Thursday, June 30, 2011
Is it me....or is there nothing new the SyFy Channel is showing on their heavily promoted "Powerful Mondays" nonsense beginning July 11th? This is all garbage television viewers have seen before on the SyFy Channel, and abandoned all of it in record numbers because of it. Well, at least Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are feeling the......."Summer.....Sizzling.....Excitement"......amongst themselves for their self labeled....."Powerful Mondays." Because I'm just not feeling it myself, and neither is the rest of the population.
I have mentioned this before. There is something odd and different looking about the film stock the SyFy Channel uses to film its originally produced movies and television series. It's evident in its video promotions for the new "Powerful Mondays" lineup. The color brown seems to be dominate in the film stock they use, with little to no room for bright reds, blues, and yellows. Also, wide angle establishing shots are dropped for fake widescreen shots. The cameras always tend to be way too tight on close-ups.
If anything...."Powerful Mondays" will teach us what can happen when professional film school is avoided in order to leap-frog directly into employment for the SyFy Channel.
Posted by Languatron at 2:04 PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Why Are The NBC-Universal Stealth Marketers Still Lingering On The Internet, And Why Does The SyFy Channel Still Need Them?
It's been a decade since NBC-Universal hired the stealth marketing firm "Abraham & Harrison" to not only guerrilla promote Ronald D. Moore's "Galactica in Name Only" series, but to also assault the general public on Internet bulletin boards such as http://forums.syfy.com/ and http://www.stallioncornell.com/board as part of their ruthless promotion of Ronald D. Moore's series.
Well...Ronald D. Moore's series (including "Caprica") have been long since cancelled....so why are these stealth marketers (who work directly for NBC-Universal and "Abraham & Harrison") still lingering around in much smaller numbers on http://forums.syfy.com/ and http://www.stallioncornell.com/board? Are they waiting for their next batch of marching orders to arrive coinciding with the debut of the "Blood & Chrome" pilot movie?
SyFy Channel might as well throw in the towel right now....because "Blood & Chrome" is going to be as much of a flop as "GINO" and "Caprica" were. And the general public is on to this game NBC-Universal and SyFy Channel have been playing with their hired stealth marketers for the past decade now. The general public now knows that NBC-Universal and SyFy Channel are dismal failures both as individual entities and as a collective corporation....and that they continuously need mean-spirited, guerrilla style stealth marketing to make the crap they put on the air appear to be moderately....marginally....successful at the low end of the spectrum.
The general public never met a television series produced by Ronald D. Moore and the SyFy Channel that it ever liked. Quite the contrary. The general public has passionately hated what the SyFy Channel and Ronald D. Moore have been doing together for the past decade. And they have responded by making every single television series produced by them a resounding flop.
No doubt about it. The lingering stealth marketers of NBC-Universal and "Abraham & Harrison" are hanging low on the Internet right now....waiting for their next batch of marching orders to coincide with the debut of "Blood & Chrome".
Posted by Languatron at 10:44 AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Were the makers of the upcoming "Fright Night" remake film spawned from the same pile of bullshit as SyFy Channel executives were?
The original (and only true" "Fright Night" movie) was released in 1985 with little to no fanfare. Those who went to see it were treated to a surprisingly humorous and innovative take on the vampire legend (up to and including the fondness of vampire Jerry Dandridge for snacking on apples in between drinking blood). "Fright Night" (1985) remains to this day a well written....well cast....and well directed horror movie having achieved the same level of respect the original "Lost Boys" movie has. The cast members of "Fright Night" (1985) elevated the film to stratospheric heights through the absolute strength of their strong personalities alone. And these cast members had genuine chemistry together. It's because "Fright Night" (1985) benefitted from a cast who were and are way above brilliance in their chosen craft. These were and are extremely gifted actors who came from a solid background in their training...enough to allow their dynamic personalities to come through loud and clear in their performances. Not the sort of cast members you would ordinarily find in a horror film.
Chris Sarandon as vampire Jerry Dandridge cannot be replaced in any bullshit remake film. He was just too damn good in the role. The late Roddy McDowell was of course...his usual superb self playing Peter Vinvent. Having Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell in the same horror film remains astonishing to this day...in that their equally brilliant performances elevated this film to Steven Spielberg level quality. William Ragsdale is exhaustingly sincere in this film, Stephen Geoffreys is quirky and hilarious, and Amanda Bearse does the doting girlfriend bit very well to hilarious heights.
The question remains of course....Why does "Fright Night" (1985) need to be remade? The answer is...It doesn't need to be remade. The only reason why it's being remade is because present day Hollywood is creatively bankrupt. Hollywood couldn't pull an original idea out of its asshole nowadays if its collective corporate existence depended upon it.
Like Bonnie Hammer and her fellow creatively bankrupt imbeciles at the SyFy Channel (Mark Stern, David Howe) having no respect whatsoever for the original source material of the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series from where they keep drawing ideas to make one lame ass reimagining series after another...early indications are that the makers of the "Fright Night" remake film have no respect whatsoever for the original 1985 film. There's a line of dialogue in the remake film that goes something like this...."Dandridge? What sort of a name is Jerry Dandridge for a vampire?"...We all know where this is going, don't we? In Ronald D. Moore's pilot episode / mini series for his "Galactica in Name Only" series....one of the asshole characters says...."Starbuck? What sort of a name is Starbuck?....Buck!! Buck!! Buck!!"
Hatred of the source material...indeed!! Mine it for ideas...and hate it at the same time!!
Are you holding out on us....Bonnie Hammer? Are any of your relatives making the "Fright Night" remake film? Or are you moonlighting as one of its producers under a pseudonym?
Posted by Languatron at 9:12 AM
Monday, June 27, 2011
It doesn't say much in favor of the SyFy Channel's originally produced monster movies that Roger Corman made such films in the same genre a hell of alot better than Mark Stern and David Howe ever did. Think of the most tasteless schlock Roger Corman ever made...including "Galaxy of Terror" and "Humanoids From the Deep"....and then compare them to such SyFy Channel films as "Sharktopus" and "Ice Spider." Roger Corman comes across as another Steven Spielberg doesn't he? When you compare him and what he does to what the SyFy Channel does in the monster movie realm.
Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern may be college educated...but you would never come to that conclusion on your own after watching any of their originally produced monster movies. Usually, a movie and television production reflects the intelligence of those who make it. Watching any episode from the first season of "Star Trek" in 1966 would force you to conclude that not only was Gene Roddenberry college educated and a true visionary....but that he was also a frickin' genius with a relentless imagination. He put more thought into those first season episodes than perhaps any other television producer has done on any other project before or since.
And then we have...(sigh)....Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern. What can we conclude about the three of them based upon the trashy monster movies they make?
