Archive for the ‘television production’ Category

Compliments of Canada’s Space Channel…

Dark Matter: FOUR’s Betrayal –

The Dark Matter stars talk the evolution of Zoie Palmer’s character, The Android –

Dark Matter: Behind the Scenes of “Isn’t That A Paradox?” –

P.S. – Keep reminding @SYFY how much you want to see a season 4.  The next week or so could be crucial to the show’s future!

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…with 642,00 overnight viewers.  Of course that number will more than double when you factor in delayed viewership as Dark Matter continues to rank amongst the Top 10 cable shows in percentage gains in the key demos and overall viewers. And, amazingly, while many shows demonstrate significant audience erosion season to season, we’re only off roughly 10% from last year’s numbers.  Hell, if it wasn’t for that single blip (Episode 308 during Comic Con), our demo average would be even with season 2, and our overall viewership average would actually be slightly higher!  And we owe it all to you, the fans.  I promise to reward you all with the most amazing season of Dark Matter yet…just as soon as we get that fourth season pickup!

One of my favorite behind the scene pics from Episode 310, “Built Not Born”.

And here’s one from this Friday night’s season finale, “Nowhere To Go”.


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“Ok, let’s… let’s all just take a breath, shall we?” – CR Sparrow at BlackGirlNerds

“Enemies and allies clashed as secrets were revealed and Ishida’s fate left in the air while we FLT our way into one last episode of the season.” – Blade of the Sashurai

“Just when I think I’ve got something figured out, it completely rips the carpet out from underneath.” – Jessica Lerner at SpoilerTV

“Dark Matter serves up plenty of secrets that could lead to yet another explosive finale…and hopefully beyond.” – Michael Air and DenOfGeek

“Ready?! I’m still processing it all over here.” – Cort Robinson at PureFandom

“I’ve been rooting for more Ryo-Raza Gang time since the beginning, since I have an inexplicable soft spot for him (I like burdened rulers who make bad decisions, okay? sue me), and this episode did not disappoint.” – Rachel Thomas at ScreenSpy

“What an episode! I can’t believe Ryo spilled everyone secrets. The season finale is going to be insane!” – Saraciea Fennell at Nerdophiles

Dark Matter Season 3 Episode 12, “My Final Gift To You,” packs a punch, with secret revelations mixed in with some character development.” – Hillary Esquina at Tell-Tale TV

“It’s a great thing when a show treats its penultimate episode as if it’s the season finale.” – Christopher Hart at The Nerd Recites

“This is a brilliant episode for Alex Mallari Jr. who gets to pretty much bring forth some added dimensions to his character of Ishida.” – Ian Cullen at SciFi Pulse

My chat about this episode with Kelly Townsend at The TVJunkies

After Dark

#RenewDarkMatter #FansDeserveASeason4

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Viewers tune in for the hook, but they stay for the characters.  It’s a lesson I learned working on Stargate.  As much as fans enjoy the sense of adventure, the action, and the dazzling visual effects, it’s the characters at the heart of each show that draw them back, week after week.  Whether it’s SG-1, the Atlantis expedition, the crew of The Destiny, or the crew of The Raza, fans check in with the characters they love because they’ve formed a connection with them.  They are, in a way, extended family members they can visit with every time they watch an episode.

I think that one of the things that makes Stargate and Dark Matter special (and you can include Killjoys in this unique grouping) is that they offer science fiction fans something unique and, frankly, atypical of the genre – a sense of fun.  They offer fans humor, whether in the stories or the characters themselves, something that goes such a long way toward establishing and fostering that aforementioned connection.  And, while Wynonna Earp isn’t scifi, its genre chops and own underlying sense of humor makes it the perfect accompaniment to the existing SYFY Friday lineup.  It’s the network’s most watched and most buzzed about night of programming.  Back in 2011, Io9’s Charlie Jane Anders presented an article titled: 10 Actual Mistakes That Syfy Has Made Over The Years.  Coming in at #3: “Abandoning Friday nights as an action-adventure bloc”.  Remember the SG-1/SGA/BSG triple-bill?  It was the original SciFi Friday lineup, the precursor to the existing Killjoys/Dark Matter/Wynonna Earp trifecta.  The parallels are stark and if history has taught us anything, it’s “Don’t abandon Friday nights as an action-adventure bloc”!

