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Farscape: Cancelled

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by UncleDeadly, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. UncleDeadly

    UncleDeadly Well-Known Member

    Today, in a live, official chat on #farscape featuring writers, directors, and stars, and over 400 fans, it was announced that through a loophole in their contract, scifi channel has pulled out of its contract to have a fifth season of their top rated original series.

    Next Tuesday they finish the last episode of Season 4.

    Wednesday they start taking apart the sets.

    If you are a fan of the show, fans everywhere are asking you to help out with several things:

    Go Here For Information on Calling, Writting, E-mailing, and otherwise doing productive things to save the show


    Sign the Petition Here

    I've seen too many good sci fi shows die, and I dont want to see this one go away with out a fight
  2. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Holy lord this is a bad bad thing! You'd think these network people would know when they had a good thing. Oh man, this is really bad. I was never a huge huge Farscape fan, but this is really horrible..and I'm rambling. Oh man...well one thing is for sure, I will be signing that petition, and I do pray that they bring it back. For the fans, and for JHC in general. Thanks for post UD.

    Its a sad, sad day out there in TV land... :(

  3. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

  4. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    It's so disappointing for all the cast and crew. It was just a couple months ago that sci-fi renewed Farscape for two years, the biggest contract of any sci-fi series ever on the channel. Apparently they had an out, and for an unknown reason (Farscape's ratings have been solid this summer) they canceled the show.

    Particularly sad for Brian Henson. As more than anything else the past 10 years, Farscape has been has baby and the show is an incredible success. It's currently his biggest project and now it appears the series may be done even though it has many years worth of life left in it.

    We'll be seeing lots more info on this in the coming days. It will make November's Farscape convention bitter-sweet for sure.
  5. Smig

    Smig Well-Known Member

    I can GUESS why they canceled the show.
    They figured they have enough episodes of a popular series to rerun forever, so why spend any more money?


  6. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    I agree with both Phil and Smig - i think there was definitely more scope in the show, and they were making some changes to keep it interesting. The only reason i can see (as Smig points out) is money - finances in TV are at an all time low right now and it's obviously a massive commitment for someone like Sci-Fi to do a show on this scale.

    Maybe they'll make a movie to tie up the loose ends ?
  7. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I've been massively busy this last week and hardly online at all and just found out the news. Thanks to those who've posted the info on the news and the various links for fans to try help save the show.

    The news as to "WHY" it was cancelled has not yet leaked out - though there's speculation that it has to do with SciFi's parent company's money problems (sound familiar?) Farscape is one of cable's most expensive shows to produce.

    Anyone who wants to save the show MUST ACT FAST (ie NOW) to voice their disgust to SciFi - the sets are scheduled to be destroyed soon. The scifi telephone numbers answering machines have apparently been filled up wilth calls as to periodically have no room for new messages so this is not a wasted effort!

    Sadly, the news was delivered to the Farscape team days before shooting the last parts of the last season 4 episode thus it's too late for them to change the content to a "end of series" as opposed to "end of season" episode. The writers/producers do want to have the story continued so fans know the end as it was planned - whether it be in movie form, book, etc. They'd love it if another network could pick up the show but that would realistically only happen in SciFi was gracious enough to sign over the programming rights for the first 88 episodes.

    Anyway - i urge everyone here to help out the Save Farscape effort! Even if you've never seen the show or not as big a fan of it, it's a success for Henson and further seasons of the show means more opportunity for Henson to explore other things that would benefit other Henson/Muppet projects.

    ..and oh yes - from the mouth of David Kemper - be considerate and professional in your contact - the tone should be disappointment not anger. Network heads listen to fans (who write intelligent profound letters/messages) not lunatics (who use all caps, are nasty, use threatening tones)
  8. gymkatarules

    gymkatarules Well-Known Member

    This is from thedigitalbits.com. It gives some good contact info down there:

    "Yes... you read that right. The frell-nicks in programming at the Sci-Fi Network have opted out of their just-signed contract for seasons five and six of Farscape at the 11th hour, meaning that after the rest of season four airs in January, the best science fiction show on television is effectively cancelled. The news was announced this evening in a live chat at Sci-Fi.com with series executive producer David Kemper and star Ben Browder. As Jon Stewart might say, "Whhhhhhaaaaaaaaa?"

    Now... here at The Bits, we're not normally of the sort to raise a stink about a TV show being cancelled. That's just life, right? And it doesn't really have much to do with DVD (other than the fact that we're all really enjoying the first and second seasons on DVD from ADV, thank you very much). But this one does stick in our collective craw. Now... we recognize that some of you may not care. But if (like us) you do, the show's producers have asked for help in convincing Sci-Fi of the error of their ways. Contact Sci-Fi and politely let them know how you feel.

    Sci-Fi's programming department email: program@www.scifi.com
    Comment line: 212-413-5577
    General Line: 212-413-5000
    Address: The Sci-Fi Channel
    1230 Avenue of the Americas, F115
    New York, NY 10020-1513

    And for more information on what you can do, visit this website.