1. No imagination is to be found among the three of them at any given time.
2. No skills at all....in providing general, all around good drama for television.
3. Their monster movies are cookie cutter....typical corporate intellect....baby formula.
4. Their monster movies are physically made by people with below average intelligence.
5. These movies would still suck even if they had a decent budget.
6. These movies would still be boring even if they did have a decent budget.
Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern lack basic street smarts and all around common sense when it comes to instinctively knowing what makes a good movie and what doesn't. The three of them honestly watch these movies in the screening room when they have completed all post-production..and before they are broadcast. The three of them sit there like bumps on a log, honestly oblivious to all of the recurring problems these monster movies have in such areas as overall conception, producing, scriptwriting, and directing.
A good chunk of the human population instinctively knows what makes a good movie and what doesn't. Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern lack these instincts. They lack the innate psychological gifts of being able to tell that the likes of "Ice Spiders" and "Sharktopus" totally suck ass as movies. On a psychological level...I suppose it could be a form of color blindness....lacking the ability to know what makes good television and what doesn't.
Posted by Languatron at 6:57 PM
Saturday, June 25, 2011
What If The SyFy Channel And Ronald D. Moore Had Tackled Other Science Fiction Television Series Together?
The correct assumption is utilized here in that Ronald D. Moore only has access to the previous actors he worked with on "GINO" (Galactica in Name Only)....
1. Logan's Run - The TV Series
Jamie Bamber.....as Logan
Tricia Helfer......as Jessica
Aaron Douglass....as Francis
Edward James Olmos....as REM The Frowning Robot
Escaping from the "Domed City" (really the "Crystal" Shopping Mall in Vancouver, British Columbia) because Logan and Jessica want to live to the ripe old age of 35 instead of facing premature "Carousel" at age 30..."Sandman Francis" is in hot pursuit because he wants to get a little taste of what Jessica has going on underneath her satin mini-dress.
2. Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Jamie Bamber....as Carl Kolchak
Edward James Olmos....as Anthony Vincenzo (The frowning editor of the "Chicago Chronicle")
Katee Sackhoff....as Ms. Pickle (The lovelorn advice columnist)
Aaron Douglass....as Dr. Malcolm Richards / Dr. Richard Malcolm
This series picks up where the original Darren McGaven series left off in that the focus is now on teenage vampire / nymphomaniacs out to get Carl Kolchak.
3. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Jamie Bamber....as Buck Rogers
Tricia Helfer...as Wilma Deering
Katee Sackhoff....as Princess Ardala
Edward James Olmos....as Dr. Huer (The frowning Commander of the Earth Defense Directorate)
Aaron Douglass (on his knees).....as Twiki The Robot
It's more dysfunctional sex and family goings on in outer space. What else would we expect from Ronald D. Moore?
4. The Six Million Dollar Man
Jamie Bamber.....as Steve Austin
Edward James Olmos.....as Oscar Goldman (The frowning head of the O.S.I.)
Tricia Helfer.....as Jamie Somers
Katee Sackhoff.....as Ms. Callahan
Aaron Douglass.....as "Maskatron"
Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel reshoot all of the old scripts from "The Six Million Dollar Man." What else would we expect from them?
5. Knight Rider
Jamie Bamber....as Michael Knight
Edward James Olmos...as Devon Miles (The frowning head of "The Foundation For Law and Government")
Tricia Helfer....as "K.I.T.T. Fix-It Mechanic Babe #3"
Katee Sackhoff.....as the "Spoiled Rich Heiress" who comes to Michael for help yet deceives him in every other episode.
Aaron Douglass.....as "Evil Michael Knight"
You guessed it. Ronald D. Moore and SyFy Channel reshoot all of the old scripts from the "Knight Rider" series.
Posted by Languatron at 6:13 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Analyzing Two of the Most Underwhelming Producing Teams (in History) Who Have Attempted to Tackle Science Fiction
Ronald D. Moore and David Eick -
It speaks volumes about these two that guerrilla style stealth marketing campaigns always have to be rammed up their asses in order to try and artificially force "success" to come about for their work together. A decade after their initial debacle known as "GINO" (Galactica in Name Only) was rammed down everyone's throat by the stealth marketing firm..."Abraham & Harrison"....Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have about as much clout working for them as the late Merv Griffin. Their collective failure to grasp anything remotely related to Science Fiction and "Battlestar Galactica" has resulted in the overall cable landscape (and the SyFy Channel's typical schedule)...being as boring and as mundane as it always has been. In short, in the decade they had to take advantage of the opportunity they had to do something commercially attractive and compelling with "Battlestar Galactica" and televised Science Fiction overall...Ronald D. Moore and David Eick blew the opportunity with bad producing....bad writing....bad casting....lazy ass production design...lazy ass art direction...and lazy ass wardrobe.
Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto -
These guys work together less often than the "Beatles" did throughout the 1970s. When they do manage to work together...their work is a big "yawn" such as the highly overrated "X-Men" films. Singer and DeSanto always pay respectful lip service to Science Fiction and "Battlestar Galactica" everytime the "Comic-Con" microphones are in their faces...yet they have never been able to get their collective shit together and make a "Battlestar Galactica" feature film. I have a theory about this. Forget the excuses involving "9-11"....Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto are terrified that the world would find out that they suck as much as Ronald D. Moore and David Eick do in attempting to tackle "Battlestar Galactica." Singer and DeSanto may have been "Galactica" fans when they were kids...but it's the sort of fandom worship that always prompts both of them individually and collectively to run to the hills way too easily whenever Universal Studios rejects their proposals for a "Galactica" feature film, right? In short....Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto have always given up on "Battlestar Galactica" way too easily.
Universal Studios executives: "Nope...we don't like your proposal for 'Battlestar Galactica.'"
Bryan Singer / Tom DeSanto: "OK....We're outta' here."
So much for their fan worship of "Battlestar Galactica"....right?
Posted by Languatron at 10:32 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Who Killed Galactica?
Fantastic Films Magazine
Author: William J. Adams
quote - Just this last year a study was completed for the Journal of Communication which looked into several questionable cancellations, like the cancellation of Battlestar Galactica. The author of this article conducted that study. He knows what did and what didn't happen with the series. What happened to Battlestar is pretty much whats happened to every major science fiction series offered during the past 12 years. This article explains why none of them succeeded and why none probably will in the near future.
Three years after the cancellation....or facts lies, and Battlestar Galactica
It's been three years since the Galactica was shot down, two since its shadow was resurrected, and another since the shadow was also buried. Yet, Battlestar lives on, one of those rare shows that refuses to die gracefully. It's happened before. CBS cancelled the Twilight Zone three times. Twenty years later it's still running, and over at NBC, the very mention of Star Trek can send an executive crying for his mother. But this time there was a difference. A series can't be rerunafter only one season. Anybody who has ever studied TV knows that. There just aren't enough episodes to hold an audience. But Battlestar did rerun, and in spite of protests from die hard critics, it held the audience. As a result, networks are suddenly grabbing for Science Fiction reruns that producers couldn't even give away before.
CBS jumped on Night Stalker, and ABC countered with Planet of the Apes. They even shot new footage to make it more enticing. Finally, this season, The Man From Atlantis was released for syndication, and all because one series refused to be a good little program and die (Battlestar Galactica.)
