Just in time for Superbowl Sunday.  I’ll be cooking up some Berkshire pork chops with thyme, rosemary, and rendered bacon for the big game which I’ll be watching with Ivon and co. Given the time, I may even attempt a tiramisu.  But given how I’m feeling right now, it’s a long shot.  I feel as though I’ll be sleeping in ’til kickoff.

Today was a travel day.  But, mercifully, the best kind of travel day.  The kind that sees you sleeping late, checking out at noon, then catching a flight back to the west coast and gaining three hours in the process.  It’s 8:35 PST time as I write this entry but my mind is on Eastern Standard Time, so just in case I start making less than usual, please forgive me.

I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Paul and Alex this morning.  That simplicity of that bowl of a oatmeal was a much needed respite from the upscale dining I’d enjoyed during my stay.  We sat back, chatted, and considered possible scenarios ranging from the possible to the highly unlikely.  There’s still a good chance we’ll be involved in the production, though perhaps not to the extent we’d originally planned.

Still, regardless of whether we come back or not, I will say I had a very good week – much better than I’d expected.  And one of the high points was getting to know this guy –

Writer/Exec. Producer Alexander M. Ruemelin.

Didn’t know anything about him going in and I was admittedly a little nervous since there was a good chance I’d be working with the guy for an entire season.  As it turned out, I was mightily impressed.  He’s terrific in the room, has a great story sense, and – bonus – is one hell of a funny guy.  I’ll miss him.  The other day, I received an email from Carl Binder who decried the fact that he’d already been replaced in the writers’ room by an equally ranty German.

Lots of pre and post-flight emails and text messages certainly made for an interesting day – and holds the promise of an equally interesting Sunday and, possibly, Monday. Something tells me Paul and I may be convening to discuss action set-pieces after all.

Meanwhile, for all those wondering – which I assume is A LOT of you – the Stargate situation remains fluid, and the tidbits of information I’ve received continue to sound very promising for a conclusion to the SGU story (in addition to a few more goodies).  It’s slow but positive progress.  Hopefully, I’ll know more this Tuesday when I go in to watch the Day 1 mix of Blockade and Day 2 mix of Common Descent.

48 thoughts on “February 5, 2011: And back to Vancouver!

  1. so just in case I start making less than usual, please forgive me.

    That’s been my problem for the last couple of years 😉

    Enjoy the Super Bowl…I`m making a decadent variant of Mac&Cheese and of course, a cheesecake. Guess I’ll root for the Cheese-Heads since I’m making Mac&Cheese.

  2. Hey Joe,

    I bet the pups were happy to have you home. Wow…a party the next day. Good thing it is a lounge around the TV moment. Your food does sound ambitious…I have a super-bowl party tomorrow too. I don’t like football…but my family promises I’ll enjoy the food. They cook up and storm and party all day. Oh help…

    Last year all the women were in the kitchen and I ended up in the living room with all the men. Arm-chair coaching takes on new meaning in this setting. I WILL find a place in the kitchen this year. :o( Family…

    I must admit to be disappointed things didn’t work out better for you on this deal. Loved hearing about the meetings and food. Had to giggle a little over some of the dishes. What an adventurous life you have Joe. *smiles*

    Best to you and your pups,
    Cheryl 🙂

  3. (Hi anneteldy!)

    Your friend Alex looks like he would have been quite a character. Too bad…

  4. Hello to all! I’m as well as can be expected. I’m much more tired than usual but I read Mr. M’s blog every day even if I don’t post. Thanks to everyone for all the cards, letters, postcards, gifts, etc. They help a lot.

    Anne Teldy

  5. Anne!!!! good to see you on-line!!!

    Heya Joe, enjoy the football finale. Feedings at your house and by your hand always sound wonderful.
    We know you will have more dessert than “just” tiramisu.

  6. Oh, by the way. My niece Leah is taking a grad-level course on cult television which will include discussions on the Stargate franchise. She’s very excited to tell them about her aunt, the ‘real’ Anne Teldy.

    Anne Teldy

  7. Is it possible that you could be involved in the production in such a way that you could keep your home in Vancouver? I think that would be a good option for you, don’t you think? It would give you time to work on other projects as well as working on a current production. I hope that will work out as you guys seems to have such a good time in the spin sessions. Loving what you do and who you do it with gives the most job satisfaction.