    Anyone at UPN or Fox in the mood to pick up an already critically-acclaimed hit show?

    Stay tuned..."

  9. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member


    First off, this is a big shocker. Why at comic shops and book stores there has been a huge influx of tons of Farscape stuff. Even the monthly magazine(which is one of the best slick glossy magazines next to Star Wars Insider) is available everywhere here. Man...dont know what to say as I dont know the details.

    However...I will say perhaps a decision to put Farscape FINALLY on regular tv for the rest of us non cable people could be reached. A decision like that could bring about a whole new fanbase that was never there for those who dont have cable.
    In fact, think about it...production values, story, puupetry, animatronics...its beats the pants off any Trek rip or genre action show on regular tv today!
  10. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Well-Known Member

    Truly sad news...

    I was never a big Farscape fan, but have always been supportive of the show because of its relation to JHC.

    I will be signing that petition, however.

    Here's to a happy ending :(

    - Billy :cool:
  11. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    >>>I was never a big Farscape fan, but have always been supportive of the show because of its relation to JHC<<<

    If it had been on regular tv I would been a huge fan, but the little Ive seen I like it...and beyond that it has to be the best genre sci fi small screen stuff out there. And yes, its relation to JHC.
  12. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    I agree with the idea of having it just go to another channel. Here is my thought:

    TNN. Anyone who has been in the entertainment "know" for the last couple of months knows TNN is straying from their country music roots (sorry Byron) and becoming a more eclectic network, showcasing a wide array of shows (I found out because they will be showing a new version of "Ren and Stimpy," which is rock and roll). I think they should snatch up this golden oppertunity while they have the chance! I mean, their ratings will be high as it is from R&S fans, as well as fans of the many other cool shows they will be airing, and to have Farscape in their line-up...they will be set for life. I think this is a very real and good option for the show as well.


  13. matleo

    matleo Well-Known Member

    hey gang,
    quick update. Was reading the talkbacks at AICN (soemthign I rarely do) and caught a link to a chat transcrip with Anthony Simcoe in which he had the following to say....

    "as far as I know Sci Fi wants it - It's EM that sunk it"

    At the end of the teranscript the moderator added the following...

    "According to Anth it's EM TV (who owns Henson) who pulled out of financing Farscape because of financial problems. SciFi then cancelled the show because they didn't want to take on any further financing as they are in financial trouble as well.

    We MUST write to EM TV as well as keep writing to SciFi/Vivendi.

    EM.TV & Merchandising AG
    Betastr. 11
    D-85774 Unterföhring

    Telefon: +49 (0) 89 995 00-0
    Fax: +49 (0) 89 995 00-111

    email: info@em-ag.de

    more details at: http://farscape.wdsection.com"

    For the full transcript here's the link:


    So, we have the layoffs of the NY workshop and the sale of the townhouse, Brian Henson stepping down as CEO, the cancellation of Farscape...Hold tight gang, I have a feeling this isn't going to get better.

  14. UncleDeadly

    UncleDeadly Well-Known Member

    I say leave EMTV out of this for now. We need to get SciFi to get the show back fast! A multi-front war may not get what we want done quick enough.

    I read today that Anthony Simcoe (D'Argo) reportedly said they dismantled the Pilot character already. Again, this is not confirmed.

    And back to EMTV: Again, allegedly, because they are still floundering, they wanted to get more money from the episodes, but the show has been costing more money each season. SciFi/USA Network's parent company hasn't been doing well, and they want more money too. Brian Henson has negotiated all summer long to at least get a 13 episode 5th season to create a real ending to the show, npt a cliffhanger ending like the season 4 ending will likely be.

    SciFi's voicemail box is currently full, and their fax machine seems to have stopped working. ^_^ I think all parties involved will find what a mistake has been made come tomorrow morning.
  15. DirthNader

    DirthNader Well-Known Member

    I have a question, though admitedly I know little about the affair. Could this change have anything to do with the sale of JHC and or the resignation of Brian Henson of the position of Chairman of the affore mentioned company?

    It seems as though there is a risk of losing JHC forever. Am I worrying for no reason or could I be onto something, here?

    Please let me know, those of you who no doubt have more insight into the particulars than I have :(
  16. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    Wow. At first I thought this might be a hoax -- Farscape is (was?) their most popular show, and I knew they already had it in their contract to go through
    Season 5. But so far as I can tell, this is all legit. Of course SFC would create a loophole for themselves. Probably FS's ratings were hurt after the network took the show off the air with no new episodes for EIGHT MONTHS. What were they thinking?

    So once again a show I like is cancelled before its time. And WHY am I supposed to care about watching SFC

    All of the above was written before I read the most recent posts, so now I'd like to add this: I disagree with the idea that we should leave EM.TV out of this. If they're the ones unwilling to finance the show, then it's not SFC's fault at all. We've got to talk to the money people. Let's definitely get the word out to EM.TV (who are once again not endearing themselves to me). But PLEASE keep in mind what D.W. and others have said -- express disappointment but be polite!!! They won't listen otherwise. (Why should they?)

