Despite being a critical and commercial success for the Sci-Fi channel, the 2004 reimagining of Battlestar Galactica was canceled after four seasons.
Battlestar Galactica has been a mainstay in the science fiction genre since the original series aired in 1978 and took the world by storm. The series told of the never-ending struggle between the humans and the Cylons, a race of robot warriors who launch a surprise attack on the humans’ twelve colonies, prompting them to seek out the lost colony of Earth. Unfortunately, after only one season, the original series was canceled, with ABC executives pointing to the show’s expense and declining ratings. Battlestar Galactica‘s remake would go on to fare better and last longer, but it too was canceled after a short run.
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2004’s Battlestar Galactica remake was a critically acclaimed series that ran for four seasons on the Sc-Fi channel. Like the original series, Battlestar Galactica, produced by Ronald Moore and David Eick, follows a ragtag fleet of human survivors attempting to locate the lost colony of Earth, all while evading the pursuing Cyclon fleet intent on wiping out the last of humanity. At its core, Battlestar Galactica was a thrilling and profoundly philosophical sci-fi adventure, but the series was more than a story built around survival and the chase — it was also a political thriller and an allegory of the war on terror and the dangers of religious fundamentalism.
The series became a hit for the Sci-Fi channel, pulling in 19 Emmy nominations and leading to the development of a spinoff prequel series, Caprica, and two spinoff web films. The cast was highly praised, namely Edward James Olmos as Commander William Adama, Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin, Katee Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and Tricia Helfer as Number Six. However, despite its critical acclaim, Battlestar Galactica was canceled after four seasons.
Not many details have been released on why the series was axed, but according to producers Moore and Eick, the cancellation came as no surprise. “The show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle, and finally, an end,” stated Moore and Eick. “Over the course of last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end, and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and end the show on our own terms.”
The series was also affected by the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, which resulted in the fourth season’s suspended production. At the time, only ten scripts were developed for the season, but after 100 days, the strike came to an end, and production on Battlestar Galactica resumed. Despite the announcement of the series’ cancellation, the last season averaged around 2 million views. The series finale would pull in a total of 2.4 million views, making it the most-watched episode of the series in three years.
Battlestar Galactica ended in 2009, but its influence is still felt, and the popularity of the franchise lives on. In fact, a series reboot helmed by the creators of Mr. Robot is currently in development for Peacock, and Simon Kinberg (Dark Phoenix) is currently developing a script for a new film, making Battlestar Galactica the franchise that never dies.
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