around, I have SGU and I have the return of Haven to look forward to at least, but I don’t think I’ll become as dedicated to their new shows in the future.
Comment by Lexie C. — October 28, 2010 @ 12:02 pm
The chief exec of ‘SyFy’ thinks she knows what she’s doing when what she is actually doing is diluting and destroying the brand. It’s the same thing with History channel – “Ice-Road Truckers”? What in the name of Asimov does that have to do with History?
There are a million generic TV brands out there. Competing with them on their level is a fools errand. It’s not just BSG, Firefly, Farscape. It’s SG Atlantis, and does anybody even remember what Babylon 5 went through just to finish its run?
The promise behind SciFi network was a place for those of us who love the genre to have that would feature the stories we love and want to see. That is NOT the goal of SyFy. Clearly. We’re still being treated like second-class customers.
Comment by Nick Hofmann — October 28, 2010 @ 2:44 pm
It makes me sad that shows like Steven Seagal: Lawman and 16 and pregnant get far better ratings than scripted shows like Caprica and SGU. The real problem is the fact that the ratings system is broken and that people with Nielsen boxes would rather watch reality TV than scripted sci-fi shows. Caprica had a lot of potential but it was pretty slow moving with a minimal amount of action. I also think that it or SGU should have been on Friday in order to avoid competing with popular network shows.
Comment by Demonstrable — October 28, 2010 @ 8:29 pm
I have to say that I’m deeply saddened (though not surprised) by the cancellation of Caprica. I found the writing to be equal to the best that television has to offer, the set and mood of Caprica to be unique and wonderfully rich and complex, and the acting to be of the highest quality seen on television today.
The imaginative, marvelously deep plot lines had only just begun to play out when this superior drama was cancelled.
It has been my observation that televion productions of this high caliber have a difficult time attracting large audiences. I suspect this is because the average television viewer is unwilling to make the emotional and intellectual investment necessary to to reap the rewards that a truly significant drama such as Caprica has to offer.
Yet another truly great work of television art falls by the wayside, and most of the viewing public will never know what a treasure they’ve lost.
Comment by David Bunin — October 31, 2010 @ 1:42 pm
I really liked BSG, had lots of drama, action and no techno babble. Character and story driven show, nice robot design, great camera work. was gripping from the start, all the way to the end. The razor movie was great too (glad they are expanding on it too)
Caprica on the on the other hand was as flat as a pancake. It was boring, had a horrendously bad story, with annoying characters that where unlikable. It had hardly no decent action at all.
Mostly it didn’t live up to my expectations. It could have been great. I was expecting to see why/how the cylons revolted, the start of the war with some good action, drama and all the good stuff BSG had. But sadly it couldn’t hold a candle to BSG.
Hopefully they can right this mistake of a show with the new spin off.
Comment by DeathAxe — October 31, 2010 @ 9:05 pm