The SyFy network has officially announce the cancellation of Caprica, it’s prequel to Battlestar Galactica.
“The remaining first run episodes of Caprica – airing Tuesdays at 10/9c – will be removed from the schedule as of next Tuesday, November 2. These final five episodes of the season will be re-scheduled to air at a to be announced time in the first quarter of 2011, and will conclude the run of the series.” Mark Stern, head of programming at SyFy also added: “We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for Caprica and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series. Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, Caprica has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season.”
Fans are flocking to the Caprica bboard to voice their extreme displeasure with SyFy. Most cite the fact that SyFy intentionally killed the program, with a pilot and then a long break before a half-season of episodes, then another long wait, for an (as of now) incomplete half-season. They also blamed the change in time slot and night of airing, claiming that the show was unfairly moved around. Still other claim that the vast audience that is interested in Caprica watched mostly via the Internet, and still more via pirated television websites.
The biggest tear in the fabric of SyFy happened years ago, with the forced cancellation of Farscape, Firefly, LEXX, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, then came the abrupt ending of Battlestar Galactica, and now Caprica. Some were cancelled due to budget constraints, others due to programming glitches, writer burnout, and finally “low Nielsen ratings”.
What doesn’t make sense is that every time SyFy cancels a series, the outcry is so palpable, so loud, and so obviously tinged with hurt, anger, and sadness. Not all series can go on forever, but it seems that the intelligent, well acted series are always the first to go. Caprica was one of those shows.
From start to “almost finish”, Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker have have all lent their veteran acting talent to Caprica in the grandest way possible. The show wouldn’t be what it is without them. Alessandra Toressani, Sasha Roiz, and Magda Apanowicz were newer to viewers’ radar, but still turned in wonderfully poignant performances. Perhaps bouncing off the veterans improved their craft. As Science Fiction shows go, this series was as well acted as Battlestar Galactica, and better than most series on television today. Even the critics said so.
So why is this show being killed early? It’s SyFy’s old ply, kill what the intelligent viewers like, and go for the mainstream. Average folks like to watch Wrestling and Ghost Hunters. That’s what SyFy intends to run on, save for the stray program: Stargate Universe, which is also manned by some very talented actors. Fans of the doomed prequel to BSG can already feel the tendrils of SyFy wrapping themselves into a choke-hold around SGU. They honestly fear that it’s next on the chopping block.
SyFy is rapidly losing their market. If Science Fiction fans are not fed, they won’t stick around. It’s simple. After so many demolished series, they’re getting fed up. Rather than pay a premium to get SyFy on top of their basic programming, many are vowing to “opt out” of SyFy. They battle cry is “Cable is dead!” For the average geek, a viewing on a pirated TV site is more enjoyable than sitting through 20 minutes of commercials. Likewise, other viewers opted to watch on Hulu.com, a day or a week after the original air date. Fans are saying that there is no way to count this type of viewership since it has nothing to do with the Nielsens.
So what is the future of BSG prequels? Blood and Chrome has been given the green light. Some Caprica fans are already grimacing, not bothering to hold their breath. They’re afraid of a repeat performance, and due to SyFy’s scorecard, it just might happen again.