    To carl: You can never be replaced. Your smiling mug is forever etched in our brains.

  8. Your food fare for tomorrow’s game sounds so much more appetizing than mine. Since I’ll be hosting a roomful of (nearly all) college-aged men, I had to go with food aimed at the lowest common denominator. Thus, pizza and nacho cheese dip. One year, I’ll host a fancy Superbowl party. But for now, I’ll just have to enjoy watching my team beat the pants off the Steelers. 😉

    Have fun watching the game with your crew!

  9. Best of luck to Alex on his transporter show. Hope it does well.

    Anyway I don’t understand why Syfy are showing an SGU marathon after they cancelled the show, AND have removed any date of when the show will be returning?

    Not complaining about the marathon thing, that’s a good thing, but it’s hardly the actions of a channel looking to rid itself of a show, like they did with Caprica.

  10. Must. Not. Be. Giddy! Must…not!! 😀 LOVE the positive news on the SGU front! Wuhoo!

    As usual, I have nothing witty and/or pertinent to say, but just wanted to add my 2 cents.

    🙂 LJ

  11. Damn you Joe, now you got me hungry 😉
    Yeah I am so curious to see your new show.

    A SGU fan question: if SGU returns for a conclusion would it be under the form of a final season 3 or a mini serie (3-4-5 episodes ?) or even a TV movie?
    I am not being difficult at all, I ll take anything you (production and MGM guys) can give us.
    Many thanks again for keeping us informed and good luck on that Toronto show 🙂
    take care

  12. So, this has got to be a first…or at least a first for me. I just saw a teaser for a Super Bowl ad. Teasers for advertisements now? What is this world coming to?


  13. So a tv show based on the Transporter movies? Or am I already behind a the times 😉

  14. The Atlantis movie is getting the go ahead!!!

    And if it isnt, just blame Joe again.

  15. I think it’s great that you had a wonderful time in Toronto. I’ll be curious if you end up on the project to find out what it is! (I was just watching Firefly last night and thinking how glad I was to be able to still enjoy these actors in other settings and I hope our sgu gang is just as successful).

    Am I interpreting correctly that a third season is the least likely option to happen??

  16. Hi
    I can’t wait to hear more about what you figure out about stargate:) just hope you make a great ending for it.
    uuh and what ever else youre gonna do 😀

  17. Glad you made it back okay. I always like to hear about the food you’re making or eating. Give me impetus to try something new. I’ll look forward to hearing any possible Stargate news on Tuesday.

    Have a great day!!!

  18. Joe,

    Wowzers your making my mouth water for those pork chops what time should I be over? I might be a little delayed at the border while I show the right papers…. o wait I haven’t even gotten my papers – damn new rules anyways.

    Questions for you:
    Do you feel as productive sitting that far away and working from home on a show?

    Glad to see you mention “conclusion” to SGU. Was really hoping to hear about a regular continuation instead, but I think myself and others fans won’t be toooooo greedy.
    I think we will take what we can get with one more final kick butt season or even an awesome movie/ show to get a good closure on it. But if I had MY CHOICE and I owned MGM, Syfy and all the cards I would make it run as long as the creative people behind it, could handle making it.

  19. Sorry guys I almost forgot to do the last day of this:

    Hey Joe and SGU fans,

    Fun with numbers yet once again. One week ago I posted what the numbers of Facebook fans that were on the pages and I made a promise to post the numbers one last time. Today I am following up as promised.
    Looking at the numbers:
    The first number in the row is a week ago. The second number is today’s number. The last number in the row is the gain or loss of fans on that page.

    37,363 –>38,938 (+1,575) Stargate Universe (Tv show- Australia Page)
    11,605 –>11,680 (+75) Stargate Universe
    1,458 –>1,653 (+195) SG:Unite

    12,632 –> 13,378 (+746) Save Stargate Universe
    772 –>776 (+4) Because We Love Stargate Universe
    536 –>558 (+22) SAVE SGU!!!

