So, why am I so positive about this upcoming tweet storm? Do I actually think it will change things? Influence the decision-makers? Ultimately result in a new in-canon Stargate series?
In a word: Yes. For several reasons, most of which I’ve already outlined. But for one reason almost no one has noted. The last tweet storm worked. No, it didn’t immediately result in a new series, but I believe it did get the ball rolling in that direction. And I’ll explain how shortly. First, let me lay out my overall reasoning on this:
Since shortly after Stargate: Universe aired its final episode, I’ve been vocal and adamant in my belief that we would be getting a new series – eventually. At the time, I had no idea what form it would take or, specifically, when it would land, but common sense dictated it WOULD happen. Eventually. Now I know it’s downright crazy to apply logic to the entertainment industry – and that’s true. With one exception: when it comes to the bottom line. Studios are in the business of making money, and the Stargate franchise was one of MGM’s biggest moneymakers. There is no way they’re just going to allow it lie fallow indefinitely. There have been changes at the company, both in terms of its leadership and, by extension, production strategy. That has no doubt delayed things – as has, I suspect, a cautious approach to a relaunch. As I said, the Stargate franchise is one of MGM’s most lucrative properties, and they want to be absolutely sure that the series they are going to green light has as much opportunity to succeed as possible. They need to be sure. And THAT takes time.
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry that the rise of the streamers will also exert an influence as these elite players seek to build a subscriber base by offering exclusive marquee content. One way to do that is by spending on huge productions. Another way is to acquire established properties, ones with built-in fanbases that will drive subscriptions. I’m talking about Amazon’s forthcoming Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time adaptations, CBS All Access’ Star Trek revival, Disney+’s The Mandalorian, Netflix’s Lost in Space. And I’m also talking about Stargate. It’s an as-of-yet untapped goldmine, one with a solid fanbase clamoring for more.
Now I’m not saying a new Stargate series couldn’t land on one of the big networks or cable entities because they’re just as hungry for product, especially a proven property like Stargate, but the fact is that these new streaming services are driving a lot of this new IP-based content. And a number of them are just getting started. There’s Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, more recently CBS All-Access and Apple TV+ and Disney+, and upcoming, Warner Media’s HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock. And I’m sure we’ll see more, a growing list of potential homes. But the reality is that while the number of these potential homes may continue to grow, the number of properties with Stargate’s pedigree (17 seasons, 300+ episodes) is severely limited. Someone is going to make a move soon, and to those that don’t: Well, you snooze, you lose.
To this point, I’ve discussed the various market forces that are dovetailing to make the production of a new Stargate series inevitable. But there is one more piece of the puzzle, the final element that will ensure we get that new Stargate – and not just any old Stargate series, but one that is in-canon and offers a perfect entry point for new viewers while also rewarding longtime fans. And that final element is YOU. Now some of you may wonder “How can fans possibly have any influence on the launch of a new Stargate series?”. My answer to that is – You already have.
Stargate: Universe was cancelled on December 16, 2010. Its final episode aired May 9, 2011. Years went by without any word regarding a new series. And then, in March of 2018, Stargate fandom launched an enormous tweet storm in support of a new in-canon series. Six months later, during an appearance at Gatecon, longtime Stargate Executive Producer and Showrunner announced that he was in talks with MGM. “I’m very happy to be able to say that MGM has a nice renewed interest in the franchise,” Wright said to fans. “And we have started talking again.”
Hmmm. 7+ years of radio silence and then months after that massive tweet storm, suddenly, progress. Sure, it may just be a coincidence – but I’m not a big fan of coincidences. That’s lazy, contrived, result writing.
Now I’m not saying the massive online showing by fans was the single motivating factor, but I like to think that it was, perhaps, ONE of the factors that led them to finally see the light and realize: “Hey, Brad Wright created and oversaw seventeen years of our most successful franchise next to Bond. We really should be talking to him about new Stargate.”.
Between the rise of the streamers, the quest for marquee content, and Brad Wright’s renewed involvement in the franchise, I think we’re nearing critical mass. And this upcoming tweet storm will help us achieve it.
Looking forward to it – and what the next six months bring!