Yet it was cancelled. The only problem bothering researchers was "why?" It took three years to find the answer to that question. It's an answer that may exlain why Science Fiction can pull millions of people into a theater, but can't even produce one successful Science Fiction television series. In other words, what happened to Battlestar is typical of how the networks deal with Science Fiction / Fantasy programming.
The question of why the show was cancelled wasn't an easy one to answer. ABC, facing the worst objections to a cancellation in its history, issued dozens of myths, rumors, and outright lies to explain their action. It took three years to shovel through the bull and find out what didn't happen.
For example, Battlestar Galactica was not a falure. By every method used to measure television it was a success, perhaps even the strongest new series of the 1978-79 television season. The average rating for a successful new series is 18. Battlestar, at 20.4 was a full five million viewers above that average and one of the top 25 series on television. It was the sixth highest rated new series for the entire season, and before ABC-TV began fooling with the show, it was pulling ratings of 22 and 23, high enough to make it one of the top 15 series on TV. As for the audience shares, for a successful new series the average is 28. Battlestar, at 32, was againwell above the norm.
Then there are the demographics which measure whos's watching. They're broken down into five major divisions: Women 18-49, Men 18-49, Teenagers, Children, and those over 50. Galactica placed in the top ten with three of the groups and in the top 20 for the fourth. Only a handful of programs can match those demographics and all of them are still on.
Then comes audience loyalty. It measures whether the audience really likes the show, or is just watching because nothing else is on. "Loyalty" is determined from a combination of feedback information including TVQ surveys, how well the series stands up to competition, the volume of fan mail received, audience reaction to the stars, magazine coverage after the network stops paying for the space, and so on.
According to this measurement, Battlestar Galactica was the most powerful new series of the season. It held over 40 million viewers against the strongest competition both CBS and NBC could muster. It generated massive fan mail, thousands of threats against the lives of critics and the greatest flood of articles about a TV series ever written up to that time. It sold calenders, posters, bubblegum cards, models, toys, and books. Finally, they even sold the costume. Put together, these things indicate an audience loyalty no other new series could even come close to matching.
The final measurement, official recognition or awards won, is the most bragged about and least important off all measurements of success. Even there Battlestar can't be beat. There were Emmys for costumes and special effects, the "People's Choice Award" for the best new series, and awards for best program, best actor, and best actress from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, just to mention a few.
Whichever way the figures are added up, they equal success. Even ABC-TV admits that. But they were quick to add, "We expected so much more." Did they really? According to available data that's a lie. The scheduling guaranteed Battlestar Galactica wouldn't get the ratings ABC-TV claimed to be expecting. The networks, including ABC, have known the effect of scheduling for years. CBS even put it into words with their infamous "a series position in the schedule is more important than its content" statement. In actual numbers that means out of the 240 new series offered between 1974 and 1979 only 27 broke an average rating of 20 and just six made it over 23. All six got a unique scheduling push. First, they were placed against weak competition. Second, they were given a spot on an already strong night. Third, the program just before it (the lead in) was in the top ten, or the new series was a spin-off from the top ten, and fourth, the surrounding programming was well established and strong. So, how did Battlestar Galactica meet the test?
Its competition was the strongest on television, with both CBS and NBC stacking their schedules against it. The night itself was only a moderate success. ABC hadn't done any better than second place for years. The lead in, the Hardy Boys, had an average rating of 13, and the program that followed Battlestar was a movie where the ratings depended on what was showing.
Not one of the four requirements needed to break 23 was present. In fact, Battlestar shouldn't have broken 20, yet id did. And when the competition was just another new series, it broke 24. Its ratings were so high, CBS panicked, booted Mary Tyler Moore out, and rearranged their entire schedule less than one month into the season. They took four of their five top series and formed a wall against Galactica. NBC didn't have enough strong series to move, so they countered with their best movies, biggest miniseries, and most publicized specials.
NBC lost. CBS won, barely. Battlestar's ratings declined two points to fluctuate between 21 and 23, still well within the top 15 shows on TV.
Of course, failure was only one of many myths that grew up around the series. For instance, Buck Rogers was not more popular than Battlestar Galactica. I've nothing against Buck (I even believe he got a rotten deal his second season) but, statistically, he wasn't even in Battlestar's ball park. He'd have had to find at least another 10 million viewers just to get up to bat.
Battlestar did not cost ABC-TV a million dollars an episode. According to Variety the price was more like $750,000.00 for which ABC bought the rights to show each episode twice (and you were wondering why such a failure reran all summer 1979.) That was the same per hour fee ABC was paying for one showing only of the lower rated Monday Night Football and most of their Hollywood movies.
Universal Studios probably was paying a million dollars an episode, but it's not unusual for a producer to lose money. On a series like Charlie's Angels, the producers were losing between one and five million dollars a year. A producer makes money by owning a series that runs long enough to go into syndicated reruns. Once that happens, the rental fees make up for the original losses. Yet, in spite of a first season cancellation and a $250,000.00 per episode loss, Universal was happy. The release of Battlestar's motion picture version had already paid for all production. The money from ABC was profit.
I should add that, in spite of reports by critics and claims in at least two books, the movie version was not "cut together pieces of several episodes rushed into release to capitalize on audience shock over ABC's cancellation." As any fan can tell you, the movie was the first episode with only one major change, Baltar's execution. It was released in Canada as a movie several weeks before the series began in an attempt to meet ABC-TV's demand that the program be audience tested without being shown to anyone in the U.S. To the surprise of everyone involved, what was for all purposes a TV pilot became a major motion picture success. To find out if was just Canadians "who were strange", Universal then released the film in England where it set attendance records.
Finally, after the series was cancelled, Universal was flooded with letters asking for the film. The studio complied with a limited release. In other words, they let it out, but only for a few weeks. In those weeks it made tens of millions from viewers who were for the most part, fully aware of what they were seeing.
As far as Universal was concerned, Battlestar was a financial miracle. Even ABC-TV, despite rumors to the contrary, did not lose money on the series. According to figures from Advertising Age, A.C. Nielsen, and Variety, after all fees had been paid, ABC-TV still netted over 15 million dollars. And no matter how they pad the accounts, that still comes out to several million in pure profit.
Battlestar Galactica was not a kiddie show. Oh, it was extremely popular with the diaper set, but according to the National Demographics, for every child in the audience there were four men, three women, and two teenagers. Of the adults, a full 30% were college graduates and at least 20% had done advanced work. Not even Star Trek can brag of a more educated, more adult audience.
Battlestar did not plunge down the ratings ladder. I'm well aware ABC-TV can show a 14 point drop. It's done by carefully selecting the highest and lowest weekly figures. But, if that's how a plunge is figured, Alice, All In The Family, Fantasy Island, Happy Days, and a dozen other shows beat Galactica to the bottom and lived to tell about it.