    192,386–>196,318 (+3932) Stargate Universe (TV Show)
    64,852 –>65,613 (+761) Stargate Official Fan page
    887 –>905 (+18) Stargate Universe Awareness Campaign

    1016 –> 1,049 (+33) Boycott Syfy: Save SGU
    2717 –> 2,741 (+24) Sg Universe
    8 –>20 (+12) Stargate Universe

    220 –> 225 (+5) Stargate Universe
    329 –> 334 (+5) Stargate Universe
    153 –> 183 (30) Save Stargate: Universe
    577 –> 591 (14) Save Stargate Universe
    377 –> 377(0) Stargate Universe TR
    1,323 –> 1,322 (-1) Stargate Universe
    136 –> 139 (3) Stargate Universe SG-U

    Total fans that are a part of these 19 Facebook pages today for (Feb 6, 2011) is: 336,674+ (I say plus because there are additional fans adding themselves to the pages as I total these numbers up, so they keep changing).
    The gain to fans today from last Sunday was 7,335. Don’t forget the duplication factor and the 140 plus fan pages that were not taking into this total. And since the last tally several more fan pages with good followings have been started but for the purpose of looking at gains (from previous days) I have not added them in here.
    Over 336,674 fans on Facebook alone are rooting Stargate Universe to make a come back to the television screen and give them a third season.
    That is the end of the numbers fun on here.

    All I got to say is Stargate Universe fans rock and they are waking up to be heard.

  20. I’m happy that you had a good time in T.O. I secretly hope that you’ll have some part in the production after all, so that we can lure you to Ontario!

    Thanks for the update on SGU and SG in general. Always good to hear something positive.

  21. @ scottland7

    Glad to see any sort of fans rallying together, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s a little too late. I mean, think about the announcement of SGU. Alienated Atlantis fans everywhere, and then the show started out slow and over drama-ey, like a backwards step in the maturity you guys were trying to include. Then, just as it seemed to strike a nice balance between angst and science fiction, SyFy cancelled it because the slow start just wasn’t getting the fans, and by extension, the Neilsen ratings.

    Now the fans are starting to come together as one again, but the damage has been done. TPTB are no longer willing to listen because of the BS arguments that some of us (and yes, I am willing to take some responsibility for my part in that) have given, and the fact that some of the more extremist factions of the Stargate fandom even tried boycotting SGU in order to get their precious SGA back.

    If the groups (TPTB and fandom) had simply trusted each other (yes, fandom, it is a two way street), maybe SGU would have been able to stand up and say “Hey, look guys, I’m Chuck Norris!” but instead it turned into Batman turned back into Bruce Wayne, crushed between Chuck Norris’ thighs.

  22. “tidbits of information I’ve received continue to sound very promising for a conclusion to the SGU story (in addition to a few more goodies).”

    Yay! 😀 It’ll be nice to see proper conclusion to SGU. I hope we see more of the blue aliens. I was watching “Justice” on syndie this weekend. I just love those blue aliens. They’re just sooo cool. 🙂 Hope the crew gets to interact with them more. And…what this ‘few more goodies’??? I hope you can give us more info on that. 😉 Thank you Joe for keeping us update on Stargate stuff. 🙂

  23. @SyFy cancelled it because the slow start just wasn’t getting the fans, and by extension, the Neilsen ratings.

    I think the show had the fans Tenacious D, but said fans didn’t have a Nielson box, and thus they lost out in the end.

    It’s amazing that a small amount of Nielson box users can make or break a show on the Syfy channel.

    If you read up on it, the amount of Nielson boxs out there compared to the population of America is just ridiculusly small.

  24. I just hate Nielson ratings. I think it’s all a crock, but unfortunately the advertisers don’t. Everyone I know DVRs or downloads everything now. Networks and cable just do not schedule shows when they are convenient for everyone.

    I do hope that Stargate finds a home somewhere. It will be so nice to finish up the storyline that was started for SGU. Here’s to remaining employed in some fashion.

  25. I read an article about the possible ‘sci-fi’ series that will be piloted this year, and I finally understood why SGU was killed and why it will never come back.

    The list contained a lot of weird vampire/cop/superhero mixtures that left me cold and distant. I somewhat like the genres, but they don’t exite me like series with kick-ass spaceships. Then it hit me. This must be how the network executives feel. On that moment, I could totally relate to them.

