Good News: ONE TREE HILL creator Mark Schwahn has been tapped to write the pilot script for the CW’s MELROSE PLACE reboot. Bad News: Cementing the CW’s status as the one network that can’t seem to develop a television show that isn’t based on a book, movie and/or already established franchise. [Source]

Good News: Sci Fi has announced that Robert Carlyle (24: REDEMPTION) has signed on to lead the new STARGATE UNIVERSE. Bad News: For Robert Carlyle’s career. I mean correct us if we’re wrong, but is STARGATE not where careers go to die? [Source]

Good News: Saturday marked Amy Poehler’s SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE swan song. Bad News: For SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, who just lost the only cast member worth staying up to 11:30 for.

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  • Krystal

    How can that be the end of Robert Carlyle’s career? Chances are he’ll be employed for at least five years, and can live off his residuals. All actors should be that lucky.

  • Sorry, I don’t get the Stargate comment. Can you give specific examples of how the Stargate franchise is a place where careers go to die?

    Richard Dean Anderson, as Colonel Jack O’Neil, was a the lead role of SG-1 for seven seasons, played a slightly diminished role in season eight, continued to make guest appearances for the next two years, and starred in one of the two SG-1 DVD movies. That surpasses his role of MacGyver which lasted seven seasons. I’m not positive, but I think RDA was also a producer on SG-1. I’d consider that a significant career extension, not a career killer.

    Stargate SG-1 was on long enough that it *made* the careers of Amanda Tapping, Michaels Shanks, and Christopher Judge who all had *ten* seasons (longer than X-Files and any Star Trek series) and two movies of steady work, plus guest appearances on Atlantis. Amanda Tapping got an 11th year in the franchise when her character joined Atlantis after SG-1’s end, and now, she is star & producer of her own show, Sanctuary. I’ve read rumors that Shanks & Judge are collaborating on a new project as well. Had anyone ever heard of those three before Stargate?

    And as for the late-comers, Ben Browder & Claudia Black were probably glad to get the work after Sci-Fi unfairly canceled their other series, Farscape. And, according to his filmography on Wikipedia, Beau Bridges has had more work (both in & out of Stargate) since he started on Stargate three years ago than he did in the three years before that.

    David Hewlett guest starred on SG-1 twice before winning the Stargate: Atlantis role of Dr. Rodney McKay which has lasted five full years plus four more guest appearances on SG-1 — plus at least one upcoming Atlantis DVD movie. As for the other stars of the show, had anyone ever heard of Joe Flannigan, Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, or Paul McGillion (who *almost* got the role of Scotty in the 2009 Star Trek film). And, had anyone seen much of Jason Momoa since Baywatch or Jewel Staite since Firefly? Robert Picardo went from being a recurring guest actor on both Stargate series to being a lead actor as the base commander in Atlantis’s fifth season — a move I was skeptical about but have been pleasantly surprised by.

    Maybe sci-fi isn’t the most glamorous, respected, or highest-rated of TV genres by the general audience, but these are still quality shows with avid, loyal fan bases. And, for actors, steady work on quality TV shows isn’t anything to be embarrassed about, especially with the crowded market that’s getting squeezed by reality shows, game shows, and Jay Leno five nights a week. I just named *15* careers that were started, extended, improved or rejuvenated by Stargate. How many exactly have perished by its hands?

    (Don’t get the wrong idea about the tone of this post. I’m not mad. I love this site. Just trying to make a point as specifically as I can. Okay, maybe I got a little carried away.)

  • ewanspotter

    Bite your tongue, TV Addict. Bashing Stargate (well, at least SG-1 — I’ll give you Atlantis) isn’t cool. I’m definitely with Todd on this one. That show, and the actors on it, deserve a lot more respect than it ever got.

    (Seriously, what’s Carlyle done since Trainspotting that anyone’s really cared about? Bueller? Bueller?)

  • paketep

    I agree with the previous posters. Where did you get that impression, TVA?. Atlantis *might* not be up to par for some (comparing it to the earlier seasons of SG-1, I mean), but I can’t think of a single career that Stargate has killed. If anything, it’s just the opposite.

    You don’t like Stargate?. OK. But that comment wasn’t warranted at all.

  • A defense of the TvA: For those of us who don’t regularly watch Stargate or SCI-FI, that’s what it seems like. I didn’t know Stargate was still on let alone had spin offs. And since BSG is one of the few shows to earn any type of recognition outside of the sci-fi world it would seem as if Stargate is the red-headed stepchild.