    This is insane. The show was popular and got acclaim. It won major Saturn awards and has been nominated for Emmys. There are novels and comics and action figures -- heck, a computer game just came out. But of course, the tradition of "Every show I like has to be cancelled before its time" continues. Meanwhile, a bad sci-fi show like Star Trek: Voyager (even hardcore Trek fans hate it) somehow thrives in the ratings and stays on the air for a very healthy seven years. Where's the justice?

    Granted, this season wasn't very good, IMHO, in comparison with other seasons. But even a weak Farscape is still better than most other shows. And there were a few bright spots, so I was anticipating that things could get better (especially with that corker cliffhanger two weeks ago). At any rate, networks never cancel a show because of lack of quality. It's either a lack of ratings or a show that costs too much to produce.

    I should note that the episode that aired two weeks ago was NOT the final episode. SFC still has 11 episodes of Season 4 to begin airing in January, and those episodes will probably last us till about April or so. It is heartening to hear that the cast/crew hopes to give the story a proper finale in some form, whether it be in the much talked about movie or whatever. Most of the shows I've liked have ended with cliffhangers that have never been resolved.

    I feel bad for everyone involved right now, but especially Brian. As Phil said, this show was his baby. Even Anthony Simcoe mentioned how hard Brian fought for it. It's a shame.

    At any rate, let's keep up the efforts to let SFC and EM.TV know. There are a LOT of unhappy fans out there right now expressing their opinion, so this story may not be over yet!
  17. UncleDeadly

    UncleDeadly Well-Known Member

    The reason I say dont focus to much on EMTV is because David Kemper, head producer of Farscape, has said not to. He says it was SciFi's decision to not order any more eps. Although other forces influenced it, they have the say. If they order more, more get made.
  18. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Is there any reason why TNN (or any other station for that matter) can't start ordering episodes now that the contract with Sci-Fi is broken?

  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Yeah it appears now it is more a Sci-Fi decision although EMTV had something to do with it and caused problems somewhat. DW has posted what he now hears are the full and true version of events over at Toughpigs - the link to the thread is :- http://forums.delphiforums.com/toughpigs/messages?msg=851.16

    Theoretcally no there isn't. However, Sci-Fi would still own the rights to the first 88 episodes and so any company making new ones wouldn't see any profit for a long, long time - in todays TV climate this makes it very unlikely.

    Yup, it's because the show costs more to produce than most others. It has nothing to do with the ratings - the recent programming block Farscape was put in gave them some of the highest ratings ever.
  20. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik Well-Known Member

    I just found this article:



    'Farscape' Journey Comes to an End
    Mon, Sep 9, 2002 11:24 AM PDT

    by Kate O'Hare

    LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - After a roller-coaster ride of e-mails, calls and last-minute financial negotiations, Sci Fi Channel's "Farscape" is officially over.

    The series, currently on broadcast hiatus, is due to return in January with the remainder of its fourth-season episodes, but those will be its last. Created by Rockne O'Bannon, it stars American actor Ben Browder as a U.S. astronaut propelled through a wormhole into the far reaches of space, where he forms an alliance with a group of alien fugitives.

    Over the last couple of weeks, executive producer Brian Henson of The Jim Henson Company, and Hallmark Entertainment -- the producing partners in "Farscape" -- had been negotiating with Sci Fi Channel in hopes of striking a deal for a fifth season. But with the series' ratings in decline -- in contrast to the rising ratings of "Stargate SG-1," which joined "Farscape" on the Friday-night schedule this summer after several seasons on Showtime -- the cost of continuing production in Australia proved prohibitive.

    On Friday, Sept. 6, executive producers David Kemper and Richard Manning, and series star Ben Browder, entered the official Sci Fi Channel chat room and revealed the cancellation directly to fans.

    In part, Kemper wrote, "Tuesday will be the last time Ben dons the uniform of Commander John Crichton. We are all hugely sad. I am shaking as I write this. Yesterday, we all cried on the set. ... Being just the people who make the show and not the corporate entities that fund and air it, we are as helpless as anyone. And we are sad. And we are shattered. And we are sorry."

    Kemper, Manning and Browder continued to speculate with fans on the future of the show, but didn't seem hopeful about the series finding a new home anywhere else.

    Sources at Sci Fi Channel expressed extreme regret about losing the series, which had many strong supporters within the network. In a statement, Sci Fi said, "There are no bigger fans of 'Farscape' than here at Sci Fi Channel. It was one of Sci Fi's first original series and quickly became a critical and fan favorite. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to reach a broader audience, 'Farscape' has been unable to grow beyond its core fan-base."

    "That, coupled with the extreme and growing cost of production, has led to the difficult decision to end the series at the conclusion of season four."

    In addition to the remaining new episodes, "Farscape: Season 3" is due for home-video and DVD release in 2003, joining the previous two seasons already available.

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