Sy Fy cancels Alphas

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by USS Kongo, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's not much that has 'stuck' with me recently. I gave up on Alphas after the first season. Same with Grimm, Teen Wolf and several other shows. I can see me ditching Continuum season 2 as well.

    I keep finding myself watching things because I think I should be enjoying them, only to find that I am not...
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Continuum is a Candian show made by Showcase, season two is on track and syfy can't do shit to stop it.

    That anhedonia you're talking about is how they explain serial killers, don't chu know?

    Season two was trying to make a show so gritty that it just clearly wasn't capable of.
     
  3. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I lost interest in Alphas early on in the first season (plus some real life issues made it hard to find time to watch it) but I decided to try it again and really liked season 2. A shame it won't be back.
     
  4. Skywalker

    Skywalker Admiral Admiral

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    I just watched through both seasons of this a month or two ago, and I thought it was pretty decent. I really liked Gary, and his relationship with Bill, and I liked that the show tried to delve into the downside (both physical and psychological) of having such tremendous abilities. It wasn't my favorite show or anything, but it kept me interested enough that I wouldn't have minded seeing another season. Oh well.
     
  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I LOVED Alphas. The whole production style, acting, cinematography, writing, was far and above the typical SyFy series.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I guess they had to pay for Defiance somehow.

    It's like when you're fucking up at Monopoly, or trying to win the game in less than 20 minutes, and you keep having to sell your houses back tot he bank and mortgage your existing properties to buy yet more newer properties... "For gods sake! It's Park Place! I don't care if I have to flip everything else! That son of a bitch is mine!"
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.


    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.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Good points, Christopher. Indeed, in a universe in which big network shows are routinely canceled midway through their first seasons (sometimes after only one or two eps!), I've never quite understood the "Syfy cancels everything good!" refrain that tends to pop whenever a fan-favorite genre show gets axed--often after three or four or even five seasons!

    Most freshman shows get cancelled. Genre shows on cable actually tend to have better chances of survival than most.

    It's almost as though we've convinced ourselves that every genre show is entitled to at least seven seasons--and that anything less is an outrage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  9. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    I liked David Strathairn and the pretty cast, but the show itself didn't really hold my interest. I won't miss it.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's also worth pointing out the difference between broadcast and cable networks. Broadcast networks can cancel a show anytime -- even after just two episodes, as with this season's Made in Jersey -- and don't have to bother to air the remaining episodes. But cable networks, or stations that pick up syndicated programs, commit to show the entire season, always. An NBC or CW or, yes, FOX show could be pulled midway through with unaired episodes (though the current FOX regime has been much less likely to do that than its predecessors), but a cable show is guaranteed to get all the episodes of a season aired, no matter how crummy its ratings are. The only shows SciFi/Syfy has ever cancelled midseason have been reruns it acquired from other networks, like Charlie Jade. (Which means it could theoretically happen with something like Continuum or Primeval: New World.)


    Which just shows how much better genre fans have it today than they did when I was growing up. Back then, it was pretty much unheard of for a US genre show to get more than 5 seasons, and quite rare to get even that much. (I can only think of four pre-TNG genre shows that ran five seasons: Space Patrol (the 1950 kids' series), The Twilight Zone, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Incredible Hulk.) Most genre shows lasted one season, two or three if they were very lucky. TNG's success in first-run syndication really changed the playing field in a lot of ways.
     
  11. Vendikarr

    Vendikarr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just one point. When Syfy pulled Charlie Jade from prime time, they did continue to air the remaining episodes. Yes,it was at 3:00 AM Tuesday mornings, or something. But they did honor the contract and let them all air. It illustrates once they have paid for something, it will make it to air.

    Charlie Jade
     
  12. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I stopped watching Charlie Jade when my dvd player died.

    I took that as a sign from god.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher's analysis is just about right. SyFy doesn't cancel programs any more than any other major network, be they broadcast or cable.

    The only thing I would add is that the network's production schedule seems to be one that doesn't allow for serialized shows (even ones that have been on the air for several years) to wrap up their stories with much satisfaction. Witness the cliffhanger cancellations of Sliders, Stargate: Universe, Farscape, and now Alphas as well as the haphazard eleventh hour conclusions of Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Caprica, and Eureka. That kind of treatment makes cultivating a committed fan base a bit hard, I think.

    (Although in writing that, I'm not sure it's really all that different from any other channel.)
     
  14. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You must have misunderstood the sign.

    Charlie Jade is very good.

    The first 5 or 6 episodes are pretty confusing and difficult to get your bearings and understand the different 'verses and travel between them and so forth, because you are seeing the show through Charlie Jade's eyes, as he learns stuff. Once you get your bearings, though, it's a fantastic show, every bit as graphic, gritty, and realistic (and more so) as NuBSG, but, wth a character providing more obvious humor t break up the drama and hopelessness, so, you never get the feeling of wanting to slit your your wrists that NuBSG somtimes left you.

    For longevity's sake, it was perhaps a mistake to make the audience as ignorant and confused as the lead character, but, it's definitely worth sticking with until the end.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Indeed. This tends to happen to shows on other networks as well. Look at, for example, THE 4400 and THE DEAD ZONE on USA. Although, again, both of those shows ran for four seasons or so, which is not a bad run, both today and in the past!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  16. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't the Dead Zone have a finale season or at least episode? I thought they had some warning but I never paid attention.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    You know, I honestly can't remember.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The Dead Zone actually got six seasons. And IIRC, it did indeed have an unresolved cliffhanger finale -- the same kind of finale as a lot of the mentioned shows, in that it tied up the arcs of the season and kind of worked as a series finale, but still left a lot unresolved.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher, Greg - I think you both missed the word "reputation" in my last post, but I'll also amend it a bit to "cancelling sci-fi shows".
     
  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm working my way through. Almost up to season six and they already resolved senator doomsday. So they're going to have to set up a new big bad for the final season.
     

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