    But what I was really here to say: Why?! Why?! Why ruin Melrose Place too? Didn’t that show nearly ruin itself before it ended. The CW will drag it down even further. And it’s not like OTH has been so great (CMM penned the worst episode ever). Mark please focus.

  • Dear STARGATE Fans,

    While I can appreciate that you’re all fans of the show, I’ve always found the entire STARGATE series the ugly stepsister of SciFi. Say what you will about it, but it doesn’t have the cache of BSG, and is certainly no TNG or DS9.

  • paketep

    I’m no Stargate “fan” (although I more or less like it and find it usually entertaining, despite Joe Mallozzi’s efforts), and while I love both Star Trek and BSG, I think a show that already has under its belt 15 TV seasons and two movies (not counting the original), an animated series, and a new one that’s going to debut next year (plus there are more movies on the way) deserves a lot more respect.

    Also, you still haven’t explained why you think that SG is a career ender. I don’t think that what Shanna is saying is correct, since the last years have brought an explosion of SciFi & horror series everywhere. Examples of careers ended would be nice too.

  • Paketep,

    I was being facetious! Obviously it’s not a career ender. I mean Robert Carlyle is going to get years out of this job and no doubt millions.

    That said, I do think many would agree with my assessment that Stargate is a step down from a network series, and/or anything BSG related. It’s a low budget, genre show with a very niche audience.

  • I will grant a few concessions in the Stargate argument:
    – It isn’t as deep as BSG or Babylon 5.
    – Due to budget constraints, both shows probably did have way too many episodes based on worlds that looked like soundstages or the forests outside Vancouver.
    – Atlantis never totally lived up to the latter seasons of SG-1, and older episodes of SG-1 look very dated.

    But, continuing in Stargate’s defense:
    – SG-1 & Atlantis have both been repeated so many countless times on Sci-Fi Channel and in 2nd-run syndication, it’s hard to believe the franchise could go un-noticed
    – While it may not earn the acclaim and recognition of BSG, BSG is not a perfect show, Stargate screentime will be almost 4x that of BSG, and Stargate is much, much better than shows like Andromeda, Lexx, and Earth: Final Conflict which fit the red-headed stepchild classification much better. If Stargate is at the bottom of the pack right now (not necessarily true), it’s only because lesser shows have come and gone, and there’s not a lot else out there right now.
    – Both Stargate shows have taken themselves less seriously than other sci-fi shows, but I actually like that. Sometimes I think BSG could use a little humor now and then. Babylon 5 was the prime example of a show that blended epic drama with dry wit and humor, and Stargate sometimes reminds me of that.
    – While Stargate makes use of artificial gravity technology and breaks the no-sound-in-space rule like everyone else (except Firefly), their stories often involve more realistic or at least more plausible scientific explanations, something that sets it apart from many other sci-fi shows. Even when they use imagenary tech, the uses of that tech are very creative and well thought out in the story and often explained in layman’s terms without the deus ex machina technobabble that the Trek universe depends upon so heavily.

  • ewanspotter

    Come on. Comparing Stargate to BSG is comparing apples to oranges. BSG is where you go for in-your-face seriousness for 42 minutes. SG-1 was a lighter romp, moving between funny and serious (and occasionally heartbreaking). Two different sides of the same genre coin. And, unlike Trek, SG-1 wasn’t about some futuristic, unrelated world — it was us, in the here and now, going out and trying to make a difference.

    “That said, I do think many would agree with my assessment that Stargate is a step down from a network series.”

    Um. No. And saying things like THAT make me realize… you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The production qualities on that show were on par with every “network” shows I’ve watched. The special effects were better than anything Trek ever had, as well as Battlestar (and yes, I’ve watched too much Trek to count and every episode of BSG). Every show has to scrounge for money in some ways, but it’s more obvious in sci-fi (like Todd mentioned above, lots of alien worlds have Vancouver pine trees). But at the end of the day, SG-1 was never half-assed. Ever.

    “It’s a low budget, genre show with a very niche audience.”

    No. And no. In season eight, the average episode was $1.7 million per episode. (And, yes, larger shows cost more, but they’re having to pay their diva stars half a million dollars an episode, which seriously ups the costs.) The last direct-to-DVD movie (so, basically a really long episode) cost $7 million.

