Sci-Fi The truth about Battlestar Galactica and SciFi Channel

Glen Larson speaks out against SFC's molesting his BSG source material!

‘Battlestar Galactica’ returns
But fans of original are wary of remake

Updated: 1:15 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2003

A few years ago, fans thought they’d get the continuation saga they’d clamored for when Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto, the director-writer team behind “X-Men,” hooked up with original “Galactica” creator Glen Larson to develop a project at 20th Century Fox.

When that deal fell through, Universal TV chief David Kissinger brought in executive producer David Eick and Moore to rework the franchise for Sci Fi.
“We want the fans to embrace what we are doing,” says Sci Fi President Bonnie Hammer, “but if you produced now what was produced then, it would feel like old TV. We wanted to make it more relatable, even in terms of the stereotypes of characters.”

“I understand they’re trying to do a modern version,” says Larson. “But change for the sake of change — it’s taking the title and exploiting it.”

Q: Now that Firefly has jumped from the small screen to the big as Serenity, would you ever consider doing a theatrical feature of the new BSG? (This ought to stir-up the original series' fan nest.)

Eick: Ultimately, I would think any appetite for a Battlestar feature film will be in part driven by how Serenity performs at the box office. However, Glen Larson, the producer of the original Battlestar, in a strange, unusual twist of contractual dexterity, was able to carve out the theatrical film rights back in the '70s when he made his initial deal for the television series. He holds those rights to this day, so any pursuit of a feature film would have to involve Mr. Larson. Given his purported disdain for the new series, that would seem an unlikely scenario

Apparently, SciFi Channel has a penchant for molesting the source material of authors against their wishes. READ:

How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books.
By Ursula K. Le Guin

Posted Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004, at 6:14 AM PT

On Tuesday night, the Sci Fi Channel aired its final installment of Legend of Earthsea, the miniseries based—loosely, as it turns out—on my Earthsea books. The books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, which were published more than 30 years ago, are about two young people finding out what their power, their freedom, and their responsibilities are. I don't know what the film is about. It's full of scenes from the story, arranged differently, in an entirely different plot, so that they make no sense. [purple]My protagonist is Ged, a boy with red-brown skin. In the film, he's a petulant white kid. Readers who've been wondering why I "let them change the story" may find some answers here.

When I sold the rights to Earthsea a few years ago, my contract gave me the standard status of "consultant"—which means whatever the producers want it to mean, almost always little or nothing. My agency could not improve this clause. But the purchasers talked as though they genuinely meant to respect the books and to ask for my input when planning the film. They said they had already secured Philippa Boyens (who co-wrote the scripts for The Lord of the Rings) as principal script writer. The script was, to me, all-important, so Boyens' presence was the key factor in my decision to sell this group the option to the film rights.

Months went by. By the time the producers got backing from the Sci Fi Channel for a miniseries—and another producer, Robert Halmi Sr., had come aboard—they had lost Boyens. That was a blow. But I had just seen Halmi's miniseries DreamKeeper, which had a stunning Native American cast, and I hoped that Halmi might include some of those great actors in Earthsea.

Ursula K. Le Guin on the TV Earthsea.

Ronald Moore booed at 25th BSG anniversary convention

NBC/Universal, which owns the franchise, ultimately went with a new version of the "Battlestar" saga, which, like the old series, follows the last vestiges of humanity through space as they try to elude attacks from a mechanized race called the Cylons.

Despite this tangled history, when Ronald D. Moore, creator of the new "Battlestar," finally met Hatch in person, the two hit it off.

Hatch had invited Moore to show footage of the new mini-series at a 2003 convention celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original series. To say that the old-school "Battlestar" fans in the audience were a tough crowd is an understatement.

"There was hostility," Moore recalls with a rueful laugh. "I was booed."

When things got too testy during Moore's Q&A session, Hatch stepped in, a gesture the veteran of "Carnivale" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" appreciated.

Why most sci fi fantasy fans hate Ronald Moore

However, many have a problem with Ron Moore for the key
role he played in writing "Star Trek Generations," which many consider to be the turning point of Trek, essentially the franchise killer, though it was to be a slow death over time.

One of the biggest fan "movements" of modern Trek stems from the frustration over the ridiculously mediocre and meaningless death of Kirk, an icon of American pop-culture. Again, Moore played a key role in this.

