View Single Post
Old January 18 2013, 04:07 PM   #27
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: Sy Fy cancels Alphas

sojourner wrote: View Post
I think with this SyFy has firmly stolen Fox's reputation for cancelling shows too soon.
Only if you don't look at the big picture. Plenty of shows have been cancelled this season. According to TV By the Numbers's "Bubble Watch," ABC has already cancelled or ended three shows this season and is likely to cancel at least two more, with another two "on the bubble." CBS has cancelled two shows and is likely to cancel two more, with two on the bubble. NBC has cancelled one and is ending two, with two other likely cancellations and three on the bubble. FOX has cancelled or ended two, is certain to cancel a third, and has two on the bubble. The CW has cancelled one, ended one, and has four on the bubble. TNT cancelled the long-running Leverage. USA cancelled its 2-year-old Fairly Legal and its 1-year-old Common Law.

So plenty of shows have been cancelled this year, most of them after one season or less. That's par for the course in any year. But Syfy has only cancelled one of its original scripted shows this season. Alphas is out, but Warehouse 13, Haven, and Being Human are still going strong. (I'm not counting Eureka, since the decision to end it was made in 2011.)

So that's only 1/4 of the network's current scripted offerings getting the axe. That's no worse than the percentage of shows being axed on the other networks, and quite possibly better. And while many of the shows cancelled by other networks were in their first season, Alphas at least got two seasons. The last time Syfy cancelled a show after only one season was with Caprica in 2010, and the time before that was Flash Gordon in 2008.

Indeed, throughout its life, Syfy/Sci-Fi has only cancelled nine original scripted shows in their first seasons, out of 23 cancellations in all (going by Wikipedia's list of the network's shows -- though my count may be a little rough). Add the current shows and that's ~26 scripted shows, with ~17 (nearly 2/3) lasting more than one season and ~11 (better than 40%) lasting more than two seasons. I doubt you could say the same for other networks.

So it would be completely untrue to characterize Syfy as a premature show-killer. Cancellation is simply a fact of life on television, and most shows die young. Genre shows in particular have a hard time surviving because they cost more to make and attract smaller audiences. (Both of ABC's freshman genre shows this season got axed.) But overall, Syfy's track record with cancellations is no worse than, and arguably better than, most other networks' track records.

I think it's just that genre shows tend to attract more devoted followings, so their cancellations attract more notice and evoke stronger feelings than the cancellation of something like Made in Jersey or Guys with Kids. Not to mention that Syfy's shows are generally better than something like 666 Park Avenue. So even if they aren't cancelled sooner or more often than other shows on other networks, their cancellations have more of an impact, so it feels more unfair. Which is why it's valuable to look at the big picture and get some perspective.


Caretaker wrote: View Post
I know it's probably a non-realistic hope, but maybe Warehouse 13 could do another crossover with the Alphas characters and bring resolution to the Alphas storylines (especially as some speculate that certain Warehouse agents are Alphas). It worked for The X Files and The Lone Gunmen and Millennium, right?
I'd rather they didn't do that. It was a bad idea to cross the two shows over to the extent that they did. Crossing over Eureka and Warehouse 13 was problematical enough; not only were they different genres (soft SF vs. magic-realist fantasy), but they had incompatible laws of time travel (time was mutable on Eureka but immutable on W13 -- although the latest season of W13 abandoned that rule without explanation). But at least they were similar in tone so it wasn't a complete mismatch. But crossing over the broad, fanciful universe of W13 with the much more naturalistic, solemn Alphas universe was just wrong. And it seemed like something Alphas did reluctantly and under network pressure, since, although they used Lindsay Wagner's character, they carefully avoided mentioning the existence of the Warehouse, Artifacts, or anything of the sort. I choose to believe the universes are unconnected but simply have separate versions of a character named Dr. Vanessa Calder.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote