DS9 Versus: A viewing experient

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Sykonee, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Season 7

    Wee-

    "Hey, wait a minute! Aren't you forgetting something!?"

    I am?

    "Yeah, B5 had another movie during the summer!"

    They did? ...Well, what do you know. Anyhow...

    "Aren't you going to do that as well?"

    Um, it's not technically part of the the seasonal Versus series tho'.

    "Oh, c'MON!"

    *sigh* Very well...

    Special Bonus Off-Season Bab-Movie Coverage

    B5 - Thirdspace (Airdate 07.19.98)

    Zombie people. Space explosions. Old Ones on the rampage. Mid-Season 4 setting. Hot-mess Lyta. What's not to love? Well, the fact this is pretty much a trumped-up Alien Of The Week episode. Hey, it's nicely produced, with surreal dream sequences and creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately, there's little subtlety going on here, as it's quite apparent this Ancient Artifact ain't up to no good right from the get-go. The only real mystery is what awesome evil it'll unleash, with perhaps the twist of it actually being a Vorlon device being the most clever things get.

    As for this not really lining up well with established canon, eh whatever. It don't matter in the long run. Harmless summer action fluff. Okay, now on to Season 7 of DS9!

    ...erm, after I return from another weekend trip that is. Ciao for a week!:bolian:
     
  2. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I kind of missed that time- sci fi and fantasy was everywhere-Almost 3 Trek shows simultaneously, Babylon 5, Galactica, Xena, Andromeda, etc. everywhere you looked there was something Sci Fi.


    I noticed that the other series, TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise, got some fanfare about their series finales, where as DS9 sort ended without as much fanfare.

    I remember with Voyager, the news (kcote) that came after would do a special and go 'behind the scenes' to talk with the cast, over the few days leading up to it.

    And the same thing with TNG and I believe Enterprise too.

    With DS9, they gave it a two hour episode and aired it twice, but the news made little note of it-no reports, actor's reaction or questions.

    I may be wrong, but why so little attention given to DS9? A lot of Trek is built and written around it....
     
  3. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    There was fanfare though, wasn't there? It was all chat about the "Final Chapter". Besides, the finale was indulgent enough without watching ISB patting himself on the back for passing that shite off as a worthy last episode. It probably got less attention because it wasn't the only Trek show on at the time, whereas Voyager and Enterprise were.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the UK, Sky One had a special DS9 day on the Sunday before the finale aired, which was pretty much just five episodes presented by guy from a failed sci-fi sitcom pointing out DS9's unique aspects before each episode. When Voyager ended, they had a Voyager weekend, but they only had three episodes each day and they didn't bother with a presenter, they just took short clips from US interviews with the cast. When Enterprise ended, they didn't even bother, they just made an ad that billed it as the end of Star Trek instead. (As for TNG, I was too young to remember what sort of fanfare that was given.)

    The BBC didn't seem too bothered about any of the shows ending. In fact, they didn't even show WYLB as a feature-length episode, they showed it in two parts with the second part airing a week later. :wtf: Bastards.
     
  5. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I had stopped following Trek on tv in the US around TNG's sixth season or so, but I remember being aware that DS9 was ending, so there must have been a certain amount of hype surrounding it. I also remember a certain amount for ENT, though that was more of a "Trek got canceled after a gazillion seasons" type of buzz. I don't really remember anything for Voyager, though doubtless there was some buzz out there for that as well.

    Some differences in how DS9's finale was handled as compared to Voyager and ENT may have something to do with the latter two shows being on UPN, whereas DS9 was syndicated. That said, it wouldn't surprise me at all if, quantitatively speaking, DS9's finale was hyped less than Voyager's, simply because DS9 was never slated to be the standard-bearer for the Trek franchise the way Voyager and later ENT were. Let us be grateful for that, since it is one of the reasons why DS9 ended up being a great show, and those others didn't. It was able to fly under the radar, which meant that the show perhaps didn't get the attention it deserved, but also meant that it had more creative freedom than it would otherwise have had (not total freedom by any means, but anyway more than a show like Voyager).

    I say "quantitatively speaking" because the studio can hype a show all they want, that doesn't mean anyone ever gave a crap. More people watched DS9 while it was on the air than ever watched Voyager and ENT. Everybody can recognize Seven of Nine in her catsuit because her image was plastered all over the place for a few years there, but interest in the show didn't directly scale with the hype surrounding it as the "flagship show" for the studio's network.
     
  6. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ouch! If there's one feature length Trek episode I can see suffering from being shown like that, it's WYLB!

    Oh, and Thirdspace is entertaining enough. I liked the stuff about Lyta going to the Vorlon homeworld.
     
  7. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    I quite liked WYLB. D:

    Also, there was a degree of hype here where I live over DS9's final chapter. UPN was actually the network running it, so that most certainly helped.
     
  8. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I remember, as WYLB was airing, the local news would follow afterwards.

    In this case I didn't see any special interviews or noting about it.

    Now, they gave DS9 a special two hour airing during the weekend, but the local news that followed? Not a word. It sort of just-fell off the map, that was my impression.

    When Voyager was about to end, they did a special behind the scene shots with interviews for about 3 or 4 days leading up to the finale.

    What was amusing was that they asked the actor who played Harry Kim what he thought about it, he said he really didn't like the last episode.

    I believe they also did something with Enterprise's finale, noting that they were ended prematurely.

    They almost certainly covered TNG'S finale, but that was understood as they were the show that continued the legacy.

    Yet people frequently quote DS9 or use it as a 'go to' guide about Trek info.

    Was Voyager and Enterprise more mainstream than DS9??
     
  9. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As far as the size of the actual audience while the shows were on the air, no: DS9 was a higher rated show than Voyager, and of course higher than ENT.

    As far as the profile of the shows in the general consciousness is concerned, I would say that Voyager has the highest profile of the three, due mainly to the show being more heavily promoted, and to the attention received by Jeri Ryan in particular.

    I don't think there is any appreciable difference in the general public's awareness of DS9 and ENT.

    DS9's rep as a sort of cult show has continued to grow since its cancelation, and increasingly so in recent years, at least in part due to nuBSG's obvious debt to the show. On the other hand, it's possible that more people have seen Voyager reruns, especially on UPN for a few years after the show went off the air. I remember I would occasionally stumble across one. This sort of thing is harder to quantify, though, and probably doesn't effect the shows' "mainstreaminess" much anyway.
     
  10. Nightdiamond

    Nightdiamond Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    As far as satellite television, it seems that TNG, Voyager and Enterprise are getting more rotation.

    I haven't seen DS9 for a good while.
     
  11. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's hard to compare the ratings for DS9 and Voyager. DS9 technically had the larger audience, but Voyager was on UPN, which was only received by 80-90% of the population in the US. And while DS9 technically had greater coverage, some local stations would pre-empt it or place it in the early hours of the morning, something that Voyager didn't have as much trouble with. I read somewhere before that DS9 did well in urban areas and did badly in rural areas (I'm not sure why), so it's possible that in some parts of the US, DS9 had better ratings and more recognition than Voyager, while the opposite was true in other areas.

    In the end, Voyager is better known overall if only for Seven, DS9 doesn't have a character that entered the public consciousness quite like her. If you asked a layman to name characters from Star Trek, it would probably go something like this:

    1) Spock
    2) Kirk
    3) Beam me up, Scotty
    4) The bald guy
    5) The robot man
    6) That blonde chick in the catsuit
    7) The Gorn
     
  12. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    I like your style, TheGodBen.
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am fairly awesome. :)
     
  14. Jeff O'Connor

    Jeff O'Connor Commodore Commodore

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    I actually posted your list to a non-Trekkie friend of mine last night. He immediately recognized the first three, and then with minimal coaxing realized who the latter four were. Beyond that, though, he was fairly helpless. :lol:
     
  15. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Concretely, though, more people watched it (unless there is some reason that I am unaware of to think the ratings at the time were not accurately measuring this). Obviously I think DS9 is the much better show, but I'm not asserting that the ratings differential has a direct correlation to the shows' appeal while they were on the air. I'm simply pointing out that there is a distinction between how many people would recognize Jeri Ryan in the catsuit and the actual audience.

    The difference in ratings is pretty significant as I recall and, as you point out, being in syndication probably hurt DS9 in certain ways, while helping in others. Going with a more serialized style was risky because the show didn't have a consistent time slot. There is also the relative lack of promotion to consider. So, it is interesting to note that DS9 did quite well for itself despite the narrative that tends to identify the show as the under-appreciated black sheep of the Trek family. This has more to do with how it was perceived and promoted by the studio, relative to Voyager and ENT, than its connection to an actual audience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can think of a reason. ;) DS9, being a show built upon recurring stories and characters, likely attracted a loyal, cultish audience that watched it every week. If DS9 had 10 million fans, it might average around 8 million viewers each week, as not everyone can watch every episode. Voyager, which had a much looser continuity and very few recurring characters, may have attracted a much more casual audience, the sort of audience that made TNG such a hit. Voyager could have had 15 million fans, but because Voyager was such an easy show to dip in and out of, it only averaged around 7 million viewers each week. (I'm making these ratings figures up, by the way.) On the surface, DS9 seems to have more fans and is the more successful show, but in reality, Voyager could have been the more popular of the two.