In the face of massive manipulation the average audience size did decline by about eight million viewers, or a loss of about 15%. But, according to studies on scheduling, that was in response to preemption, not an indication of a dislike for the series. It was also less than half of what should have been expected.
Was Battlestar a rip-off? That's a strange charge to make against any one series during a season that produced four copies of "Animal House", three of "Charlie's Angels", a dozen of "Three's Company", and even one, The "American Girls" that was billed as a bosomy "Route 66." "Rip-Off" is even a stranger charge to be made by critics who were loudly proclaiming "Paper Chase" the greatest show of the decade.
In reality, there isn't a series on TV, from "60 Minutes" (a remake of the old "20th Century"), to "Trapper John M.D." ("Marcus Welby" by any other name) that can claim to be original, yet only one, "Battlestar Galactica" was officially labeled a rip-off.
That charge was first put into print by Time magazine's critic, a man who hadn't even seen the show. He based his review on ABC-TV promotional spots, a basic plot outline, and some careful arranging of the cast. For instance, he discovered if he left out Boomer, Cassiopia, Boxey, and Colonel Tigh, he had two men, one woman, a cute robot, and a father figure left, just like in that other movie. His review was so farfetched, even other critics ridiculed it.
While Time was the first to publish the charge, it actually didn't originate there. That honor goes to what has all the appearance of a good old fashioned publicity stunt, much like the "will Mr. Spock be killed" stunt we're now witnessing. In short, a publicity stunt is simply a gimmick to get free advertising. In the case of Battlestar, it was a hoked up lawsuit in which Fox accused Universal of stealing its plot from "Star Wars" and Universal countersued claiming Fox stole its robots from "Silent Running." This suit was a paper lion at best. Researchers could find no attempt to stop the showing of either production, no financial settlement, and no pressure to get the case into court. Once the headlines stopped coming the whole thing just faded away. , but not before millions had rushed back to theaters to see the movie (Battlestar) just one more time, or had decided to tune in the series just to see if was that good a copy.
It was the kind of stunt producers dream of except for one little thing. It guaranteed the TV series would be labeled a rip-off no matter what it was actually like. Critics are not thinking people. Hand them a line and they'll use it everytime.
As for the critics, according to their reviews they did not hate the series. Oh, some did. But an actual count showed opinion split 50/50. That equals mixed reviews, which happens to be the only thing any science fiction series has ever received, and that includes "Star Trek" and "The Twilight Zone."
Television in general and science fiction in particular, seldom considers critical opinion. But with Battlestar they had to. A normal show expects maybe 15 to 20 reviews a season. Battlestar was reviewed by hundreds. Every newspaper, magazine, and most special interest publications all the way from Pravda, which felt the series was anti-Russian, to HIS magazine, which felt it was anti-protestant, suddenly felt a need to express an opinion. By sheer mass of material, critical reviews took on an overblown importance. Somehow during all that talk, the fact that as many critics loved the show as hated it got lost.
All these myths were faithfully reported as reasons for cancellation, yet none of them hold water. So, why was "Battlestar Galactica" cancelled? In short, ABC-TV didn't want it. The series was too expensive, so ABC killed it. That's not sour grapes. That's the conclusion of a controversial study conducted at Ball State University in Indiana.
Hard core science fiction can not produce enough profit to satisfy the networks even though the networks would love to have the science fiction community among their viewers. That's why we get an endless line of programming like "Mr. Merlin" and "The Incredible Hulk" which are relatively cheap to make. but not one hard core science fiction series since "Star Trek" has been allowed to stay on. Because advertising rates are based on cost per thousand viewers rahter than cost of production. The average Galactica like series needs ratings over 30 just to produce the same profits "Real People" will make with 19.
There are seveal naive people who assume a profit of several million and ratings in the 20s should be enough to keep a show on the air, but few of these people own ABC stock. The people who do own stock want to see an increase in their dividends every year. That means advertising rates have to go up faster than production costs. The only way to do that is to eliminate expensive programming in favor of a cheaper model. Unfortunately, because of special effects, and the production quality demanded by the science fiction audience, science fiction is the most expensive type of series to produce for TV. It ranks just above Westerns which aren't exactly popular right now.
Of course, ABC-TV knew it couldn't make its normal million dollar per episode, pre-tax dollars even before Battlestar began. But they were trapped. For years, networks managed to avoid anything but comic book science fiction by claiming the audience wasn't large enough to support a series. They could point to a long list of failures to prove that. Even "Star Trek" didn't succeed in the ratings until after NBC cancelled it and thus lost control over its schedule. But, then "Star Wars" proved once and for all there was a huge audience. To maintan their claim that the public controls programming (the claim the networks have used for years to stop all government, legal, and pressure group interference), they had to produce a major science fiction television series.
ABC-TV, at the time the richest of the three broadcast networks, went with Battlestar, but only as a three part mini series. Unfortunately for them, once word got out, public reaction was so strong the network was forced to change its plans and order a full fledged weekly series. But there was no intention of letting it succeed. ABC-TV began by hyping the show. That means instead of buying ads, they got newspapers to give them free space under the heading of news.
No series in the history of television (until Dallas of course) had ever been so hyped. In one three week period it was the cover story for Newsweek, People, US, TV Guide, and almost 90% of the tv weeklies published in local newspapers. During the same period it was a major part of Time and even the Smithsonian magazine did a special section on how it was being filmed. Everyone in the country thought they knew all bout the series. Rumors were rampant. One science fiction magazine finally flew an editor to Canada just to view the actual film and hopefully find out what was really going on.
Such massive hyping guaranteed two things. First of all, a huge opening audience, and secondly, an audience loss. For Dallas, the loss between the "Who shot J.R.?" episode and the next week was over 15 million viewers. Such a loss is expected. No series has even been able to maintain a hyped rating. Yet, in the case of Battlestar, which dropped from a ratring of 28 to 25, or a loss of about 9 million people, ABC claimed a decline proved the show couldn't hold an audience.
Hyping also ensures more than just a rating drop. It also usually precipitates a press backlash, which isn't possible without the active support of gullible journalists. But once the baby's been born, they'll scream rape every time. As Michael Ryan wrote, "The press has promised the audience a weekly version of Hamlet." A promise no series can live up to. Journalists try to cover up that exaggeration by beating the newborn to death before anyone sees it.
At the same time ABC-TV was hyping the series to death, it was also interfering in production by demanding endless changes in the scripts and special effects. Special Effects Director John Dykstra finally quit as a result of this interference. He did not, as ABC-TV is fond of saying "just decide to go back to the movies." His actual statements were more to the effect that he "refused to work for a network that didn't understand even the most basic elements of production."
As a result of this handling, plus bad scheduling and over expectations, Battlestar should have died. It didn't. The hype became self perpetuating. ABC couldn't stop it. Weeks after the official publicity had ended the audience was still demanding more.