    Did it blow up the ratings? For cable, it was decent. But more than that, it was a worldwide success. A couple years back, MGM clocked airings in about 120 countries. (Shows like Gossip Girl will never, ever reach that level of notoriety.) Lastly, it was a show accessible to the entire family. Do I enjoy the hot and dirty sex on BSG? Hell yes. Would I want my ten-year-old cousin to watch the same hot and dirty sex? Not so much. So, niche perhaps, but niche does not necessarily equal small.

    I’m going to stop now, because I realize I’m preaching to the wrong choir. I get that you don’t like it, and that’s fine. But (as you’re aware) television is a big, wide world with lots to offer everyone of different tastes. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. Whatever. But the general, sweeping statements bashing a show a bunch of people clearly love? From someone who claims to appreciate and understand the medium of television? Not cool.

  • I almost hate to continue this, because at this point, I think we’re being a bit hard on TV Addict, who is entitled to his opinion and assessments as much as anyone (especially since it’s site) and probably never intended a small comment to go this far…


    When comparing the Stargate franchise to BSG, I think Ewanspotter explained it pretty well that Stargate is where you go for fun and enjoyment, a weird blend of humor and intellectual stimulation. BSG is consistently serious almost all the time. It can get a bit depressing. Sometimes you need your dessert.

    When comparing Stargate to TNG… One flaw with the Stargate shows is that they haven’t been quite fantastic often enough. But, in the later seasons, they had very few clunkers either (the episode about an alien bug infestation on the new beta site being an obvious example).

    Stargate shows were consistently good to very good. Star Trek: TNG, as much as I respect it and was one time practically obsessed with it, the quality of that show is all over the map. Its best episodes are unforgettable classics, but it had a *bunch* of absolute stinkers too, especially in its first two and last two seasons. I even felt that way back then. In retrospect, even more episodes feel lackluster when compared to more recent sci-fi shows with epic story arcs and better character development. Compared to TNG, I’m blown away by Stargate far less often but disappointed just as rarely too.

    DS9 fixed this problem quite a bit. It was much more consistent in quality. Because of the “apples & oranges” argument, it’s hard to rank them, but I’d say that DS9 is probably a little bit better than Atlantis and that it’s approximately equal to SG-1 — but in wildly different ways.

  • ewanspotter

    Yeah, I don’t want to beat a dead horse.

    I’ve been reading The TV Addict for a while now, so I hope he’s not taken anything too personally. I tried to stick with the facts to make my arguments (well, mostly… emotions do come into play when you’re dealing with something you care about).

    Todd, you’ll notice I conveniently left Altantis off my argument (although some of the points are certainly valid for both series). Mostly because I couldn’t honestly defend it against much of what was said. I do think a lot of the previously mentioned shows are probably better, overall.

    I’ve watched Atlantis from day one, so I know the show, but my continuing reason to watch has simply been because it was in the SG universe (and crossovers happen). Creatively or emotionally, I was never drawn to it. I liked certain characters, but it took three seasons to develop any sort of team-yness, which was what sucked me into SG-1. It’s those relationships that build a show, and early Atlantis was all about blowing stuff up and shiny, pretty sets.

  • WOW!
    I can honestly say that I didn’t expect the reaction to an off-the-cuff one line remark! But to sum up.

    To ewanspotter, I really do respect and appreciate your passion and I honestly didn’t mean to offend. STARGATE is just not my cup of tea. That said, I will now give Universe a try. Perhaps if I start from Day 1, I’ll find a new appreciation for the franchise 🙂

  • ewanspotter

    … and now that you’ve agreed to give it a chance, watch Universe fail epically.

    *le sigh*

    We shall see.

  • Doc38b

    Three months after this thread was posted I came across it. Do not know whether I should slam it or justify it.

    You stated numerous time that SG-1 and fanchise is not your cup of tea. Then why make a “off the cuff” remark and critique the show and state that it is a career ender.
    Enough of the other posted comments state the facts about career ender comment.
    As to the fanchise not being in the same class as BSG and the red headed step child. You are quite correct! Only in that it was a series that launched all “original programming” on a young SFI-FI network (after it was acquired from Showtime) and it never got the promotion or budgets that these new shows recieve. In part because there was always a slow burning battle between the network and the studio (MGM) over control, rights and so on. SFI-FI now is losing it’s core audience because it is following the major networks in producing low budget “reality” dribble and has a habit of cancelling shows it states are poor performers (but they have to pay serious fees for.