Moore has been attached with much mediocrity. Star Trek Generations. Mission Impossible 2.

My own look at TNG episodes reveals (IMHO, of course) that most of the really good episodes with Moore's name on them are co-written with other writers, and than many of the scripts with only Moore's name on them are pretty mediocre. Haven't looked at the DS9 episode credits in the same way.

Add to that Moore's role in the remake of BSG when for more than two decades both the BSG fan base and actors have been clamoring for a continuation.

Top that with Moore's uncommon arrogance in claiming to reinvent an entire genre with a remake of an old TV show. Gene Roddenberry never claimed that he was doing anything remarkable. He was just happy to do what he
wanted to do, as best he could, while occassionally putting one over on the networks who didn't catch some of the messages he wanted to convey. George Lucas never thought that Star Wars would revitalize and change a genre and an industry, he was just happy to tell the story he wanted to tell. Very few creative types who declare their own work revolutionary will
produce anything that truly is.

So, to his critics Moore has been involved in the two most contentious bad decisions in two of science fiction television's biggest franchises ever,
as well as engaging in more than his share of mediocre TV and movies.

As for BSG, what Moore claims is revolutionary is really just taking SF TV further from it's roots and potential. All he is doing it is placing the SF in the background to make character drama in space, with the whining, maladjusted, psychologically disoriented, unrealistically, dysfunctionally flawed characters that seem to be popular as a current entertainment fad. How drama cliche's translate to revolutionary SF, I don't know.

I think Moore would do fine in straight drama, maybe as a staff writer for ER or some cop show, but his sensibilties are all wrong for Trek, BSG and SF.

And did I mention all the mediocrity?



NBC's "Bionic Woman" is an unspectacular remake. The Sci Fi's "Flash Gordon" is even worse than anything I've written about so far. And my feelings about the new "Battlestar" are the same: It's a spiritless, uninvolving trip through space.

Breathing new life into an old story takes smarts, a lot of heart and certainly the courage to do things that seem risky.

"Tin Man," like the characters in it, doesn't have any of those things. And the people who come up with these idiotic remakes don't either.

But back to the event on hand. Edward James Olmos says he feels "terrible" about the cancellation. "They can keep my paycheck," he said, were the series to continue. "I'd support the show myself if I could. I don't think the Powers That Be understand what this show has really done, in terms of holding a mirror up to society." Later, he emphasized how unique BSG really is. "You will never see another program like this again in your lifetime."

As for the fact that ratings are allegedly to blame for the network's decision to end the series, Olmos stated that the current ratings system doesn't take into account Latino, African-American, and Asian viewers. "Nielsen needs a hole in the head," he said, to applause from the crowd.

News - Entertainment, Music, Movies, Celebrity
Battlestar Galactica
Written by EdwardHavens

article-topic-5.htmlAs a work of science fiction, this re-imagined "Galactica" miniseries-cum-pilot runs hot and cold. There are genuine moments of excellent writing within the piece. Sadly, these moments are few and far between. For the most part, Mr. Moore has overthought his re-imagining of the show to bring us a jumbled mess of cliches, dime store psychology and the general feel of a show that wants to be more than it can be. If some reports are to be believed, this version seems to exist solely so the Sci-Fi Channel and Universal can keep their rights to the concept from reverting back to series creator Glen A. Larson. From the way this script reads, I can see how this is a distinct possibility. This new Galactica might not become as bad as the never-released "Fantastic Four" movie from Roger Corman's company several years ago, but that film's failure to even get released straight to video should be a shining example to the producers of this show of what can happen when you try to lowball a high-concept idea.

But honestly, is it really that big a deal that Starbuck and Boomer have changed genders? Not really. There is little chance any male actor could match the bravado of Dirk Benedict in the original series, so making the character female could be an interesting choice. However, there is nothing specifically feminine about the new Starbuck, so there is really no reason to make the character female either. Boomer does show some maternalistic qualities when she picks up young Boxey as one of the survivors of the destruction of Caprica City, but any female character could have shown the same instincts. If there aren't any compelling reasons to make a change, that change shouldn't be made.