ABC was in trouble. For a moment it looked like CBS would save them with their fast reprogramming. But the Galactica's ratings didn't drop enough. It was still one of the top 15 shows in the nation. So ABC-TV began manipulating the series; thinks like pre-empting, time shifts, anything to keep the show from being seen when scheduled.
A 33% manipulation rate, over a season, will kill any old or new show 100% of the time. It artificially forces the ratings down an average of five points for every three months it continues. Every science fiction series since 1970 (except Buck Rogers during its first season) has been manipulated that much or more before being cancelled.
With Battlestar Galactica ABC-TV took no chances. From December 1978 on, its manipulation rate was over 70%.
That means for five months Battlestar was the special and the manipulations were the regularly scheduled series. By the end of the official 32 week season the network had only managed to show 17 episodes. Now, some of the pre-emptions were for bonafide specials, but most were for things like reruns of the Honeymooners, Charlies Angels, and double feature night at the movies. Most of these so called specials drew ratings two or three points below Galactica, so even ABC doesn't claim they were being run to improve the night. In fact, when questioned about the massive manipulation, ABC denied anything had happened.
In the face of manipulation that should have driven the ratings down a minimum of 10 points. Battlestar's dropped only by three. It held among the top 25 programs in the nation. When it was placed in the same time slot, "Mork & Mindy", the top rated show of the decade, couldn't even stay in the top 30, and its manipulation rate was only 5%. In other words, in spite of everything, Battlestar Galactica refused to fail. ABC-TV cancelled it anyway.
The audience hit back with everything they had. Nothing like it had hit TV since the legendary cancellation of Star Trek itself. ABC was desperate. They counter attacked by cranking out the rumors, everything from horror stories about disappearing audiences to hints that the series was only being revised. As a master touch, they ordered production of two new episodes to be run (it was rumored) as movies in the fall while production problems were worked out in the original series.
It worked. Viewers decided to wait and see what would happen. The moment they did, ABC-TV halted production, fired the cast, and ordered the sets taken apart. It seemed like a brilliant move. ABC was happy for all of a month. It took that long for the audience to reorganize. Then they hit again, attacking right through the 79-80 television season. But, ABC wasn't beaten yet. They simply revived the series, but they put it against 60 Minutes to eliminate the adult audience. Next, the stories were "kiddyfied" to get rid of any holdouts. The result was a sitcom with Galactican uniforms and "Six Miilion Dollar Man" side effects. As a final touch, ABC changed the cast. That alone was sure to keep the ratings down. Viewers had nothing against the new faces. Kent McCord and Barry Van Dyke are fine actors. But they're not Apollo and Starbuck. It was like bringing back Star Trek without Kirk and Spock.
When the series was cancelled again there was very little protest. The new version really wasn't worth fighting over. But, ABC had sinned and God would punish them. In order to justify cancelling the show, they had to succeed with their Sunday night replacement. To do that, they picked dear, unbelievably successful "Mork & Mindy", but that left a hole in Thursday night. Laverne & Shirley filled it nicely and "Angie" took their spot on Tuesday. Unfortunately, faced with the same competition as Battlestar, Mork & Mindy not only couldn't beat its ratings, it found itself fighting just to stay on. Worse yet, it was dragging the "ABC Sunday Night Movie" down with it. ABC might have been able to ride out that problem, but their other moves were also failing. Laverne & Shirley, which hadn't left the top 10 since its beginning, suddenly wasn't even in the top 30. And Happy Days was following it down the ratings ladder. "Angie" fell so far nothing could save it. To get rid of one science fiction upstart, ABC-TV sacrificed its first place position and lost millions of viewers and dollars. But Battlestar was cancelled. ABC had succeeded in that. In itself that wasn't unusual. The networks have succeeded in getting rid of every hardcore science fiction series offered for the last dozen years. In fact, the way ABC dealt with Battlestar is pretty much how the networks always deal with science fiction. But, this time some science fiction pubications openly congratulated them for getting rid of this upstart which was beginning to replace Star Trek in conversations. These publications even helped distribute ABC-TV's excuses.
That was the real tragedy. Battlestar is still being rerun. As for the stars, they'll probably be more successful now than if the series had ran for years. It made their names household words, but wasn't around long enough to typecast them.
For television science fiction, the cancellation could be death. In their rush to be rid of this fantasy upstart, many publications made a fatal mistake. They helped ABC-TV cancel the statistically most successful science fiction show ever to appear on TV. In effect, ABC-TV announced to the world there is no audience large enough to justify an expensive science fiction series. That includes fiction as well as fantasy. By helping ABC-TV get away with that, science fiction magazines may have helped sign a television death warrant. Right now, science fiction's future on TV doesn't look good, unless of course, we're willing to settle for network approved sitcoms. - unquote
Posted by Languatron at 7:56 PM
Before NBC-Universal and their God-awful management of the Sci-Fi Channel (and later SyFy Channel) came along, and long before they began their horrific excursion into originally produced programming on the Sci-Fi Channel, science fiction was still enjoying a robust life in movies and on television.
The after blast of "Star Wars" in 1977 carried over into the 1980s...1990s....and early 2000s in both movies and television.. Around the time NBC-Universal initially got their hands on the Sci-Fi Channel...science fiction was still all over the place both in the theaters and on television. We had "Lexx"....""Firefly".....some of the "Star Trek" sequel series produced by Rick Berman....the tail end of the "X-Files"....the first "X-Files" movie..."Star Trek: Enterprise"....the re-releases of the original "Star Wars" trilogy....the first "X-Men" movie...the first "Men in Black" movie....etc.
All of these productions had one thing in common....
They were all extremely attractive to the mass market science fiction audience.
Because of this...."Starlog" magazine was still going strong well into the 1990s and early to mid 2000s after debuting in 1976.
This robust marketplace for all things science fiction in movies and on television began to change as NBC-Universal began its gradual process of whittling away at what the Sci-Fi Channel was supposed to be. Before NBC-Universal came along...."Starlog" magazine was never short on exciting science fiction movies and television shows to cover.
What NBC-Universal did to this robust marketplace....is that they made televised science fiction on television....extremely unattractive to the mass market television audience on the Sci-Fi Channel....by mocking it....looking down on it....whittling away at it....and doing it in a really crappy way if they decided to do it at all...(all of Ronald D. Moore's series.) In short...NBC-Universal ruined it for everybody else.
With their endless and ruthless desire to put Ronald D. Moore's "Crap" on the air and erroneously label it "Battlestar Galactica".....NBC-Universal mutated the marketplace of science fiction in the media from mass market joy and acceptance....into self indulgent politically motivated chess pieces in an overall corporate agenda showcased by.....MALEFICENCE...and ill-will towards the mass market science fiction viewing audience...on television and in the theaters.
Becase of Ronald D. Moore's "GINO" (Galactica in Name Only) and "Caprica" series....the bar was lowered so low in doing science fiction on television and in the movies (in every aspect of prodution).... that no one else in Hollywood wanted to do it anymore.
Thus....."STARLOG" MAGAZINE ran out of fresh material to cover.
