Gateworld, a reputable Stargate fansite, reports that Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis ratings have dropped precipitously, off 30% from their mid-season premier numbers the week before. (April 13 vs. April 20).
Last Friday, SG1 and SGA pulled in a 1.1 and 1.2 rating respectively. And Painkiller Jane — ouch! — 1.0 in the 10 p.m. slot, down 26% from the premier.
Just a couple of years ago, it seemed like SG-1 was bulletproof. Weathering cast changes and time slot shifts, viewers stood by their show and the series consistently pulled in ratings hovering around 2.0.
(Then again, last night, SG1 and SGA scored well on iTunes, holding the #18 and #25 spots respectively for television downloads.)
Alas, for Stargate SG-1, I don’t think viewers quite latched onto Ben Browder in his new role. He looked too much like co-star Michael Shanks’ fraternal twin and the Richard Dean Anderson shoes just couldn’t be filled.
Other factors may have contributed to the slow descent. Breaking up the Friday night line-up and moving Battlestar to Sunday was a real disappointment. Friday night had identity, it had synergy, it had mojo. It built to a Battlestar crescendo at 10p.
And I just have this thing, you know, about wrestling on Sci Fi Channel. I really hate it. Sci Fi is (or was) one of the strongest cable brands. This is something you don’t muck around with, even if it means giving up some ratings gain for the short term.
I still have a soft spot in my heart for this network and its potential. For my own selfish viewing reasons, I hope they get their mojo back.