The Sci-Fi Channel isn't after Sci-Fi fans. They've got 'em. Think about it. It's in the name of their channel.You like sci-fi, logic dictates that you watch the Sci-Fi Channel. Look at comic book movies. If they were made for fans, the people who are going to see them anyway, we wouldn't sit through things like X-Men 3 or Batman & Robin. How many times have you seen a movie you knew would be terrible just because it was Spider-Man (or in my case, Superman)? Hell I own terrible movies I'll probably never watch just cause I'm a fan. I own that massive $100 dollar Superman box set cause it's frakking Superman, but I'll never feel the need to pop in Superman 4 or Superman Returns (Superman 3 is a guilty Richard Pryor pleasure) and yet I own the hell out of it.
My point being (sorry about the tangent), I've heard people who "don't normally like sci-fi" tell me how much they love BSG. Flash Gordon? Do you think anyone looked at that show and said this is quality television? No, and that's why it's terrible. You people are watching it cause it's sci-fi. No one else is watching. If they thought they could push Flash the way they pushed Battlestar I guarantee you it wouldn't look like it was shot in my backyard and the abandoned warehouse in my neighborhood. Sci-Fi plays a game of Duck, Duck, Goose with their shows. They usually give you the ducks and you stick around for the goose. It's the goose we all want. If the game was duck, duck, duck no one would play. The thing is they want the goose lovers to stay around, but if the same person keeps getting the goose everyone else will leave, and that's when the ratings start to fall. When that happens it's time to cancel that show (Farscape, BSG), and find the new one. I'll bet you anything that Bionic Woman was a Sci-Fi Channel prospect that NBC nabbed for themselves due to the popularity of Heroes (last year was a terrible year for NBC), and now Sci-Fi's scrambling for their own identity, and with the writers strike looming, and sci-fi being a subject that doesn't exactly lend itself to the reality show (not that it stops them from having not only "reality shows" like Ghost Hunters and ECW wrestling), they are in desperate need of prolonging the release of the "last season" of the one redeeming show that's already in the can in case the strike actually goes down.
I'll admit this theory has some holes, namely the terrible movie weekends, but maybe that's achieving all those self contained story lines all the networks always want (remember Firefly fans?). Finding a solution is even harder. I know when comic book movies first started coming out I went to the theater to see them regardless of quality (was Spider-Man really that good a movie?) because I was afraid that if these films didn't make any money, there wouldn't be any more. I wanted more so I went. It wasn't until Fantastic Four came out that I managed to just say no. It's hard. Our fandoms are for most of us, a deep love. We write fanfic because we can't depend on the studios or writers to keep us in a never ending supply of Character Crack. We make Fanvids and build RPGs around these universes and we all pray for the next Serenity movie or the big screen debut of our favorite sci-fi TV show (Farscape: The Motion Picture anyone? Yeah, it might be too late for that). The question we need to ask is, are we willing to bite the hand that feeds us just to get a meal of substantial quality? I'm tired of eating dog food shaped like Stargate SG-1.
This is something I originally posted in the Season 4 discussion thread on the Colonialfleet.org
. I felt strongly enough about what I wrote to bring it to LJ community. I hope no one minds.