Set 58 years before the events of Battlestar Galactica, Caprica was canceled before it got the chance to air its final five episodes.

The 2004 remake of the 1978 classic Battlestar Galactica was a critically acclaimed series that ran for four seasons on the Sci-Fi channel, pulling in 19 Emmy nominations throughout its run and around 2.8 million views per episode in Season 1 alone. With a smash hit on its hands, the network greenlit the production of Caprica, a prequel spinoff series set 58 years before the Cylon‘s devastating attacks on the Twelve Colonies.

However, while the series pilot aired on October 5, 2010, the show didn’t even last the entire month, as Sci-Fi canceled it on October 27, not even bothering to air the final five episodes until the following year. So, with an interesting premise that was connected to a franchise beloved by many, let’s look at why Sci-Fi canceled Caprica.

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While Battlestar Galactica was a war drama centered around philosophical conversations about what it means to be human and the toll of warfare and destruction, Caprica, produced by Ronald D. Moore, Remi Aubuchon and David Eick, followed suit as an intellectual exploration of humanity. The show follows a wealthy technologist, Daniel Graystone (Eric Stoltz), who loses his daughter in an attack carried out by religious fanatics. Grief-stricken, Graystone sets off to bring his daughter back from the dead using his wealth and advanced technological skills, but in the process, he creates humanity’s greatest enemies, the Cylons. The series also featured Joseph Adama (Esai Morales), the father of Battlestar Galactica‘s Admiral William Adama.

According to Sci-Fi, the cancelation had to do with ratings. On the day of Caprica’s cancellation, Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Sci-Fi, issued a statement about the network’s decision to cancel the series.”Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, Caprica has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season,” he explained.

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1.6 million people watched Caprica’s pilot episode, but the following week, viewership fluctuated between the series highest, 1.4 million, and 1.1 million. After the midseason finale, however, the show returned to lower views than ever before, with only 900,000 households tuning in to watch the episode “Unvanquished.”

It’s also worth noting that production for Caprica began as early as 2006, but the series remained stuck in developmental hell until 2008, promising a rocky start for the series. Fortunately, the blow to fans was softened somewhat by the announcement of another Battlestar Galactica prequel Blood and Chrome, which followed a younger William Adama and adopted the war-torn tone fans of the franchise were familiar with.

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