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Old September 23rd 13, 23:05   #5
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Re: The Original Battlestar Galactica

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFrain View Post
Back then #26 was pretty bad. And summer ratings mean nothing unfortunately.

It was simply too expensive for a show that couldn't maintain the premier ratings. It has more to do with the writers being rushed by the network and them cranking out half ass ripoffs of movies in lots of episodes.
26 is not great, admittedly, but remember: they were DELIBERATELY driving it down. If they hadn't done that, it would have probably hovered in the top 10. And, yes, summer ratings don't count.

However the fundamental issue here is this: ABC signed the show SPECIFICALLY because they figured it'd be dead in 13 weeks, and they were wrong. They couldn't afford to keep it on. So they decided to put a bullet in it's head. This didn't work, so they had to bring it back from the dead, and put another bullet in its head.

Ripping off movie plots? Pretty common for '70s TV, particularly Glen Larson shows. Short production schedules? No doubt. They were always in a crazy rush to catch up until about 2/3rds of the way through the season when they kind of figured out what they wanted to be.

Interestingly, the series was *initially* signed as a series of movies of the week. 3 or 4 (Depending on who you talk to). Specifically, "Saga of a Star World," "The Gun on Ice Planet Zero" and "Lost Planet of the Gods." If it got good ratings, they'd do 3 or 4 more the next year, or maybe go to series. If it got bad ratings, they'd maybe do a quickie film to have 'em find earth, and that's that.

"Ice Planet Zero" was in production when ABC expanded the order to 24 hours for the season, and the production team was totally not up to it. (You'll note, though, that 1 of the 3 movies had a blatant ripoff plot, and another was highly derivative).

Sadly, I think the "Movie of the Week" format would probably have been ideal. Do 3 or 4 a year, make an event of it, plenty of time to hone the ol' scripts, it could have run forever.
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