In the end, this could be a good new show... provided there was some intense rewriting and the removal of any remaining evidence of Galactica. Galactica fans have kept the faith alive for almost a quarter century, and they do deserve better than this. As I stated before, I don't know what happened with previous attempts to mount a Galactica, by original series Richard Hatch or the "X-Men" team of Tom DeSanto and Bryan Singer or why either of those failed to happen, but this is a step in the wrong direction. I give the screenplay a C- for effort and a C for execution.

This is not to say that Moore is not a good writer. I happened to have also received a copy of the pilot screenplay for his upcoming Depression-era drama "Carnivalé," which I will be reviewing soon and will be getting positive marks from me, as that show looks to have much potential for the future. But the Galactica fans are right on this fight. This story is not worthy of the name "Battlestar Galactica."

By todays's cable standards GINO's ratings are nothing to write home about. GINO had it's chance to score big on major network tv and this is what happened:

CBS Sinks NBC's 'Battlestar' on Saturday

(Sunday, July 10 08:38 AM)

LOS ANGELES ( Fast National ratings for Saturday, July 9, 2005.
Led by a pair of episodes of "48 Hours," CBS won all three primetime hours on Saturday, though The Eye still couldn't beat FOX in the coveted young adult demographics.

Overall, CBS averaged a 4.3 rating/9 share, outdistancing second place FOX's 3.7/7. ABC was a distant third with a 2.7/5. NBC, which ran three hours of the Sci Fi Channel drama "Battlestar Galactica" was a dismal fourth with a 1.8/4.

FOX came in first among adults 18-49, doing a 2.1 rating in the demographic advertisers love the most. ABC was second with a 1.5 rating, followed closely by the 1.4 rating for CBS. NBC trailed again with a 0.9 rating.

CBS started the night off right with a 3.8/8 for "48 Hours Mystery," good enough to beat FOX's "COPS" (3.3/7) for the hour. ABC was third with the 2.2/5 first hour of "The Emperor's New Groove," while NBC was last with the beginning of the "Battlestar Galactica" marathon.

At 9 p.m., CBS got a 4.3/9 from "Cold Case," edging the 4.1/8 for "America's Most Wanted" on FOX. The second hour of ABC's Disney movie was third, while NBC got a 1.8/3 from its "Galactica" hour.

The second "48 Hours" episode delivered the night's strongest ratings for CBS, with a 4.9/10. ABC moved up to second with a 3.2/7 for "America's Funniest Home Videos." NBC remained last with "Battlestar.",1002,617|96272|1|,00.html


While Barbecues Sizzle, Ratings Fizzle

Three programs produced fireworks over the Fourth of July week; everything else fizzled. The three programs were the finale of ABC's Dancing With the Stars, which attracted 22.4 million viewers and was by far the most-watched show of the week; another was the season opener of Big Brother 6, which drew 8.5 million viewers; and the third was the season premiere of USA Network's Monk, which, with 6.4 million viewers, drew bigger audiences than many network shows last week. Otherwise, the week produced the smallest audiences of the year.

Indeed NBC drew one of its lowest ratings ever with a two-hour showcase of Battlestar Galactica set to air on Sci Fi channel, an NBC corporate sibling. It turned out to be the lowest-rated show of the week on any of the major networks, drawing just 2.3 million viewers.

The evening newscasts finished with virtually unchanged ratings, with NBC leading with 8.7 million viewers, ABC following with 8.2 million, and CBS trailing with 6.8 million. All of the networks experienced a spike in their ratings on Thursday following the terrorist attacks in London.

"Actress Katee Sackhoff sat down with reporters on the Vancouver set of her latest film WHITE NOISE 2...

There was talk on one point of putting us on NBC. I think everybody on the cast was like, 'No. We'd be canceled after a week. There's no way.' We wouldn't get the ratings, and we all know that.",0,6358727.story?coll=zap-tv-mainheadline

Season one’s premiere "33" averaged US Nielsen Ratings of: 2.6
Season one’s Finale "Kobal's Last Gleaming: Part 2" averaged US Nielsen

Ratings of: 2.5

Season two’s premiere "Scattered" averaged US Nielsen Ratings:

Season two’s Finale "Pegasus" averaged US Nielsen Ratings:

Season 2.5's premiere "Resurrection Ship pt.1" averaged US Nielsen Ratings:

