Scifi Channel renews Sanctuary

by Paul William Tenny

sanctuary.jpgI wrote yesterday on about two of cable's lesser watched shows -- George Lucas' Clone Wars toon and Scifi Channel's Sanctuary (an Internet-to-TV fantasy/drama) -- were struggling in the ratings with both bleeding viewers every single episode over the first four. Word has come down from friend-of-the-blog Morjana that Scifi renewed Sanctuary for another season but utlimately this is still a bit of a mixed bag.
Clone Wars is going to run as long as George Lucas wants it to run simply because it belongs to Lucas and the man can afford to subsidize the show all by himself if he really felt like it, so while the low ratings are a kick in the gut, I don't think Clone Wars is in an real danger here.

Though I can't imagine The Cartoon Network being very happy since they are the ones who aren't making any money on the deal.

Sanctuary I think is on the bubble right now, even though it was renewed. There's plenty of speculation that the troubled economy is forcing the networks to stick with what they've already got because new shows are just too expensive to deal with right now. While this may not be the case here, and Scifi may simply have a lot of faith in Sanctuary, there's proof all over the place that nobody really wants to cancel anything until advertising rates start coming back up. Fox hasn't canceled The Sarah Connor Chronicles even though it has gone from 16 million viewers for the series premier all the way down to 5 million to the point where even I'd cancel it no matter how good it seemed to be.

NBC doesn't seem capable of scrapping the obvious failure that is the Knight Rider incarnate, even though it's doing slightly better business than SCC is, they both are well below the point where any healthy, upbeat network would allow something that expensive to continue.

I'm happy for the Sanctuary crew, of course, and I wish them all the time in the world to say what they've got to say in the world they've created. But if the ratings don't stabilize, it's going to quickly fall below another show on that net that already isn't going to be coming back. I put out an email to my press contact at Scifi to see if I can get some ratings breakdowns for some of their shows and I'll report on that just as soon as I hear back from them.

h/t to Morjana for putting the news out via Twitter. Have I mentioned my Twitter account where you can follow me and this site lately? Gotta say that I'm loving TwitterFox right now.
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Hi, Paul.

Thanks for the update and for the mention.


Terrific news for Sanctuary. Congratulations to Damian, Martin, Amanda, and all the other TPTB, staff and cast on their second season. And many thanks for all their hard work, and a big thank you to the SciFi Channel as well.

And thank you, Paul, for you many articles on not only Sanctuary, but Stargate Atlantis as well.

There may indeed be many factors behind the renewal. However, I also think that the SciFi Channel, having a smaller viewer base than the broadcast networks, has a little more leeway in judging the success of their series.

Last year for instance, when Flash Gordon premiered, it earned a 1.5 rating for 2.1 million viewers. The second episode only had a draw of 1.14 million views, and did so poorly, the episode didn't even it make it to the SciFi Wire's Top Ten list...and the lowest rated show(s) that week were repeats of five movies that all earned a 1.0. It was rumored that the second episode of Flash Gordon only earned a 0.8 rating.

That is a stunning failure.

And the third episode did make it to the top ten list...with a 0.8 rating.

Best wishes, Morjana
You know I can't decide whether you are just one of a small section of Stargate Fanboys that feel the need to piss on other shows or if you are one of those people that refuse to admit that they made a mistake. Either way your continued biasness is coming off as unprofessional. Both shows that you are targeting as supposedly struggling got renewed for another season but Oh No you couldn't possibly just congratulate them and leave it at that could you? No, that would sound too much like admitting you made a mistake! You have to go and intimate that they got renewed for various nefarious reasons! Of course you have no evidence to back up your stance but hey I suppose at least you aren't looking quite as foolish as getting the ratings wrong again. It's a rather pathetic tactic to try to smear with innuendo when you have no facts to back up your stance. If you look around the net you'll find interviews where it's said that SciFi is very pleased with Sanctuary's performance; maybe Sanctuary exceeding their expectations has more to do with their renewal than your warped fanboy suppositions.

The Live +SD ratings (Coverage)* for Sanctuary are 2.2, 1.6, 1.6 & 1.4 - hmmm do you see them bleeding viewers every single week? Oooooops guess that was another mistake you made but it sure sounded good to try and prop up your stance (Not!). Sanctuary has averaged 1.7 so far this season whilst SGA has averaged 1.2 so I guess it still has a long way to go before struggling it's way off the top 10 SF&F shows on SciFi Channel (having so far not fallen below #2).

*The Live +SD ratings (National) are 1.84, 1.32, 1.29 & 1.16.

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