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.

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.

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Robin Miller
Robin Miller

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?

Stargate ultrafan and Sci-finut

OMG I am so out of the loop! Stargate: Origins? Please tell me/us more.

corwinsr

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.

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

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.

JohnF
JohnF

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

EP

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.

Shaneac1
Shaneac1

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

James P. Frederick
James P. Frederick

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.

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

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.

Zwill711
Zwill711

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.

ceresis64

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.

J P (@Takashiyoa)

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?!

MaggieL80
MaggieL80

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”!

Terry
Terry

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!

na
na

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

Danine Dolphin
Danine Dolphin

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

Line Noise
Line Noise

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?

mitpay

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!

Michael Andersson
Michael Andersson

check out the https://www.stargatecommand.co/home where they are going to stream the Stargate: Origins. Also check out https://www.gateworld.net/news/2017/09/stargate-origins-december-january-premiere/ for all information regarding stargate.

Stargate Origins will launch december/january sometime. Though it will be short episodes – its going to be so fun with something new from the SG universe!

Stacy Fincher
Stacy Fincher

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?

Bryan
Bryan

Etobicoke is Toronto GTA. Greater Toronto Area.

EP

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…

azazel73

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!

gforce

O
M
G

That would have been epic.

Can we rewind and try again?

gforce

Also, now I’m even sadder. sad

Jillz
Jillz

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.

Another's Rhubarb
Another's Rhubarb

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.

Florian Asche
Florian Asche

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

Daniel Taylor
Daniel Taylor

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.

lostinmyminds

Are you able to elaborate on what these contractual issues were? Actors unavailable or tied to networks? Stories owned by the network?

KathyC

Ugh so close! It would have been a huge win for the fans, as our subscriptions would cover two of our favorite shows!