NBC-Universal / SyFy Channel ruined and killed the marketplace for everyone else. Not only did they obliterate science fiction on the Sci-Fi Channel...but they also took the entire science fiction media marketplace with them.....right down the tubes. A marketplace created by "Star Wars" in 1977...and a marketplace that survived 2.5 decades until NBC-Universal came along....and crapped all over it.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery....but Ronald D. Moore will never have to worry about such an ego-booster. He did such a horrific job producing and writing "GINO" and "Caprica".....that no one will touch the ground he trod with a 100 foot cattle prod. What Ronald D. Moore did with "GINO" and "Caprica" is generally regarded as....financial suicide.
Posted by Languatron at 1:23 PM
Monday, June 20, 2011
The Following Video is Devoted to All of the Manic-Depressive Programming Supplied to Us by SyFy Channel and Ronald D. Moore
With an additional special shout-out to the ever frowning Edward James Olmos....
It really boils down Ronald D. Moore's "GINO" (Galactica in Name Only) and "Caprica" series to their true essence...doesn't it?
Posted by Languatron at 7:32 PM
What sorts of metrics are being used to evaluate the the job performances of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern? Are they the sorts of metrics that have already determined the three of them would never get hired anywhere else under any circumstances? In terms of what they have done to the SyFy Channel, they have bottomed out with a resounding "thud"....and when a cable channel sinks that low in terms of creative and commercial failure...there is nowhere else for a cable channel to go.
The SyFy Channel's life blood has always been their doctored up press releases...where a truly fabulous fantasy world has been created on the order of the Beatles...."Magical Mystery Tour" cartoon. In your typical SyFy Channel press release....Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are the "Wizards of the Emerald City"...where the crap they create is actually regarded as blinding....shiny.....gold!! In these press releases..."Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" really doesn't suck...it's wonderful!! It's breaking new ground both in conception and financial prosperity for the SyFy Channel!! How much longer can the SyFy Channel keep putting fresh coats of lip gloss on these steaming piles of donkey dung they keep raving about in their press releases?
SyFy Channel will never go up after sinking as low as they have because Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are still working there. It doesn't say much about the three of them that they continue to be the only ones "fired up" and enthused about their own schedule. In any other profession, the three of them would have been tossed out on their cans directly into the unemployment line. Because generally speaking, it isn't good enough that executive management is the only one liking what it manufactures. The public has to like it too in overwhelming numbers, and there has to be a demand for it in the marketplace.
Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern have never created anything in their lives demanded by the general public....demanded by the "Laws of Supply & Demand"....demanded by the wants of the marketplace. What they have created....is what they have always personally wanted to see on television. This is why....the enthusiasm for their own schedule on the SyFy Channel...always stops with them. I know of no one in the public domain...and I know of no enthusiasm anywhere in the marketplace...for anything created by Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern.
This is the route which led to the SyFy Channel "bottoming out" in terms of creative bankruptcy (and no doubt meager financial earnings) and where the SyFy Channel will always remain as along as Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern continue to work there. Let's face it. The SyFy Channel is not a well managed cable network. It has always been the personal screening room and personal theater of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern. The three of them (and their wealthy friends they program for) personally like "Crap" television programming, and that's precisely what they have been making for themselves (and their wealthy friends) ever since they have been working there (at the shareholder's expense.)
Where does failure go from here? It remains precisely where it is as long as Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern continue to stick around.
Posted by Languatron at 9:21 AM
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Let's face it. The partnership of Ronald D. Moore and the SyFy Channel has been a resounding "thud" of a failure. Despite the fake award from Harlan Ellison...despite the inexplicable nonsense of the United Nations even knowing about the existence of Ronald D. Moore's sham take on "Battlestar Galactica" (which collectively gave both Moore and SyFy Channel about a moment's worth of artificially induced...orgasmic fame)...both "GINO" (Galactica in Name Only)...and "Caprica" were low rated flops not helped any by the radical approaches to stealth marketing as practiced by the SyFy Channel.
With the upcoming (and unanimously dreaded) "Blood & Chrome" pilot film gearing up to irritate / annoy anyone who watches it, "Blood & Chrome" will of course need a heavy dose of that ever patented, radical stealth marketing designed to assault the general public on Internet bulletin boards. Of course, the SyFy Channel may have to amp up the stealth marketing octaves for "Blood & Chrome" as this pilot film is destined to be the flop that "GINO" and "Caprica" were. How can the SyFy Channel strong arm...coerce...intimidate....shout down...and force the general public to watch and blindly swear eternal allegience to the "Blood & Chrome" movie?
Might I suggest the following, radical stealth marketing techniques the SyFy Channel hasn't tried yet on the general public?
2. Thumb Screws
3. Listening to a John Tesh album
4. Tackling patrons in shopping malls
5. Renewing every SyFy Channel program for another season (That will show them!!)
6. The rack
7. Have Chris Abrahams and his stealth marketing firm "Abraham & Harrison" (previous hires of the SyFy Channel) make house calls to all of the non-conformists among the general public who publicly admit to disliking the "Blood & Chrome" movie.
8. Hire back all of the former "GINO" cast members for no reason at all and force every non-conformist among the general public to spend one hour in a room with them.
9. Force the non-conformists to eat spinach.
10. Force the non-conformists to dine with Bonnie Hammer.
That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?
Posted by Languatron at 1:13 PM
Friday, June 17, 2011
The Riots in Vancouver Didn't Interrupt The SyFy Channel's Filming of Their Rotten Movies and TV Shows, Did it?
I would hate to think that filming had to be halted on "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" (right in the middle of baking "Marcel's Cream Puff Surprise") because beautiful downtown Vancouver went to hell and a hen basket in record time. Hopefully...and I mean....hopefully!!.....the low budget SyFy Channel soundstages were and are situated far away from where the riots took place!! It would be a terrible shame if the filming of "WWF Wrestling"...or "Fact or Faked?".....or "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen"....or the latest weekly monster movie from the SyFy Channel had to go on "Principal Photography Hiatus" because a certain couple were making love in the middle of the street while rampaging and looting were going on all around them.
My deep concern of course....is for the "Blue Collar Teamsters" who film all of the SyFy Channel's crap. And I'm financially concerned for their families as well. I want the financial prosperity of these people to continue uninterrupted. Financial prosperity created for them by the SyFy Channel when Bonnie Hammer discovered that all of her rotten ideas for television series and movies could be filmed in Vancouver at a fraction of the cost of filming in California.
We need the SyFy Channel's "Cerebral Illiteracy" in television programming to continue!! Not rain....not sleet...not flash floods....not riots in the street....should ever interrupt the filming of the SyFy Channel's horrific schedule of stupid programming ideas!! This embarrassing footnote in embarrassing television history should proceed uninterrupted so that future media historians can look back on the work of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern.....and make fun of them because of it.
