Babylon 5 had a shoestring budget too, and barely managed to eke out its planned five year run despite PTEN's withdrawl. Andromeda was unfortunately saddled with a studio that has a history of dumping the showrunners for cheaper, more controllable producers(Beastmaster, Earth Final Conflict, etc.) and IMO that was the real cause of its failure despite some really promising premises.
Yeah, if Defiance the game doesn't work out, financing for the show will dry up pretty quickly IMO - or else it would face some pretty heavy cuts in budget that could doom it anyway. This is a pretty big experiment in new media and I hope it works out, since all this stuff we've seen so far is pretty promising. If it works, I further hope that it could become a formula for success that could lead to some more classic sci-fi coming back in some form.
Anyone remember when we used to watch shows involving people flying around in a spaceship and exploring new worlds, and not just trying to survive in one post-apocalyptic version of Earth or another?