In truth, pretty damn close.

So often, you’ll hear stories long after the fact.  Like how Apple almost brought Stargate: SG-1 back for an iTunes exclusive 11th and final season.  Or how Canada’s Space Channel attempted to save Stargate: Universe.  But in this case, the events are fairly recent  – a last ditch effort to save Dark Matter spearheaded by some old friends.  An effort that, had it been successful, would have seen characters from the world of Stargate crossover into the Dark Matter universe.   Or, technically and creatively, vice-versa.  I kid you not.

Not long after word broke of the syfy cancellation, we had several interested parties reach out to us.  One of the most intriguing of them was was MGM, my former home for 12 glorious years while I was working on the Stargate franchise.   They loved the show.  They were aware of the fanbase.  And they recognized a great opportunity.

Over the course of a week, with the window of opportunity to save the show growing narrower, I had several long and involved conversations with Simon Graty (EVP & GM Domestic Networks at MGM Studios), Kieran Dickson (Editorial Director at MGM), and Jenny Stiven (Consultant, Digital/Social Strategy & Content, Influencer Marketing).  The plan, if successful, would have seen Dark Matter’s fourth season premiere on MGM’s streaming platform, Stargate Command, alongside the upcoming Stargate: Origins series.  Perhaps equally intriguing was the prospect of doing some sort of Dark Matter/Stargate crossover that would rev up the fanbase in advance of further original Stargate programming down the road.

The two things working against us were time and existing contracts, the latter which proved our undoing.  BUT we came so close –

To a fourth season of Dark Matter.

To a sci-fi crossover for the ages.

Ultimately, we weren’t successful, but I want to thank MGM, and especially Simon, Jenny, and Kieran, for reaching out and trying to make it happen.

October 12, 2017: How Mgm Almost Saved Dark Matter – And How Close We Came To A Dark Matter/stargate Crossover!

Today, Ivon and I caught up with a couple of the individuals who orchestrated that attempted 11th hour save (Jenny and Kieran), as we sat down with them, and Gateworld’s David Reed, for late lunch and three hours of reminiscing about the old Stargate  days.

Watch for our interview, and many more, coming to Stargate Command.

78 thoughts on “October 12, 2017: How MGM Almost Saved Dark Matter – And How Close We Came to a Dark Matter/Stargate Crossover!

  1. Joe, do circumstances allow you to explain the “existing contracts” that got in the way? Space Channel, or whoever held international distribution rights, or someone else?

  2. That makes me almost tear-up with joy at what could have been. As sad as I am that it wasn’t workable, thank you for sharing what was going on while we were all coming together. We know you worked as hard as you could for your baby and our beloved show. I can now fantasize about the stories that could have been and that’s sad but kind of awesome too.
    Thanks Joe.

  3. Also, was Netflix ever interested? I see that they are planning on spending $7 billion on content for 2018. How could they not be willing to spend $60 million for two seasons of Dark Matter (perhaps less if Space continued to kick in for Canadian rights), given that they already held streaming rights to the first three seasons? It is incomprehensible to me.

    1. I was curious about this too but couldn’t work up the courage to ask. I assume since Netflix is already streaming Dark Matter, that a contract was signed at some point and it didn’t just “blink” in from nowhere. Obviously Joe, Prodigy or basically the show’s representation has a direct line to Netflix, and presumably a direct line to the right people who can make those decisions. So it’s probably safe to say Netflix was approached but either deferred or declined due to financial reasons, or because of those pesky existing contracts (which were most likely peppered with non-disclosure agreements.) It always seems to boil down to dollars and lawyers. Hopefully Joe will be able to provide more details someday, as this whole process has peaked my interest just as much as Dark Matter itself did.

    2. I heard Netflix was not one of the interested parties, but that’s not something I’d swear to.

  4. You know what Joe this could really prove to be beneficial for you in the future because if MGM could take Stargate command and turn it into what the Syfy network should have been something devoted to science fiction fans you could possibly get your military sci-fi project off the ground and I would definitely sign up to Stargate command and pay them whatever kind of monthly subscription dues they wanted if I felt like I was going to get the kind of Science Fiction programming that I and a lot of other fans out there are longing for great science fiction in space and maybe get that finale for Stargate Universe we’ve been asking for if I were you I would push this to them just an idea good luck

    1. What I was thinking, as well. Sad that Syfy seems more interested in shlocky movies like Sharknado and in gorefests like Van helsing and Blood Drive.