I tip my hat to all of the law enforcement personnel in Vancouver who successfully neutralized this horrific manifestation of violence....with one of the fringe benefits being....the SyFy Channel can resume its underwhelming production activities in Vancouver (if they were interrupted)...and continue bringing us all of the television shows and movies we never asked for....and don't want to see. Not even broadcast on snowy UHF stations during a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Let's take inventory of Vancouver now. Everybody is dusted off. Good!! Good!! Everybody needs to get back to work (if they had to stop) in order to prevent the SyFy Channel's broadcast signal from being snowy static.
Posted by Languatron at 7:09 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Posted by Languatron at 5:44 PM
1. All Battlestar Commanders will be attired in snazzy white business suits such as this. Similar to the way all of the pimps are dressed on Bourbon Street and in the French Quarter.
2. Rank & File Colonial Warriors will be attired in standard issue three piece numbers like this one. Pay special attention to how the stripes are spaced apart on the neck tie.
Posted by Languatron at 5:29 PM
The High Price of Gas is Driving Consumers Away From The Pump. Could The High Price of Cable Shut Down The SyFy Channel For Good?
This brutal economy of ours may be a blessing in disguise on certain fronts. It may very well shut down the SyFy Channel and every other "rinky-dink" little cable channel (not watched by substantial numbers) it is packaged with. In an economy where the price of gasoline remains at $4.00 a gallon no matter what because Obama has done nothing to shut down illegal Wall Street speculating....what are consumers going to spend their money on? Are they going to spend it on an outrageous monthly cable bill in order to keep themselves up to date on the latest crap Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern have put on the air....or are they going to spend it on a mortgage, rent, food, and clothing...in order to keep themselves alive?
Not that the SyFy Channnel was ever a monthly prize for anyone to begin with...who subscribed to a monthly cable channel package...but such luxuries as a monthly cable bill may be falling by the wayside very soon for consumers en masse. In a sort of "Addams Family" dark humor kind of way....this may very well be the antidote we need to get rid of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern once and for all. The antidote being...."our trashed economy." Yes....our economy may very well prompt Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern to clean out their offices once and for all. The SyFy Channel needs consumers (victims) to watch their crap every month. If consumers are cancelling their monthly cable bills in record numbers...the SyFy Channel will no longer have an audience to further insult with their bad taste in television programming.
It's certainly too late for the SyFy Channel to have a change of habit (and an impossible change in corporate personality) by suddenly offering consumers imaginative....inspired....and entertaining television programming...in order to prevent them from dropping the SyFy Channel like a sack of wet potatos. If the SyFy Channel were talented and imaginative...the hemorrhaging of viewers might be slowed...But Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern backed themselves into a corner via their lack of imagination and lack of good taste in television programming to such a degree....that an uncontrollable disaster such as our economy may very well put their corporate lights out for good.
I'm buying the first round!!
Posted by Languatron at 9:33 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
NBC-Universal no doubt assigns management positions to their in-house executives not because they are the best candidates for the job, but because they are "Management Contract Players" so to speak...sent to where they are needed to fulfill management vacancies. It's similar to the old studio system of "Contract Players" among actors, where actors were sent to where they were needed on the studio lot to occupy acting positions.
This is no different to how media corporations shuffle around their management executives. In the case of Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern....they were assigned to the SyFy Channel not because of any knowledge of how to manage a Science Fiction channel....but because they were (and are) "Management Contract Players" for NBC-Universal. Management vacancies existed at the former Sci-Fi Channel, and NBC-Universal needed bodies to occupy those management positions.
Because Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are in-house management nobodies to be shuffled around by NBC-Universal at a "whims" notice....they are not the best management money can buy for the SyFy Channel. The three of them are economical contract players who can be plugged into any cable network NBC-Universal owns at a moment's notice to fulfill management vacancies. Send Hammer, Howe, and Stern over to the USA Network, and they would manage it no differently from the SyFy Channel. If the three of them were to leave NBC-Universal and say....get miraculously snatched up the "Hub Network", they would manage "Hub" no differently from the SyFy Channel or the USA Network.
Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern all come from the "Dime a Dozen Fraternity of Underwhelming Television Executives." This select...shameful group of television executives all operate in the exact same way to compensate for their usual lack of talent and imagination in television programming. When managing the latest television network they are assigned to...they pull out their "Psychogram Demographic Playbook"....and program that network according to this data.
You will never be pleasantly surprised by anything Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern do on any cable network they are assigned to...because in order for the response of "surprise" to take place...the pre-existing conditions of talent, imagination, and inspired thinking would have to exist within Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern beforehand. That is one of those "Eighth Wonders of the World" phenomenons we will never see from the three of them.
Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern manage and program the SyFy Channel within the confines of a typically boring "Status Quo Framework" because they know of no other way in absence of the collective lack of talent, imagination, and inspired thinking they all suffer from.
To get executives more dynamic, talented, and imaginative to oversee the SyFy Channel, would require millions of more dollars in salaries....millions of more dollars NBC-Universal obviously is unwilling to spend. And this would require NBC-Universal to look beyond its present comedy troupe of in-house contract player executives...(Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern.)
Posted by Languatron at 8:38 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I certainly think so, and I also think that the SyFy Channel would be designated as being a member of the "Remedial Academics Program" among the ranks of all cable networks if such a beast exists. Take an episode of "Welcome Back, Kotter"....replace Rosalie Totsie, Juan Epstein, and Arnold Horshack with Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern....and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Is it so hard to put good, decent television programming on the air? For the SyFy Channel it is. This categorizes Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern as "Underachievers." Intellectually, they're incapable of executing simple tasks...simply. What is so hard about calling reputable and respected television producers into your office (Kenneth Johnson, J. Michael Straczynski, Joss Whedon) and having them pitch ideas to you for all sorts of potential television series? To Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern....this is the hardest thing in the world to them. It's a simple method of doing business that intellectually....they just can't get a handle on.
Intellectually....Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern are the Sweathogs in the "Remedial Academics Program" at Buchanan High School unwilling to go to a tutor after class in order to brush up on how simple it really is to be a television programmer. Adhering to such nonsense as "Psychograms" and endless ratings data in television programming isn't a mark of intelligence...it's a mark of confusion and chaos for them. Hammer, Howe, and Stern need a "tutor" to break them of the habit.
The way you program for a television network whether it be commercial or cable....or in the SyFy Channel's case....a commercial / cable network....is you have an open door policy to all of the name producers in the industry...allow them to come in and pitch ideas to you....and refrain from any interference in the creative process. A female programming executive working for CBS-TV in 1965 had no clue what the hell the "Wild, Wild, West" was ultimately going to turn out to be before it was shot. But she and her colleagues at CBS-TV allowed Michael Garrison the freedom to do his damn job, and the rest is history. "Wild, Wild West" is unanimously regarded as one of the most respected and imaginative television series of its era and all of television history.
Yes, it can be a pain in the ass for television executives (in the millions of dollars) to not know how and where the chips are going to fall when they have bought a television series pitched to them the likes of which are completely foreign to them. But it's the only appropriate way to conceive a television series, and get the damn thing on the air.
