Why does Sci Fi do so poorly in the ratings

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Zod, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but we've all been around here a lot longer than you and we are much more familiar with Greg. I think longtime posters are in a much better position to interpret his post than you are. And that is not meant as a slam on you, it's just the reality of the situation.
     
  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    I believe Greg's sarcasm was being directed at Mr Light's post. http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=9333718&postcount=8
     
  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All true.

    I'd add two more points :

    1) Budget restrictions tend to limit shows to being Earth based, so really imaginative shows, space opera or visually unusual shows tend to be passed over for yet more mundane settings with a supernatural or sci-fi twist.

    2) Almost all of them are crap. I've started watching loads of shows in the last few years and dumped almost all of them, even the ones that haven't been cancelled.
     
  4. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What is interesting is the fact that the bulk of the shows that have survived have primarily been fantasy shows. Shows that are more explicitly scifi tend not to do as well.

    Person of Interest has a unique place in this in that its scifi elements are pretty far below the surface.
     
  5. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sci-fi shows range from modest budgets to big budgets for space opera shows and Earth-based shows alike.
     
  6. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Michael Ealy's last show Common Law better
     
  7. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's another vote for giving Greg the benefit of the doubt.

    I can see why you're reading the statement that way: Reworded, you'd be reading it as, "SF/Fantasy is not too much for lesser minds to cope with." Which would still mean they're "lesser" in some way.

    But I think the intent was to refute the entire hypothetical statement; i.e. "SF/Fantasy is just too much for these lesser minds to cope with," countered by, "There's no reason to say such things!"
     
  8. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, that's my interpretation of Greg's post as well. The rest of his post is arguing against the idea that sci-fi fans are superior to general audiences, so in the full context this is the only interpretation that fits his post.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Yikes. I didn't realize that I was fomenting confusion. For the record, I was definitely being sarcastic about the "lesser minds" thing. I was poking fun at the fandom's occasional tendency to assume that our tastes are ever so more elevated than those of "the masses" who don't get sf/fantasy. Which can get a bit elitist and self-congratulatory sometimes.

    (I guess I should have put "lesser minds" in quotes to indicate that I was being ironic.)

    And that was by no means directed at any poster in particular. Alas, it's an attitude one runs into fairly often at sf sites--and probably dates back to the whole "fans are slans" silliness of generations past.

    P.S. Glad to hear that I'm not largely regarded as a crazy person . . . except where Richard Matheson is concerned! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  10. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The first argument for the superiority of our people: Days of Our Lives.

    There are so many other good arguments for why our tastes should define reality.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    What's that line in the 1980 version of Flash Gordon?

    "They're called tears. They're one of things that make us better you than you are."
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think things are as bad for SF/F on TV as a lot of people like to say. We don't really have any shows as out there as stuff like Farscape, but there is still plenty of SFF stuff on. Hell, there are four new SFF shows premiering in the next two weeks, Resurrection on ABC tomorrow night, Believe on NBC on Monday, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series on the new El Rey network on Tuesday, and The 100 on The CW on the Wednesday after next. That's pretty good for SFF if you ask me, especially when you consider that three of them are on networks, and two on one of the big three.
    EDIT: I just checked and there are at least another eight shows that I recognized as SFF that have announced premier dates for later this year. There might be more that I don't know recognize.
    Metal Hulant Chronicles, Syfy, April 14
    Salem, WGN, April 20
    Penny Dreadful, Showtime, May 11
    Extant, CBS, July 2
    The Strain, FX, July TBA
    Outlander, Starz, TBA
    Star Wars: Rebels, Disney/Disney XD, TBA
    That doe not include any of the shows currenly being developed for next season, like all of the comic book shows, and Supernatural: Bloodlines.
    I know that is more than just the big networks, but I think it's still worth including in the conversation.
     
  13. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    Has there ever been a time period where this was actually true?
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Several people had times periods named after them that thought this and had an army.
     
  15. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    The weird thing about fandom is that it tends to assume that sci-fi=quality when that's simply not the case. Just because something is sci-fi doesn't mean it's going to be quality.
     
  16. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Who's Richard Matheson?
     
  17. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Sci-fi definitely does not equal quality, there's a lot of crap out there, but any day of the week I'd rather see a story that displays imagination and thought rather than a cop/doctor/lawyer show. (don't get me wrong, NYPD Blue was the bomb!) Or, god forbid, reality television.
     
  18. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't know about that. I'm still watching Chicago Fire, Elementary, Blacklist and Hannibal, unlike Continuum, Grimm, The Tomorrow People and so many others...
     
  19. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    There's certainly good cop/doctor/lawyer shows out there, I'm just saying that a SF/F show on the ground floor is more interesting because they actually took the time to create a new world and use a little imagination. After that, actual quality takes effect :lol:
     
  20. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

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    The other major factor for me, is how much rewatchability does a tv show have, after one has watched it once already.

    In general, I find that many tv shows don't have much rewatch value for me, after I have seen the episodes already. This is independent of whether it is sci-fi or not.


    With present shows, I only find that season 3 of Person of Interest has a high rewatchability for me. (Primarily episode 5 and later, where I found the writing and production were outstanding). Previous seasons of Person of Interest have almost no rewatch value for me.

    In regard to daily syndication reruns, presently I find that Criminal Minds and NCIS both have a high rewatchability for me. On the other hand, stuff like the CSI and Law & Order franchises, House, Without a Trace, Burn Notice, Numb3rs, etc ... don't have a high rewatch value for me.


    For sci-fi/fantasy type shows, the ones that presently have a high rewatchability for me are ones like:

    - Star Trek: TOS (reruns)
    - Star Trek: TNG (reruns)
    - Star Trek: Voyager (reruns)
    - 1978-1979 Battlestar Galactica
    - Firefly
    - Fringe seasons 1 to 4. (Not season 5).
    - Stargate Universe season 1. (Not season 2).

    On the other hand, I find that most other sci-fi/fantasy tv shows have very little to no rewatch value for me, such as: X-Files, Babylon 5, V (both the original and revived versions), Heroes, the 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica, LOST, etc ...


    On the OP of this thread, I suspect another possible reason why some tv shows don't get renewed and/or are canceled "early", is that the studio owners of a particular tv show might not see much of a chance for future off-network syndication. Easier to cut one's losses after a season or two, than bending over backwards and dragging things out longer to reach that magic 100 (or 88) episodes for off-network syndication.