    Also, the ratings for the first run don't reflect overall viewing figures including reruns, which would be an impossible thing to calculate at this stage. In the 15 years since Voyager first aired, it's possible that double the number of people have watched an episode of Voyager than watched an episode of DS9. We just don't know.

    Anecdotally, I'm frequently seeing new members on this site saying that they're getting into Star Trek by watching reruns of Voyager, then they set out to watch the other shows later. It's much rarer for me to see someone say that they got into Trek by watching DS9 in reruns. Whether this is because Voyager reruns are more common or because DS9 is harder to get into, I don't know, it's probably a bit of both.
     
  17. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That is a bit of an issue as far as their contribution to the discussion is concerned ;) While I get what you are saying, generating a loyal fanbase is a sign that you are connecting to your audience, not the opposite. For example, to the extent we had data on the subject, I expect that we would find that TNG had more loyal viewers than either DS9 or Voyager, which contributed to its high ratings and huge success. (I could make up some data, if you like :))

    DS9 may have had a somewhat larger hardcore fan base than Voyager, but these loyal few are always a small minority of fans, not the massive percentage that your numbers suggest (they can never save a show from cancelation, for example. They are the ones that start the petition afterward.) The DS9 writers knew this, which is why they never stopped finding ways to rope in new viewers (the Defiant, Worf, the Dominion War, etc.). That they did this without dumping on the fans that had been there from the beginniing is part of what makes DS9 a great show, but also doubtless led to its having a substantial audience week to week.

    Agreed, I made a similar point earlier. However, again, lots of hype and lots of viewers that pop in and pop out doesn't suggest you are connecting with your audience. So, even if we accept the (quite reasonable) notion that more people have watched an episode of Voyager than an episode of DS9, we haven't really said much about their relative appeal. Here I will use some made-up numbers: If 100 million people have watched episodes of DS9, and 70 million of them like the show, whereas 120 million people have watched episodes of Voyager, but 60 million of them think it sucked, Voyager might be more widely known, yet less successful. (Voyager is pretty notorious for sucking, as well as for Jeri Ryan's physique.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, the ratings proportion is about right, I obviously have no way of backing up the number of fans each show had. And I'm not saying that Voyager really did have more "hidden" fans than DS9, I'm just pointing out that ratings aren't a perfect indication of popularity.

    While TNG likely did have more loyal fans than DS9, I would say that it is more likely that loyal fans made up a greater proportion of DS9's viewership figures than TNG's. TNG's success wasn't that it had a large, rabid fanbase, but that it was incredibly good at attracting casual viewers that otherwise wouldn't have bothered watching a sci-fi show. DS9 and Voyager relied more heavily on the core of loyal fans than TNG did.

    Scrubs was never a hugely successful show, it did okay for its first few seasons, but by season 4 the ratings fell to around 6-7 million each week. But the amazing thing was that the ratings stayed around that level for 4 years, they would fluctuate from week to week, but they were always around that 6-7 million area. The producers studied the numbers and found that every week it was almost always the same people watching, the show had a loyal fanbase that were watching it every week, which was unusual because sitcoms tend to attract more of a casual audience.

    (At least, that's the way the show's producers tell the story.)

    Some shows can survive by having a loyal audience, Scrubs escaped cancellation at least four times (and even switched network) because of its very loyal fanbase. The more successful shows still have the core fans, but they also have several million more casual fans that are watching as well. DS9 seemed to survive because a core group of Star Trek fans stuck with it while casuals stopped watching. The question is, is that what happened with Voyager, or did more casuals stick around and more hardcore fans gave up? I don't know, and I don't know if anybody does know.

    I'm not saying that Voyager is a better show, that would be an absurd statement. ;) But more people seem to know about Voyager than DS9, and the question is "why?" It seems to me that Voyager was aimed more for casual fans, that's what UPN were hoping to attract, while DS9 tried to appeal more to the hardcore Trek nerds.
     
  19. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You could be right. I think there is another possibility, though, which is simply that the show was hyped a lot more than DS9, which increased its profile without increasing viewership. This would explain why more people know about the show while its ratings remained relatively low.
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is just as possible, Voyager was the flag-bearer of the franchise while DS9 was that other Trek show that was set on a space station. Can you imagine how boring a space station-based show must be? :lol:

    (:sigh:)

    Say, where's Sykonee?