Stargate: SG-1 was officially cancelled August 21st, 2006.  In reality, the word came down down a little earlier – the night of the show’s 10th Anniversary party. The drinks and chocolate fountain were flowing, special commemorative booklets were being handed out, heartfelt speeches were being made and, at one point, amidst the celebration, the announcement was made.  The tenth season would be the show’s last.  But whether it was the acoustics or the booze or the generally festive atmosphere, most everyone missed it.  I remember standing there, cup of liquid chocolate in hand, and throwing a confused look over to my longtime writing partner, Paul Mullie.  “Did we just get cancelled?”  His eyes narrowed and his brow furrowed as though he was trying to work it out in his head: “I – think so?”

It’s hard to make an argument that SG-1 was cancelled prematurely after ten glorious years on the air…but I’m going to make one anyway.  It was premature. With the addition of Ben Browder, Claudia Black and Beau Bridges, and the introduction of a formidable new villain, plus some 300+ episodes of backstory and mythology to draw from, we still had so many stories to tell.  If MGM called me up and told me we’d be doing an 11th season of the show and needed scripts pronto, I can guarantee you I’d have no problem coming up with a slew.  Little known fact: Fans almost did get an 11th season of SG-1.  The studio was in talks with iTunes who, at the time, was very interested in saving the show for one final 20 episode bow – but sadly, in the end, contractual handcuffs prevented it from happening.

Stargate: Atlantis was cancelled August 21st of 2008.  If SG-1’s cancellation was a head scratcher, SGA’s was a fullout WTF?!  Mainly because it didn’t make sense. I mean, what better way to launch a new Stargate incarnation than alongside a veteran powerhouse?  One more season to wrap things up, say goodbye to the Atlantis expedition, and pass the torch.  Instead, the veteran was unceremoniously ushered out and the new kid on the block just as unceremoniously ushered in, giving the semblance that one was cancelled to make room for the other.  This, of course, wasn’t the case – but it didn’t matter.  The optics were bad and the damage was done.  The fans were pissed off – with predictable consequences.  If there’s another thing history has taught us, time and again, it’s this: “Don’t piss off the fans!”.  (See #1 on Charlie Jane Anders’ list).

Stargate: Universe was cancelled on December 16, 2010.  I remember receiving the news in the office and trying to contact series EP and co-creator Brad Wright to no avail as he and the cast were in San Diego, out on a U.S. Navy ship at the time and effectively incommunicado.  One of the actors later told me that the second they got into port, the cast checked their phones to discover their inboxes were full.  They all knew – it wasn’t good news.  Whether SG-1 and SGA’s runs ended too soon make for great debate, there’s no denying that, unlike SGU, both of those shows had endings that worked as series finales.  That wasn’t the case for SGU as the series ended with the Destiny crew going into stasis, leaving a solitary Eli to figure out a seemingly impossible problem.  Although the final shots of the ship’s various sections and systems going dark offer a perfect bookend to the show’s opening sequence of them coming alive, audiences were left hanging nevertheless. Destiny’s journey concluded prematurely and its tale ended incomplete.  Adding to the frustration was the fact that co-creator Brad Wright had an endgame in mind, a final sequence he was working towards…that he never got the chance to reveal.

Dark Matter’s present situation is similar to that of SGU.  Like Brad, I have an endgame in mind, one I’ve set up and have been working towards from the pilot.  I know every secret’s reveal, how each set-up pays off, how every story ends.  And, like Brad, I have the show’s final sequence in my head.  I just hope I’m afforded the opportunity to get there.

Ideally, when all is said and done, the Dark Matter journey will be a closer match to that of Atlantis’s.  Five full seasons – as it should be.

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Tied for #1 with a whopping 200% bump in viewers 18-34.

A bump of over 100% in total viewers.

Thanks to fans for making Dark Matter one of SYFY’s most watched shows!

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As we impatiently await word on that fourth season pickup, I thought it might be fun to give you all a little hint as to what lies ahead in the show’s fourth (and, if all goes as planned/hoped, penultimate) season.

