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Saving ‘Stargate: Universe’ Is Only Wright

Showrunner says it’s not too late to bring the show back

Syfy may be done with “Stargate: Universe,” but executive producer Brad Wright isn’t, and suggested there’s still a chance the series could live on in some form.

“Stargate: Universe” will end its brief two-season run early next year after Syfy airs its 10 remaining episodes. And while there always is a chance the newly reformed Metro Goldwyn Mayer could continue the show in a series of telemovies for DVD, there are some television possibilities as well.

“We haven’t given up on finishing the story we started,” Wright told Chicago Red Eye reporter Curt Wagner in his Show Patrol blog. “It’s heartening to see so many people upset about Syfy’s cancellation of the show, but it’s important to remember that their license fee represented only a portion of our total budget.”

That suggests that MGM was banking on DVD sales syndication sales to fully fund the SGU budget, and could consider reducing that license fee to another cable channel that might be interested in picking up the show. Some have suggested a few possibilities, including Showtime, the original home of “Stargate SG-1,” that would bring the franchise full circle.

However, convincing another outlet to pick up leftovers is a hard sell to make, especially on a show that continues to be as expensive to produce as SGU. That means any potential pickup would happen only if MGM assumed a large portion of the risk, something that studio — which is now emerging from bankruptcy — won’t do unless it receives assurances that DVDs in the future will sell.

That has been the primary advice offered by Airlock Alpha since the cancellation: Buy Season 2.0 (and later) Season 2.5 DVDs, and encourage others to do so. By creating a DVD market for SGU, MGM would be more convinced to assume more risk in continuing a show, which then increases the currently slim chances of a third season pickup elsewhere.

Or, as an alternative, MGM could opt to create straight-to-DVD movies, with Syfy or some other channel possibly picking up the broadcast rights. While that might not be the best alternative (considering MGM still owes fans at least one “Stargate: Atlantis” movie), some believe that getting a wrap-up that way is better than nothing.

Low ratings killed “Stargate: Universe,” especially after its move to Tuesdays from its Friday slot that has been traditional for all Stargate series. It was one of two high-profile cancellations Syfy made this year, the other being the “Battlestar Galactica” spinoff “Caprica,” which is expected to conclude its run in January in a single-night marathon. However, fans who don’t want to wait to see how the first (and only) season ends can pick up the Season 1.5 “Caprica” DVD set in stores now, which include the final five episodes.

Campaigns have been underway for the return of both series, although “Caprica’s” return is just short of impossible. Unlike SGU, “Caprica” is an in-house production (thus little motivation to try and continue with another network), and Syfy already has announced a replacement series, “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome,” which currently is in the pilot stage.

Plus, “Caprica” will air a five-minute wrap-up piece to the final episode, providing a bridge from “Caprica” to “Blood & Chrome,” which would make it harder to continue a series with that story information released.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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