Season 2.5's finale "Lay Down Your Burdens: Part II" averaged US Nielsen
Ratings: 1.9

Mini ratings (average of parts 1 & 2): 3.5

Season 1

33/Water..................= 2.6 January 14, 2005
Bastille Day..............= 2.3 January 21, 2005
Act of Contrition.........= 2.5 January 28, 2005
You Can't Go Home Again...= 2.5 February 4, 2005
Litmus....................= 2.5 February 11, 2005
Six Degrees of Separation = 2.2 February 18, 2005
Flesh and Bone............= 2.5 February 25, 2005
Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down..= 2.1 March 4, 2005
The Hand of God...........= 2.2 March 11, 2005
Colonial Day..............= 2.3 March 18, 2005
Kobol's Last Gleaming pt.1= 2.2 March 25, 2005
Kobol's Last Gleaming pt.2= 2.5 April 1, 2005
Average Ratings of........= 2.16

(If "33" and "Water" are concidered 2.6 each then the average is


Season 2.0

Scattered.................= 2.6 July 15, 2005
Valley of Darkness........= 2.0 July 22, 2005 That's 23% plunge in one episode!
Fragged...................= 2.0 July 29, 2005
Resistance................= 1.9 August 5, 2005
The Farm..................= 2.0 August 12, 2005
Home pt.1.................= 2.1 August 19, 2005
Home pt.2.................= 2.1 August 26, 2005
The Final Cut.............= 2.0 September 9, 2005
Flight of the Phoenix.....= 1.9 September 16, 2005
Pegasus...................= 2.0 September 23, 2005
Average Rating of.........= 2.06

Season 2.5

Resurrection Ship pt.1....= 2.1 January 6, 2006
Resurrection Ship pt.2....= 2.0 January 13, 2006 [The last time GINO made 2.0]
Epiphanies................= 1.9 January 20, 2006
Black Market..............= 1.8 January 27, 2006
Scar......................= 1.9 February 3, 2006
Sacrifice.................= 1.8 February 10, 2006
The Captain's Hand........= 1.7 February 17, 2006
Downloaded................= 1.8 February 24, 2006
Lay Down Your Burdens Pt1 = 1.8 March 3, 2006*
Lay Down Your Burdens Pt2 = 1.9 March 10, 2006*
Average Rating of.........= 1.87

Season 3.0

Occupation.............=1.8 October 6, 2006 [That's lower than the season finale and still under 2.0!]
Exodus pt.1.............= 1.6 October 13, 2006 [A new low!! Keep in mind, this is the ratings level where STARGATE-1 was cancelled!!]
Exodus pt.2............=1.4 October 20, 2006 [That's another 11.1% drop from the last episode and a total 22.2% drop from the already crappy season premiere ratings performance! This turkey is almost done!]
Collaborators...........=1.4 October 27, 2006
Torn....................=1.5 November 3, 2006
Measure of Salvation....=1.5 November 10, 2006
Hero....................=1.3 November 17, 2006 [Ohhhhhhhh!! That's a new low]!
Unfinished Business.....=1.3 December 1, 2006
Passage.................=1.3 December 8, 2006
The Eye of Jupiter......=1.4 December 15, 2006 [All three airings of THE LOST ROOM beat out GINO by a long shot! So far GINO has been beaten by GHOSTHUNTERS, also.]
Rapture.................=1.4 January 21, 2007 [UNlike the X-FILES, GINO continues to mire itself in craptacular ratings. I guess the GINOids, who had those ludicrous hopes, forgot that X-FILES had great ratings even before it was moved to Sundays]
Taking a Break From All Your Worries...=1.5 January 28, 2007
The Woman King.................=1.2 February 11, 2007 [Another new ratings low! SG-1 was cancelled for having higher ratings. That suxxxxx!!]
A Day in the Life..............=1.2 February 18, 2007 [It seems that GINO has become consistant at sucking].
Dirty Hands....................=1.1 February 25, 2007 [Another all time low for the "greatest show on television!" I couldn't have wished for such piss poor ratings! Wow! Thank you Santa Claus]!

In essence [from the mini debut of 3.5 to the last episode's ratings performance of 1.1] GINO has managed to retain only 31% of it’s original audience, which is an overall drop of 69%!