Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Quick Note to NBC Universal

Dear NBC Universal,

Don't you think its about time to admit that Bonnie Hammer doesn't really need to oversee two networks and let someone have a shot at running the SciFi Channel that might be able to either come up with something people will watch or let something that people do watch and has potential to grow its audience stick around?

Cases in Point...

1. Painkiller Jane - Debuted at a 1.3 rating, settled down at maybe a .6 or .7 rating. That has already been canceled. Maybe it was a good deal since you did a co-production arrangement so the people who produced it could sell it in weekly syndication and it didn't cost SciFi that much. At least they let the viewers who were watching it know that it will end at the end of the season and it isn't being renewed.

2. Flash Gordon - It debuted with the highest numbers of any new series on SciFi this year. At a 1.5 rating it was slightly better than Dresden Files' 1.4 debut. Dresden Files did manage to keep most of its viewers though. Looking at this weeks SciFi Wire report on the top 10 SciFi Channel shows we see no sign of Flash Gordon, which means it at best was a .9 rating, which means over 1/3 of the households that tuned into the first episode didn't come back the next week.

3. Tin Man - SciFi appears to be concerned about this year's big miniseries. A recent survey done with the NBC viewer survey board was primarily to see if a different name might encourage people to watch it. Things like "Behind the Brick Road" or "Battle for Oz!" were asked opinions of. How about "Oz ReImmed" to reflect the reimagining of The Wizard of Oz to the point where no one wants to see it? Of course, that appears to have not worked very well with Flash Gordon.

SciFi in general is suffering from a lot of ratings erosion, whether its due to people using their PVRs, buying them on Itunes (which NBC Universal has pulled the plug on for the new season, reportedly because Apple wasn't willing to charge more for the episodes), or just downloading them off the internet. Down the pike they don't have anything really exciting in the works for new series and coming up this fall, to go with repurposed episodes of The Bionic Woman, they will be showing Odyssey Five as a lead in to Flash Gordon and Stargate Atlantis. Granted, O5 was an interesting series, but it has been out on DVD for a while but its not likely to do gangbuster ratings, either. I have a feeling that Stargate Atlantis will have trouble keeping its viewers with the lousy leadin it will have with Flash (assuming Flash makes it to October).

I noticed that Who Wants to be a Superhero apparently isn't doing that well, either. It's season debut was at best a .8 rating and it hasn't made Scifi's top ten so far. Mind Control with Darren Brown hasn't cracked the top ten in its short run, either. WWTBASH is a fun show, and I'll have more on it later this week, but its not going to save the SciFi channel in the ratings wars. In fact, SciFi has moved up the finale a week, airing the final two episodes this week and dropped a planned marathon of the rest of the episodes that would have aired on September 13th. Unfortunately, the Skiffytown Superheroes may not have a show to try out for and Stan Lee can concentrate on his turning Paris Hilton into a superhero. Says Stan "The plan is to make an animated cartoon show with her on TV. A hip comedy in the superhero comedy-adventure genre. We get on very well. This is a charming, very likable person. Sophisticated. Great comedic sense. A fine voice. And seriously, hard-working. Totally unlike whatever the public is led to believe."

FYI, there is a petition at petitionsonline to have Bonnie Hammer replaced. A lot of their demands on the petition are a bit misplaced or not possible, but the sentiment is good.


morjana said...

"Flash Gordon" -- I've had more entertainment watching mayonnaise dry on white bread.

A news article from Access Atlanta mentioned:


SciFi's "Flash Gordon" - SciFi looks like it has another loser on its hands. After the cheesy opening episode drew a respectable 2.1 million last week, nearly half the curiosity seekers left in a flash. The show only drew 1.14 million last Friday (Aug. 17th).



Anonymous said...

The fact that sci-fi channel's promos show things like a guy blowing into a dog's butt so that it turns into a balloon animal has always proven to me that the people in charge over there have no clue what sience fiction really is.

Pope Snarky Goodfella OTUC, POEE said...

Hail Eris!

I'm feeling terribly spoilt. I only see Sci-Fi's shows via bittorrenting (as with FG), due to living in Canada, or else by watching Space. No dog-butt-blowing for me!