Still, given how fluffy their line-up is, it's hard to say what particularly was disappointing to them. It could have been too gritty, rather than shitty.
Yeah that's a big point: in the past year, they've cancelled most of their mainstay franchises: Caprica/BSG, Stargate (Universe), and Eureka. Warehouse 13 is a Eureka spinoff of sorts, and is doing pretty strong with ratings, but still.
The point is that you'd think they'd be more eager than usual to try to sign on new shows to air. They can't afford to be picky....which leads me to believe that "Blood & Chrome" was pretty bad.
From what I've heard...there was this crazy David Eick interview where he said "BSG was a mix of politics and action....and I think Caprica failed because it was mostly politics and no action" -- I'd disagree on that, I think the writing in general had problems, but some of the complaints (not the only ones) were that we walked in thinking it was "BSG prequel = Cylon War One" and this sadly wasn't the case.
HOWEVER, Eick went on to say that "....therefore, we're going to make Blood & Chrome swing in the opposite direction, and be mostly action"
....dude. That's the kind of thinking that led to Star Trek Voyager, pendulum-swing thinking: "DS9 was too dark, so lets make Voyager very light and fluffy"....just knee-jerk reactionary choices which you'd think people as intelligent as TV writers would know better than to do.
I mean he *just said*, "BSG succeeded because it was a good mix of two things, politics/plot/character development and action", and that he's rationalized to himself that Caprica failed for having too much of Thing A (Politics)....so does he try to make another prequel with an equal balance? Heck no, he just focuses on Thing B (action).
The rough-cut pilot didn't have any special effects added in yet....and keep in mind, the *entire* Galactica set would just be a CGI stand-in, like on Sanctuary. I think the network new that when they were watching it; they've seen dozens of pilot episodes before with unfinished SFX.
But this show is *relying* on special effects....which by their very nature are VERY EXPENSIVE.
I suspect the plot and acting in the pilot they saw was laughably bad, because the writers said they were outright focusing on the "action";
--->You know, the writers openly said in the BSG days that Scifi Channel was openly making BSG *at a loss* -- special effects of that quality were way too expensive. It was a "prestige show"; many networks do this.
To convince everyone that you're more than the "Wrestling and Ghost Reality Show Network", you run a few well-written shows, at a loss, to get an Emmy or convince yourselves that a basic cable channel can go head to head with other shows from HBO.
But people flocked to BSG for its good writing, more than just the eye candy alone.
I mean, Eick's entire...philosophy, to approach Blood & Chrome with, all but declared that it would be a show heavily reliant on expensive SFX, which would never be capable of competing for Emmy Award level writing.