    On my left is a guy who says that these are the current hot topics (superheroes etc.). Then on my right is a guy presenting the list of scripts that meet the ‘demand’. Perfect. As an executive, all I want to see is golf, so I really don’t give a crap how good these series are (I don’t watch them anyway) – all I’m interested is the amount of viewers they produce.

    To the executives, SGU is just a series among others. It didn’t have enough viewers, so it is killed. Simple. Yes, there is some whining in the Internet and some campaigns to save it, but the executives are here to make big profit, not charity.

    What can you do? It’s capitalism at best and it sucks.


  26. Hi Joseph,

    Just a heads-up. During your recent T.O visit, you mentioned how the production offices of Covert Affairs were in the same building.

    Not sure if your familar with the show, but it is on Showcase, and they are repeating the series pilot tonight. I watched a few episodes and it seemed decent enough. Just thought you might be interested in case you didn’t know.

  27. Great news on the SG front! I can only hope the future contains a movie….
    I am half way through Season 10 of SG1, the commentary sections. You had some interesting tidbits in The Quest pt 1.
    I listening to the commentaries over the last two seasons there was much talk lamenting the loss of locations.
    How has the decrease in places to shoot on location changed your scene selection in writing for SGU?

    Hope your team wins the Lombardi trophy today well at least your best of the two.

    As far as audience share and TV rating go, the old model is a dinosaur. I was listening to a local talk show, he is prof. of Econ. at a near by University and recently elected to the state Legislature. He was talking about getting rid of his cable provider as the price for the service has become prohibitive. He is going to go to those rental services as they are providing more and more shows and view on demand.

  28. @SpaceshipsRule

    You wouldn’t happen to be Craig Engler the GM and senior vice president of Syfy Digital would you?

    Yes I guess it is a business, but my feet stand firmly in the fact that great shows and veteran franchises should be given a bigger chance to succeed and flourish than a mere untested johnny come lately show on for one season.

    (Sorry no offense to you Johnny if you’re reading this). 🙂

    We are still using an archaic sampling system to measure the ratings in the US (with a huge population, diversification, and many ways of watching our entertainment). This old system will only stay like this if people don’t speak up and put pressure toward the networks (and the Nielsen’s rating system) to do their part in challenging the conventional wisdom of the day.

    LOL what are the networks going to do if all the Nielsen households turn the tv to Netflix only (if some amount hasn’t already)? Do you want to trust those kind of ratings if you’re a sponsor looking for a good place to advertise? My household alone in the last year picked Netflix up and we have started watching almost 50-75% of our entertainment on there. I mean its obvious why. When I can tune to what I want and when I want and if I like it I can get more of it on right then. (I can get my Stargate fix anytime I want). 🙂
    I choose to watch my new episode shows on TV because I know it supports my show, the people/ entities who work to bring it to life AND it supports the broadcasting, programming and marketing people while keeping the lights and heat on at the station/network that brings me it. When they don’t want to listen to the fans (and hold up the Nielsen ratings example) I can either turn off their station, or “whine” but I prefer to say provide feedback to them of the shows I would like to stay on the air.

    So in all I am a fan, I don’t like watching golf and I need to speak up and challenge this kind of archaic thinking which needs some major adjustments. Thanks for listening to me whine.

  29. @scottland7: Here! Here! I completely agree with you. I don’t see how they can say the Nielsens reflect an accurate sample of the population anymore–not with all the choices in channels, types of programming, and ways to watch said types of programming. My family watches probably a fifth of the channels we have on our satellite because the programming choices are so poor. So sad that TPTB do not care about funding an accurate model.

  30. Hello Joe.

    How are you enjoying the game? I hope we get treated to a late post tonight telling is about your big Super Bowl Party.
    Was anyone else as let down by the Halftime show as I was?

    Hmmm… News that we might get to see how the story ends (and other goodies as well: SGA movie maybe)? Keep us in the loop, and I hope you told Rob we all say “Hello.”

    Best Wishes,


  31. Hi everyone,

    Been having a Superbowl party of my own with my cat. I made Carrot and Cumin Dip. The texture was a bit off, was a bit too thick. Breakfast was scrambled eggs with veggies, that turned out pretty good although I got distracted and it wasn’t as fluffy as it was supposed to be.