  5. Finally, do any of the existing contracts that blocked you this time expire in the future, possibly opening up another window for the series to continue? I will really not be satisified with anything other than more Dark Matter. Thank you.

  6. Some Stargate easter eggs in Dark Matter would have been neat. Maybe a background ad in a space station that said something like “Goa’uld? In MY head? It’s more likely than you think!” or a space junkyard with the Daedalus in the background.

  7. This is both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
    How fabulous would it have been for it to have come to fruition.
    Huge thanks to all those involved in their attempts.
    I hope one day, that this could still become a future partnership, when contracts are more favourable.

  8. That would’ve been so sick. Damn!

    On a somewhat related note… hopefully when Stargate Origins shows MGM that there is still demand for Stargate even nowadays hopefully they create a completely new show like Atlantis / Universe… maybe with Joseph on board?!

  9. Damn contracts!! With whom? Are they existing now? Is there a potential for future collaboration if the stars align and the cards line up…? In the immortal words of Peter Quincy Taggert: “never give up, never surrender”!

  10. To use an old wrestling term, the the POP would have been huge! Combine both fan bases and Stargate Command would have blown up the streaming world. That would have been a fans fantasy come true! Damn what a miss!

  11. what existing contracts? SYFY cuts you lose game over free to fly or let me guess the asshats that run SYFY cuts the show but wants all the bodys that were on it

  12. Thank you MGM for reaching out. Crushed that contracts couldn’t be renegotiated to provide a way for the shows to intertwine and support the fanbase, actors, staff and writers.

    That would have been an EPIC save. Truly. I must accept simply every effort was made and bow my head in thanks for the difficult and time sensitive discussions even if they didn’t bear the hoped for fruit.

    It is also nice to hear WHO stood up, gives MGM some loyalty props for trying to support this beautiful production. If ever a window reopens, I know this fanbase would jump aboard the platform.

    Thanks

  13. I can’t decide whether an SG/DM crossover would be epic or abysmal!

    Also, how have I not heard about Stargate: Origins? What rock have I been living under?

  14. That would have been MINDBLOWING!!!! 2 of my favourite franchises together !! Aw well .. thanks to MGM, Simon, Keiran and Jenny for trying.
    Lots of SciFi love to all of you!

  15. Wow! Joe now that would have been a interesting crossover Stargate and Dark Matter in one show . Thanks again for working so hard to try to save the show. Also I have a question I went to send my letter to you today and the postal code keep coming back to a town called
    Etobicoke and not Toronto like it is listed on your blog?

    1. “Wow! Joe now that would have been a interesting crossover Stargate and Dark Matter in one show . Thanks again for working so hard to try to save the show. Also I have a question I went to send my letter to you today and the postal code keep coming back to a town called
      Etobicoke and not Toronto like it is listed on your blog?”

      The studio is in Etobicoke so it should find its way there.

  16. Soon as I read that article on SyFraud for Stargate Origins on its own Stargate Command streaming platform, this was the first thing I thought of. Apologies if I’m overstepping, but how crazy restrictive are those existing contracts? Are they perpetual or would they eventually expire so that maybe in a couple years’ time, if there was no other pick up within the boundaries of existing contracts, it would permit a project like this to happen? I can understand if one of those contracts is with Netflix and their streaming rights, but Netflix seems to only hold onto streaming rights for a finite time and then the property is removed from the platform. And if that’s the case, couldn’t there be a collaborative effort between MGM and Netflix for MGM to have first rights on new seasons for a year and then transfer them over to Netflix as was done with SyFy? Man all this legal stuff makes my head spin…

  17. I was wondering about Stargate Command. I thought it would have been a perfect fit.

    It also would have been hilarious if you could have pulled off a Stargate Universe crossover, with Destiny following the black ships out the wormhole.

    Look you could have finished two shows at once!

  18. Wow. That’s an incredible story, thank you for sharing with us (how exciting it must have been!) If we Dark Matter fans can keep up the fan love, (I’ll love it for years!) maybe Dark Matter can come back. I want to believe! But most importantly, is now you have time for creativity and relaxation, and you’ve still got great ideas in your head. Dark Matter really is a series that stands on its own, it deserved to be the most watched sci fi show because it was that good. It was a gorgeous show.