No spoilers here, just tantalizing teasers for the next chapter of our space operatic epic!

Episode 401: Enemies are allies and allies are enemies.  Or are they?  Rebecca. Kryden.  Fallout!

Episode 4o2: The Anders op.  Once more unto the breach.

Episode 403: The Raza pre-mindwipe story.

Episode 404: FIVE’s family reunion.

Episode 405: Okay, seriously.  THIS has GOT to be a paradox!  Dangers, drive-ins, and disco.

Episode 406: Agents of G.A.  The Extraction.

Episode 407: FIVE in Wonderland.  Stargate alumnum guest star?

Episode 408: The Reunion.  Electus Corp.

Episode 409: Once and Future.

Episode 410: SDC joint op.  The Takedown.  One, maybe two, Stargate alumnum guest star(s)?

Episode 411: Power play.  The betrayal.

Episode 412: Safeguarding Rebecca’s secret.

Episode 413: Upheaval.  New Order.  Setting up the shows fifth and final season…

Come on, fandom.  Let SYFY know you want a season 4!

(P.S. And a special thanks to fandom for the awesome artwork).

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“Could you give Dark Matter fans anxiously waiting on renewal a positive argument for why the show should get picked up. Please make a positive case for the show.”

With no word yet on Dark Matter’s future and the finale fast-approaching, I’m often asked to gauge the chances of a renewal.  Although I’m as anxious as many of you (maybe even more anxious, if you can believe it), I remain cautiously optimistic about our chances of returning for a fourth season.  Here’s why…

The ratings have been pretty consistent and not all that far off from season’s 2 average with two more episodes to go.  That’s no small feat given that most shows demonstrate a more precipitous drop in viewership season to season.  We are also SYFY’s third-ranked show in overnight viewers, only ten percent off from last season’s average, and when you factor in the +3 viewership (which is what most broadcasters focus on nowadays), we bump up even higher.  In fact, I suspect we are one of SYFY’s biggest boosted shows in time-delayed viewership bumps.

We’re a cost-effective production.

We’re part of a solid SYFY Friday lineup alongside equally great shows like Killjoys and Wynonna Earp, shows that, like Dark Matter, deliver a sense of fun and family atypical of a lot of t.v.’s grimmer offerings.  The SYFY Friday triple header is unique and has built a loyal following, one that can only continue to grow as fans of one show discover the many great things the other SYFY Friday shows have to offer (and here’s my quick pitch to check out Killjoys at 8/7 C airing right before Dark Matter, and Wynonna Earp at 10/9 C immediately following Dark Matter).

SYFY is serious about its commitment to scifi!  It has moved away from the non-SF programming that rankled a lot of diehard fans and really pledged themselves to the genre with programming ranging from fun ship-based scifi like Dark Matter to lush operatic hard SF like The Expanse to more urban fantasy like The Magicians.  It offers a wide variety of programming for a wide range of fandom tastes.

And speaking of fans, SYFY’s new rebranding is accompanied by the tagline: It’s A Fan Thing.  They recognize and respect the importance of that fanbase and, although they can’t keep everyone happy all the time, they have striven toward keeping many happy a lot of the time, rewarding committed viewers.

Dark Matter’s season 3 finale will set up a whole new storyline for the show’s fourth season, one that I’ve already hinted at – and a number of you have already figured out.  If season 1 was Secrets and Surprises, and season 2 was Risks and Redemption, and season 3 is Victories and Vengeance, then season 4 will be…wait for it…Androids and Aliens!  And come on!  You CAN’T get more scifi than that!

Fans have proven how much they love these characters.  It’s too soon to say goodbye to the crew of The Raza!

We’re only two-thirds of the way through our grand story and finally paying off many of the stories we set in play back in the show’s first season.  What circumstances turned Rebecca into the ruthless Portia?  How will THREE come to terms with Sarah’s new corporeality?  Have we seen the last of FOUR?  Will FIVE reunite with her sister?  Has SIX fully let go of his past?  What part will the Android play in the coming machine uprising?  Who’s Kryden?  Who’s Carina?  What are The Accelerated?  The Black Ships?

Stay positive, Dark Matter fans!  Hit social media!  Get on twitter and let SYFY know you want a fourth season!



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