    Did you have any kitchen disasters?

    Hope you, Ivon and the boys are having a wonderful time – want heaps of photos. I picked the Packers…how about you?

    Cheers, Chev

  32. Joe,

    Long time reader in Toronto, first time commenter. Unfortunately I missed a week so this advice is late, but next time you come to my city:

    1. Chocolate: SOMA! They take their chocolate at least as seriously as you do. I’m the fortunate spouse of one of their staff, and I can tell you that even their rejected product is premium.

    2. Black Hoof: Yeah, they don’t take reservations, but it’s always been worth the wait in my experience (thrice). I’ve been to some alleged top-tier places in Toronto and none of them quite compared. If you wait at the bar, the drinks are tasty too. P.S. I’m neither a hipster nor a douchebag, as far as I know.

  33. What’s a good comic book to introduce comic books to a five year old?

    Where would I get such an item?

    The kid is learning to read and write and he draws well. I’m hoping to encourage him to put together one of his own. He likes plumbing and machines and explosions.

  34. Just tasting the pumpkin and dill soup I made….yeah me no likey the cloves that much.

    Joe, how many misses do you make before you get a hit?

    Cheers, Chev

  35. Anne Teldy! It’s good to see you on the blog. Tell your neice, “Go for it!” Let us know how the grad class reacts when they hear from a relative of Anne Teldy. 😀 Sending prayers for healing and good health. *hugs*

  36. @Randomness

    I know. It’s kinda dinosaur like that the system still exists. That’s why I liked the Disney Channel back in the day when it first came out. All the commercials were promos of their content. Nothing else. I would actually force my parents to sit through them when we VHS’d the stuff (because back in the day, DVR was either brand new or not out yet) so that I could see what’s going on. That’s what TV needs to start doing. Yes, the ad companies pay them, but if they could start generating their own revenue this way (I still don’t know quite how. I’ll get back to you guys as soon as I’ve drawn up some plans.), it would go a long way towards not only keeping good shows on the air, but to stabiliing global economy as well.

    The fact is that the advertisers are relying too much on TV ads to sell products. I don’t even pay attention to ads when I do watch them. If I want to buy something, I’m going to buy it. I didn’t need a TV ad to buy my PS3. I just wanted a PS3. I didn’t even care about the ads. I saw it in action (for more than just 30 seconds). I bought it. End of story. I didn’t need an ad to buy my HDTV. I just wanted something that could play SGA and the last three seasons of SG-1 on 1080i and got it. No ads. Hell, I didn’t even need TV ads to get my car, AND it’s a sweet ride. We didn’t need TV ads back in the 1800’s when TV was just some random Leonardo da Vinci notes from way earlier, why do advertisers think we need them now? Not-over-the-top product placement. That’s how the advertising companies need to fund their shows.

    In summation, advertising has always been unnecessary from its inception, and franchises like Stargate are hurting due to it’s continuing, strangling choke hold.

  37. @ spaceshipsrule

    I hope True Lies does not get made into a series. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the movie, but the fact is that Arnold Schwarzenegger is 63, and there is only one Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  38. I think ‘slow character/story development’ is no longer an option for a sci-fi series (like SGU) to live. It’s a shame, but a new series needs to have a capturing start and keep that moment going on at least for the first half of the season.

    Keep the masses interested for so long that they start to adopt the characters and relate to them. After that has happened, THEN you can start to deepen the story and take more liberal sidesteps.

    That’s your recipe for a successful series.

    Although why it didn’t work with Firefly…? Go figure.

  39. Sorry to bother you! I was curious if you heard anything about SGU? I watch a lot of televison (and by a lot, I mean we need 3 DVRs in my house with 2 lines each, so a LOT). SGU was the #1 show that I looked forward to every week. I am a forensic psychologist, and I was completely intrigued by the character development and totally absorbed by the psychological undercurrent to the storyline. Any people who claim the show sucked must not have seen the things I saw every episode, so I just wanted to toss in my 2 cents and supprort for the cast and crew. Thank You, and please add my name to any list you have of people who are very sad to see this show cancelled!!


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