  19. What a great effort and idea. Thanks to everyone involved in the attempt.
    If it is possible to learn what the contract issues that stopped this were (even in very general sense) that would be interesting to know. It seems so counter-intuitive that when a network that gives up on a show that the old contract can stop that production going elsewhere. Shows should enjoy free agency if they get cancelled.

  20. Hmm… okay… we wont get Dark Matter… How about Stargate Universe, if MGM want to do something next to SGO 😉

  21. This is heartbreaking. I loved, LOVED Stargate. Everything about it! the only show I could be allowed to watch for the rest of time, and I’d be okay with that. I discovered Dark Matter on netflix, shortly after the second season. It sucks to hear as I’m finishing season three that the show is no more. I will cherish my time that we I’ve spent with it.

  22. I hope this leads to conversations about bringing Stargate back in the form of a new one hour series or possibly turning some of the books into Stargate specials. So close yet so far. Keep up the good work.

    1. That would have been the biggest WTF surprise crossover, since Dead Man revealed to Yassa that he was the former Judge known as Dredd back in the late 1980’s.

  23. Oh, I wish it were so. From a man who has “come back from the dead” I make little joke. Now I can make only jokes. From stories I have heard and have no memory of events real or not, I can only make jokes. It is how I can stay real and sane. I had a call today with a teleconference from work. I am not going back but have a hope that I will. Time is on my side. Can’t say that in today’s world but it is a hope. Just like I had a call from my Thai girl friend this morning. We haven’t talked in months but I can still converse in Thai. Time.

  24. Aww, just the thought of it was exciting to read. Still hoping. It definitely would be great to have Stargate back again along with Dark Matter Season 4 & 5

  25. I am still missing and wishing for the long ago promised Stargate Atlantis movie(s)! THAT was the greatest sci fi show and it ended WAY too soon. As much as I liked Dark Matter and will miss it…SGA was superior in every way.

  26. This would have been so awesome! Even as it is, Dark Matter really helped make up for the lack of an active Stargate series. But now we’ll need something to fill the void being left by Dark Matter! And in the same way that some Stargate characters (*cough* Weir and McKay) “lived on” in Dark Matter, so could Dark Matter characters live on in another show. Ultimately, no matter what platform it airs on or what the title is, for as long as you continue making your trademark lighthearted-but-thought-provoking shows, we’ll continue being there to watch and support them 🙂

    Oh and a P.S. since this is my first time actually posting a comment here: Thanks so much to you Joe as well as the rest of the cast and crew for the tremendous amount of effort put forth in both producing these shows as well as all the extra updates and interactions on the side. You all really go above and beyond to treat your fans well and it’s very much appreciated.

  27. Hey Joe!
    How wonderful to hear you had a much nicer day today.
    What was for lunch?
    And Wow. That is so cool
    the folks handling MGM’s digital streaming service
    enjoyed DM as well.
    Seems the SG Command site,
    desiring your built in massive loyal fan base
    to help them become as big a success as possible,
    could open a whole new set of possibilities for ya
    without having to pimp and push too hard just to sell an idea.

    Well, being you had such a pleasant day,
    I truly hate to be the bearer of bad news
    albeit …
    Our ZoeBot is in REALLY BIG trouble and desperately needs our help!
    When DM ended she was apparently so distraught and not thinking clearly
    she allowed herself to fall victim to an evil corporations scam.

    Shortly after Nofy cancelled the Raza crews beautifully complex
    journey of self discovery,
    (which essentially meant Zoe Bot would be destroyed and she’d no longer
    get to wear those fun funky low cut outfits),
    reps from Microsoft approached her and convinced her
    she and her perky playful boobs would make for the perfect social ambassador for their company
    and it was now legal under the new U.S administration
    to skirt any copyright infringement laws, to make it so,
    simply via dropping one simple letter from her name.

    Unfortunately,
    What they did not tell her was
    She was to be the hostess and main recruiter
    for their new Sadism product division!!!
    Thus, as soon as she signed the contract
    they uninstalled her original ethics protocols.

    They now have her actually brutally
    blowing up poor sweet innocent kittens
    and encouraging each new potential client
    to do the same!!!

    OMG!
    I aint kidding ya ’bout this!

    Read the damn horrifyingly shocking press release
    on the microsoft site in the link below for yourself!