This nonsense of putting a television series together brick by brick based solely upon the outcome of Psychogram studies and marketing clap-trap as the SyFy Channel is so fond of doing has not yielded one hit for them yet.
Maybe it's time for the SyFy Channel to get a clue....
Posted by Languatron at 10:41 AM
Monday, June 13, 2011
If a team of programmers (with a lick of common sense) ever came in to replace Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern....many of the initial things they would do would be based on common sense instincts. This new team of programmers would be initially pre-occupied with damage control as in.... undoing all of the damage that Hammer, Howe, and Stern have done to the channel over the years.
The unanimous opinion of everyone who has suffered through one of the SyFy Channel's in-house produced weekly monster movies (critics and viewers alike) is that these movies are nothing more than disposable cannon fodder...a complete waste of the money used to finance them....and a complete waste of the filmmaking equipment used to make them. The avalanche of negative reviews and negative opinions always accompanying these weekly trash fests is indicative of the fact that the SyFy Channel either needs to dispose of these movies entirely, or invest millions of more dollars in each movie to bring up the quality level in overall production to bare minimum standards. The SyFy Channel's weekly monster movies are broken...they need to be fixed or removed from the schedule.
WWF Wrestling has always had a "UHF Channel Sleazoid Factor" attached to it dating back to the 1970s. And the passage of time has not improved the reputation of WWF Wrestling one bit. It has been and forever shall be nothing more than the "Jerry Springer Show" set in a wrestling ring. It's a surprise to no one then that the typical intellect of those who run the SyFy Channel snatched up WWF Wrestling right away, and dumped in on to the schedule of what is supposed to be a Science Fiction channel. WWF Wrestling is broken. It needs to be fixed, or removed from the schedule.
The rest of the reality clap-trap on the SyFy Channel's schedule including "Fact or Faked?" and "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" are so offensive to the senses, that they just need to be removed from the schedule...period.
A new programming team for the SyFy Channel lacking the insanity and stunning lack of talent openly flaunted by Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern (in programming) would probably think more along these lines after getting rid of all of the sensationalistic crap Hammer, Howe, and Stern put on the air...
1. Reuniting Mike Farrell and Robert Foxworth to do a series of follow up movies to the 1974 television film "The Questor Tapes."
Higher brow movies such as this would permanently replace the weekly monster trash crap presently broadcast on the SyFy Channel.
2. Upgrading all of the visual effects in the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series with quality (and I mean quality) visual effects. And not the Gumby looking CGI crap the SyFy Channel loves to crank out. A high profile project such as this would free up the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series from the curse of stock footage, and begin the process of turning this series into the franchise it was always destined to be if it wasn't owned by brain dead retards (Universal Studios.) Broadcast each episode first on the Sci-Fi Channel, and then do a complete series DVD release of the upgraded episodes. Additional live action footage could also be shot for "Saga of a Star World" involving The Ovion Queen conversing with the Imperious Leader and Cylon Centurions on Carillon. This footage was initially shot for the ABC-TV pilot in 1978 but the footage was cut by ABC-TV and lost forever thanks to Universal Studios (idiots.) Re-shoot the footage again. Also shoot new footage of the Imperious Leader in his chambers while he is conversing with the Cylon Centurions.
3. This of course, would be followed up by all of the surviving cast members from the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series returning for a series of follow-up movies...later to be released on DVD.
4. Do a movie of the week with Gil Gerard as Buck Rogers. It would obviously be a serious take on a much older Buck Rogers and what Buck has been up to since we last saw him. Of course, Erin Gray would also return.
One can always dream about sane people owning and managing the SyFy Channel, right?
Posted by Languatron at 11:33 AM
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I was watching "Teen Wolf" on MTV the other night, and I couldn't help but notice how good the pilot episode was, and the second episode. MTV has completely moved away from music videos, and while some people may slam the network for doing so, at least they have moved into other realms of programming that they are good at. While MTV is no longer the MTV of the early 1980's, at least they are good at what they are doing now. "Teen Wolf" is a well done horror series that hopefully will have the longevity of "Buffy-The Vampire Slayer." The thing I noticed about "Teen Wolf", is that MTV takes this series seriously and the people they hired to make this show take great pride in their work.
Ingredients sadly missing in anything the SyFy Channel puts on the air.
If I were to make a quick comparison between the SyFy Channel and other cable networks, I would have to say that the SyFy Channel doesn't take seriously what they are supposed to be doing as a broadcaster....and as a result....their work is either half-ass or completely unacceptable (unwatchable.) Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern will never embrace what their network is supposed to be...and thus, they will never take pride in their work. And it shows too!! Doesn't it? Everything they put on the air is absolute crap.
Look at the other cable networks in the game today. They all embrace who they are and take pride in what they do. Even if some of these cable networks have strayed away from their original, core identities...at least they moved into other realms of programming that they are extremely good at.
When the Sci-Fi Channel stopped being the Sci-Fi Channel and mutated into God knows what under the new moniker SyFy Channel...the channel never moved into new areas of programming it was good at. Not only do Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern suck ass as Science Fiction television programmers, but they also suck ass in every new programming arena they have tried to move into...."Saturday Night Monster Movies"...."WWF Wrestling"...."Marcel's Quantum Kitchen"...."Fact or Faked"....you name it. Even their overall schedule taken as a collective whole....sucks ass.
Yes, MTV and music videos have parted ways, but at least MTV has discovered a new talent for itself as it has moved into new areas of programming. MTV can make a damn good horror series ("Teen Wolf"). And the other stuff on MTV (music video unrelated) is damn good too.The same thing can't be said of SyFy Channel. Perhaps this is why after all of this time...they still haven't built for themselves....this stupendous...brand name recognition....super spectacular....dynasty "thing-a-ma-jig" that Bonnie Hammer keeps babbling about and dreaming about. It's been two years since their name change to SyFy Channel...and there is still no sign of this dynasty "thing-a-ma-jig" anywhere on the planet.
One of the things so startling about the SyFy Channel...is that I don't think they are even trying. I don't think they have ever tried to be good at what they are supposed to be doing....or tried to be good at doing....something, anything. Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark have become so pre-occupied with Psychographs, the psychological state of potential teenage viewers, and endless marketing theories....that they have lost sight of what they have never grasped in the first place....putting good, decent, and entertaining television programs on the air. Somewhere in their endless pre-occupation with Psychographs and marketing theories ad infinitum...the crappy ass programming on the SyFy Channel was the inevitable outcome. The reality of the situation for Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern is....their new programming ideas are always greeted with a unanimous..."What the fuck is this?"
It should also be pointed out that if Bonnie Hammer, David Howe, and Mark Stern want this stupendous...brand name recognition....super spectacular....dynasty "thing-a-ma-jig" they keep babbling about to happen, the only way it will is if it falls from the sky and into their laps because as television programmers, they don't have the talents to build it for themselves and make it happen.
Posted by Languatron at 3:37 PM