The audiences for “Caprica” and “Stargate: Universe” are hardly stellar, but they’re not automatic death warrants either.
At least that was the message being conveyed by Syfy’s top decision-makers to kick off the Fall 2010 press tour in Orlando, Fla. Sunday evening.
Syfy president Dave Howe was among those in attendance this year (with outgoing NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker also rumored to be in Orlando this weekend as well), designed as a way to present not only Syfy’s fall programming, but also to showcase Universal Orlando from Halloween Horror Nights XX to the new Harry Potter area of Islands of Adventure.
Howe himself wouldn’t show his hand on the fate of the two shows that moved to Tuesdays for the fall, but others said there is still not enough information out there for anyone to make a decision.
“They’ve only aired one or two episodes so far, and that’s just not enough,” said one Syfy employee. “We don’t have any DVR numbers back yet, and these are shows that actually do real well when it comes to DVR viewing.”
The fact that both “Caprica” and SGU are up against one of the most powerful nights of network programming means that a lot of viewers may not be choosing to watch the shows live, and instead utilize their DVR. While that could give a boost to the overall audience, timeshifted viewers, however, are not treated the same since they are less likely to watch commercials — the needed component to help fund shows.
While there is room for optimism, the two shows are hardly out of the woods. DVR returns are important, but so is at least some stabilization — or even better — growth in audience. If that doesn’t happen, then no sunshine will be able to save either show.
For now, however, Syfy has just one message: Keep watching, and keep hope alive.
Keep up with all of Monday’s events at the Syfy Press Tour in Orlando by following us on Twitter at @airlockalpha.
Take a look at this coming week’s episode of “Stargate: Universe” by clicking here.
Also, see what’s next on “Caprica” with this first look right here.
“Stargate: Universe” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET followed by “Caprica” at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.