    SOMETHING MUST BE DONE
    ABOUT THESE ABSOLUTELY HEINOUS EVIL DOERS NOW!!!

    https://blogs.microsoft.com/ai/2017/09/13/microsofts-social-bot-zo-wants-play-exploding-kittens/

  28. Oh WOW, I would have loved it to have been successful! That would have been awesome! ! I’ve loved both series, & Stargate was THE BEST EVER!!!

  29. What a shame this didn’t happen even with these guys on your side. I wish you every success in the future

  30. Can’t believe y’all let another great Syfy hit be discontinue. Way to let your fans down. All we did for the show and y’all couldn’t find away to save it! I see it’s not about the fans. Shame on y’all!

    1. “Can’t believe y’all let another great Syfy hit be discontinue. Way to let your fans down. All we did for the show and y’all couldn’t find away to save it! I see it’s not about the fans. Shame on y’all!”

      Please direct this at @SYFY. They are solely responsible for letting you and your fellow fans down.

  31. Does Dark Matter end “well” or is it another show that goes out on a cliffhanger? I’m still waiting to see season two but hate the thought of investing the time only to be left dangling at the end.

  32. That would have been frigging EPIC! Infinite nerdgams across the universe epic. And it’s a damn shame it didn’t happen.

    Can you be just vague enough to be informative about the contract issue(s)? Was it scheduling or money?

    I’ll look forward to that interview. But please tell me the girl with the camera didn’t have to kneel for the entire thing. Ouch!

  33. Wow! That would have been so cool!!! Soooo, I’m guessing it was Syfy that was being unreasonable. You’ve had a few shows cancelled but you haven’t expressed dislike for Syfy before now. (that you shared with us)

    You never know about karma. Who knows? Once Syfy wises up and cuts out the dead wood on their board, you might work with that network again. We can hope, at least.

    I’m glad you had a good trip to Montreal and sorry about the taxis. Frustrating but it was their loss!

    How did that jar of hot peppers work out for you? Any ER visits you want to tell us about? 😉

    I was looking at Stargate Command. Interesting. Do they plan adding a Roku app?

  34. So sad. I’m just so confused at this point. You mean to tell me due to contractual and financial issues NO Network can take on Dark Matter? What’s the red tape with Netflix? They have a huge DM fan base. Just don’t understand why kill a great show. Im not much of a TV person, but this show drew me in. It has so much potential. I would love to see a movie wrap up or something. Geez. Lol

  35. Joe,

    I never watched Stargate. It was probably due to the fact that during that time of my life I didn’t really watch TV at all other than live sports. However, because of Dark Matter and your connection to Stargate SG-1 I found a friend with all the seasons on DVD and have been binge watching them.

    I am up to Season 4, which if I recall is when you got involved with the show, and just watched episode 6, “Window of Opportunity”. As is normal I didn’t pay much attention to the credits until after the episode when I thought “Damn, that premise was really familiar” and I looked to see who wrote it. I wasn’t surprised when I saw your name. I particularly loved the bit where O’Neill hands in his resignation so he can kiss Carter, and then at the end Daniel asks if he did anything crazy while in the time loop.

    I guess what I am getting at is that I just wanted to say “THANK YOU!” not only for creating Dark Matter, which I truly love, but for also belatedly turning me on to Stargate SG-1 (and the rest of the Stargate universe). Not only is it all entertaining as hell, but give me tons of ideas for the two Traveller role-playing game groups I run. 🙂

    Thanks!
    Rich

  36. So that’s it? SG/DM combo would have rivaled any Star Trek series IMO if done right. Like so many others, DM wasn’t just a show. Well, I guess we have the season 4 EP 1 script reading to look forward to at least. Now I understand why you had been eating those ghost peppers of late; it’s impossible to be depressed when your mouth is on fire! I see Carolina Reapers in my near future…

  37. As a member of the Stargate Command All Acess and lover of Stargate SG1 and Dark Matter. How I wish you would have made it to “successful”.

  38. Hollywood is losing their grip on reality with regard to Dark Matter ratings…it takes two seasons just to get to know the characters…dark matter was gaining momentum you idiots…not to mention how you left the last episode hanging…I hope Hulu picks up Dark Matter…

  39. Perhaps if you explain the “contract hitch” that was Dark Matter’s undoing, we might give us a little closure. My favourite quote from “The Founder”… “contacts are like hearts, they’re meant to be broken”

  40. Can you please give it one more go to find some sort of a solution for a fourth season even if it’s a fourth & final season i really wanted to see dark matter to be finalised like it deserves. Please!!!!!!!!

  41. I just finished watching Dark Matter on Netflix. I don’t know who the idiot is at Syfy who thought it was a good idea to cancel the show, but they’re missing an incredible opportunity. It’s monumentally sad that the show can’t, or won’t, be saved. Dark Matter will join the likes of Stargate: Universe and Firefly as shows that should have finished properly. A cross over would have been amazing but I’d be content to see the series have one more season at least.

  42. Perhaps if you could have worked a space-sharknado into things it would have kept SyFy hooked. Dark Matter was my only reason to watch SyFy, as they haven’t had anything good worth watching on there in years.But perhaps we’ll get a “Peacekeeper Wars” out of all this – that movie wrap-up to a cancelled series that brings everything to closure, ala Farscape.

  43. i just wanna cry cry cry cry cry cry … this is even worse than firefly. and all that crap that just keeps going and JUST WONT STOP! god i was looking forward to the 4th season …. but i mean with trump for president and all that other shit you thought just couldnt happen caus that kinda shit just doesnt happen in real life well ok now it happens all the time. i was so happy that that shitty 2017 was finally over but i didnt even know there was more shit that happened in 2017 that i didnt yet know about. great.
    DARK MATTER NEVER DIES. ill just live in denial. cant be worse than this shit 🙂
    and whoever you decided this – plague on your house.

  44. I was really, truly cheesed off about the cancellation of Dark Matter. I absolutely loved it. I bought the first two series on iTunes: hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounded really intriguing. And I liked it so much that as soon as Season 3 was announced on iTunes, I bought the season pass for that. Absolutely loved Season 3, and couldn’t wait for the new episode each week. I was looking forward to doing the same with Season 4. To me, this show started off great and just got better and better. I was really excited to find out what happened next.

    This keeps happening. I too loved Firefly and Stargate Universe, and was disappointed about those too. But of the three, Dark Matter was my favourite and, I felt, had the most potential for continuing to get better and telling interesting stories. Such good characters and scenario.

    I have to say that I don’t like the idea of a Stargate crossover; the two just feel too different, and Dark Matter needs to remain true to itself. Fine to share actors, of course; it was great to see David Hewlett appear in Dark Matter (I *loved* him as Rodney in Stargate: Atlantis). But trying to weave the stories together would seem too artificial, I feel.

    Was no attempt made, for example, to try to get Apple interested? Apple seems to be very keen to get involved in the production of original material, to compete with Netflix and the like, and it’s just lost out to HBO on a new J. J. Abrams scifi show. Dark Matter could have been a fantastic way for Apple to pick up a really excellent, and somewhat established, sci-fi show of its own, and it could have kept Dark Matter going for years. Plus, it’d have given it a quality series, compared with the crap initial efforts it’s been putting out so far…

    If it’s truly too late to rescue Dark Matter then that’s really a shame. I’d love to see Apple, Netflix or someone take it over and continue it as planned, so that we can have a proper series 4, 5 and so on, until it’s run its course. It’s such a good show. It deserves, at the very least, to have its cliffhanger resolved. But it deserves a lot more than that, too. A comic just wouldn’t cut it. A miniseries or film would be OK but a disappointment. We need a proper continuation!

    Oh, why are the studio execs always such short-sighted morons…? Sorry, but they are. I *hate* it when my favourite sci-fi shows are cancelled, and it’s always happening! (It always seems miraculous when a show is actually allowed to run its course to a satisfactory conclusion.)

  45. Sad, Very good show. but star gate was kinda drama fruity weird stuff. Dark Matter was all around totally awesome. From a conspiracy stand point the cooperation story line scared the globalists. Democrats strike again.

  46. I am so sick of SyFy dumping great shows with good ratings for no reason. I was hoping Netflix would pick up the series considering they already have the first 3 seasons. Maybe someone should contact them?

    1. We did. It is honestly baffling that Netflix didn’t step up and pick up the show.

  47. Did you pitch the program to FOX they seem to have a good eye for unique programs. No body wants another Star Gate’. Dark Matter could have stood on its own feet. Big mistake on Syfy.

  48. What a great show……so many answers not answered. 2s child,5s sister. And the worse cliff hanger

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